Local protest

How to measure the value of news content: How about based on reader action?

7 min read

“What is the best way to measure meaningful content?” … That’s the prompt for June’s Carnival of Journalism, a monthly blog-fest where journalism experts and aficionados answer a common question, and the result is a brain dump usually representing lots of diversity and wisdom. Carnival proprietor David Cohn has a rule for participants: “No apologies.”…

No more J school

Is ‘Journalism’ losing its clout in U.S. higher education?

11 min read

The University of Colorado’s School of Journalism & Mass Communication ceased to exist (it was “discontinued”) on June 30, 2011. Journalism education at CU lives on, for now as a “program” housed in the CU Graduate School. At some point, CU will have a Journalism “department” inside a still-being-planned new College of Media, Communication, &…

Carnival of Journalism

Advice for student news media: Be radically experimental!

10 min read

It’s back! The Carnival of Journalism. Hip, hip, hooray! Huh?! The Carnival is a monthly online gabfest of (mostly) journalists who all agree to answer a common question, usually related to the future of journalism, on their respective blogs. It’s being resurrected by David Cohn, a.k.a. DigiDave, after a break. (There were other breaks before…

Boulder flooding

Disaster news coverage will be much better in a few years

12 min read

Boulder, Colorado, and surrounding towns were hit recently with days of record rainfall, history-making flooding, and epic damage. The destruction covered larger towns like Boulder and Longmont, and was truly horrific in mountain towns like Jamestown and Lyons. I was in the middle of this (i.e., getting rained on like everyone else), but my family’s…

Dangerous idea: Embrace journalistic algorithms! #jcarn

My poor blog gets neglected, but fortunately there’s the monthly Carnival of Journalism thought-fest, which I try to participate in every month, if possible. At least the Carnival prevents me from completely ignoring my blog! This month’s Carnival prompt is a fascinating one. Put forth by University of Southern California professor Andrew Lih and his…

Can good journalist + good capitalist = possible?

5 min read

This month’s Carnival of Journalism, hosted by Michael Rosenbaum, asks the provocative question: “Can a good journalist also be a good capitalist?” I’ll probably open myself up to charges of being “ageist,” but here goes… Working at a university journalism program (University of Colorado Boulder), I’ve come to the conclusion that the next generation of…


In defense of shiny new digital things (#jcarn)

5 min read

For this month’s Carnival of Journalism (Twitter hashtag #jcarn), Lisa Williams is leading the show, and she has this question: “Right now, nominations are open for the Online Journalism Awards. What qualities should awards like this endorse in an era of such tremendous change in the news industry?” I’m a bit late, so I’ve had…

What universities can do for journalism: Innovate!

5 min read

Thanks to the enthusiasm of David Cohn, a.k.a DigiDave, the Carnival of Journalism has been resurrected. Somehow I missed participating the first time around several years ago, but with a name like that it must be fun, right? So I’m in this time. The Carnival revolves around a monthly topic, with a bunch of smart…

How could journalists disagree with Assange?

5 min read

Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder, during a Democracy Now interview: “We have clearly stated motives, but they are not antiwar motives. We are not pacifists. We are transparency activists who understand that transparent government tends to produce just government. And that is our sort of modus operandi behind our whole organization, is to get out suppressed…

Farewell, E&P: The last of my 14-1/2 years of columns

2 min read

After writing a column for Editor & Publisher Online for so long (it was my “Stop The Presses!” column that served as the website’s main original content at the very beginning), it feels weird to have the final one published. But it’s online, “Goodbye, for Now: Looking Foward.” (My editors rejected my apparently too-controversial suggested…

Downie-Schudson: Who are they writing for?

3 min read

Reading the new report by Len Downie Jr. and Professor Michael Schudson, “The Reconstruction of American Journalism,” today, I kept wondering: Who is this report aimed at? Commissioned by the Journalism School at Columbia University, the 96-page report offers nothing much new to media geeks. If you follow the news industry and its travails closely,…

Feeling a bit better after Aspen conference

4 min read

This week I was lucky enough to participate in an Aspen Institute conference, “Of the Press: Models for Preserving American Journalism.” The participants were an all-star bunch, including Madeleine Albright (a journalist before becoming a diplomat) for day 1, Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli, Marissa Mayer of Google, Craig Newmark of Craigslist, Federal Trade…

Isn’t it about time to expose the hypocrites?

2 min read

I’ve been away for a few days, but when I got back I caught up on some episodes I’d missed of the Daily Show and Colbert Report during the Republican convention. Jon Stewart hit it particularly well by comparing past and recent statements by folks like Karl Rove and Fox News TV pundit Bill O’Reilly….