Full September 2002 archive

Full September 2002 archive

CyberJournalist List Updated
The number of journalists writing Weblogs is rapidly
increasing and, thus,
CyberJournalist List
has been expanding quite a bit. So
the list of J-Bloggers has now been
split up, listing Weblogs published by news organizations separate from
ones published independently by journalists. There are now at least 50 Web
logs published by news organizations — and countless more, of course,
published independently by journalists. [9/28]

Watching Convergence Unfold
Journalism student Joseph Van Harken recently found himself
in the middle of a breaking news shooting scene, watching news media
converge in the field. He quickly learned there are many ways to tell the
same story, and each way has its own purpose.
In an essay for, he describes the coverage and the lessons he learned.

Interview Voyeurism and

Reporters generally condense interviews down to a few paragraphs and quotes
when writing stories, but the Internet has made it possible for interviewees
to publish the entire text of interviews online. In some cases, this can
offer a check on reporters, making it harder for them to take quotes out of
context; in others, it can provide an interesting way for journalists to
study the interviewing techniques of others. This week Sheila Lennon, a J-blogger
for The Providence Journal, posted
the complete transcript of
an interview with The New York Times’ David F. Gallagher, who reduced it to
one paragraph for his story; the complete interview offers an interesting
story of how one journalist turned into a Weblogger and her thoughts on the
form. And here’s a Web site that offers a gold mine of
Interview voyeurism. 

What do You Think of the New Designs?
Two sites recently unveiled redesigns and asked readers what they thought
in online polls. WESH NewsChannel 2 redesigned its Web site,, switching from left-column vertical navigation to the
less-commonly used horizontal top navigation, saying that their users
research indicates that readers find that more intuitive. In addition to
asking readers for feedback on the new design,
site has even posted a poll asking users if they like the new design
far, about 51%-49% in favor). The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, meanwhile,
shrunk its
site’s font size while making the colors "lighter and brighter
." In an
online poll, about 50% of readers liked the new design, while 22% didn’t
and another 30% weren’t sure yet. In another poll, about 46% of readers
said the new font size is too small, while 53% think it’s just right. 

Content Sales Lessons From
fascinating piece from ContentBiz
you may have missed, looking at’s experiments in charging for specialized online content and
what the site has learned from them. Since had been pulling in
$1 million a year from subscriptions to its archives and crosswords, the
site decided to launch several new subscription products:
Editor’s Picks;
Topics in Depth
and TimesTalks Online.
Deputy General Manager & Director of Operations Stephen Newman says
Premium Products have not been "the easy home run" he and the rest of
the business team had initially hoped for.  Sales for 2001 were $1.4
million, but this income was mainly due to Crosswords and Archives sales,
which had accounted for just over $1 million the year before. "Repurposing
archived content is not as easy as it sounds, especially when the content
is not digitized. It takes time to go through original and offline
archives. Those repackaging costs can start to add up pretty quickly if
you’re not careful." But here’s a number that will wow you: When The Times
raised the price of the two Editor’s Picks products from $9.95 to $24.95
in June, sales didn’t drop at all. [9/27] Launches Weblog
Central has launched a new feature called "Weblog
," which aims to "serve as a perch from which you can observe and
participate in the brave new world of personal news." The site’s Will Femia
will write a daily Blogspotting Weblog to "shine a light on life in the
blogosphere. . . .We?ll count on bloggers and those who know and appreciate
online journals to help us spot trends, share tips and make connections,"
says Joan Connell,’s Executive Producer for Opinions and
Communities. She adds, "While Weblogs serve as soapboxes for the
self-absorbed and platforms for previously unknown commentators and critics,
they also offer interesting new tools for traditional news organizations."

Searching for News, Google-style

Google News is attracting a lot of attention and
commentary. The latest:’s Jonathan Dube offers tips on
how journalists can
make the best use of Google News
; Steve Outing looks at how news
organizations should respond to this new competitor in

his Editor & Publisher column

The Washington Post’s Leslie Walker
says she’s "humbled at how a
computer is able to assemble on the fly an adequate version of what it takes
a dozen or two humans to do at most major Web news sites";
Slate’s Jack Shafer predicts
that a top news site will partner with Google News and another will ape the
site’s approach; and

researcher extraordinaire Gary Price points out
that the site links to
dozens of versions of the same wire story, often edited differently.

Tip: Understanding Diversity

Here’s a tip about a
great style guide
that lists words dealing with various ethnic groups
and the lesbian and gay community to help avoid errors, especially in
covering a community you may not know much about. [9/25]

Ethics Online

What does it mean to act ethically online? In the debut of
a new
biweekly Web ethics column for Consumer WebWatch
, Angela Gunn
establishes groundwork for future discussions about Internet ethics by
exploring some commonly held values online. She outlines three basic ideas
on which to build Internet ethics: Money and property are important,
our efforts on the Net are a kind of property, and our efforts
can affect other peopl
e.  [9/25]

At-Work Users Consume More Online Than on TV
More evidence on the importance of the at-work
online media consumer:
Digital ad firm
Avenue A
reports that  Internet media consumption is 22% higher
among at-work users than for home-only users. Even more interesting, the
time at-work users spend consuming online media exceeded their TV-watching
time by 1.4 hours per day, or 46%, according to Avenue A. This should make
companies that advertise on TV but not online think twice. [9/24]

Send in the SMS
More than 45 million people use text messaging, also known as SMS, or
Short Messaging Service. But media companies are only just

waking up to its potential
. And it has a lot. Response rates for SMS
advertising are as good or better than television and radio advertising.

White House Urges More Online Content

Here’s an unlikely ally in the push for more
original broadband content online: The President’s Council of Advisors on
Science and Technology. The panel, studying ways to boost demand for
high-speed Internet access,

is expected next week
to encourage Hollywood and others to offer more
online entertainment, government and educational content, as a way to lure
more of the 70 million Americans now online to upgrade to high-speed
Internet connections. [9/24]

More on Google News
n its first day in use,
Google News’ automated editors appeared to match the work of human
The New
York Times’ Saul Hansell writes
. "Their front page is not too far off
from what is on the Post site at the moment," said Douglas B. Feaver,
executive editor of "It’s a useful service, but it’s
not going to drive me to the unemployment office tomorrow." [9/24]

A Novel Approach to News
Google unveiled a new, much improved version of
its news search engine today, which
now trolls 4,000 publications. But what’s really neat is
the improved news section’s front page,
which sorts and presents links to news on the top stories of the day from
Web sites around the world — compiled solely by computer algorithms,
without human intervention. "Google has developed an automated grouping
process for Google News that pulls together related headlines and photos
from thousands of sources worldwide,"
explains on its site
.  The new presentation is particularly
interesting because it ranks the news of the day hierarchically, like
human-edited news sites do, "based on many factors including how often and
on what sites a story appears elsewhere on the web." This is a great way
to see how different news organizations are reporting the same story. 

Weblogs: Media Lawyers’ Nightmares
Once news organizations edit and publish Weblogs,
they become responsible for its content. "If I’m a lawyer advising a news
organization, the idea of a Web log like this would just make me break out
in hives," Jane E. Kirtley, a professor of media ethics and law at the
University of Minnesota,
The New York Times
. "It’s the kind of situation," she added, "where
the editorial side and the lawyers are going to have a clash." It will be
interesting to see what happens when the first Weblog libel lawsuits come
around. And they will come.  [9/23]

The Day the E-mail Died
E-mail has completely transformed the way many
people do business, but most of us take it for granted. So when The
Vancouver Sun’s e-mail went down, reporters found themselves stuck,
awaiting information they couldn’t receive and unable to access their
invaluable address books — with all their contacts and phone numbers —
to call sources. What did reporters learn from all this? "Pen and paper
can be your friend,"

The Sun’s Peter Wilson says
. This is a good reminder to back up your
address books, too.  [9/23]

Top 20 Current Events & Global News Sites
Nielsen//NetRatings has
released its list of the
Top 20 Current Events & Global News Sites
for  August
. August is usually a slow month, but this one was
unusually busy, thanks to the West Nile Virus, the ongoing drought, wild
fires and the run-up to Sept. 11 coverage. As a result, traffic to most
sites increased.  [9/20]

Sept. 11 Traffic Boost

For those who wondered whether readers really were
interested in the saturation coverage of the Sept. 11 anniversary, a new
analysis from
comScore Media Metrix shows that they were, in droves. Compared to the average traffic on Wednesdays this summer, Media Metrix
reported significant increases: "  drew 3,400,000 U.S. visitors, up
49 percent from the average Wednesday; followed close behind
with 2,596,000 visitors, up 43 percent; climbed throughout the
week to reach 1,563,000 visitors, up 148 percent; reached
954,000 visitors, up 54 percent; and drew 630,000 visitors,
up 37 percent." Large numbers of surfers also visited other sites
dedicated to memorializing the day, the report found: drew
49,000 visitors and
reached 34,000 visitors.  [9/20]

Tip: Annotated AP Digest
Here’s a tip on a Web
page you should check every day.
It’s the perfect afternoon fix for
Al’s Morning Meeting junkies — a daily Web tip tied to the biggest
stories of the day. [9/20] Redesigns Site has unveiled
modest redesign
, adding a few new features in the process, including
personalized weather and a "User Picks" feature of the 10 most popular
stories based on real-time traffic statistics. [9/19]

Get the News, Now looks at
Internet news alerts have changed in the past year
, and notes that
Yahoo! News recently switched from using AP’s News Alerts to Reuters,
resulting in many fewer alerts being issued.
Chris McGill, director of news and
information for Yahoo! News, says Yahoo! will soon make changes to its
alert service allowing subscribers to select either Reuters or the AP–or
both–as their alert source of choice. [9/19]

Computers & TV are Roommates
Here’s some good news for news organizations
pushing convergence: Over half of U.S. adult Internet users have a TV and
PC in the same room, with half of those reporting they watch TV and use
the Net simultaneously,
according to
a new study from comScore Media Metrix
. This shows that sending
viewers to your Web site for more information during broadcasts makes
sense. However, the study found that 74 percent said their Internet use
was unrelated to the program they are watching. This indicates that most
programs aren’t doing a good enough job of integrating online components
into their broadcasts. [9/18]

Biting the Hand that Feeds You

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has
been distributing T-shirts that read: "When's the last time your family
sat down on a Sunday morning and read the Internet together? You can't
replace the paper." On E-Media Tidbits (where
you can see an image of the shirt
), University of Alabama journalism
professor Jim Stovall notes the irony of the message: Just below the words
Star-Telegram in the image of the newspaper's masthead is the
paper's Web address. When will newspapers learn that their Web sites are
not competition, but simply a new way to distribute and earn revenue from
their product?

New Breed of Journalist
CNN International
President Chris Cramer says broadcasters are increasingly
relying on multi-skilled staff that can deliver stories,
pictures and technical know-how.
told the International Broadcast Convention in Amsterdam

that this new breed of reporters and technicians are smarter,
skilled across the board and can work in the various forms of
media, according to , said CNN International President Chris
Cramer. They use new portable technology such as videophones, he
said. And at least one CNN staffer, he said, can not only report
stories, but fix the telecom links.


Online Journalism Awards Finalists Announced
The Online Journalism Awards finalists have been
announced. This year, for the first time, the general excellence category
was divided into separate categories by traffic, for sites above and below
200,000 unique visitors a month. This enabled a number of sites that might
not otherwise have had a strong chance to compete and become finalists,
including: (which
was named as a finalist twice);
and St. Thomas Source. Check
out these and
other finalists
— tons of great work here.

Columbus Dispatch to Charge for Site Access

The Columbus Dispatch will join the growing trend of
charging for online content Oct. 1, when it will start charging $4.95 a
month to people who don’t subscribe to the newspaper and want access to
its Web site. The newspaper’s editors make

a compelling argument
that doing so is only fair: "We can’t continue
to ask our print subscribers to subsidize the cost of the Web site for
those who do not subscribe."

Dispatch Editor Benjamin J. Marrison adds
, in a column, that
continuous improvements cost money, and "if you want to milk
for information, you’re going to have to help feed the cow." He also says
what many experts have been saying recently: "We expect more and more
newspapers to adopt a pay model for their Web sites as their investments
grow." [9/17]

Thousands Want Chicago Tribune’s 9/11 CD
The Chicago Tribune has been getting thousands
of orders from all over the country for its

Sept. 11 commemorative CD-ROM
containing stories related to
the attacks; streaming-video interviews with 25 Tribune reporters who
covered the story; an interactive that tracks the flight path and
chronology of each hijacked plane; and video and more than 300 photographs
of related images, including many never published before, according to a customer service representative. The
representative told that daily call volume has nearly
tripled, from about 6,500 to 18,000 a day.  "It’s mind-blowing," she
said. The CD-ROM was designed simply as a give-away to subscribers, but
those who don’t
can buy the CD-ROM here.

Ad or Article? Can You Make the Call?
Sony’s $10 million online ad campaign is distributing

advertisements that look like editorial content
. Advertising Age has
reported that The New York Times turned down the ads, and now Consumer
WebWatch reports that CBS MarketWatch has as well. Good for those sites,
but what’s disturbing is that 75 other sites have agree to publish 60 of
these "article" ads,
to Consumer WebWatch
. The story looks at the problem of there being no
"clear" Web site guidelines to label and separate advertising from
editorial. "It’s unfortunate," Consumer WebWatch Director Beau Brendler
tells [9/16]

Newspaper Posts
Confession Online

The Orlando Sentinel took an new approach to responding to lawyers
demanding the complete transcript of murder confession taped by a reporter.
Rather than turn it over, the newspaper put the audio and the transcript
online. "The Sentinel now believes that it’s vital that the public have full
access to the entire contents of this newsworthy interview, so that it can
draw its own conclusions,"

said Tim Franklin, editor and vice president of the Sentinel
. David
Bralow, the newspaper’s attorney, said the Sentinel didn’t want to appear to
be an agent of the state or the defense by giving either side the tape. "Now
that the newspaper has made this entire interview public, we believe it is
no longer necessary for our reporter to be forced to turn over his notes or
to testify in this case," Franklin said. [9/13]

Newsday’s Narrated Slide Show Column
New sites long ago discovered the
emotion-evoking power of combining audio and photos into narrated slide
shows. So it’s only natural that opinion writers would
sooner or later turn to this form. Newsday’s Ellis Henican wrote an

multimedia piece, produced by Barbara Teleha, that may be the first

narrated slide show column: "New Yorkers’
Spirit in a Year of Recovery

Online 9/11 Memorials
A number of sites have put databases of
the victims online, but

Remembering the Lost
, compiled by 11 Tribune
newspapers, is the most comprehensive. It combines the powerful
information delivery of a database with an online memorial to the
victims, including photos and descriptions of many of the victims.
On The New York Times site, you can search and read all of the

Portraits of Grief series
about Sept. 11 victims, hear
Times’ editors discuss the series and even read and add to

a collection of
tributes to the victims
. Internet Broadcasting Systems’
sites, meanwhile, have built a

where users can read thoughts from readers’
across the country and "light" their own "virtual candle."

The Los Angeles Newspaper Group
took an entirely different approach, replacing its eight
newspapers’ home pages with
a scrolling memorial presentation of
the names of those lost on Sept. 11 against a black blackground
with a silhouette of the World Trade Center Towers.


Sept. 11 Anniversary Coverage Online

Online news sites have spent months preparing for the Sept. 11
anniversary. has compiled a look at
some of the most
outstanding and most interesting work published online
. The
list will continue to be updated, so send in more examples.


Tip: Free Sept. 11
Satellite Photos

sites are offering a series of satellite photos of the World
Center and the Pentagon that news publications, online and
offline, can use free-of-charge,
as long as they are credited (such as this recent shot of
Ground Zero from Space Imaging). The
collections, which include images from before and after the Sept.
11 attacks, are on these pages from

Space Imaging
. [9/9]

Today Hook Up

According to a notice in USA Today, "On Sept. 11, ABC News will collaborate with
USA TODAY on a televised exploration of what happened in the World
Trade Center."  [9/9]

Books That
Changed After Sept. 11, a Web site from The Book Report Network, is
a roundtable featuring seven authors who revised their
books-in-progress as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks. The authors discuss where they were on Sept. 11,
why they made changes in their books, and the emotions they
experienced while writing during this difficult time.  "What
struck me while putting together the roundtable was how fine the
line is between ‘fiction’ and reality," The Book Report Network’s
Wiley Saichek tells "Many of the authors’
responses about making the actual changes in their manuscripts and
why they decided to make the changes were chilling."  

Upcoming Online Journalism Courses

A number of online
journalism courses designed for professionals are coming up soon:
The Poynter
Institute’s Online Newswriting for Reporters and Producers

(deadline Sept. 13); Standford Professional’s

Publishing on the Web
; and The Media Center at the American
Press Institute’s
News Series
(several seminars).  [9/8]

USA Today, The Network
USA Today publisher
Tom Curly tells
, "We are no longer a newspaper; we are a network. We feed
content to TV. We feed content to the Internet from the same core
platform."  [9/7]

Newspapers Distribute 9/11 CD-ROMS
Many newspapers are
distributing special sections to commemorate Sept. 11, but at
least two are going all-out and producing multimedia CD-ROMS. On

every copy of The Chicago Tribune included a commemorative CD-ROM

containing 600 Tribune stories related to the attacks that ran
between Sept. 11 and Sept. 21 of last year; streaming-video
interviews with 25 Tribune reporters who covered the story; an
interactive that tracks the flight path and chronology of each
hijacked plane; and more than 300 photographs of related images,
including many that never ran in the paper. "It’s a way to access
the journalism through a different medium," Tribune Editor Ann
Marie Lipinski

told Editor & Publisher
. In a new use of convergence, the
CD-ROM also included video images from Tribune Co.-owned TV
stations WGN in Chicago and WPIX in New York. (For
those who don’t subscribe, you can buy the CD-ROM here.
) The
Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times, meanwhile, is making a CD-ROM to
be used as a study tool in local schools. According to E&P, The
disk, which is being produced at no cost to the paper by Sonopress
Inc., includes reprints of the newspaper’s Sept. 11 stories, and
audio interviews with local citizens that are tied to a lesson
plan about the terrorist attacks. [9/6]

The Post 9/11 Rise of
Do-It-Yourself Journalism

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks gave new
prominence to the phenomenon of do-it-yourself journalism, from
eyewitness accounts to analysis from amateurs, according to a

new Pew Internet & American Life Project study. As a result, growing
numbers of Americans seem to want to use the Internet to supplement the
information they get from traditional media.
Read’s report on the study
. [9/6]

Burn Your Local
Newspaper on CD

If you’re one of those people who reads — or attempts to read —
the newspaper while driving to work
here’s a technology invention for you: The San Francisco Chronicle
and MobileSoft are launching
in November that will enable subscribers to listen to
Chronicle content on custom-burned CDs. Users will be able to
select newspaper sections of interest and specify their typical
commute time. The MobileSoft software will then automatically
write a personalized audio CD before the subscriber wakes up, just
in time for their commute. This could be a great feature for
subscribers in the heavy traffic Bay area — not to mention a boon
to road safety. [9/5]

Sept. 11 Resources
As the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaches, has
been continually updating its
list of terrorism and Sept. 11 resources. will also be highlighting online journalism
related to Sept. 11 in the next week, so check back and
send in your
. [9/5]

A Print Edition of Salon?
Rumors have floated in the past that Salon might be planning a print
magazine and now a
survey on the site indicates its seriously being considered
. "If Salon
were to publish a quarterly print magazine that featured its best articles
over the preceding months, how much would you be willing to pay for an
annual subscription (4 issues)?" the survey asks. 
Rafat Ali
wonders if a Salon magazine couldn’t be "a breakout hit among
the younger New Yorker reader set, for all you know: a more pop-culturish
sensibility, a neo-George magazine, if you will." Unlikely: other
Web-to-print attempts, such as’s, have failed. [9/4]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept that my given data and my IP address is sent to a server in the USA only for the purpose of spam prevention through the Akismet program.More information on Akismet and GDPR.