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February 03 2012

10:19

ALFONSO NIETO TAMARGO (1932-2012)

Alfonso Nieto died yesterday in Pamplona (Spain) but his legacy as a person, friend,  writer, thinker, mentor and leader will last for many years.

He was the absolute force behind the development of Journalism education in Spanish universities.

During his time as president of the University of Navarre we founded INNOVATION.

We learned from him many lessons and one of them was that “nothing is more practical than a good theory.”

Alfonso Nieto was a close friend of the late Leo Bogart, a founding director of INNOVATION.

Like Leo, he was a man of good manners, many friends, sharp mind and highly educated.

Both loved books and libraries.

And both loved newspapers.

But both were very critical about poor media business management.

Without credibility, values and compelling service to readers, advertisers, audiences and communities, press and media were “cathedrals without soul”.

Alfonso Nieto was  a pioneer in news media management education.

He saw very early, in the 1980′s, the big role and future of free newspapers and wrote a seminal book on this matter.

When I went to New York’s Columbia Journalism School as a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in 1978, his frequent letters to me during that year were always inspirational, challenging and really friendly.

A few months ago I got in the UK his last one, saying that he missed the Hay-on-Wye bookshelves!

They too, and all of us.

Don Alfonso, we will miss you very much.

 

 

December 11 2011

11:21

Relations between local press and the NYPD had deteriorated before #OccupydsWall Street' protest, lawyers say

Capital New York :: The Occupy Wall Street incidents, which were addressed in a Nov. 21 letter to NYPD brass co-signed by 13 news organizations, and again in a meeting two days later between Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and representatives from several of those outlets, were actually only a recent development in a longer pattern of police-press showdowns stretching back at least to the summer, before Occupy Wall Street was a glimmer in Bloomberg's eye.

Within the past year, Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, began noticing an uptick in complaints from photojournalists—both in New York and other cities—claiming police had interfered with their work.

Continue to read Joe Pompeo, www.capitalnewyork.com

September 18 2011

18:18

#OccupyWallStreet: The Plan: occupy Wall Street for two months

OWNI.eu :: On Saturday #Sep17, hundreds of protestors congregated in the Wall Street area of New York at the start of a protest dubbed #OccupyWallStreet. Initially organised by Vancouver based media activists Adbusters, the campaign has set out to establish a protest presence in Wall Street for a “few months”. Adbusters were joined in August by hacktivist group Anonymous in rallying their supporters for the start of the action and spreading the word through websites and social media.

Continue to read David Glance, owni.eu

August 28 2011

16:09

Instacane: hurricane Irene mayhem chronicled via Instagram

VentureBeat :: Hurricane Irene began pounding New York and nearby states this evening, prompting a flood of content related to the hurricane on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and — yes — Instagram. Instagram users hunkered down in New York, New Jersey and other cities in the path of the rather menacing-looking Hurricane Irene are chronicling the mayhem through an online Instagram photo album called Instacane

Continue to read Matthew Lynley, venturebeat.com

14:35

August 27 2011

19:27

LNR- #Irene - Help: New York, in search for shelter?

Need shelter? On Twitter, the @fema account says: Text SHELTER and your ZIP code at #43662

Irene-fema-shelter-jpg

Follow FEMA on Twitter

LNR, Liquid Newsroom, #Irene

17:43

#Irene - New York City: mandatory evacuation order, evacuation zone map and finder

New York City - Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Official Announcement :: "Due to the approach of Hurricane Irene, the City has issued a mandatory evacuation order for New Yorkers who live in the low-lying Zone “A” coastal areas across all five boroughs and the Rockaways. These areas include: Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, Far Rockaway, Beach Channel, South Beach, Midland Beach, and Battery Park City. People should be out of these areas by 5 pm on Saturday. Residents who live in Zone A are strongly encouraged to stay with friends or family outside an evacuation zone. Evacuation Centers are open for residents who have no alternative shelter."

New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) prepared a "Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder" to assist its citizens to find out if they live in a zone in danger: go here Evacuation Zone Finder

Irene-new-york-city-evacuation-zone-finder-png

The Office of Emergency Management also offers an evacuation zone map (PDF) for download, as they expect the traffic on the site to be high. 

Irene-new-york-evacuation-zones-png

June 14 2011

11:34

Google: we acquired Admeld to help publishers to get most out of display advertising

Google Blog :: Google often hears from major website publishers that ad management today is still mind-numbingly, complicated and inefficient. That's why the company has been investing in their publisher tools to try and improve this landscape. To help major publishers get the most out of the rapidly changing and growing display ad landscape, Google signed an agreement to acquire Admeld, a New York-based yield optimization firm.

Continue to read googleblog.blogspot.com

June 04 2011

04:38

Google vs. Groupon: Groupon-like Google Offers begins testing in Portland

New York Times Last year, Google tried to buy Groupon but failed. So Google now hopes to beat Groupon. Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, said Tuesday that the company would begin testing Google Offers, a Groupon-like service delivering discounts from small businesses, starting on Wednesday in Portland, Oregon, U.S.. The test will be expanded to San Francisco and New York this summer.

As the company indicated earlier this month, Google Offers will be tied to Google Wallet, a mobile application that allows people to use their phone to pay for purchases.

Continue to read Miguel Helft, bits.blogs.nytimes.com

May 31 2011

11:14

Wall Street Journal: process of creating daily Webcasts valuable for news orgs

Beet.TV :: In addition to connecting with a valued audience with live programming, the process of creating daily Webcasts is valuable to the news organization, explains Kevin Delaney, Managing Editor of the WSJ.com. Delaney was a panelist in session about online video journalism which I moderated earlier this month at Streaming Media East in New York.

In this segment, he explains how live programming is an efficient means to create both live and on-demand programming.

Watch the video interview by Andy Plesser, www.beet.tv

May 10 2011

16:50

Life in the cave: highlights from Boston University’s “The Rebirth of Storytelling” conference

What does it take to make a great story? Boston University’s “The Power of Narrative” conference, held on campus April 29-30, aimed to offer some insights. The event included the kind of writing techniques and “show don’t tell” advice you’d expect (and hope for) at such a gathering. But beyond hearing about the mechanics of narrative nonfiction, the 200-plus attendees also got ideas and advice on other parts of living the storytelling life. How do you sift through topics and dig into a massive undertaking? How do you carve out time to see a project through? What does it take to get published?

The weekend intensive offered thoughts from an array of magazine and book veterans, from Susan Orlean to Gay Talese, with a side of Hampton Sides and Ken Auletta. Dayton Duncan, who worked on Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” and “Baseball,” spoke for visual storytelling, while New York Times Managing Editor Jill Abramson represented daily news. Harvard’s own John Stauffer, who has written several narrative histories, bridged the worlds of academia and popular nonfiction. Isabel Wilkerson spearheaded the event in her role as director of BU’s narrative nonfiction program.

Gay Talese discussed his December New Yorker piece, in which the (then) 78-year-old reported on opera singer Marina Poplavskaya from three continents – a 21st-century global recasting of his legendary feature on Frank Sinatra.

He also shared his reservations about a particular kind of narrative reporting. As an example, he brought up the work of Michael Hastings, the Rolling Stone contributing editor whose narrative on Gen. Stanley McChrystal contributed to McChrystal resigning his leadership position in Afghanistan. While accepting the piece as accurate, Talese differentiated Hastings’ style from his own. Suggesting that Hastings may have caught McChrystal’s team off-guard, Talese described how, in a similar situation, he would return to his subjects before filing a story and ask exactly what they meant. “I want to reflect what people mean, not what they say,” he explained. “That kind of journalism isn’t worth it.”

For those hoping to follow in these veterans’ footsteps or to blaze new trails, here are some tips culled from the weekend’s presenters:

Date before you marry. Talking about the importance of finding a project that both moves you and offers enough material, Susan Orlean described committing to stories that she later regretted choosing, and admitted to switching book topics mid-stream more than once. (She advised that taking this tack with publishers might not be conducive to a writing career.)

Isabel Wilkerson, discussing her book “The Warmth of Other Suns,” described interviewing more than 1,200 people before choosing the three central characters for her narrative. (For more on Wilkerson’s book, read our March interview with her.)

Give voice to the invisible and the dead. Dayton Duncan, who has written nine books in addition to his work with Ken Burns, addressed the creation of suspense and forward motion in “Out West: A Journey Through Lewis & Clark’s America.” Describing Lewis and Clark’s first loss and burial of an expedition member, Duncan noted that the first man they lost would also be the last. But to recreate how the trip felt to those on it, he let his readers agonize along with the characters in the book over whether and when the explorers might meet up with death again.

While Duncan focused on bringing the dead to life, Talese described the idea he had early in his career of reporting on the private lives of ordinary people. Aiming to treat these invisible characters with the complexity and significance that fiction accords everyday people, he became a self-described “master of the minor character.”

Rock the intro and the finale. When it comes to a book manuscript, Kate Medina, executive editorial director at Random House, described what she wants to see: “Go for something big, and write it the best you can. Write it in your natural voice.” Writers should strive for clear writing, clear thinking and a big, bold statement that’s backed up – a story that makes readers think or feel something they haven’t thought or felt before. Start with something riveting to draw readers in, she suggested, and pay attention to the very end. When readers finish the last page and put the book down, Medina wants them to think, “That’s the best book I’ve ever read.”

Live dangerously. Wilkerson talked about re-enacting the long drive one of her characters made from the deep South to California. Her subject’s trip had taken place during an era when finding a motel or hotel willing to let African-Americans stay was difficult. Wilkerson’s parents rode with her in the car. As the trip dragged on, Wilkerson became exhausted, and her parents grew more and more fearful. At one point, her parents said they would be more than happy to tell her what those years were like, but as far as re-enacting the trip with her, they wanted her to let them drive or let them out: “You must stop the car.”

Get a cave of some kind. Wilkerson talked about how she “went into the cave” on starting her book, entering the world of people who had lived the migration. Hampton Sides, author of “Hellhound on His Trail,” invoked the “pain cave” that he descends into when he begins writing. (This cave is apparently metaphorical, as he does his work at a local eatery that lets him run a tab.)

Talese, it turns out, had a real-world cave dug underneath his Manhattan brownstone to create a place to write where he would not be disturbed. This hideout has apparently been finished and polished in the years since it was first excavated (he recently wrote a tale for New York magazine on how he came by the rest of his digs), but having a bunker mentality about creating the space and time to work seems to be a requirement.

March 28 2011

12:06

Civic Tools Video: "Hero Reports / Crónicas de Héroes"

Lorrie LeJeune describes Hero Reports/Crónicas de Héroes, a project currently deployed in Juárez, Mexico, to help residents report and map incidents of heroism, large and small.

Download!

read more

February 15 2011

16:46

What we’re reading: the long arc of reporting on Scientology, a different kind of drug war, and a new narrative collaboration

The long-form buzz this last week has been all about Lawrence Wright’s piece on Scientology for the New Yorker, “The Apostate.” It’s ostensibly a profile, but it’s also investigative journalism and a compelling narrative. Wright’s deft storytelling was recently addressed on this site by Roy Peter Clark, who looked at a passage from “The Looming Tower,” Wright’s account of the run-up to the 9/11 attacks.

Wright once again delivers the narrative goods with a 25,000-word story that takes a long time to read, making you miss a meeting or two and maybe skip lunch. The kicker alone is worth the time investment, but there are lots of other elegant moments along the way.

Like many big pieces, the story didn’t happen overnight. Listen to Wright’s podcast about the story and see a sample of disputed documentation from the piece for more clues about the back-and-forth with Scientologists.

Wright himself mentions some of the prior reporting that helped pave the way. The St. Petersburg Times’ three decades of investigating Scientology began in 1979 with coverage that won the paper a Pulitzer the following year. Those efforts continue today, most recently in an ongoing project from reporters Joe Childs and Thomas Tobin. This tireless stretch of reporting laid a paper trail and provided an opportunity to use the church’s earlier responses to dig deeper.

Just how much synthesis and narrative work Wright and the St. Pete staff have done becomes apparent upon reading this impressive but jargon-heavy account from a woman named Bea, who says she spent decades serving Scientology before leaving the church. It clocks in at almost exactly the same length as Wright’s New Yorker piece, and must be invaluable for those investigating the church. At the same time, it shows just how much translation and anthropological work anyone trying to write a general audience piece about Scientology has to do.

For those looking for non-Scientology material to read, we were impressed with the clean, insightful writing of Jennifer Senior in her recent New York magazine piece, “The Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Effexor, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Restoril, Xanax, Adderall, Ritalin, Haldol, Risperdal, Seroquel, Ambien, Lunesta, Elavil, Trazodone War.”

We discovered Senior’s story because of a new collaboration between Longreads and Mother Jones magazine. Each week, Mother Jones will feature a top 5 Longreads list for narrative nonfiction junkies everywhere. The partnership has just begun, but we’re already impressed with many of the choices. Check out the lists for Week 1 and Week 2.

Photo of Scientology leader David Miscavige by Robin Donina Serne of the St. Petersburg Times.

October 14 2010

15:57

Mr. T, are you out there?

Once upon a time I had a principal I thought would make a difference – and he did for many. His dream was a non-traditional school which would reach students and give them both responsibility and freedom to learn and excel. But (my opinion) he moved on and back into the jungle of educationese and was lost amid the hoards. His legacy is a high school that almost is what could have been – although it is a remarkable school nonetheless.

Today I got an email about a school that is and may be everything a school should be.

Bob Greenman with visualthesaurus posted a story today that almost made me cry with joy.

Now I was only a teacher for eight years – three in a fairly non-traditional high school and five in what is termed a “comprehensive” high school. Schools where seat time and discipline were paramount. Rigid. By the BOOK.

Greenman’s story is about Edward R. Murrow High School.

“All of this — the absence of bells, bathroom passes and most regimentation, the college-like atmosphere, the subject titles — and the effect it would have on students’ lives, now and long after high school, existed because Saul Bruckner, Murrow’s principal, believed in the dignity of young people and the need to treat them with respect, understanding and compassion.”

A principal who valued freedom above order. Where chaos seems to be the order of the day, but learning IS the current that drives students.

The dream is possible. And it is all about freedom. To think. to grow up. To be responsible. (Transparency: I was NOT motivated to showcase this school just because of the name and the fact they prefer broadcasting over athletics. Not too much. My principal also valued technology and freedom, but was fettered by regulation and the ruts of time-word tradition.)


September 17 2010

16:45

NearSay offers ‘neighbourhood news’ to New York

NearSay, a new local and hyperlocal news site, has been launched in Manhattan according to a report by Lost Remote.

The site reportedly uses both aggregated information chosen by editors as well as stories currently filed by around 80 contributors.

According to NearSay’s website, its mission is “high quality neighbourhood news”:

We:

  • Let you personalise the news.  You tell us what neighborhoods and topics you care about;
  • Manage a veteran newsroom that covers the stories from your favorite publications, so there is less clutter in your inbox;
  • Curate every story on the site for quality and feature just the best of NearSay;
  • Show you the influential local voices who tell the inside scoop of what’s happening.

Lost Remote says it believes the site will branch out beyond Manhatten soon.Similar Posts:



July 16 2010

17:44

Councilpedia In Private Pilot, Overcoming Tech Challenges

Over the last several months, Gotham Gazette has made major strides on its Councilpedia project, which will help New Yorkers keep tabs on their local officials and share their knowledge with others. Over the last year, the project has evolved and -- we think -- improved from our original plan.

Currently we have a pilot for the site with the design, the structure and information for three office holders. We are not ready to release this to the world, but if you would like a sneak preview please email me at grobinson at gothamgazette.com.

Councilpedia Brings City and Candidate Information to Life

Councilpedia intends to bring an array of information about City Council members and other city officials -- the bills they sponsor, background information, member items (a.k.a earmarks) -- to one site, along with campaign finance information. New York City, which has public financing of campaigns, requires a lot of disclosure on the part of candidates as to where they get their money and how they spend it, but the information can be hard to read and comprehend.

That is one way Councilpedia will be useful. First, it sorts the donors by various categories, such as unions, major givers and intermediaries. By having the campaign finance information along with voting information, Councilpedia can help people make possible connections between money and politics. They can then comment on the site.

The city information on donors is essentially a long list of names. Councilpedia will enable readers to identify who those people are. One example would be that John Doe, who gave to candidate X, owns a lot in the candidate's district and wants it re-zoned.

Anyone who registers can -- and is urged to -- comment. Gotham Gazette staff will review comments, verify them and use the leads from our readers to inform our reporting. Overall, we hope Councilpedia will enrich the debate about money and politics in New York.

Making Tools Work

In putting this project together we have grappled with adapting two disparate -- and balky -- technical tools to our needs.

The first was the
Campaign Finance Board
information. While the board provides a wealth of information (and has a very helpful staff to boot), the information can be hard to read and is not formatted the way we wanted it.

After trying various techniques to import the data, we eventually confronted the cold reality: The only feasible way -- given our limitations -- to create an attractive, user friendly site that did what we wanted it to do (and what we promised Knight it would do) was to re-input the data and code it ourselves.

This is incredibly painstaking. Luckily, we have several excellent interns this summer who pitched in to help.

The other issue dealt with adapting the wiki to our needs. While our technical manager, JaVon Rice, has pushed the limits of the wiki, we found there were things it would not do. For example, we had hoped to flag items that have recently received comment and have the comments appear along with the item.

Instead, we will have comment pages. We will indicate if a comment has been posted on a contribution or piece of legislation, but that also will not be automatic. Gotham Gazette staff will have to mark the item themselves.

Keeping the site current will also require staff intervention -- to add bills, to update financial reports, to remove offensive or simply incorrect comments.

Will it be worth it? We certainly hope so and are eager to move to the next step and engage New Yorkers in this conversation about money and politics.

July 15 2010

15:30

APPLE IPHONE 4 PRESS CONFERENCE: IF YOU HAVE BAD NEWS, BETTER WAIT UNTIL FRIDAY…

0408-appleiphou_full_600

Bad news?

Send any press release or held a press conference on Fridays…

That’s the PR tradition.

So Apple not very active PR department (the fans do the work for them) announced the iPhone 4 press conference… for tomorrow Friday.

Why?

My feeling is that not because they want to hide the bad news (they are right now everywhere) or because they need to give time to the press to come to Cupertino (in less than 12 hours any American, European or Asian journalist will be able to show up in California) but… because they are trying to gain as much time as possible in order to fix the problem, organize any refund, respond to any recall or to have the supply chain ready with the new phones.

The press conference is going to be at 10 am (California time), so the markets in New York (2 pm) still will be open, and able to react to the news.

This is my take:

If the news were BAD, they will had organize the press conference AFTER the closing of the markets in Manhattan.

But because there will be GOOD news, they want Apple shares going up as soon as possible as the best response to the iPhone 4 crisis.

Right now the shares are going down, like in the past few days: from $261 on July 8 to less than $247 today.

So this is my advice: buy Apple shares tomorrow morning BEFORE the press conference and cash them in the evening.

And buy a new fixed iPhone 4.

May 05 2010

14:36

THE IPAD REVOLUTION ACCORDING TO INNOVATION

JS INMA ITABLET VIDEO

Watch here Juan Senor, INNOVATION’s partner and UK director, interviewed last week in New York at the INMA World Conference.

And read here more details about the INMA/INNOVATION Oxford Tablet Summit.

January 04 2010

14:50

ROGER FIDLER AND HIS EARLY VISION OF THE NEWSPAPER TABLET

fidler_iLiad-Newsbook_lg

Now that the Apple iTablet is coming, we must give the proper credit to the early vision of our friend Roger Fidler.

I meet Roger in the late 1980’s and since then we have shared the same hope: that one day, print newspaper will migrate to new digital platforms.

My “rubber newspaper” idea was inspired by his concepts and prototypes.

Roger was our host in New York’s Columbia University and at the Boulder’s Knight Ridder Information Design Laboratory, where one of my former students, Alvaro Moncada, had a fantastic summer internship.

Roger Fidler was a journalist and newspaper designer for 34 years and has been on the leading edge of online and digital publishing development since the late 1970s.

As program director for digital publishing at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI), he coordinates digital publishing research projects and the Digital Publishing Alliance (DPA).

Here you can watch a 1994 video with his first Newspaper Tablet prototype.

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