Tag Archives: journalism

sneaky social networks

Entry by Joy Bacon

Sorry this is a little later than planned, finals happen. For those of you who missed it, I presented last week some helpful sites and resources to make the best out of the Internet for reporting and information-gathering purposes.

1. Twitter sites:

-savethemedia.com has some great ways to embrace the new world of journalism. Check out parts 1 and 2 of their information about tons of resources for Twitter.

-An interesting way to rate your own use of Twitter:  www.twittergrader.com. My grade? 62. I’m working on improving this number. The site also grades your Facebook page or Web site.

2. Internet reporting

This is a really interesting example of how some news sites have used the Internet to track and cover Swine Flu. Here’s more about it from Poynter.

Another interesting term I came across in several places was the idea of creating an “electronic beat” for yourself as a reporter. This would consist of Google Alerts, RSS feeds, and other daily sites or information aggregates you would check at least daily for updates, stories, or just to follow the latest trends about a specific topic. Most sites recommended a list of 6-10 sources per beat.

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From the education side

Entry by Joy Bacon

I ran across this article from Inside Higher Ed about Columbia University’s changing journalism program, and its impact on Journalism programs nationwide. It’s an interesting read, with a lot of valuable links.

Keeping J-School Relevant

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a shrinking press corps

Entry by Joy Bacon

An interesting article from the Washington Post about the role of bloggers as news outlets shrink their reporting bases:

Bloggers Can’t fill the Gap left by shrinking press corps, by Marc Fisher

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tweet tweet

Entry by Joy Bacon

An interesting set of posts on Howard Kurtz’ Media Notes blog, hosted by the Washington Post:

Anchors Oblige Public’s Craving for Tweets (Feb. 23)

A Bunch of Twits? (Feb. 24)

Also of interest is that the second of these two posts is four pages long, which typically is way longer than most people would recommend for a news story, let alone a blog. Does this mean that people reading about the media have longer attention spans than people reading about the red carpet fashion at the Oscars?

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A question of philosophy

Entry by Joy Bacon

As the editor-in-chief of The Whitworthian, I sometimes get requests from fellow editors at

college newspapers asking for advice, or just throwing out some sounding board questions. Recently I got a message from an editor at a small, private university who’s paper is trying to develop an online presence. Among other logistical questions was this more thought-provoking request:

“How (does) the Internet figure into the goals of your paper on a broader scale?”

In my response to this question, I really had to examine what role an online edition plays in conjunction with a print publication. For a national newspaper, this answer is pretty straightforward: the Internet allows for easier access to information. But even from my experience at the college level, I think there is a gap between newspaper editors knowing the benefits of online journalism and conveying these advantages to readers. I don’t have a philosophical response to this question, but I think it’s an important one for journalists associated with a print and online publication to have a serious answer to.

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Top 15 newspaper websites

Entry by Joy Bacon

Since we’re talking about website design, I thought this would be of interest. Here’s a link to the full article, but I’ve recreated the list here, which was generated by the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. The rankings are based on average monthly unique visitors, so it’s not surprising that the top 15 newspapers in the country also have, for the most part, the top 15 online hits. Does this mean then that someone is going to read a newspaper’s brand regardless of the quality of its site, or that the top newspapers are also the ones who have created the best models for online journalism? You decide:

1. New York Times

2. USA Today

3. The Washington Post

4. The Los Angeles Times

5. The Wall Street Journal (A point of interest is that their URL is not necessarily easy to remember, because it’s not just the title of the paper. How does this affect their direct traffic?)

6. The Boston Globe (I honestly have never been a huge fan of this site, especially its navigation)

7. New York Post (Their website is almost identical to the layout and presentation of the print version)

8. Chicago Tribune (Actually looks pretty similar in some ways to the redesign of whitworthian.com, I think)

9. New York Daily News

10. San Francisco Chronicle (Another one with a slightly different URL)

11. Newsday

12. Politico (especially interesting because this site isn’t just a direct branch of a print publication. They’re print magazine is actually secondary to the website)

13. Chicago Sun-Times

14. The Houston Chronicle

15. The Dallas Morning News

According to the article, 2008 saw a 12 percent net increase in visitors to newspaper sites.

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