Shadow

FULL JUNE 2002 ARCHIVE


Visual Thesaurus

If you’re the type of person who’s addicted to the Oxford
English Dictionary and William Safire’s "On Language" column, then
you’re going to love the
Plumb Design
Visual Thesaurus
. The
Visual Thesaurus might take you down a new path and do a better
job of finding just the word you need. And it might even help you
gain a better understanding of the ways words relate to one
another.

CNN Newswatch
CNN.com has launched a new personalized news
service called CNN Newswatch.
The subscription-based service,
which displays continuously updated information related to news
topics selected by the user, resembles the failed PointCast, the
"push technology" pioneer that pushed news to computer
screen-savers. This service, powered by San Diego-based

Infogate
, includes breaking news alerts and a continuously
scrolling ticker across the top of the screen promoting news
from CNN.com, the news wires and more than 2,000 news sites.
Perhaps there is a demand for such a service. But on a
high-speed connection the service was actually slower
downloading news stories than CNN.com’s free Web site was, and
similar custom news trackers are available for free from sites
like Yahoo and Northern Light. Still, it’s good to see sites
developing such ideas, and with some refinements, such a
customized news service might actually prove useful enough to
attract enough paying subscribers to support it.

NPR Changes Linking Policy
NPR.org has changed its linking policy after
bloggers protested
its silly stance
prohibiting "linking to or framing of any material on
this site without the prior written consent" and asking people to
fill out

a form

to request permission.
NPR.org’s new
policy
no longer requires sites to fill out a form to
request permission before linking to NPR.org, and even goes so
far as to say "encourages and permits links to content on NPR
Web sites." But the new policy does warn that links
to NPR’s site "should not (a) suggest that NPR promotes or
endorses any third party’s causes, ideas, websites, products or
services, or (b) use NPR content for inappropriate commercial
purposes."

World’s Oldest Photo Gets High-Tech
Check-Up

The image acknowledged as the world’s
first photograph — an image of the French countryside taken by
French inventor Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1826 — has been
undergoing a high-tech check-up by scientists at the Getty
Conservation Institute.
"If you think of all the history of photographs, the
development of film and television, they all come from this
first image,"

said senior Getty scientist Dusan Stulik
. "This is the
grand, grand-father of all those technologies. This is the
beginning."

New Yahoo
Check out the
beta version

of the new Yahoo.

Pop-Up Ad Battle Brewing
A group of 10 Web site publishers — including the Washington
Post Company, Dow Jones & Company, Tribune Interactive and The
New York Times Company — is suing Gator, an online advertising
and information storage company, to stop it from placing pop-up
ads over their sites without permission. They’re using an
interesting, and plausible, argument: that

Gator’s pop-up ads allow Gator to profit unjustly
from the user traffic generated by these Web sites.

As one lawyer said
, this case could set "a precedent for
guiding the use of emergent technologies in the advertising
market."

‘Participatory Journalism’
What happens when the audience takes over the news? New
Directions for News, a Minneapolis-based media think-tank, is

conducting a study
examining how Weblogs and other forms of
"participatory journalism" ? "an emerging system of news
gathering and reporting that puts ordinary citizens at the heart
of the journalistic process" — are shaping the future of news.
You can comment or contribute to the research at
thefutureofnews.org.

Cronkite: Net a Fret
Walter Cronkite says he’s "a little worried about the use of the
Internet by people who pretend to be journalists," and urges that people
who post purported facts be held to the same standards as other
journalists — and that those who publish unsubstantiated rumors face the
same penalties. "There’s no reason those people shouldn’t answer to the
same laws of libel the rest of us do," Cronkite said. That would apply to
Web logs, too, then — and CyberJournalist.net thinks the broadcast legend
makes a good point.

Finder’s Guide to Deep Throat
For the past three years students in the
Investigative Reporting class of the Department of Journalism at the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have attempted to figure out
who Deep Throat is. What’s most interesting about their work is not their
choice, Pat Buchanan, but
the online package
they’ve published
, which details, step-by-step, how they reached their
conclusions. Reading through their process would be useful to students and
professionals interested in investigative reporting techniques. The result
is also a good example of one way to publish an investigative report:
rather than simply publish the conclusion, show the reader how you reached
it. Though in this case, they might have included more of the primary
sources they used in their reporting: For example, they could have posted
the computer database they built with all the known information about
Watergate and The Washington Post’s coverage. In reaching their
conclusions, they sorted, searched and studied the database — surely some
readers would love to do the same and reach their own conclusions.

Message to Online Publishers: Unite
or Die
If Salon doesn’t
raise additional cash
within three to four months, the award-winning magazine site may
be toast,

according to documents filed with the SEC
. With other online news sites struggling
financially as well, perhaps then Web publishers should consider
a radical idea proposed by

Jimmy Guterman in Business 2.0
: "
banding
together to form networks that can unite business and technical
functions under one roof, letting each site focus on what it
excels at: producing material people want to read and discuss.
Such a model would cut costs dramatically and make profitability
more likely.
"
Sounds an awful lot like some of the messy newspaper
joint-operating agreements out there, doesn’t it? Surely there’s
a better way.

Death of Another Award-Winner
Yahoo is

shutting down
its Radio and award-winning FinanceVision
because the ad market couldn’t support them.
Yahoo! Finance Vision
won an Online Jourmalism Award in 2001 for Innovative
Presentation of Information. "While others talk about
convergence, the judges said, "Yahoo has achieved it with this
new delivery platform. It combines traditional television with
interactive elements keyed directly to what’s being said on the
screen and does it all in nearly real time." The judges called
it a "neat application of the technology" and one that "raises
the bar" for future multiple-media applications. Unfortunately,
Yahoo! FinanceVision won’t be one of those multiple-media
applications around in the future. The ideas, though, will live
on, and perhaps be incorporated into other publication’s Web or
interactive TV features.

USAToday.com Video Headlines
USATODAY.com has started delivering video headlines to
handheld devices through
Mazingo’s
mobile and wireless entertainment network, becoming
one of the first major newspaper organizations to deliver video
headlines wirelessly ? another sign of what’s to come.

A Must-Read for Pols and
Journalists

Political insiders say

ABCNews.com’s The Note
, a daily Web log of political news
and analysis, has become a must-read ever since it launched in
January. "It’s the arbiter of who is on the cutting edge,"

Washington Post White House correspondent Dana Milbank tells The
Washingtonian
. The Note is written by Mark Halperin,
Elizabeth Wilner and Marc Ambinder of ABC’s political unit.
Since the Note’s success, CBSNews.com has started a similar
daily column,

Washington Wrap
.

Broadband Users Get Their News
Online

More broadband users get their news online (46%) than get it
from newspapers (40%) on an average day,

a new study by Pew Internet & American Life has found
. This
is a pretty significant landmark that proves the power of
broadband and hints at what’s to come once it becomes more
mainstream.

Consumers
Will Pay for Wireless Info

The Newspaper Association of America studied a test run in which
13 newspapers provided information to wireless users and found
that consumers wanted information that is easy to get to and
quick to download. They disliked unsolicited wireless
advertising since it burns up prepaid minutes, but they were not
only open to special ad alerts for people who wanted to sell
houses or buy cars, but willing to pay as much as $20 a month
for such a service,

the study found
. Consumers "will pay for news. They will pay
for alerts," said John Lobst, vice president of research at the
association. "They will pay for stuff that makes their life
better."

AP Launches New Web Service
The Associated Press has finally launched a multimedia news
service that will enable members to incorporate the latest AP
headlines and content easily into their Web sites. Up until now
members have had to send users to AP’s The WIRE site, or post
wire stories on their own. This should be a tremendous
improvement for most local sites. With CustomWIRE, members
control the on-page placement of 12 categories of streaming
news, photos, audio and video and have complete control over
site navigation and ad placement. "The set-up is simple and
quick,"

said Ruth Gersh, editorial director of AP’s multimedia content
.
"Using Java servlet technology, the AP inserts multimedia
content into member-provided templates to produce a completely
finished product."


Searching AllTheWeb
AllTheWeb.com now claims to come closer than any other search
engine to indexing all the Web, a noble goal. Does this make
AllTheWeb.com better? Not necessarily.
Find out when
to use Google.com and when to use AllTheWeb.com
. (Plus a
super soccer search engine for World Cup fans.)

Award-Winning Work
MSNBC.com has been awarded the

Radio-Television News Directors Association’s Edward R. Murrow
Award
for overall excellence for a network news Web site.
Local award winners include:
wtopnews.com
of WTOP-AM/FM,
Washington, D.C.; wsjm.com
of WSJM-AM Benton Harbor, Mich.;
news12.com of News 12
Interactive, Woodbury, N.Y.; and
katv.com
of KATV Little
Rock, Ark. Meanwhile,
the
finalists for the NetMedia’s 2002 European Online Journalism
Awards have been named
— and the BBC, which won four last
year, got 17 of the 52 spots. The winners in each of the 17
categories will be announced in July.

The Future of Interactive
Television

Interactive television has always
promised to deliver the couch potato?s ultimate dream ? surf
millions of channels, choose customized programming, send
e-mail, answer polls, shop, gamble and order pizza without
leaving your couch. And it has tremendous potential to reshape
the way news is delivered, combining the bandwidth and
resolution of television with the interactivity of the Internet.
Some of these services are now becoming a reality, while others
face uncertain prospects.

Experts from Wharton discuss the direction they predict
interactive TV is headed
. Limited
on-demand TV programming is already being offered in some
markets,
the Online Journalism Review reports
, pointing to NBC and
Comcast Cable’s agreement to allow some viewers in Philadelphia
to see The Today Show and NBC Nightly News on demand starting
this fall."In a few years, (people)  will expect choosing a
TV show to be like the Internet is today — click on a headline
and see just that show, skipping everything else."


NPR.org Link Policy Protested
The deep-linking
hubbub continues. This time it’s NPR.org at the center of the
controversy, with


bloggers complaining
about how
the site says
"linking to or framing of any material on
this site without the prior written consent of NPR is
prohibited" and actually had the nerve to

post a
form
for people to request
permission. NPR has now posted

a
response to the complaints
saying,
"We are working on a solution that we believe will better
match the expectations of the Web community with the interests
of NPR. We will post revisions soon at www.npr.org."

And
the Webby Winners are…
Some great online
journalism sites won Webby Awards this year:

BBC News;
Yahoo! Finance;
360degrees;
Arts and Letters Daily;
Center for Responsive
Politics
;

washingtonpost.com
/OnPolitics
; The
Smoking Gun
; and ESPN.com.
Also of note: the financially troubled
Beliefnet won, as did
Salon.com despite restricting
much of its best content to paying subscribers. Check out

the complete list of winners
.

Health-focused WSJ Online
planned


Dow Jones is making its first foray into vertical, or
topic-specific, publishing with

a special heathcare version of WSJ Online
to target the
business-to-business market.

Tomorrow’s
Paper-Thin Screen Gems

The biggest thing holding back
online media’s success has been the limitations of having read
it on a computer screen at a desk, former Slate editor Michael
Kinsley says. "People say, ‘I like your magazine but I’d like to
read it on paper so I can take it into the john,’"

he told The Financial Times
. But he predicts that tablet PCs
will improve things vastly. "Compared to sitting in a chair and
scrolling down a screen, [a tablet PC] is like holding a
magazine in your hands. I think it’s a great breakthrough."
Perhaps even more promising,

Business Week reports
that as little as two years from now
consumers may be able to buy e-paper computer displays that look
and feel like a newspaper and can be rolled up or folded and
carried around like a piece of paper. "After you read the news
you’ve downloaded from your favorite Web site, you might press a
button on the ‘paper’s’ edge to view your schedule for the day
and your e-mail that arrived overnight," Olga Kharif reports.

Salon.com Plugs Along
Salon.com now has

39,500
subscribers paying $30 a year for premium content — and claims
to still have 3.6 million monthly readers total. For fiscal year
2002, revenues dropped by 50 percent, but the good news is the
site’s net loss dropped by 58 percent.
"We successfully introduced Salon Premium in fiscal year
2002 and proved that readers were willing to pay for high
quality content from Salon,"
Salon.com
CEO Michael O’Donnell said
. "While we’re pleased with the
numbers to date, we’re continuing to aggressively market to
Salon’s large base of approximately 3.6 million monthly readers,
trying to convert a significant percentage to Salon Premium."

More Online Storytelling Examples
Drawing on examples from
CyberJournalist.net’s
Great Work Gallery
and
Online Storytelling Forms

and from submissions from other online journalists, Michelle
Nicolosi, an adjunct professor at the University of Southern
California, has produced another useful collection, "StoryTelling
Online: Just few of the many fine things you can do on the Web
that you can’t do with paper, radio, and TV
.

Teamwork: Online Sites Offer Joint Sales
Following a recent study by the Online
Publishers Association that showed daytime usage of the Internet
exceeding that of television, radio and newspapers, five
prominent online publishers formed a new advertising consortium,
called the At-Work Brand Network.

CBS.MarketWatch.com, CNet, NYTimes.com, Gannett’s USAToday.com
and Weather.com have launched their first campaign
with a
deal to advertise AT&T Wireless during daytime periods, when
Internet traffic is at its peak. The deal marks the first time
several sites have banded together to offer their combined reach
in one ad sale — and together they will offer advertising
clients with an audience of more than 17 million individual
readers, or 43 percent of the total online audience at work, the
consortium said. For online news sites, this could be a pretty
significant step toward harnessing online eyeballs for ads
dollars and reaching profitability.

Unmasking Deep Throat
Salon hasn’t had a journalistic coup in ages, but it’s been
touting the June 17 publication of a 40,000-word piece
by John W. Dean III in which the former White House counsel was
to reveal whom he believes Deep Throat is.
But
his choice, lawyer and former Army intelligence officer
Jonathan Rose, denied it and threatened to sue Salon
.
Dean still published the e-book,
but instead simply narrowed the suspect list down to Nixon
special assistant Pat Buchanan, Nixon speechwriter Ray Price,
Nixon assistant Steve Bull or Nixon press secretary Ron Ziegler.
Salon is charging $8 for the e-book, or $5.95 for premium
subscribers, but you can read

a free Q&A with Dean
. Dean

opted to publish his piece online
so he could make changes
up until the last minute, which may have been a good decision.
He says he’s now convinced Rose is the wrong man.

Watergate Revisited
WashingtonPost.com has published

a nice package commemorating the 30th anniversary of the
break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters that
led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation
. Perhaps of
most interest, the site offered readers a chance to ask
questions of Washington Post Vice President at Large Ben Bradlee
and Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward in

a live video chat
. The package also includes an archive of
Post Watergate stories; a gallery of photos and cartoons from
the Watergate era; and a multimedia page including audio from
the famous tapes and video clips from some of the famous moments
during the scandal.

Net Journalism Pioneer Dies
Scott Shuger, the first writer of Slate’s popular "Today’s
Paper’s
" feature, died June 15 in a scuba diving accident.
In a touching tribute,
Michael Kinsley called Shuger a "complete Internet journalist"
and a pioneer in the field. "The Internet was essential to both
his input and his output, and the result was something new and
useful that couldn’t be done before. Without the Internet, Scott
couldn’t have read five newspapers from across the country?and
done it before the paper editions were even available. With the
Internet, Scott could even write the column?about the day’s
major American newspapers, remember?from Berlin… Having
gathered his material from the Web (with the help, as it became
popular and influential, of faxes and phone calls from the
various papers’ newsrooms), Scott would push a few buttons that
would essentially publish his column to our Web site, where it
could be read within seconds all over the world, and send it out
by e-mail automatically." Launching in 1997, Shuger’s "Today’s
Paper’s" may have been the first blog-like journalism to be
published by a mainstream online news site (know
of any other early ones
?) — a format, five years later,
that has been widely adopted by
mainstream media sites
.

Washington Post Union: Don’t
Write for Web

Washington Post newsroom union leaders have asked reporters to
stop writing for the paper’s Web site in an effort to draw
attention to their contract negotiations. Articles in The Post
are automatically posted on WashingtonPost.com. But Post
reporters are often asked to write additional, early stories for
the Web site when significant news breaks. Post reporters are
not paid extra for these stories and can decline to file them,
though they rarely do,

Frank Ahrens reports in The Post
.


Web Gives Birth to New Print
Magazine

Online magazine
ePregnancy.com
is spinning off a new print publication, ePregnancy Magazine,

concerning "everything pregnancy" that will hit
newsstands by July. Other Web sites have tried doing this:
Inside.com’s print publication drained it of money and may have
contributed to its failure.
Nerve is also
planning to launch a print publication
.

Hack yields free Times Web
content outside UK
Frustrated by having to pay to read
The Times of London’s Web site,
a
reporter for The Register discovered a simple hack giving him
free access
.

Online Sites Attacked
Several major online news sites —
including Foxnews.com, ESPN.com and ABCNEWS.com — suffered
intermittent outages due to denial-of-service attacks on June 13
and 14,

ABCNEWS.com
and
CNET
News.com
reported.

Slate, Salon: What’s Going On?

Slate is
becoming Salon
… while Salon, as
reported here before, is just a
sad shadow of the journalistic trailblazer it once was
. "As
things stand now, there’s a pile of weblogs — yes, weblogs —
that are doing a lot more relevant, thought-provoking stuff than
the stale Salon," writes Neil Morton on Shift.com. "And they’re
doing so with zero staff, zero resources, zero dollars. Salon
should be doing far more with what they have." Ouch. Sometimes
the truth hurts.

The Ultimate Surfer
Even small online
sites can make a difference. Surfline.com has

become a major force in the surfing business,
with more visitors in a month than all global surf magazine
readers combined. "The ability to check the waves without going
to the beach and the seemingly simple yet vastly complex act of
predicting waves has also altered the world of surfing,"

Chris Dixon writes in The New York Times
.

Beijing Paper Criticizes Onion for
Faking News

China’s Beijing Evening News finally admitted that
it screwed up in stealing a
story from The Onion
, an American parody site, and reporting
as serious that  members of Congress were pressing for a
new Capitol with a retractable dome and luxury boxes. But here’s
the rub:

The paper criticized The Onion for making up stories, apparently
not realizing it’s a parody publication
. "Some small
American newspapers frequently fabricate offbeat news to trick
people into noticing them, with the aim of making money," the
paper said. "This is what the Onion does." The whole episode has
been so bizarre, it’s starting to sound like a story you might
find in The Onion. Sometime the truth really is stranger than
fiction!

Don’t Get Fooled Again!
Internet Wire was

tricked into publishing a phony press release about Cel-Sci
Corp.
, causing a temporary in the drug company’s stock. It’s
the second time in nearly two years that the online press
release service has been duped into publishing a fake news
release.

‘A Giant’ in Online Journalism

Online journalism pioneer Merrill Brown,
MSNBC.com’s first and only editor in chief, is
leaving the
company after six years
. Under his leadership, the news
organization grew to the top Internet news site, attracting more
than 20 million unique users in February, according to Media
Metrix. "It’s funny in an industry that’s in its infancy,
talking about someone being a giant in their field, but Merrill
truly was," said Rich Jaroslovsky, former managing editor of the
Wall Street Journal’s online edition and ex-president of the
Online News Association,

told CBS MarketWatch
. "Merrill was a go-to guy for those of
us in the field who needed guidance." OJR ran
a
comprehensive Q&A with Brown
.

Deep-Linking and the ‘World Wide
Straight Line’

The ludicrous debate continues over deep-linking (linking to
pages other than a site’s homepage). The Albuquerque Journal and
American City Business Journals have actually attempted to
charge for the right to deep link. Although editors acknowledge
they won’t take action against casual deep-linkers, they say a
handful have been willing to pay ? $50 in Albuquerque’s case.
"There are some companies that would rather pay to get a piece
of paper and get that blessing," said Donn Friedman, the
Albuquerque paper’s assistant managing editor for technology.
Avi Adelman, a Web site operator involved in a dispute over
linking to The Dallas Morning News, sums up all this foolishness
over deep-linking the best: If the Web’s creators hadn’t wanted
linking, he told
AP
, "they would have called it the World Wide Straight
Line."

Online News Readership
Growth Slows

The growth of online news consumption grew only slightly during
the past two years ? a sharp contrast from the rapid growth of
the late 1990s. The number that said they go online at least
three times a week for news was one in four,

according to the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People
& the Press
. That was not significantly higher than two
years ago and possibly reflects the slower growth of Internet
access. Other data has shown, however, that traffic to online
news sites has multiplied many times over during the past two
years. Knowing that, the new poll might indicate that that much
of the growth in traffic is from avid users reading the news
even more frequently online than before ? as well as newbies who
are reading the news online less than three times a week.

Playing With Fire

Broadcasting unconfirmed reports e-mailed in from viewers is a
dangerous game, but many local TV stations do so. WTEN chief
meteorologist Steve Caporizzo found that out during a recent
night of severe thunderstorms, when he aired e-mailed reports of
intensive damage from Bennington County in Vermont, including
descriptions of mobile homes being tossed and a jeep blown 450
feet down the road. Unfortunately, they turned out to be bogus.
Now the station is re-evaluating its practice of having reading
unconfirmed e-mail dispatches on the air during weather events.
"We certainly learned a lesson, and will certainly be more
careful next time,”

news director Rob Puglisi said
. "Does that mean that we will
never read another e-mail on the air? It’s difficult to say for
sure.” How many times must one get burned before one learns not
to play with fire?

Free Databases, Newspaper Archives
Public libraries across the nation are offering free access to newspaper
archives.

This is not good news for newspaper’s trying to make a buck off
paid archives online, says Steve Outing
. But for the public, and for reporters, it can be
a boon. If your newsroom can’t afford to give everyone individual LexisNexis accounts — and most can’t —
check out your local library and
you might just find that it offers free online access to searchable
newspaper archives and other useful databases
. Some even
offer free access to the $550-a-year Oxford English Dictionary
site.

Living the World Cup Online
The Web is helping soccer fans in
America

keep track of the World Cup like never before
, thanks
to sites like Teamtalk.com,
Pel?.net, special sections on
major news sites like

Nytimes.com
,
USA
Today
and

NBCSports.com
, and animated updates of the games on

ESPN.com’s GameCast
. Even Bloomberg’s financial
terminals offer news, statistics, trivia, audio updates and team
and player profiles. Plus,


Time.com
and


The Guardian
have both created special
World Cup Weblogs.


A Satirical Scoop
The Beijing Evening News copied


an article from The Onion
, not
realizing it was satire, and
published a rewritten version
reporting that Congress was threatening to move out of
Washington unless a fancy new Capitol is built. "We consider
this a warning and will strengthen supervision of our reports,"
said Yu Bing, a manager of the Evening News’ foreign news
department. Coming on the heels of
a similar gaffe by the
Newark Star-Ledger
, this is yet
another reminder to
be careful
when using online information
.

‘Significant and Grand Experiment’
The first online news ombudsman,
MSNBC.com’s Dan Fisher,
reflects upon his
year-long term
. "I think the interactive medium offers
particularly meaningful ways in which both journalist and user
can better understand the perspective of the other," he says.

Learn to Blog
The University of California at
Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism is planning a Weblog
class for the fall term, in what is likely the first
graduate-level journalism course in Weblogging. Taught by John
Batelle, former Industry Standard CEO and co-founder of Wired
magazine, and Paul Grabowicz, the school’s new media program
director, the course will explore whether blogs are "a sensible
medium for doing journalism, and what does that mean?"


Grabowicz says
. Students will also
create a Weblog on intellectual property issues.


Check out the course description
.

Personalize the AP Stylebook

The Associated Press has begun offering
an electronic version of
its journalism "Bible
." What’s great about this are the new
personalization features it has added. Instead of leafing
through the pages, you can quickly search for what you need. For
all those newsrooms constantly updating their own internal
stylebook as an amendment to AP’s, now you can annotate entries
to account for your publication’s quirky style and even add your
own entries. And you can get a license to post it on your
intranet.

Immersed in the News

"What if your website isn’t something people
read, it’s something they do?" Nora Paul, director of the
Institute for New Media
Studies
at the University of Minnesota, likes to ask. With
that in mind, Poynter’s Steve Outing looks at

six examples of "Immersive" forms of online content
, which
he describes as "story presentation that allows the Internet
user to interact with story elements or data." Among the fine
works he analyzes are The Washington Post’s "Virtual
Voting Booth
," MSNBC.com’s
"Baggage
Inspection Game
," NYCitizens.org’s "Redistricting
Game
", the Sun-Sentinel’s "Touch-Screen
Voting
" and "Hunley
Simulator
." "When immersive content is commonplace on online
journalism sites, the medium will have matured into something
unique, and no longer will be accused of mimicking other media,"
Outing says.

SAJA Award Winners
The South Asian Journalists Association
has announced its
2002
Awards
and the online recipients include: ABCNews.com for "Bias
Fallout
"; MSNBC.com for "In
Pakistan, a Grand Illusion
"; CNN.com for "Nepal’s
Royal Killings
"; MSNBC.com for "Airlift
of Evil
"; CNN.com for "Brazil:
A Special Series
"; CNet News.com for "A
Bitter Pill
"; Inside.com for "Now
You Can Buy The Entire Internet
"; and ABCNews.com for "So
Far From Home
." If you’d like to be in this mix next
year, here are
some great
reporting tips on covering South Asia
.

Pearl Video Posted

The uncensored video of the murder of Wall Street
Journal reporter Daniel Pearl has been circulating on the
Internet for weeks, even while news organizations have shied
away from broadcasting it after CBS was criticized for airing
the less-graphic parts. The Boston Phoenix, though, has stirred
up controversy by linking to the video off its Web site. "This is the single most gruesome, horrible,
despicable, and horrifying thing I’ve ever seen,"

editor Stephen M. Mindich wrote in an editorial
. "…That
our government and others throughout the world, who have had
this tape for some time, have remained silent is nothing less
than an act of shame." There are two lessons here, in our new
media world: First, that the Internet makes it nearly impossible
to suppress information; and second, that news organizations
rightly continue to exercise restraint and judgment on whether
to publish material, rather than simply rushing to publish
something because others have. It is this last trait that will
help build news sites’ credibility and audience. (And on the
flip-side, the Phoenix, as a result of its decision, may well
gain in credibility and audience among those who believe the
video has news value.)

Crash Convergence

Newsrooms moving toward convergence must
recognize that in breaking news situations, Web sites can’t
always count on TV reporters to file for the Internet, at least
not right away. Portland’s KGW.com faced this when covering the
recent helicopter crash into Mount Hood, and sent a Web producer
to the scene to report on the rescue separately from the TV
reporters. "On big stories, there’s no time for the TV reporters
to talk to the web staff," said Jim Parker, KGW.com’s executive
editor. "By having our own producer there, he can take the story
and round it out for us in a print format, which certainly comes
in handy." As a result,
says
Lost Remote’s Cory Bergman
, the Web site’s coverage "quickly
outpaced its TV and newspaper counterparts, writing in-depth
stories with smart illustrations, detailed photos, slide shows
and lots of video."

Time-Based Ad Sessions

After launching "surround sessions"
advertising units last year,

AtNewYork.com reports
, the New York Times’ online unit now
is bringing time-based ad sessions to the Internet ? importing
another traditional broadcast concept. "The new ad format,
dubbed "site sessions," enable NYTimes.com to feature a single
advertiser in exclusive placements across all of its major ad
positions for a specific period of time," Christopher Saunders
writes. "…Should NYTimes.com be successful in signing more
clients to the new format, the development would seem to signal
offline advertisers’ willingness to view Internet media they way
they do broadcast — and to boost online spending accordingly."

Online Libel Case Heard
Can newspapers that post stories on
the Internet can be sued for libel in states outside their local
market?

Newspapers argued against that in a federal appeals court Monday
.
"Newspapers will be reluctant to post articles on the Internet
if they can be sued for libel in states where they have no other
significant presence," argued Robert D. Lystad, attorney for The
Hartford Courant and The New Haven Advocate. (See
Libel Knows No Boundaries.
)

World Cup Coverage Preserved
Norbert Specker’s Interactive Publishing has created
a
digital collection of online World Cup coverage
, searchable
by title, match and language. It includes screen shots from
online media sites from all 32 participating countries. The site
did a similar screen-grab project of Sept. 11 coverage. "The
goal is – as with the September 11 collection – to freeze a
moment in online publishing history when all the world is
talking about the same thing," he wrote to Poynter’s

Online-News e-mail list
. "Only differently." These are
tremendously valuable projects in a business where so much
material disappears so quickly. Also see

another way
to go back in Net time
.

‘A New Literary Genre’
MSNBC.com
has launched

daily Weblogs on media, politics, technology, international news
and entertainment
.
"Although a relatively new phenomenon, blogs are becoming an
important distribution network for news and information," says
"Altercation" blogger Eric Alterman. Adds
Joan Connell, MSNBC.com’s executive producer for Opinions and
Communities: "We see blogs as both a new literary genre and the
next generation of online communities: A focused,
information-rich environment in which a writer — famous,
infamous or unknown — engages in the daily act of thinking
aloud, in the ever-expanding universe of the Web." Read
bloggers’
reaction on Metafilter
. And find these and more
journalists’ blogs (aka J-Blogs) in

The CyberJournalist List
.

What’s Your IQ?
Here are five
steps for assessing information quality
(IQ) that you should
run through before relying on anything found online.
And Poynter’s Lillian Dunlap offers
four good
guidelines for newsroom leaders
on how to manage your
staff’s use of the Internet.

Putting Bloggers on the Map
A new Web site is trying
to map New York City Webloggers by Subway stop. Liz Maryland and
Mike Everett-Lane, who started the site, believe this is the first
effort to physically map blogs on a local level. Could this be the
first step toward creating a local news network of Weblogs?
(Imagine: Check your neighborhood Blog for the latest news!)

Electronic Eyes

Upstart, independent sites such as
honestreporting.com,
boycottthepost.org
and
ElectronicIntifada.com
are becoming unofficial media
monitors,

Newsday reports
, organizing boycotts and e-mail
campaigns.

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