Tag Archives: Dan Gillmor

Dan Gillmor at Salon: ‘The newspaper industry essentially deserves to die’

I love newspapers. I worked in them for almost 25 years. But I’m not itching to bail out a business that is failing in large part because it was so transcendentally greedy in its monopoly era that it passed on every opportunity to survive against real financial competition. With a few exceptions, the newspaper industry essentially deserves to die at this point.

Dan Gillmor, author of ‘We the Media’ and director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship in the US, argues in this article for Salon that its not journalism that needs to be subsidised – as suggested by the initial findings of the US’ Federal Trade Commission’s research into the state of the industry – but the infrastructure that makes online publishing and distribution possible.

If you want to worry about a threat to the journalism of tomorrow, consider the power being collected by the so-called “broadband” providers right now.

If we’re going to spend taxpayers’ money in ways that could help journalism, let’s make that benefit a byproduct of something much more valuable. Let’s build out our data networks the right way, by installing fibre everywhere we can possibly put it. Then, let private and public enterprises light it up.

Full post at this link…

Mediactive: Protecting your online archive of work

Dan Gillmor weighs in on an issue raised by former New York Times and International Herald Tribune writer Thomas Crampton, whose back catalogue of IHT articles online seems to have been deleted during the merger of the title’s website with that of the Times.

“Changing the URL structure of websites is a too-common event. Even if, as is the case most of the time, the originals are still around, disappearing the links is tantamount to hiding the original material,” writes Gillmor.

“The point is that I no longer rely entirely on the good graces of other people, including employers, to preserve what I’ve created, much less keep it available for you to see. I try to rely on myself.”

Full post at this link…

Blog08: Journalism versus hearth blogging

Not your average panel with Tim Overdiek, deputy editor in chief at NOS news; Clo Willaerts, marketing manager for Sanoma Magazines Belgium; Paul Bradshaw from the Online Journalism Blog; and Piet Bakker, professor at the Hogeschool Utrecht.

The journalism/blogging panel aims to answer questions gathered via de Nieuwe Reporter, one of the largest Dutch journalism blogs.

Tim Overdiek from NOS News shares that over a hundred NOS colleagues from a total of 400 have contributed to weblogs.nos.nl. Only forty employees are active bloggers but a hundred contributions in the form of either comments or blog posts is a certainly good number.

He remarks that professional journalists often don’t see bloggers as collaborators but as a form of contribution, as something they can use. There is no direct participation. The participating journalism that Dan Gillmor refers to is not happening in the Netherlands, according to Overdiek.

We’re currently moving beyond blogs, and the practice of blogging has gone beyond the medium of the blog and has partly and moved to Twitter for example. There is a whole world to gain for bloggers and also for organisations to actively set out to get people blogging.

It is interesting to note that during one of the previous sessions Tim Overdiek sent out a tweet to remind himself to create a 101 Teletekst Twitterfeed asap.

Teletekst is the Dutch equivalent of the BBC Ceefax and the 101 page is the standard page for news headlines. It is interesting to see how one of the most popular ways to keep up with the news is going to be syndicated on Twitter in the near future. The NOS is focusing on embracing the new social media and sees syndicating existing content on different platforms as the next step.

The question that was selected from the Nieuwe Reporter was a rather odd choice since there was a lot of discussion about the relevance and phrasing of the question in the comments (in Dutch). Unfortunately the question also eventually drived the discussion nowhere:

Imagine there would be a stock exchange for newspapers, broadcasters, magazines, weblogs, and other media. Which stocks would you buy when taking the next five years in account?

Tim Overdiek: Buy stocks in NOS, we have great outlets, we have different platforms such as mobile TV, blogging and Twitter. The NOS media department is pretty tech savvy. However, he advises not to bet on just one company because there are too many interesting things going on in different places.

Piet Bakker would buy stocks in magazines because the problem with blogging and internet is that to monetize it is quite difficult.

Paul Bradshaw would also buy stocks in magazines because all of the advertising on the internet pretty much goes to Google. Offline and online advertising are not on the same level yet and on top of that magazines have a lot of muscle. Bradshaw thinks that they will buy out successful blogs. Newspapers are also trying to be more like magazines which shows the bright future of magazines but they don’t see it quite yet.

Journalists should work with bloggers on a level playing field. He [Bradshaw] mentions the example of a newspaper that recently recruited 40 bloggers but it’s not a top down relationship with one main editor that makes all the decisions. He sees this as a good way forward because journalists and bloggers should treat each other like citizens.

This post originally appeared on Anne Helmond’s blog.

‘Journalism without journalists’

“Network publishing is the natural ally of traditional media,” concludes Michael Maier, founder and CEO of Blogform publishing, in his essay ‘Journalism without Journalists: Vision or Caricature?’

In the essay Maier, who founded Germany’s first online-only newspaper Netzeitung and the Reader’s Edition – a site entirely constructed from reader-submitted content, examines projects that have experimented with collaborative journalism projects from citizens and journalists such as the LA Times’ ‘wikitorial’, Dan Gillmor’s ‘bayosphere’, and the Chi-Town Daily News.

In summary, the lessons Maier took with him from these experiments to the Reader’s Edition were:

  • There needs to be a hierarchy of control over reader’s input;
  • Collaboration means working together – reader’s should be encouraged and motivated by journalists not neglected in carrying out their work;
  • “Readers who write hardly think about other readers. They are driven by self-realization.” – the content that readers submit must still address the audience’s interest;
  • To traditional media – do not view blogs as a quick-fix solution: “Several attempts have been made to integrate bloggers into old institutions in order to inject fresh air, but it was not the traditional media that changed through these efforts. Rather, the bloggers lost their spicy language and became tame to please their old-news bosses.”

Perhaps the greatest barrier to successful collaboration between traditional media and what Maier describes as network publishing, he suggests, are profit margins.

“Every day we hear the latest reports of sinking profits for newspapers. Traditional media are trying to remain profitable largely by cutting costs. New journalistic projects are—either willingly or unwillingly—nonprofit.

“The enormous pressure of the market encourages compromise, and I truly hope that NP’s [network publishing] experimental character can be saved from that. A clear focus on the reader is key to a lasting success.”

Citing the success of the Associated Press’ merger with NowPublic.com and Reuters work with Global Voices, Maier argues that it is such collaborative efforts that will shape the future of journalism – for the better.

“Ultimately, it won’t be the angry bloggers or the clueless citizen journalists, not the crazy kids from YouTube or the dark forces behind MySpace who will decide the fate of journalism. Ultimately, readers and advertisers will show what they are willing to pay for. Network Publishing is the natural ally of traditional media. Even in a completely new media world, together, they can help ensure that society gets the kind of journalism it deserves.”