Archive for September, 2010

I will be leading a workshop this afternoon for the National Newspaper Association, Be the Mobile Leader of Your Community. My slides are below. Here are some previous mobile-first posts that may help participants in the workshop: (more…)

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@statesman has shown again today how to use Twitter to cover breaking news.

In February, I noted the excellent job @statesman did in covering the terrorist attack on the IRS office in Austin. I was tied up in a meeting out of the office this morning, but I heard at a break about this morning’s situation with a gunman at the University of Texas library. (more…)


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If you’re interested in the launch of TBD, General Manager Jim Brady explains a lot of the process in this video. Jim joined Matt Thompson, editorial product manager for NPR’s Project Argo, for “Anatomy of a News Startup” Sept. 16 at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. The discussion was moderated by Carlos Roig, a faculty member of the Master of Professional Studies in Journalism program.


Newsmaker Lecture: “Anatomy of a News Startup” from Georgetown SCS on Vimeo.

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I’m doing a liveblog of a TBD/American University workshop, “Defining Your Blogging Voice,” led by David Johnson at AU’s School of Communication.

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Did I miss that trend story about the National Hockey League suddenly being on top of the sports world?

Maybe a sports league that’s drawing huge TV ratings and selling out arenas across North America could afford to disrespect bloggers, but I don’t think that’s the NHL. As our TBD Community Network partner On Frozen Blog recounted yesterday, the NHL has decided to deny bloggers access to visiting locker rooms. OFB noted: (more…)

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If you’re a blogger (or blogger wannabe) in the Washington area, I hope you’ll join us for a series of blogging workshops TBD is presenting in partnership with American University.

The workshops start this Saturday morning at AU with a workshop on defining your blogging voice. Details on the whole program on a TBD blog post and in the flier below. While we organized the workshops for the local bloggers in our TBD Community Network, the workshops are open to anyone.

I also blogged on TBD about the tweet wall at our launch celebration with AU’s School of Communication, answering some questions our panel didn’t have time to answer.

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By Steve Buttry and Michael Bugeja

We agree more than we disagree about journalism education and its future.

Buttry: Michael Bugeja, director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University, and I aired a disagreement this week in comments on this blog and Tim McGuire’s McGuire on Media blog. Frankly, I enjoy a spirited debate and thought this was civil, but after my longtime friend Barb Mack admonished me to use my “inside voice” and Tim (also a friend, though not for as long as Barb) tweeted that a “fight broke out” in his blog comments, I must agree that it was time to dial it down a bit. (more…)

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This is a crosspost from the class blog for my entrepreneurial journalism class at Georgetown University. Please add other resources I should call to the students’ attention in the comments. I’ll also be compiling links to entrepreneurial projects. What links should I include on that list?

These are some recommended resources on entrepreneurial journalism. Students choosing the project option of contributing to the class blog can do blog posts about any of these resources. You can write commentaries about posts on these blogs or reports or about a book or a chapter or section of a book. You also are welcome to blog about other resources. I will add some links here during the semester.

Blogs about business and journalism

(Some of these blogs cover multiple topics, not always relating to entrepreneurial journalism.)

BuzzMachine by Jeff Jarvis

Newsonomics of … by Ken Doctor

Reflections of a Newsosaur by Alan Mutter

Online Journalism Review by Robert Niles

McGuire on Media by Tim McGuire

paidContent, multiple authors, including Staci Kramer, Robert Andrews, Joseph Tartakoff, Tricia Duryee, David Kaplan and Amanda Natividad

The Biz Blog by Rick Edmonds

Mobile Media by Damon Kiesow

NewsPay by Bill Mitchell

Nieman Journalism Lab, multiple authors, including Laura McGann, Megan Garber, Mark Coddington, Joshua Benton and Ken Doctor

lostremote, multiple authors, including Steve Safran, Cory Bergman and Polly Kreisman

GigaOm, multiple authors, including Om Malik, Mathew Ingram, Liz Gannes and Katie Fehrenbacher

Recovering Journalist by Mark Potts

Susan Mernit’s blog

10,000 Words by Mark S. Luckie

MediaShift, hosted by Mark Glaser

News Leadership 3.0 by Michele McLellan

Search Engine Land by Danny Sullivan

Other resources for entrepreneurial journalism

New Business Models for News

Newspaper Next reports

Webb Media Group

Books dealing with innovation

The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution by Clayton Christensen

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

Newsonomics by Ken Doctor

Steve Buttry blog posts on entrepreneurial journalism

If you’re going to write about my blog as part of the project, you can’t simply write a flattering review. Write your own take on something I have written about.

A Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection

Mobile-First Strategy

A possible new business model for obituaries and Jobless journalists could find a business model in obituaries

Blog posts about charging for content

Other sources recommended on Twitter

Romenesko (This is a general blog about the news business and journalism

ReadWriteWeb (This seems to me a bit more focused on technology than journalism, but there is some overlap and it’s a good resource.)

Diffusion of Innovations by Everett Rogers



First chapter of Tina Seelig’s What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20

Local Search Database

How to raise venture capital

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Journalism education needs an update. You can and must teach and honor the timeless fundamentals of journalism and still prepare journalists for the dynamic job market they will be entering.

Journalists and educators who play the “basics” card in resisting overhauls of journalism curriculum fail to acknowledge how basic to journalism resourcefulness and problem-solving are. When a county attorney who didn’t respect the law denied me access to a file in the local courthouse, I found the records I needed in the Iowa Supreme Court and got the story. When I couldn’t persuade intimidated friends of a victim to speak on the record for a story about domestic violence by a football player, I used a draft of the story using unnamed sources to prod reluctant coaches to confirm and clarify details on the record. When floods cut off streets in much of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, my staff covered the news in boats, chest waders and by finding alternate routes. Good journalists adjust to the situations they face and they don’t use obstacles as excuses.

We need to adjust to digital challenges and journalism educators need to stop using “basics” as an excuse. They need to develop ways to teach the basics along with principles and skills of innovation. (more…)

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This is the handout for my workshop on short narrative writing. I used to do this workshop quite often, but haven’t done it for a couple years. The handout was originally posted at No Train, No Gain. I am posting some of my NTNG handouts here, with some updating, because NTNG is no longer online.

A common conflict in newspaper newsrooms today is newsholes getting tighter and writers complaining about space limitations on their stories. While space is not limited online, busy digital readers still favor tighter stories. Without question, some stories lose important substance as they get cut for tighter newsholes. But writers should not assume that length restrictions preclude quality narrative writing. Listen to some of your favorite ballads. Study the storytelling of the songwriters. They tell powerful stories in fewer words than the average daily news story. Use those techniques in your stories. (more…)

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This is the handout for my workshop on personal interviews. I used to do this workshop quite often, but haven’t done it for a couple years. The handout was originally posted at No Train, No Gain. I am posting some of my NTNG handouts here, with some updating, because NTNG is no longer online.

Narrative writing grows from narrative reporting. The foundation of any narrative is the writer’s authoritative knowledge of what happened. Some of the most powerful narrative stories require special care in finding sources and arranging and conducting interviews. Narrative is a powerful way to tell stories in writing as well as in multimedia and especially in packages that use both effectively.

Some of the best narrative stories come from deeply personal stories that often are difficult to tell. Many people are especially reluctant to tell the compelling stories of such intimate or traumatic personal matters as rape, abortion, domestic violence, incest, faith, sexual orientation, bigotry, illness, betrayal, crime, divorce, corruption, family stress, war, disaster, immigration, substance abuse or the death of a loved one. These stories present obstacles, but they are not insurmountable. The challenges tend to fall in four areas: getting the interview, conducting a successful interview, collecting narrative material and telling the story. (more…)

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I hope this blog post is premature. I would love to retract it tomorrow as an error, but it appears to me that No Train, No Gain is dead. The website launched 10 years ago, so it lived a long life in Internet years. But I mourn nonetheless.

I got involved in newsroom training as a sidelight in 1997, and after I added it to my official duties with a 1998 move to the Des Moines Register, I joined a listserv for newsroom trainers, Newscoach. The group, which never formed an official association, met annually at the old West Coast office of the Freedom Forum in San Francisco, under the leadership of the late Bev Kees. I can’t remember if I was aware of the 1999 conference. I very much wanted to attend the 2000 conference, but it met just as I was changing jobs from the Register to the Omaha World-Herald. While I negotiated for the World-Herald to send me to the conferences every other year, I couldn’t go that first year, because the conference fell right before I moved. (more…)

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