Posts Tagged ‘Nieman Lab’

I remain an optimist that newspapers aren’t dying. But if they die, the cause of death will be suicide, not that the evil Internet killed them.

Hyperlinks are not a matter of life or death, even in the digital age. But failure to adapt can kill your business, or an entire industry, and hyperlinks are a key illustration of newspapers’ failure and unwillingness to adapt.

Shan Wang of the Nieman Lab addressed the issue of linking in a post yesterday (I did too; we were both responding to a post on linking by Margaret Sullivan, New York Times Public Editor).

This passage from Wang’s post was a facepalm moment for me that just illustrates how slow, reluctant and stupid newspapers have been in adapting to the challenges and opportunities of digital media: (more…)


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I get a little attention now and then in blogs, columns, stories and other discussions of media issues. Here were some of my 2014 mentions:

New York Times

I was “one reader” in a New York Times blog post (but was really pleased that the Times, after my urging, is calling for better linking by staff members). It is accurate. I am a Times reader.

On the other hand, I did get a mention and a second quote, attributed to Digital First Media, my company at the time, in the New York Times Innovation Report (mention on P. 87, blind quote on Page 15).

Other Times mentions included a quote about verification of video images in Margaret Sullivan’s Public Editor blog, and a quote in Ravi Somaiya’s story on the demise of Thunderdome.

Dean Baquet response

The Times made no notice of Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet’s response to my criticism of him and other top editors who don’t use Twitter. But the exchange was noted by the Washington Post, Columbia Journalism Review, Fishbowl, Tim McGuire, Michael Conniff, Alexander Howard, Mathew IngramJeff Jarvis, Staci Kramer, Richard Prince and Dave Winer. It certainly drew more attention than anything else I did on the blog this year. (more…)

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Thanks to Justin Ellis of Nieman Lab for a thoughtful two-part analysis of Newspaper Next. He went into much more detail, with greater detachment, than I did in my look back five years later at N2.

What I would like to see now is an analysis of the innovative projects inspired by Newspaper Next.

In the first part of Ellis’ N2 analysis, he addressed whether N2 succeeded in transforming newspapers:

So did Newspaper Next succeed in its mission to reshape the industry? Not exactly.

We’re still in the thick of uncertain times in the news business, but invention has crept into certain corners. Newspaper companies are experimenting with apps, testing new platforms, and publishing niche products (online and in print) to reach audiences outside the daily newspaper. That’s all straight out of the Newspaper Next playbook — but it’s doubtful newspaper execs would have sat by idly if a report five years ago hadn’t told them to try to develop new products. Publishers, editors, executives, and other journalists involved in Newspaper Next say the project deserves credit for encouraging experimentation inside newspapers. But with all its reach and ambition, the project was stifled by economic factors, including the industry’s near extinction-level event in 2008 that saw massive losses in jobs and revenue. As much as Newspaper Next set out to give news companies the tools to transform, survival may have been a bigger and better motivator.

In the second part of Ellis’ analysis, he followed up on the seven demonstration projects covered in the first Newspaper Next report. The direct lasting results were not impressive: (more…)

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The crowd can save your journalism career.

I encourage any journalist to read Journal Register Co. CEO John Paton’s message to last week’s WAN/IFRA International Newsroom Summit: How The Crowd Saved Our Company. (I also encourage media executives to read John’s message, but I’m writing here about individual journalists seeking career success in a time of great upheaval.)

I want to suggest how individual journalists can learn from the JRC experience that John shared. I won’t belabor what John said about how the newspaper model is broken and can’t be fixed. I’ve said that plenty of times myself, and if you’re still in denial about that, you’re not ready for the rest of his message or mine. John concluded that discussion with this important point:

You don’t transform from broken.

You don’t tinker or tweak.

You start again anew and build from the ground up.

John was providing advice for his fellow executives for building their organizations from the ground up. I’ll focus on advice for the journalist hoping to make yourself a valuable asset for such a starting-anew organization. (more…)

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When the Nieman Lab tweeted yesterday that it had published my journalism predictions for 2011, I couldn’t recall what all I had predicted. I had sent my forecast a couple weeks earlier, in response to a request from Lois Beckett. I remembered predicting a few things off the top of my head, but didn’t immediately recall what I had forecast.

One of the predictions made a stronger impression with some of my tweeps:

We will see some major realignment of journalism and news-industry organizations. Most likely: the merger of ASNE and APME, mergers of some state press associations, mergers of at least two national press organizations, mergers of some reporter-beat associations. One or more journalism organizations will close. (more…)

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I see I will be having a new colleague soon.

Voice of San Diego is hiring an Engagement Editor, which sounds a lot like my title, Director of Community Engagement. Whenever the position is filled, I will start networking with this new colleague. Maybe a couple more and we can form an association (FREE, Federation of Real Engagement Editors?) and start holding conventions. Any others out there I should be networking with already? Do social media editors count? (A Nieman Lab post says the San Diego job is more than social media, but I guess most social media editors would say that about their jobs, too.) (more…)

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A tweet from @NiemanLab just called my attention to a Universal Hub blog post about a man hit by a trolley.

As @NiemanLab noted, this was a breaking news report based solely on Twitter. From the report, I can read and link to eyewitness reports from Mark Epstein (@epstemar), who identifies himself as a student at Northeastern University, and from Jeff Purser (@jeffpurser) of Cambridge. They provide details, such as that the victim was conscious when placed in the ambulance and this sequence from Purser: “Heard horn. Brakes. Thump. Ambulance responded quickly.”  (more…)

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I hope the newspaper tycoons meeting secretly in Chicago this week come up with a clap-your-hands plan.

Because clapping our hands to save the newspaper industry, like we saved Tinkerbell at the movies when we were children, has more chance of succeeding than the paid-content-cartel approach that newspaper executives are dreaming and talking about but being careful not to conspire about. (more…)

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