Ah, there’s good news tonight

November 3, 2008

I guess one could try to put a positive spin on almost anything. Ken Doctor trys to find the pony in the pile of horse dung:

The only good news for publishers here is that lenders really don’t want to push publishers into bankruptcy, knowing that they don’t have much opportunity to make more of the assets than the current managers. Further, the wider financial squeeze means that ailing newspaper debtors are now one of the lesser problems many banks are juggling. There may be some shelter in wider misery.

The sad news is that the economic melt down is putting the squeeze on newspapers. Is there the possibility of good news coming out of this? Is it possible that local ownership of newspapers may make a comeback as they become less desirable a corporate acquisitions and affordable for some kind of local consortium?

Is it possible that a news gathering organization that is less tethered to maximizing revenue for a corporation might be able to serve its local readers needs better?

Is a failure of the corporate model of news ownership necessarily a bad thing for local news?

This is a horrible time for many good people. No one knows what the outcome of all this will be. Without disparaging the former corporate model is it too naive to think that the end result of this painful mess may be a better journalism product?


Jounalism Challenge Match

November 3, 2008

Lets say there is a really big story going on that effects everybody. It is complicated but not metaphysically unknowable. Would old media or new media do a better job of covering it?

The economic downturn would be a good example of a big story that effects everyone. Its complicated. So who would you say is winning the contest to inform the people?

Jeff Jarvis takes a look at the contestants and finds a surprise, the winner, for him, is radio.

NPR’s This American Life broke their normal format to take the time to explain what was going on and what the different amswers proposed meant for the markets and for individuals. They also used the internet to supplement their stories with podcasts that could go into more detail.

The big loser for Jarvis, and for any one else who cares about these things, was the cable news outlets. They avoided indepth analysis, ran a talking-head fest of noise and stuck with their usual formula of disturbing footage and snippets of shocking statements ran on an endless loop.

If you could use $10,000

October 20, 2008

You have cursed the fates and Mr. Heldman because you are forced to blog. Now you might rejoice for the very same reason.

Collegescholarships.org is offering a scholarship for bloggers for $10,000. I know that is chump change for some of you but I can imagine this might finance that new Macbook you have been drooling over.

Here are the main requirements:

  • Your blog must contain unique and interesting information about you and/or things you are passionate about. No spam bloggers please!!!
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  • Currently attending full-time in post-secondary education in the United States; and
  • If you win, you must be willing to allow us to list your name and blog on this page. We want to be able to say we knew you before you became a well educated, rich, and famous blogging legend.

Important Dates:

  • Accepting Submissions: October 15th, 2008
  • Submission Deadline: October 30th, 2008

Are you up on all the Memes?

October 5, 2008

An Internet Meme is: a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the Internet.

From the start of the Internet (August 16, 1070) through the first Emoticon created (Sept. 19, 1982) the sponge monkeys (June 2002) all the way to Chocolate Rain and LOLCats you can get caught up on all the important cultural moments supplied by the digital  crack house that we call the Internet.

The wonder that is the Internet Meme Timeline.

Is this the most illiterate generation so far?

October 5, 2008

Dave Eggers says NO!

The truth is that American publishers put out 411,000 individual titles last year, an all-time record, and netted $25 billion–hardly a sagging industry. And those kids who have abandoned books for electronic media? Since 2002, juvenile book sales have shown compound annual growth of 4.6 percent for hardcover books and 2.1 percent for paperbacks.

Answering objections to the internet

October 5, 2008

Jeff Jarvis is a long-time journalist who embraces the changes brought about by the Internet and, as a consultant, tries to help print-oriented organizations understand why the world is different now.

He also gets cranky listening to the same objections over and over. So here are all the usual complaints about the digital world and his usual answers. 

My favorite:

The internet has no ethics. True. It no more has a moral code than a telephone wire, a car, or a knife. We who use it bring the ethics and laws we live under already.

Do you get Twitter?

October 5, 2008

Here is where you sign up for Twitter.

It’s called “micro-blogging.” Only 140 characters per post.

Those who are able to read your posts are limited to those who follow you. You can control who follows you or you can throw the doors open for everybody who wants to read your posts.

You can check it when ever you want to from the Twitter.com page or you can use one of many free standing programs that will update automatically.

You can use it with the text messaging of your cell phone (not a good idea if you don’t have unlimited messaging.)

You can exchange direct messages between you and someone else that will only be seen by you and that person.

Who uses Twitter?

Barack Obama’s campaign

The Wichita Eagle, to notify you when they post new stories

Ron Sylvester does live up dates from Wichita court cases he is covering for the Eagle


The Onion

Darth Vader (and many other famous fictional people although there is a suspicion that it is not really them)

Lou Heldman

And me.

If You want more information, try this article.

For a story about one person’s experience with Twitter try this link.

If you want to give it a shot, follow me and I will follow you.