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December 02 2010


While they're hot: Video now available from our "Slow-Moving Crises" forum

For anyone who missed the great forum on slow-moving crises--on those complex stories that never seem to get the right kind of coverage--video is now available on TechTV:


Clips of the individual speakers are also posted:

  • Roz Williams, an MIT historian who uses imaginative literature as a source of evidence and insight into the history of technology
  • Abrahm Lustgarten, investigative reporter for ProPublica, who spoke about his coverage of the B.P. oil spill
  • Andrea Pitzer, editor of Harvard's Nieman Storyboard, who showed off examples of visual, audio and multimedia narrative reporting

Did their ideas spark some of your own for how we can better cover complicated, slow-moving crises? Share thoughts in the comments below.

September 16 2010


Does journalism need a fail whale?

I thought about the title of this post as I was reading around about the recent update to twitter has caused a flurry of posts outlining what it will mean for journalists.

Over at the Nieman Lab Megan Garber ponders what the new twitter might mean for networked journalism. They make a good point about how this might be effected by “Twitterers, end-user innovation-style”.

But she ultimately concludes that:

The Twitter.com of today, as compared to the Twitter.com of yesterday, is much more about information that’s meaningful and contextual and impactful. Which is to say, it’s much more about journalism.

You could take a view that she means twitter has now become more useful to journalism. But I have to ask how much journalism is ready to take advantage of what it has to offer.

In amongst the early comment I particularly liked Laura Olivers pondering on what the new features could offer:

I can also see clever journalists using the embedded feature to tease stories with video snippets and by giving their Twitter audience more content encourage those followers to visit a news site and engage there too

I love that idea. But how many newsrooms are ready to take advantage of it.

It’s easy to dismiss putting time in to getting your multimedia on twitter as a waste of time. Like the ipad, it’s easy to dismiss things like twitters new features as gadgets and technology that get in the way of proper journalism.

But experimenting with getting a video on to twitter is not about video on twitter. That’s the easy (now easier bit). It’s about exploring if you have the capacity to do video at all. Just like exploring delivery of content to the ipad is a way to experiment with html5. Hell, if nothing else it’s a convenient excuse to try.

If you don’t take the opportunity to experiment then you will find that you have less of a capacity to do produce the content your audience will want and no ability to chase them as they migrate to platforms that do.

When they come to you, you may as well have the newsroom fail whale up: “Sorry we are over capacity”

Real capacity

Maybe we should be more honest about what we can and can’t do. Be more bullish about what we do well. Perhaps we should get over wanting to chase them everywhere (or corral them in one place behind a paywall).

Or maybe we should take advantage of the free, open and engaged platforms to see just what capacity we really have.

August 21 2010




Chang Ma, vice president of marketing for LG in the WSJ announcing is Google Android OPTIMUS, the first tablet of his company:

The first LG tablet will set itself apart from Apple’s iPad by focusing on the ability to create content, rather than simply display it.

Mr. Ma said that the iPad is a great device, but he doesn’t do much work on it.

“Our tablet will be better than the iPad.”

The tablet, Mr. Ma said, will include content focused on creation such as writing documents, editing video and creating programs.

It will also have “high-end features and new benefits,” many of which will focus on productivity.

Interesting challenge.

Yes, the iPad is mainly a consumption device.

90% consumption.

10% creation.

More competition is always good.

Another reason not to miss the INMA/NIEMAN/INNOVATION Harvard Tablet Summit.

Cambridge, December 2-3, 2010.

A Worldwide Summit to learn, master and share new ideas.

Be there!

(Picture: a Google tablet mockup)

August 19 2010




The latest video commercial of Apple show how media companies must learn from what other industries are doing with the iPad.

Right now the iPad media applications are far behind the average on creativity, impact and uniqueness.

Another reason not to miss the INMA/NIEMAN/INNOVATION Harvard Tablet Summit.

Cambridge, December 2-3, 2010.

A Worldwide Summit to learn, master and share new ideas.

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