Words from another yard

Links and comment from Scott Rosenberg

Over the weekend many news organizations reported, erroneously, that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was dead. These reports don’t seem to have originated on Twitter. But many spread there — and now they’re occasioning a round of head-scratching over how to handle retractions and correction… Read full post »

The biennial midterm in American politics is almost always a time of turnover in presidential administrations. Appointees may be out of favor, or frustrated, or tired, or just eager to make some money; they leave. Elections that deliver a drubbing to the administration’s party, like our most re… Read full post »

Our Report an Error Alliance has won a couple of great endorsements. NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard has recommended that NPR implement a Report an Error button. And at the NewsFoo conference last weekend in Phoenix, a by-invitation gathering of journalists and digital innovators, Tim O’Reilly tolRead full post »

NOVEMBER 30, 2010 10:14AM

Announcing the Report an Error Alliance

Today, you can pretty much assume that any online news story or blog post will come with a bevy of buttons to share it, print it, send it to your mobile device, and so on.

But what about when you want to correct it? Isn’t this kind of important? Shouldn’t there… 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 »

I watched the mini-circus of media coverage that accompanied Friday’s announcement of the Newsweek/Daily Beast merger, and joined in the name mashup fun (I favor the Daily Week). Like a lot of people, I alsoI scratched my head: Lashing two money-losing operations together doesn’t s… Read full post »

When I talk about the state of corrections in today’s news media I use the phrase “circle the wagons” a lot. It’s meant to evoke the defensive reflexes that kick in when a news organization perceives it’s under attack. Too often, circling the wagons is the default reacti… Read full post »

Earlier this week I was reading the NY Times’ Media Decoder post about my friend and former colleague Joan Walsh’s announcement that she was stepping down as Salon’s editor to write a book. (The estimable Kerry Lauerman replaces her.)

So I’m reading along, and I see th… Read full post »

Right before the election last week the Wall Street Journal ran a story that suggested the Obama administration was suffering a veritable collapse, with top Democrats demanding Obama reshape his entire administration. Great story — only there wasn’t a single quote, sourced or anony… Read full post »

Over at MediaBugs, we’ve just published the second of our surveys of correction practices — this one nationwide. The results confirm the pattern we found in our first, Bay-Area-only study: Most news websites make it hard for readers to report errors and find corrections. Here are tRead full post »

We’re excited about the expansion of MediaBugs.org, our service for reporting errors in news coverage, from being a local effort in the San Francisco Bay Area to covering the entire U.S.

But with this expansion we face an interesting dilemma. Building a successful web service means tappi… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 1, 2010 2:30AM

Saying everything in Albany

A week ago Wednesday I traveled to Albany, N.Y. at the kind invitation of some professors at the College of St. Rose. (Thanks, Cailin Brown and Dan Nester!)

Turns out that Say Everything is being used as a text in a half-dozen classes at that school. As part of the college’s… Read full post »

The New Yorker’s John Cassidy recently concluded a skeptical review of the finances of Gawker Media (which I caught up with late) by asking the following question:

Can Gawker Media (and other blogging outfits such as the Huffington Post) translate their rapid audience growth into big streams o

Read full post »
OCTOBER 28, 2010 1:34PM

Chris Gulker, 1951-2010

I know some of you have been following, as I have, the posts by Web pioneer Chris Gulker about his illness over the past couple years. Over the summer, Chris told us that there was nothing more to be done about his brain tumor, and he proceeded to settle his online… Read full post »

When MediaBugs.org went live earlier this year it explicitly served only the San Francisco Bay Area community. This was partly because we wanted to test our model and our technology out in a manageable area, and also because our Knight Foundation funders emphasized serving specific geographica… 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 »

At Open Web Foo I led a small discussion of what I called the “Social Web memory hole” — the way that social networks suck in our contributions and then tend to bury them or make them inaccessible to their authors. It was a treat to share my ideas with this… 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 »

Heard of the “Gutenberg parenthesis”? This is the intriguing proposition that the era of mass consumption of text ushered in by the printing press four centuries ago was a mere interlude between the previous era of predominantly oral culture and a new digital-oral era on whose thre… Read full post »