Spot.us, the crowd-funded journalism venture that launched 10 months ago in San Francisco with funding from the Knight Foundation, has expanded to Southern California as its second market, the LA Times reported yesterday.
Bill Keller has responded to the New York Times’ public editor’s unflinching critique of errors made in a piece about Walter Cronkite by Alessandra Stanley, as part of a Q&A with James Rainey from the LA Times, published in full on Editor & Publisher.
Keller suggests that the public editor’s position is still ‘much debated’:
Q: Has the public editor helped build the Times’ reputation, or done more to knock the paper’s reputation down? It may help to address this question both as it pertains to this particular episode and, more generally, over the brief history of public editorship.
A: On balance, I think the fact that we offer a paycheck and a platform to an independent critic to second-guess our journalistic judgments is good for, pardon the expression, the brand. I don’t always agree with our public editor, but I think he is fair-minded, his reporting is meticulous, and his targets – as in this case – are usually fair game. He doesn’t just blow raspberries. He tries to explain how bad things happen, and he reports what we are trying to do to avoid future mistakes. Whether a public editor should be a permanent, or at least continuing, fixture at The Times is a question much debated within our walls. I’ve kicked it down the road until we near the end of Clark’s term next year.
Journalism.co.uk is aware of full-time newspaper ombudsmen at the Guardian [Siobhain Butterworth] and the Observer [Stephen Pritchard] and yesterday learned that Sally Baker is feedback editor for the Times. Does anyone know of any other UK titles with full-time and independent readers’ editors? And do those without one need one?
Some great multimedia coverage as US President Barack Obama completes his first 100 days in power.
The Washington Post has set up a ‘special package’ to mark the day – complete with videos, more than 300 photos arranged by topic (see below) and an interactive timeline of the period – with symbols marking the days key legislation was introduced.
(The Post has used Daylife previously to organise its photos – for example during the Olympics last year – so I’m wondering whether that’s the case here too.)
Similarly, the LA Times has its own 100 days site with the emphasis on readers’ views. The Times asked commuters for their video thoughts on Obama’s progress so far.
What I like in particular about this effort is the ability to filter videos by policy and the interactive calendar that dominates the top of the page – click on any date from the 100 for more information.
It’s a very clean layout with a nice feed of LA Times’ related articles too.
The White House is getting in on the act too with its own Flickr group of images depicting the start of the presidency.
Any more good examples of coverage?
UPDATE April 30:
Am reliably informed by Daylife that they’re not behind the Times’ photos – it’s being done internally – but their technology has had a hand in the Wall Street Journal’s coverage, which pulls together video, relevant articles, images and create interactive graphics.
Also enjoyed Slate highlighting the 100 days on Obama’s Facebook feed.
Amy Gahran writes about the LA Times and how it spotted a problem with Los Angeles Police Department geocode data.
“Distorted or erroneous geodata, especially from official sources like police departments, can have ripple effects,” she comments.
The LA Times and Chicago Tribune are pooling their foreign reporting operations to serve all Tribune newspapers. The operation will be run from Los Angeles.
Lois Draegin, an ‘accomplished magazine editor’ lost her six-figure job at TV Guide last spring, reported the LA Times last week, ‘and is now, at 55, an unpaid intern at wowOwow.com, a fledgling website with columns and stories that target accomplished women older than 40.’
Journalism students and their teachers in the US are to get more protection under a new state law which prevents administrators from taking punitive action against staff who to try to protect student press freedom (hat tip to Adrian Monck), writes the LA Times.
The Journalism Teacher Protection Act will also coincide with another initiative that seeks to educate students about 1st Amendment feedoms, the News Literacy project. This scheme will send working journalists to teach students how to “distinguish verified information from raw messages, spin, gossip and opinion,” Alan Miller, project founder, tells the Times. Full story…
Former LA Times interactive technology editor, Eric Ulken, looks at lessons learnt from building the newspaper’s ‘data desk: ‘a cross-functional team of journalists responsible for collecting, analyzing and presenting data online and in print’.
More on this tomorrow, but just to link today’s (Monday) news that the Tribune Co. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, as reported here by the group’s own newspaper the LA Times, as well as numerous other news sources. The group also owns KTLA Channel 5, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun as well as nine other newspapers and 22 other television and radio stations across the country.
The group’s chief executive Sam Zell said in a statement (via CNNmoney.co.uk):
“Factors beyond our control have created a perfect storm – a precipitous decline in revenue and a tough economy coupled with a credit crisis that makes it extremely difficult to support our debt.”
“We believe that this restructuring will bring the level of our debt in line with current economic realities, and will take pressure off our operations.”
The groups says it is able to sustain operations while it restructures. Here, Editor & Publisher looks at concerns inside the newsroom.
Excerpts from Sam Zell’s memo can be read here.