Words from another yard

Links and comment from Scott Rosenberg

I attended the Horace Mann School in Riverdale, N.Y., from 1971 to 1977. I’ve generally thought well of the school as a great environment for a brainy, socially awkward kid like me to learn and grow. I became a writer largely based on my experience there, I learned to love journalism… Read full post »

We interrupt this long blog-silence (more on which soon) to note that if you wanna know my take on the Mike Daisey/Apple/This American Life thing, I’ve just posted over at Grist on it.

My career started with writing about theater and specifically solo performance, moved into technology… Read full post »

I read about WSJ Social, the newspaper’s experiment at providing a socially driven version of itself entirely inside Facebook, and thought, hey, I should check it out. So I Googled “WSJ Social” and clicked on http://social.wsj.com. Since my browser was already logged in to F… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 13, 2011 12:41AM

My next chapter: Grist

After a wonderful couple of years writing Say Everything and another great couple of years building and launching MediaBugs, I’m returning to the world of editing: Starting today, I’m the executive editor of Grist.org, the pioneering green news website with the irreverent attitude.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 8:43AM

Steve Jobs, auteurs, and team-building


If you look at my life, I’ve never gotten it right the first time. It always takes me twice.
  — Steve Jobs, in a 1992 Washington Post interview

I first wrote about Steve Jobs as a digital auteur in January 1999, in a profile for Salon that tried, in… Read full post »

[This article, which is a collaboration between me and Mark Follman, originally appeared on the Atlantic's website. Since then it has been the subject of a MediaBugs error report filed by Frank Lindh. Yes, at MediaBugs, not only do we eat our own dogfood, we find it tasty!]

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Sometimes your labor on a bunch of projects comes to fruition all at once. Here are some links to recently published stuff:

Corrections in the Web Age: The Case of the New York Times’ Terror Error — How did a 2002 error in the New York Times wreck a KQED… Read full post »

Way back when I joined Facebook I was under the impression that it was the social network where people play themselves. On Facebook, you were supposed to be “real.” So I figured, OK, this is where I don’t friend everyone indiscriminately; this is where I only connect with peo… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 26, 2011 11:38AM

NY Times: “Paper of record” no more?

New York Times public editor Art Brisbane today addresses an issue that MediaBugs and I have been talking about for a year: the need for news organizations to maintain a record of the changes they make to published stories.

I’ve argued that posting such “versions” of every ne… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 24, 2011 12:48PM

Three pillars of trust: Links, revisions, and error buttons

The journalism industry ships lemons every day. Our newsrooms have a massive quality control problem. According to the best counts we have, more than half of stories contain mistakes — and only three percent of those errors are ever fixed.

Errors small and large litter the mediascape, a… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 20, 2011 2:58PM

Time to bake smart correction tools into news platforms

[cross-posted from the PBS MediaShift Idea Lab]

A window of opportunity is open right now for online journalists to build accuracy and accountability into the publishing systems we use every day. To understand why this is such a big deal, first hop with me for a minute into the Wayback Machine.… Read full post »

Table Talk home page, circa 1999Salon.com Wednesday announced plans to close Table Talk, the online discussion space and community that has operated continuously since Salon’s launch on Nov. 20, 1995. I was involved in Table Talk’s creation and management for its first several years, and when I read the news, I f… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 3, 2011 1:24PM

Why journalists should think twice about Facebook

Facebook's journalism panel: O'Brien, Milian, Zaleski, McClure (photo by George Kelly)


At Facebook last Wednesday night, a panel of four journalists — Laura McClure of Mother Jones, Katharine Zaleski of the Washington Post, Chris O’Brien of the San Jose Mercury News, and/…

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Last week I was glad to see Arthur Brisbane, the New York Times’ public editor, call for the paper to post all its policies and standards for news out on its website where everyone can see them. I hope your first thought hearing this matches mine: “You mean they don’t already?&#8221… Read full post »

In his latest Sunday column, New York Times editor Bill Keller tries to lay out the Times’ ideals — as distinct from the work of “guerrilla” newsies like Julian Assange and James O’Keefe. Keller’s credo: Verification beats assertion! Correct errors quickly and fort… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 9, 2011 11:58AM

Sting culture and NPR’s capitulation to falsehood

There is much more to say, but I’m angry, and I want to say this quickly: We’re all on notice now. Keep your eyes open and your ears cocked. Public life is becoming a maze of entrapments, and the press is enabling the deceit.

Yesterday James O’Keefe, the conservative trickster who… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 23, 2011 2:14PM

MediaBugs, now in a WordPress plugin

Announcing the new MediaBugs plugin for WordPress. It’s for anyone who’s running a WordPress-based site that does journalism and wants readers to know that correcting errors is a priority.

Now adding a MediaBugs “report an error” button to any website that runs WordPres… Read full post »

The technology press has been keen on the “blogging is dead” (or “dying”) meme for some time now, but it’s tough to find actual data or evidence supporting the notion. Blogging, of course, is changing; in the digital world, all is flux. But if you’re going t… Read full post »

When you post to Facebook, are you a “serf”? When you write a blog post for a site that doesn’t pay you, are you a “galley slave”?

These are terms that journalists at the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have recently applied to the content users contribu… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 11, 2011 11:58AM

The Daily vanishes into the memory hole

The Daily blog crowed about their three, count ‘em, three different news covers yesterday tracking the fast-metamorphosing Egypt story. And they got some props for it from folks like PaidContent’s Stacy Kramer. Today, they’re proudly showing how they display a breaking-news t… Read full post »

Beginning Monday, every new staff-written article on the Washington Post’s website came with a prominent link labeled “YOUR FEEDBACK: Corrections, suggestions?” One click takes the reader to a form for reporting errors or providing other feedback to the newsroom.

This makes… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 7, 2011 12:59PM

Huffington is to AOL as AOL was to Time Warner

A late Sunday night in winter and the surprise announcement of a big merger, with Kara Swisher one of the key people breaking the news: No wonder the Huffington Post/AOL announcement last night gave veteran tech and media-biz reporters a flashback to 2000 and the colossally ill-fated AOL/Time-Warner… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 3, 2011 8:23PM

Murdoch’s Daily: post-Web innovation or CD-ROM flashback?

A decade ago, if you were a “digital” person — if you were interested in how computer technology was changing our culture and economy — then you were a Web person. The Web, built on top of the Internet and ultimately eclipsing its source, dispatched its competitors — the… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 2, 2011 2:14PM

The Daily is a one-way channel

So I’ve now spent a little while with The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad “newspaper.”

The first thing I wanted to do was tell the editors about an error I found on their website, which right now reports their launch date as Jan. 17, 2011. (The Daily launched today, F… Read full post »

Yesterday’s “Don’t delete that tweet” post occasioned a great debate in the comments. (Go read it now if you haven’t, then come back for my thoughts.)

There are valid cases on both sides of this issue. It seems to me that how you come down depends on the relative weight… Read full post »