Friday, February 29, 2008

"A news version of YouTube"

CNN has launched a separate iReport site. The company has had iReports -- viewer-submitted content -- for months, but any time iReports were used, it was because it had gone through a vetting process. This new site, which is in beta, offers reports that are unedited and that represent ALL the reports submitted. Some will still be used by CNN, but at that point they'll be displayed on the "professional" site. Jon Dube has an excellent write-up about this on Poynter, kicking off his revisioned column.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Miami Herald maps generator sites

Much of Florida is blacked out just now and nobody's reported a reason why. Meanwhile, the Miami Herald has published an interactive mashup showing where people can find generators at gas stations. I especially like that the reports are marked as either confirmed or unconfirmed and that directions are linked.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Emily's presentation

Reading Test

I can't remember who I was telling about this site I discovered through stumbleupon, but I thought I would share it. We were just discussing how all capitals is not a good design feature (because you brain can't recognize the word shape so you actually have to read each individual letter) in my electronic publication design class when I found this site. It is very cool to actually be able to read it and have an insight into how amazing our brains are. It also makes you wonder what other gaps our brains fill in and how much of our own reality is filled in by the brain. A little spooky!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Top 30 newspaper sites

The following list was released by Editor & Publisher (E&P) recently:
Brand -- unique audience (000) -- change over year -- 20,461 -- 45.1% -- 12,314 -- 19.4% -- 9,902 -- 14.6%
Wall Street Journal Online -- 6,962 -- 81.4%
LA Times -- 5,715 -- 4.7% -- 5,194 -- 23.7% Francisco Chronicle -- 4,255 -- (-3.9%)
New York Post -- 4,027 -- (-3.5%)
Newsday -- 3,764 -- 59.2%
Chicago Tribune -- 3,185 -- (-15.7%)

Daily News Online Edition -- 3,104 -- 23.3%
Chicago Sun-Times -- 2,695 -- 12.7%
Village Voice -- 2,686 -- 116.4%
Atlanta Journal-Constitution --2,391 -- 8.9%
The Politico -- 2,371 -- 253.4%

Seattle Post-Intelligencer -- 2,256 -- 24.2%
The Houston Chronicle -- 2,208 -- (-37.1%) - The Dallas Morning News -- 2,207 -- 6.1% -- 2,145 -- 12.0%
Baltimore Sun -- 2,137 -- 44.7%

The Seattle Times -- 1,814 -- (-23.0%)
International Herald Tribune -- 1,789 -- (-15.0%) -- 1,630 -- 29.1%
Detroit Free Press -- 1,574 -- 30.6%
The San Diego Union-Tribune -- 1,529 -- (-26.4%)

Star Tribune -- 1,511 -- 54.2%
The Washington Times -- 1,510 -- (-16.1%) -- 1,468 -- (-11.7%) -- 1,400 -- 18.6%
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- 1,303 -- (-9.9%)

Context is here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

AP offers embedable video: This one is on Kosovo's independence

AP -- the Associated Press -- was formed as a "membership" in which content would be shared among partners. If you were not a member of AP, you were excluded (except, I think, for some arrangements for buying particular news reports). I found it amazing, and fascinating, that AP had an "embed" feature offered, meaning content would be distributed with no restrictions or payments. As you can see, it works.

NIU Shooting

I couldn't help but bring this painful event up, mostly because I am so disturbed by it. I wanted to check and see how far in the news the NIU shooting on Friday had fallen. I checked the BBC news and there was a reference at the bottom of the page. The Washington Post had a photo slide show at the bottom of their home page. Upon a quick scan of the New York Times home page there didn't seem to be any link to a story covering the shooting, until I kept scanning down to the bottom where there was one reference under Education. Upon checking I found a human interest story about the shooters girlfriend with a large eye catching photo at the top of their home page. Of course, the Chicago Tribune's homepage was an entire spread about the shooting (if it wasn't, I would have seriously doubted my sanity).

My point in looking at all this is to see how fast news passes away. The Virginia Tech shooting seemed to stop everyone dead in their tracks. This didn't seem to have as much of an impact. I wonder, is everyone becoming numb? All these shootings are awful and make me question the world. According to the news, both of the shooters had a history of mental illness. This brings up another question, are American so naive and unaware of mental illness that those who need help and support are not getting it?

Jack Johnson puts it best in his song Sleep Through the Static--"Who needs keys when we've got clubs? Who needs please when we've got guns?" and also in Fall Line--"somebody saw him jump, but nobody saw him slip, I guess he lost a lot of hope, and then he lost his grip."

Carnival of Journalism Blogs makes 3rd stop

A blog "carnival" is a little bit like an edited volume: It's a collection of writings by different authors on a related topic that is presented by an editor. A carnival is a selected collection of blog postings that is published by a rotating group of editor/publishers -- the member blogs. A journalism carnival, featuring some of the most provocative and in-the-know j-bloggers out there, has just pitched its virtual tents at the blog -- the direct link to the carnival for February is here. Wikipedia has a good definition of a blog carnival, and you can find a directory of carnivals at, where the analogy is less to an edited volume but to a magazine. But back to the J-Carnival: I've checked out a number of the blogs and plan to look at all of them. I don't think you'll regret the time. There's a wide sweep of current thinking out there, and these bloggers are earnestly and intelligently adding to the positive side of journalism's evolution.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Butterfly Effect

Here is the link to the film company I was talking about in class. I haven't had a chance to look at any of their other films, but "Spin" is awesome. The soundtrack alone is worth the download time, if you like hip hop techno kind of stuff. If you go to the website you can actually download the score for free. After I was done watching it I wanted to replay it over and over again. I like the whole idea that you can never make anything perfect. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Article (Bowl Threat Revealed) from Thursday's (2/7) Arizona Republic about a super bowl threat plot states that the person planned the attack because he was upset that his request for a liquor license was denied. It was reported that the application was recommended for denial because an entry on the applicant's blog listed the name of his intended business (Drunkenstein's) differently from what was listed (The Haunted Castle) on the license application. The article is already archived on the Republic's website (need to purchase at this point to see it). This raised some questions for me that may be more about the reporting than anything else. Was the blog entry posted by him or someone else? How did the the blog come to the attention of the Tempe City Council? The Tempe City Council really used a blog post as part of their deliberations and decision making process?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Slate's candidate tracker

The elections, as was hoped, have spurred some interesting multimedia reporting tools including this one from Slate that maps where candidates are across the country. When you click on map markers, you're directed to local news reports of the event and you're given where/when information in a pop-up. My husband's overseeing multimedia coverage for a Virginia paper of this event that senators Clinton and Obama will attend. Security concerns prevent the shooters (photographers or videographers) and reporters from leaving the event, even to go back to the newsroom (which is nearby), should there be equipment failure; each journalist takes his or her laptop along with other gear, such as a camera, mic, recorder, etc. They are expected to file (send in their stories, pictures, etc.) digitally from the site. Yesterday, one reporter was issued a new computer with which he's not yet familiar; he'll take a backup laptop as well.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Tracking the Election

The New York Times created this handy Election Guide so you can track your favorite candidate's progress through primary season and beyond. I especially liked the state maps that show how each county voted, as well as how many people voted. It was interesting to compare how many Republican and Democratic voters turned out in each state.

They also have a feature where people can post photos of their polling place - this is a picture of a frozen polling location in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

ZIP to local on GoogleNews

Google released a new "experiment" yesterday. So far, it's only available in English. If you go to Google News and scroll down you'll find a search box where you can enter your ZIP code. When I tried it just now for 85224, it brought up four Arizona Republic items with links to azcentral. I would love to see it access many more sources, including very small publications -- and maybe it does and I just haven't seen them yet; I should try more ZIP codes. And, of course, many very small publications don't even have a shovelware presence online yet. Much as I know news sites like to decry Google, I think there's revenue opportunity here. More and more people from outside the geographical region are likely to pull up azcentral -- or wherever -- stories. It allows for topical ads. While the popular wisdom is that mom-and-pops will suffer from this, there are some who could take advantage of different sorts of advertising, something that plays up something distinctive about what they have to offer. I am so tired of one-size-fits-all chain merchandising and branding that it would seem like a relief to me. But I digress. There's an excellent post on Google local at Journalistopia where Danny Sanchez talks about the growing importance of geocoding stories. More about that anon.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Is this your picture?

A blog called ifoundyourcamera posts pictures developed from found cameras so the owners can claim them!

Obama "Yes we can" video goes dramatically viral

As of this morning, roughly three days after its release, a music video based on Obama's much publicized New Hampshire primary speech has had about two and a half million views, 1,454 blog posts and 11,864 comments, according to tracker Viral Video. Some of those blog posts make much of the political implications -- Buzz Machine (rhetorical element of campaign), for one -- notes Yoni Greenbaum in Editor on the Verge.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Miss a Super Bowl ad?

They're all online here.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cue the scary music

I was just about to Googlemap "hairdresser" and my ZIP when I decided to take a look at this video first. So maybe my hair will stay shaggy a bit longer...