A foreign correspondent's view on newspaper struggles

Here’s a brand.

Trudy Rubin is what’s left of the once glorious international presence of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

She just returned from another tour of Iraq, where she has further cemented her reputation as a top global-reporting force. Her Worldview column and her blog are musts for those following American presences in the Middle East (Subscribe here). Yeah, and she’s doing for the Inquirer, fo real.

On Tuesday, she fielded questions in an online forum and, along with politics and military, I was joined by others asking her thoughts on newspapers.

Find them below.

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Five books I reread in 2008 that you should try in 2009

Today is Jan. 2, 2009.

Looks like you ought to find something new to read. For me, there are those books I can’t seem to put down, even if I’ve already read them and have a stack of new stories I hope to try.

In 2008, I returned to more old friends than I normally do. Below, see the five books to which I returned and why you should give them a go if you haven’t, or a second look if you can.

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My five most viewed posts of 2008

Fireworks over the Delaware River in Philadelphia, celebrating 2009. Photo by Shannon McDonald.

Fireworks over the Delaware River in Philadelphia, celebrating 2009. Photo by Shannon McDonald.

Everyone does their lots of lists to end of the year. So, consider this my wishing you a grand, happy and successful 2009 and my doing just that.

I celebrated my one-year anniversary on this site early December with some of my most popular and favorite posts, so, because they might otherwise overlap, this is strictly my five most viewed posts of 2008.

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Twelve months of top journalism blog posts in 2008


Tomorrow 2009 begins. Instead of doing a top ten list of posts like most, I want to review the year in important journalism-related blog posts.

There areĀ  a lot of bloggers who focus on journalism. From grizzled veterans, tech geeks and corporate stiffs who are looking for the future, to those who blog the news, and younger cats like me, who have some of the experience, all the enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to offer. Yes, while some have written newspaper obituaries, some are looking toward the future.

So, with all of us running around blabbing on about new media and the future of newspapers, it turns out that every once in a while something I think is pretty meaningful comes to light. This year has been a big one, so below, in my humble opinion, see a guide to 12 months of the best journalism-related blog posts of 2008.

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Professional Resolutions for 2009

It’s a new year, so it’s time for resolutions. Here are my professional ideas, as I shared some more specific personal ones here.

Here are a few I’ve been thinking about:

  • Write: I want to write more here, journal more, more establish my freelancing career, get pieces into big newspapers and magazines and be part of meaningful journalism. Most important, I want to think I am a better writer, reporter and journalist a year from now than I am now.
  • Technology: I need to toe more into the obvious steps of tech, multimedia and web design. I want to invest time in using my point and click camera, editing video and audio and move this website maybe to a self-hosted version without the wordpress.com.
  • I want to make $30,000: Making that pre-tax total would mean I made more than I did as a post-graduate intern and allow me to save a little bit of money. I could do this freelancing, but I also might look for some writing and journalism jobs.
  • Make a book out of WDSTL: I created a lot of content with the cheap travel video podcast while backpacking in Europe, so I’d like to do something more with it.
  • I want to say ‘I don’t know’ more: All of us get trapped into making educated guesses and generally trying to answer questions or offer opinions for matters we don’t know. I want to stop that. If I don’t know something, I want to
  • Frame clips and diploma: I have some great newspaper clips and that diploma I paid so much for, so I’d like to display them to show them off a bit and be reminded of how hard I worked for them.
  • Update portfolio: I have a print portfolio that I’d like to update.

Those are my clearest objectives for 2009. What are yours?

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Your digital legacy: we know your wild past won't forget, but who doesn't?

Image by Steve Carroll

We already got the message. Twenty-somethings of today, I suspect, are already careful about their presences online. We were coming to professional age when we were first joining social networks.

But the conversations seems to be ongoing.

The Economist magazine has released its annual forecast for the coming year, and, among their predictions, the U.K. politics magazine says 2009 may be a year in which the social networking phenomenon will reach critical mass: hurting security, employability and socializing.

Hear their audio and my thoughts below.

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Letter of Support for Eugene Martin (12/10/08)

Monday, December 10, 2008

To: President Ann Weaver Hart
Re: Professor Eugene Martin
CC: University Provost Lisa Staiano-Coico, SCT Dean Concetta M. Stewart, BTTM Department Chair Jan Fernback

President Hart:

One of the great honors of my young life was to be named the speaker at my graduation from Temple University on May 22, 2008. My five minute speech to more than 8,000 people in the Liacouras Center focused on what became my passion while studying at the big urban research university of my dreams: community involvement.

When I first walked Diamond Street long enough to realize it doesn’t stop at 17th Street, I didn’t know Eugene Martin. When I first began to realize North Philadelphia was a complex amalgamation of nearly a dozen distinct neighborhoods, I didn’t know Eugene Martin. I started my journey beyond Temple’s Main Campus before Eugene Martin, but it was never the same after meeting him.

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This is where I will post any potential biases or conflicts of interest. I do not feel the below work or relationships cloud my ethics as a journalist, but transparency is of the utmost importance.

If you have any questions or comments, contact me here. To see a more complete list of my work and professional experiences here.

  • I have contributed to uwishunu.com, an arts and entertainment blog for Philadelphia, that is a product of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corp.
  • I worked with Eugene Martin, a filmmaker and Temple University professor, and he became a mentor of mine from January 2007 onward.
  • I volunteered at the Village of Arts and Humanities in the Fairhill neighborhood of central North Philadelphia from January 2007 to May 2008.
  • I have worked and volunteered in a variety of schools and programs administered by the Philadelphia School District, including, but not limited to, Freire Charter School and the Franklin Learning Center, between January 2005 and My 2008.
  • I reported for the Philadelphia Inquirer from December 2005 to May 2006 and again during summer 2008.
  • I attended Temple University and was involved in a variety of organizations, most notably The Temple News, from August 2004 to May 2008.
  • I have been politically registered as an Independent, affiliated with no political party, since spring 2004, when I first registered to vote.

I have listed the above facts because some may think they could affect my ability to fill my roll as a freelance journalist and blogger here.

On this professional site, I blog about being a young freelance journalist in Philadelphia – with central themes on pitching, writing, researching, networking and happenings in cities everywhere.

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ChristopherWink.com by Christopher Wink is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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