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The season of seasons

When you think about it, it’s kind of strange that digital stories — both web series and things like podcasts — have “seasons.” The beginnings and endings of these seasons are often completely arbitrary; I watched one series whose first season ran from November to May, and whose second ran from August to November. With...

The year you get hacked

This prediction is reaching you too late — your news organization is already in danger. This is the year you’ll get hacked, or phished, or you’ll give away more information about a source than you intended. This is the year you have to start caring about digital security. We’ve been too slow to understand security...

Finding the right form

Over the past few years, I’ve watched visual storytelling explode across journalism. From The New York Times to The Atlantic to BuzzFeed, I’ve seen traditionally text-based colleagues and outlets embrace new visual forms, whether they’re building beautiful interactive data visualizations or launching ambitious new video units. Show More Summary

Native helps pay for the news

2015 will be the first year where native advertising programs will be in place at nearly every serious news organization. Native advertising isn’t new, but the near-wholesale adoption of native at organizations with serious journalism credentials certainly is, and that’s a pretty big deal. 2014 saw the launch of native programs at places like The...

Management is both the problem and the solution

I confess I read every single article I came across about the drama at The New Republic — every insider account, every critique of the magazine’s history, every defense, every extrapolation to all that’s wrong with digital or legacy media, every complaint about all the complaining, and every last piece of gossip. And not just because I work...

Beyond journalism in the present tense

A Hollywood director couldn’t have scripted a more compelling (and stereotypical) clash between two sets of journalistic beliefs than this month’s battle between the staff of The New Republic and its owner Chris Hughes. On the one side, a deep commitment to humanistic inquiry embodied in the liberal arts. On the other, the data-oriented, metric-...

The year we finally hear how we sound

“Content” fills spaces. “Content” takes the shape of its container. “Content” groups things that have little to do with one another; “content” conflates things that are fundamentally opposed to each other. “Content” is the kind of word you use to tell convenient lies. “Content” sounds most at home next to “marketing,” which is another way...

Managing assets across platforms

The media business is at a crossroads. Print is threatened while growth is focused on digital, but operationally we’re still not as integrated as we’d like — and that’s getting in the way of revenue growth for our publications. To future-proof the legacy media business, we need to reinvent how we create and sell our...

Medill Watchdog is closing

The Houston Chronicle’s Karen Chen sends this email: I’m a recent Medill grad (BSJ ’14) and frequent intern with our school’s investigative journalism team Medill Watchdog. Watchdog was the most valuable part of my education at Medill and I am only able to be part of the Houston Chronicle’s investigations team because of what director … Read More

5 Ways Television Changed Dramatically in 2014

Television advertising has been a pretty conservative marketplace: You buy Nielsen ratings, you make 30-second advertisements and sometimes you buy product placement. But the sudden ascent of non-Nielsen-rated content has created a gaping void in the measurement world. Show More Summary

The rise of digital India

It will have the world’s highest smartphone user growth rate and will overtake the U.S. in the number of total smartphone users. Newspaper circulation will continue to grow, at the same time that digital news operations will see exponential increases in user numbers. It will have the highest number of English-speaking graduates in the world,...

The readers we can’t friend

When a story does well on Facebook or Twitter, it’s become natural in a newsroom to fist-pump: Yeah! Thousands of shares, hundreds of comments! It feels like a victory to us, because journalists are the most social-media savvy profession out there (other than whatever you call the cottage industry that works for Kim Kardashian). We...

This is the new that

The lock screen is the new homepage. The homepage is the new barstool for your regulars. Regulars are the new audience developers. Audience Developer is the new Senior Editor. Senior Editor is the new vanity title. Vanity titles are the new email newsletter. Email newsletters are the new tweetstorms. Tweetstorms are the new inverted pyramid....

Security and subtlety

The web is no longer a place for news organizations to dump text and expect their audience to care. News websites should be designed clearly and give folks what they want as quickly as possible; stories should be well written and reported, as well as use creative ways to explore the covered topic whenever possible....

Why sportswriters are questioning football

Photo credit: Associated Press A few days before Thanksgiving, Grantland's Bill Barnwell wrote a column that, at first glance, looks like an ode to America's favorite sport. The piece, entitled "Together, We Appreciate Football," primarily consists of Barnwell fawning over a magnificent catch by Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Show More Summary

Is she ‘Malala’ or ‘Yousafzai’ on second reference?

Malala Yousafzai was 15 when she was shot by a Taliban gunman in 2012, so NPR always referred to her as “Malala” on second reference. “Two years later, should we still refer to her as ‘Malala?'” asks NPR standards and practices senior editor Mark Memmott. That’s under discussion. For now, “Malala” remains OK even though … Read More

Wall Street Journal union asks members to help family of missing reporter David Bird

Wall Street Journal reporter David Bird has been missing for nearly a year now and the paper – after keeping him on the payroll for months – has changed his status to “unpaid leave of absence.” “This means that David’s wife Nancy, a stay-at-home wife and mother caring for their two children, has no income … Read More

Billionaire's support for Pittsburgh paper is at issue in court case

A conservative billionaire, heir to one of the country’s great fortunes. His wealthy children, with whom he had sometimes-strained relationships. And the newspapers he loved. All have roles in a court case now playing out in Pittsburgh, which pits the grown children of Richard Mellon Scaife against the trustees who worked with Scaife as he poured money into the Pittsburgh...

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