Thursday, March 29, 2007 redesigns

Executive editor Jim Brady gives the inside story.

JibJab roasts the media

Remember those wild and crazy equal-opportunity offenders producing comic/editorial animations at JibJab? Well, this just in... "Media Roasted at Dinner With the President" is the AP video report, and the real thing: "What we call the news."
The cartoon's debut was one of the highlights of the Annual Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner last night. BONUS: Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how the animation was made.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

EasyWMA is installed in lab

...BUT only on the instructor's terminal in the editing lab -- or as I heard someone call it today, the Apple Room. (I rather like that.)

That shouldn't present a problem. It's all paid for and registered and fully functional. If you convert your WMA files (what you get from the Olympus digital recorders) to MP3s there, you can put the converted files into your Student folder or in our class 598thor site on the journalism server. You can access them from any of the terminals in the room (or from the public labs, come to that).

You'll have to download Audacity to the desktop of where you want to work. Our computer gurus are willing to put it on the computers but so far haven't found the time and access since it's time-consuming. IF you want to check, though, just go into the Applications folder and see if it's in there. If not, then just go ahead and google "audacity" and go to the site and download it. As you'll recall, it's very quick and easy. It'll all come back to you when you see it. And remember: since it's free and works on both Macs and PCs, you can easily download it at home where it will stay on your computer, unlike with the editing-lab computers.

Let me know if you have any questions.

The Onion launches an online newscast

I caught this news on Nightline yesterday. Interestingly, the Onion apparently made $18 million in ad revenue last year and they figured there's money to be made by adding video to their stable. They are also open to people sharing their content on sites like youtube if the advertising is included.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bloggers are not Journalists

Although this is in Lithuania and not the U.S. I found it interesting to see that other countries are also having issues with how to handle bloggers and the define "journalism"

Emergency Cheese

Last I checked, as in about 1 minute ago, James Kotecki had 531 subscriptions to his video series (Emergency Cheese) critiquing political videos. And 11,392 views. He's broadcasting on YouTube and has political candidates paying attention. One more huge example of how the news/current events media world is changing -- not to mention the political scene. That's the topic of a video, "The forced and fascinating marriage of technology and politics," posted on the ASNE (American Society of Newspaper Editors -- which is considering a name change to reflect newspapers' migration online) blog for its conference, in session as I write and for the rest of the week. The ASNE Reporter video refers to Kotecki, another indication he's made his mark. I just upped his subscription rate by one.

That elusive Kristof link

"Freeing Sex Slaves" is the one-year-later report by New York Times multimedia reporter/editorialist Nicholas Kristof on the Cambodian women he'd "freed" by buying out their contracts. We will look at this in class, but if you want a preview, here it is.

Monday, March 26, 2007

USAT interactive map and background story

Thanks to Mindy McAdams' blog, I saw this terrific Flash project ,"Sun Belt population grows as Gulf Coast suffers," and got pointed over to a behind-the-scenes report on how it was done.

What J-students should know --

By Ralph Braseth
* A new skills set is demanded for the best jobs and for leadership positions.
* The days of five clips getting a student a good job are over at major media outlets.
* The best jobs out there require a strong knowledge of journalism and technology.
* A digital portfolio will become commonplace.
* Students who can shoot photos, video, collect audio, edit and post to the Web will have employers knocking on their door.
* Students must have a better sense of the economics and business of media.
* Media must embrace the computer science/engineering and business disciplines.
* Every student should be a serious blogger.
* The pace of change is quickening.
* New media is not a fad, but a fact.
* Entrepreneurship in media is needed desperately.
* Marketing, advertising and PR are way ahead of journalism in adopting innovation.

Getting the 60- to 120-second time frame down

"Dooty Diva",”, 1.20
"Columbia Elementary Open Chess Competition"”Columbia Tribune, 1.57
"Hiccups heard round the world" St. Petersburg Times, 1.19
Jack Russell Terrier Zoe Northwest Herald, 1.52
"60 seconds", 1
"Opening Day at Playland"” Journal News (, 1.24
"Memorial Stadium Oak Grove Nude Photo Shoot" From Berkeley, Calif., 1.43
Robot Lab Watford Observer, 1.45

NYT on Drop in Ad Revenues for Newspapers

"Revenue from advertising was in striking decline last month, compared with February a year ago, and were generally weaker than analysts had expected.... "

Sound Links

Here's a couple good links for sound effects and music: is kind've a Google for sound files. You might have to convert them, but it's a fast way to search for sound effects and ambient noise. offers a music search for Creative Commons licensed media. The artists choose the rules for their music, but most songs allow you to use them as long as you attribute it to the artist.

OWL Multimedia is a site you'll find through Creative Commons, but the cool thing about their search is that you can search with your own audio file and they look for close matches.

Growing Acceptance of 2nd Life

I've read the posts regarding 2nd life and see this as another example of its versatility. A variety of companies are entering the 2nd life portal and the the community seems to value transactions rather than dialogues.

Is 2nd life just a time and money hole?

Time stops Life Magazine

Life Magazine will be in an Internet-only format (after shutting down two other times) due to "decline in the newspaper business" and poor advertising opportunities. How many other publications are going to reposition in this same way and eliminate the print versions altogether and replace it solely with the internet version...

French Politics Heads to 'Second Life'

Instead of agreeing to disagree over a glass of kir, many French youths are sending their ideas flying through the computer-animated world of Second Life.

I had never heard of Second Life before this class. I'm surprised by how much I hear about it and see it mentioned in the mainstream media now!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Mini Blogs for Cell Phones Talk of Silicon Valley

Hmm... blogging on a cell phone. The screen better get bigger is all I can say.

Drop in Ad Revenue Raises Tough Question for Newspapers

Interesting article in the NYT - per an analyst:

“There is absolutely no question that the next 10 years are going to be really bad for the newspaper business. This is a time of wrenching change and chaos. All of our assumptions about newspapers are going to be changed. The format, the business model, the organization of newspapers have outlived their usefulness.”

Mashup Monday: Guest for tomorrow

Professor Steve Doig has graciously agreed to pop by our class tomorrow and show us how to do Google mashups.

Personalized News Sites

Marc Glasser at MediaShift offers some hindsight to Cass Sunstein's article on personalized news. The majority of the companies that Sunstein mentioned in her article were either dead or acquired by Yahoo! ( Glasser points out some good counterpoints to Sunstein's pessimistic extrapolation of what personalized news may mean and he offers a good survey of sites. Glasser wrote this in 2006, so he has some more contemporary sites to evaluate. A few are already dead in less than a year, but the most interesting ones may be,, and

Online image gallery

I came across this wonderful online gallery of digital images that'! There are sections on arts and literature, cities and buildings, printing and graphics, among others.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Those 51 seconds of the (wrong) Edwards story

In less than a minute, an inaccurate story was posted on, screengrabbed, posted to a blog, and sent on its way around cyberspace. Relying on a blog entry (single-source info) that Edwards was suspending his campaign, the post went with the story. CNN picked it up and went with it. So did other news organizations. But they didn't pick up on the corrected story quite as quickly. CJRdaily has a nice deconstruction as does mediabistro.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Another YouTube Deal

BBC to have various channels available on YouTube for news and other programming. I pulled this quote from the article because I thought it was interesting: “As the BBC has acknowledged, I think it’s better to embrace it [YouTube] and jump in,” Lake said. “That way you can monitor the quality and the content.” Chris Lake is an editor at E-consultancy, an Internet marketing firm. I also thought this was quote was interesting from BBC Director General Mark Thompson: “It’s essential that the BBC embraces new ways of reaching wider audiences with non-exclusive partnerships such as these,” he said.

New From 'Roanoke Times': A Web Site Called 'BigLickU'

The Roanoke Times, which we talked about being one of the pioneers and leaders in online media, has launched a new Web site called Big Lick University. The site is a resource for students attending college in the Roanoke area. It provides information on everything from where to get a haircut to social networking opportunities.

The link in this post's title, there is a link to an article about the site. Apparently Big Lick is the old name for the Roanoke area and not something they made up to be hip with the college crowd.

Google to Sell Ads Using New Cost-Per-Transaction Model

Given our class discussion about Google and Google's ads, this caught my eye from Editor and Publisher. If Google changes the model by which is pays users for ad space, it could certainly have an impact on how and even if you'd want to optimize your page for Google.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Competition for YouTube??

NBC and News Corp. align to challenge the YouTube phenomenon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Des Moines Register Sound Slides

I was getting caught up on the news back home and found this small collection of soundslides on the Des Moines Register website. I thought a bunch of them were similar in concept to the soundslides we're putting together on our professors--they are brief profiles into 'regular' people. For instance, check out the last slideshow: 911 dispatchers behind the scenes, or A wrestler's routine.

Revealed: Creator of Hillary Ad

The creator of the ad works for a digital consulting firm. Philip de Vellis was revealed as the creator in the Huffington Post political blog and later confirmed he made the video in the same blog...interesting. The article goes on to discuss digital campaigning.

Online Anonymity Lets Users Get Nasty

Interesting article - I hadn't realized that Yahoo News had taken down their message boards in December because they didn't want a small group of users dominating the posts.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

STL Today shows a soundslide/Video Combo

On the STL Today website, they showed a combination of soundlides and video rolled into one presentation. The featured stories were very good. Check them out!

Washington Post's new IT blog

This blog covers a wide range. It's not just techie stuff, although there's a clear fascination with gizmos. Touches on the political, social, economic, fun, practical...

New Ad Technique for Google

This article goes along with our talk from Monday.

MSNBC Photo Blog

I thought this was a neat concept that I found by chance rummaging around on It's a slideshow with a photo caption, a comment from an MSNBC multimedia staffer and then a blog follows. I thought that the combination of all the different media was interesting and the visual is simple enough that isn't distracting to have all of the different media on the same page, unlike some of the crowded sites that we've seen. Sometimes it takes a little longer to load with the photos but otherwise it is easy to use and straightforward.

Making a heat wave look good

The (Syracuse, N.Y.) Post Standard promoed this Soundslide on its front page. I think you'll enjoy it -- technical standards aren't the highest, but it's inventive, has a point of view, is entertaining, has good art, and it's one sound file all the way through so... easy. Might be a good model for something one or more of you are doing.

Viral attack ad hailed as "brilliant"

I sure wouldn't go that far, but it plays off what was probably a brilliant ad when it first came out -- the Apple Mac ad shown in the 1984 Superbowl adfest. I guess we'd better get ready. It looks as if viral vid and Internet distribution is going to be huge for the coming election competition. (Technical note on how I got the art for this: I take a screen grab, paste it into a Photoshop doc, crop as needed, save as gif or jpg, then import that into the blogger post.)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Here's the audio journalism site that I mentioned in class. It's championed by Jay Allison and the site describes itself this way: is an experiment in channeling new work and voices to public radio through the Internet, for discussing that work, and encouraging more.

For our project, the Tools section has a good selection of entry-level introductions to audio software and equipment.

Bug You Not

For those sites that require a free registration just to read an article, Bug Me Not can be a handy tool. Users share login info for sites with compulsory registration and it can be a quick workaround for sites one doesn't plan coming back to often.

Assignment Zero

Assignment Zero is a new media website created by Wired magazine and Jay Rosen's site, New Assignment.Net. I'm not sure if this is the same media website that our reading about Rosen mentioned, but the concept seems the same. They are basically relying on the masses for article ideas and source information and to help write the articles. Below is part of the New York Times article on the new site.

"A new experiment wants to broaden the network to include readers and their sources. Assignment Zero (, a collaboration between Wired magazine and NewAssignment.Net, the experimental journalism site established by Jay Rosen, a professor of journalism at New York University, intends to use not only the wisdom of the crowd, but their combined reporting efforts — an approach that has come to be called “crowdsourcing.”"

LA Times - Blogs can top the presses

This is a story from the LA Times about how reporters put together the story about the U.S. Attorney firings from blogs. I thought it was a great example of the power of new media to influence traditional media outlets.

NY Times -- Open Source Sources

I found this article by David Carr in the NY Times talking about a new frontier for the Internet and journalism. It discusses a new experiment to create "crowdsourcing" - an open source, virtual newsroom where journalists and community members alike can work together to report news.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A little early for politics.... but the ad is cool!

This story is about a a "groundbreaking" Internet ad supposedly created by Barack Obama's supporters targeting Hillary Clinton - it's basically a remake of Apple computers "1984" Superbowl television ad.

It's interesting because the political advisors straight out say - "The ad is proof that anybody can do powerful emotional ads... and the campaigns are no longer in control. It will no longer be a top-down candidate message; that's a 20th century broadcast model."

Here is a direct link to the 74-second ad:

Some online Darfur coverage

Travis Fox of recently returned from Darfur and his reports are currently online and the subject of a series of Poynter columns, the first of which appeared Thursday here. We'll take a look at some of Fox's work in class, as well as some by Nick Kristof of If you've signed up for your free TimesSelect access (see a previous post if you're wondering what this means), you can see some of Kristof's groundbreaking Darfur work here.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Dean Koontz to give virtual reading of upcoming novel in Second Life

This posting is part of a larger blog at http:// Some of the articles focus on hardcore gamers concerned with the latest changes in game play. There are also some that deal with the convergence of the new media and Online life.

After some digging I also found links to academic and journalistic articles that focus on interactive online environments. The site is highly active and gets updated around the clock.

Soundslides -- Matzo, might and moxie, canine style

I really like this one (Making Matzo at the Model Matzah Bakery) from the Democrat and Chronicle, a Gannett paper in upstate New York. (Why "matzo" and "matzah"? Singular and plural?) And another recent one posted to Joe Weiss' forum is from the Navy: 2006 Year in Review. It has awesome pics, a good pace, and does the Navy know drama or what. I have a problem with the cutlines/captions, though -- I find them intrusive and opted to close them down fairly quickly into the show. That's an ongoing problem, but it could have been helped by editing out information that didn't communicate, such as the photo ID numbers. They could have been available on a linked list, for example, or in a special credits slide at the end. So, with my little peacenik dove wings itching a bit, I decided to take a look at a bowling puppy courtesy of two people at The Northwest Herald: Jack Russell Terrier Zoe. Awwww.

Pinpoint a gas deal?

Plug in your ZIP, state, city or even an intersection and Google Gas Maps will show you a ranked list of gas stations, lowest gallon prices first. The accompanying map is interactive and will get you more details, including the address and mapping possibilities. This is useful beyond getting a deal. With it, you can quickly find details elsewhere in the country that affect quality of life, economics, etc. This is, of course, similar to other social mapping programs that can be put to a zillion uses -- like the crime map posted to the blog earlier on.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pax Plays Pornography, People Petrified!

Channel 51-KPPX is the local PAX affiliate and had some technical difficulties on Monday night. For a while, a Tom Brokaw news show was interrupted by hardcore pornography. I originally heard about the story on TV and looked for some more in-depth articles.

The story I saw on FOX local news was highly sensationalistic with interviews from two elderly women who are very christian and highly offended.

Free TimesSelect and the 2nd Kristof contest

Some of you may have followed along as Casey Parks
blogged her way through a trip with Nicholas Kristof last year. If not, there are links to that (and the multimedia stories they filed) on the contest announcement page.

Of more immediate use, the New York Times said today that TimesSelect, the online premium coverage, is now free to students and faculty with .edu addresses. So enjoy! I've been hoping they'd do this for years!

Guess it was like spontaneous birth

Message from IT: At 10:15 am, all power was restored. All effected devices have been tested to be working normally.

The Weather Channel joins Second Life

The Weather Channel has become the latest real world advertiser to join the Second Life virtual reality community. Inside Second Life, the Weather Channel will have "Weather Island," where users can use an extreme sports park and watch debuts of new Weather Channel shows.

Blueprint Magazine blog

Martha Stewart's Blueprint magazine has a new blog out, called Bluelines. The blog's tagline is "The Shortest Path to Personal Style" and magazine editors blog on everything from shopping to home design to health and fitness and travel. Being a Martha Stewart-affiliated site, the design is meticulous and everything is easy to find. I bookmarked the site to post here, but have a feeling I'll be visiting it a lot for my own personal use.

"Not just a number"

This community journalism project from the Oakland Tribune and combines a variety of "mini" projects produced with Flash, Photoshop, audio, video, mapping software, story text, blogs... The image above is a detail from an interactive crime map and it's really the heart of the project. Mouseover the map (the real one, not just the reproduced image) and popups will offer information about the person -- the victim -- behind the number. Ryan Sholing gives a good writeup/analysis to this on his blog, Invisible Inkling, and the creators added comments explaining how they did it.

Freebie WSJ today only

Here's the link.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Home Depot CEO responds to MSN messageboard flak!!

Another testament to the power of the Internet. One column by Scott Burns on MSN Money got so many readers posting their made the Home Depot CEO respond. He's almost pleading to be given a second chance to improve customer service at their stores...

Are there other instances of this happening?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Report on the rise and prospects of hyperlocal journalism

Here's a study funded by the Ford Foundation that looks into the phenomenon of hyperlocal journalism. It mentions a couple of Web sites some of you discussed in the previous class - Backfence and Bluffton Today.

What's in your fridge? And more... has an interactive refrigerator -- check it out -- where you can see what selected families and individuals stockpile for food. I found this on where I also discovered summaries of food sections of major papers. The rest of the site is extensive and offers goodies and blog links. I found it because I had followed a link touting free Starbucks coffee during the 2nd annual Coffee Break promotion. If it's true, all licensed Starbucks cafes will be giving away a free tall cup of coffee between 10 and noon on Thursday, March 15. Bottoms up.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Great local website

This is a website created by a local marketing company - Off Madison Avenue.
For some reason the direct link doesn't seem to be working? It is

They have recently updated it and I was impressed by how they have moved to incorporate online/interactive media options. So many media/marketing companies "talk the talk" but don't "walk the walk."

Wikipedia Scandal

This is interesting... and it speaks to the ever present issue of anonymity/credibility on the web.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Another Opinion on Blogs!

I wonder if John Carroll's views will be any different than what we have been reading for our summaries.

Move over Katie Couric Kaplan's in town

Rick Kaplan has had a huge impact in television. I wonder what he will change with Katie and the Evening News.

Katie Couric's Troubled Newscast

I thought this was interesting. I liked Katie on Today but have been really disappointed with her evening news role.

France bans citizen journalists from reporting violence

Oooh..touchy one, especially after all that we discussed in Monday's class about the role of citizen journalists.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Jill Carroll Back in Middle East

Since we spent so much time admiring the Christian Science Monitor's piece on Jill Carroll's abduction, I thought everyone would be interested in this article about how she is returning to the Middle East. Editor and Publisher, by the way, is a great journal/magazine that covers the media if anyone is ever looking for coverage of the media itself.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Interesting Profile

This was an interesting piece on the turmoil going on at TIME magazine. It talks about how all media is being challenged to be relevant today in the world of online/multimedia options and also gives a glimpse into the politics being played at the coporate level.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Global Voices Online

Interesting site started at Harvard Law School. It covers issues like ethnicity, freedom of speech and human rights. The kind of stuff that we discussed in class today doesn't seem to get attention in other citizen journalism-oriented sites. Maybe that's not a fair comparison though, since those were hyperlocal.

Anyway, worth a peep.

(Their stated goal):

"At a time when the international English-language media ignores many things that are important to large numbers of the world’s citizens, Global Voices aims to redress some of the inequities in media attention by leveraging the power of citizens’ media. We’re using a wide variety of technologies - weblogs, wikis, podcasts, tags, aggregators and online chats - to call attention to conversations and points of view that we hope will help shed new light on the nature of our inter-connected world."

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Moving Politics Online

Some of you may have seen this on the news today (Sunday). Ann Coulter recently made a rather offensive comment about John Edwards, who in turn is using that very comment by linking to her video with those remarks to raise campaign money. Another twist to furthering politics online!

Friday, March 2, 2007

MTV - Virtual Community

I was watching MTV's The Hills on Monday night and saw a commercial advertising their virtual community so I checked out the website thinking it would be relevant to this class. Here are the basics of what I found:

You can join the online virtual communities of MTV Central, Hills Central, and Laguna Central.

Part of the goal is to stay updated on what's going on with the characters in these shows and to get to know more about the people and communities where these shows take place.
The draw? MTV lays it out clear as day on the site, "Don't just watch the Hills. Live it! Meet cast members, take part in challenges, watch episodes and bonus footage, get to know other fans, and so much more."

You sustain yourself in the community by purchasing MTV$, the official currency. "You can purchase MTV$ with any major credit card and use it for stuff like buying a hot outfit, renting cars and decorating your crib. You can also earn MTV$ by completing challenges, winning contests, and leveling up your status! "

There are so many other things you can do, but this sounds similar to some of the virtual sites that have been talked about in class.

MSN Messenger takes on blogs

I got an email through my hotmail account earlier this week about how the MSN beta is now offering blogs or what they call Windows Live Spaces.

Here's what the text of what they sent in the email:

"Now you can easily share your stories and stay connected by publishing your Windows Live™. Spaces blog entries right from Windows Live Mail. Get started by going to Options from your space, and selecting e-mail publishing. Enter up to three e-mail addresses and either save entries in draft form or publish immediately. Then create a new e-mail with the name of the blog entry in the subject field and the content in the message area. Send the e-mail, and you're good to go!"

If you go here:, they also post "spaces of the week" with a photo and brief profile of that space. Only one of my friends has a space, but he didn't have a thing on it so I don't have much more info to give. But you can check it out....

Here are a couple of interesting websites:
Calculates personal impact of consumption - this is a website that Al Gore promotes when talking about personal responsibility and global warming.
Campus crime statistics - it will give you the number & types of arrest on campuses across the country, although 2005 seems to be the most recent data available.
This was just a fun site someone in my office found. The whole office wasted an afternoon (on the sly of course) trying to see who could get the best time.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Media Consolidation and the Online Universe - EPIC

I found this short film online about the future of news (online and print) called EPIC. It is a fictional piece. It's supposed to be a look back from the year 2015 at how media evolved. Given how much we've spoken about blogging and the impact of the Internet and new media, I thought this outlook was really interesting. It's worth the five minutes to check it out.