I found this at my dad’s house during a Christmas visit. Conference swag. Although it wasn’t that long ago, the title seemed dated. A new media artifact.
If you look closely, you can see a date. But I’ve blurred out the year. Care to guess? (No Google.)
Download a crop of the image to check your answer.
Links for December 15th through December 16th:
- Detroit’s big news as seen from a key design insider – SND Update – Matt Mannsfield gets some extra dirt on Tuesday's big newspaper shakeup in Detroit.
- Spot.us – Story: Bay Area Cement Plants and Global Warming – A good example of package reporting and entrepreneurial publishing ideas. Let's hope we see more of this; let's hope that it can sustain good journalism.
- Tomorrow’s News, Tomorrow’s Journalists » Blog Archive » TNTJ December: Building an online brand – some tips – "Forget Facebook, Bebo, MySpace etc, LinkedIn is the professional networking site and it can be used by potential employers to find you and see who you are and what you do."
- Today’s Thought: What/who will be left to rebuild journalism? | The Journalism Iconoclast – This is a humbling reflection. But does its author assume too much?
- Google Reader (579) – On administration of Twitter accounts: "For now, I'm trying out a service called Tweetlater that automatically follows people that follow @commoncraft and sends them a quick "thank you" message. It's not as personal as I'd like, and some spammers are using it for nefarious purposes, but it allows me to accomplish the goal of following people without having to take an action for every one. It's lightweight."
- Tomorrow’s News, Tomorrow’s Journalists » Blog Archive » TNTJ December: Marketing yourself online – your byline is your brand – "Feel uncomfortable with all this talk about you? Well, get used to it, this is the age of self-promotion, and we’ve just gotten started."
Links for October 29th through November 3rd:
- Where to Get Live Election Night Coverage Online : CyberJournalist.net – I can't believe spokesmanreview.com didn't get a mention!
- Twitter Vote Report : CyberJournalist.net – A civic-minded application of Twitter. Would love to see somebody follow this and evaluate its efficacy.
- washingtonpost.com – TimeSpace: Election – Great idea. Novel way of organizing a huge volume of stories and photos geared toward a neational audience.
- Link Once, Publish Everywhere: Publish2 Launches Connection to Twitter and Delicious » Publish2 Blog –
- What’s the Difference Between a Blog and a Web Site? — contentious.com – "If you think you’ll want to do more than blog, choose a platform that will let you expand. If you think you’ll want things like a forum, video library, or wiki, you’re probably better off building a site in on a more full-featured platform like WordPress, Drupal, Movable Type, or Expression Engine."
Mindy McAdams implores journalists who get online to do this in a recent post. And the sentence has been reverberating in my head all evening.
I’m fortunate to work for a newspaper where many people do get it. We commit sizable resources to video, audio and other multimedia. We’ve launched a radio studio with hourly reports. We’re about to unveil a new website that gives readers tremendous power to find information in the way that most makes sense for them.
But, a few days after getting back from a vacation in Montana during which I avoided the Internet, I wonder: Where can I take the lead?
This is likely a case where there’s no upper limit on leadership. And I was not the driving force behind any of the initiatives listed above, so I’d like to find that area where I can “step up” in my newsroom.
Helping my co-workers learn and master our new django site admin will certainly give me one avenue. Any other ideas out there?
Since I entered grad school, I’ve been staring down the barrel of a shotgun loaded with questions:
- How can newspapers reverse falling readership and ad revenues?
- How can they compete effectively with other news providers on the Internet?
- How should newspaper journalists change their routines to serve multiple platforms?
- How can newspapers possibly maintain quality and innovate while cutting staff.
Now I’m in the middle of an 11-day assignment from Spokesman-Review Editor Steve Smith aimed at exploring some of those questions and drafting recommendations for restructuring the newsroom. The goals: to be more efficient and produce a more compelling, consistently multiplatform product.
There are eight of us, all relatively young in a newsroom notably filled with talented veterans. Most of us have come out of journalism school within the past four years. The group dynamic is solid.
This is exciting and scary as hell.
It’s strange how the people running newspapers have been talking about changing for most of my 20-year career. Yet, all they’ve really done in that time is tinker under the hood a bit.
We are tasked with doing far more than tinkering under the hood. We were picked, according to Steve, because we have a huge stake in what happens to this industry but little stake in the processes and organization that have driven this newspaper in the past.
We have constraints, as Nick notes:
[W]e can’t eliminate the print product, we can’t eliminate the new radio initiative, we can’t eliminate the community-oriented Voice sections, we can’t suggest layoffs.
It’s comforting and intriguing to watch other newspapers wrestle these questions and swing for the fences. Most recently, it’s been the Tampa Tribune. It’s shakeup is outlined on Mindy McAdams’ blog, and reporting intern Jessica DaSilva has a great account of the day Editor Janet Coats outlined the changes to the staff.
There has been grumbling within the newsroom and skepticism from without. But many staffers have quietly wished us well, and comments at Nick’s and Colin’s blogs have also been encouraging.
We’re under a tight deadline. At some meetings, we’ve got so many ideas its hard to chart a path through them.
But the biggest challenge is to be systematic, practical and yet visionary. We are supposed to blow up the newsroom, but, as I think we all feel, the model we propose must be functional. And above all, it must keep the newspaper coming off the press, the Web site (overhaul pending) updated throughout the day and our radio broadcasts filled with local content – and make all of this journalism as compelling as possible.
This may be my best, last chance to throw bold ideas into the mix and have them heard. Given the recent explosion of newspaper layoffs and Steve’s not-good-but-could-be-worse briefing Tuesday on the state of our company’s finances, I’m not optimistic that the business I went to grad school to enter will sustain me until I retire.
But now I’ve got a chance to suggest changes to help an enterprise, to quote Janet Coats, “worth fighting for.” I’ll see what I can do.
This via cyberjournalist: An interactive map of newspaper layoffs and buyouts this year at graphicdesignr.net. The listed total is more than 4,880. You can also find one for 2007, which includes the cuts at my newspaper, The Spokesman-Review.
Two points: First, this map is more affecting than the daily reports on Romanesko or a simple number. Which is another example of why multimedia just makes information crackle.
My news design background is scantier, limited to the B section and wire pages at the S-R and a few A1 design shifts at the Missourian. But I would love to develop skills and a portfolio like Smith’s. It’s one big way I can help avoid becoming part of her next map.
At right, one of my better page one efforts.
We’ve been seriously mixing our mediums at the Spokesman-Review lately. We’re on the air. As in on the radio. And the broadcasts are coming from our newsroom. Check it out here. Read Editor Steve Smith’s announcement here.
We’ve been at it for about seven weeks, by my count, and I think editors, reporters and multimedia people have made strides in incorporating audio collection into our routines.
Regardless of what you think about newspapers doing radio, the push for multimedia in newsrooms makes audio collection and editing valuable skills. At a meeting yesterday, radio reporter/announcer Dan Mitchinson and multimedia guru Colin Mulvany led a discussion on good audio habits. Although we talked mostly about sound destined for the radio, these tips are important for video productions as well.
- Get your recorder/mic as close as possible to the source.
- Learn to listen: If you’re indoors, watch out for electrical hums or fans. If you’re outside, be aware of traffic noise, planes passing overhead, etc. Try to find a place where such background annoyances are minimal.
- At the same time, remember to get natural sound from your environment. This too can help tell the story. (Our editorial page editor raised a valid ethical concern: Don’t use these natural sounds in ways that mislead. For instance, don’t overlay sounds from a park with an interview conducted indoors.)
- Check those recording levels before you start interviewing. If you need to adjust, don’t do it while your source is in the middle of a sentence.
- It’s better to hold your mic a bit to the side of the mouth that’s talking. This helps avoid popping P sounds.
- Use headphones to monitor the audio you’re receiving. It may seem weird to talk to a source while wearing headphones, so just explain why you’re doing it.
- Just as some people are afraid of TV cameras, others are afraid of mics and the way their voices sound. Use humor and self-deprecation to warm them up. You probably don’t like the way your recorded voice sounds either.
We covered other ground germane to our particular operations, but I won’t go into that here. If you’re looking for more tips, check out Colin Mulvany’s blog. He’s been doing this a lot longer than I have.