Once upon a time, the jobs in journalism were all at what we would consider traditional outlets — Time, Newsweek, ABC News, the Washington Post, etc. But these days, journalists who’ve had their pick of those publications are flocking to tech companies like Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter to create stories — content that competes, in breadth and scope, with the highest-caliber traditional publications. As print suffers a slow and painful decline, it’s not just the web that’s changing journalism as we know it — it’s tech companies like Tumblr and Facebook who are launching what could be the new new media movement. But what does this mean for the future of traditional journalistic outlets? Can a journalist remain objective when she’s employed by a company? Are journalists’ future homes in places that aren’t primarily about journalism, and should it be?
Interesting question. A thought on this: Tumblr is also creating a community of writers and journalists who wouldn’t need a job with traditional media with a little help on the traffic or monetization side. It’s one thing for Tumblr to hire people. It’s another for Tumblr to enable people to make their blog their full-time gig — so folks like those who went to Tampa and Charlotte to cover the conventions could rely on their work as their main source of income. There’s a lot more opportunity in that market (they already have the content verticals, without even really trying), and Tumblr could do more to tap the community’s creativity so it becomes sustainable creativity, the kind that strengthens the work they’re already doing.
When I started planning the site last summer, my plan was to make it more of a general-interest site. Then in November, when I left Poynter, I pretty much abandoned that plan to compete against my former employer. Finding a new tagline is on my to-do list.Blogger Jim Romenesko • Discussing why his “blog about media and other things I’m interested in” only seems to feature media posts. For a single individual, Romenesko is doing quite well on the blogging front, nearing the level of his former employer, Poynter, all by himself. He’s doing so well that his ad provider, BlogAds, is already talking about raising his rates. Not bad for a guy whose reputation took a public hit (though not without his defenders) a couple of months back.
jacjacattack asks: i read your post about the oregon blogger, crystal cox, and i would love to hear your thoughts on the now-official divide between journalist and blogger, since you guys are (to my understanding) a bit of both. do you think that the court case will significantly change anything in the blogosphere? has it impacted how you run (or would run) shortformblog? (great blog by the way; very informative. thank you!) x
» SFB says: It’s early, and the decision only affects bloggers in Oregon at this point — and that’s only according to one judge. But now is a good time to definitely comb through journalist shield laws and figure out which states need updating. Seattle Weekly, which broke the story, talked to Bruce E. H. Johnson, the man who wrote the shield law in Washington, and he said this about the case: ”I believe the shield law would have been applied [in Washington state]. Oregon’s law was probably written before blogging was accounted for.” So, the real question is how to get these laws updated for an era where a “journalist” is anyone with a camera phone and a Twitter account. To answer your question: It’s too soon to say it’s had a chilling effect, but if it goes the wrong way, it certainly could. — Ernie @ SFB
imwithkanye asks: What is the one piece of news you wish you would had written or reported? Whose work do you admire the most?
» SFB says: Regarding the first half of that, I feel like, honestly, I try to catch as much as I can, but sometimes the beast that is limited resources can really get in the way. I wish the site could’ve done more with Occupy Wall Street some nights. I wish I could give equal weight to the natural disasters that come along (we covered Thailand’s recent flooding a little too lightly, for example). But with just a handful of writers, you have to be careful to ensure that your appetite is as big as your stomach. So often we’ll cover one story really well if it’s big enough, or touch on four or five at a time.
As for the second part: I’ve always told people that my two biggest inspirations in doing this blog are Andrew Sullivan and Charles Apple. You guys all know Sullivan. Some of you hate his work or obsessions with Trig Palin or whatever. I tend to think that he set many of the basic templates for mixing news and opinion in a blog; he’s a trailblazer, plain and simple. As for Charles Apple, he runs a newspaper-design blog that is more of a direct influence on what I do. When I started the site, I asked him for feedback; I still cite his site pretty regularly. I came from news design, and while SFB’s focus is broader than that, the numbers and blurbs come from those roots. Beyond that, I find ProducerMatthew’s work to be super-inspiring. — Ernie @ SFB (Alright, Office Hours over for now; we have one or two still sitting around and we’ll get to those over the next few days.)
‘What do you think we might know about him, or could find out that could discredit him?’ … Does he drink? What are his views? Is he married?Bush-era CIA official David Low (reportedly) • Discussing with Glenn L. Carle, another top official in the CIA at that time, what they should do about Bush-needling professor Juan Cole, whose Informed Comment blog repeatedly criticized the Bush administration’s foreign policy. Cole posted about the matter on his blog today, kind of shocked about what came out. But he admits that he could be only the tip of the iceberg. “What alarms me most of all in the nakedly illegal deployment of the CIA against an academic for the explicit purpose of destroying his reputation for political purposes,” he says, “is that I know I am a relatively small fish and it seems to me rather likely that I was not the only target of the baleful team at the White House.” source (via • follow)