Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy on journalism and startups

April 11th, 2012

I’m a fan of Sarah Lacy and what she is building at PandoDaily. Funded by $2.5M, Lacy aims to cover the startup world and be the “site-of-record for the startup root-system and everything that springs up from it…”

She delivers great tech journalism and covers startups well, and PandoDaily’s original voice and analysis is refreshing.

I wanted to share a quick clip of Lacy’s interview with Howard Kurtz, where she and Howard discussed tech journalism, her business and the startup world.

One of the discussion points in this interview focuses on Randi Zuckerberg’s decision to co-produce a show called Silicon Valley, a “reality show” that will air on Bravo. The show claims it will be all about San Fran’s tech scene. If you have been following Lacy, you know she is not a fan. At all. And of course, Zuckerberg defends the show.

Lacy offers some great perspective on the state of tech journalism and how TV shows like this can undermine a real journalist’s job in flushing out the stories behind startups.

Digital Journal announces Global Editorial Meetings

July 5th, 2011

Digital Journal's David Silverberg (left) and Chris Hogg discuss the company's Global Editorial Meetings.Today, my company, Digital Journal, made a big editorial announcement. To keep you up-to-date, I’ve included a press release below:

Digital Journal today announced a new community newsroom initiative aimed at widening the scope of news covered globally, and involving the public in the news creation process.

Dubbed “Global Editorial Meetings,” these online chat story meetings are open to the public and hosted on Digital Journal.

“Every news organization has story meetings,” said Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal. “But traditionally they happen behind closed doors, with a selected group of individuals deciding what everyone should be reading. We want to change that to see how editorial direction will shift by opening up these meetings to the public. Starting this month, our Global Editorial Meetings will allow everyone to share details on what kind of stories we should be covering, and what stories are going unnoticed in the press.”

As a hybrid news network that combines professional journalists with citizen journalists and bloggers, Digital Journal has always taken a forward-thinking approach to journalism. The company has successfully crowdsourced thousands of story ideas from a large and growing contributor base and held liveblog workshops on journalistic practices. With Global Editorial Meetings, Digital Journal is going one step further to open up these meetings to give an editorial voice to literally everyone.

In the Global Editorial Meetings, Digital Journal staff members and editors will chat live with readers, journalists, bloggers, photographers and passionate news junkies about important stories and topics from their city, province/state or country.

Conversation will focus on multiple geographies and news verticals, and particular attention will be focused on stories the public believes are being under-reported.

After these Global Editorial Meetings are complete, Digital Journal will use feedback and input to assign stories to thousands of Digital Journalists around the world. The company will use its Assignments technology to create, track and organize a massive editorial project to provide the public with content it wants.

The first Global Editorial Meeting will take place on July 11 at 9 a.m. (Eastern time), and the second will happen July 21 at 2 p.m. (Eastern time). A third Global Editorial Meeting will take place on July 28 at 8 p.m. (Eastern time). The live chat conversations will use Cover It Live and anyone can participate.

To participate in a chat, visit the Digital Journal Global Editorial Meetings group and click on the blog post for the day(s) you wish to attend. You can set a reminder for yourself on the embedded chat widget inside each post.

“Our goal is to get our finger on the pulse of the world,” said David Silverberg, Managing Editor of Digital Journal. “Combining the public’s voice with the Digital Journal platform to create, assign and publish content is a really powerful marriage. We hope to be able to get a much better sense of what people find important, and then deliver that information to Digital Journalists who can make sure those voices are being heard by providing coverage of all those topics.”

“Digital Journal is recognized as a pioneer in the news industry for bringing in everyday people as reporters,” said Hogg. “We want to continue to lead by example, and so we’re opening up our newsrooms and giving the public a forum in which they can be heard.”

Debate: The gap between what reporters write and what readers consume

March 11th, 2011

Joshua Benton, director of Nieman Journalism Labs For those interested in the gap between what reporters cover and what readers consume, this video from MIT/NiemanLabs may be of interest.

Pablo Boczkowski is a Northwestern professor who studies news production and how it is changing in a digital environment. In the video embedded below, Boczkowski makes a presentation on the kind of journalism news organizations produce and how it compares to what people actually consume. Boczkowski gathers data from a wide variety of sources that span different geographies and time periods.

After his presentation, Joshua Benton from Nieman Journalism Lab weighs in with a few interesting points to encourage discussion and debate on the subject.

You can read a transcript here, and for those who want to skip ahead: Boczkowski’s talk starts at 7:50; Benton’s response starts at 37:10; and a Q&A session starts at 57:45.

Pablo Boczkowski and Joshua Benton at MIT Communications Forum from Nieman Journalism Lab on Vimeo.

Google investing $5 million to encourage innovation in digital journalism

October 27th, 2010


Google has announced it’s giving away $5 million in grants to non-profit organizations that are developing new approaches to journalism in the digital age.

“Journalism is fundamental to a functioning democracy,” writes Nikesh Arora, President, Global Sales Operations and Business Development. “As media organizations globally continue to broaden their presence online, we’re eager to play our part on the technology side—experimenting with new ways of presenting news online; providing tools like Google Maps and YouTube Direct to make websites more engaging for readers; and investing heavily in our digital platforms to enable publishers to generate more revenue.”

So far, $2 million was granted to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support programs and innovation in journalism. The Knight Foundation will use $1 million to support US grant-making and the other $1 million will be put toward the Knight News Challenge, a program that accepts funding proposals from anyone, anywhere in the world, until December 1.

“We’re eager to do even more internationally, so we will be investing the remaining $3 million in journalism projects in other countries through a similar partnership,” said Arora. “Stay tuned for more details early next year.”

According to a press release, the Knight Foundation says it has invested more than $100 million in media innovation initiatives over the last five years. The money has gone toward innovation in national media policies, technology, public media transformation and the Internet.

The Knight Foundation has welcomed Google into the mix of organizations working toward innovation in digital journalism.

“This is an enormously important vote of confidence by the industry leader, said Alberto Ibargüen, President of Knight Foundation. “We welcome Google’s support. The free flow of information is essential to a democratic society.  Already, more Americans get their information from the Internet than from newspapers.  That trend will only intensify, making it imperative for our democracy that we find ways to effectively deliver the news and information people require on the new, digital platforms.”

Below is a video in which Knight Foundation President, Alberto Ibargüen, talks about Google’s donation of $2 million to support Knight Foundation’s media innovation efforts:

- Cross posted to Future of Media

Facebook, media outlets discuss social media’s news revolution

August 17th, 2010

Social media has upended everything from how people find information to media organizations’ business models. Digital Journal talks to a few industry leaders on what this means for the future of media.

In media circles, the words “social media” are uttered almost as often as one would greet a co-worker in the morning, for good reason: It’s completely changed journalism, business models and strategies of news organizations.

According to comScore, almost 75 percent of global Web users access social media sites every month. When it comes to generating revenue, eMarketer says U.S. advertisers will spend $1.68 billion on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter in 2010. That is a 20 percent jump over 2009 numbers.

And when it comes to journalism, many experts agree social media lets reporters have more frequent two-way communication with news consumers; it allows journalists to find more sources and real-time information; and it enables inexpensive live reporting for just about anyone.

“Social media has fundamentally changed the two most important aspects of traditional news, namely breaking news and commentary,” Jordan Banks, managing director of Facebook Canada, told “As a result, it is no longer sufficient just to provide the news. The expectation of the masses is now to be able to participate in the news, to share it, shape it, comment on it, define it and to use it as a tool to democratize the entire creation and dissemination process.”

Banks oversees Facebook’s Canadian operations and is responsible for leading and managing all commercial operations from the company’s Toronto-based office.

Previously, Banks was the managing partner at Thunder Road Capital which he founded in 2008 to provide investment and advisory services to early stage technology companies. Prior to that role he was the CEO of JumpTV and managing director of eBay Canada.

As a seasoned executive who has run the Canadian offices of a few Silicon Valley giants, Banks is widely respected and is an expert on social media’s impact on business. In one of his first major public events since taking over Facebook’s Canadian operations, Banks is set to appear on a five-person panel discussion at the Future of Media, an event taking place in Toronto on Sept. 8. The event is hosted by and invites key executives, entrepreneurs, social media experts and journalists to comment on the future of media and engage in a Q&A with audience members.

“In a world where ‘social’ is the norm and expectation, all content — and news is no exception — will have to play by the rules of transparency, honesty and mass collaboration,” said Banks. With social media changing how, where and when people communicate, large news organizations are now adapting their business models and strategies to capitalize on an increasingly engaged audience.

“Media organizations need to look at social media as a distribution tool to get their content and brand to readers and users who may not be visiting their website, mobile site and applications,” Anjali Kapoor told Kapoor is the Managing Editor, Digital at The Globe and Mail. “The experience of a news user has also changed and more often than not, a news item might show up in a Facebook feed or Twitter feed first. It offers amazing potential and changes the way journalists need to think about their audience and their journalism.”

Kapoor oversees the editorial digital strategy for The Globe and Mail. She was also director of product and editorial at Yahoo! Canada where she was responsible for overseeing the product strategy and business goals of the Media Group. She will also be speaking at the Future of Media in Toronto on Sept. 8.

Kapoor says a social media plan and strategy is always an integral part of The Globe and Mail‘s coverage of various news stories. She says the Globe is using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to cover stories and cites a Toronto example: “Our coverage of the G20 Summit was a combination of traditional journalism and a live blog that incorporated real-time tweeting, photos and video from reporters, our readers and other blogs,” Kapoor said.

Print journalism is not the only medium to be affected by social media, either. As David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News told, broadcast media is also in the middle of undergoing massive change.

“The ivory tower approach of an anchor telling the audience what kind of day it’s been has been replaced by a collaborative and symbiotic relationship between the audience and the reporter,” Skok said. “On a consumption level, the audience now gets to decide what it wants, when it wants it. Whether through social graphs or geo-targeted hyper-local news, the audience that now determines what’s important to them and their friends, and not the news editor.”

Skok oversees the local and national digital properties under the network. His career spans both the online and on-air worlds of news, and he’s pioneered many of Global News’ online and cross-platform efforts. Prior to that position, he worked with ABC News in Washington on its Nightline program, and with CHUM Radio in Toronto. Skok will also be speaking at the Future of Media in Toronto on Sept. 8.

“The ultimate purpose of journalism is to communicate with, and on behalf of, the audience,” said Skok. “As the audience changes the way it consumes news and information, it is vital that journalists reflect these changes both in their news-gathering and storytelling abilities. Ignoring the effect of social media on journalism is akin to turning your back on the audience you serve.”

Skok believes social media has greatly increased the transparency between news organizations and their audiences, which has improved relationships between the two. And while many news organizations have embraced social media in some way, Skok believes they are not utilizing new platforms to their fullest.

“Very few news organizations have a strong grasp of what each services’ strengths and weaknesses are, and how each can be effectively used as distribution and communication tools,” he said. “Social media isn’t just about communicating to your audience, it’s about sharing with and learning from them in a transparent and honest way. That’s a concept that I think most news organizations are still grappling with.”

For more info on social media and mobile platforms, don’t miss the Future of Media event in Toronto on Sept. 8. The event is hosted by and it’s free to attend but space is limited. More info on the event can be found here.