Monthly Archives: May 2012

Why journalists should celebrate New Orleans

Last week’s news that the New Orleans Times-Picayune would reduce print publication to three days a week and reorganize as a digital-first media company was met with hand-wringing, blame and much time spent discussing what we’re losing. Yes, of course. Who isn’t lamenting that it’s come to this? In the meantime, there’s been too little celebration. Why celebrate? […]

Required reading

Home of Venetian printer Aldus Manutius (pictured) If you’ve never read it, there are some interesting thoughts in Clay Shirkey’s 2009 blog “Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable.” Among them: “Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound […]

Why the worst may not be behind us

The cuts of the last three years, plus generally improving economic news, have led some to believe that the worst is behind print newsrooms. Consider this a wake-up call. The worst is not behind us. Not unless we proactively chart a new course. Print circulation continues to decline, advertising tends to follow suit and there’s […]

Where news is going

In some ways, we can see the future of news delivery, and it’s all around us. If you want a second opinion, consider the remarks attributed to Richard Gingras, head of News Products at Google, in Matt Stempeck’s blog for the MIT Center for Civic Media. Gingras, among several interesting points, suggests that social media […]

The Post’s post-Mitt mess

The digital era prompts increasingly difficult questions about when to post enterprise stories, or non-breaking news stories, on newspaper websites. Consider the Mitt Romney mini-fiasco for the Washington Post. On Wednesday, President Obama endorsed gay marriage. Post editors therefore decided to delay running the exhaustive  profile documenting Romney’s pranks at Cranbrook School, which includes the revelation that he forcibly cut the hair of a boy who later came out […]

Milwaukee's finest

A growing threat: Competition from the source

If the web has ushered in an era of transparency, the Milwaukee Police Department would have you believe it is taking full advantage. The result is an example of one of the biggest, fastest-growing and least-discussed threats to traditional newsrooms and their digital transformations. Those who used to be news sources are increasingly creating their own ‘news’ websites. “The Source,” a Milwaukee police website launched […]

Welcome to ‘News Inscriptions’

In 1916, University of Michigan rhetorician Fred Newton Scott was asked to write the inscriptions on the parapet of The Detroit News building being designed by Detroit architect Albert Kahn. “Mirror of the public mind … Interpreter of the public intent … Troublers of the public conscience…” are among his words. Some 96 years later, journalists still […]