I’m gonna mess with Texas: Dallas Morning News online, here I come!

Screen shot of dallasnews.com

Who shot J.R.?

Was there a second shooter on that grassy knoll?

What will George W. Bush do in his retirement?

I intend to answer those questions and more this summer as an intern at The Dallas Morning News!

It’s an online internship, but I’ll primarily be working under metro as a multimedia reporter. Split between breaking news and other projects, my role will include writing stories, shooting video and doing other kinds of mischief.

This will be my fourth news internship – third at a metropolitan daily. I plan start soon after I graduate in May.

I can’t wait!

What should I see and do in Dallas?

Read about my experiences at The Miami Herald last summer:

How we did it: Moving The Miami Hurricane from College Publisher to WordPress

This post also appears on the Innovation in College Media blog.

The question we’ve heard most often since launching the new TheMiamiHurricane.com is, “How did you do it?” Below, Webmaster Brian Schlansky offers a comprehensive explanation of the process, from setting up our own Web server to installing WordPress to importing our College Publisher archives.

For more background, check out these posts:


Greg Linch
Editor at Large for Online and Multimedia
Former Editor in Chief (fall 2007 to spring 2008)
The Miami Hurricane

To contact me, visit www.greglinch.com or e-mail greglinch[at]gmail.com.

Continue reading How we did it: Moving The Miami Hurricane from College Publisher to WordPress

TNTJ: Uncertainty is the greatest challenge facing young journalists

This post also appears at Tomorrow’s News, Tomorrow’s Journalists, a new blogging ring for journalists under 30 started by Dave Lee. We will be discussing issues relevant to everyone in the media, particularly the younger members. Here is the first month’s topic:

The biggest challenge facing a young journalist in today’s media is…


This is a very simple answer to a very complex question. But it’s fitting because uncertainty is a common theme in many other challenges young journalists face. Uncertainty about many things:

  • Am I learning the right concepts and skills in school?
  • Will I find a job — let alone a good job — after graduation?
  • Should I join an innovative new venture that may not pay the bills?
  • Should I join an organization that may be behind the times but provides steady pay and benefits?
  • How can I improve journalism?
  • Should I speak up at work and risk causing trouble?
  • Should I be quiet and just do my job?
  • Should I go into PR?
  • What kind of news do people want to read, see and hear?
  • What economic models will be needed to save the different journalism industries?
  • Are they all worth saving?
  • What will my industry look like in five years?
  • Will my industry still exist in five years?

But more important than being able to identify these uncertainties is being able to deal with them. No one has all the answers and we can’t wait for all the answers.

The old models are broken and we can’t wait for someone else to fix them for us. Of what’s broken, there are some things that can be fixed and there are some that can’t.

We need to be able to work in an uncertain world. We need to be able to find a balance in some areas while breaking ground in others.

That’s why you need to have the right mindset and be open to change. That’s why you need to be entrepreneurial and be able to adapt.

We might not be able to reinvent journalism on our own, but we sure can lead the way.

UPDATE (Aug. 21): Check out a related post by Mindy McAdams, The kids are all right.

An obligatory end-of-internship post: Reflecting on my Miami Herald experience

Friday was my last day as a Miami Herald intern. I’ve written several posts about the experience (links below), but now I would to provide a more comprehensive look.

From the first day, my colleagues were very friendly and welcoming. There are too many people to thank individually and I don’t want to leave anyone out, so I’ll just say: THANK YOU!

Check out this photo of my editor Carol Jertson (left) and me (right, with my eyes closed).

In short, the internship surpassed my expectations. I knew that I would have the opportunity to cover a wide range of topics as a general assignment reporter, but the quality of that experience was simply amazing – and tons of fun.

I wrote more than 30 stories for print/online, posted more than a dozen breaking news stories online (almost all of which went into print as briefs), contributed to several other stories and even anchored a breaking news story (this involves taking feeds from a reporter in the field and updating a story online).

I was particularly pleased with the amount of video work I was able to do, shooting and producing a total of seven videos (three for my stories, two for another intern’s stories and two for a business writer’s column). I have also shot video to go with an in-depth piece I will continue to work on after the internship.

The newsroom has gone through some very significant changes since I began three months ago, especially where I worked – the main Broward County office in the city of Pembroke Pines.

Like other news organizations, Miami Herald Media Company had its share of cutbacks this summer. About one month into my internship, the publisher announced that 250 full-time employees would be cut by voluntary and involuntary buyouts, which is about 17 percent of the staff. This news coincided with cutbacks across the board at McClatchy papers (more on that here).

On a positive note, I also witnessed plans to reorganize the newsroom and to redesign the Web site.

Reflecting on all this, I wrote the following on internal discussion board before I left Friday evening. I added the bracketed parts to explain a few things:

Intern’s last day: After 12 weeks, my stint as a metro GA [general assignment reporter] in Pines ends today. I’ve learned a lot, everything from sharpening my reporting skills to shooting and editing better videos.

I’ve also seen a great deal of change during my short time here. Some of those changes involved hard times. Hard times that have resulted in different pieces of advice for after I graduate in May: Go to law school. Go to med school. Don’t go into newspapers.

As for law school, Herald alumnus and current UM professor Sam Terilli has shown me that lawyers can be good people. Med school? I’m not a big fan of blood, so cross that off the list. Granted, those two bits of advice were usually jokes. But the third…not so much.

Nevertheless, I leave with a stronger love of journalism. I’m not naive (though I will admit to not knowing how to do the “i” for that in Coyote [system where we write stories]). I’ve been reading since high school about what’s going on in the industry – and my time here has shown me some of those changes firsthand.

I’m hopeful that newspapers will find a way to innovate in terms of content and advertising. I don’t know when, or how, but I’m hopeful. I’m also realistic enough to know some won’t adapt and some might, but still fall prey to whatever circumstances.

To everyone I’ve met, thank you for everything and please keep in touch: greglinch[at]gmail.com or www.greglinch.com. I won’t be far away at school (I go to the University of Miami), so I’ll be sure to visit.

No goodbyes, just TTFN (ta-ta for now).

Greg Linch


The end of my internship is not really “The End” because I plan to continue to write stories and shoot/edit videos as a freelancer.

But I did have to say goodbye to my desk (below) and ID badge.

What’s next: In addition to freelancing during my senior year, I will be the editor at large for multimedia and online at The Miami Hurricane student newspaper.

As of now, this is mostly an advisory role with certain hands-on elements, such as overseeing the launch of the new site, currently in beta. But it’s a new position, so I’m sure the role will develop more in the coming months.

Check out my other internship-related posts:

End-of-internship posts by other student journalists:

Two more Herald videos: Parkinson’s patients boxing and an unemployed couple

My video adventures continue at The Miami Herald. I really like the most recent one, “Seniors fight Parkinson’s with boxing.”

See this video on MiamiHerald.com

A week earlier, the following video ran with Cindy Goodman‘s business column about how unemployment affects families.

See this video on MiamiHerald.com

I shot some stills along with the video (it’s always good to carry an SLR around). My photo of the Victor and Damaris Guzman not only ran in print on 2B but was also the main display online the morning the story ran (see left).

Looking forward, I shot video and stills for a feature about a local restaurant on Friday. As always, I will post that video here.

Another intern, Ely Portillo, is writing the feature and asked me to join him for the multimedia. We previously worked together on the Parkinson’s story and I think we make a pretty nifty reporting duo.

Ely’s Parkinson story
was great. We got a lot of good feedback on both, even being complimented in the morning news meeting after the story and video ran. We weren’t in on the meeting, but about heard it from someone who was.

I’m still writing breaking news, daily news and feature stories for print and online for my internship, but I’m devoting more and more time to multimedia work and a long-term story project.

A final note on video: I’ve been invited to join a new Miami Herald video task force, an offer I enthusiastically embraced. Giddy may not be the right word, but I’m pretty excited.