Archive for October, 2008

Open Salon on CJR

After none too few rounds of editing—which is decidedly not to say they weren’t thoroughly helpful—my piece about Salon.com’s newest adventure in blogging is up for your leisurely weekend enjoyment at the Columbia Journalism Review. Hot dog!

Thanks go to my friend and editor. He’s the kind of guy who works really hard, gets tired because of all that work, loves to sleep because of how tired he is, but is called indefatigable anyhow. Justin Peters, everyone! You may know him from such happy locales as diaperville, USA.

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The building blocks of news: topics and people too!

I’m glad Jeff Jarvis has returned with a vengeance to his blog. My suspicion is that he’s been saving up this New Building Block piece, making due with fun pointers to the serious topic while buried in his book.

Yesterday, he wrote about (one aspect of) a subject near and dear to my heart. The radical unbundling of the news. In a post titled “The building block of journalism is no longer the article,” Jarvis writes, “I think the new building block of journalism needs to be the topic.”

He’s only half-right, though. As I’ve said way too many times, in way too many ways, on this blog, the new architecture of news—its new elegant organization—is two-fold.

On the one hand, yes, topics are central. We’re talking ideas, brands, memes, beats, events, and more. On the other hand, however, PEOPLE ARE CRITICAL.

Consider these data points:

At the time, I linked to that post, called “Towns are hyperlocal social networks with data (people that is).” That bit of link bait caught his eye, and he excerpted a chunk of it in a follow-up post called “It’s about people” a few days later.

In fact, my post, called “Grokky Jarvis Has Something to Say about the News,” was about more than people. I wrote, “The bits of content must be contingent on the people they discuss. The people, and also the issues, who constitute the story, as it were, must be liberated from the confines of the article.”

Ouch, that syntax makes me cringe, but there it is nonetheless: the PEOPLE and the ISSUES.

See here, here, and here for the details. That’s networked news.


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