Links para o fim de semana | Links for the weekend

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“Quanto mais dentro de uma redacção se reflectir a vida real, melhor”

WordPress is quickly becoming the standard software for the majority of blogs.  This fact makes every major release of the software seem like a huge event, but the thing is that this time it is.  WordPress 2.7 comes with a huge number of changes, a good chunk of them making some older plugins redundant. This will be a huge upgrade for all blog owners.

The following lists 20 of the biggest changes coming, but all together there have been over 400 changes to the program this time around. Any way you slice it, there is a little bit of something for everyone in this release.  Take a look through and you’re sure to find something that appeals to you.

Today I was interviewed by Gemma Pritchard, the editor of the Inquirer — City University’s independent student paper.

She was preparing a piece of coursework about students being exploited in the journalism workplace. She’s been in touch with various people — including the NUJ — to discuss the issue.

We came to the conclusion that the problem is becoming very serious — and it’ll only get worse.

Information is changing. The news industry was born in a time of information scarcity – and any understanding of the laws of supply and demand will tell you that that made information valuable.

But the past 30 years have seen that the erosion of that scarcity. Not only have the barriers to publishing,  broadcast and distribution been lowered by desktop publishing, satellite and digital technologies, and the web – but a booming PR industry has grown up to provide these news organisations with ‘cheap’ news.

Fitch Ratings might agree. Its report says several major daily papers could shut down by 2010. Speaking in that odd third-person-singular that investment companies like to use, the agency says “Fitch expects newspaper industry revenue growth will be negative for the foreseeable future,” and that credit ratings are likely to decline further. Unlike the 2001 advertising crash, this one is affecting both national and regional advertisers, the credit rating agency says. “And unlike the easy credit and lower interest rates during the 2001 ad recession, this time advertisers and consumers face a credit freeze.” The outlook for 2009? Don’t ask. Fitch expects real US GDP to drop 1.2% while inflation hovers at 2.7%.

There has been plenty of discussion about the role of Twitter during the Mumbai attacks. The stream of tweets were seen by some as evidence that Twitter is where news is breaking.

This poses a dilemma for established news organisations that traditionally have been the ones to break news.  But as Mindy McAdams notes, “breaking news — especially disasters and attacks in the middle of a city — will be covered first by non-journalists.”

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Dezembro 2008

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