Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A (brief) banking theory of newsroom trust.

The less help you give me in the tricky act of extending my trust to you, the more likely you are to wind up with a negative balance. In this short post I want to clear something up about how trust operates in a news operation. I am going to use examples from the New […]

When to quit your journalism job

When the sales people are happy to sell what the newsroom is happy to make, there you have a well-run editorial company. So measure your own newsroom’s misery by its distance from that (ideal) state. These notes were inspired by recent events at the New Republic and First Look Media, articles like this one, and […]

“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 […]