Friday, May 14, 2010

NY Times sets a date to begin charging for content

And that date is next January, at least according to Bill Keller.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

News is how we see it

I'm probably like the rest of you in that I don't spend a lot of time thinking about screens, but if we're interested in media we should be thinking about screens. In fact, since we now think of "news" as "content," I suppose thinking of "newspapers," "television," etc. as "screens" on which to view content makes sense.

If that preceding paragraph seems overly obtuse, it's just what happens when we contemplate the media landscape today with news being delivered via far more media than in the past. And, frankly, the way it is perceived differs by the way in which we read/see/hear it.

To get an understanding of what the media landscape faces today, slog through Joe Mandese's column today. It's on the way different "screens" change the way we approach news. Some fascinating thoughts that really do have major implications for news delivery.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Should a journalist learn programming?

Ah, that's a crucial question, isn't it. Digital blogger Martin Belam (who you might want to follow) is tackling that question with two recent posts (one and two). Belam, who describes himself as "an Internet consultant, information architect and writer based in London" and works for the Guardian, thinks not, although some knowledge is helpful.

He offers some examples of how knowing a little HTML helps in doing some of the routine tasks of Internet posting. But it's clear from reading his posts that these are helpful shortcuts, but not essential. He suggests that thinking like a programmer is much more helpful than actually programming. In terms of curriculum, we're on the right track by emphasizing content, not programming (although we should be identifying options for those students who want programing).

Monday, May 10, 2010

Huffington Post actually wants money now

Speaking of advertising sales, Mediaweek says the Huffington Post blogsite is making needed moves to bring in serious advertising dollars. Despite the fact that the site doesn't pay contributors, it gets lots of free content (much of it worth exactly what it pays for it), but little advertising.

As I ponder the heavy losses in Wall Street late last week, I have to wonder about a financial system built on promises, but not on actual performance. That's unfortunately the situation for much of new media.

Time Inc. putting money where its mouth is

Ad Age is reporting that Time, Inc. is putting money where its mouth is. The company is developing a system to promise advertisers results or free advertising. It could be an effective counterweight to Internet advertising's disappointing lack of results (Internet ads are cheap, but so are local TV spots at 3 a.m., and I haven't seen anything saying the 'Net ads are more effective that those cheap TV spots).

Facts v. opinion. Does the nation lose?

The New York Times’ Frank Rich used the White House Correspondent’s Dinner over the weekend as his example in a discussion of how television has given up covering the news, noting the 24/7 cable “news” stations covered the dinner but not a bomb threat in Times Square.

It reminded me of a friend who is woefully ignorant of what’s going on in the world despite listening to talk radio and watching television “news.” He also regularly reads online news. Recently he asked another friend “Was there some controversy” about the 2000 presidential election. When the constitutional crisis was explained, he said, “Oh, yes. I guess I did hear something about it.” Despite listening and watching talk and “news” programs, he doesn’t have a clue about what’s really going on.

Rich decried television, especially the cable version, for its willingness to ignore facts that don’t fit its political slant. That’s a deep concern of mine. Presenting facts is at the core of journalism, and something we insure is instilled in our students. Is that going to work against them in finding jobs?