Tag: news reporting

Read More

Good Headlines provoke Readers

Today at BetaNews, Brian Fagioli stirs up a hornet’s nest with story “Sorry Netflix, but you should pay ‘tolls’ to ISPs“. As I write, there are over 300 comments, in about 14 hours, and fierce debate and strong reaction among them. Funny thing: My January story “Sign me up for ‘Sponsored Data’” takes similar position—that ISPs shouldn’t give bandwidth gluttons like Netflix a free ride. I got 13 comments before they closed two weeks later.

My post focuses on a specific situation, an ISP program where services like Netflix pay and are rewarded. Brian also responds to a news trigger—Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ commentary “Internet Tolls And The Case For Strong Net Neutrality“. Headline is one of the primary reasons Brian’s story soars, while mine fell to earth. Keywords that matter to readers—we don’t care about Google—are “ISPs”, “Netflix”, and “tolls”, which punch with commanding verb “should”.

Read More

Wired smartly curates ‘A Startling Simple Theory’

Someone at Wired deserves credit (and bonus pay) for curated news journalism well-done. Story “A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet” is original content that provides fresh perspective about Flight 370. The tech news site plucks this gem from Google+, where aviator Chris Goodfellow posted five days earlier. Wired sources the original, acknowledging authorship and curation: “We’ve copyedited it with his permission”.

The Plus post shows social sharing’s strengths, where the interaction in comments extends the storytelling (as does the broader Reddit thread that captures Chris’ post and many others). It’s unfortunate Google+ limits comments to 500, cutting off the conversation.

Read More

Affirmatively Advocate Counterpoints

Earlier today I explained my recent “Chilling Chromebook” writing approach, which seemingly contradicts my more pro position taken throughout 2013. Simply stated: My stance seeks to counterbalance sudden media fan frenzy—bloggers and journalists relating the same points of view because they think it’s vogue. There is too much me-too enthusiasm, rather than real reporting.

The recent rah-rah rash of “Chromebook is better than sliced bread” blog posts and news stories represent two types of contextually-relevant journalisms: advocacy and mob. Both get considerable treatment in my new book Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers.

Read More

Chilling Chromebook

Over the weekend, I got email from developer Jeff Nelson with his blog response to my BetaNews story: “Chromebook belongs to computing’s past, not its future“. He is among a majority of responders who disagree with my assessments about the future of PCs depending on keyboard and mouse.

Today’s Android Wear platform announcement foreshadows exactly where computing is headed. For longer perspective, please see my book The Principles of Disruptive Design. But suffice to say that Google champions “Star Trek”-like computing, where you—by sight, sound, touch, and voice—are the user interface.

Read More

Mob Journalism shouldn’t take away an Olympic Gold Medal

As I write, 1.7 million people have signed a Change.org petition to: “Open investigation into judging decisions of Women’s Figure Skating and demand rejudgement at the Sochi Olympics”. The signatories and the news media’s response to them is classic example of “Mob Journalism”, a term first used on this blog in April 2010.

I coined Mob Journalism, or thought so four years ago, to define a populist response that is a social media byproduct. Services like Change.org, Facebook, Twitter, and others with online reach, enable the mob (referring to the masses not the mafia) to have a much louder voice. That’s quickly, too, unlike letter-writing campaigns used by protesters of earlier eras. Rapid response benefits societies, as explained in June 2009 analysis “Iran and the Internet Democracy“. The news media’s response is another matter.

Read More

Twenty-Fourteen isn’t Year of the Chromebook

There are reasons why I am so obnoxiously loud about bad news reporting tactics. NPD innocently kicked off a writ-storm about 2014 being year of the Chromebook. A Dec. 23, 2013, press release observes strong Chromebook commercial channel sales of preconfigured desktop and notebook PCs.

Looks like NPD pulled the PR—I can’t find it—over this whole “year of #chromebook” meme; it’s a blog and press echo chamber that continues to boom. Goddamn, my ears hurt. Even The Register, of which I expect much better, misquotes the NPD press release, too. That 21 percent market share figure refers to commercial U.S. channels only, not the entire market.

Read More

Finally, a Sensible Story sets the Chromebook Record Straight

Gregg Keizer corrects the record regarding Chromebook sales. Somebody had to. Gregg is consistently a thorough reporter who actually reports rather than hypes or falls into The Echo Chamber.

NPD’s press release clearly states U.S. “commercial channels” not all retail sales, as has been widely misreported. That 21 percent number isn’t the whole pie but a much smaller portion of it. This misreading, misunderstanding, or misreporting (take your pick) fostered an echo chamber of stories predicting 2014 as the year of the Chromebook. In your dreams.