Links for today | Links para hoje


Twitter is increasingly being used by journalists to make contacts and track news events, but the Twitter user-interface (UI) itself is pretty limited making it difficult to track conversations. Fortunately its open API structure and the ability to subscribe to various types of RSS feeds from Twitter means there are a number of ways to track a ‘buzz’ around an event or specific conversations.

Okay first read this article on CNN about the new whitehouse.gov website, okay you can actually just skim the article and skip to the last three paragraphs. Yes, that’s me being quoted in that article, and yes you are correct that quote makes no sense. What the bleep was I talking about? Perhaps like many stories in the world of journalsim this is partly a story of being misquoted, but there is actually more to it than this. The way the reporter found me, and the context surrounding said quote, while perhaps not a unique story, is certainly illustrative of several trends and problems with old journalism, and perhaps more germanae to this audience, it is a telling story about the future of media and the importance of social networks.

It’s easy to take good video for granted until you’ve seen bad video: the poorly shot, poorly lit, shaky kind that makes any viewer cringe. Here are some of the worst offenses in videography:

1. Everything looks blue or orange

Video shot outdoors looks blue, while video shot indoors is a puke-colored orange.

Solution: Off-color video is often a result of unbalanced color temperature (see an example here). Use the camera’s white balance feature — usually a single button or found in the features menu — to counteract the offending color.

Video is one of those new practices we have to get used to as newspaper journalists now working in a Web 2.0 world. One of the key issues is the quality of the video. Do we always need slick, television-style video, which require more specialized skills, or will our community accept “rougher” video, made by amateurs using less sophisticated cameras?

At the Belgian business newspapers De Tijd and L’Echo we use five main video techniques now: prosumer cameras, consumer-type camcorders, Seesmic (webcams) and Flip cameras, and two Sony cameras on a fixed installation for interviews in the center of the newsroom.

I will briefly discuss who is doing what with which cameras, concluding with some issues we are debating these days.

I came across a tweet by Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn in which he mentioned revising the commenting guidelines for his blog. So I wanted to find how what he changed, how, and why.

“Back in October, I quit comments altogether (the guidelines were short: “Comments are not posted immediately. We review them first in an effort to remove foul language, commercial messages, irrelevancies and unfair attacks. Thank you for your patience.” (That is) still found on many other Trib Blogs).

I reinstated with the New Year an open comments policy, no pre-review, but here are my rules.”

The New York Times Company (NYT) needs a long-term plan.  Current management doesn’t seem to have one, so it’s up to us.

Here’s what we would do if Arthur Sulzberger called and invited us to succeed Janet Robinson as CEO.  (Bear in mind that we’re not privvy to the detailed numbers Janet has, so we reserve the right to change our minds).

Our Plan To Fix The New York Times

  1. Cut costs 40% by 2010.
  2. Continue to raise print subscription prices
  3. Explore charging an online subscription fee

Journalism is our core business.


Journalists and the newsroom are at the heart of our company.

But, yes, they can and must be more efficient.

New working flows are needed, like new open space and multimedia integrated newsroom facilities.

Train them to serve not just readers but new audiences and communities.

More editing is mpre important than more pages.

This is time for Journalism Caviar.

We need selective and relevant newspapers.

Paté newspapers, not pottage newspapers.

Around the multimedia blogosphere, the January doldrums seem to have kicked in. My usual inspirational haunts like Newsvideographer.com, Teaching Online Journalism, Multimediashooter.com have all slowed their publishing cycles. Even my own blog is in need of a New Year’s kick-start. With all the newspaper layoffs last year, over 28,000 from one count, I’m sensing a definite decrease in the multimedia mojo I felt just a year ago. Even the NPPA Monthly Multimedia Contest I run had the lowest amount of entries ever this month.

This is a quote taken from a conversation I had with a lawyer about her consumption of news:

“The problem is you people in the media are stuck in your own little world and forget that we’re also quite busy in our own little world and we don’t have time to keep up with what you’re doing.”

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Janeiro 2009

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