Saturday, February 26, 2011

Weekend reading: Experiments in journalism

(via Flickr: jj_pappas423)
Let's get right to it:

"As TBD Staff Tweet News of their Layoffs, a Look at the Rise & Fall of Innovative D.C. News Site" (Poynter): Poynter's Mallary Jean Tenore offers a timeline on the unexpected and surprising reorganization of TBD, a Web-only news site in Washington, D.C., that had been hailed as a new-models-for-journalism experiment. Launched by the folks who successfully founded Politico, the site was seen as way to up the ante on local coverage in much the same way as Politico focused intensely on politics. But six months into the experiment, parent Allbritton Communications pulled the plug. Some say Allbritton wasn't up to the task; others say the experiment was flawed from the get-go.

"Rockville Central: Set to Become a Facebook-Only Outlet" (Nieman Journalism Lab): Here's another new-model experiment worth watching: making Facebook the platform for a hyperlocal news site, rather than putting time, energy and money into a separate online address. Nieman offers a look at some of the pros and cons of this idea.

Video interlude: Beware of "churnalism," or the overuse of press releases in news stories. A new website offers to uncover the problem.

"New Yorker, Harper's, NYRB and TNR Editors on the Dearth of Female Bylines" (The Sisterhood): Occasionally, concern will surface that women aren't widely represented in the media: as guests on the Sunday news shows, as commentators or experts in public radio stories, as executives in media organizations. The latest discussion is on female bylines in national journals of opinion, which a handful of magazine editors acknowledge here is lacking. A writer at The New Republic has another idea, though: that opinion journalism "disproportionately attracts men."

"The Fast-Finger Twitter Dilemma: A Small Confession" (George Brock): Given the fast-paced events in Libya, Egypt and the rest of North Africa and the Middle East, here's a reminder from London journalism professor George Brock that you still should think before you (re)tweet:  "It’s so simple ... to bypass the usual check in your head. Do I know that this is true?"

Musical interlude: Blast from the past.

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