Friday, September 17, 2010

Readings for the weekend

(via Flickr: jj_pappas423)
It's the weekend. Time to kick back for some good reads.

"Book Excerpt: Can Videogames Be Journalism?" (The Atlantic): I was a skeptic before, but now I'm thinking that maybe videogames do have a role in journalism's future. This piece on the soon-to-be-published Newsgames: Journalism at Play, written by a trio of academics involved in videogame research at the Georgia Institute of Technology, talks about the various forms games can take that make sense for journalism: infographic newsgames; documentary newsgames; puzzle newsgames. As the authors note, "it's worth remembering that games have been a part of the news for almost a century, since the first 'word-cross' puzzles appeared in the New York Sunday World in 1913." Perhaps I should go back to school, quick, to get a gamers' degree so I'll be ready.

"Good Journalism Will Thrive, Whatever the Format" (The Observer): Here's the argument that old platforms may die and be replaced by new ones, but journalism will go on forever. Despite Chicken Little cries that the sky is falling, "any intelligent discussion about the future needs to make the distinction between a particular format (print) and the function (journalism) that society needs to nurture. And it's the function that really matters."

Video interlude No. 1.

"After the Collapse: Rebuilding News in Denver" (Save the News): This is an uplifting, attaboy postscript to the loss of The Rocky Mountain News in early 2009 -- one of most wrenching modern-day closings of a metro daily newspaper. From its ashes, though, has come a new effort to keep investigative journalism alive, a nonprofit news collaborative funded by foundation grants. Here, executive director Laura Frank talks about the founding and reach of the I-News Network.

"Reinventing How to Cover a Press Conference" (LostRemote): Big press announcement planned, but the newsmaker hasn't organized a live feed of it? Be a fly on the wall and do it yourself, using various social and other tools available: laptop, webcam, Twitter, blog. And in a new-age twist, viewers (who grew in numbers as the event -- the "new" Twitter reveal -- went on) were able to submit questions that then could be posed at the presser.

And speaking of new Twitter:

"Twitter as Broadcast: What #newtwitter Might Mean for Networked Journalism" (Nieman Journalism Lab): I was just blown away by this almost-instant analysis of the new, revved-up Twitter and what it signifies: "The sameness of tweets’ structures, and the resulting leveling of narrative authority, has played a big part in Twitter’s evolution into the medium we know today: throngs of users, relatively unconcerned with presentation, relatively un-self-conscious, reporting and sharing and producing the buzzing, evolving resource we call 'news.' Freed of the need to present information 'journalistically,' they have instead presented it organically. Liberation by way of limitation." Wow.

Bonus video to introduce bonus reads offered in classic point-counterpoint fashion (or, in this day and age, Old Media vs. New Media):

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