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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Yelvington’

“Digital-first” means different priorities and processes for journalists.

As I’ve visited newsrooms discussing digital-first journalism, I’ve heard again and again from editors that they are “all in” for the digital emphasis. But in the next breath, some editors ask questions about what “digital-first” means for them and their newsrooms. They believe but they don’t fully understand.

Digital-first is way more than just publishing breaking news online and shooting video (though it involves both). Steve Yelvington explained:

Digital-first is about making the future your first priority, with everything that implies.

It requires restructuring all your priorities. Not just when you do it, but what you do and how you do it.

In a series of blog posts starting today, I will attempt to explain what those priorities mean.  (more…)

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I was too busy yesterday enjoying beautiful spring weather, a beautiful baby granddaughter and exciting NCAA basketball to join a lively Twitter discussion of anonymous comments.

One of the primary discussants (it wasn’t combat, but it was pretty vigorous) was Mathew Ingram of GigaOm, who blogged about the topic (and has a link to a search string that pulls much of the discussion together). Steve Yelvington also blogged on the topic, noting that an ounce of leadership is worth a pound of management.

They summarize the issue well in detail, so I will summarize more broadly (and, admittedly, oversimplify) here:

One side (led on Twitter yesterday by Howard Owens) argues that anonymous comments inevitably become ugly and you have a more civil, responsible online discussion if you require people to participate by their real, verified names, as newspapers have always done in letters to the editor.

The other side (led by Ingram) embraces the freewheeling discussion of the anonymous comments, noting that responsible moderation of and engagement with the conversation can rein in (or remove) the ugliest exchanges, while keeping debate lively and honest. Without anonymity, whistleblowers are less likely to join the discussion, they rightly note (and the other side will rightly note that the anonymous bigots way outnumber the anonymous whistleblowers in story and blog comments). And besides, don’t we sometimes want to know how ugly people can be? (more…)

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I have become a bit tiresome, I suppose, in pushing my views that news companies need to stop pursuing paywalls, move beyond advertising and find a more prosperous future in direct transactions.

Well, Dale McCarthy of Fairfax Digital in Australia is showing the wisdom of this approach. A story in B&T reports on McCarthy’s dismissal of paywalls, speaking at a recent media conference.

McCarthy said the internet’s real “rivers of gold” is transactions. (more…)

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While I am critical of the Columbia University report, The Reconstruction of American Journalism, I am pleased that it has stirred debate about the future of journalism. Here are the most interesting takes I have seen on the report by Columbia journalism professor Michael Schudson and former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr:

Tom Grubisch ripped into Downie and Schudson in OJR: The Online Journalism Review, calling it the kind of “shallow analysis that typically informs newspaper editorials on big issues.” Be sure to read Robert Niles’ comment. He sees Downie and Schudson as speaking for news industry leaders who “chose to ignore, marginalize or even demonize voices who argued that the news industry must change its procedures, in both editorial and business operations, to compete online.” Now, Niles says, “top news company managers are working their way through the stages of grief.” The Downie/Schudson report, Niles said, represents the stages of anger and bargaining. (more…)

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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 bottom of this post.

When I try out a new app for my iPhone, I think of opportunities the news business missed years ago. More importantly, I think of opportunities we need to pursue today.

Many years ago, before the development of the World Wide Web, I was an editor at the Kansas City Star. Some critics fault newspapers for failing to anticipate the need to move into the digital age, but I remember a project called  StarText. We were planning to deliver the next day’s news stories electronically to subscribers the night before. The stories were just in text and you needed a  modem to receive them and few people had modems then. But we were making our first awkward moves into digital delivery of news. (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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I have long been an admirer of Edward Wasserman’s work. When I was presenting a series of ethics seminars, Our Readers Are Watching, for the American Press Institute, I frequently recommended Wasserman’s Miami Herald columns on ethics in a list-serv for participants.

But his latest work shows how smart people can write stupid things when they don’t take the time to learn and understand the topic they are writing about. Wasserman, a professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University, clearly is smart. His thumbnail bio with his columns says he was educated at Yale, the University of Paris and the London School of Economics.

Apparently that meant Wasserman was so educated he didn’t have to learn anything first-hand about Twitter before writing about it. His latest column, How Twitter poses a threat to newspapers, revealed so much ignorance about Twitter that I knew without looking that he had never bothered to use Twitter. But I look anyway. It’s good journalism to do some research and see if your assumptions are correct. A quick check using Twitter’s “find people” function showed no Edward Wasserman on Twitter. (Update: Wasserman confirmed in an email response that he has not used Twitter. His response, which shows a refreshing humility and thick skin, is in the comments.) (more…)

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