Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chicagoan's first-day "read" on the new Trib

As an old copy editor, I'll be paying attention to how the Chicago Tribune is changing, and how those changes go over with the public.

One Chicagoan with an opinion (and his own blog about design!) is Ron Reason. So here's his take on the Monday rollout of the Truibune's redesigned three-section paper. At the bottom of his post, there are several good links for those of you interested in design.

(HINT: If you're a student heading home to Chicagoland this weekend, I'd love it if you returned with a few weekday issues for us to look over!! They don't sell the Tribune in Macomb anymore.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Web isn't the problem, nor a substitute: press insiders

Two recent pieces about the Internet's influence and impact on print and -- more importantly -- content both speculate that newsmagazines and newspapers have value and will coexist with web-delivered news once workable business models are developed.

Bob Guccione Jr. on Huffington Post is optimistic about newsrooms, writing, "The future couldn't be brighter, as soon as we recognize that digital technology is the modern-day equivalent of color printing and faster presses, and that the thing that feeds the new machine is the same thing that fed the old one: imagination.

"The Internet is not a thoughtful entity," writes the former publisher of SPIN magazine. "It's a fertile ecosystem spawning a dazzling array of exotic flora, with the potential to improve mankind exponentially. It's an infinite network of railway tracks, along which travel an unfathomable number of rail cars loaded with thoughts and information, some of the cargo precious, some worthless. But the Internet didn't create any of it. It only delivers it."

Eventually, media commerce will stabilize, Guccione adds.

"The advertising model will shift from the unrealistic promise of infinite audiences to smaller aggregations of people really engaged, really interested, and predictably present," he writes.

More idealistic -- and more combative -- is a piece by Chris Hedges for Truthdig.

"Newspapers, when well run, are a public trust," Hedges writes. "They provide, at their best, the means for citizens to examine themselves, to ferret out lies and the abuse of power by elected officials and corrupt businesses, to give a voice to those who would, without the press, have no voice, and to follow, in ways a private citizen cannot, the daily workings of local, state and federal government. Newspapers hire people to write about city hall, the state capital, political campaigns, sports, music, art and theater. They keep citizens engaged with their cultural, civic and political life.

"The decline of newspapers is not about the replacement of the antiquated technology of news print with the lightning speed of the Internet," continues Hedges, author of American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. "It does not signal an inevitable and salutary change. It is not a form of progress. The decline of newspapers is about the rise of the corporate state, the loss of civic and public responsibility on the part of much of our entrepreneurial class and the intellectual poverty of our post-literate world, a world where information is conveyed primarily through rapidly moving images rather than print."

Guccione's entire essay is here -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-guccione/the-future-of-media-or-ho_b_127189.html

Hedges's is here -- http://www.alternet.org/democracy/92284/?page=entire

Out with the old....

Three newspapers -- the Chicago Tribune, The Oklahoman, and the Hartford Courant -- have just unveiled newly designed print editions.

Here's an overview and Q-and-A's with the three redesign leaders. It was put together by the Poynter Institute, a great resource for journalists.
On the Poynter site, you'll have the chance to follow a link to the Tribune's own online preview of its redesign.

The elite newspaper of the future

Philip Meyer, Univ. of North Carolina journalism professor, looks into his crystal ball in the new American Journalism Review. His insights on the "end-game" for print newspapers is interesting. Here's a taste:

"The mass audience is drifting away, and resources should be focused on the leadership audience. If existing newspapers don't do it, new competitors will enter their markets and do it for them."

Pour yourself a stiff drink and read more of the AJR article here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Knight's 'Poetry & Journalism' on IJPC web site

Journalism deputy director Bill Knight this year wrote a paper on journalism and poetry that USC's Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture organization has linked.

The IJPC says:
"POETRY AND JOURNALISM by Bill Knight, Western Illinois University. Before poet and journalist Archibald MacLeish commented on the intersection of poetry and journalism in a lecture at the University of Minnesota 50 years this fall, journalism and poetry had seemed antagonistic or alien to each other for centuries. Knight explores the relationship between poetry and journalism in this thoughtful essay."

New JobFile

The Chicago Headline Club has a new JobFile listing full of opportunity.

Check it out at http://www.headlineclub.org/mc/page.do?sitePageId=14042&orgId=chc

'Angry journalist' martinez in context

This is from my introductory remarks before Kiyoshi Martinez' Monday appearance on campus at WIU.

Obviously, journalism today is different than ever.

But its fundamentals are mostly the same: Informing and entertaining audiences honestly.

It’s changed from when I was a 16-year-old sportswriter for a weekly and a 28-year-old editor of a rock ‘n’ politics newspaper, a 35-year-old entertainment editor at a Washington, D.C. newsweekly, and a 41-year-old environmental reporter for a daily.

But that was evolution, from manual typewriters and some areas where newswomen were banned, from Linotypes and “hot lead” done in composing rooms, in markets where TV photographers shot film that needed developing, to offset production and computers using programming in Fortran and Cobol and a flawed but sometimes useful Freedom of Information Act to searchable data bases and copy desks that have crack designers as well as word specialists

In the last couple of years, that evolution has been upended by a revolution, one that has negatives, such as an unsustainable business model, to positives, from multi-media handheld devices you can use to call, text or Twitter, from choices of content from thousands of magazines and other print, web sites, radio and podcasts, and traditional TV. Our guest is going to share some ideas on the positive opportunities that, if ignored, could be negatives.

Again, journalism is different than ever. But isn’t everything? I know a couple of economics-major seniors who planned on being hedge-fund managers and they’re thinking of career changes after last week. Next week, the Chicago Tribune is unveiling its new look and feel.

Through change, drawing on foundations you build here, you can develop two key things: the self-reliance that’s invaluable to journalists—not being dependent on one source or your parents or teachers— and a zeal for lifelong learning – from do-it-yourself blogs now to internships to training.

In fact, I’m taking a webinar on Thursday.

AngryJournalist.com Author Hits Macomb

Kiyoshi Martinez, architect of the popular AngryJournalist.com blog, spoke Monday at Western Illinois University and shared his thoughts about the current state of the journalism industry. He's written his observations about WIU and Macomb on his blog at http://kiyoshimartinez.com/nerdlusus/2008/09/24/post-presentation-thoughts-on-speaking-at-wiu/.

Additionally, Martinez' speech was spotlighted in Wednesday's edition of the Western Courier, the WIU student newspaper. To read the story, go to http://media.www.westerncourier.com/media/storage/paper650/news/2008/09/24/News/Kiyoshi.Martinez.Enlightens.Journalism.Students-3448170.shtml.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Blogger Kiyoshi Martinez to visit WIU on Monday

Kiyoshi Martinez, who produces the popular blog, AngryJournalist.com, will speak at Western Illinois University on Monday, September 22. Kiyoshi wrote the following about his upcoming visit on his AngryJournalist blog:

"On Monday, September 22, I’ll be visiting Western Illinois University to talk about this essay I wrote for the Center for Innovation in College Media blog:

'Journalism school graduates: How to increase your chance of finding a job and decrease your chance of having to vent on AngryJournalist.com'

Throughout the day I’ll be meeting with journalism students and faculty and at 3:00 p.m. I’ll be speaking at the Union Sandburg Theater.

I’m rather excited to be speaking to journalism students, as I was a student not long ago looking for a job. Currently, I’m polishing up my presentation, hoping that I don’t become one of those boring people with a PowerPoint.

At the same time, I’m soliciting advice from the crowd for journalism students at AngryJournalist.com, and if you have thoughts you’d like to contribute please do."

Check it out.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Not All Journalists are Dinosaurs

There's an interesting article about mid-career journalists embracing the changing nature of the journalism industry on the Society of Professional Journalists web site, http://www.spj.org/wpr.asp?REF=100#100.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Media and Sarah Palin

Roger Simon at politico.com. has written a humorous column about how the media has been covering the Sarah Palin story. Check it out: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13143.html

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What You Probably Won't Read, See or Hear in the RNC Coverage in St. Paul

For an excellent look at the way St. Paul police are mistreating some photojournalists and journalists at the Republican National Convention, check out this blog: http://carlosmiller.com/2008/09/03/three-more-photojournalists-arrested-on-felony-rioting-charges-at-rnc/. Some things never change....