Archive for January, 2009

History of journalism about to repeat itself

Today, a history lesson from some research I’ve been doing for my new book, because if you want to see the road ahead, take a look at the road behind. More than 100 years ago, the newspaper industry was dealing with technological change on a scale comparable to today. In the 1890s, telephone service revolutionized […]

Journalism will be better than it was before

College journalists: take heart in these trying times. Transformation and evolution are messy, emotional processes. When they produce advancement for society and business, they are seen as healthy and worthwhile, but not necessarily to those on the front lines.   Because the digital transformation started 15 years ago for news companies and the web, those […]

Are you putting the user first?

If you’re editing a news site, are you publishing what users want or what you have? Assuming you have what users want, are you organizing it the way your users would want it organized? Or is it organized based on some legacy notion like print sections? Or worse, is it displayed based on the org […]

Tom Peters: Before you get new thoughts in your head, you have to get old ones out

Tom Peters has been telling businesses, industries and organizations about innovation and evolution for more than 25 years. I came across a PDF deck on my hard drive that I downloaded a few years back and found it just as insightful and instructive today as it was the first time I encountered it. A couple […]

Godin: It’s a good time to start a newspaper (just not for journalists)

Seth Godin offers an interesting suggestion – and a wake-up call – to local newspapers hoping to get more local in a post titled Time to start a newspaper. The twist is that he’s offering this advice to real estate brokers or plumbers or anyone in local business looking to grow their local presence. And he […]

Think like a museum director

You can’t visit Cedar Rapids, Iowa without learning at least a little about the unbelievable flooding that occurred there last year. If you hang out with folks who work at the newspaper like I did, you learn a lot. I had glanced through their flood coverage online. But only after visiting the area couild I […]

2009: the year hyperlocal becomes sustainable

What will the year of mass disruption lead to? That’s the question that Peter Krasilovsky pondered recently with his 2008 roundup of the local media / advertising business landscape. Near the end of his piece, Peter riffs on the hyperlocal opportunities for 2009, suggesting lessons that we learned in the previous 12 months We’ve learned […]

Newspapers: utility or entertainment?

Are newspapers and magazines more of a utility or merely entertainment? Naturally, the answer depends upon whom you ask (and which publications you’re referring to). I ask because I’ve been using a nifty online personal finance tool called Mint that allows you to quickly categorize your spending. Newspaper subscriptions (I have two) go under Entertainment. […]

Why it’s a good time to be journalist

It’s good to be digital. That’s the overriding theme in the exams I just finished reading through for the distance learning course I’ve been teaching for the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. The first question on the exam was “why is it a good time to be a journalist?” Call it “forced optimism” […]

PR and journalism education don’t need a divorce

Journalism education needs more public relations and business emphasis, not less. That’s what immeditately occurs to me after reading 10 reasons Why Journalism Schools Should Get Rid of PR. Bob Conrad argues that moving PR programs out of J-schools and into business schools will improve the education for PR students.  He’s probably right. But such a […]