Category: News Media

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The Problem With Real-Time Journalism

Yesterday’s “@officethemovie” pwning is about the worst example yet of new news media gone wrong. In the quest for clicks—and the feeble ad rates they pay—bloggers and old-time journalists rushed to write about a new Zune platform coming in June. Apple is rumored to be unveiling the new iPhone the same month. Additionally, the E3 gaming expo starts June 2. I guess it all was just too tantalizing for people to check their facts. The source wasn’t Microsoft. But most blogs and news sites reported that it was.

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Sorry Bloggers, Good Journalism Lives

Ian Betteridge and I share something in common: We’ve been writing for a lot longer than people have been blogging. We come from the older school of journalism that bloggers, social networking and digital media are supposed to replace. The debate about the news media’s future is certainly a hot topic at the company where I work.
Ian’s post, “Print is Dying? Not so Fast,” uses The Economist as example of why print doesn’t have to die off. He observes that the magazine’s profits and ad sales are rising, with American print advertising up 23 percent.

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The New Journalism

I had the below IM conversation with Nate Mook of Betanews after posting about PR blogging on my work blog. All times are Pacific (-8 GMT):

Joe says: (3:54:02 PM)
I couldn’t resist:
Nate says: (3:57:30 PM)
Saw that
Nate says: (3:57:31 PM)
Good post
Nate says: (3:57:40 PM)
I’ve been thinking the same thing recently
Joe says: (3:57:47 PM)
I’m really bugged about this.
Joe says: (3:57:52 PM)
Ah, good for you.

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Fake Steve Jobs is Revealed!

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs is one acerbic—and hugely popular—Weblog. Also known as Fake Steve Jobs, the author has had quite a following over that last 14 months. There has been a concerted effort to reveal Fake Steve Jobs’ identity. No longer.

In New York Times story, “A Mystery Solved: ‘Fake Steve’ Blogger Comes Clean“, reporter Brad Stone reveals the identity as Daniel Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes. Today, Fake Steves acknowledged, “Damn, I am so busted, yo“. 

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So Much for Transparency

Four days ago, the mailman delivered the April Wired, which has a great story on Microsoft’s Channel 9. I have closely watched the Channel 9 blogsite since its launch in April 2004. I blogged back then about what I expected: “Channel 9 is a brilliant marketing concept. Marketing is the key descriptor. The site is run by people paid to evangelize Microsoft products. Their job is to win over developers to Microsoft products”.

I also worried that Microsoft would use Channel 9 to replace journalists: “Company-controlled blogsites could be given first—or only—access to key product managers or executives; the insiders’ view, just like the Channel 9 positioning, but in reality managed dissemination”. 

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Sifting Garbage

We are such bad Washingtonians, maybe; my family’s newspaper of choice is the New York Times—and even then we only get the Sunday paper (rest of the week is online). Today, my wife asked about Tim Russert, who had a Q&A, “All About My Father“, in the Times Sunday Magazine. Conversation took place on the Capital Beltway somewhere between US 1 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

Tim is one of my favorite Washington journalists. He’s got a pragmatic style that rips through nonsense and gets to the point of the conversation or topic. When I worked as an editor more than a decade ago, my editor—great guy, Stephen Osmond—would repeatedly ask, “What’s the point?” Answering that question made me a better editor. In fact for years, a Post-It with the question hung over my work phone. 

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Where Old News is the Only News

On Friday, a good friend asked me to look at a news story about Apple legal sending an unwelcome letter to an eight year-old girl. The letter basically told her to get lost. Apparently, the third grader had sent a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs suggesting a new feature for iPods: Lyrics viewing. She got her response, not from Steve but an Apple lawyer, about three months later. Turns out that Apple has a policy against taking unsolicited ideas, which the letter clearly stated.

The news story focused on the little girl’s hurt feelings and Apple’s slap-in-the-face response. Earth to Apple: Lawyers=bad PR. Always. But the response was lame for another reason: The feature already is available on iPods. It’s just not well publicized.