Recently in Journalism Category
A heartwarming tribute to small-town newspapers and the late Dorothy Craig Drain, publisher of the Stamford (Texas) American.
Sports, science, politics, travel, religion, health, life, and death -- it's all here, in a collection of stories selected by Conor Friedersdorf.
A good round-up of blogger conferences focused on technology, politics, and "blogging while female."
Hyphens are not minuses are not em dashes are not en dashes. A times symbol is not the same as a lower-case X. Straight quotes should not be used for feet, inches, or quotation marks for that matter. A degree sign is not the same as a masculine ordinal. Plus more typographical hair-splitting.
Very funny: "WARNING: This article is basically just a press release, just copied and pasted." "WARNING: Journalist hiding his own opinions using phrases like 'some people claim.'" "WARNING: To ensure future interviews with subject, important questions were not asked." (Via Ace of Spades HQ.)
Long story with lots of examples of innovation: "One extreme case is the East Valley Tribune of Mesa, Ariz., which went from publishing seven days a week to Wednesday, Friday and Sunday in January; dropped Saturdays in May; became a free paper and pulled back from some distribution areas; and slashed its staff by some 45 people -- cutting half its payroll."
Gossip site TMZ is redefining breaking news coverage. Why TMZ's paid tipsters aren't much different than MSM sources ("...there is no such thing as a totally disinterested informant. Every reporter knows it: when a source comes to you, the act is always the result of a well-defined motivation. It can be frustration, revenge, or ambition.") Via @jackshafer.
Satire of the lapdog media:
"'What exactly is the news hook here?' asked Rick Kaplan, executive producer of the CBS Evening News. 'Is this an upbeat human-interest story about a "day in the life" of a bloodthirsty president who likes to kill people? Or is it more of an examination of how Obama's unusual upbringing in Hawaii helped to shape the way he would one day viciously butcher two helpless citizens in their own home?'
"'Or maybe the story is just that murder is cool now,' Kaplan continued. 'I don't know. There are a million different angles on this one.'"
Ace takes a Times headline about Obama's visit to troops in Iraq and uses it to lead into a fascinating and valuable analysis of perspective bias in the media. (Note how I made Ace the active subject of that sentence, rather than a passive responder to the headline.)
It's 1500 all over again: "Round and round this goes, with the people committed to saving newspapers demanding to know 'If the old model is broken, what will work in its place?' To which the answer is: Nothing. Nothing will work. There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the internet just broke.
"With the old economics destroyed, organizational forms perfected for industrial production have to be replaced with structures optimized for digital data. It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core problem publishing solves -- the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public -- has stopped being a problem....
"That is what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place. The importance of any given experiment isn't apparent at the moment it appears; big changes stall, small changes spread. Even the revolutionaries can't predict what will happen....
"The newspaper people often note that newspapers benefit society as a whole. This is true, but irrelevant to the problem at hand; 'You're gonna miss us when we're gone!' has never been much of a business model. So who covers all that news if some significant fraction of the currently employed newspaper people lose their jobs?
"I don't know. Nobody knows. We're collectively living through 1500, when it's easier to see what's broken than what will replace it. "