Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekend read: Don't forget the journalism

(via Flickr: jj_pappas423)
Time to squeeze in a quick end-of-weekend reading list:

"Product First!" ((Re)- Structuring Journalism): I like the caution flag waved here by longtime journalist Reg Chua at the new slogan "Digital First," as championed by John Paton of Journal Register Co.: If it's just shorthand "for posting news faster and faster to the Web," says Chua, "it doesn’t really fundamentally rethink what we do, except make it go faster, at lower cost, with more bells and whistles." Instead, he says, "Wouldn't it make more sense to talk about 'journalism first'? That would at least put the focus on the quality of what we do."

"Some Thoughts on the Social Distribution of Mass Media...(SoDOMM)" (Silicon Valley Watcher): In one of those it's-so-obvious-why-didn't-I-see-it? observations, Tom Foremski suggests that the so-called social media revolution hasn't lived up to its potential: "If you look at the links people are sharing through social media, much of it is links to the same newspapers and big media organizations that people were reading, listening to, and watching before the advent of social media." Ha! He says a better descriptor of the terrain is SoDOMM: Social Distribution Of Mass Media.

"The Guardian Newsblog and the Death of Journalism" (The Louse & the Flea): Is live-blogging or live-tweeting good or bad for journalism? Both are being used more often by media organizations in the name of alternative story-telling. As a result, as-it-happens posts are being compiled by a reporter who is at a press conference or product demonstration or public meeting. If you know of the event and are interested in what's transpiring, it's the next best thing to being there. But when the event is breaking news, the result can confuse more than enlighten. But the Editors Weblog, in "Are Live Blogs the Future of Journalism?", contends online running commentary may yet have a place.

Musical interlude.

Quick takes:
  • "The NYT's Melting Iceberg Syndrome" (Monday Note): "Could the New York Times be viable as a digital-only operation?" is the provocative question posed in the opening sentence. Why this what-if game? See the next item. 
  • "Top 10 Dying Industries" (Real Time Economics): Of course newspaper publishing is on the list, No. 3 behind wired telecommunications carriers and mills.
  • "Losing Our Way" (New York Times): Bob Herbert's last column.
Video interlude: Was I the only one who didn't get the memo on the planned musical extravaganza by "Grey's Anatomy"? Imagine my surprise flipping it on in mid-episode.

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