At the start of our meeting we’ll honor Brooks — and present plaques, certificates, and/or checks to winners of our academic paper and TNT21 (Teaching News Terrifically in the 21st Century) competitions.
The meeting begins at 8:30 p.m. Friday in Chicago G&H, which is on the fifth floor of the convention hotel.
See you there.
Chris Roberts, Ph.D.
Head, Newspaper and Online News Division
Assistant professor, University of Alabama
A spirited discussion of academic research and its relevance to professional journalism poured into the in-boxes of division members on the weekend of June 23 via the Newspaper & Online News Division mailing list. By Monday close to 50 members had been heard from and comments were still being added. And it kept going…
Update July 2:
The mailing list discussion prompted this July 2 summary and response by AEJMC President Linda Steiner, of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Among other things, she points to the Research You Can Use webpage highlighting studies from AEJMC journals.
Update: The discussion kept going… Downloaded from the list archive, the June mail (admittedly inflated by the quoted responses) is a 1.1 MB text file, double the size of the last major use of the mailing list, a July 2008 discussion of renaming the division to add “and Online” to the name.
For the terminally text-oriented, that’s almost 600 pages of 10-pt Courier, including all the mail headers and repeated replied-to messages. The who-replied-to-whom discussion could be much easier to follow if it had been done in the comment section of this blog, but hitting “reply” to an e-mail message is still so much easier.
Utah State’s Ted Pease launched the conversation with his response to “How Journalism Professionals and Educators Can Close the Chasm,” an essay by Jerry Ceppos, new dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU. Many of the responses included links to further discussion on members’ blogs and websites.
For anyone who, like me, inadvertently hit a “delete conversation” button on a (dumb) smartphone instead of archiving the discourse to read later, here’s a reminder that mailing-list items can be retrieved by date, topic or keyword at the list-server website. The links below go to the first 48 hours of discussion. The June discussion is here.
How it began:
- AEJMC Newspaper & Online News Division The academic-professional “chasm” Dr. Dane S. Claussen
- AEJMC Newspaper & Online News Division The academic-professional “chasm” SkyeDent at aol.com
“Embracing the Future,” by Paul Steinle & Sara Brown has been posted on the American Journalism Review website, and it appears in the spring, 2012 edition, of AJR.
The article highlights the findings of their 50-state, 50-newspaper inquiry into the status the American newspaper industry, Steinle said.
Brown, Steinle and two industry speakers also presented their work at the 2011 AEJMC conference. The presentation can be viewed online at Who Needs Newspapers?
The full results of the 50-state report are posted at
“We invite you to visit this site and use any materials that are posted there in your classroom,” Steinle said, in an email to AEJMC Newspaper & Online News Division members. “Dr. Brown and I have also commented on our findings in several classrooms across the USA via Skype interviews, and we would be willing to continue to do that practice if any of you would find it useful.”
There’s a whole lot of tweeting going on this week from the Newspaper Association of America and American Society of News Editors event in Washington, President Obama speech included… and some excellent use of their conference “hashtags” on Twitter, with links to stories by student journalists and others.
Even if you don’t have a Twitter account (but you should!), you can follow the links from the event-specific tags NAAmXc, ASNE12:
- Note that organization-name hashtags are risky… producing links to everything from aviation to the National Autism Association https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23NAA
- Other confusion “@asne” is not the American organization; it’s someone in Osaka who hasn’t used the address, but got there first. The American Society of News Editors website is asne.org (not .com; that’s someone else again) and its Twitter handle is @NewsEditors: https://twitter.com/#!/NewsEditors
Samples of what’s going on, in no particular order — also interesting folks to follow if you do have a Twitter account. (Mine is https://twitter.com/#!/bobstep) Admittedly, this is not journalism; it’s cutting-and-pasting links so that I can find them later myself…
On the heels of The New York Times lowering of its free-reading limit, Washington Post ombudsman summarizes the current state of “paywall” plans and predicts Post will stay free.
- The Los Angeles Times digital “memberships” began March 5
- Gannett Co. announced that its regional newspapers — but not its flagship paper USA Today — will begin charging for online content.
The New York Times is making its paywall a little taller. Those of you who enjoyed the 20 free Times articles accessible monthly to non-subscribers will only get 10, starting next month. At the very least, could it be a plausible sign that the New York Times’ $3.75 a week digital subscription plan isn’t failing?
Journal Register/Digital First operates media companies in 10 states. In Connecticut, along with the New Haven daily, it owns Connecticut Magazine, The Register Citizen in Torrington, The Middletown Press, and weeklies.
The Courant, founded in 1764, is not part of the conglomerate. It was for many years the oldest independent newspaper in America. Today it is owned by the Chicago-based Tribune Corp., which purchased Los Angeles-based Times Mirror in 2000, some 20 years after that chain had taken over The Courant.
The Register, the online-only New Haven Independent and Connecticut Public Radio covered the final press run in New Haven. A search of the Courant website turned up no story about the press run, but did locate a story on the planned printing takeover when it was announced in January. That item said the Courant was also negotiating to print other Journal Register titles. Stories:
- New Haven Register presses run for last time as printing moves, pressmen reflect on end of era (Register, with video, photos)
- The Last Headline Rolls Off The Presses (NH Independent)
- New Haven Register Celebrates its 200th Anniversary
…AND CLOSES ITS PRINTING PRESSES FOR GOOD (WNPR)
- New Haven Register to Lay Off 105 as Courant Takes Over Printing (The Courant, Jan. 10)
Note: Embracing the “Digital First” philosophy, I used Twitter to check with Matt DeRienzo, group editor for Journal Register in Connecticut. He confirmed that the Courant will be printing the New Haven, Torrington and Middletown dailies, plus weeklies. “Backup in NY, plus historic gentlemen’s agreements in CT,” he added.
“It sounds like something out of the 25th century, but it’s here now” — announcer, 1983.
From the AT&T Archives, here are two video views extolling the “synergistic” development of the future of online news, 30 years ago at Knight-Ridder: The Viewtron project.
AT&T was Knight-Ridder’s partner in the Viewdata Corporation, and its first video takes us into the Miami Herald building for a tour of the system with Viewdata Corporation’s President Albert J. Gillen, previously a senior vice-president at Knight Ridder.
The phrase “up to the minute news” is used, but the old-fashioned word “newspaper” doesn’t turn up much in his presentation, which goes into more detail on home-shopping, looking things up in online encyclopedias and making transactions with your E.F. Hutton account.
The AT&T Archive includes some background information on its YouTube page:
A second film has more to say about AT&T’s Sceptre TV-terminal hardware.
Viewdata began in Florida with a test market and grew to around 15 cities and 15,000 users, according to the AT&T text, which mentions that before the end the company had developed software that would allow IBM, Commodore and Apple computers users to access the system.
- ITWorld recapped the history of Viewtron in a short article about the videos on YouTube: Time Machine: Why didn’t Internet on TV take off in 1983?
- For a robust, if sometimes baud-rate-centric, discussion of the videos, see Slashdot: News for Nerds. More than 400 comments were logged in the first day of the discussion, including comparisons with the French Minitel system, predictable observations that porn might have saved Viewtron, and a 1982 article by a system architect arguing that powers-that-be rejected his plans for a more open community service, complete with hierarchies of editorial staffs (Videotex Networking and The American Pioneer, by Jim Bowery).
- From other archives: Your library’s access to The New York Times archive will give you more of this story, but it’s where I checked on Gillen’s title at Knight-Ridder Think Electronic, Publishers Urged (May 2, 1982):
The American Newspaper Publishers Association was warned last week to prepare for a day when the very notion of a news ”paper” may be outdated by information transmitted to video screens. ”If you don’t get into the business, someone else will,” said Albert J. Gillen, senior vice president of Knight-Ridder Newspapers, who was one of several speakers to sound the theme at the assocation’s meeting in San Francisco.
- For an even earlier view, here’s a 1980 InfoWorld magazine interview with Gillen:
“We made the decision to proceed for two reasons. First, defensively, this new media form could have a negative impact on the newspaper business. Second, offensively, we saw a new opportunity to take advantage of the abilities we already know how to use very well.”
The Guardian enlisted The Three Little Pigs on Feb. 29 as part of an “open journalism” advertising campaign for its social-network-connected news products.
Online, the video ad is accompanied by Editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger‘s notes on the thinking behind what the Guardian calls its digitally empowered approach to active-audience journalism, also highlighted in a March 24-25 “open weekend.”
The paper said the two-minute spot “imagines how we might cover the story of the Three Little Pigs in print and online. Follow the story from the paper’s front page headline, through a social media discussion and finally to an unexpected conclusion.”
Note: I aggregate other video newspaper promotions and commentaries at my Other Journalism Video Pages.
Newspaper and Online News: ACES Award for Research on Editing
The Newspaper Division of AEJMC invites faculty and students to submit research papers in the inaugural competition for the ACES Award For Research On Editing. Deadline: April 1, 2012.
Sponsored by the American Copy Editors Society, the award will honor the best research about story editing, headline writing and other topics related to editing. The winner will present the research at the AEJMC conference in Chicago, August 9-12, 2012. The winner will also receive a $100 prize and complementary registration to the ACES conference for the following year.
Qualitative and quantitative papers in history, law, effects, processes, use, ethics and emerging technologies are welcome. Read more