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Archive for the ‘journalism’ Category

The Emerging Media Model: Sound Familiar?

Posted by andreaitis on March 20, 2009

San Francisco Gate columnist Mark Morford sums up the recent future-of-news thinking from the geek gurus.  His conclusion, like theirs: no one really knows what will be.  But he imagines the perfect media mashup.    Here’s to having it all.

Maybe the emerging media model — if “model” is, in fact, the right word and not, say, “mind-numbingly fickle and infuriating hellspawn Charybdis noisemaker” — will have it all: the best aspects of experimental social networking (Shirky), a rich variety of voices (Winer), journalistic expertise where you need it most (Johnson), lots of solid credibility surrounding an inspired social narrative (um, me), a glorious new gadget to read it all on (Apple) — and, most importantly of all, huge numbers of active, engaged readers and communities willing pay for it all.

via Die, newspaper, die? / The geek gurus all weigh in on the end of dead-tree media. Are they wrong?.

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The Reboot of Journalism

Posted by andreaitis on March 19, 2009

Dave Winer was at the forefront of blogs, RSS and podcasting.   His take on the state of journalism is a bit different because his perspective is inside out, but the inside is from the tech side rather than the print side.  So, to his point, we are not at the beginning of the Journalism transformation.  Technology has been leading us here for quite some time.  And where will we go?  It’s kind of like porn: we’ll know it when we see it.

In 1994 we didn’t know what the new journalism would look like, and we still don’t, but we knew some essential elements, perhaps the essential element — the sources go direct. It’s the thing the Internet does to all intermediaries, it disses them. It happened to travel agents, realtors, classified ads, all kinds of shopping, and it’s happened to news too. Permalink to this paragraph

As with everything new, to see it you have to jump out of your skin and look at the situation from the new body, not the old one. Imagine what news would look like once the limits of the past are erased by the technology of the new. It’s been knowable for many years, but some didn’t want to look. But if you did look, as millions, if you weren’t one of the gatekeepers; rather you were one of the people they gates were meant to keep out — there was no problem seeing how it would shape up. Now we’re there, we’re not at the beginning, we’re already far along.

via The reboot of journalism (Scripting News).

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Columbia Journalism Schoolhouse Rock

Posted by andreaitis on March 13, 2009

Sign me up for Professor Goldman’s class.  He gets that you can’t take full advantage of the future without understanding the past. There are certain fundamentals of journalism and storytelling that are pervasive and enduring, and you can’t cover them all in 140 characters.  Some you learn in class, some on the street, and some over a beer in a bar. And those are often the ones you remember most vividly.

“Fuck new media,” the coordinator of the RW1 program, Ari Goldman, said to his RW1 students on their first day of class, according to one student. Goldman, a former Times reporter and sixteen-year veteran RW1 professor, described new-media training as “playing with toys,” according to another student, and characterized the digital movement as “an experimentation in gadgetry.”

Goldman’s official take on the situation is considerably more measured, and he insists he is not against new media. “They need to know the ethics and history and practice of journalism before they become consumed with the mold they put it in, because the mold will change — the basics won’t,” he says, explaining his outburst.

Columbia J-School’s Existential Crisis — Daily Intel — New York News Blog — New York Magazine

Footnote: I’m setting aside my personal “new media” pet peeve.  Really, it’s not so new anymore…

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Jim Bellows, The Last Editor, Gone at 86

Posted by andreaitis on March 7, 2009

Jim Bellows

Jim Bellows

I saw it on twitter first. I know, I know, it sounds trite already (or, uh, twite). It resonated, though, because our CEO worked for Jim Bellows at one time, and knew him well. I’ve heard the stories. Bellows was a truly great editor, by all accounts — even his own in his book The Last Editor. He loved what he did, and he loved the people who did it with him…whether he was working in print, TV or the Internet.

LD says Bellows was known for repeatedly asking the following: “Young man, what do you want to do with the rest of your life?” And, LD says, you would think about that question, from then on. Bellows had an impact, one that was resoundingly felt by those who worked with him. And it transcends. I was not fortunate enough to meet Jim Bellows, but LD talked about him and shared stories. And when we started down the startup path in July, LD sent me a copy of Bellows’ book. “Read this,” he said. So I did. And in reading it I got a sense of who Bellows was, and the joy with which he approached every step along the way.

I found this clip of Jim Bellows from March of 2008, almost exactly a year ago.  He was at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner Almost-20th Reunion Party at the LA Press Club.  To get a sense of the man, listen to the words of those who worked for him:

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Highest praise, said with great affection.  What did Bellows have to say for himself?  The Editor & Publisher obit includes excerpts from a 2002 interview on the PBS NewsHour:

TERENCE SMITH: What’s the future hold in this business that you’ve been in so long, in journalism? Is the answer the Internet, will newspapers still be around, will they still be on newsprint?

JIM BELLOWS: You’re going to have a newspaper that’s delivered there at your home every day, but it’s not going to be market quotes, it’s not going to be baseball statistics; it’s going to be commentary and opinion, but you’re going to be able to get that other material that you want by the computer world and everything else.

TERENCE SMITH: Jim, what worries you, if anything, about journalism today? When you look at the news business and you look at everything from newspapers to the 24-hour news channels, any cause of concern?

JIM BELLOWS: The newspapers now are too tame. And you need more people with passion who are willing to take risks and have a commitment to making a difference.

TERENCE SMITH: Too tame when you look across the country, too tame? Papers that… you see papers that ought to be more adventurous?

JIM BELLOWS: Yes, and they ought to take risks, which they’ve got to, it’s productive to be helpful to people to make a better life and make sense out of the news.

To make a better life and make sense out of the news…

I had planned to post pictures of our new office tonight, before hearing this news. I am still going to post them, because I think Jim Bellows would have enjoyed LD’s latest adventure. He would appreciate True/Slant. I can picture Bellows standing in our office, asking LD yet again what he wants to do with the rest of his life. LD would look him straight in the eye and say, with conviction, “This is it.” I imagine Bellows would mumble in response, with a glint of pride and pleasure. And he would look out the windows of our new office, see the future and nod with approval.

To Jim Bellows…for always raising hell.

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Jim Bellows, The Last Editor, Gone at 86

Posted by andreaitis on March 7, 2009

Jim Bellows

Jim Bellows

I saw it on twitter first.  I know, I know, it sounds trite already (or, uh, twite).  It resonated, though, because our CEO worked for Jim Bellows at one time, and knew him well.  I’ve heard the stories.  Bellows was a truly great editor, by all accounts — even his own in his book The Last Editor.  He loved what he did, and he loved the people who did it with him…whether he was working in print, TV or the Internet.

LD says Bellows was known for repeatedly asking the following:  “Young man, what do you want to do with the rest of your life?”  And, LD says, you would think about that question, from then on.   Bellows  had an impact, one that was resoundingly felt by those who worked with him.  And it transcends.  I was not fortunate enough to meet Jim Bellows, but LD talked about him and shared stories.  And when we started down the startup path in July, LD sent me a copy of Bellows’ book.  “Read this,” he said.  So I did.  And in reading it I got a sense of who Bellows was, and the joy with which he approached every step along the way.

The Editor & Publisher obit includes excerpts from a 2002 interview with Bellows on the PBS NewsHour:

TERENCE SMITH: What’s the future hold in this business that you’ve been in so long, in journalism? Is the answer the Internet, will newspapers still be around, will they still be on newsprint?

JIM BELLOWS: You’re going to have a newspaper that’s delivered there at your home every day, but it’s not going to be market quotes, it’s not going to be baseball statistics; it’s going to be commentary and opinion, but you’re going to be able to get that other material that you want by the computer world and everything else.

TERENCE SMITH: Jim, what worries you, if anything, about journalism today? When you look at the news business and you look at everything from newspapers to the 24-hour news channels, any cause of concern?

JIM BELLOWS: The newspapers now are too tame. And you need more people with passion who are willing to take risks and have a commitment to making a difference.

TERENCE SMITH: Too tame when you look across the country, too tame? Papers that… you see papers that ought to be more adventurous?

JIM BELLOWS: Yes, and they ought to take risks, which they’ve got to, it’s productive to be helpful to people to make a better life and make sense out of the news.

To make a better life and make sense out of the news…

I had planned to post pictures of our new office tonight, before hearing this news.  I am still going to post them, because I think Jim Bellows would have enjoyed LD’s latest adventure.  He would appreciate True/Slant.  I can picture him standing in our office, asking LD yet again what he wants to do with the rest of  his life.  LD would look him straight in the eye and say, with conviction,  “This is it.”  I imagine Bellows would mumble in response, with a glint of pride and pleasure.   And he would look out the windows of our new office,  see the future and nod with approval.

To Jim Bellows…for always raising hell.

Posted in journalism, media | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »