November 9, 2008

Legacy media turns the corner?

No, it hasn't. And what's at stake may be journalism itself.

The transition of US News and World Report from a weekly print publication to a "multi-media digital producer of news" may offer an example for other magazines to follow towards growth and prosperity while providing the news we need to make informed decisions about our lives. I was going to say about our democracy- which is true- but mostly it seems to be about our lives as consumers in a democracy.
Of course, the business model developed by USNWR is based on an established circulation of readers who are in a demographic that has the capability and interest to move from print to on-line, and a solid base of advertisers who see value in buying space on a website with 7,000,000 unique viewers per month.

That is not the case for most daily newspapers or weekly magazines with declining sales and staff reductions due to the rise of on-line news sources like USNWR.

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Citizen Journalism- Is it Really News?

The explosion of so-called Citizen Journalism websites around the country has opened doors for unprecedented community contributions to journalism. Are these the works of "real" journalists? Depends on who you talk to, of course. The contributors to local efforts like the Twin Cities Daily Planet and The Uptake claim they are very much journalists. There are many others like Don Shelby and___ who state they are not. For Shelby its ostensibly a matter of vetting- is it a practice of citizen journalists to fact-check their stories. And there is the matter of training.

Jeff Jarvis
Kovach and Rosenstiel
Workday Minnesota
Examples from "Citizen Media:Fad or the Future of News?"

November 8, 2008

Partisan's, propagandists, and lackeys?

"The Change You’ll Get-
Americans will finally learn what Barack Obama really believes and really wants"
November 05, 2008, National Review By Clifford D. May

In another era, the mainstream media might have seen it as their duty to probe deeply and reveal to the public as much about Obama as they could. But the days of a fiercely independent, disinterested, tough-but-fair press are over. Too many American journalists have become partisans, propagandists, and lackeys.

This description by May neatly sums up the feelings held by many about the state of affairs in mainstream journalism today. It recalls an earlier era that he implies was better- the good old days when objectivity and even-handedness held sway. When both sides of a story could be presented so the public could make an informed decision about the candidates based on facts-the CBS and New York Times facts, not the Fox News kind of facts. Back when there were three television networks and several hundred or so twice-a-day newspapers and scores of reporters working for those papers and their many, many owners.

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October 22, 2008

Blogs are so 2004...

So says Paul Boutin WIRED Magazine this month. Well that's just great. Since I have chosen to use a blog for my class project I find this a little unsettling. I thought it would a good place to post my explorations about the "Future of the News" and now I found I've chosen a tool from the new tech toolbox that's passe. However: This provides a good stepping off point to look at a few questions raised by the readings, speakers, and videos.

Thinking about launching your own blog? Here's some friendly advice: Don't. And if you've already got one, pull the plug.

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October 20, 2008

The Future of News as We Know It

(or, "Has Capitalism screwed up Journalism, and has Journalism given up on Democracy, and what’s a poor citizen supposed to do, and does it even matter anymore?)? This was a working title for this weblog at one point... too harsh, to flip, and too general by far, I think.

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