This is not an exit

The case for treating Julian Assange as a source rather than a fellow journalist

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2015 at 12:09 am
Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr user acidpolly.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr user acidpolly.

You can’t dictate the ways of the web. It’s an intrinsic truth of content production and distribution.

Publishing is among the most democratic processes there are. Hell, it’s why the men who wrote the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights nearly 250 years ago counted freedom of speech and the press as the highest and most inalienable of rights. It used to be that you needed to have enough money to pay for the facilities to produce your own content.

And, as well all know, the barrier to entry into the field of publishing is almost non-existent. Any man, woman or child with access to the Internet, whether it’s the public computer at a city library, a data plan with a smartphone or a Macbook or iPad, has the ability to post, posit and communicate with the outside world.

But that freedom isn’t without a cost.

Takeaways from a conversation with Pulitzer-Prize winning digital journalist Steve Doig

In Uncategorized on February 12, 2015 at 1:49 pm


Steve Doig

On Wednesday afternoon, we met with Steve Doig, a Pulitzer Prize winner who’s currently serving as the Knight Chair of Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State University.

Doig’s a pioneer in data journalism. He was the first staffer at the Miami Herald to take advantage of digital records in his reporting. When Hurricane Andrew roared through Florida, he and a team of reporters analyzed damage estimates and weather patterns to assess the initial reports. Then, when they began looking at property records and compared them with the storm’s path, they found a curious statistic: The newest homes in the area were the most likely to sustain major damage.

As he said, many of the newer neighborhoods resembled a lumber yard rather than a housing development.

Doig and his team dug deeper. They hired two outside firms to collect and individually enter $8 million worth of campaign contributions into a database. What they gleaned from that was that 25 percent of campaign contributions were coming from the building industry.


What Ellen Degeneres and The New York Times can teach us about social media presence

In Uncategorized on February 1, 2015 at 11:34 pm

The Internet is a fickle thing. Do something it likes, and you’ll live in infamy (well, Internet infamy, anyway. And that can last anywhere from five minutes to maybe a week and a half.)

Sometimes all it takes is a meticulously constructed recipe for virality. Take, for instance, Ellen Degeneres’ tweet from the 2014 Academy Awards. You know the one.

It got 3.3 million retweets. The second-most retweeted post? Justin Bieber with 550,000.

Ellen’s tweet may have contained all of the ingredients for success, but it wasn’t entirely planned. Samsung, one of the sponsors of the 2014 Academy Awards, included in its contract with the event’s planners that the Galaxy be worked into the show in some way. Enter Ellen.