Feeling a bit better after Aspen conference

This week I was lucky enough to participate in an Aspen Institute conference, “Of the Press: Models for Preserving American Journalism.” The participants were an all-star bunch, including Madeleine Albright (a journalist before becoming a diplomat) for day 1, Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli, Marissa Mayer of Google, Craig Newmark of Craigslist, Federal Trade…

Rocky’s farewell video

A poignant video goodbye from Rocky Mountain News staff. If you love(d) newspapers, or grew up reading the Rocky as I did, it’ll bring a tear to your eye. The staff did a great job on it. Personally, I’m feeling a combination of sadness and anger. The latter is because this didn’t have to happen….

Breaking news from the source, not the newspaper

This afternoon at 3:14 p.m., a few minutes after my daughter’s school ended for the day, I received this e-mail alert from the school’s principal: “Dear Parents: “An incident occurred today that we wanted to make you aware of. At around 12:45 p.m. the school received notice from BVSD that a threat had been phoned…

Find the nuggets in Twitter, Friendfeed

I think this post by Robert Scoble today deserves a reading by all journalists: “Steve Jobs’ bad news heralds the real-time web age.” The A-list blogger was watching his Twitter and Friendfeed streams for news from people about the Steve Jobs announcement of the Apple CEO taking a medical leave, and he was amazed at…

Sometimes the reporters get it first

One of the great things about Twitter, of course, is that when a big breaking news event happens, there are often witnesses on the scene with a cell phone who will post some quick tweets about what’s going on, before any reporters can get there. (You’ll remember the Continental jet that went off a Denver…

It’s not the liberal bias, stupid!

Egads. It was painful reading through the reader comments on this column by Mike Littwin of the Rocky Mountain News, bemoaning the impending doom of his newspaper. (It seems highly unlikely that there’s a white knight in the Rocky’s future, which means it will probably shut down in early 2009, after 150 years of serving…

Can serious journalism save the day?

I liked media consultant Alan Mutter’s latest blog item, “It’s time to rip the lid off,” in which he urges newspapers to get serious about doing hard-hitting journalism in order to save themselves. His advice complements my thoughts as expressed in my most recent Editor & Publisher Online column. Publishers, now operating with severely lessened…

A 25-year-old’s perspective on micro-personal news

Sticking to the topic of “micro-personal news” (see previous blog item), John Paul Titlow wrote me the following note which responds to my September Editor & Publisher Online column, “Newspapers First Need to Redefine ‘News’ to Move Forward Online.” He makes some good points worth sharing, so with his permission here it is: “I couldn’t…

Newspapers: Redefine the ‘news’ you offer

My latest column is up over at Editor & Publisher Online: “Newspapers First Need to Redefine ‘News’ to Move Forward Online.” I’m very curious to see the reaction to this one, as I think I’m hitting some significant new ground. And if anyone can point me to examples of the global-to-micro-personal news service that I’m…

Palin’s e-mails aren’t going back in the bottle

Since John McCain has stated that he doesn’t know how to use a computer, his campaign’s reaction to someone hacking into running mate Sarah Palin’s Yahoo Mail account and spreading the contents around the web should come as no surprise. (It appears that the e-mails are legit.) His campaign manager, Rick Davis, appears to be…

I wish Jon Stewart had done this interview

This morning, on NPR’s Morning Edition, host Steve Inskeep interviewed former New York mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Guiliani, who has been in Denver to offer an anti-Democratic presence to media gathered there for the Democratic convention. Guiliani made the suggestion that Hillary Clinton is helping Republican candidate John McCain, since in the primary…

When Twitter beats local news outlets

There are a few things that local newspapers and other news outlets (TV, radio) don’t do well, and I’m always on the lookout for solutions. Here’s one that’s come up for me many times over the years: Something happens locally, like, say, a fire; there’s a lot of smoke in the distance, and I want…

Don’t go backward, newspapers!

Earlier this afternoon I tossed off a Twitter post that needs more than 140 characters to explain what I’m thinking. … What raised my disgust was this memo posted on Romenesko by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s managing editor, explaining a new policy to stop posting “signature investigative reporting, enterprise, trend stories, news features, and reviews of…

Responding to a ticked-off newspaper editor

Over the many years I’ve been writing my column for Editor & Publisher Online, I’ve managed to make a few enemies, it seems. As with any columnist, there are those that disagree with my opinions, and that’s to be expected. I also have pissed off a few newspaper editors. From their perspective, I suppose that…