Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Death of Print

Howard Kurtz covers many of the points we have talked about in class in a recent article about the death of print.

See here

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The changing newsroom at the New York Times

Emily Nussbaum wrote an article for the New York Magazine describing the changing face of the New York Times newsroom. She describes how young software developers have become just as important to the Times as journalists and how the Times Building often feels more like a Silicon Valley startup than a newspaper headquarters.

“The proposal was to create a newsroom: a group of developers-slash-journalists, or journalists-slash-developers, who would work on long-term, medium-term, short-term journalism—everything from elections to NFL penalties to kind of the stuff you see in the Word Train.” This team would “cut across all the desks,” providing a corrective to the maddening old system, in which each innovation required months for permissions and design. The new system elevated coders into full-fledged members of the Times—deputized to collaborate with reporters and editors, not merely to serve their needs.

"The Renegades at the New York Times" -- New York Magazine

Summing Up

Chicago Tribune:
A short-lived research project in which the Chicago Tribune solicited responses from current and former subscribers to descriptions of Tribune stories before they had been published has been halted after reporters raised journalistic concerns.

Jeff Jacoby:
Newspapers are in extremis not because of their political agenda, but because the world around them has been transformed. The growth of the Internet has left the traditional newspaper business model, with its vast physical plant and expensive armies of writers, editors, photographers, pressmen, mailers, truck drivers, and salesmen, in a shambles. Craigslist and its ilk have vaporized what used to be most papers' greatest profit center: classified advertising. A decades-long trend of falling readership, brought on by the rise of television, has been accelerated to warp speed by the explosion of websites and blogs offering news and opinion on every conceivable subject, 24 hours a day - and usually for free. The culture has changed. Only 15 percent of Americans younger than 40 now read a printed newspaper every
day. It isn't political bias that keeps them away. Conservatives who insist otherwise do themselves no favors.

Debra J. Saunders:
When a newspaper dies, you don't get a comprehensive periodical to fill the void. You get an informational vacant lot into which passersby can throw their junk.

Marc Dunkelman:
[T]he decay of the newspaper industry eats away at the connection that individuals have with their neighbors, and their understanding of the challenges facing those who live outside of earshot, on the other side of the interstate. You might have been solely interested in getting commentary on last night's baseball game, but if you buy the newspaper, you're likely to peruse the front page. You may simply have wanted to check cinema schedules, but you're likely to notice a headline that indicates that a local elementary school is laying off a portion of its teaching corps.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"If it bleeds it leads" got you down?

I came across this site the other day called Good News Now. It is an aggregator site that highlights only good news for the day. Some of the articles are really uplifting. This made me think that because of the prevalence of aggregator news sites in the new media, journalists should try not only to get the attention of their readers, but also the attention of news aggregator sites. Anyone could create an aggregator site that could become extremely popular like the Huffington Post or the Drudge Report have become.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Obama and American Journalists Abroad

Earlier today, President Obama expressed concern about the foreign detention of American journalists, citing specifically Roxana Saberi in Iran and Euna Lee and Laura Ling in North Korea.

The President said,
"Even as the world recognizes the central and indisputable importance of press freedom, journalists find themselves in frequent peril."

Obama's statement is aptly timed, as May 3 is World Press Freedom Day.

Blaming Media Hype for Swine Flu Fears

In a post on a New York Times blog, Robert Mackey discusses ways that media hype has contributed to swine flu fears. He cites sensationalist headlines and the need to fill airtime on 24-hour news stations as two examples of causes.

In addition to our mention of the media and swine flu, it's an interesting look at the media's role in potentially crisis situations and how to not overstate a threat while at the same time informing the public.