What’s the Difference Between a Journalist, a Copywriter, and an Author? (And Why it’s Important to Know in the Online Era)

 

This is a question commonly asked but rarer is an answer provided. ‘What is the difference?’ is a question many clients can have when looking to hire, and it is also something many new writers ponder when starting out. Sure, the roles of a journalist, copywriter, and author all involve writing, but the way in which their daily work is approached is very different. Especially in the online age.  

In the era of the Google search engine it’s not news clarity has often come at expense of accessibility. This is true for all parties in the writing business, from the creator, to the publisher, to the distributor. This can be complicated even more of by the rise of eCommerce and online business which makes it possible for someone to be a creator, publisher, and distributor all in one (themselves separate roles, but best discussed in a future article). Wearing many hats is no bad thing. In fact, there are strong arguments to be made for professionals to hold a diverse skill set in the era of disruption.

Where it’s complicated is when these roles are confused. This means broader access to professionals and skills doesn’t deliver greater productivity Click to continue reading

• • •

The Biggest Week in Australian Journalism History? 3 Stories that Tested Principles of Privacy, ‘Off the Record’ and Defamation

By any measure the week prior was a big one for journalism in Australia. Three major stories broke in which the journalists themselves became the story. While Pulitzer Prizes exist for a reason to recognise outstanding journalism, generally speaking, notable episodes prior have shown it is not ideal when the journalists themselves become the story.

That’s why the emergence of three major stories in one week has been so notable. Each one independent on the other, but sharing in common a controversy surrounding whether the stories were ‘fair and free’ in their publication, or instead crossed the bounds of good practice.

Let’s look now at them one by one, see whether the ‘old rules’ of journalism still apply, and what lessons emerge new and upcoming journalists may glean from them.

 

Mia Freedman, Mammamia, and Roxane Gay

 

The Issue: Most Australian shall recognise Mia Freedman’s name. For readers abroad, Mia Freedman is a prominent Australian editor who chiefly presides over the Mamamia empire, while also serving as a media personality and commentator.

Freedman’s was all set to interview Roxane Gay, the American author visiting Australian to promote Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Within it, Gay has documented her … Click to continue reading

• • •

Why Hire a Writer Anyway? The Difference between Communicating and Writing

When someone has hired a writer it is pretty straightforward. ‘Hi, with the contract now signed you can begin! Here’s the content outline in full, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you soon’. All is simple and easy when you’ve a brief in-hand like this. That is the stage when all is certain surrounding the needs of a project, but it is the period beforehand that this article will address.

One of the common questions this author gets asked in his daily work his ‘do I really need to hire a professional writer for this project (website landing page, blog, press release etc. etc)? Usually, but not always, this is done by clients who are seeking this author out for something beyond writing, such as for graphic design work, website building, or media relations, who may not yet know this author is also a journalist and ghostwriter – and so could find this question offensive!

Instead of taking offence though, this writer recognises there is indeed a question of value here. Maintaining a number of business interests on the side in tandem to his 9-5 day job, the need to meet a budget, and ensure money spent brings a … Click to continue reading

• • •

A Question of Timing: When will Smartwatches be Essential?

Talking watches, trips to Mars, and flying cars. While we’re not quite yet in the era of technology the Jetson’s offered, the world in 2016 is making solid inroads when it comes a renewed space program, the next ‘big leap’ in cars, and in the  smartwatch sphere.

This is illustrated with the latest launch of the Apple Watch 2. Recent years have seen the Cupertino tech company embattled as it seeks to make a decisive shift from the ‘post-post-Steve Jobs’ era.

When the Apple Watch first launched it was met with a bit of bemusement, as a new product line did not come with the same earth shattering angle as products prior. It also set the tone in the minds of many about the company’s overall direction.

Though many gave new Apple CEO Tim Cook a ‘grace period’ once he took the helm of the company, many felt the Apple Watch wasn’t just underwhelming but indicative of a new bland era at Apple.

These criticisms are not uniformly fair, as not only have Apple’s competitors caught on to their winning approach and caught up in market share. No less though, for better or worse Apple remains the flag bearer … Click to continue reading

• • •

What’s in a Name: Finding a Name that Suits your New Startup


With the rise of the online economy it has never been so easy to start selling goods or services. 
Though in a bygone era a new business would usually need think about things like a brick and mortar location, operating hours, and launch capital, today it’s far simpler.

A signup on Shopify, getting a social media account running to build awareness of your brand, and you’re officially off and running. That’s what it appears on paper anyway. While the digital age has brought with it opportunity, it has also brought challenge. A online economy means other businesses are always in operation, the marketplace is global, and the ability to get traction at the start can be harder.

Here is why a brand name is so important to a new business.It is important to have a name that signifies what you are seeking to sell in the eCommerce sphere. In turn, to understand where you should go in future its worthwhile looking on ‘what could have been’. Let’s do that now with three globally renowned brands.Click to continue reading

• • •

Succesful Launch: 7 Hit Songs from the Last Era of Space Exploration

While at first this may not appear immediately apparent, the explosion ‘overnight’ of Elvis Mania in the 50’s, Beatlemania in the 60’s, and Seattle Grunge Mania in the 90’s affirms such trends may appear to come out of nowhere; but often have been in development for a long while beforehand. With big league space exploration gearing up again there is set to be a renewed focus in pop culture.

Before clearing out your playlists for new albums and your walls for new posters, its worthwhile to look back on songs popped up last time a Space craze went down, as well as the long term legacy it left thereafter. Here now 7 songs that sang of space and became huge hits on Earth.Click to continue reading

• • •

Ready for Take Off: 5 Space Missions Set for Launch by 2025

In 1903 the Wright Brothers kicked off human flight. The achievement was wonderful but the technology humble, with a plane that resembled little more than a cardboard construction. 60 years thereafter – a blink of an eye in the history of Earth – humans we’re on the moon. One of those rare moments that literally had the world watching, and promised more to come.

Following the successful return of Apollo 11 much effort was put into busy plans for many more missions, moon bases, and even a bit more travelling about the galaxy to other planets. Thereafter though, to the minds of many things slowed down a little bit.

Sure, there were subsequent lunar landings, a rover or two sent abroad, the creation of the International Space Station, and a number of satellites sent up to orbit about and beam us content back to Earth. These are all notable achievements, but since Apollo 11 mission in July of 1969 the space exploration community have been waiting for the next ‘oooh’’ moment.


It’s been many decades since that first ‘one small step’ was taken. Yet, the next decade is set to see serious inroads made – from just outside our orbit Click to continue reading

• • •