2006-01-18

New News: Deconstructing the newspaper

Posted in Linkage at 1:15 pm by cori

From Deconstructing the newspaper (BuzzMachine):

“It is important for newspapers to boil themselves down to their essence and figure out how to do better at providing that unique and valuable service.”

I don’t consider myself a particularly valuable contributor to the New Newsroom conversation, since I’ve never subscribed to a newspaper, and probably never will (thought I did deliver them for many years). My greatest exposure to the newspaper are when my neighbors go out of town and have them delivered to us while they’re gone. Aside from that, all I typically see is the funnies in the breakroom. That said, here I go anyway.

I generally agree with Jeff on his points about what will keep the newspaper alive, and I do think it’s important that they stay alive because any independant news coverage is important, especially in the current atmosphere. We need all the truth-telling we can get these days, no matter who’s on the receiving end. Mostly I think that Jeff has good pointers that the newspapers would be wise to heed.

However one thread of this particular piece (which it has in common with others he’s written) is the idea of syndicating everything you can:

“I’ll be[t] that half the papers that maintain third-rate bureaus in Washington would do better running news from syndicates….”

I see the same problem with over-syndication that I see with over-consolidation in media markets. Fewer voices means less truth – whatever truth is – and if we end up with all the news in newspapers nationwide provided by 3 or 5 news agencies, the loss of so many voices will be sorely felt, and noticed too late.

Perhaps Jeff’s way is the only way for newspapers to survive, I don’t know, but I’m afraid of a world where every bit of news I read is written by the same 5 or 6 organizations.

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2006-01-16

2 female presidents, in Africa and South America

Posted in politics at 12:14 pm by cori

NPR : New Liberian President Sworn In

“Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was sworn in as Liberia’s first elected female president Monday.”

NPR : Chile Elects First Female President

“The first female president was elected in a runoff election in Chile Sunday.”

When the United States?

2006-01-10

The Conversations Network is live!

Posted in Linkage at 9:43 am by cori

A little more about it here. Lots more about it here.

Go. Now.

2006-01-09

From TECHNOSIGHT: 7 Ways to Avoid Blogging Burnout

Posted in blogging, learning, Life, Linkage at 9:34 am by cori

TECHNOSIGHT » 7 Ways to Avoid Blogging Burnout

“If there is no discovery for the writer, there is none for the reader.” – Robert Frost.

Well-timed commentary for me personally, since I’ve been lax in blogging recently and have a number of posts in “churn-mode” where I think about them and write/edit a little bit at a time over days or weeks. Some really excellent thoughts from Ken.  Every single point he makes here has validity for many (most?) bloggers.
If you’re a blogger (and if you’re reading this, you probably are), go read this.

2006-01-06

Wisconsin taking the lead

Posted in politics at 11:29 am by cori

Dan Gillmor points to the Wisconsin Technology Network‘s post regarding Governor Doyle’s signing of a law to force electronic voting machine manufaturers to open their source code. WTN’s updated their post – Assembly Bill 627 called for opening the source code, but the enacted law (pdf) places the source code in escrow, only to be seen in case of a (successful) recount petition, and then only by a representative of each party to the recount. From the bill:

“…each municipal clerk or board of election commissioners of a municipality that uses an electronic voting system for voting at an election shall provide to any person, upon request, at municipal expense, the coding for the software that the municipality uses to operate the system and to record and tally the votes cast.”

From the law:

“If a valid petition for a recount is filed … each party to the recount may designate one or more persons who are authorized to receive access to the software components that were used to record and tally the votes in the election. The board shall grant access to the software components to each designated person if, before receiving access, the person enters into a written agreement with the board that obligates the person to exercise the highest degree of reasonable care to maintain the confidentially of all proprietary information to which the person is provided access…”

This is in addition to laws already on the books requiring that electronic voting mechanisms produce paper ballots for recount, and adds to that requirement the requirement that the paper ballot be presented to the voter for verification before being stored. The law also specifically indicates that the code placed in escrow be determined to be the same code that counts the votes.

While this isn’t a complete solution to the problems inherent in electronic voting, it’s among the first and strongest steps in the right direction.

2006-01-04

NPR bit on advertising in the internet age

Posted in Linkage at 12:04 pm by cori

NPR:

“With TiVos and iPods giving consumers more power, what’s an ad guy to do?”

from Advertising Strategies Challenged in High-Tech Age – All Things Considered

Echoing what Dave (and others, of course) has been saying since I started reading Scripting News – about 2 years now.
Further evidence (if you needed any) that even if you dislike Dave’s politics or public persona, you’d be a fool not to read him and follow what he’s talking about.

Also, I love NPR and listen with some regularity, but sometimes it’s hard to understand how long it takes them to catch up to things like this. Not their strength, perhaps….