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Newspapers’ Challenge

Newspapers have been scrambling to keep up with the world of blogs. In the process they’re actually destroying what sets them apart. Take this piece from the International Herald Tribune. It’s in this morning’s revamped paper, under the byline of John Doyle—without further affiliation. It’s a good piece, except for a lame ending, but it contains at least four grammatical or spelling errors: “the Scotland” twice (“Darren Fletcher was the Scotland’s best player”) “England, under am Italian manager” “There is a poetry of national longing and a poetic justice being behind the success of the Celtic countries.” Good luck making sense of that. Now IContinue readingNewspapers’ Challenge

Clint, Veganism, and Maligning the Net

Great interview in the International Herald Tribune/NYT with Clint Eastwood, but once again, it’s old media slagging off new media and ending up looking the worse for it. The interviewer, presumably, asks Clint to confirm that he’s a vegan. Turns out he’s not.  Apparently the writer did his research on Wikipedia, because that’s what he cites as a source: Despite what you might have read on Wikipedia, Eastwood is not a vegan, and he looked slightly aghast when told exactly what a vegan is. “I never look at the Internet for just that reason,” he said. Trouble is, the source is not Wikipedia. As anyoneContinue readingClint, Veganism, and Maligning the Net

Breaking Down Resistance

Here’s a piece i missed from the International Herald Tribune by Phyllis Korkki that does a great job of looking at the problems that people increasingly face: technology. Not everyone likes it or understands it, and it’s not easy for them to find out how to do what they need to do. Here are a couple of snippets I particularly liked: If you are uncomfortable around new technology, you may be learning at a “keystroke level” instead of a conceptual level, said Deborah Compeau, associate professor at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada.  Fearful learners “wantContinue readingBreaking Down Resistance

An Agency for the Citizen Reporter

My friend Saigon-based Graham Holliday has helped launch a words version of Scoopt, the world’s first commercial citizen journalism photography agency. With Scoopt Words : [w]e believe that your blog writing can be every bit as valuable as professional journalism. It’s the same idea that lies behind Scoopt the picture agency: in the right circumstances, amateur photography is just as valuable as professional photography… as we have proven again and again. So if your content is valuable, why shouldn’t you be paid for it? Why is it OK for a newspaper to lift your words or publish your writing for free just because you’re anContinue readingAn Agency for the Citizen Reporter

Decoding the Pizzini

From the pages of the International Herald Tribune comes a glimpse of a world where clandestine communication retains the old and tested methods of hand to hand. When a godfather becomes expendable  is a piece by Andrea Camilleri, the author of “The Smell of the Night” and other novels in the Inspector Montalbano series. In it he describes the way that captured Mafia boss communicated with his subordinates while on the run: The authorities said that Provenzano would transmit his orders – regarding such matters as who should be rewarded with government contracts, whom one should vote for in local and national elections, how oneContinue readingDecoding the Pizzini

Mobilizing the Bird Watchers

It sounds more like the storyline for a movie, but this piece in the International Herald Tribune by Laurie Garrett, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of “The Coming Plague”, highlights an area where technology might be able help stem the tide of bird flu: One of the best untapped resources in this epic battle against influenza is bird-watchers, who are among the most fanatic hobbyists in the world. The major bird-watching organizations and safari clubs ought to work with the World Health Organization and OIE, the World Organization for Animal Health, to set up Web-basedContinue readingMobilizing the Bird Watchers

What Newspapers Should Do: Gist and Juice

I’m sure I’m not the first to say it, but there’s so much hand-wringing going on about the future of newspapers in the Second Age of the Internet I thought I would throw in my two cents: Newspapers need to treat print and online as two different audiences, and cater for them accordingly. It’s about getting the word out, not getting a product out. The rule is a simple one: Newspapers are for people who love to read, and want something in a format and depth they can take with them. They are looking for layout, nuance, photos, details, rich writing and analysis. In short:Continue readingWhat Newspapers Should Do: Gist and Juice

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