Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lying, analyzing, breaking up: Read!

(via Flickr: jj_pappas423)
For your rest-of-the-weekend reading pleasure:

"Newspaper Execs: Still Denying, Still Crying and Still Lying to Themselves" (SimsBlog): Judy Sims, once an executive with the Toronto Star Media Group, writes about the same old same old she sees in mainstream media: "very smart people repeatedly do remarkably dumb things, killing their businesses in the process." The Internet is a disrupter, she says, and because history shows that disrupters eventually win, news execs need to convince themselves that
... their survival rests on becoming of the Internet, not merely residing on the Internet. That means becoming a platform. That means being open. The Internet is not just another content distribution method. It is social. It is collaborative. That means accepting that they are no longer publishers or broadcasters having a one-way “Gutenberg era” conversation with the masses.
Instead, newspapers talk about finding ways -- through pay walls, iPads, subscription models -- to re-create the scarcity they enjoyed until recently. "It’s a colossal waste of time," says Sims.

"‘Objective’ Journalism is Over. Let’s Move on." (Reflections of a Newsosaur): More and more it seems, the calls grow louder to shift away from some of the old conventions of journalism: Make journalists disclose any financial, political or other interests they might have in what they write, and allow them to show their own expertise/informed opinion in their work. The argument for both is that readers are better served: in the former, they're forewarned of any biases; in the latter, they benefit from years of accumulated knowledge in subject areas.

Music interlude.

"Analysing Data Is the Future for Journalists, Says Tim Berners-Lee" (The Guardian): Journalists may be more than scribes nowadays -- many can shoot video and many can code websites -- but among the most essential skills going forward will be mining data sets to find stories, says Berners-Lee. The Freedom of Information Law may be a journalist's best friend, but once you have access to reams of government data, can you make sense of them? That's where database skills come into play, a course of study few present-day journalists have mastered.

"Breaking up with Hotmail" (Slate): In this clever piece, Jack Shafer writes about his "promiscuous relationships" with various e-mail services as you suspect he would about women he has dated: some were easy to get along with, some were more difficult. And while Hotmail once had his eye, now it's Gmail:
Who do you think you're fooling, Hotmail? We all know you're the same broad we met back in 1996.

Lightning-round reads:

  • "Financial Times Proves Better Read than Dead" (Crain's New York Business): The salmon-colored financial paper's "stick-to-its-knitting strategy" (staying niche) seems to have kept the big bad Murdoch machine at bay.
  • "Unemployed, and Likely to Stay That Way" (New York Times): One badge of dishonor for the Great Recession is a record number of people out of work for longer periods of time. Could that be creating a new permanent "idle class" of unemployed in the U.S.?
  • "Remember when Newspapers Gave Bonuses around the Holidays?" (Poynter): Here's a new money-saving idea: recalculate the formula for vacation time to the company's advantage.
Bonus video: This was where you landed from a link in the provocative tweet "Did you hug a journalist today?"

No comments: