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April 22, 2012
They said that they felt as if they were out there alone in digital land, under high pressure to get Web hits, with no training, little guidance or mentoring and sparse editing. Guidelines for aggregating stories are almost nonexistent, they said. And they believe that, even if they do a good job, there is no path forward. Will they one day graduate to a beat, covering a crime scene, a city council or a school board? They didn’t know. So some left; others are thinking of quitting.
The Post fails a young blogger (via frontofbook)

With some disclosure (I work for the Washington Post Company, but not at the Post proper) I’ll say that this whole situation is a real heartbreaker. My hope is that the Post can figure out a way to balance the need for fast-paced aggregation with its high journalistic standards. Worth reading is Ombudsman Patrick Pexton’s previous article on the subject. (He wrote this piece, too.) I don’t agree with every point he makes here, but I think that he’s pointed out an important issue — how high pressure, as is common with blogging trending news stories, puts bloggers at a disadvantage. — Ernie @ SFB

(via markcoatney)

10:25 // 1 year ago
January 26, 2012
TechMeme redesigns, scores headline of the day: ”Techmeme has redesigned. Drudge Report is now indisputably the web’s ugliest news site.” We’ll give them that; it’s clean, but the font is not a good one for heavy news-reading.

TechMeme redesigns, scores headline of the day: Techmeme has redesigned. Drudge Report is now indisputably the web’s ugliest news site.” We’ll give them that; it’s clean, but the font is not a good one for heavy news-reading.

16:00 // 2 years ago
November 23, 2011
15:33 // 2 years ago
November 20, 2011

On taking screenshots of a story

nostrich replied: Uh, guys, screenshotting the entire contents of an article? That’s no better than HuffPo-style over-aggregation. Uncool.

» SFB says: While it’s fair to note that in some instances we’ve probably screenshotted a little more than we should have, a couple points to that: 1) We link the article prominently both in the text and the image, 2) News articles tend to update, and the story itself may look different a couple of hours from now. Often it’s a quick art element in the case of a breaking news story where art wouldn’t otherwise be available. In the case of the Ben Parr article this was a reply to, the news had just broken, so it’s entirely possible that’ll be the case, especially if, for example, they get a Mashable staff member on record. (The story had already changed once.) In the future, we’ll try to be careful about how much we screenshot, though.   — Ernie @ SFB

22:40 // 2 years ago
November 10, 2011
14:18 // 2 years ago
August 24, 2011
13:52 // 2 years ago
February 9, 2011
Did the TV guys win? How fast-flying TBD got its wings clipped
Above is a quick Compete.com chart comparing DC media outlets Wjla.com to TBD.com through December. See something notable here? Yeah, we do too. WJLA.com has slightly lower traffic than it did six months ago. But TBD has come out of nowhere to effectively triple the amount of traffic WJLA was getting. Which is pretty amazing, if you think about it – an effective rebranding greatly expanded Allbritton’s reach. (Both are effectively dwarfed by The Washington Post, but the Post has a national reach whereas the Allbritton-owned sites skew local.) And TBD’s editor Erik Wemple says January was the site’s best month ever. Despite this, though, WJLA effectively won the battle for media presence in Allbritton’s corporate structure. How did this happen?
HoW TBD BECAME TBD Allbritton, which also owns Politico, said it planned to launch a local news site last year. They brought on Jim Brady, a former Washington Post and AOL guy, who crafted a vision of a local news brand that worked across the board – in broadcast, on cable TV and online. It launched six months ago to much industry attention for its HuffPo-like approach to local news.
The visionary, out Unfortunately, corporate culture hurt the site right off the bat. Only a year after Brady started with Allbritton, he was out, a victim of a debate over aggregation (which TBD is really good at) vs. original reporting. “As we talked about the next phase of our growth, it seemed clear to Jim and I both that we had some stylistic differences,” wrote publisher Robert Allbritton. 
Did The TV Guys win? Now, just six months after TBD launched, it appears that the folks at WJLA control TBD’s destiny. The TBD TV component (on cable) is effectively going away. WJLA.com, the former site, is coming back alongside TBD. And WJLA’s general manager, Bill Lord, will be taking over as head of each of the local news entities. It appears the old-schoolers won. source
» Bloodletting on Twitter: Jim Brady, an active tweeter, has been ripping his old company over the last day or so over the decision to restructure. In his harshest tweet, he offered this sentiment: “At good companies, the people who resist necessary change are pushed aside. At bad companies, they are put in charge. RIP, the old TBD.” There is a degree of universal-ness to what he has to say, and many have been made their feelings known about the matter on Twitter today. While it’s certainly not the worst decision a company has made, TBD’s restructuring reflects a debate happening in newsrooms around the world: Is change needed? Or is the status quo more effective? Allbritton appears to have chosen the latter route, despite, you know, the chart above.
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Above is a quick Compete.com chart comparing DC media outlets Wjla.com to TBD.com through December. See something notable here? Yeah, we do too. WJLA.com has slightly lower traffic than it did six months ago. But TBD has come out of nowhere to effectively triple the amount of traffic WJLA was getting. Which is pretty amazing, if you think about it – an effective rebranding greatly expanded Allbritton’s reach. (Both are effectively dwarfed by The Washington Post, but the Post has a national reach whereas the Allbritton-owned sites skew local.) And TBD’s editor Erik Wemple says January was the site’s best month ever. Despite this, though, WJLA effectively won the battle for media presence in Allbritton’s corporate structure. How did this happen?

  • HoW TBD BECAME TBD Allbritton, which also owns Politico, said it planned to launch a local news site last year. They brought on Jim Brady, a former Washington Post and AOL guy, who crafted a vision of a local news brand that worked across the board – in broadcast, on cable TV and online. It launched six months ago to much industry attention for its HuffPo-like approach to local news.
  • The visionary, out Unfortunately, corporate culture hurt the site right off the bat. Only a year after Brady started with Allbritton, he was out, a victim of a debate over aggregation (which TBD is really good at) vs. original reporting. “As we talked about the next phase of our growth, it seemed clear to Jim and I both that we had some stylistic differences,” wrote publisher Robert Allbritton.
  • Did The TV Guys win? Now, just six months after TBD launched, it appears that the folks at WJLA control TBD’s destiny. The TBD TV component (on cable) is effectively going away. WJLA.com, the former site, is coming back alongside TBD. And WJLA’s general manager, Bill Lord, will be taking over as head of each of the local news entities. It appears the old-schoolers won. source

» Bloodletting on Twitter: Jim Brady, an active tweeter, has been ripping his old company over the last day or so over the decision to restructure. In his harshest tweet, he offered this sentiment: “At good companies, the people who resist necessary change are pushed aside. At bad companies, they are put in charge. RIP, the old TBD.” There is a degree of universal-ness to what he has to say, and many have been made their feelings known about the matter on Twitter today. While it’s certainly not the worst decision a company has made, TBD’s restructuring reflects a debate happening in newsrooms around the world: Is change needed? Or is the status quo more effective? Allbritton appears to have chosen the latter route, despite, you know, the chart above.

Follow ShortFormBlog

21:14 // 3 years ago