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Posts Tagged ‘Poynter.org’

Jim Romenesko Announces ‘Semi-Retirement’

If there’s one media journalist who keeps the rest of the media world on their toes, it’s Jim Romenesko. The guy somehow finds the latest, most vital news before anyone else does. So that collective sigh you just heard was the media world reading on The Huffington Post that Romenesko will “semi-retire” in January 2012, and move on from his Poynter post to a personal site, jimromenesko.com. He will stay on at Poynter part-time, and his media posts will cross publish there.

Romenesko says that he’s moving on because he wants to do less aggregation and more original reporting. He also remains humble about his impact on the media world.

“In the early 2000′s, I remember somebody saying I was the journalism community’s town crier,” said Romenesko. “Now with Twitter and Facebook, there are a million town criers out there.”

We’d wish him well, but it’s not needed. We just bookmarked his new site, and we suggest you do the same.

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Newspapers Might Start to Shrink, Literally

Newspapers are losing money, so perhaps it’s time for companies to start rethinking the design of the paper itself? Poynter has a report today about the “three-around” newspaper design, and whether we can expect papers to begin to adopt the look. The three-around design is narrower and shorter than a typical paper, slightly taller than a tabloid, and still preserves the multiple section of the papers we read today.

Why would a newspaper adopt the new look? Poynter lists a few reasons:

  • Since the pages are a third smaller, it will yield substantial newsprint savings. The three-around also produces 50 percent more copies per hour, allowing some reduction in pressroom work force and possibly fewer presses.
  • After years of trimming the size of the physical paper, many American papers are awkwardly narrow and cannot go further with the web width of existing press configuration. Hence the potential appeal of getting much smaller (and more gracefully proportioned) in a single step.
  • With the drain of advertising, especially during the early days of the week, many newspapers now have a heft problem — or in some cases run bigger-than-necessary sections padded with house ads.

It all sounds great, but no newspaper has adopted the new look yet, so there must something wrong. Let’s place the blame in two places: The stubborness of Americans and money.

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Knight Foundation Awards $5.1 Million To News Challenge Winners

documentcloud.pngYesterday, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced the winners of its 2009 Knight News Challenge, which provides funding to innovative digital news projects submitted to the foundation.

This year, the Knight Foundation awarded a total of $5.1 million in grants to nine new projects and 17 winners from the two previous years. The largest amount of funding — $719,500 — went to a project called DocumentCloud, a joint venture between The New York Times and ProPublica. Talking Points Memo is also joining in the collaboration, the company said yesterday.

According to the Knight Foundation, DocumentCloud will be “a Web site that will enhance investigative reporting by making source documents easy to find, share and read” by providing “an online database of documents contributed by a consortium of news organizations, watchdog groups and bloggers, and shared with the public at large.”

The project is led by Ben Koski and Aron Pilhofer of the Times and ProPublica’s Scott Klein and Eric Umansky (in the picture above). Today, Eric, Aron and Scott joined in an interactive chat on Poynter.org, explaining what DocumentCloud will be.

“Too many documents today still end up on the digital equivalent of the cutting room floor,” they said. “What documents journalists do post — and of course they increasingly do — they’re PDFs, a not particularly user-friendly format. DocumentCloud is meant to make each step along the way much easier, and moreover will make the documents more journalistically valuable by showing information about them and the relations between them.”

A full list of the winners and a description of their projects can be found here.

This is the third year that the Knight Foundation has held its News Challenge, and it has pledged to donate $25 million over 5 years.