This is not an exit

Archive for 2015|Yearly archive page

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Wow. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Why the Washington Post needs Chris Cillizza and The Fix

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2015 at 11:40 pm
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Angela Pan.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Angela Pan.

U.S. politics are full of bullshit to wade through. People talk — sometimes only under the condition of anonymity. More often than not, you’re stuck decoding what a politician means when he or she says something.

That’s why a blog can help supplement the steady flow of information that comes out of the nation’s capitol. The Washington Post has a few blogs that help provide insight into many of the issues that the paper covers.

The Fix might be the best example of a blog that helps shed light on that coverage by polishing the presentation.

Take presidential elections.

Sometimes people say they’re running for president when they probably have no intention of doing so. Other times, the presidential field gets so crowded somebody needs to explain why. And yet others still, somebody just needs to tell Mitt Romney it might be time to stop trying.

The Fix is valuable because it takes topics that The Post has already covered and spins them forward. Chris Cillizza and his writers dissect these issues with language that’s less stiff than traditional newswriting but neutral enough that it doesn’t ooze bias. Read the rest of this entry »

What can bloggers learn from journalists and vice-versa?

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2015 at 3:21 pm


The basis for the post is two different Poynter essays: “What Bloggers Can Learn From Journalists” and “What Journalists Can Learn From Bloggers.”

It’s a bit hard to dissect both lessons when the lines that defined the rigid boundary between blogger and journalist in 2004 — when the articles were written — has become blurred over time to the point that there’s hardly a difference between the two practices.

The blurring of those lines is personified in Brian Stelter. He’s the senior media correspondent for CNN. Before that, he worked for The New York Times with fellow blogger/reporter badass David Carr. And before that? He was a blogger. Take a quick look at the trailer for Page One: Inside the New York Times:

Read the rest of this entry »