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Yahoo and Politico to offer inside view of Democrat and Republican conventions

August 12th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Uncategorized

Yahoo and POLITICO are to live stream a series of breakfast debates from the US Democratic and Republican National Conventions, which will be held in Denver in August and in St Paul in September respectively.

The panels will be moderated by Politico editors and will be open to convention attendees and the general public.

Local papers The Denver Post and St Paul Pioneer Press will also cover the events.

“It is hard to imagine more exciting partnerships at a more important time in this historic campaign. These events will offer politicians and the public access to unique and powerful audiences: the local community via the host newspapers, political enthusiasts via POLITICO and the world via Yahoo! News,” said John Harris, POLITICO editor-in-chief, in a press release.

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Living obituaries for journalists?

July 23rd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Jobs, Journalism

The Columbia Journalism Review is asking for contributions to its Parting Thoughts series – a chance for journalists on their way out of the business to share their thoughts on why and what next for the industry.

In one ‘letter’ in the series, Jim Spencer, who was ‘involuntarily separated’ from the Denver Post, recalls his reaction to the news:

“My scoop didn’t matter. Neither did the ten writing awards I won in four years and three months as a metro columnist with the Post. The late nights and occasional weekends I put in, the blog I maintained in deference to the burgeoning online audience—none of it counted.”

Spencer went on to earn ‘twice as much as my co-workers’ writing for SpencerSpeaks.com, but now works in PR for the University of Colorado.

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Innovations in Journalism – HappyJournalist

April 8th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism

It’s almost a daily occurrence to hear about the perilous state of the news industry (remember AngryJournalist.com anyone?) so Praise Be and Hallelujah for Joe Murphy and his HappyJournalist blog.

Each week we give developers the opportunity to tell us why we should sit up and pay attention to the sites and devices they are working on – this week Joe tells us about the site he developed to celebrate what’s good about working as a journalist.

image of happy journalist website

1) Who are you and what’s it all about?
I’m Joe Murphy. I’m a reporter-turned-web designer-turned-web developer. My day job is as the senior developer for The Denver Post’s website. I build and maintain web apps, fix stuff, and do other tech-type-stuff.

In my hobby-time I build and maintain a handful of sites, apps and blogs … HappyJournalist is one of them.

2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?
Well, it’s not a particularly useful site. Fun, yes. Useful, no.

HappyJournalist is a lens on journalists who have something to say, like what they do, and feel comfortable typing and clicking the submit button on the blog.

Until we get to the point where the internet has tools to quantify and publish emotion-related information, HappyJournalist will be a semi-static repository of what was said by the folk who have something to say.

That ‘until’ is a big, big ‘until’.

3) Is this it, or is there more to come?

I’ve been exploring that ‘What’s Next’ idea and have listed some other ideas (MildlyEnthusiasticJournalist.com and DrunkJournalist.com are my favourites, and a few people have contributed their own).

To make this interesting and forward thinking I’m considering pitching a new micro-format that describes emotions.

There’s no good way to aggregate or publish emotion-based information online yet. Seems like that’s a big gap in the web, don’t you think?

The internet’s gears turn because the robots and computers turn the gears, but it’s the humans that make the internet come alive and sparkle.

4) Why are you doing this?
Fun, conversation, curiosity. AngryJournalist started the dialogue, and it would be a shame to let this “I am a journalist and I have feelings” thread die after the first salvo.

5) What does it cost to use it?
It’s free, it will always be free.

6) How will you make it pay?
I won’t — it cost me 90 minutes and eight bucks to create this, so I don’t have a huge stake in getting that time or money back.

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Outsourcing newspaper interaction – on Topix

November 28th, 2007 | 10 Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism, Online Journalism

Topix has just struck a deal to run the forums of MediaNews Group in the US, which owns 61 newspapers including the Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News.

If Topix’s claim is genuine (and I have no reason to doubt it) that it gets over 80,000 comments a day – three million people posting more than 18 million comments since it launched its forums little under two years ago – then there seems to be obvious and compelling reasons for the union.

Marry what Topix does best with the local audience/trust that MediaNews papers have and you’re on to a winner surely?

Topix boasts again: IndyStar.com and Sun-Sentinel.com have each surpassed one million forum posts since Topix started running them.

In interview yesterday with Journalism.co.uk Yoosk consulting editor Nick Ryan said that traditional media was failing to shift from the old top-down approach online because it’s not getting involved nearly enough in user-interaction.

So all good with this move? Not all, according to Howard Owens:

“Media News signing a deal to turn over commenting functions to Topix is just dumb beyond belief

“Ironically, Media News owns the Denver Post, which of late has been doing a fantastic job of trying to become the hub of community conversation, both through its main news site and its innovative neighbours site.

“Those efforts are completely incompatible, as I see it, with the Topix business model, which Chris Tolles is quite blunt about: “We’re aiming to be the number one local news site on the web …”

“There can be only one number one, and if it’s Topix, it ain’t your newspaper.com.”

Owens adds that local should be a vertical, in the way fashion and travel are, and that the local paper should ‘own’ that space, dominating it across all platforms in a way other major brands dominate verticals, rather than letting another company get the best out of the paper’s good relationship with its audience.

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