Prof scolds J-schools for not teaching enough digital

Journalism prof Wayne McPhail berates journalism schools for still being mired in the old technology and old patterns of thought and not being aggressive enough in teaching use of new, digital technology as a means of journalism. He notes he has grad students who don’t know what RSS is. This is a bit of a conundrum, since the latest crop of undergrads comes in with the reputation of being the most tech-savvy ever, and they will be supplanted by next year’s crop. Still, I think he has a point, since most journalism profs are still practitioners leaving the field for a better, more predictable job, teaching what they’ve been doing in the last 15 years. Still don’t see as much digital in MSM as the technology seems to imply it can do.

MediaShift, September 29 2010


Hyperlocalist journalism: next trend or next dead end?

But worth giving a try, to see if very local writers/bloggers/whateverists can practice good journalism at a local level. Prof. Robert Washburn puts out a challenge, let’s try to see if it works:

Over the next few months, the J-Source Innovation section will seek to provide information about hyperlocal journalism, post resources and stimulate discussion. As well, you can follow @jsourceinnovate on Twitter for more up to the minute ideas, trends and news. We would also like to start an inventory of Canadian examples of hyperlocal journalism. If you are aware of a hyperlocal journalism project, send us the link. Let us know what you would like; what you think; and what is possible.

J-Source, March 3 2010

MSM makes huge bucks, end is not in sight

So, Time Warner, CBS and News Corp all reported profits, monster share price increases over the last year, and in some cases increased dividends. So, what’s this about Mainstream Media facing imminent death? They seem to be doing just fine, partly because they’re now fairly diverse companies, with Time Warner and News Corp making money off movies (sometimes called content). So it would seem a large part of the bad media news in 2009 was related to the worst recession since the Great Depression, not systemic technological change.

Wall Street Journal, Feb. 3 2010

Murdoch versus Google

In a Mothra versus Godzilla battle, media magnate Rupert Murdoch is detaching his newspapers from Google, to stop the free searching of stories from his newspaper. The attempt is to make it harder for people to get “free” stories from his media empire, and drive them to subscribe. Interesting battle ahead; Murdoch doesn’t lose often and he has deep pockets.

Globe and Mail, Nov. 11 2009

Canadian newspapers profitable, stock rising

Take that blogosphere! Yes, this boring old technology trivialized as MSM is alive and well, even able to withstand incompetant ownership.


J–, Oct. 27 2009.

Some thoughts on new technology

NM/MSM is better than MSM/NM. New is better than old. Technology will liberate. Technology is evil. These absolutist arguments don’t pass much intellectual scrutiny. Technology is morally neutral. Cavemen figured this out with fire. Fire is good (“mmm, cooked meat”), fire is bad (“CAVE ON FIRE! CAVE ON FIRE!”) settled this debate millenia ago, and cavemen figured out that use of technology determines its usefulness and any ethical value that may be put on it. So, a link to a couple of academics who look at the same argument through the lens of new technology in the nascent Iranian revolution.

Globe and Mail, July 3 2009

New Media from Iran troubles MSM

The tendency of mainstream media to simply quote from new media, without seeking a second source or other verification, is troubling enough. It’s even worse when the state clamps down on all media, new or traditional, and observers outside that state try to get a sense of what’s going on. As a result, blogs, posts, videos etc. on the current unrest in Iran are being cited frequently by MSM, but with the unease that they have no way of verifying that any of it is factual. A thoughtful piece from the New York Times.

New York Times, June 28 2009