Joel Johnson rocks Gizmodo

Joel John­son nails it in a Giz­modo post yes­ter­day. Among other won­der­ful gems is this argu­ment against those who claim Giz­modo ≠ journalism:

I try to allow for this, espe­cially when pre­sented in the “But you call your­selves jour­nal­ists!” pack­age. I know that most of the peo­ple attempt­ing to define and dis­card our opin­ions have the media com­pre­hen­sion abil­ity of an espe­cially con­tem­pla­tive elk. Still, con­sider this in a scrolling, flash­ing, graphic set over­top an explod­ing march­ing band: “Jour­nal­ism” is an act, a process, not a role nor a duty. Some­times, despite all incli­na­tion to the con­trary, jour­nal­ism is prac­ticed at Giz­modo.

I espe­cially like the image of a con­tem­pla­tive elk attempt­ing to dis­card the opin­ions of Giz­modo.

By claiming no opinion NPR inherently has an opinion

Jeff Jarvis nails the prob­lem with NPR lim­it­ing atten­dance at the Stew­art and Col­bert ral­lies to staff assigned to cover the event.

In its effort to be hyper­jour­nal­is­tic NPR is being unjour­nal­is­tic. Jour­nal­ists, prop­erly empow­ered, are curi­ous. They want to know things. NPR is telling them not to ask questions.

It’s ironic that a jour­nal­is­tic insti­tu­tion, seek­ing to uphold ideals of pub­lic ser­vice, would issue such a total­i­tar­ian order. Jour­nal­ists are peo­ple. Peo­ple have opin­ions. An inter­nal memo is not going to change that. Nor will it make us for­get that the next time an NPR show comes on the air.

Notes for discussion with #J361

Tomor­row, I’ll be talk­ing with Suzi Steffen’s Report­ing One class. In June I posted a link round-up from a visit with the sum­mer ses­sion of the class. Below are some links, tips, and high­lights of what I’ll talk about Wednesday.

Short his­tory lesson

I highly rec­om­mend read­ing through two posts that deal with a bit of jour­nal­ism history.

First is Jay Rosen’s “The Jour­nal­ists For­merly Known as the Media: My Advice to the Next Gen­er­a­tion”. He talks about the fun­da­men­tal ten­ants in soci­ety that are needed before jour­nal­ism can exist.

Jay also issues a bit of a ral­ly­ing cry for prospec­tive journalists:

The dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion changes the equa­tion. It brings for­ward a new bal­ance of forces, putting the tools of pro­duc­tion and the pow­ers of dis­tri­b­u­tion in the hands of the peo­ple for­merly known as the audi­ence. And so you have the oppor­tu­nity to become the jour­nal­ists for­merly known as the media, car­rier class for a new under­stand­ing of the peo­ple “out there” on the receiv­ing end of what jour­nal­ists make.

The sec­ond must-read post is from Cody Brown. He recently launched a beta ver­sion of Kom­mons and this was the post that kicked it off. My per­sonal favorite for the idea of a “mag­i­cal jour­nal­ism box.”

Design and Content

Shawn Blanc’s “Con­tent Dis­tri­b­u­tion, Met­rics of Impact, and Adver­tis­ing” is also a good read. It’s a good thought exper­i­ment to think about where users will engage with con­tent and what makes you and author­i­ta­tive source deserv­ing of their time and atten­tion.

Also, go read Jonathan Stray’s recent post, “Design­ing jour­nal­ism to be used.” There are a lot of inter­est­ing ideas in there and analy­sis about why the aver­age Amer­i­can only spends 12 min­utes on a news site every month.

Finally, I rec­om­mend watch­ing the video embed­ded below of a recent Khoi Vinh talk. Khoi was the Design Direc­tor at the New York Times until he decided to leave and pur­sue his own work.

There’s also some good stuff in that ear­lier link post so if you’re look­ing for pod­casts, help with WordPress-related things or just like to read check it out.