Friday, October 26, 2007

Journalism: antidote to info overload

Journalism should be a way for people to orient themselves more than serve a gatekeeper function, according to Michael Oreskes, executive editor of the International Herald Tribune.

Speaking to the Online News Association in Toronto last week, Oreskes said journalism should be the antidote for information overload, and that abandoning journalism's core values puts the trade at risk.

Check out a summary of his remarks, and download a podcast of his speech here --

Multi-media innovators chat

One of the most innovative -- and energetic -- journalists working in multiple media is Robert Curley, vice president of new products at the Washington Post.

At the Online News Association conference in Toronto last week, another media visionary, J.D. Lasica, sat down with Curley to gab about possibilities.

Check out this 5-minute video of the interview, in which Curley talks about the Post's impressive and moving OnBeing series, the new citizen media site, mobile technology, geo-tagging and more--

Thursday, October 25, 2007

News-Meister up and at 'em

Check out the first of four News-Meister newspapers independently produced as part of WIU journalism students' coverage of the Mock Convention taking place at the Macomb campus through Nov. 5.

Besides print, this weekend a PDF-only version will be available, and every Western student will get an e-mail alert.

Daily -- sometimes hourly -- News-Meister volunters also are posting online versions of stories (check out, and posting insider observations as they happen during convention proceedings (check out ).

Friday, October 19, 2007

Butzow earns award for paper on campus press

WIU assistant professor Mark Butzow has been notified he will receive a research award for contributing the best research paper on campus media issues to the College Media Advisers’ national convention, which takes place next week. He’ll be traveling to Washington, D.C., to present the paper, “The Hosty ruling’s reign of terror only a sprinkle so far,” which reports survey results from college newspaper advisers about the effects of a 2005 court ruling.

The study looked for evidence that college administrators were using the “Hosty v. Carter” ruling to wrest control of content decisions from student editors or otherwise interfere in the free expression of students through campus media operations. As the title suggests, those fears appear to be unfounded, at least so far.

As many of you know, Illinois legislators passed the College Campus Press Act this spring (and the governor signed it Aug. 28), which will provide a good measure of protection to all campus media in the state by designating them as “limited public forums.” That new law was a direct response to the Hosty ruling, which is based on actions in 2000 at Governors State University near Chicago.

Butzow will be presented with the Don Nordin Award for CMA Research at the end of the session where he and two others will present research that applies to teaching and/or advising. One of the other papers studied whether counting sources was a reliable means of evaluating objectivity in stories, and the other paper is a case study on how to build a broadcast journalism operation on a small budget. The research papers in that session also were “blind reviewed” by representatives of the journal "College Media Review," and the winner’s paper will be published in the journal.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Your duty to read the paper

Roy Peter Clark of the Poynter Institute this week wrote a wonderful piece on the necessity of people who believe in journalism to read newspapers.

"It is your duty as a journalist and a citizen to read the newspaper -- emphasis on paper, not pixels," Clark said. "The future of journalism, not just newspapers, depends upon it."

Effectively blending historic perspective and advocacy, Clark also asks the hard question, pointedly: "There is one overriding question about the future of journalism that no one can yet answer: How will we pay for it? Who will pay for good reporters and editors?"

Read the entire post here --

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Extreme Makeover - Newsroom Edition

For years, journalists have wrangled with rampaging change, especially the online revolution that brought vast new duties and the accompanying downsizing that left fewer people to accomplish them. Now these changes are rushing toward a threshold that seems likely to remake the homely print newsroom into a multimedia center fighting for survival and success.

While much attention goes to some new-agey titles (Atlanta has a "director of culture and change") and techy reconfigurations, the editors' intentions go far beyond cosmetics.

Read all about it in Carl Sessions Stepp's comprehensive article in the October/November issue of American Journalism Review. The full story is available here:

You'll read about; about dramatic changes at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and a lot about tbhe new Information Centers replacing traditonal newsroom structures at Gannett newspapers.