Archive for November, 2009

Read this post in Russian, translated by Google. Читать этот пост на русском языке, перевод Google.

For much of my life, Siberia was this cold, distant land where the Soviet Union sent its dissidents to work in gulags. And I presume Russians, if they thought of Iowa at all, thought of our state as a flat place where we grow lots of corn (Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev visited the Roswell Garst farm in Coon Rapids, Iowa, in 1959.)

While both stereotypes are based in truth (Iowa isn’t really flat, but it is compared to Siberia’s mountains), I know from years living in and around Iowa that the stereotype is shallow and incomplete. I’m sure my stereotype of Siberia is similarly shallow and incomplete. I’m looking forward to learning more about Siberia on a trip that starts Sunday. (more…)


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I haven’t spent this much time talking to journalism professors and students since I graduated from Texas Christian University (let’s just say some time ago).

I visited TCU last week to present seminars on the Complete Community Connection and journalism ethics in the digital age. And since I was sticking around for some memory-lane time, the curriculum committee at TCU’s Schieffer School of Journalism asked me to meet with them and tell them what I think journalism schools should be teaching about our swiftly changing field.

I shared my views with them and will share them with you here shortly. The TCU meetings continued a heavy fall schedule of consultations with journalism faculty and students on a variety of related topics: (more…)

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Is my new theme easier to read?

Martin Langeveld tweeted that my previous theme was difficult to read, so I changed themes. If you have problems reading this one, please let me know. I explained my choice of the Bryce Canyon photo earlier.

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To read all three of my “mobile-first strategy” posts as a pdf with a table of contents, scroll to the end of this post.

News organizations are belatedly, reluctantly and often awkwardly pursuing “web-first” strategies. As we fight these web battles, I am increasingly coming to believe that “web first” is what the military would call fighting the last war. News organizations need a mobile-first strategy. (more…)

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I have blogged three times recently about the questions about whether and how storytelling will survive and thrive as journalism grows more digital (I say yes).

Katharine Hansen has joined that conversation with an interesting take (linking to one of my earlier posts on the topic) that I call to your attention:

Blogs … are wonderful venues for storytelling, providing a storied outlet for both writers and readers that didn’t exist 15 years ago. And while storytelling on Facebook may be flawed, millions more people are telling and reading stories than did before the age of social media.

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Andrew Chavez will be liveblogging again today during my ethics seminar, Upholding and Updating Ethical Standards, at Texas Christian University.

The American Press Institute seminar is supported by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. We will have four 90 minute sessions, starting at 10 a.m., addressing ethics in social networks, breaking news, digital visual journalism ethics and generating revenue with integrity.

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Andrew Chavez will be liveblogging my seminar on the Complete Community connection today at Texas Christian University, my alma mater. Follow along if you’re interested. Or check out the slides.

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I hope you can help me with a course I am team-teaching next semester at the University of Iowa on creating iPhone applications.

Before I ask for your help, I should note that I know nothing about the technical side of the class. Jim Cremer, chair of the Computer Science Department, will handle that aspect of the course. (more…)

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I was unable last week to watch the unfolding coverage through Twitter and media web sites of the Fort Hood shooting.

I was traveling Thursday and teaching Friday, and simply couldn’t follow all the developments as the “facts” of the story kept changing. While I’d love to comment on the story and the coverage, I don’t like writing unless I am better informed. So I’ll just call your attention to some commentary I read on the the shootings and the coverage: (more…)

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Alex Howard has weighed in on the storytelling discussion that I recounted here yesterday.

He likens tweets to amuse-bouche, blog posts to appetizers (which, he notes, can be light or heavy), long-form narrative to the entree and links to dessert. Dan Conover suggested video or comments as side dishes. I added that an interactive database might be the recipe.

I like food and I like storytelling, so I like the metaphors. They’re not precise; sometimes the video or blog post might be the entree. But metaphors are for understanding, not precision. I hope this helps you understand that Twitter and blogging don’t endanger narrative. They add to our storytelling feast.

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