Friday, October 29, 2010

Google invests $5 million in journalism

Google is often criticized for contributing to stealing the audience, if not the contents, of journalism, but in a move this week, the internet giant is making a contribution to help the practice of journalism, if not the platform of print.

And it's making the move because of journalism's importance to democracy.

"Journalism is fundamental to a functioning democracy," Gogle said in its blogged announcement. "So as media organizations globally continue to broaden their presence online, we’re eager to play our part on the technology side.

"We’ve granted $2 million to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has a proven track record of supporting programs that drive innovation in journalism," they continued. "It will use $1 million to support U.S. grant-making in this crucial area. The other $1 million will augment the Knight News Challenge, which is accepting funding proposals from anyone, anywhere in the world, until December 1. Now in its fifth year, the News Challenge has supported projects like DocumentCloud, which aims to bring more investigative-reporting source material online so anyone can find and read it."

Details on the remaining $3 million to be invested internationally will be forthcoming early next year, Google said.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

'Truth LIES here'

The November Atlantic out this week has a compelling story on the use and abuse of the Internet to not just try to control the flow of information, but to make it up.

Contributing editor Michael Hirschorn quotes the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan's line that we may each be entitled to our own set of opinions, but we are not entitled to our own set of facts.

"The Breitbarts, Gingriches, and 'bury brigades' are engaged in an enterprise uniquely enabled by the collapse of the center and the ubiquitous means by which information can spread instantly," Hirschorn writes. "It’s easy to welcome a time in which technology unleashes an ongoing town hall on any and all issues of the day, in which the wisdom of crowds holds sway. But the dislodging of fact from the pedestal it had safely occupied for centuries makes the recent disturbances in politics and the media feel like symptoms of a larger epistemological, even civilizational, rot."

Ex-Courier editor takes Ohio Press helm

The one-time Western Courier editor who led the student newspaper in its early days after WIU kicked it off campus has been named executive director of the Ohio Newspaper Association.

Dennis Hetzel, most recently the manager of northern Kentucky operations for Enquirer Media, will start his new duties on January 1.

Hetzel, who penned an editorial for which the newspaper was sued for libel and won, formerly worked at newspapers in Galesburg, Madison, Wisc., and York, Pa.

Monday, October 25, 2010

'Inside-the-Beltway' press out of touch?

Arianna Huffington may be a progressive, but her recent column recalling conversations with ABC-TV's Diane Sawyer and magazine writer Joe Klein is revealing.

Both Washington-based journalists are coming to realize that there's a lot of news -- and a lot of Americans -- being ignored by the Capitol-oriented corporate press.

"One thing I realized on this trip was how much time I spend immersed in the media back home -- reading newspapers and blogs and books, watching TV -- and how little time I spend immersed in other people," Klein conceded.

Huffington praises NPR's "StoryCorps" feature, which showcases regular people and how they/we offer as many lessons as the "inside baseball" perspective of too many members of the Washington press corps.

Check out the full Huffington post here --

Thursday, October 7, 2010

AOL Thinking of Buying Newspapers

There's a fascinating story about how AOL is thinking about buying newspaper properties to enhance its Internet content at

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Washington Post Scribe Moves to Daily Beast

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz is moving to the online news site, the Daily Beast. There's a great piece about the move of traditional print folks, like Kurtz, to the Internet on the Poynter Foundation web site,