GalleyCat AppNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook AllTwitter TVNewser TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

The Silence at The Intercept Is A Reflection of Startup Newsroom Difficulties

0ca4fbfa-ee45-4a5c-8995-24920f11e534-620x372Just over two months after publishing its first revelations about the NSA’s mass surveillance program, First Look Media’s The Intercept is taking a break. Well, sort of.

The newest member of the team (that we know of), built around former Guardian journalist and Edward Snowden cohort Glenn Greenwald, is editor-in-chief John Cook of Gawker. And on Monday, April 14, Cook took to the Intercept’s blog to explain why there hasn’t been a whole lot of action from The Intercept’s reporting team.

The main reason for the lack of reporting coming out of the team, which also includes Liliana Segura formerly of The Nation, is that they launched before they were 100 percent ready to launch. That is, they started posting stories detailing the NSA’s surveillance and other government programs before they were fully staffed and had a long-term vision for what The Intercept should be. Wrote Cook:

Until we have completed the work of getting staffed up and conceptually prepared for the launch of a full-bore news operation that will be producing a steady stream of shit-kicking stories, The Intercept will be narrowly focusing on one thing and one thing only: Reporting out stories from the NSA archive as quickly and responsibly as is practicable. We will do so at a tempo that suits the material. When we are prepared to publish those stories, we will publish them. When we are not, we will be silent for a time, unless Glenn Greenwald has some blogging he wants to do, because no one can stop Glenn Greenwald from blogging.

So there you go. The Intercept’s decision to go live was based on a broader obligation to just start reporting, “not based on an assessment that everything that one needs for the successful launch of a news web site — staff, editorial capacity, and answers to questions about the site’s broader focus, operational strategy, structure, and design,” said Cook.

Personally, I appreciate the sentiment that the website and editorial strategy don’t have to be perfect in order to set up shop. Ezra Klein‘s Vox did something similar and dubbed the site’s first iteration “a work in progress,” almost as if to invite criticism. The idea that The Intercept — even with such a specific topic focus — should have hammered out every single detail about what it wanted to be before launching is unfair. But, I can understand the complaints around the Web that The Intercept’s design is boring at best, given the $250 million eBay founder Pierre Omidyar funneled into the project. For all we know, though, part of their silence could be allowing for a total makeover.

Read more

Online News Outlet Alaska Dispatch Buys Legacy Competitor Anchorage Daily News

anchorage daily news post pic

Online news has certainly come a long way from the early days of the Internet when many were skeptical of the credibility of online-only news operations.

The recent announcement that the Alaska Dispatch, a born and bred, online-only news operation, will buy the McClatchy-owned Anchorage Daily News, Alaska’s largest daily newspaper, sent more than a few ripples through the news industry. Read more

From the Tow Center: Research Indicates Video News Is Always Growing, Changing

TowCenterColumbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism is producing some important research on upcoming trends in online media, like news video, sensor journalism and longform.

Its most recently released report, “Video Now: The Form, Cost, and Effect of Video Journalism,” highlights the video strategies of popular digitally native publishers like Mashable and NowThis News, longform outfits including Vice Media and Frontline PBS, and legacy papers like the Washington Post and the Chicago Sun-Times, over a five-month period. More than 50 newsrooms were examined during the research for this paper.

Study facilitator and assistant professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, Duy Linh Tu set out to answer three main questions:

  • How do news organizations define video?
  • How do they produce video?
  • What is their return on investment? (ROI)

Now for what Linh Tu found: metrics across newsrooms aren’t very reliable. Typical measurements like plays and page views “are inconsistently measured across organizations,” so the report features mostly editor interviews rather than sheer numbers. The answer to digital video is that there is no answer — at least not now. Publishers are finding it difficult to capitalize on this new medium while bringing in the advertising support they need to produce quality content. In other words, there isn’t a ton of data out there on video ROI that inspires trust in marketers with limited budgets.

Read more

Sigma Delta Chi Award Winners Announced

SDX_Awards13Yesterday, the winners of the SPJ’s Sigma Delta Chi awards were announced. You can see a full list of the winners here.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Those of you feeling like Dasani was robbed for the Pulitzer will be happy to know that “Invisible Child” won for non-deadline reporting.
  • Overall, reporting on the Boston Marathon bombing scooped up awards not just for deadline reporting, but photography, too. Then, among all the tragedy, this photo won in the regional publication category.
  • No surprise: The Texas Tribune won for deadline reporting of the abortion filibuster. And CPI and ABC have another award to spar over for the reporting on black lung.
  • Of all the investigative and public service reporting in print, online, on the radio, and on television; NPR’s Planet Money podcast won for making a t-shirt.

Talk about your favorites in the comments or let us know what you think @10,000Words.

Vox.com Should Not Explain It All

voxlogo.jpgLike #slatepitches before it, the hype surrounding Ezra Kein’s endeavor, the focus on explaining it all, and the format of news cards — all good, interesting things — has basically set Vox.com up to be mocked.

When they’re talking about the Affordable Care Act or Ukraine, it all makes sense. When they start to explain Tinder? That’s where it starts to feel a little forced. It feels like some of the superfluous explainers, like the Game of Thrones recaps and maps, are good for social sharing and traffic, but not for their mission. If anything, they are distracting and sort of embarrassing, like when your mom used to write on your Facebook wall.

I know they want to cover everything and be the Wikipedia of news, but maybe they should stick to covering wonk. We can chart Nicholas Cage’s career over at Buzzfeed and talk about “hangry” over at The Atlantic. I know it doesn’t sound very innovative or new, but why don’t they stick to what they know? The card decks really work for that. Read more

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>