Monday, February 23, 2015

Young Will Kane is Coming to Visit Our Class

English: Photograph of the Chronicle Building ...
English: Photograph of the Chronicle Building in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and fire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
He quit the Chronicle to work for something called Ratter, where recent stories concern "the heroin shits" and "Justin Bieber's dick."

According to an article at Nieman Lab,  founder A.J Daulerio,

doesn’t see Ratter as a typical local news site. Ratter will not be the place for reports on local council proceedings, recipes of the week, or prep football highlights. The directive he gives his local editors is simple: “The specific goal I told them was to alienate the local readership as much as possible,” Daulerio said. “Their version of L.A., or San Francisco, and hopefully New York, is supposed to be one that is inclusive with a national audience, and completely ignore the people that live there.”

Young Will Kane, who inspired early classes with his tales of MSM and

who worked at the San Francisco Chronicle for over four years, said he was excited at the idea of starting something in local news from scratch. “I love the Chronicle, I love newspapers, I love traditional metro reporting,” he said. “But I don’t see how that is going to last in its current form much longer.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

More Disputes Around Value of Twitter

Twitter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

"Oh, no. This tweet is worthless, according to@DKThomp
But RT anyway?" suggests Columbia Journalism School's Linda Bernstein, while sharing Derek Thompson's Atlantic screed that asks, "What Good Is Twitter?" (5,100+ shares). "I analyzed my most popular tweets. They had the average click-through rate of a digital display ad in East Asia," Thomspon explainsWall Street Journal's Elana Zak reacts, "@DKThomp
 confirms what has long been suspected: People are prone to sharing links they may never actually read." At the New York Times, however, tech reporter Vindu Goel argues, "Twitter is more a news aggregator, @dkthomp. For most people, headlines are enough, so no need to click to article."

Monday, February 16, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

Summly Explained

The kid explains his original concept Summly Launch from Summly on Vimeo.

 Two examples from the original website.

A critic reviews Yahoo's version

Reporter Attends Lively Meeting and Recognizes What's Newsworthy

English: "Biggest Little City in the Worl...
English: "Biggest Little City in the World" arch on Virginia Street in Downtown Reno, Nevada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A cop, a prostitute, a stolen gun. What happens in Reno fails to stay there.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I Think I'm Inspired

Lazy Reporters + Sensational Sells = Widespread Ignorance (Check My Math. You'll See I'm Right)

St. Petersburg (Florida) by SPOT Satellite
St. Petersburg (Florida) by SPOT Satellite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A scathing new report. Really. Very very scathing.

In the report, Craig Silverman, adjunct faculty at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, writes:
Too often news organizations play a major role in propagating hoaxes, false claims, questionable rumors, and dubious viral content, thereby polluting the digital information stream. Indeed some so-called viral content doesn’t become truly viral until news websites choose to highlight it. In jumping on unverified information and publishing it alongside hedging language, such as “reportedly” or “claiming,” news organizations provide falsities significant exposure while also imbuing the content with credibility. This is at odds with journalism’s essence as “a discipline of verification” and its role as a trusted provider of information to society

Is a Planning for a Career in Journalism a Fever Dream That - If Realized - Would Turn into a Nightmare?

English: University of Montana Journalism logo
English: University of Montana Journalism logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This guy says yes. This guy and this guy say no.

An excerpt from Felix Salmon:

I’m sure that many people have told you this already, but take it from me as well: journalism is a dumb career move. If there’s something else you also love, something else you’re good at, something else which makes the world a better place — then maybe you should think about doing that instead. Even successful journalists rarely do much of the kind of high-minded stuff you probably aspire to. And enormous numbers of incredibly talented journalists find it almost impossible to make a decent living at this game.

An excerpt from Ezra Klein:

Don't go to journalism school. You're better off just interning, or writing a blog, or reading think-tank papers. When I hire, I see j-school experience as neutral — it doesn't separate one resume from another in the least. And a lot of journalism schools teach bad habits, and make you pay for the privilege of learning them. Michael Lewis's takedown of journalism schools, which was published in the New Republic, is worth reading. Letting someone pay you a bit of money to become a journalist, or even pay you nothing at all, is better than paying a j-school a lot of money to become a journalist.

An excerpt from Matthew Yglesias:

What about the issue Salmon raised? Is journalism a profession that denies people "a good chance at a well-paid middle-class lifestyle down the road?" A look at the numbers suggests that Salmon is wrong. Journalism today is very much a middle class occupation. And in many ways that's the problem — the middle class is struggling economically these days, and journalists are no exception.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Canadian Newspaper 'Reimagines'

The April 7, 1934, Ottawa Citizen headline
The April 7, 1934, Ottawa Citizen headline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Newspaper design do-overs? Not just an American thing anymore.
Postmedia Network Inc., Canada’s biggest English-language daily paper chain, recently launched several redesi—  umm, actually, Wayne Parrish, Postmedia’s chief operating officer, would prefer you call them “reimaginations” instead. “We’ve tried to stay away from the ‘redesign’ term,” he said. “We agreed early on that these are not redesigns. They’re much more fundamental.”
According to Parrish, the overhaul had been in the works for two and a half years. The new Ottawa Citizen was rolled out first in May, and the made-over Montreal Gazette and Calgary Herald arrived in the fall. More in the Postmedia empire will follow in 2015, including papers in the recently-acquired Sun Media chain.
To begin this massive task, Postmedia reached out to 17,000 people across Canada and asked how they preferred consuming news media. When those results were tabulated, the company set about crafting different personas for each of its four platforms—print, tablet, Web and smartphone.
“This allowed each newsroom to think about their audiences specifically by platform,” Parrish said. “Smartphone users are from ages 18 to 28. Tablet users are from 35 to 49, and so on. We came up with a whole bunch of psychographic studies for Web and print.”
As a result of this revamping, readers will see different stories depending on what device or medium they’re reading the news on—meaning that a story on, say, the Montreal Gazette, might only be viewable on a tablet.
“We tried to stop thinking about how some people aren’t going to get certain stories—there is access to all four platforms, so users have full access, they just have to be willing to access it on whatever device it’s available on,” said Parrish, who says this target-marketing of the news has jacked up digital use numbers at the Citizen by 30 percent. Engagement numbers are up as well.
There have been changes in the newsrooms as well. Smaller photos. Shorter stories. The launching of tablet-exclusive magazines that readers get emailed each night at 6 p.m., just in time for second-screen experiences during prime time TV viewing.
There’s also been a push toward getting journalists to consider what platform their story would be best presented on. “We wanted to get our reporters and content producers thinking, when they go cover an event, is this story best for a phone, a newspaper, or tablet?” Parrish said. “We also need to think about what technology is coming up. What if Apple Watch is the next platform? What will our story formats on the watch look like? We need to respond journalistically to new evolving platforms.”
It’s a huge break from Postmedia’s digital past, an era Parrish said was marked by slow download times and clunky site design. “We have to be willing to bob and weave very quickly. All we’ve done here is, we’ve got our ponies in the starting gate, but the race is just beginning, and the ponies will have to change week by week and month by month.”
- See more at:

Monday, February 02, 2015

A Smartphone Lead

English: The EMHS iPhone app screenshot
English: The EMHS iPhone app screenshot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Resisting the urge to pull out your phone in class is quite difficult for many students, apparently. There are texts to answer, emails to read, snapchats to send, and rude comments to post on Yik Yak. But two students at California State University at Chico have created something they hope will persuade students to keep their phones tucked firmly in their pockets: An app that rewards them with coupons for local businesses when they exhibit self-control and leave their phones untouched during class.
Rob Richardson, a junior computer-science major, got the idea for the iPhone app, called Pocket Points, by looking around his classes and seeing what he considered to be far too many students with their heads down, paying attention to their phones rather than to the lesson taking place in front of them.
If you’re in class, it’s simple: “There should be no reason you should be on your phone,” Mr. Richardson argues. He says he realized there was a business opportunity that could also help students pay better attention.
Here’s how it works: Students acquire points—based on the length of time the phone is locked and how many people around them are also using the app—that can then be redeemed for discounts at local businesses. The app is location-based and works only on the campus. The app is being extended to other campuses as well, including a few community colleges and high schools.
Professors have been some of the app’s biggest supporters, Mr. Richardson says. Some have even expressed interest in offering rewards to their students, like extra credit or attendance points, through the app, though Mr. Richardson says such features are not currently being explored.
The app also has a leaderboard and rankings, elements incorporated to “gamify” it, says Mr. Richardson’s co-founder, Mitch Gardner, a senior business-marketing major. Some students appear to care more about those elements than the coupons.
Mr. Richardson coded the app last summer, while Mr. Gardner got local businesses on board.
Though the app is meant to help students focus on their studies, Mr. Gardner says, it was difficult to do so while they were setting up the app last semester.
“I don’t think our grades were very good,” Mr. Gardner admits with a laugh.
Both Mr. Richardson and Mr. Gardner have taken a leave of absence from Chico State this semester and are working full time in an office in Chico to further develop the software.
Right now, Pocket Points is focused on education, but its creators say it could one day move beyond that—because students aren’t the only ones addicted to their phones.