Saturday, May 7, 2011

Of souvenirs, PR and Twitter: Read!

(via Flickr: jj_pappas423)
Time to catch up on some weekend reading:

"Newspapers as Souvenirs" (Huffington Post): You gotta love the sentiment here of the newspaper as witness to history. The big, big story, of course, was the death of Osama bin Laden, and -- once more -- newspapers were in demand: as souvenirs of the day's heart-thumping news. (If only that were the case for print every day.)

"PR Industry Fills Vacuum Left by Shrinking Newsrooms" (ProPublica): The headline says it all, and in typical ProPublica fashion, the narrative is exhaustive. "The dangers are clear," says the piece. "As PR becomes ascendant, private and government interests become more able to generate, filter, distort, and dominate the public debate, and to do so without the public knowing it."

Graphic interlude: I'm not sure what to call this -- an animated timeline? -- but it's a cool way to show the development of the California Watch series "On Shaky Ground."

"Why Newspaper Ad Sales Are Not Recovering" (Reflections of a Newsosaur): It's disheartening to read that Newsosaur Alan Mutter doesn't think we've hit bottom yet in newspaper ad sales, even as the economic recovery chugs along. But he's right that "stubborn unemployment and a nearly moribund housing market" aren't helping.

"How 4 People & Their Social Network Turned an Unwitting Witness to bin Laden’s Death into a Citizen Journalist" (Poynter): Take a look at how networks of Twitter users bridged the continents between Pakistan and the U.S. to relay the so-called first-person account of the raid that led to Osama bin Laden's death. (The post later was criticized as suggesting that mainstream media had been eclipsed by the social media platform.)

Video interlude: Here's a double dose of in-your-face chutzpa for newspaper doubters. The Newspaper Association of America reports that Internet users flocked to newspaper websites in the first quarter, and the Society of Professional Journalists assures us that The Fat Lady Has Not Sung.

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