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.