It has taken me two days, but I’ve finally cleared almost 5,000 items from my feedreader. I will confess to have used the “mark all read” button on entire categories, but I still have found dozens of interesting things that I’ll pass along over the next couple of days.

From the business side, a number of posts about what seems to be an increasingly bleak time for newspapers.

  • US newspaper jobs slump. Roy Greenslade points to a report that U.S. media employment has hit a 15-year low and newspapers have accounted for the loss of 50 per cent of all U.S. media jobs since 2000. Tish Grier has an interesting take on this that’s well worth the read.
  • Berliner Zeitung staff hold emergency meetings, warn of revolt. In Germany, staff are concerned with rumours of a looming 20 per cent spending cut. One staff memo includes this: “…“if Mecom is unable to come up with such a strategy, in the interests of the paper and its readers a new, appropriate proprietor should be sought…”
  • What the heck is going on here? Indeed. Cyndy Green is one of dozens carrying the news that the Bay Area News Group, in advance of large-scale layoffs, has invited almost all of its employees to apply for buyouts. Follow the link to the publisher’s memo to staff.
  • Group plans to offer $10,000 for Albuquerque Tribune. The afternoon daily will close this week: the newspaper’s friend are offering to give Scripps a little money for the remains. Paul Gillin has some details on the closing.
  • Who’s gonna live? Who’s gonna die? Robert Niles at OJR is running an online poll. SO far, 43 per cent of readers think the WaPo Co. has the best chance to surviving and no one has cast a vote for Advance, Lee, Media News and several others.

On the doing journalism side, plenty more for developing skills or being inspired, including these:

  • How to make your audio slideshows better. Colin Mulvany with another great post. If he keeps this up, I may quit teaching and just assign my young journos to constantly monitor his blog.
  • 12 Screencasting Tools For Creating Video Tutorials. Screencasts are the province of the geek, but there’s no reason why they can’t play an occasional role in journalism or the wide, wide world of infographics.
  • Playgrounds for Data: Inspiration from NYTimes.com Interactives. The User Interface Engineering sit digs into the ideas that drive the NYT’s use of data. Includes this: “Looking over their work is a real source of inspiration on how to start with complicated data and turn it into an informative experience for the reader.” Via Cyberjournalist.net.
  • “Video” shot with a Canon 1D Mark II. An interesting little bit of flipbook-style storytelling. Brady Lane’s piece lacks a bit of information (which I presume is provided by an accompanying article), but it has a nice pace and the use of b&w and colour images is effective. I’ve discovered a potential problem with flipbooks: I was showing one to a non-journalist and she asked if the “video” was supposed to be stuttering like that.
  • Inspiration break! Richard Koci Hernandez finds the most interesting and inspirational stuff on (and off) the ‘net.