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The rise of the jacktivist

I moved from Washington, D.C., to Silicon Valley roughly a year and a half ago. Since then, I often tell people that the main difference between the two is that they run on different currencies: Washington runs on power, the Valley runs on ideas. Meetings here start with a simple prompt, one as innocent as...

Personalization reaches newsrooms

Ten years ago, EPIC 2014 warned of automated algorithms entertaining the masses with frivolous news items made relevant by their routines online. Today, companies like Facebook are struggling to learn what newsrooms have long known: Presenting readers with personally relevant news is both science and art. In 2015, affordable tools analyzing a wealth of reader...

U.S. tech gets more political worldwide

In 2015, the role of private, for-profit, spectacularly successful, incredibly useful, and more and more powerful U.S.-based digital intermediaries will become an increasingly politicized issue around the world. As companies like Google...Show More Summary

The capital hook

All those Bitcoin startups will be on the hook to launch their products. As a result, venture capital, after its brief dalliance with the media industry, will forget about content and return to its first love, totally imaginary mark...

Freelancing sucks

Freelancing sucks. Everyone knows this: the freelancers, who are forced to beg for months-late checks; the editors, who surf on an endless sea of referrals, looking for unicorn writers who turn in copy clean and on time; the readers, who get the short end of the content stick when writers are rushing to work quickly...

The allure of a finishable digital news experience

1. Social storytelling News organizations have been Storifying and embedding tweets for the past three or four years, and 2015 will see further experimentation around adding social elements to stories. Some news sites may style social elements to fit with the design of their article pages, but an increasing number of outlets will try SAM,...

Race isn’t a specialized beat

Voting rights. Policing. Domestic violence. Immigration. LeBron. Solange. What do all of these things have in common? They were all among the top stories of 2014, and they all involved race. African Americans aren’t the only ones reading these stories, and, increasingly black journalists aren’t the only ones covering as them. Which brings me to...

Jeweler mentions his arrest in newspaper ad

The jeweler bought a full-page ad in the News-Topic a week later: I called Garon Mabe and asked about the ad. “I just did it to poke fun of myself,” he said. (He didn’t clear it with his lawyer.) By the way, that’s not Mabe in the Santa mug shot; it’s an image his employee … Read More

From walls to canals

Competition is the merciless propelling force of this new era of journalism — and in the year ahead that will only intensify. It’s a beautiful thing, though of course not everyone will win. To spot future winners and losers, watch the following issues: The “Chinese wall” cannot be the only concept governing relations between newsrooms...

The public-records fight behind the battle over James Brown's will

On Sunday, the front page of The New York Times featured an article about the “downbeat legacy” of James Brown. It's a story about legal wrangling over the legendary soul singer’s will, and how a series of complicated disputes “prompted the South Carolina government to seize control of Mr. Brown’s estate, jettison his instructions and redirect half of his assets.”...

The rise of the personal-public beef

It’s no secret: There’s a common and widespread problem in media — the profusion of white, mostly male, voices. But take a quick survey of the web in 2014 and a very clear interest in conversations around race, gender, and sexuality and in feminist perspectives becomes evident. This year, websites like Vox, The New York...

Reducing the cognitive burden of news

The most robust conversations about the future of journalism will be led by thoughtful marketing professionals. And the best of their efforts will yield valuable results because they understand the news product and the audience not as two separate entities but as parts of a symbiotic pro-social relationship. Here’s why that matters. From an October...

Investment club says stories about high school senior making $72 million are wrong

After performing due diligence and talking with Mohammed Islam himself, we have determined that these claims are false and simply been blown up by the media in the interests of sensationalism The high school senior was on the investment club’s team page before this brouhaha — “Mohammed’s goal is to pave a path in the … Read More

The Oxford English Dictionary adds words

Four times a year, the venerable Oxford English Dictionary releases a list of words it has added, revised, or otherwise updated. Given that the OED contains nearly 300,000 entries, releasing a new edition that thoroughly updates is a monumental task. (The latest fully updated edition was only the second, and was released in 1989.) So, in this online world, the...

Can wine tastings and movie tickets really help newspapers keep subscribers?

The San Francisco Chronicle wants you back — if you’re a subscriber, that is. The Chronicle, a Hearst paper, launched a membership program a few months ago aimed at retaining subscribers and reducing churn. The program is free to both digital and print subscribers. All interested parties have to do is go to the Chronicle’s...

NYT drops honorific at request of source

The above passage appeared in Rob Lieber’s December 13 “Your Money” column. He tells Romenesko readers: “Our basic approach is that as far as possible, we want to respect people’s preferences in how we refer to them. So that’s what we did here. We had taken the last-name-only approach at least once before, most recently … Read More

#FergusonNext asks readers: What now?

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS -- Late last month, a few days before the news broke that there would be no indictment in the Michael Brown case, Matt Sullivan reached out to Tony Messenger. Sullivan is the editorial page editor for The Guardian's US bureau; Messenger is his counterpart at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In August, after Brown’s shooting death at the...

Geeks Bearing Gifts: News ecosystems

Here’s chapter 4 of Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News about news ecosystems and the New Jersey model, posted to Medium for free. A snippet: This notion of an ecosystem can be confusing as we leave an era dominated by monolithic media?—?large, vertically integrated companies with tangible products, obvious control over scarce resources, […]

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