Links for today | Links para hoje

A almost controversial post by Jason Pontin, with some reactions attached.

Um post quase controverso escrito por Jason Pontin, com reacções em anexo

The most important publishing platform of the future will probably be lightweight, thin, flexible screens that use electronic ink. That’s because the editorial distributed to such screens will be as interactive as that on today’s websites yet retain the fonts, graphical design, and illustrations and photographs of traditional media (a wonderfully rich visual grammar that art directors labored over for centuries). But publishers must not become fixated on platforms; they must regard them as mere distribution channels favoring different kinds of content. Again, publishers should offer their readers as much choice as is reasonable. Over the next decade, they should distribute editorial content to personal computers over today’s Web, to small devices like the iPhone, to larger devices like Amazon’s Kindle, to electronic-ink devices as they emerge, and to print publications (at least for a little longer).

Reactions | Reacções

  • Plain Talk on the Future of News, NewspaperDeathWatch

    Keying off of Clay Shirky’s widely circulated essay that basically forecasts the death of print media as we know it, Pontin suggests that a backlash against media anarchy will occur. Internet purists who believe that millions of citizen publishers will upend mainstream media are overlooking the value of that journalism, he argues. The voice of the people can and should be heard, but there will also be a role for those who have the skills to pick through the details, weigh the evidence and offer an impartial perspective.

    The problem isn’t that those people are needed; Pontin rightly points out that demand for news content has never been higher.  Rather, the business model must change to make professional news organizations viable.

  • Another Attempt At Rescuing Newspapers And Magazines, TechDirt

    A few friends have sent over Jason Pontin’s “manifesto” for saving newspapers and magazines, where he supposedly slams “new media” thinkers like Clay Shirky for “folly and ignorance” and “[knowing] nothing about the business of media.” That’s a bit harsh. I’m fans of both Pontin and Shirky, both of whom I tend to think are dead on right a lot more often than they’re wrong — so it’s quite interesting to try to find the points where they disagree. Unfortunately, I don’t think they actually disagree very much. I think the Shirky that Pontin describes isn’t the actual Clay Shirky. Pontin claims:

    “Shirky believes that the coming decades will see a variety of nonprofit experiments whose funding sources will be similar to those that have sustained him as an academic, such as endowments, sponsorships, and grants.”

    Really? He’s discussing the same Shirky analysis that many of us discussed a couple months back, and I don’t see anywhere that Shirky claims that journalism will be a bunch of nonprofit experiments involving endowments.

Duration | Duração: 60 min

David Carr, who writes about the media for the New York Times, and who I’ve never personally liked very much (we were colleagues at New York magazine, where he would stand too close and bray rhetorical statements and open-ended questions), wrote another in a series of columns yesterday about how important newspapers are—even as his own company is threatening to close the Boston Globe.

It was quite a long and digressive piece with a variety of stray points, but two seemed particularly revealing. We need newspapers because people who haven’t had the benefit of newspaper training—people, for instance, trying to be citizen journalists on the web—might not know how to “make the calls, hit the streets and walk past the conventional wisdom.” (How can people write such stuff with a straight face?) He points out: “I’ve been in business journalism for some years and have constantly bumped hard up against the limits of my land-grant, liberal arts education.” I will attest to this: It’s always been amazing to me how little Carr knows about business. I couldn’t say if it has to do with his schooling or his own intellectual limitations, but the guy is really quite a nitwit—and making the calls doesn’t seem to mask that.

  • A starter’s video kit, News Videographer

    Here’s a good gear question from Bob Fitch of GrandPrairieReporter.com.

    I would like to purchase an camcorder to learn videography but don’t want to spend $500-$1,000 for equipment only to learn I hate videography and want to stick to my still and slideshows.

    … do you have any suggestions for a beginner to look for in a camcorder that only plans to post files on the web.

    1. Can I get by with an on camera microphone?
    2. How about using my digital audio recorder with microphone to capture audio?
    3. Image stabilization which type?
    4. Feature for poor lighting conditions because every assignment I cover the lighting sucks!!
    5. Can you separate the audio from the video files?
    6. What editing software?

    Okay! Here’s my answers: (…)

  • Obsolete jobs: Wire editor, features editor, Steve Yelvington

    As a medium, print is on an irreversible decline relative to digital. We are headed for an inflection point at which print newspapers as we knew them in the past will be unsustainable.

    Like it or not, print must change.

    For print newspapers to continue to exist at all, their production must become radically more efficient, and for journalism to thrive, energies and efforts must be redirected at digital media and new products.

    If you are a wire editor or features editor, your odds of surviving in such a position until retirement are slim to none. Those jobs are obsolete. We can not save a system in which thousands of people sit around reinventing the wheel in parallel processes all around the country.

UNC masters student Eileen Mignoni recently launched her thesis project and it is a definite must-see. “Facing Deportation” is a multimedia documentary site about families impacted by North Carolina’s immigration policies. By combining video, audio, photography and interactive graphics into a bilingual site, she successfully created a well-rounded and intimate portrait of these immigrants and their stories.


In this edition of “Behind the Scenes,” I had a Q&A session with Eileen Mignoni to discuss her thesis project, Facing Deportation. Topics covered include her process gaining trust with her subjects, her choice on using music, and her achievement in teaching herself graphic design to incorporate graphics in the package. Eileen can be reached at ekm@eileenmignoni.com. See more of her work at www.eileenmignoni.com.

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Maio 2009

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