For my students… Readings, questions on the life, death and structure of newsrooms in the age of new media….

Here are some excellent articles, blog posts, websites, etc… that offer a variety of perspectives and discussions about the structure of newsrooms, who does what, what changes are needed to remake the traditional reporting structures into new media models. Take a look and see what sparks your interest.

These are just a few examples of hundreds of interesting articles, posts, etc… written about the transformation of newspapers and print media into the digital age. It’s a crucial part of any discussion or class on reporting. Where will we do this reporting and how must it change? MUST it change? What is lost in the new media model? What is gained? WHO is a “real” reporter these days? Are bloggers reporters? What skills are now required? What should we value or require to trust those gathering information?

Mon, Apr 13, 2009 — News without newspapers
Interesting story in the Media section of The New York Times today:

‘Hyperlocal’ Web Sites Deliver News Without Newspapers
Published: April 12, 2009


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(I took this post from my About the Blog page, which nobody reads so I’m moving it here.)

I’m a former newspaper reporter now teaching New Media Communications at Oregon State University. My students require an entirely new set of skills and talents far more technologically sophisticated than my Gen X peers did when we came up, when “media” was called “journalism” and things made more sense.

Now there’s a whole generation of editors and profs working under a whole new set of rules, trying desperately to hold onto as many of the old values of content, substance, accuracy, fairness, justice and professionalism while learning to Fark and Twitter and Vodcast  and Podcast, Twitter my Tweets and Optimize my Search Engines.

This blog is me writing from that tightrope, balancing like we all are, on what feels like a crossroads made of dental floss. The extra trick for me is that this journey of technologizing and socially mediating my media is not one I’m making alone. I actually have to teach students what I know, while I’m learning it.

So there it is.

Like New Media itself, those of us who came up in Old School, big-city newspaper journalism are flailing in transformation. We have a trove of essential journalistic skills. We are diligent and enterprising reporters, skilled and empathic interviewers. We have a hound’s nose for news. We see stories leaping out of the woodwork and we know how to report the hell out of them and make them sing. We can pound out a 1500-word story in 24 minutes that does the readers and sources justice. We demand fairness, balance and accuracy of ourselves and our work.

We still believe deeply in the old saw about afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted.

We learned on typewriters, moved up to Trash 80s and portabubbles; we transmitted stories through pay phone lines and the raw nerve of deadline dictation. We did not fight technology. No siree. We embraced the newfangled. We boogied and House Partied onto the Internet and got our first e-mail accounts in the 90s. We rode the Information Superhighway, pal. I mean, all our aerobics classes played Techno music!

But the story was still king. We worked on our own time writing those long Sunday Page One features about how the system failed the most vulnerable of us. We gave voice to the voiceless.

We wrote tight and bright when our bosses went to management conferences and learned we all had to write like USA Today.

We embraced the long and winding narrative lead where the nut graph didn’t make it before the jump.

We wrote touchy-feely trend thumbsuckers on parenting when our Boomer bosses started having kids.

When our bosses made us rip a comb through our hair and run an iron over our clothes we chugged down our Joe, spiffed up and dragged our perk-o-lated selves onto televsion spots, learning how…to…speak….using…a….telepromp….ter….um…without….um…cursing…much.

After two decades of the frantic, hectic, adrenalinized daily news life, you expect us to do WHAT now? Podcast and vodcast and slideshows? Yahoo who? Facebook my what? Film it? Blog it? Twitter it? Digg it? FARK it?

Alrighty then, we say. Bring it.

University of Oregon Daily Emerald newspaper staffers ON STRIKE!!!
Quite a story unfolding down the road. Much to chew on from all sides:


Newsroom staff will not produce another paper until the Emerald Board of Directors meets four demands to preserve student control and editorial independence, future of organization

by Ashley Chase and Allie Grasgreen | Editor in chief and Managing editor |


The entire editorial staff of the Oregon Daily Emerald is on strike, effective at 6 a.m. Wednesday, March 4. The strike is in response to recent actions of the Emerald’s Board of Directors, which oversees the entire Emerald organization. This is the last edition of the Emerald we will publish until the board meets the four demands the entire newsroom staff presented to the board at its executive session meeting last night. A copy of that speech can be found at the end of this article.


This fight will go on without me

Good morning,

Well, I find myself in an awkward position this morning re: my work with the Daily Emerald at the University of Oregon.

As I have written here before, I have been consulting with the Emerald, at the request of and with the support of its board of directors, since last November.

I prepared a strategic plan for the board outlining steps I believed were necessary if the paper is to be saved from financial disaster.

At one point, the board chairman asked if I would be willing to step in and take on the general manager job, open since last June, and re-described by me as “publisher” in the strategic plan.

Let’s have a round of applause for NMC student Taryn Luna!

Seriously, with so much bad news swirling around these days I am thrilled to share the wonderful news that NMC junior Taryn Luna — fresh off her stint with the New York Times Journalism Institute –(– is doing us proud, once again. Actually, twice again: In one week!
The first honor for Ms. Luna, a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, is that she is a finalist for UWIRE 100’s Top Collegiate Journalists, described on their website as “the 100 most promising college journalists. They are already the best and brightest and are making their mark as they hone their skills with an eye toward becoming tomorrow’s top professionals.”
Check it out:
The second piece of big news announced last night is that Ms. Luna was selected for a Snowden Internship at the Gresham Outlook this summer. Pete Peterson, who runs the Snowden program out of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, told me they had 57 applicants and conducted 29 interviews, and that Taryn was an excellent candidate they were thrilled to select.
The highly respected Snowden internship — named for and funded by the family of famed Oregon newspaper editor Charles Snowden — is a 10-week, paid internship placing top Oregon journalism/media students in newspapers around the state.
I’d love to see us promote, publicize and support Ms. Luna’s extraordinary run of success in all possible ways.
Besides all of this great news, the reason I so deeply admire Taryn is that without any fanfare, just pure hard work and a tremendous empathy and nose for news, she has been walking the walk of journalistic diversity by telling the stories in The Barometer of a wide range of students of color on campus whose lives and complexities had otherwise remained silenced. It is for this kind of crucial reporting, storytelling and interviewing prowess, that I am most proud.
Here are two recent examples of such stories:

Here she is in a video interview for The New York Times Student Journalism Institute:

I hope you’ll join me in congratulating Taryn for her excellent work, her many successes, and her consistent ability to use new media tools to rise to what remains a very old, still noble calling.


The news of the death of newspapers is not nearly as greatly exaggerated as I’d like, but let’s just step away from the casket and take a deep, cleansing breath.

Look, I miss it, too. I miss it all. I miss the newsprint and the ink and the quaint idea of above-the-fold. I love being above-the-fold almost as much as I love all that is sacred. Because it was a sacred place. I miss inches. I miss beepers going off at 4 a.m., the siren’s song to a triple homicide.

Okay, I’ve gotta go teach. But I’m going to write all the things I miss about being a big-city metro reporter and then I’m going to let you read the stories below about how it’s all dead, dead, dead and then I’m going to try to make us all feel better because I’m a New Media Mama and it’s still out there for us. Don’t click on the links below yet because it’s just too much right now.

I just needed to store them someplace safe.

Goodbye to Newspapers

“Death of Newspapers “

“With Fewer Watchdogs, You Get Less Barking “ The New Republic

“MSM RIP” The New Republic