Is Twitter ruining journalism or are journalists ruining Twitter?

‘It’s not Twitter’s fault; Twitter’s just a tool. It’s the idea that everyone should report and re-report every trivial thing that happens (or maybe doesn’t happen) in a mad rush to be the first with it and get all the traffic.
… You can’t blame technology or the applications it creates for turning us in the news business into a bunch of attention-starved maniacs who put stuff out there without checking the facts. That’s happened for years.’


Are robots and content farms the future of the news?

Are robots and content farms the future of the news?

Position: Per Piece Writer
Treatment: 1099 Independent Contractor
Time: You choose when you work, but we are looking for day availability
Location: Remote. As a contractor, you choose where you work
Pay: Per-piece, roughly $12/hr. For example $4 stories take about 20 +/- minutes, and $2 stories take about 10 +/- minutes.

Say what?! 10 minutes for one story? Making $ 12 per worked hour? Does anyone actually do this? I can’t believe. Who do these companies think they are? But what kind of self evaluation do you make when choosing this as an employment? What are you for your fellow writers? Who is the robot in this story?

Should Startups Focus on Profitability or Not?

Must read article about startups:

The characteristics of somebody who should NOT focus on profitability include those who:

  • Have or perceive that they have the opportunity to build an immensely scalable businesses. Internet scale.
  • Have easy access to capital by investors who are committed to building businesses at Interent scale

The new lazy journalism

We don’t need paid professionals to do retweeting for us. They’re slicing up the attention pie thinner and thinner, giving us retreaded rehashes of warmed over news, all hoping for a bit of attention because the issue is trending. We can leave that to the unpaid, I think.

Retweeting actual news can have a journalistic purpose, but rehashing the tweets about an event as an event in itself, that’s not the way I would like to see things go forward.

As for news, it’s a commodity now. Period. Journalists could be filters for the important bits of information. Background information. Too bad their audience lusts for stories to share with their friends.

What notable journalists are thinking about their craft

An anonymous source in an interview series about the status of tech journalism.

We can’t ignore what our readers want (AppleAppleApple, slideshows of fancy homes, tiger mom), but we also give them what we think they need (mistakes in European monetary/economic policy, proliferation of insider trading in the U.S., etc.) and that they’ll eventually be happy to read about that as well.

I could yell at the paternalism of the anonymous source but I’m afraid he is the honest one here. Everyone knows tech journalism is about pageviews. Keeping up appearances is just part of the job, not the other way round.

The article as luxury or byproduct

Journalism has been under a lot of pressure in the last few years. First bloggers came along who were faster than traditional mediaoutlets. With the rampant succes of social media, things got worse.

Live coverage of events is widely available. Eye witnesses tweet away while events unfold. Yet media outlets keep thinking in terms of articles and edited video segments.

Articles are wonderful. But they are no longer necessary for every event. They were a necessary form for newspapers and news shows but not the free flow, the never-starting, never-ending stream of digital. Sometimes, a quick update is sufficient; other times a collection of videos can do the trick.

via The article as luxury or byproduct « BuzzMachine.

I doubt whether change will come fast to media as it’s not easy to turn an industrially scaled newsmachine around. Yet some people try. Belgian newspaper De Tijd uses storify to tell stories. Roland Legrand and Raphael Cockx seem to be on the cutting edge of new storytelling by newspapers.

It seems like new storytelling is more a matter of individual journalists than of news organizations. Maybe, staying in the vocabulary of mr Jarvis, there is a place for entrepreneurial journalism. Within or outside the organization.

Want more? Go RSS (quotes only)

When the Internet Thinks It Knows You

Like the old gatekeepers, the engineers who write the new gatekeeping code have enormous power to determine what we know about the world. But unlike the best of the old gatekeepers, they don’t see themselves as keepers of the public trust. There is no algorithmic equivalent to journalistic ethics.

via When the Internet Thinks It Knows You –

Journalists Are Aggregators Too (And That’s A Good Thing) | Techdirt

The real problem, however, is that journalists are, by their nature, thieves of words. You can call it what you like; you can say “Possibly I am old-fashioned,” and talk about how “actual journalists are laboring at actual history, covering the fever of democracy in Arab capitals and the fever of austerity in American capitals” (Keller) or you can brag about the “148 full-time editors, writers, and reporters engaged in the serious, old-fashioned work of traditional journalism” (Huffington), but all this “old fashioned” stuff is just a way of covering over something really basic about what “actual” journalists “traditionally” do, all the time: write down what other people say.

via Journalists Are Aggregators Too (And That’s A Good Thing) | Techdirt.