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  • August « 2008 « Breaking News
    had taken place the city was being bombed This was breaking news with a capital B and at this point six hours distant from that 3 30 am blast it offers some intriguing lessons in how coverage of these events is evolving in a world where digital cameras and web access are almost ubiquitous Bottom line in aggregate citizens journalists out performed their professional counterparts getting news out faster offering more details and better images and videos They also made more mistakes and had a high noise to signal ratio Mainstream media were slow off the mark and while they depended on the citizen journalists they failed to make the most of the possibilities that material offered See the bottom of the post for my thoughts on how to do that Toronto s a media rich city four paid dailies two free dailies several city news blogs in addtion to more than a dozen local radio and television stations I can t cover them all but took a look at the four dailies The Globe The National Post The Star and The Sun and the two big place blogs Blog TO and Torontoist I did a similar comparison earlier this year when the transit union launched an unexpected but legal strike on a Friday night at press deadline time and the results are pretty similar none of the dailies have figured out yet how to blend the strengths of their newsroom speed accuracy access with the new possibilities opened up by an always connected citizenry but most of them are trying The Star with the city s biggest newsroom although I can t imagine they had more than a single person on duty when the first blast hit produced the fullest account with pretty admirable speed Police fire eyewitness reports plus links to two of the eight or so citizen videos of the blast I found online The article had commenting enabled they don t always and you got a bit of a flavour of the impact on the city which is useful if basic The Globe and Mail seemed entirely asleep at the switch relying entirely on Canadian Press for it s text story still photos and video CP s video was quite good actually blending citizen video with their own images and overlaying professional reporting and a very competent voice over The Globe and the Star both appealed to readers to send them stories videos and photos but if they got any neither acknowledged it Lots of comments though including people offering links to other sites with video of the blasts the Toronto Fire Dept s live response web page even academic and news references to other propane explosions and the risks the storage depots pose Good stuff that a smart web team might have referenced in the story but their readers did it for them It s a stark demonstration of how people use or want to use the web to share information to learn more by

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?m=200808 (2014-10-09)
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  • July « 2008 « Breaking News
    with his chief operating officer Randy Michaels and staff at the Hartford Courrant newspaper Zell and Michaels defended their decisions Continue reading Tribune chain boss endorses the river of news as online model July 23rd 2008 Category Journalism News Tech Comments are closed 2007 Canadian online ad revenue jumped by 38 per cent but newspapers lagged behind By Bill on July 21st 2008 Canadian advertisers are moving more and more money onto the web with spending continuing to grow by double digits although the rate of growth is expected to slow this year Alas newspapers while seeing healhy growth in their online revenue are lagging behind From a press release earlier this week from the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada IAB 2007 Canadian Online Advertising Revenues climbed to just over 1 2 billion for the year a 38 increase over 2006 actuals Publisher revenue from Online advertising in Canada has more than quadrupled over the past five years building from 237 Continue reading 2007 Canadian online ad revenue jumped by 38 per cent but newspapers lagged behind July 21st 2008 Category Advertising Comments are closed The biggest mistake online news sites make creating their own content By Bill on July 19th 2008 One of the big things that most newspapers i e all of them don t get about the web is that it s not all about creating and owning content Pointing to good content is just as important Data from the Project for Excellence in Journalism s latest State of the News Media report shows that all of the top ten online news sites use newspaper content from wire services or via the web but only three of them are newspaper or newspaper chain sites Yahoo MSNBC AOL Google etc all produce no or very little original content and use and rely on Continue reading The biggest mistake online news sites make creating their own content July 19th 2008 Category Journalism News Comments are closed Capturing the print diaspora disruption as a training opportunity By Bill on July 17th 2008 The US newspaper industry shed 10 000 jobs in 2007 and not surprisingly that s engendered a lot of fear folly and false prophets As my own publisher Dana Robbins keeps pointing out the Canadian Newspaper industry is in much better shape 2007 industry wide total revenue in Canada dropped just 08 versus 9 4 in the US But there s no denying nor ignoring the pain south of the border That s why it s kind of refreshing to see the birth of a company aimed at helping journalists and the industry cross the chasm from print focused to content focused TreeHouse Media Founded by Continue reading Capturing the print diaspora disruption as a training opportunity July 17th 2008 Category Journalism News Tech Comments are closed Blow up the beats Tampa paper copes with deep cuts By Bill on July 14th 2008 Staff cuts 50 and a newsroom re organization at The Tampa Tribune made a big

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?m=200807 (2014-10-09)
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  • June « 2008 « Breaking News
    a Digital Native By Bill on June 24th 2008 Here are the seven tips I give our WebU students who are learning how to write for the web Stop before posting ANY story and ask yourself these seven questions about how you can enrich your story for the reader 1 Are there original documents you can link to If you ve downloaded a report meeting minutes or agendas watched a video or listened to a tape share it If it s living elsewhere on the web link to it If you have your own copy can you scan it Post it yourself Tell people how they can get their own physical Continue reading Seven Steps to Writing Like a Digital Native June 24th 2008 Category Journalism News Tech Tips Comments are closed Forty percent of the Top 50 US newspapers are bleeding red ink says top CEO By Bill on June 10th 2008 Business Week s Media Columnist Jon Fine did us all a favour by reproducing in it s entirety a speech given by newspaper chain CEO Dean Singleton at the World Association of Newsapers annual conference held this year in Sweden Singleton whose chain News Media Group owns Denver Post San Jose Mercury etc opened his speech with a well placed kick to the midsection of a prone Lord Black of Crossharbour Thank you for once again inviting me to address the World Association of Newspapers I spoke to you at the 2003 meeting in Dublin My speech was followed by a presentation Continue reading Forty percent of the Top 50 US newspapers are bleeding red ink says top CEO June 10th 2008 Category Advertising Journalism Marketing News Comments are closed Rob Curley s crew flees suburbia for Las Vegas By Bill on June 6th 2008 So Rob

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?m=200806 (2014-10-09)
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  • May « 2008 « Breaking News
    and a 30 gig Video iPod We never talked but our eyes met briefly on the 86 B at 9 30 pm Tuesday night when you dropped your copy of Jane Eyre etc Reading the ads can be a kind of guilty pleasure a form of social voyeurism in which nobody gets hurt or too Continue reading How to find video stories in the classifieds May 14th 2008 Category Journalism News Tips Comments are closed Watching Walmart Grow and other strange uses for Freebase The World s Database By Bill on May 8th 2008 Watch the Walmart Growth video here The map was made by Toby Segaran blogger programmer and author of Programming Collective Intelligence And if you re wondering if this means that I m still on this Crowdsourcing kick the answer is yes In this case the crowd is contributing data lots and lots of data which is then freely available for any geek or number nerd to come along and wring sense out of Segaran built his Walmart growth video using data from Freebase an open public database that launched a year or so ago Freebase is an Continue reading Watching Walmart Grow and other strange uses for Freebase The World s Database May 8th 2008 Category News Comments are closed Baltimore Sun s New Suburban Site Links to Competitors By Bill on May 7th 2008 Dear lord I wish this wasn t news But it is According to Editor and Publisher the Baltimore Sun s new county news web site ExploreHoward com is actually linking to other news sites Gasp That s right they re sending readers to the competition I wrote last week perhaps too dismissively of the increasingly nimble Baltimore Sun s efforts to reach a youth market by launching a new paper and web product b What they ve done now to warrant the coverage in Editor and Publisher is launch a new website that aggregates news content from it looks like four community papers Continue reading Baltimore Sun s New Suburban Site Links to Competitors May 7th 2008 Category Journalism News Comments are closed Most Read stories may be a matter of luck not quality as research discovers hits are almost random By Bill on May 6th 2008 Good news trends probably aren t started by cool kids who are way smarter and more influential than you or I Instead products and ideas catch on in society because we re ready for them and just about anyone can start up the the wave of acceptance for that new idea Some of the critical research on this was published back in Feb 2006 in Science the magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science but most of us learned about it in a recent Fast Company piece by tech writer and Canadian Clive Thompson Is The Tipping Continue reading Most Read stories may be a matter of luck not quality as research discovers hits are almost random May 6th 2008 Category

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?m=200805 (2014-10-09)
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  • April « 2008 « Breaking News
    the city just 90 minutes notice that they were shutting down the nation s largest transit system The strike arising from the rejection of a tentative settlement stranded thousands of people who were out blithely enjoying a warm spring Friday night in the city s core Breaking ongoing late night news like this is about as tough a stresser of a newspaper s abilities as you can find and it s instructive to see how it was handled here in media rich Toronto First the background The TTC union executive narrowly accepted 8 7 a tentative contract earlier this week and it was put to a vote of members all day Friday At about 10 30 pm last night the union issued a press release saying the offer had been rejected by 65 of workers and as a result they would walk out at midnight The Mayor held a press conference moments before midnight decrying the move and vowing back to work legislation from the province The system shut down at midnight just as thousands of people began streaming out of movie houses and bars and restaurants Think of that thousands of Torontonians pouring out of bars and clubs and restaurants looking forward to nothing so much as their distant bed and finding suddenly they had no way home What would happen Riots Innocents struck down on darkened streets as they trekked home alone and on foot So how did the Toronto media respond to the challenge Sadly most did at least modestly well in print but failed to use the web very well at all Let s have a look Toronto Sun Back when I worked at the Sun they would have flooded the zone on this story held the print run and dragged reporters and editors and photographers out of their beds and bars and fanned out across the city to put together a comprehensive photo packed pullout complete with howls of outrage from one or more columnists As I write this 5 30 am I haven t had a chance to see what they ve done in print but their web offering is pretty pathetic a single story that looks be re purposed print content No offence to reporter Brian Gray who by himself turned in a perfectly respectable hard news story it s just that it s pretty thin gruel on a story that the old Sun would have feasted on To make matters worse their website left up a story dated Saturday their original Sat print story that began TTC workers were expected to ratify a tentative deal yesterday during an all day voting process despite a group of workers grumbling about the agreement Ouch Toronto Star The Toronto Star is the flagship of the chain I work for is the largest paper in Canada and has the largest newsroom at its disposal Sad to say they appear to have been caught flat footed by the sudden strike and dropped the ball at least on

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?m=200804 (2014-10-09)
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  • March « 2008 « Breaking News
    afraid they are going to become a shell of their original purpose a brand name for a collection of niche publications free tabloids and assorted Web sites The center that Continue reading Newspapers in danger of abandoning their mission March 22nd 2008 Category Journalism News Tech Comments are closed The Wire s final season By Bill on March 17th 2008 I have yet to see a single full episode of The Wire a critically acclaimed cable TV show out of the US that chronicled Baltimore s seedy drug subculture and ended its five season run with a long story arc set in a fictional Baltimore newsroom but after reading this blog post by exec producer David Simon I want to watch the whole darn thing In the post Simon rips US journalists who loved or hated the show and wrote about it extensively for failing to note the key point of the season the paper sucked It was Continue reading The Wire s final season March 17th 2008 Category News Comments are closed Here s how we should be doing news on the web By Bill on March 14th 2008 Hint Think radio Another hint it s a conversation remember Howard Owens was right we should never have begun dumping our printed paper onto the web It s been a disaster sucking enormous resources and energy requiring massive multi million CMS s producing little of real value and blinding us to the real strength of the medium Online news is lot more like radio than print Online news lives in three dimensions height and width on the web page yes but also TIME It exists in time it is not frozen in place the Continue reading Here s how we should be doing news on the web March 14th 2008 Category Journalism News Comments are closed Online teaching tools By Bill on March 13th 2008 Here s an embedded slide show of a presentation I created using Google s free Documents tools The tools is very fast and easy if somewhat less than sophisticated in terms of transitions etc It has some interesting functionality it allows people to join an online conversation about the presentation in real time in a sidebar a kind of open back channel Not sure if I d use that in a classroom situation but it might be interesting in a distance learning environment Oh and did I mention it was free This presentation was on the difference between print and online advertising In Continue reading Online teaching tools March 13th 2008 Category Advertising Comments are closed Screw the story By Bill on March 10th 2008 Every time I read Angela or any other video blogger talk about telling visual stories or being narrative I recoil Screw the story Show me something interesting It takes a damn lot of talent to tell a good story and to really make a story sing you ve got to get into that whole production value thing which as we

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?m=200803 (2014-10-09)
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  • February « 2008 « Breaking News
    poke around in the meaning of the Oscars as a cultural event Sunday s New York Times featured a David Carr argument that the Oscars remain one of our last collective cultural appointments but today his defence is wearing a little thin Maybe we re witnessing the end of yet another societal bond Read the rest of his post here Kirk suggests the Oscar show itself and the Olympics are ripe for decline and in need of a digital facelift The Oscars the Continue reading The Oscars the last of the common cultural appointments February 25th 2008 Category Blogs blogging Comments are closed Slideshows versus videos what do readers want By Bill on February 23rd 2008 Spectator associate editor Howard Elliott reports that online editors at the recent American Press Institute seminar were reporting that their slideshows were out polling videos online no data no research but just the buzz in the room I found this hard to believe I ve always thought the slide shows and sound slide shows were the favourites of photographers and photo editors because that s about the only place on line that their core skill still photography gets a workout Videos seem to have a clear broad and growing audience Take a look at ComScore s latest video Continue reading Slideshows versus videos what do readers want February 23rd 2008 Category News Comments are closed The number and story of the Beast By Bill on February 13th 2008 Acerbic media critic and NYU journalism prof Jay Rosen PressThink and Assignment Zero says right out loud what most thinking journalists merely well think our campaign coverage sucks and it s nobody s fault but our own Our horse race approach to election coverage yields a diet of news that is shallow misleading and quite often

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?m=200802 (2014-10-09)
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  • January « 2008 « Breaking News
    build a successful local news web site Hint Don t start with your newspaper By Bill on January 29th 2008 In an article written for Harvard s Nieman Reports special issue on Local News Richard Anderson founder of the award winning Village Soup web sites argues that most newspapers get it all wrong when they go on the web because they think of the site as a performance a stage show while his community host model combines that show with something like a trade show floor where everyone can gather to share ideas browse and buy Here s Richard The conventional community newspaper approach to going online is analogous to an event production just as a star performs on stage reporters Continue reading How to build a successful local news web site Hint Don t start with your newspaper January 29th 2008 Category Advertising Journalism Tips Comments are closed How to create a blog for your paper magazine or show NOW By Bill on January 7th 2008 So you want to try blogging NOW Don t want to wait for our over burdened digital media folks to get around to implementing or building out blogs for your paper using our

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?m=200801 (2014-10-09)
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