Interested in journalism? Then follow these ten sites

7 August 2009

Written by: Lawrie Zion

Yes, I know, never ask a journalist to reveal their sources. But when it comes to keeping track of the seismic shifts  shaping journalism, then I’m more than happy to broadcast my bookmarks. After all, in ways never imagined a decade ago, we’re all in this together – journalists, educators, students, bloggers, academics, and – to quote Margaret Simons’s excellent book, The Content Makers – the “people previously known as the audience”.  So here’s ten sites that I dip into on a daily basis. 

Crikey – whether through its main website, or its pay subscription daily email bulletin, Crikey delivers astute coverage of the Australian media in all its forms, and is itself a groundbreaking and adventurous example of the potential of online journalism, with a stable of savvy writers and contributors headed by editor Jonathan Green.

MediaShift – This site, which has the backing of America’s Public Broadcasting Service, tracks how new media – from weblogs to podcasts to citizen journalism – are changing society and culture. Essential reading  for anyone interested in journalism education or social media.

PoynterOnline – Established by the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburgh, Florida,  this site provides one of the most comprehensive online resources for journalism students and educators. Sections include Romenesko Latest News,  Reporting & Writing,  Ethics & Diversity, Leadership & Business ,Visual Journalism, Online & Technology,  TV & Radio, and Journalism Education.

Dart Centre Australasia – This is the regional hub of the US-based organisation for journalists who cover violence or trauma in all its forms. As well as its enormous value as a guide to a range of resources for dealing with trauma and violence, the site recently added an Australasian blog.

The Punch – This News Limited publication is billed as “Australita’s best conversation”, and under the stewardship of former Daily Telegrah editor, David Penberthy, himself a frighteningly good scribe, it has quickly become a lively commentary forum,  but I wonder if they thought they were trying their hand at  flash journalism when they published this piece on nudity.

BuzzMachine – The personal site of Jeff Jarvis, whose credits include founding and editing Entertainment Weekly. These days he is associate professor and director of the interactive journalism program at the City University of New York’s new Graduate School of Journalism, media consultant, and author.  His most recent book isWhat Would Google Do? (HarperCollins 2009)

mUmbrella – Billed as “everything under Australia’s media and marketing umbrella”,  this blog, which is mostly the work of former B & T editor Tim Burrowes, is quick off the mark with breaking stories in the local media sector, and offers well-written opinion pieces on everything from journalism ethics to whether  you can trust a PR when they promise you an exclusive. ‘

Online Journalism Review – With it gaze fixed firmly on examing the future of digital journalism, this excellent blog is published by the Knight Digital Media Center which was set up with the aim of providing training for new media at all levels, with programs tailored for mid-career journalists who want to upgrade their skills. The site itself is energised by the efforts of its chief blogger, Robert Niles.

European Journalist Centre – Established with the mission of facilitating training for journalists across Europe, this non-profit institute provides an excellent daily news summary focussing on European media, and provides information about a broad range of training projects. and partners in a range of training projects.

Editor’s Weblog  – Established in 2004 to provide a resource for newspapers and their editors, this The World Editors Forum publication has an impressively global remit, with dedicated sections focussing on Arab and African media, and a broad range of topical news story about media in all its forms.

Lawrie Zion is a co-founder of upstart and Journalism Coordinator at La Trobe University.

Know of a great site for journalists that isn’t on this list? Then drop us a line and tell us why.