Comment threads often contain hidden gems

1 min read

There’s been plenty of fretting in journalism circles this week about comment threads on news stories. My position: Don’t publish without them, but figure out ways to keep the conversation civil and ban the trolls. The website of my local newspaper, the Boulder Daily Camera, has pretty active comment threads, and, predictably, the more bizarre…

Printcasting and classifieds

1 min read

Dan Pacheco and the Bakersfield Californian have an intriguing project (funded by the Knight Foundation) called Printcasting. It’s a niche publication initiative that works in both print and online, and addresses “long tail” content and advertising. (OK, that description sounds a bit dull, but it’s a cool concept.) For my site, I’ve written up…

Library boom times, fewer newspaper buyers

1 min read

Interesting story on NPR’s All Things Considered this evening: “Libraries Shine In Tough Economic Times.” It’s about how in these economic tough times — with families and individuals struggling with high energy prices and resulting high everything-else prices — people are cutting back on non-essentials like buying books and subscribing to newspapers and magazines. They’re…

A budding web cartoonist

1 min read

My daughter Lauren (age 10) took a web cartooning class this week, and this is her final project. So here’s a little levity to add to this usually serious blog.

Get laid off, look younger

1 min read

With all the journalists getting laid off in the newspaper industry bloodletting, have you noticed them looking younger? I ask because I had my hair cut this morning, and I had a conversation with my stylist about gray hair. He’s in his 30s, but DYES his hair gray because he likes how it looks. (Huh?!…

A model for moving beyond reader comments

1 min read

Here’s my latest Editor & Publisher Online column: “Web Integration on a Grander Scale.” I present a model for moving beyond reader comments, and activating community-member contributions and participation at the article level.

Jon Stewart influence at NY Times?

1 min read

One of Jon Stewart’s staples of humor on The Daily Show is showing how politicians contradict themselves by airing side-by-side video clips — what the politician just said today, vs. what he/she said a few months ago that completely contradicts the current stance. I’ve admired this technique, and long wondered why traditional news organizations shied…

One person’s news, delivered by Twitter

2 min read

My local newspaper didn’t tell me that my friend Yann crashed on his mountain bike and ended up in the hospital this week. Twitter did, since he posted a note to his Twitter followers about the accident. I think this points out a problem and an opportunity for newspapers. Problem: they don’t offer people the…

Taking some heat on Craigslist suggestions

1 min read

It’s good when something you write turns up a bunch of discussion, right? That’s certainly the case with my “An Open Letter to Craigslist,” which I posted to late last week. Scroll down to a very active discussion thread. I’d have to say that most people didn’t get my real intent; I’m feeling a…

An open letter to Craigslist

1 min read

Over on, I’ve posted “An open letter to Craigslist.” I’d love to read your reactions — and your ideas added on to my own — so please join in the comments thread there! Briefly, the premise is that Craigslist could help out the newspaper industry — and it’s in Craig’s interest to do so….

Responding to a ticked-off newspaper editor

3 min read

Over the many years I’ve been writing my column for Editor & Publisher Online, I’ve managed to make a few enemies, it seems. As with any columnist, there are those that disagree with my opinions, and that’s to be expected. I also have pissed off a few newspaper editors. From their perspective, I suppose that…

Response to a critic of my hyper-local thinking

9 min read

My recent Editor & Publisher Online column about hyper-local news websites contained a call for a new model, one that relies on professional journalists working closer with “citizen” (non-journalist) experts more so than being just open to submissions from non-paid community members (aka, “citizen journalists”). I followed that up with a blog item here suggesting…

Finally: the answer to hyper-local coverage

6 min read

OK, I think I get it now. I feel like I understand what newspapers need to do. I wrote up some of this in my latest Editor & Publisher Online column, but subsequent to that I also ran across a significant blog entry from Dudernet: “Newspapers and why I’ve tired of reading (most of) them.”…