Journalism Interactive 2013 conference organizers from the University of Maryland and the University of Florida are looking for proposals for panel sessions and research posters by Dec. 15. The event will be Feb. 8-9 in Gainesville, Fla.
For other information about the conference, including the call for proposals, see:
In a note to the Newspaper & Online News Division, conference planners said they are looking for “really interesting studies of digital media and digital journalism education,” including topics like:
- Journalism technology education and training
- Research on news organizations’ use of mobile technology
- Citizen or participatory journalism, user-generated content or crowdsourcing
- Journalism and big data/data visualization
- The impact of new technologies on newsroom routines
- Responsive design and/or agile development in journalism
- Journalists’ use of social media
Internet users without personal Twitter accounts can access either feed directly:
The general hashtag shortcut for the convention is
And a simple search for “aejmc” takes care of anyone who didn’t get the memo…
(For more about hashtags-for-journalists, see this blog post by Steve Buttry.)
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.
Following a pattern set by many blogs and online journals, The New York Times has launched a policy of “trusting” some readers to post unmoderated comments on its content, as well as allowing “threaded” comments-on-comments.
More of the story:
“Convoluted” is the key word in this graphic portrayal of the life of a news story today, thanks to our new post-blog, mid-Twitter, online universe:
Lauren Michell Rabaino of The Seattle Times raises fascinating issues in that illustrated article at MediaBistro’s “10,000 words” blog, opening with the observation that, “News must be really hard to follow for an everyday consumer of a newspaper website.”
As an online producer for the Seattle paper, as well as blogger at laurenmichell.com and an active Twitter user as @laurenmichell, she gives examples from the BBC and Los Angeles Times sites, as well as her own publication. She reports on a recent critique of “episodic” news reporting and throws the idea of more wiki-like publications into the mix, along with a discussion of how to implement updates in content management systems.
Rabaino’s item also suggests there is plenty of room for descriptive and comparative research by AEJMC Newspaper & Online News Division members. After reading her piece, I just kept coming up with more questions… Read more
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has awarded $4.1 million in grant funds to expand a digital news-gathering network which, up to now, has remained somewhat under the radar. No longer.
Operated by American Public Media, the Public Insight Network, or PIN, “brings together a network of 120,000 citizen sources from a variety of disciplines, who agree to share their expertise, insights and first-hand knowledge, with experienced journalists from 45 newsrooms.” The huge influx of funding, if invested effectively, could raise PIN’s profile profoundly.
Described as “a cross between a fancy Rolodex and a crowdsourcing machine,” PIN has mainly been associated with public radio. But as public radio goes more multimedia, distinctions between broadcast and print continue to blur.
Since PIN’s citizen journalists are self-nominating, one challenge may be keeping the ranks of PIN’s sources balanced in their outlooks and agendas. (Those of us who have worked in journalism know all too well about how certain sources sometimes come forward a little too easily.)
I missed this thought-provoking commentary when it appeared two weeks ago, but it represents one of several recent voices from newspaper and online journalism leaders wondering if anonymous online reader comments truly foster — or harm — public civic discourse.
As editorial page editor of the always-innovative Sacramento Bee, Stuart Leavenworth‘s measured opinion may resonate, too. He’s mostly concerned with comments directed at legitimate named letter writers whose letters appear online in the Bee:
I can understand the argument for anonymous online comments. It creates an outlet for expression for, say, state workers who might want to comment on state policy without fear of retribution from bosses. It is a fixture of the modern online world. Internet users have come to expect it.
Yet should The Bee subject letter writers to personal attacks and comments from people who won’t put their names behind their opinions?
Editor Margaret Sullivan of the Buffalo News wrote about this more broadly last summer, in a spirited defense of a policy change at the News (“Identifying commenters improved the conversation”).
The AEJMC’s own Newspaper Research Journal published an interesting article on anonymous user comments last spring, but it seems clear that, in general, too little research exists on the ethics and sociology of anonymous reader comments.
Nonetheless, the veil of anonymity many online newspaper readers use when they comment on articles is getting more and more attention.
The big news last month on this front was Politico.com’s important decision to make commenters on its blogs use their Facebook accounts if they wanted to post. I think it’s a good thing, personally. From my observation, the change led to an instant rise in the level of civility. I was also shocked by how many of the commenters on the site turned out to be not just “Average Joe” readers, but well-connected and politically plugged-in partisans.
What do you think?
Updated later in the week without changing the date-stamp above. Do add additional Twitter links in the comments area if I left out your best Tweets, and feel free to add all of the @-marked division members to your own “follow” list — for example, I’m http://twitter.com/bobstep
Alas, your mild-mannered Web editor is staying in Virginia the week of the St. Louis conference.
Would anyone using Twitter from the soon-to-be Newspaper and Online News division please use the official hashtag #aejmc11 to report on this week’s doings — especially to spread the word about division plans for the future. Just click that #aejmc11 hashtag marker to see what people have been saying about the convention, even if you don’t have a Twitter account of your own.
Please do either add some comments to this blog post or e-mail me information to share with other homebound division members. And if anyone wants to use this space to live-blog panels or meetings, ask a division officer on site and/or contact me.
Meanwhile, I’ll add some tidbits from the tweets here:
- Due to Twitter’s length limitation, @Steve Fox tweeted the address of his Slideshare “Panel on Partnerships” presentation without its full title, which clearly makes it appropriate for this division: Challenges to the City-Based Newspaper Business: Opportunities for Journalism and Mass Communication Programs. Also some nice symmetry, if you glance down to the last/first tweet on this list.
- @garykebbel: “Knight Foundation is funding a contest for educators to use Knight News Challenge innovations. #aejmc11 #knightfdn” (Until someone offers a more specific link, try KnightFoundation.org Innovating Media page, or KCNN.org or the KCNN’s Things We Like page.)
- Mark Coddington: Just saw the presentation on this study at #aejmc11. Very smart tweak to previous research. slate.me/r3NN7U” (Slate article referring to Brendan R. Watson: “Article on my research at #aejmc11 RT @jackshafer: New @Slate: “Bloggers, Not Parasites” http://slate.me/pkMVAm)”
Andy Bechtel: “Newspaper Division of @aejmc and ACES are teaming up for an award for research about editing. Details, paper call coming this fall.”
- @BillCelis: Compelling convo abt Latino newspapers and impact on past and present by @USCAnnenberg Prof Felix Gutierrez #aejmc11 #ascj
- Hard to tell from the retweets who on what panel actually said, “Be weekly in print and daily online,” and whether they were talking about changing daily newspapers, weeklies or magazines… but the line developed tweet-legs around the time my tired eyes had me “weakly online.”
- Also hard to tell whether this is LJ Thornton commenting on or quoting from Merrill Perlman’s presentation: “ljthornton: Any journalism school that doesn’t teach students to self-edit shouldn’t call itself a j-school/@meperl” (Good thought, in either case.)
- @andybechtel shared addresses of additional editing champs on Twitter: ACES president Teresa Schmedding is @tschmedding; Merrill Perlman is @meperl; Joy Mayer is @mayerjoy
- Two tweets from @steveklein after discussion of journalism faculty not being on Twitter: “There is a real lack of intellectual curiosity when it comes to technology and changing communication platforms in academia…. Very sorry to say it, but I see far too many similarities in the journalism industry and academia. It’s scary, really.”
- ralphehanson Ralph Hanson tweets on community newspapers, apparently from panel on online initiatives at community papers:
- “Use website to publish public meeting minutes. Use newspaper to publish stories.”
- “Look at houstonherald.com for successful online community paper site.”
- “Be a weekly in print, a daily online.”
- “Big online issue for community papers: Should obits be behind pay wall?”
- “Community paper editors should be sure to present news about safety/disasters to everyone, not just subscribers.”
- Thanks @JoMCParkLib Stephanie Willen Brown for link to Penny Abernathy’s newspaper-related biz model / community journalism material — second section here: http://ow.ly/1vCSDr
- Twitter can be quite an echo-chamber for gasp-prompting sensational statements like the one below… without room for clear sources in its character-count limited space. So thanks to LJThorntion for mentioning that grading stats being tossed around are at GradeInflation.com by Stuart Rojstaczer
- Ditto Dale Cressman for telling us:
“Slides from the #aejmc11 panel on grade inflation are here: http://bit.ly/oZTwQH”
- @jbatsell: Gasps in the room as speaker’s research shows that 43 percent of all college grades are now A’s. #aejmc11
- @journtoolbox Journalist’s Toolbox
Nice tool for the #aejmc11 crew: http://newspapermap.com/ #newspapers #journalism
- A Matter of Life and Death? Examining the Quality of Newspaper Coverage on the Newspaper Crisis tweeted by Seth C. Lewis
- @genevaoh Geneva Overholser:
“Educational institutions are ripe for disintermediation, says #aejmc11 keynoter. I couldn’t agree more, having lived thru it in journalism”
- Transformation of leading journalism schools detailed in a new report released today. knightfoundation.org/blogs/knightbl… #CKJED #AEJMC tweeted by Eric Newton (@EricNewton1) of Knight Foundation
- Blogging about journalism history — why and why bother? tweeted by Joe Campbell, with yet another Twitter hashtag of #aejmcblogging
- “D’oh! “@stretchphoto: #aejmc11 “Holy 20th Century, Batman. There’s no wifi in the hotel rooms!”" Retweeted by Andy Bechtel
- “Valuable intel RT @Brizzyc: Learned that Budweiser is $5 at conference hotel (Renaissance). In ST. LOUIS. Bud. Good grief. #AEJMC” Retweeted by Steve Fox (but without the convention-specific hashtag)
The last two items may explain a lot… (Our WordPress software turns the : – ) characters into automatically, by the way.)
– Bob aka @bobstep on Twitter
The past may be prologue and newspapers may be the first rough draft of history, but less of that past will be searchable with Google. The company has informed newspaper publishers that it is ending a partnership project that had begun scanning about 2,000 newspapers’ microfilm and morgue collections.
The ambitious project, announced in 2008, originally hoped to put billions of news pages online, adding original scans to existing digital archives it had been cross-indexing since 2006 in conjunction with partners like Proquest and Heritage. “We’re looking for all the world’s primary sources, and the older, the better,” was the invitation on the project ‘about’ page.
The already-scanned archives are still searchable at http://news.google.com/archivesearch, including 19th and 20th century American and European papers, but Google said it will not be adding to the collection, and will return some unscanned materials to the publishers.
The Boston Phoenix, New England’s veteran alt-weekly, and the SearchEngineLand blog started getting the word out about Google’s decision to pull the plug on the scanning project. By Saturday no announcement had been added to Google’s original News Archive Partner page.
The project had made it possible for smaller papers to provide archive search to readers and researchers. Through Google’s search engine, users could combine a search of its full-text databases with the pay-per-view archives at The New York Times and other papers indexed by Proquest Historical Newspapers.
Carly Carioli of The Phoenix wrote:
News Archive was generally a good deal for newspapers — especially smaller ones like ours, who couldn’t afford the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars it would have cost to digitally scan and index our archives — and a decent bet for Google.
It threaded a loophole for newspapers, who, in putting pre-internet archives online, generally would have had to sort out tricky rights issues with freelancers — but were thought to have escaped those obligations due to the method with which Google posted the archives. (Instead of posting the articles as pure text, Google posted searchable image files of the actual newspaper pages.) Google reportedly used its Maps technology to decipher the scrawl of ancient newsprint and microfilm; but newspapers are infamously more difficult to index than books, thanks to layout complexities such as columns and jumps, which require humans or intense algorithmic juju to decode.
Here’s two wild guesses: the process may have turned out to be harder than Google anticipated. Or it may have turned out that the resulting pages drew far fewer eyeballs than anyone expected.
AFP reported that Google had digitized more than 3.5 million daily or weekly editions, ranging from a 1752 edition of the Halifax Gazette and the 1895 London Advertiser to 85 years of the Milwaukee Sentinel.
The Guardian headlined its story Google euthanizes newspaper scan plan: We will organize the world’s information. Except the old newspapers.
Here’s how Google described its News archive search to users on its help page:
News archive search searches across a large collection of historical archives including major newspapers/magazines, news archives and legal archives. Search results include both content that accessible to all users (such as BBC News, Time Magazine and Guardian) and content that requires a fee (such as Washington Post Archives, Newspaper Archive, and New York Times Archives). In addition to crawling content online, we’ve also worked with newspapers to digitize materials via our News Archive Partner Program. Through partnerships with newspapers around the world, the News Archive Partner Program makes unique and previously-unavailable newspaper content searchable and browsable online.
The general search results include a timeline in the left column, so that searchers can select recent years or decades into the past.
(This blog’s precursor had the story in 2008, complete with an attempt to find The Titanic in the archives, and a comparison with Proquest’s pay-per-view services. Here’s an updated version of that Titanic search, so that you can see timeline results. I recommend a visit to Dunkirk, NY, to see how The Grape Belt and Chautauqua Farmer covered the story.)
A new American Civil War Newspapers website has been launched by Virginia Tech in time for observance of the Civil War Sesquicentennial.
William C. Davis, professor of history and director of programs at the university’s Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, says graduate students have thoroughly indexed the site’s first journal, the Macon, Ga., Daily Telegraph for the period July 1860 to June 1865.
“There are already some excellent website newspaper resources for Civil War newspapers,” said Davis, in a Virginia Tech press release, “but most have limitations.”
Rather than rely on a headlines-only index or a keyword search program, Davis says Tech’s approach can produce cross-references and locate concepts or ideas. “Our graduate students have greatly enhanced the digital search for Civil War newspaper clips,” he said, “as their own eyes have captured every name and keyword.”
The Tech press release said the project plans to index 10 or more papers –”Northern and Southern, Eastern and Western, urban and rural, white and black — for a balanced cross-section of opinion, observation, and experience.” As each journal is completed, its index will be consolidated with the master index, accessible in a single search.
Access to American Civil War newspapers was been funded in part by a grant from the Watson-Brown Foundation with the cooperation of ProQuest of Ann Arbor, Mich.