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A pale white man shows us what journalism is

My weekly Loose Wire Service column. Is the Internet replacing journalism? It’s a question that popped up as I gazed at the blurred, distorted web-stream of a press conference from London by the founder of WikiLeaks, a website designed to “protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive materials to communicate to the public”. On the podium there’s Julian Assange. You can’t make a guy like this up. White haired, articulate and defensive, aloof and grungy, specific and then sweepingly angry. Fascinating. In a world of people obsessed by the shininess of their iPhones, Assange is either a throwback to the past or a gulfContinue readingA pale white man shows us what journalism is

News: Demise by Increment?

Is the problem with journalism that it always focuses on the increment? Was reading Jeff Jarvis’ piece on the revolutionary impact of the iPhone — not, I hasten to add, about the iPhone as an item (the fetishism surrounding it may mark a lowpoint in our materialistic age) but about the citizen journalism coverage of the absurd lines forming outside shops by those eager to be an early buyer (yes, this, too, may mark a low-point in our cravenly submissive consumer culture, but let’s not go there. At least for now.) No, Jarvis was more interested in this real-time coverage and what it represents. He rightly suggests this is real-time coverage onContinue readingNews: Demise by Increment?

The Future of the Interview

There’s been a lot of talk about whether interviewees should insist on email interviews with journalists, to avoid their being misquoted, quoted out of context, ambushed with a question they were not ready for or whether an interview took place at all. In short, the likes of Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine believe that journalists have exerted power too long by conducting voice interviews and that interviewees are clawing back some control by insisting on email interviews. This is what I think. I agree the game is too heavily tilted in favor of journalists, many of whom seem to think they have a God-given right toContinue readingThe Future of the Interview

Those Darn Thanksgiving Eve Pitches

 Jeff Jarvis has an amusing tirade against the lame Thanksgiving eve stories of TV (“The lead story is that the roads and airports will be crowded this morning. Now that’s news!”) to which I’d add: how about the lame PR pitches this time of year about the dangers of shopping online? I’ve had half a dozen this year and I don’t even pretend to live in the U.S. Here’s a sampling (all follow with pitch to talk to client, needless to say): As Black Friday and Cyber Monday near and the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear, consumers still appear to have the jitters whenContinue readingThose Darn Thanksgiving Eve Pitches

Loose Bits, Nov 7 2006

Bleeding Edge, always worth a look, points to a new Firefox extension for saving material off the web: Zotero. It not only does a great job of storing globs of web pages or the whole thing but it has an academic bent too, allowing you to store bibiographic information too. That said, it’s not musty: It lets you assign tags to stuff you’ve saved, lets you relate one item to another, and makes exporting everything you’ve saved pretty easy too. Reminds me a little of the excellent ScrapBook, another clip-saving tool. Full, updated Loose Wire list of them here. Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine pours aContinue readingLoose Bits, Nov 7 2006

The Media Paradox

Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine hits the nail on the head again when he says, not for the first time: “The successful media companies of the new age will be the ones that enable media wherever it wants to be.” But in that phrase lurks an interesting paradox: Media companies (itself shorthand for mass media) are no longer about content, and all about the medium. For the past 80 years the mass media has been about leveraging the technologies available to deliver standardized content over as large an area/population as possible. Now it’s about using the technologies available to enable as large a population as possibleContinue readingThe Media Paradox

The Journalist Dilemma

Jeff Jarvis over at BuzzMachine says there are too many journalists and newspapers would do well to cut back on reporters and reinvest digital interaction on the local level — in other words, to build connections with communities and have them report. Cheap/free local citizen Journalists, in other words, replace jet-setting, expensive correspondents: So maybe the problem with journalism today isn’t that there are too few reporters and and editors but too many. I’ve talked before about the foolishness of sending 15,000 reporters to the political conventions, about papers sending TV critics to junkets or golf writers to tournaments. Inside the newsroom, too, there areContinue readingThe Journalist Dilemma

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