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Archive for the ‘news’ Category

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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The Cost of Doing Newspaper Business: $238K

Posted by andreaitis on February 24, 2009

Duluth News Tribune awarded training grant

The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership program has given the Duluth News Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication a total of $238,000 to help retrain the newspaper staffs.

Huh.  That was my first reaction.  Just…huh.  Then I read the story. Advertising is mentioned 7 times.  Internet is mentioned once.  Web and mobile?  Zero mentions.

I get that it’s a business. Of course we need to figure out how to make the news (overall news, not newspaper) business work.  And, we certainly need to bridge the gap for advertisers, to help them move from traditional to digital opportunities.  That is a true and noble goal.    So if that’s what this grant is all about, then let’s just be honest about it.  After all, isn’t that part of the training, too?  And while you’re at it, maybe set aside some of that grant time and money to think about how it all fits together, now and 25 years from now.  It won’t be “computer programs” … And about that consumer feedback?   Happy to hook you up with some open source forums and polls.   All free.   ;-j

I underlined some of my favorite passages below:

Now the two newspapers and journalism department will begin working on what ought to be studied. Those involved say it’s likely to be a mix of learning new computer programs to help sell advertising and tell news stories, and fundamentally rethinking how to deliver news and advertising.

“There are all kinds of ways we can use it,” said Peter Passi, a business reporter and president of the Lake Superior Newspaper Guild at the News Tribune. The idea of applying grew out of negotiations between the paper’s owner, Forum Communi-cations, and the union last year, Passi said.

Rob Karwath, executive editor of the News Tribune, said he envisions money going toward rethinking how to sell new products that deliver news and advertising to readers, and setting up methods to increasingly receive feedback from customers.

“I think it’s primarily rethinking what we’re doing, where we put our people, and where we put our efforts,” he said.

Aaron Becher, advertising director at the News Tribune, said he hopes the money can help create more of a lab-type experience where advertising staff can train to sell new kinds of advertising products in an in-house practice system before taking it to actual customers.

Duluth News Tribune awarded training grant | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

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Reporting: Being First vs Being Right

Posted by andreaitis on February 24, 2009

I posted on the Last.fm / Techcrunch face-off yesterday, but after reading Journalism, or irresponsible rumour-mongering? I’m thinking a bit more about it.  And the thought I’m thinking is this: editors.  What we’re seeing is a mad rush — to post, to critique, to judge.  We now live in a world of immediate immediacy, and many have lost track of the pause button in the frantic race to be first. Editors provided that pause, the questioning and probing that often made our stories better: clear, crisp, tight, and more often than not more accurate.

Now, though, the fact that anyone can publish anything at any time means editors are not actually needed. Desired by some, maybe, but not necessary for the act of publishing.  Is that a blessing or a curse? In the mashup of Journalism and Darwinism, I’ll say what every local TV anchor has said at least once in a classic on-air moment: only time will tell.

TechCrunch, one of the Web’s top tech blogs, sparked a firestorm of criticism with a recent story about Last.fm — the popular music-sharing network that CBS acquired last year — by reporting that the service had turned over a pile of user information to the Recording Industry Association of America. The story turned out not to be true, and Last.fm co-founder Richard Jones responded with a blistering denial, in which he said that TechCrunch was “full of shit.” Plenty of people on Twitter and elsewhere have been using the piece as a stick with which to beat TechCrunch, arguing that the report was irresponsible and the blog has lost all (or most) of its credibility as a result, etc.

Journalism, or irresponsible rumour-mongering?


Posted in news, technology | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Getting on the Band Wagon

Posted by andreaitis on February 24, 2009

Hello, news industry?  Meet the music industry.  You might have a thing or two to talk about….

Major Label Acts Get Hip to Music Apps

It took Apple to convince the labels to sell music on the internet. Now, the company’s transformation of the phone into something resembling a computer, onto which just about anything can be installed, has set the stage for the next phase of music distribution.

As for Universal Music Group, it not only gets to draw fans closer to these artists through the apps, but also data about which content is working as well as new hooks into the iTunes music store where people can purchase the tracks (not included). And of course all of it can be updated in real time from the server side, keeping content fresh and fans engaged.

Major Label Acts Get Hip to Music Apps | Epicenter from Wired.com

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Last.fm Wants the Last Word

Posted by andreaitis on February 23, 2009

Eh, who needs actual facts and reporting when rumors are rampant….

On Friday night a technology blog called Techcrunch posted a vicious and completely false rumour about us: that Last.fm handed data to the RIAA so they could track who’s been listening to the “leaked” U2 album.

I denied it vehemently on the Techcrunch article, as did several other Last.fm staffers. We denied it in the Last.fm forums, on twitter, via email – basically we denied it to anyone that would listen, and now we’re denying it on our blog.

Last.fm – the Blog · “Techcrunch are full of shit”

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A Load of Twitter — Read It And Tweep

Posted by andreaitis on February 22, 2009

“We are the most narcissistic age ever,” agrees Dr David Lewis, a cognitive neuropsychologist and director of research based at the University of Sussex. “Using Twitter suggests a level of insecurity whereby, unless people recognise you, you cease to exist. It may stave off insecurity in the short term, but it won’t cure it.”

“Receiving a tweet is like a friend whispering something in your ear,” says de Botton. “We all want people to whisper secret messages to us. Children like to play ‘I have a secret to tell you’. It’s great fun, but what they say is often not very important.”

A load of Twitter – Times Online

Whatever.  I’d just like to globally decimate the word ‘tweet’ and replace it with something less tweety.  Who’s with me?

Posted in news, social media, twitter | 1 Comment »

"Hot News" Carries a Chill

Posted by andreaitis on February 22, 2009

I haven’t seen a ton of coverage about this, but maybe it’s because I’m not reading law journals.  Still, it strikes me that this is fundamentally interesting in light of all that’s happening as the journalistic battle fields are invaded by digital forces.  Insert your own Star Wars analogy here.

Southern District of New York Judge Kevin Castel rejected a motion to dismiss a claim brought by the AP against All Headline News Corp. (AHN) for misappropriating AP breaking news and presenting it as the work of its own reporters.

The rulings came in The Associated Press v. All Headline News Corp., 08 Civ. 323, a suit where the AP alleged that defendants W. Jeffrey Brown and Danielle George instructed “poorly paid individuals” at All Headline News to locate breaking news stories from other sources and edit them for use under the All Headline News banner.

Many of the reports allegedly came from the AP, which claimed six specific acts of “free riding” on AP articles and claimed that All Headline News personnel were instructed to remove or alter any identification of the AP as the author or copyright holder.

Castel said the federal common law cause of action for misappropriation of “hot news” was first recognized in 1919 by the U.S. Supreme Court in International News Service v. Associated Press, 248 U.S. 215.

Treating breaking or hot news as the “quasi property” of a news organization, the Supreme Court said that allowing one news agency to steal the work of another would “render all publication profitless, or so little profitable as in effect to cut off the service by rendering the cost prohibitive in comparison with the return.”

Judge Recognizes ‘Hot News’ Issue in Copyright Action by AP Service

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Steve Jobs, Unplugged

Posted by andreaitis on February 22, 2009

Social media cues and clues, from behavioral patterns…and the breaking of them.

Report: Steve Jobs has logged off

“A friend of mine has for years been one of Steve Jobs’ Internet chat buddies. And as such his chat client has – again for years – shown as Steve came online each day and remained there for hours and hours as you’d expect a Silicon Valley mogul to do. And it’s a trend that continued well past Jobs’ announcement that he was taking a six-month leave of absence to get well. But then Steve started logging-on less and less. And several weeks ago he stopped logging-on at all.” (link)

Report: Steve Jobs has logged off – Apple 2.0

Posted in news, social media, technology | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Talk About Direct Marketing…Zuckerberg, Exhibit A

Posted by andreaitis on February 18, 2009

It’s this simple: Mark Zuckerberg talks to — and with — his users.  Right or wrong, he confronts the issues head on and sounds…human.  Human, imagine that.  From my perspective, his authenticity works with both consumers and the media.

Facebook Reverses Course, Pulls Terms of Use

Earlier this week, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook had updated its terms of use to clarify that information you share outside of your own profile — like posts written on friends’ Walls, replies to their status updates, or messages you send via the site’s messaging service – will remain on Facebook even if you delete your account.

“We think this is the right way for Facebook to work, and it is consistent with how other services like e-mail work,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Monday blog post.

Some Facebook members were not in agreement.

Zuckerberg promised that the site’s next terms of use will be a “substantial revision from where we are now.” There is now a group – Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities – where Facebook members can add their input on what the terms of use should include.

Facebook Reverses Course, Pulls Terms of Use – News and Analysis by PC Magazine

[poll id=”2″]

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Facebook 'em, Dan-o

Posted by andreaitis on February 17, 2009

Facebook Privacy Change Sparks Federal Complaint

mark zuckerberg facebook

The backlash against Facebook’s updated privacy policies is about to expand. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is preparing to file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over the social network’s updated licenses, PC World has learned.

Facebook Privacy Change Sparks Federal Complaint – PC World

Posted in facebook, news, social media | 2 Comments »