Newspaper company Digital First Media is expected to announce today that it is shuttering Project Thunderdome
, its three-year old experiment in news content creation and sharing. [more inside]
A few years back, Fox News head Roger Ailes
moved to Garrison, NY, built a house, bought the local newspaper, and got involved in local politics. New York Magazine has the story of Ailes' efforts to remake the small town in his own image
, and the rage, paranoia, and narcissism those who've interacted with him have come to expect.
On October 8, the LA Times' Letter Editor, Paul Thornton published a piece entitled, "On letters from climate-change deniers"
following up on a claim in an earlier article
that said, " Simply put, this objection to the president's healthcare law is based on a falsehood, and letters that have an untrue basis (for example, ones that say there's no sign humans have caused climate change) do not get printed." [more inside]
In 1962, fifty years ago this month, striking union printers shut down four New York City newspapers in resistance to computerized, automated technologies that were being introduced in newsrooms across the country. Five other area papers shut down voluntarily. The strike lasted 114 days and sounded the death knell for four newspapers. For a brief period, New York was a laboratory that demonstrated what can happen when newspapers vanish. Today, new technology is again shaking American newspapers as the Internet drains away more and more advertising revenue. Is this The Long Good Bye? [more inside]
In the wake of the venerable Boston Phoenix changing to a glossy magazine format
and rebranding itself as simply The Phoenix (as well as the ongoing turmoil at the Village Voice
), Salon's Will Doig writes the obituary for the age of the alt-weeklies. The Phoenix responds.
Analog, Warren Buffett and Digital Media
- Why Warren Buffett invests in newspapers: " You essentially have a business that will make a lot of money if you are terrific, it will make a lot of money if you're lousy," Buffett said, "...how good a newspaper is depends entirely on the wishes of its owner. There is no correlation between profits and excellence," Buffett added, "there's really nothing like that in American business." Enjoy nearly a full 60 minutes
of Warren Buffet's (all too rare) public teaching style in this recently uploaded video from 1992
Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times
celebrated the 130th anniversary of its first issue, and marked the occasion with 130 photos from Los Angeles history
, as well as a gallery of historic front pages
'The stories about epidemics that are told in the American press—their plots and tropes—date to the 1920's, when modern research science, science journalism, and science fiction were born.' This is the story of how the media back then (January, 1930) helped fuel fears about a parrot-fever pandemic, and the subsequent public backlash
. (Via) [more inside]
PR Industry Fills Vacuum Left by Shrinking Newsrooms
- "You would go into these hearings and there would be more PR people representing these big players than there were reporters, sometimes by a factor of two or three" ..it's getting tougher to know when a storyline originates with a self-interested party producing its own story.
Richard Peppiatt, a reporter for the British tabloid the Daily Star, has quit
because of its "hatemongering" anti-Muslim propaganda. This is his resignation letter
Some data on newspapers and paywalls, as The Times reveals some of their numbers
and chooses to look on the bright side of the data, while others are more skeptical
. [more inside]
"The Journalist as Programmer"
is an academic, ethnographic case study (pdf)
, which considers whether the New York Times' Interactive Newsroom Technologies unit
, source of the paper's Open Source Developer Network
, should be thought of as a template for the future of Web Journalism. Slide Deck
. (Previously on MeFi.)
NYMag profile of the INT team from '09: The New Journalism: Goosing the Gray Lady
. ("What are these renegade cybergeeks doing at the New York Times? Maybe saving it.")
If you're going to kill off an entire section of a newspaper and fire all of the staffers
who work there, it's probably a good idea to get the Twitter password first. [more inside]
WANTED: EDITOR OF A SUCCESSFUL LIB-LEANING BLOG
AND NEWS ORGANIZATION LOOKS TO HIRE A PUBLISHER
. Say what you will about the relative merits of Talking Points Memo
or whether or not it's the triumphant example of why we don't need "real" newspapers or journalists any longer (previously on Mefi  
), but it does seem we've turned a corner (or perhaps jumped the shark?) when editors hire publishers instead of the other way around.
The Huffington Post just announced
that it is launching a new initiative to produce a wide range
of investigative journalism — The Huffington Post Investigative Fund. [more inside]
Somewhat quietly within the past couple weeks, two major newspapers, on each side of the Atlantic, have opened up their data and content APIs. Last month, on their Open blog
, the New York Times introduced their Developer Network
. Then just yesterday, on their DataBlog
, the Guardian launched Open Platform
. [more inside]
Virtually all the predictions about the death of old media have assumed a comfortingly long time frame for the end of print—the moment when, amid a panoply of flashing lights, press conferences, and elegiac reminiscences, the newspaper presses stop rolling and news goes entirely digital. Most of these scenarios assume a gradual crossing-over, almost like the migration of dunes, as behaviors change, paradigms shift, and the digital future heaves fully into view. But what if the old media dies much more quickly? What if a hurricane comes along and obliterates the dunes entirely? Specifically, what if The New York Times goes out of business
—like, this May? [more inside]
Newsfilter: "After a century of continuous publication, The Christian Science Monitor
will abandon its weekday print edition and appear online only, its publisher announced Tuesday
." [more inside]
Every issue of The Times
published between 1785-1985, digitally scanned and fully searchable. (Via Wordorigins.org
a "brilliant compendium
of the great days
of Fleet Street
(check the comments for a more depressing viewpoint).
The website of the ridiculously awesome Newseum
has been revamped and relaunched in anticipation of its October reopening. Check out the redesigned Today's Front Pages
sections - and go here
for frequent, fascinating evaluations of current front page graphic design (archive
). Browse the downloadable front pages
of notable dates in recent history (e.g. Katrina
, 2004 tsunami
). Watch discussions
of some of the most recognizable Pulitzer Prize winning photographs, and check out the interactive archives
of past exhibits. You can also pay your respects at the online version
of the Newseum's Journalists Memorial
Since Rupes went to great lengths
to protect Wendi, see some other examples
of newspaper self-censorship
"A smart story often does contain new facts,"
Bennett explains. "But just as often it takes facts that are lying in plain sight and synthesizes them, or arranges them in a way — sometimes in a narrative — that really exposes some new meaning on an important subject. And I think that's a conceptual scoop." (via ATC
The ten things most likely to be on The Daily Express front page.
This UK newspaper has gained something of a reputation of late because of their apparently monosyllabic attitude to the news and what'll appear as their front page story -- today with everything that's going in the middle east they ran with yet another story about Princess Diana. Here, Martin Belam analyzes the leaders for the past three months and examines the patterns.
Charlotte Observer photographer Patrick Schneider has been fired.
After a 2003 incident
in which the North Carolina Press Association stripped him of his awards for three pictures (before and after can be seen here
) the Observer has fired Schneider over the alteration of this
image. The question remains among photojournalists: is it unethical
to alter a photo in such a way that it more closely resembles what the eye saw and the camera is unable to capture, or is this a deceptive practice that damages the public's trust?
The End of News?
From the New York Review of Books. Michael Massing
, a contributing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, discusses the decline of the mainstream media and the ideal of objectivity: Accuracy in Media
(1969), the Center for Media and Public Affairs
(1985), the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine
(1987), Rush Limbaugh
(1988), Fox News
, cost-cutting at newspapers
. Of course, the newspaper business has always been a difficult one, as Walter Lippmann noted in his book Public Opinion
(1921): [more inside]
Citizen journalism gets vetted,
and the people of Greensboro101 etc. bite back. Should the new outlets
papers or to each her own
The world's 100 largest newspapers by circulation
Japan and China take 9 of the top 10 spots; Greece enters at #17, the United States at #19. Newspaperindex
now also has the list broken down by continent
. [An updated top 100 list has been posted here
] [via Cynical-C]
Edinburgh's Scotsman newspaper
has launched a digital archive covering all editions from 1817-1950.
There are several stories with an American slant
which may be something that interests you. There is coverage on such things as the hanging of the notorious bodysnatchers Burke and Hare
Unfortunately, after viewing the free archives it is a paysite, but I still think it's worth a look as there is easily a couple of hours of interesting reading on the free articles that are included.
The set-up and look of this site is brilliant as well.
Pages of the Past
The Toronto Star has digitized each of its issues from 1892-2001. And they're searchable. And they're online. Unfortunately, access starts at about a buck an hour—but 1945 is free!
Open Source Local Journalism.
"A small California newspaper [The Northwest Voice
] has undertaken a first-of-its-kind experiment in participatory journalism in which nearly all the content published in a regularly updated online edition and a weekly print edition is submitted by community members." Is the editor of your local newspaper aware of this?
"The newspapers of the twenty-first century will give a mere "stick" in the back pages to accounts of crime or political controversies, but will headline on the front pages the proclamation of a new scientific hypothesis."
From an interview
with Nikolai Tesla in 1937 about the now near future...
U.S. Army Used Media Cover in Iraq for Own Ends
which sounds like a big old bowl of yellow journalism but isn't really, at least I don't think so. It was more to refute the Iraqi Minister of Lies talking about the whooping the Iraqi war machine was delivering to the coalition forces.
The main issue that the reporters had was that they were only getting the one side of the story and not the Iraqi perspective.
But it raises some questions about the supposed objectivity of the media. Is this a proper use of them? To help achieve military goals? Or to try to avoid more unnecessary deaths?
Are bloggers the heir apparent of the independent weekly?
Welch: For all the history made by newspapers between 1960 and 2000, the profession was also busy contracting, standardizing, and homogenizing. Most cities now have their monopolist daily, their alt weekly or two, their business journal. Journalism is done a certain way, by a certain kind of people. Bloggers are basically oblivious to such traditions, so reading the best of them is like receiving a bracing slap in the face. It's a reminder that America is far more diverse and iconoclastic than its newsrooms.
Search the New York Times website for any occurrence of the words "Valerie Plame" during the last week
...and you'll find nada, zilch, zip. The so-called "paper of record" has remained totally mum on what may be one of the biggest scandals of the Bush administration yet. You can read about it at Newsday
, and The Nation
, and it's been mentioned on NBC... but not a word from the New York Times (save for a reference to it last week
by syndicated columnist Paul Krugman, and a wire service story
today; neither of those pieces mentions Plame by name). The Times' news and editorial divisions are asleep at the switch on this story. Maybe the Jayson Blair scandal was a distraction from the deeper problem: a paper that is so concerned with being balanced and respectable, it refuses to cover any politically controversial stories. You can e-mail email@example.com
to ask why the Valerie Plame news blackout. Or just click this link
a few dozen times to send 'em a message.
Jayson Blair doesn't know when to shut up.
The first interview with the disgraced New York Times
reporter indicates that if he's feeling bad about what he did, he's not exactly showing it. Oh, and he has "a book full of anecdotes." Very subtle, Jayson.
Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception
The New York Times runs a
long article detailing its preliminary findings in the matter of Jayson Blair, The Times' young staff reporter who made up sources, facts, and anecdotes in potentially hundreds of stories. Does this investigation help the Times avoid permanent disgrace? Or does this just confirm what you've always thought about the Times?
Slate magazine is attributing part of the problem to affirmative action
(Blair is black). Is AA relevant here?
Shhh! American Prisoners Being Held in Afghanistan
This report is from Pravda, the Russian newspaper. I have not seen any media posting of this story and I wonder whether the story is false or our media does not want to go into this. Anyone at MF hear of this before?
Paper of Record
provides a hi-res, searchable(!), archive of historical newspapers, generated from microfilm collections. Looks like one for Cory at Wrote
['nother couple of similar links there]. Kind of new and largely Canadian at the moment, but worth watching, and subscriptions are cheap. Remember, those are Canadian dollars.
seem to be the only place we can find out what goes on in the US these days. Probably has to do with the liberal media, wouldn't you say?
Ottawa Citizen publisher fired for criticizing Chrétien.
CanWest Global keeps it real for the little guy once again by continuing to silence dissident voices. The Citizen's own coverage of the sacking
is, unsurprisingly, scant on details.
Matt Taibbi, co-founder
of the eXile
, Moscow's most caustic and painfully funny newspaper, has relocated to Buffalo, NY (?) to work his journalistic mojo there. That is, if he's not arrested over this editorial
Notice something missing from today's Washington Post?
In a creative protest of management's latest contract offer, Post union members withhold bylines from news stories and columns in the June 5 edition.
Most articles are written "By A Washington Post Staff Writer" and pictures are taken "By A Washington Post Staff Photographer." What other unique forms of labor protest have you seen where the union gets its point across without striking or compromising the quality of the product?
Those free weekly alternative-press newspapers in your city? They suck.
On the anniversary of Baltimore's City Paper
, a writer celebrates by calling for change. Not just at Baltimore's paper, but at all alt-weeklies. That means you, Austin Chronicle
, and Riverfront Times