Resources

What the unemployment rate does – and doesn’t – say about the economy

The unemployment rate gets most of the attention, but the monthly jobs report contains lots of other data that can provide a fuller picture of the economy.
Simply being out of work isn’t enough for a person to be counted as unemployed; he or she also has to be available to work and actively looking for work (or on temporary layoff). In any given month, the unemployment rate can rise or fall based not just on how many people find or lose jobs, but on how many join or leave the active labor force.

Municipal bonds: A reporter’s tip sheet

Munis, as they’re known, enable a state, county, city, housing authority or other local government to raise money for public projects — usually infrastructure. But unlike the bonds private firms sell to raise cash, the interest is free from federal income tax, meaning, in effect, that munis are federally subsidized. They are also often exempt from local taxes. These tax benefits allow issuers (also known as borrowers) to attract investors at lower rates; in financial parlance, it makes borrowing cheaper for local governments.

Poynter sets newsletter webinar

Noting that traditional news outlets, nonprofits, universities and corporations increasingly are using newsletters to deliver information to their audiences, Poynter’s online News University is offering a newsletter webinar for editors.
“Editors as Curators: How to Engage Audiences with Nimble Newsletters” is set for 1 p.m. Nov. 16 and the cost is $29.95.

Online Media Campus offers Automatic InDesign webinar

Online Media Campus is offering a webinar on how to use InDesign’s built-in features to automate work.
The webinar featuring publication design expert Russell Viers is set for Friday, Aug. 25, from 1 to 2 p.m. Cost is $35 per person and the package includes access to the recorded webinar after Aug. 25.
Some of the topics included in the session are:
• Using Snippets for quick ad and page building
• Using Next and Nested Styles for quick text formatting (class assumes viewers already know basic use of Paragraph and Character Styles)

Poynter offers webinar for folks entering the journalism field

Poynter’s online News University is offering a new webinar for folks starting out in the journalism field.
“Flourish, Don’t Flounder, at Your First Journalism Job” is set for 1 p.m. Aug. 30. 
The one-hour session will cover: 
• What to include (and leave out) on your resume and cover letter
• The important skills you’ll need for any job
• How to tell if a job or internship will be good for you
• Ways to impress your boss without being a suck-up
• Navigating the conversations about more opportunities

6 tips for catching your writing mistakes (and protecting your credibility)

You, reporter/blogger, have been working on a story all day, and it’s deadline time. You hope your story’s free of typos and grammatical mistakes. But at this point, you’ve read it so many times, you fear you’ve missed something. No one is available to read behind you and it’s nearly time to hit “publish.”
A training session from NPR offers tips and exercises to bring out the “inner copy editor.”

Stop killing your social stories with bad headlines and images

No matter how great your content is, if you don’t package it properly, few will read or share it. 
Writing a great headline and choosing a dynamic main image for every article matters more now than ever — on a crowded Facebook feed that’s already turning out link posts for video, you’re playing a zero-sum game for your audience’s attention. That headline and image are frequently all anybody’s going to look at.

Webinar: Building a strong service directory

A webinar to help newspapers develop a profitable service directory will be offered by Online Media Service on June 7.
“Building a Strong Service Directory to Increase Revenue” is scheduled from 1 to 2 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, June 7. Registration fee is $35. The session will be recorded so that those who don’t have time in their schedule for the live event can access the recording and see it at their convenience.

Property Taxes 101: A primer for journalists

So the city you cover is considering raising property taxes and your editor wants a story today. If you’re like many journalists, you didn’t get a lot of training in college on municipal budgets. Journalist’s Resource offers some great information for writing about property taxes, what readers need to know about an impending increase in their property taxes and calculations for showing the impact on individual property owners.