Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“I had just arrived in the Chicago bureau and I needed a story…”

Many years ago I was sitting around in a hotel bar with some journalists who were telling tales, and one of them started an anecdote this way: “I had just arrived in the Chicago bureau and I needed a story…” I stopped listening at that point, but not because he was boring. Something struck me […]

How to be literate in what’s changing journalism

In my ‘digital thinking’ class, the goal is for students to emerge fully literate in the changes affecting journalism. Here are the main currents and trends that I expect them to master by the close of the term. For each, they should understand: What it means, why it’s important, and where things are going with […]

Facebook’s phony claim that “you’re in charge.”

It simply isn’t true that an algorithmic filter can be designed to remove the designers from the equation. That assertion melts on contact, and a New York Times reporter who receives such a claim from a Facebook engineer should somehow signal to us that he knows how bogus it is. In today’s New York Times, […]

Why do they give us tenure?

That’s what I asked Jeff Hancock, the Cornell University professor who collaborated with Facebook on its ‘emotional contagion’ study, which subtly manipulated the news feeds of users to see if happier inputs made for sadder outputs. I also listened closely as he spoke of being in the center of an internet storm. Conclusion: I am […]

First Look Media: a personal update

In November of last year, I said that I was joining First Look Media, Pierre Omidyar’s start-up, as a (paid) advisor. Today, I am announcing that I am no longer involved in First Look. There is no drama and not much of a story to it. After the first six months of giving shape to […]

Some old-fashioned blogging in the link-and-comment style

Bring back the fun. Scott Rosenberg — who literally wrote the book on it — says blogging is enjoying something of a revival lately. Nicholas Carr senses a mood of exhaustion with what he calls Big Internet. By Big Internet, I mean the platform- and plantation-based internet, the one centered around giants like Google and […]

When quoting both sides and leaving it there is the riskier call

If the weight of the evidence allows you to make a judgment, but instead you go with “he said, she said,” you’re behaving recklessly even as you tell yourself you’re doing the cautious thing. It’s my job to notice when a piece of standard brand pressthink “flips” around and no longer works as intended. I […]