21st Century Media.
Friday, November 24, 2006
According to the Globe, Yahoo has just reached an advertising partnership with seven newspaper chains. It will begin with a jobs board, then expand to providing content and search capabilities to the websites of some of the papers, possibly putting a global focus into the local news arena.

Good news for Yahoo, which has taken a backseat to Google recently.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
  Nothing like waking up in sheer terror.
I'm sure everyone is just trying to figure out what happened last night, and I should applaud the slowly-growing photo coverage on Boston.com. The press photos are pretty good, but I'm impressed by the four reader-submitted photos that really show the extent of the fire. I slept at my boyfriend's last night (just off of School Street in Beverly, just across the water from Salem and Danvers) and from the skylight, I was able to see the fireball go into the sky and the subsequent flames. I think probably one of the greatest parts of new media and citizen journalism is the ability to capture an image the second something happens - long before the Globe and Herald photographers could get there.

Also, I'm hoping Prof. Kennedy is uninjured and his house is not in shambles.
Monday, November 20, 2006
  Fighting in a video game = fighting over the console?
Slashdot, through Dailytech is reporting that the Nintendo Wii, which was about as anticipated as the PS3, sold out yesterday with no reports of violence. This comes a few days after a Massachusetts man waiting in line to buy a PS3 at a Wal-Mart in Putnam, Connecticut, was shot by two robbers for refusing to give up his money. In addition, a volunteer for John Edwards just got in trouble for attempting to cut in line to get the former senator a Playstation for his kids.

What is wrong with Americans and video games? The Zune (my current obsession) launched with no extraneous fanfare, no fistfights and no hitches. (Also, in case anyone cares, I did a little bit of snooping and figured out that my mom has already bought me one for Christmas. It's white, it's hot, and I'm excited.) No one was punching each other to get an iPod nano, and you can guarantee there will be no one waiting in line to get the newest and hottest Blackberry. We are an entertainment-obsessed culture that apparently has nothing better to do than camp out for three days so we can spend hours on our couches absorbed in a virtual world that is meaningless and in no way enriches our lives or our minds.

But what really gets me is how Sony and Nintendo were hyping the crap out of these systems, aware of the fact that it would perpetuate crime, price gouging, and their profits. Whatever happened to corporate accountability? And whatever happened to Americans having lives? I'm just glad that the Wii launched without reported violence. At the same time, I'm miserable. Christmas season is here and that just means more materialism, and new technology is going to control all that. Bah humbug.
Friday, November 17, 2006
  My Jay Rosen wrap-up.
I didn't get around to it earlier in the week (jury duty), but as I'm sure everyone on earth knows by now, the Journalism of the Web class attended Jay Rosen's talk on NewAssignment.net at Harvard's Berkman Center. The video can be found here, but for the less patient, I've collected some main focal points.

"The more you give away, the more you win."

"Capacity does not create activity. If you build it, they won't necessarily come. You need to do more than that."

"The challenge is for professional journalists to work with their own group of people to break stories."

and, my personal favorite:
"Take, borrow, steal, adapt."

The project seemed to have such bright beginnings, but it seems like many (including Rosen himself) are starting to lose a bit of faith. The lack of funds is definitely a likely cause, but moreover, it's my own personal belief that nothing really comes for free - which leaves me wondering how effective and reliable sources could really be.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
  My new media obsession.
So jealous. Apparently, a Best Buy in the Bay Area is selling the Microsoft Zune several days before its official release date, according to Gizmodo. Lately I've been fairly preoccupied with this gadget and have been mostly begging to receive it as a Christmas gift. Gizmodo also did a good full review of the device, though the Zune Marketplace (the Microsoft iTunes Music Store equivalent) won't be launched until Tuesday. Zune is considered to be revolutionary, as it contains a WiFi component which allows users to send songs to one another, and its massive screen can be converted to landscape mode to better view videos.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
  You were expecting something else?
Although basically everyone in the free world is talking about the election, I thought I would enlighten you with my own opinions about the online coverage of the races (even with timeliness aside, this crap is right up my alley).

Mere minutes after the polls closed in our great state, I checked Boston.com, which boldly declared victory for Patrick, even with only 3 precincts reporting. But I noticed that somewhat early this morning, the coverage was minimized into a small picture of Patrick and a small headline, "Patrick plots transition plan." I guess I understand the immediacy of online news and the belief that breaking news passes quickly, but the election was YESTERDAY. Not everyone has immediate internet access, and some people actual have lives and weren't slaving over the keyboards all night. I was too busy watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off and eating stir fry, to be honest.

Prof. Chuck Fountain, my History of Journalism professor, today said that while the results of this election were extraordinary, the coverage of the election was not. I have to agree. Despite the clear county-by-county results on CNN.com and the rapidly updated and written political opinion columns on Boston.com, the coverage fell flat. Why is no one analyzing what the election of the first black governor of Massachusetts (and the second black governor in American history) may mean? Why is no one delving into how politics in Mass. have been altered completely, as a woman posed a significant chance of being elected the first female governor of Mass.? And Nancy Pelosi! I'm ALREADY tired of people glossing over the fact that Pelosi will be the first woman to ever be Speaker of the House (but CNN's article is pretty comprehensive, so kudos to them).

The news coverage, even online, seems to be more shallow than most of the puddles I sloshed through to get to class today. I'm disappointed that journalists have missed the big picture with this election, which is certainly bound to alter the course of history.
Monday, November 06, 2006
  What a letdown.
TimesSelect is free this week, until the 12th. Read the crap you cursed the New York Times for not letting you see, then realize that all you're really missing is Maureen Dowd's hair, some Frank Rich zingers and a praise of Christy Miho's "Heads Up" ad. Sigh.

And yeah, I found out from Wonkette.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
  You can't handle the truth.
The other day I was sitting in Curry Student Center, minding my own Wendy's, when two kids at the table next to me were engaged - loudly - in a discussion concerning politics and campaign issues. I couldn't help but notice that every time one of them made a point, the other refuted its credibility, simply stating that he needed to go factcheck.org. Factcheck.org, he repeated, over and over again.

I've visited the site only several times in the past few years, but the guy's vehement support of the Annenberg Political Fact Check made me feel inclined to give it a second look. I have to say, the reporting on the website is great, but it's so... minimal. It's more of a source for investigative journalism than an actual fact checker. I understand completely the value of the site, but in a sense, it's kind of misleading.

What I would like to see - what does not yet exist, but should - is a site with the magnitude of Wikipedia that contains the kind of in-depth political fact checking that only an independent institution could provide. The Campaign Desk, a pre- and post-presidential campaign political fact checker, seemed to literally disappear from the Columbia Journalism Review site, and there has been no definitive place to find any consistent political facts, aside from voting records (which are scattered and inconsistent). Fact-checking, as a career, has seen somewhat of an uprising in recent years, due to the ability of the internet to make anyone an expert - as a past entry of mine demonstrated. Maybe there's a future for me in creating the kind of site I've been looking for. Or maybe politics isn't meant to be decoded by truth. Who knows.

I just wish I could find that kid and tell him he was a little off.
Friday, November 03, 2006
  AOL users read the news?!
Quick little update. The Project for Excellence in Journalism did a poll of AOL, Fox News, Yahoo and NY Times online readers to see what they're emailing to their friends. No surprise - the majority of stories emailed from Fox News readers was soft news. And AOL users sent the largest amount of hard news. Interesting stuff.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Heard this originally on WBZ 1030, so I thought I'd link back to my original source.

Google has acquired JotSpot, a wiki site that attempts to be more interactive, user-friendly and human-oriented than sites like Wikipedia. The site incorporates a new style that is similar to photo albums and spreadsheets, making user-created and edited material a bit more interesting. It's looking like it may commercialize wiki-ing in the future, which is definitely the most forward-thinking form of citizen journalism.

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