Full January 2003 archive

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EPpy Awards Expand
The EPpy Awards have been broadened in scope to include not just online
newspapers, but all Internet services presented by media-affiliated companies,
including newspapers, radio and broadcast TV. Editor & Publisher had done so to
acknowledge that all media sites compete for
the same users and revenues online.
Awards will be
presented in 29 categories, and entries will only be accepted via the Internet.
The entry period has been extended until until Feb. 10. For complete entry
details and online applications, visit
. [1/31]

Free Convergence Symposium
The University of Florida is holding its 2nd annual symposium to discuss the "future
of journalism in a world of multiple media
" on Friday, Feb. 7, 2003. The
symposium, which is free, includes panels on Interactivity and News Audiences,
How to Think in Multimedia, Sports Journalism in the 21st Century,  and TV
and Online: A Two-Headed Monster. [1/31]’s New Search has switched to Google as its search engine, giving the growing company
very prominent branding on a new search bar stripped across the top of the cover. Oddly, the default search is of the entire Web, not AOL
made a deal a while ago with Google to use the search engine across its network.
Netscape, too, has switched to Google as its default, burying Netscape’s own
search engine as a secondary option — a telling sign of how times have changed.

Elements of Digital Storytelling
A while back, researchers Nora Paul at the Institute
for New Media Studies and Christina Fiebich of New Directions for News developed
a framework for looking at digital storytelling, breaking it into five
categories:  media, action, relationship, context, and communication. Now
they’ve published a site that
defines these areas and lists examples and related research. Students and
practictioners of digital storytelling will find this an interesting resource,
particularly coupled with’s Great
Work Gallery
. [1/30]

Big Day for MarketWatch
Online financial news provider Inc.
achieved its first quarterly profit, raking in net fourth quarter income of
$854,000 after the company slashed operating expenses. CEO said the company
expects to be profitable for the current year. This is a pretty significant
landmark. Web properties of old-media companies such as have made
profits, but this is the biggest online journalism start-up to do so well.

State of the Union: Instant Analysis
As soon as President Bush finished his State of the
Union, anchors and media pundits immediately began analyzing it. But readers of got to do more than just hear talking heads talk — they got
to discuss the speech and the Democrats’ response with Washington Post Associate
Editor Robert G. Kaiser. "I thought the strength of print journalism was it
could be reasoned and deliberate compared to television news," asked one reader
from Alexandria, Va. "Are you comfortable popping off with ‘instant analysis?’
Or is this just for fun?" Kaiser replied, "A painfully good question. Watch how
I do this to see an essentially uncomfortable instant analyst trying to avoid
the pitfalls of the art form. Will he fall off the high wire? Probably. I like
the repartee with readers the best." When it comes to repartee online, Kaiser
did a wonderful job, avoiding the trap of condescension and keeping a sense of

Here’s the transcript
. Judge for yourself if he fell of the high wire.

The Man Behind Dave Barry’s Blog
Blogger Ken Layne fills us in on his
mysterious role behind Dave Barry’s new Weblog
: "
don’t know Barry, just exchanged a few e-mails with him. But like anybody who
ever tried to write a column, I very much admire his work. After

publicly harassing him to start blogging
, I figured I should at least offer
to help set it up. The ‘design,’ such as it is, is just a goofy
template. But there is a real design in the works that looks more like the rest
of his site. I like reading journalists’ blogs, so I’ve pushed many of my pals
into the blogging pool: Tim Blair,
Matt Welch, etc. It’s sorta like being a
drug dealer, but from the comfort of your home." [1/29]

Digital Edge Award Winners
This year’s winners of the
with Digital Edge Awards from the Newspaper Association of America?s New Media
Federation have
been announced
. Among the winners was the Chicago Tribune for its Sept. 11
anniversary coverage. "Many sites entered their anniversary coverage of the
events of Sept. 11, 2001, but only one deserved an Edgie," the judges wrote. "’Still
‘ presents 12 unique reports categorized by location (Midwest, New
York, Pentagon) and topic (Culture and Religion, Airport Security), and each
segment evokes an emotional response to columns, articles, photo galleries and
remembrances from the online community." The annual New Media Pioneer award was
given to Christian A. Hendricks, the vice president of interactive media for The
McClatchy Co., who oversees the development of McClatchy?s newspaper-affiliated
sites and regional portals, including Nando Media. For those that argue that the
Web is not a medium unto itself, viewing samples from this year?s finalists and
winners will undoubtedly convince them otherwise," said Ian Murdock, president
of NAA?s New Media Federation. [1/28]

Dave Barry Starts a
Pulitzer Prize-winning
Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry has started a Weblog at, packed with
tidbits of Barry-esque humor such as, "SPORTSMANSHIP: The way it works is, if
your team wins, you celebrate by

wrecking stuff
, and if your team loses, you celebrate by

wrecking stuff
." Barry thanks blogger Ken
for helping him get the blog up and running and writes, "NOTE ABOUT
me. Those were put there by Ken Layne. I don’t know how he did it, and I don’t
know how to make them go away. If I did, I’d put cute little doggies on his blog."
A few blogs have been speculating as to whether it’s the real live columnist or
just someone pretending to be him, but Dave Barry tells,
"That is indeed me, and I started blogging because of widespread public demand.
Actually, the only person who demanded it was Ken Layne, but he is pretty
widespread. (I mean "widespread in the sense of "broadly distributed on the
Internet," as opposed to "having a big butt." I have never seen Ken or his
[1/27] [Permalink] Names New Editor in Chief has hired Dean Wright
, one of’s original producers, to
succeed Merrill Brown as editor in chief. Wright helped launch the site in 1996,
starting as a producer and becoming managing editor for news before leaving in
2000. Wright most recently worked for AOL Time Warner, leading efforts to
repackage content from Time Inc. to appeal to AOL customers. He told The
Associated Press he wants to make "a bit more populist" with more
coverage of lifestyle and entertainment. [1/27]

Newspaper Sites Showing Profits
Newspaper publishers, both large and small, are beginning to show increased
revenues from their online units. The Washington Post Co., Knight-Ridder, the
Wall Street Journal and Davenport, Iowa-based Lee Enterprises are
among those
reporting promising returns of late
. Lee, which publishes 38 newspapers,
reported last week that its online revenues increased 43 percent in its latest
quarter. [1/27]

Posting Transcripts Online: Go for it!
Last fall reported on

Sheila Lennon, a J-blogger for The
Providence Journal, posting the
complete transcript
of an interview with The New York Times’ David F.
Gallagher, who reduced it to one paragraph for his story. Now J.D. Lasica has
done a similar thing from the writer’s end, posting the
complete transcripts
of interviews he conducted for
an article he write
for the Online Journalism Review on RSS feeds, because he didn’t have room to
include all of them. News sites will post complete interview transcripts from
time to time, but, in an explanation in his
New Media Musings Weblog,
Lasica speculates more "journalists don’t do this because (a) it’s a hell of a
lot of work, and (b) it could call into question the decision-making process on
which quotes the writer selected for his or her story." True, time concerns are
always an issue. But concerns about the decision-making process shouldn’t be an
issue unless the reporter made poor decisions

in which case, the editor and reporter have bigger problems to worry about ! In
many cases
including this one
posting transcripts online is a great use of the Web, and news organizations
should consider doing so more often when time permits it and when the
transcripts contain information useful to readers. [1/24]

All Aboard the Blogging Bandwagon
The (Wash.) Spokesman-Review keeps pushing forward
with its use of blogging, adding two new blogs:
Eye on Olympia, a
reporter’s notebook-esqe blog from legislative reporter Richard Roesler; and "Movies
and More
" — written by film and book critic Dan Webster, who just spent
five days at the Sundance Film Festival. The site has been at the forefront of
publishing event-driven blogs, such as

this one covering last year’s State B basketball tournament
blog covering a local incorporation vote
. Ken Sands, the site’s managing
editor and a major blog proponent, says he’s got several other blogs in the
works, so stay tuned for more. [1/24]

Dynamic Links to Blog Headlines
The Albuquerque Journal is another site that’s gone gung-ho into
the Weblog movement, with seven staff-written Weblogs on (here’s
an index
). Rather than just leave standing links to the Weblog on the site’s
home page, the site takes a smart approach to promoting them: "We create a
dynamic link, as the headlines of the blogs change, that appears at the bottom
of our home page," Donn Friedman, the Albuquerque Journal’s assistant managing
editor, tells As a result, he says, "We get about 100
accesses daily to the Science, Health and Culture blogs, which usually puts them
within the top 100 pages on our site." [1/23]

Great Work: Martin Luther King Jr. Special
The Seattle Times produced
a wonderful
package on Martin Luther King Jr.
, incorporating audio clips from his
speeches, a photo gallery, a timeline, perspective article and even a study
guide for students and educators. What is most notable is that much of the
package was culled from the archives, including one article from 1985. In the
Guestbook, reader comments on race relations go all the way back to 1996,
offering a fascinating look at the community’s opinions over time. [1/22]

Cox TV Joins IBS
Internet Broadcasting Systems continues expanding, adding all 15
Cox-owned television stations in 11 markets to the roster of local news Web
sites it manages. With the addition of the 15 Cox stations, the IBS Network now
includes 64 TV station sites and covers 93 percent of households in the largest
TV markets. [1/22]

Online Freedom of Press at Issue
The court case of Vancouver, Canada, pig farmer
charged with serial murders continues to raise questions about online press
freedom. Since the issue was reported on last month, Judge
David Stone has warned reporters again, especially those from foreign media
organizations, that they could be held criminally liable if stories using
evidence from the pre-trial hearing appear on the Internet and thus potentially
taint the jury pool — even if those news Web sites are located outside Canada.
"I’m not excluding anyone at this time, but the parties have been put on

Stone told the court
. "We take these matters seriously." Prosecutors also
warned Canadian reporters they may be violating the court’s ban on publication
if their stories contain information that readers can use to view foreign media
Web sites containing the evidence (i.e., if they link to the Web sites or
include URLs). This case has the potential for setting a dangerous precedent of
limiting foreign publication of court proceedings online. So far no one has
crossed the judge. [1/21]

Last-Ditch Business Plan for Struggling
The struggling Salon, in a last-ditch effort to stay
alive, is expected to announce this week that it will require all readers to
either buy a subscription for full access to stories or agree to click through
several screens of advertising to gain limited access,

the Los Angeles Times reports
. "There’s no free lunch on the Web anymore,"
Salon founder David Talbot says. "There’s no viable media without developing a
base of revenue." Sad to say, it’s unlikely the new strategy will save Salon.
The publication has already become a watered-down version of the independent
journal it once was, while free competitor Slate has grown in audience and
quality. Paul Grabowicz, the director of the new media program at the UC
Berkeley school of journalism, says Salon’s only hope is to be subsidized,
considering how many other general interest publications exist online and in
print. "It’s just very hard to see how a publication like that can have revenue
that exceeds expenses." [1/21]

Glenn Reynolds Joins as Blogger
Glenn Reynolds, a law professor who quickly became one
of the more well-known bloggers as the author of, has started writing
a separate Weblog for,
joining the news site’s expanding group of bloggers. "Several times a week, I’ll
be writing in this space with observations on various happenings in law,
politics, music, and technology," he wrote in his first post. "…This isn’t
InstaPundit, which will keep going on its own. It’s a new Weblog, part of
MSNBC’s Weblog explosion. I’m happy to be part of it, since MSNBC seems to be
interested in the new things going on around the Web, and so am I. The Internet
is just a big playground for guys like me." [1/20]

Digital City San Jose Shuts Down
AOL free-lancer Jill E. Vaile write in that the
company has shut down its Digital City San Jose office and site and merged it
with its San Francisco site, creating one
San Francisco Bay area site.

Tip: Toolbar for the Lucky

Google’s Toolbar
is an easy way to maximize your search while minimizing your clicks. [1/17]

Newspaper-Like Experiences Online
A newspaper-like experience in an online news site is a good
thing, according to a group of test users who checked out an unnamed,
yet-to-be-unveiled news site redesign. Jay Small interviews the designer in his

latest Small Initiatives newsletter
, which offers some interesting insights
into design. Unfortunately no screen shots are included, so it’s hard to
envision some of the ideas discussed, but the test subjects said they liked that
the new design "gives me a sense of what someone thinks is important." "This
response confirms a belief I’ve had — that news sites should look like news,"
says Alan Jacobson, the designer. "Users want a hierarchy of headline size and
story placement. And they don’t particularly need photos or graphics to have a
positive online experience." Just like Weblogs, as Small points out. [1/17]

Print-Online Collaboration
The Newspaper Association of America’s Circulation Federation Print-Online
Collaboration Committee is looking for best practices in using online to attract
and retain print subscribers. You can answer the questions
on this form if
you want to help. [1/16]

Netscape News Makes Top 20 News Sites
Netscape News, which primarily sucks
in content from, joined Nielsen//Netratings Top 20 Current Events &
Global News Sites rankings for December, bumping off Cox Newspapers.
Here are the ratings for
December 2002
. [1/15]

Tip: Ethics Codes From Around the World
Now that the New York Times has
released its

revised ethics code
, I thought it might be useful to find a site that lists
ethics codes for journalists from around the world. Here’s
a site that archives
more than 100 journalists’ codes
. [1/14]

What Sites Would You Pay For?
Suppose one morning the sites you
visit regularly — whether for work or for fun — started charging $52 a year
for unlimited access. Would you pay up? columnists Jason Fry and Tim
Hanrahan came up with a list — a short — list of the ones they’d ante up for:
Jim Romenesko’s Medianews
, eBay,,,, and AOL
Instant Messenger
. [1/14]

How Technology Will Change Journalism
Journalists may even be in for a sea change, Managing
Producer Dorian Benkoil writes in an article for
Digital technology may revamp what the public thinks of as ?news,? just as
television and radio remade what had been a world ruled by print. If the news
?platform? becomes irrelevant, he says, will the cyberjournalist be someone who
gathers massive quantities of journalistic ?data? that can be parsed in numerous
ways? Or will the need for intelligent sifting and analysis become ever more
crucial to help the info-harried user rise above the cyber-torrent? The answer,
he says, is both. [1/13]

Remembrance of Dot-Com Idiocy Past
As James Ledbetter’s "Starving to Death on $200
Million a Year" reveals, "the Industry Standard pissed away a fortune out of
mere carelessness," 

writes Andrew Leonard in Salon
. Others in the online news industry have made
similar mistakes. So what can the Seven Deadly Sins teach us about the online
news industry’s historical proclivity for all things free? These sins are not
just applicable to individual properties, but to an entire interdependent
dysfunctional industry,
writes Robert Spears for
. [1/13]

Using the Web’s Infinite Newshole
The Web has become a great secondary outlet for journalists frustrated by the
space constraints in newspapers or the time constraints on air. This week New
York Times technology columnist David Pogue wrote more than 2,000 words about
MacWorld in his first draft, but had to cut nearly half of it to fit the
newspaper’s newshole.  "What a shame, I thought, to have to cut so much
interesting secondary information – and what luck to have an e-mail column where
I can put it!" he wrote. And so he penned

a companion e-mail column
, writing "what I would have added had I had the
space, with quotations from the printed review for reference." [1/10]

What Time is it? News Time
Soon news junkies will be able to get news on their
watches, thanks to a new platform called Media2Go Microsoft and Intel are
designing. "The watches will connect to PCs to calibrate themselves, download
software and connect wirelessly to streaming data beamed over FM radio signals
to grab the latest sports scores or stock prices,"
CNet reports. That’s
right — there’ll be no escaping the news. [1/10]

Top Ten Web-Design Mistakes of 2002
Web sites continue to come up with ways to annoy users. Design guru
Jakob Nielsen lists 10
"design mistakes that were particularly good at punishing users and costing site
owners business in 2002." Among his top no-nos: Horizontal scrolling; fixed font
size; JavaScript in links; long URLs; mailto links in unexpected locations; and
large blocks of text. [1/9]

Creating ‘News Experiences’
The new J-Lab, The Institute for Interactive
at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of
Journalism aspires to nurture innovative "news experiences,"

Executive Director Jan Schaffer tells Editor & Publisher
. "J-Lab will seek
to build interactive exercises and templates that will allow people to learn
about issues by engaging in them in a very hands-on way. Perhaps examining
facts, making choices, looking at tradeoffs or consequences, offering ideas or
designs. It may show people the news, rather than tell people the news. I see
Web sites becoming something you do, not just something you read." [1/9]

News Surfers’ Changing Habits
A new study finds that news site surfers’ habits
change throughout the day, with profound implications for the online news
industry. "By morning, our users are almost as interested in news ? breaking,
local, national, business and sports ? as they are in e-mail,"
says Rusty Coats,
whose MORI Research conducted the

2002 Online Consumer Study
for the Newspaper Association of America. "By
afternoon, with the importance of news waning, entertainment-category features
such as movie times, maps and directions, and offbeat news are on the rise. In
the evening, our ability to connect users with jobs, cars and homes becomes
central, along with our ability to facilitate their online-shopping needs ? from
researching products to actually purchasing products." Coats points out that the
findings could help online news sites become as important to nighttime, at-home
users as they currently are for daytime, at-work users, and reports that many
companies already have begun to redesign their Web sites based on these
findings. [1/8]

So Much for Freedom of the Online Press…,
the Indian online news site once lauded for exposing corruption in India’s
political and military establishment by capturing on video defense officials
accepting bribes for arms contracts, is now "virtually defunct" and owes nearly
$1 million,
Guardian reports
. According to The Guardian, Indian authorities retaliated
after the scandal by jailing the site’s investors, scaring away other potential
backers. "The saga is a depressing example of how the Kafkaesque weight of
government can be used to crush those who challenge its methods," The Guardian’s
Luke Harding writes. You can still read the full transcript of the video and
officials’ reactions to it

on this page on
— at least for now. [1/8]

Songs from the Grave
When a famous singer dies, posting audio clips with the obituary
is a good idea,

as The New York Times did when The Clash’s Joe Strummer died
. [1/7]

Spanish News Web Sites
New York daily El Diario/La Prensa is one of
American’s oldest and most respected Spanish-language newspapers, but didn’t
have a Web site until  last week, when it launched "People were like,
`Finally!’ " said Rossana Rosado, El Diario’s publisher for the last three years
told The
New York Times
. The site stacks up pretty well against its primary U.S.
competitors: El Nuevo Herald of
; La Opini?n of Los Angeles;
and El Diario’s main local competitor,
. [1/7]

Tips: HotBot vs. Google
The new HotBot now makes it incredibly fast and easy to search all four of the
best search engines on the Web:


, and

. But not all users are thrilled. Here’s
a look at the new
and at
what some users think
. [1/7]

WSJ Online Not Laughing Anymore thought it was pretty clever when it launched an ad camapign called
Biz-O-Rama mocking its free
counterparts. But The New York Times reports that the Journal appeared to have
lost its sense of humor when MarketWatch tried to place an ad on The Journal
Online that asked, in a preliminary version, "Where does The Wall Street Journal
advertise ? when they need to reach the online business audience?" The ad’s
answer: CBS MarketWatch. Dow Jones not only rejected the ad, but then pulled its
Biz-O-Rama ad from The curious will be able to find the ad next
week in the online and print editions of Advertising Age. [1/6]  

Online Polls Skew GOP
Keen observers of online news polls have noticed the
results tend to skew toward conservative answers. Now there’s proof of that.
Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to participate in online surveys,
according to a new survey by the Pew
Research Center for the People & the Press
, in cooperation with the Pew
Internet and American Life Project. Half of those who said they like to take
online polls were Republicans, while one in five were Democrats and just one in
four were independents. The survey also reported that percentage of Internet
users who went online for election news in 2002 was 22 percent, up slightly from
15 percent during the last midterm congressional election in 1998. [1/6]

You’ve Got Advice
Nonprofitable news sites are not failures because they
help grow subscribers, revenue and commerce,

argues AOL News Director Gary Kebbel in a Q&A with E&P
. But they can be made
profitable, he says. Media companies should break down the the walls between
online sites and newspapers. They should deliver what no other competitor can:
targeted local information like alerts about school closings or sports scores.
Searchable classified ads. "In other words, I would use the medium’s
capabilities to create products that cannot be delivered anywhere else or by
anyone else. The more unique and targeted those products are, the greater the
chance they can become premium services for which the news organization
charges." [1/5]

What’s Hot and What’s Not?
Want to find out what the latest trends are and what’s no longer
hot? Several search engines have put together their annual lists of 2002’s top
search terms, enabling you to look at the past year through the collective eyes
of online users. Google’s
2002 Year-End Zeitgeist
lists the year’s top gaining and declining search
terms as well as the most popular brands, music, movies and women on the web as
seen by Google users. You can also find out the year’s top searches on other
sites from Yahoo!’s Buzz Index and
Lycos’ Top 100 of 2002. [1/2]


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