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Category: News of News (Page 1 of 11)

News and comments about news and media

News and Record’s Skube vs Bloggers Summary

Lanita Withers of the News and Record does a good summary of and gets good comments on the Skube vs Bloggers story. Included in the story are quotes from blogging J-School colleague Chris Roush, Ed Cone and Jay Rosen.

Ed Cone on Skube: “He sort of compared apples and oranges. And he didn’t do his homework.”

Chris Roush on blogs and journalism: “To me, the best blogs out there are just journalism being presented in another format. And just because it’s not being printed, does that mean it’s not respectable journalism? I’d debate that.”

Michael Skube: “I said what I want to say.” But then he goes on, changing his story as Ed Cone notes in his post.

LATimes:Let us make this perfectly clear — NOT

The Michael Skube LATimes oped saga continues just when it seemed to be somewhat resolved.

Jay Rosen’s Blowback piece just out answers Skube’s charges against bloggers handily and Jay used crowdsourcing in the blogosphere to produce and factcheck the article. It’s solid work.

But as they say in the news biz, questions remain.

Skube has admitted that he had at best a passing knowledge of the existence of TalkingPointsMemo. He said that references to TMP were added to his article by editors at the LATimes.

Based on this note at the LATimes site (not linked from the Rosen article BTW) that may be the case.

Or is it? We know, now forced into the odd task of parsing the note, that Skube agreed with an editor at the LATimes that “it would be helpful to include the names of the bloggers in [his] piece as active participants in political debate.” No telling who did the choosing and the adding from this though.

Did the LATimes editor add TPM or did Skube? Or does it matter? To the last, responsibility does matter in responsible journalism. “Mistakes were made” will not do.

Note: This blog was sourced in Jay Rosen’s article.

Skube and researched writing – Strike Two

In December 2005, Michael Skube wrote a poorly researched (or more properly not researched at all) oped about blogging for the News and Record (Greensboro, NC). [Oddly this article cannot be found in NewsBank or online]

Ed Cone was so shocked that he called Skube to ask him about his experiences reading blogs and found in a very interesting conversation that Skube admitted to having no experience reading blogs at all short of a couple of Andrew Sullivan pieces.

In the process, Ed mentioned Josh Marshall and Talking Points Memo. Skube owned up to knowing Marshall from print but had never heard of TPM.

Fast forward to yesterday and a new diatribe against blogs published in the LA Times. Here Skube reheats his arguments, but this time points to TPM as a place where facts aren’t checked. Only one problem, Skube still admits to not having read TPM — this time to Marshall himself.

Instead, Skube claims that his editors altered his article to insert TPM and others. Skube signed off on the article having yet to have done any of the research required to have written it.

Marshall writes about this at TPM. Ed Cone and G’boro bloggers rev up on WordUp. Jay Rosen hits hard on PressThink. Dan Gillmor has his say at Center for Citizen Journalism.

UPDATE: Jay’s piece is republished in Daily Kos with over 300 comments so far.

UPDATE: Our wonderful news librarian reports “the News & Record librarian confirmed that Skube does not permit his columns to be available in the online public archives of the News & Record.” This makes it difficult to place the articles side-by-side.

My Blogging Colleagues

The J-School is full of smart writers and experienced reporters. Many of them are now blogging. The latest to announce a blog are Leroy Townes and Anne Johnston with their Talk Politics blog.

Others already blogging are:

Thinking About College Teaching
A forum for the improvement of college teaching by Professor Emeritus Tom Bowers.

Talking Biz News
Information about business journalism from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and Chris Roush, associate professor and director of the Carolina Business News Initiative.

Weblog for Midcareer Copy Editors
Funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and hosted by the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
(UPDATE Andy Bechtel writes: The Midcareer Copy Editors blog, like the institute itself, has been on hiatus.)

Blue Highways Journal
Carolina Community Media Project director Jock Lauterer blogs about his travels across North Carolina doing his “Community Journalism Roadshow.”

The Editor’s Desk
Andy Bechtel is an assistant professor at the School. His blog is a discussion of writing and editing of all sorts, with an emphasis on the concerns of the newspaper copy desk

When 2 Million is Not Enough

On Marketplace, I’m quoted first as saying that we all want instant gratification from our purchases (of course the book kiosk then is not as good as getting a text on a good electronic reader if one were to ever exist) and I say that the 2 million books available to OnDemandBooks (all from the public domain) are not enough.

Is a collection of 2 million titles really too few?

As you might have guessed, there was more to the conversation than met the ear. What you heard was skillfully taken from about 30 minutes of nuanced conversation. No nuance in a piece that short. No blame for that. What I said is that ODB’s kiosk holding those particular titles wouldn’t be competing so much with a publisher like Knopf or Doubleday or Crown, but with Dover’s dollar books and Penguin Classics.

I love the public domain books, mostly from the golden age of writing in the 19th century, as much as anyone. But I also know that the book market is highly skewed toward titles from within the last 75 years and within that highly skewed toward the most recent titles — those of the last few years.

Like it or not, that’s how we read. The book may be a Civil War book, but we’re more likely to buy the latest E. L. Doctorow (out this past year) or the slightly older Charles Fraiser (already in paper and already reissued with a movie tie-in cover) than to buy say Grant’s Memoirs (and this is an exceptional book). Now think of the titles in the public domain that you would never buy if any occur to you.

The “long tail” power of Amazon is that you can get all three books there and more. You can get the books that refer to those books and those which those books refer to themselves. You can build a library if you desire that is fairly deep, if narrow, very quickly and with collective expertise.

Availability is a major part of satisfying the market. Customer support during and after purchase are also major. Whether provided by smart staff or by smart computer programs. Support makes the sales and the second sales.

Sally and EdCone and Scoble (and me) on Edwards announcement etc

Bloggers on the forefront of the Edwards announcement and campaign (from Greenespace and from EdCone and from Scoble)

UPDATE: I took a call earlier this afternoon from Dan Siler of WCHL 1360 am. It was for Sally whose great blogpost is at Greenespace above), but she insisted that I do the radio bit. Dan and I talked about the net.savvyness of the Edwards campaign. Yes the campaign is net.savvy. Yes Edwards himself is aware of how important it is to have people involved in all kinds of ways. Note, I say, that his announcement combines not only YouTube, bloggers, MySpace, etc, but also some good old fashioned barnstorming to significant places. Does the accidentally leaked announcement mean the campaign is not so net.savvy? (asks Dan). I think the leak helped the announcement, which was pretty predictable, become a slightly bigger story. Accident? Perhaps.

My sentence on Marketplace

The Marketplace bit on On Demand Books ran this morning. Running time less that one minute. The show isn’t chopped so you need to listen (carefully) or advance the stream. The books on demand story starts at 3:33. My one sentence is said at about 3:55 in. And the whole books piece is ends at 4:25 (out of a show that runs 8:24).

The show is chopped and online and has its own webpage. Very Nice! (and very brief ;->).

Here’s the text (also on the Marketplace site).

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: A vending machine for books — Janet Babin reports from the Marketplace Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.

JANET BABIN: The machine looks like an elaborate printer. It can produce up to 20 fully-bound books an hour, in any language, all by itself.

On Demand Books is marketing the machine. You can see a demo of it on the company’s website:

[ Demo: “All fully-integrated, automated, and under the control of one computer.” ]

Professor Paul Jones at the University of North Carolina says this type of machine will make it easier for bookstores to compete with online retailers like Amazon:

PAUL JONES: One of the things we’re going to see more of is the ability to be able to walk in and have your reading and other interests satisfied right there.

The company says it will have access to more than two million book titles, most in the public domain. But Jones says it will need much more content to become successful.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

Phil Meyer on Citizen Journalism in LATimes and Guardian

Colleague Phil Meyer talks about Citizen Journalism in the LA Times in “Reporting’s mass appeal” reflecting on the past and how it will likely inform the present and the future. He ends with a great take away:

“I close every semester by saying, ‘I’ve just taught you journalism as it was practiced in my day. The journalism in your day is going to be different,’ ” Meyer said. ” ‘It’s up to you to invent it, please don’t mess it up.’ “

also cited at the Guardian UK

You are the Person of the Year

And so am I. Time chooses YOU, meaning all of us participating in media and information construction and sharing on the Internet, as their Man (now Person) of the Year.

Time begins: “Person of the Year: You — Yes, you. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world.”

As long as we have Net Neutrality that will be true.

And JJB points us to a Chrysler advert which gets it right by getting it wrong.

Dan Gillmor points out that the correct pronoun would be US not YOU.

NOTE to pathetic PR employees working for the anti-Net Neutrality duopoly: I won’t allow your obvious spammish links and misleading comments on this blog. In fact I’m more likely to do even more pro-Net Neutrality articles in response to your postings.

CEO of Reuter’s on Citizen Journalism

Tom Glocer is CEO of Reuters and he is also a blogger. Where better for him to publish an article called “Trust in the Age of Citizen Journalism” than on his blog?

The article is the text of a speech Glocer gave at “Globes Media Conference in Tel Aviv on Monday 11 December 2006.” About the talk he says: “It’s about trust in media today, taking into account the growing
popularity of blogging and all other types of citizen journalism.”

Reminds me that when I met Lobsang Wangyal, the Reuters reporter amongst exiled Tibetans, he was most interesting in talking about his newly formed Association of Tibetan Journalists. The Association’s biggest task, he told me, is preparing citizens to be journalists by educating them about strong and respected news practices — values, ethics and skills.

Glocer’s talk via Dan Gillmor and the Center for Citizen Media. Dan has his reservations about parts of the talk.

Song of Joy (coming soon)

I’ll be off the net all day today (Wednesday), but I do have unrelated news. I have a poem upcoming in the News and Observer’s Sunday Journal. Not sure which Sunday as I write this. I can’t put the poem here since it needs to appear in the Sunday Journal first, but I can give you the 99 words of the introduction to the poem:

I heard a voice in the night saying “Joy is here” then after a pause “It might be insincere.” I noticed that the lines created a perfect triplet of three lines of three syllables with rhyme. Of course they should occur three times in a poem. But the poem’s length? The most magical number would be ninety nine; the sum of the sums of divisors of the first eleven integers. Incidental to this mathematical epiphany, I suddenly recalled William Wordsworth‘s wonderful poem “The Tables Turned.” The birds sang as the sun rose. I wrote this poem. Hope you enjoy.

Carrboro Commons goes live

J-school colleague Jock Lauterer alerts us to the new Carrboro online/offline news — the Carrboro Commons. The Commons is a lab production, completely with cracking electronics and bubbling liquids I suppose, of Jock’s Community Journalism classes.

He writes: “A 12-page tab print version will be out later this week. Then next month, the Web-based Carrboro Commons will be released every other week throughout the semester. Once we have the user registration system set up, folks will be able to sign in and comment about individual stories.”

Dean Jean (Folkerts) on WCHL promoting blogging

Our new J-School Dean, Jean Folkerts, is featured on WCHL 1360 in a story that announces a new blogging position in the School (I am on the faculty of the UNC J-School):

Academics at the UNC Journalism School will take a leap into the digital age with the addition of a teaching position centered on blogging and online news.

The school’s dean Jean Folkerts says the job listing signals how the mass media have changed in the past decade.

The creation of the online news position is among the first significant moves Folkerts has made as the journalism school’s new dean.

She says she wants the school’s graduates to be able to cross over platforms of old and new media, but she’s not straying from the school’s core principles.

Folkerts says creative production will be part of the professor’s duties, which could mean maintaining a blog or generating multimedia presentations.

The job description for our ” Outstanding Scholar in News/Online Journalism” is here

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