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Posts Tagged ‘new media’

New Web Pub Focuses on ‘American Renewal’ and Compelling Readers to Act

NationSwellIf you’re looking for something other than cute animals or faux civil rights controverseries to inspire you on the internet, it’s arrived. It’s called NationSwell, a new media company that focuses on good things. Forget if it bleeds, it leads; NationSwell’s headlines are about non-profits conquering food deserts, environmental iniatives, health policy and innovation, and eduation.

It’s like the 2008 Obama campaign met Henry Blodget. The site is a mix of aggregated and original reporting by a team of seasoned freelance writers, led by founder Greg Behrman and managing editor Cathy Sharick, formerly of

And some stories, although it’s still in beta, are connected to direct ways to take action, whether it be donating to the cause or tweeting a representative associated with the issue. Unlike other media companies focused on “things that matter,” like Upworthy — NationSwell wants readers to do more than just hit a share button. With recent trends and successes in crowdfunding, social entrepreneurship, and viral content, it’s not a bad business model.

You can follow them @nationswell.

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In Praise of New Media: Let Tabloid TV Off the Hook

Watching the back and forth of media critics turning on CNN is better than a tennis match. The cable network got in trouble last week for covering the Zimmerman trial and relegating the events in Egypt to a sidebar. Media critic Jay Rosen was taken to task by Jack Shafer in Reuters who praised CNN’s tabloid television, noting that we shouldn’t blame CNN for finally having a strategy, that tabloid television serves the networks ratings, and also stands in for civics lessons:

 To be fair, the best tabloid TV contains more nourishment than any burger and fries platter, even if it will always be déclassé… Most of what a layman needs to know about police investigations, police interrogations, witness rights, evidentiary standards, jury selection, and courtroom strategy can be found in Grace’s shriekings and those of her commentators. A week’s worth of her Zimmerman coverage probably contains as much civic education as any half-dozen Frontline documentaries on PBS.


I usually stand in Rosen’s corner when he takes journalists to task, but in the case of CNN, I’m leaning the other way. But not because I think tabloid television in any way serves the public. It’s more because I’m excited to watch cable news networks hang themselves. They don’t do breaking news very well anymore — watching the manhunt after the Boston Marathon bombings was painful — so let them play with ‘if it bleeds, it leads.” Yes, CNN used to be something better, maybe, but now it’s not. Read more

USC Annenberg Announces 9-Month Masters Degree in Journalism

USC Annenberg announced a new, nine-month long master’s degree program set to replace their old, two-year program come Fall 2014.

If that’s not the best evidence that the industry is transforming and the barriers to entry for aspriring journos are crumbling, I don’t know what is.

And it’s not just an expedited M.S., there’s also a fancy building, the Wallis Annenberg Hall, 88,000 square feet of “professional-quality video, radio and vodcast studios and a digitally converged newsroom for the school’s award winning, student-run online, broadcast television, documentary and radio news outlets.,” according to the release.

USC Annenberg Dean, Ernest J. Wilson,  is quoted as saying that the newsroom is meant to break down the ‘silos’ of print, broadcast, and online journalism. There’s a 360 assignment desk that serves as the ‘nucleus’ for student run publications, where students can ‘seamlessly share’ audio and video.

It actually sounds like a summer camp I’d want to go to — and if I hadn’t already wasted two years of my life for a media studies degree, I’d be all over it.

It’s brief, innovative, and to the point. All good lessons for aspiring journos or professionals who want to get back in the game; there’s also an M.A. in Specialized Journalism — like the arts, natural sciences, or sports.

School of  Journalism Director Michael Parks says in the release that:

People want their news where they want it, when they want it and the way they want it, and deserve to get that news and information with all the values that American journalism provides. We’re producing journalists who can deliver what the consumer wants in an ethical and comprehensive fashion.

Maybe you don’t need a degree — just good internet — to be a journalist anymore. But even if it is all about the actwe might as well teach people how to do it well.


Border or Bust: Investigative Journalists Get Serious With New Media

Social media isn’t just for tweeting fillibusters or tracking fugitives — some outlets use new media as their main reporting strategy and to brand their beats.

This story about journalists reporting on the Mexican drug war shows that social media provides not just a great outlet for curating reports but also a shield from the threats that surround breaking news on dangerous people. Instead of going down the rabbit hole of bloggers versus ‘journalist,’ I find it rather inspiring. In the wake of all of the news surrounding sources, leaks, and the reporters that handle them, it’s been a rather good season for serious, investigative reporting.

Other outlets, like the Center for Investigative Reporting have launched new media campaigns that beg for awarenes concerning issues on the border. They also beg to be shared; Jonah Perretti would be proud. They’ve taken some very serious data and turned it into something that borders on silly — like this video that shows what the amount of marijuana seized on the border looks like and a series that plays on the “Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews” – ”Real Actors Real Yelp Reviews of U.S Border Checkpoints.

It’s takes the phrase “Funny or Die” to a whole new level, considering the severity of life on the border. Apart from their intended purpose, it’s also a good example of the thin line between journalism and marketing. Once you’re entertained, there’s also this interactive map if you want to get serious with the data.

Is there something about the Mexican border beat that breeds ingenuity? Have you seen any other great ways that journalists are using new media?

The Problem With the Old Media and New Media Debate

I am intrigued by the meta story surrounding the University of Toledo sexual harassment and resignation scandal. It’s not the story of leaked text messages that gets me, as gross and tiring as it is. Instead, it’s the old media versus new media argument that has resurfaced because of it. Which is just as tiring.

Both Deadspin and the Toledo Blade were working on breaking a story. On Tuesday, Deadspin posted it at 2:45 a.m., while the posted at 7:13 a.m. That’s not exactly problematic; but the responses of both organizations was. Dave Murray, managing editor of the Blade, called out Deadspin on Twitter:

The difference between the coverage of this story by The Blade and Deadspin is that [Blade reporter Ryan] Autullo is a professional journalist who has named sources and you can believe what he reports.

Can’t we all just get along? Jim Romenesko’s blog has some insight about why print sport’s journalists may not like sites like Deadspin that, as he says, take sport’s journalism off the field and into the locker room. As we’ve found out, that’s where you break some big stories. It was Deadspin, after all, who shocked the media by breaking the Manti Te’o story. This shouldn’t become a shouting match were new and old media try to prove who is more reliable, who has more worthy sources, or who’s doing it right.

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