Words from another yard

Links and comment from Scott Rosenberg
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 »

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/…

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 »

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 »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 22, 2010 1:12AM

Why the Daily, Murdoch’s “tablet newspaper,” will be DOA

When I first head the phrase “iPad newspaper” — shorthand for Rupert Murdoch’s not-so-secret-any-more new project — I puzzled over its oxymoronic implications. Forget about the, you know, iPad/paper contradiction and think about the business. Murdoch is reportedly… Read full post »

It’s hard to think of a more meaningful recent exchange in the tech-industry world than the moment onstage at Web 2.0 last night when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg turned to conference organizers John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly and told them, “Your map’s wrong.”… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 24, 2010 6:39PM

When campaign spending is anonymous, reality gets slippery

I still get both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal on paper, and every morning I have the opportunity to compare their front pages, and thereby, their world views. Increasingly, it looks like the US’s two weightiest national papers are presenting fundamentally different pictures of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 15, 2010 8:35AM

How to turn a paper of record into a website of record

Last week Arthur Brisbane, the new public editor of the New York Times, posted an illuminating exchange between a reader of the paper and one of its top editors.

The reader asked: What’s with the way stories change all the time on the website? “How does the newspaper of record hand… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 8, 2010 2:32PM

Blogging, empowerment, and the “adjacent possible”

Learning to make things changes how we understand and consume those things.

When I started reporting the news as a teenager, I read the newspaper differently. When I learned to play guitar in my ’20s, I listened to songs differently. When I first played around with desktop video editing… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 4, 2010 2:03PM

Hey Zuck! Hollywood just hacked your profile


You know those Facebook phishing hacks — the ones where someone gets control of your account and sends phony messages to your friends? “I’m stuck in London! Send money quick!”

I kept thinking of that phenomenon as I watched The Social Network this weekend. Because what… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 22, 2010 1:12PM

Journalists follow their voices, vote with their feet

As the beleaguring of traditional news organizations continues, newsrooms are actually growing elsewhere. You may have noticed that places like Yahoo, AOL and the Huffington Post are all hiring these days — and they’re hiring, um, actual journalists.

Yesterday we learned that New… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 17, 2010 11:13AM

Forbes, fact-checking, and the media-political revolving door

“Don’t they fact-check this stuff?”

This is the perennial cry of the outraged reader and the wronged article subject. The latest party to raise the fact-checking howl is the White House, which yesterday went public with its discontent over Forbes’ ludicrously poisonous new covRead full post »

For all of you out there in media-land who still think that the iPad represents salvation for old business models and who welcome the App Store as a new platform for distributing content, I recommend a reading of Apple’s new App Store Review Guidelines as helpfully summarized by Daring FirebalRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 20, 2010 8:00AM

Dr. Laura, Associated Content and the Googledammerung

I was on vacation for much of the last couple of weeks, so I missed a lot — including the self-immolation of Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Apparently Schlessinger was the last public figure in the U.S. who does not understand the simple rules of courtesy around racial/religious/ethnic slurs. (As an… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 30, 2010 2:20PM

Wikileaks: when it’s not a scoop but it’s still news

In the chorus of critical reaction to the Wikileaks Afghanistan documents we heard two strains of criticism: One suggested that the material would harm the U.S. war effort and endanger people working for it. The other suggested that, because no earth-shattering headline could be mined from the mounta… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 22, 2010 11:07AM

Breitbart fiddles while the MSM refuses to burn him

If you’re a writer or journalist and you quote someone selectively or out of context so egregiously that you can twist their words to mean the very opposite of what they actually convey when they’re quoted in full or in context, what you have done is not just mischievous or… Read full post »

Returning from long travels and a week’s vacation abroad, I waded in to catch up on the Washington-Post-fires-Dave-Weigel tempest and was quickly swamped by the sheer volume of thoughtful commentary.

I’ll conclude this post with a roundup. But for now let me just dig a bit into this bizaRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 23, 2010 2:47PM

Roberts is to pager as Bush is to scanner

Way back in ancient times, a decade ago, I wrote a piece for Salon that mentioned the widely circulated anecdote about President George H.W. Bush (the elder) casting a wondering gaze at a supermarket scanner. The tale had legs during the 1992 election cycle because it echoed a sense in the… Read full post »

This New York Times piece Monday reflects a growing chorus of resentment among newspaper website managers against the “barroom brawl” atmosphere so many of them have ended up with in the comments sections on their sites.

They blame anonymity. If only they could make people “sign the… Read full post »