The Credit Economy?

Written by Ryan Thornburg January 26, 2010 4:53 pm EST 4 comments

I just gave the students in my Public Affairs Reporting for New Media class their first quiz. Overall, not bad. But I have to report this piece of breaking news:

Only 1 out of 16 students said that it was UNethical to “download a photo from the Web server of a blogger, upload it to your server, using it on your site along with credit to the original creator.”

I’m dying to talk with them about this on Thursday to hear more about their rationale. Maybe it says something about how they see bloggers. Maybe it says something about the way they see ownership of content.

What do you think?

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U2’s Bono Sings the Battle Cry for Online News

Written by Ryan Thornburg June 25, 2009 12:24 pm EDT 1 comment

“You didn’t come all the way out here to watch TV, now didya!?”

Standing in the outfield of a giant baseball stadium under the glow of more than 40 video walls and monitors, the lead singer of the rock group U2 aimed his remote up at the screens and flipped from station to station while tens of thousands of concert-goers screamed and cheered. It was the fall of 1992. CNN had just made history with the first live video coverage of a war, and somewhere in a computer lab at the University of Illinois – in a town that could have comfortably fit its entire population in the sports stadium – researchers were about six months away from launching the first graphical Web browser.

The hundreds of channels on cable TV were about to be dwarfed by millions of Web pages. The mass media that was able to send one message to an entire planet all at the same time and had defined a shared American experience for more than a half century was about to be replaced by communication technology that would blend the telephone with the television and the postal service and the printing press to form a decentralized network of news and information that would allow every – or everyone with a computer and Internet access – to talk to everyone else all at the same time.

The online news audience doesn’t spend an average of 35 minutes every day because they need another glowing box. News organizations that aren’t committed to giving their audience something fundamentally different should quit throwing money at their Web site and start re-investing in legacy media.

They didn’t come all the way out here to watch TV. Stop giving them a news product. Let them visit news experience. They’ll pay for that.

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Advice to Future Magazine Editors

Written by Ryan Thornburg April 16, 2009 12:57 pm EDT No comments

Contrary to what seems to be popular opinion, magazines have a strong future online, I think. But their future depends completely on the leadership and innovation of publishers and editors, as I told the Carolina Association of Future Magazine Editors last night.

The audio of the talk is after the jump.

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Innovative Student Journalism in the Works

Written by Ryan Thornburg March 25, 2009 11:49 am EDT No comments

The students in JOMC 491: “Public Affairs Reporting for New Media” are developing some bang-up stories and tools. For anyone interested in the future of news, in North Carolina civic life or in education policy, their projects are worth reading … and engaging.

More here.

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How to Report for New Media

Written by Ryan Thornburg February 10, 2009 8:04 am EST 1 comment

Reporting for New Media in Six Easy Steps!

View more presentations from ryan.thornburg. (tags: journalism reporting)

Links Referenced in This Lecture:

  • Slide 3
    • Little Green Footballs
    • Powerline Blog
  • Slide 5
    • Sworn Statements by Abu Ghraib Detainees (washingtonpost.com)
    • The Fact Checker: Romney and Abortion (washingtonpost.com)
  • Slide 7
    • Bluffton Today
    • Live Online With Bob Kaiser (washingtonpost.com)
    • Wiki Scanner (wired.com)
    • GasBuddy.com
    • #ch-snow (Twitter.com)
    • Ushahidi.com
    • Veep-O-Matic (washingtonpost.com)
    • Consumer Consequences (American Public Media)
  • Slide 10
    • MarketWatch.com
    • War in Iraq (washingtonpost.com)
    • Times Topics (NYTimes.com)
  • Slide 14
    • Breaking News Blog (L.A. Times)
    • iReport of Va. Tech Shooting (CNN)
  • Additional Resources

    How to Report a News Story Online (Online Journalism Review)

    A Guide to ‘Crowdsourcing’ (Knight Citizen News Network)

    Multimedia Storytelling (Knight Digital Media Center)

MP3 Audio of the Lecture

Lecture: Reporting for online media

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How to Plan an Online News Project

Written by Ryan Thornburg February 6, 2009 8:01 am EST 1 comment

If I had to pick only one difference between the mindset of print and online journalists, it’s the way they plan. Online journalists are more likely to have to collaborate with a large group, they are often working on longer time horizons on products that has longer shelf-lives. They are dealing with lots of smaller moving pieces and have to try to get management approval using static words and images to represent a project that will have a lot of animation and user-driven customization.

So, if you want to work online doing something other than breaking news you have to learn how to plan. In my experience, any online project — from an election returns database to a deadline explainer on the capture of Saddam Hussein — needs six things:

  1. A product concept
  2. A storyboard
  3. Asset management
  4. A clear workflow
  5. A financial budget
  6. A testing and quality assurance procedure
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Public Affairs Reporting for New Media: Day 1

Written by Ryan Thornburg January 13, 2009 1:17 pm EST 1 comment

The new semester kicked off this at 9:30 this morning in CA 132 with “Public Affairs Reporting for New Media,” a new APPLES service-learning class I’m teaching.

The goal: Partner with N.C. news organizations to create a set of multimedia, interactive news reports about the state’s high school dropout rate. And since part of the class’s mission is to be a public service, I’ll be blogging from now until May 2 about the lessons we learn.

Here’s the syllabus and here’s how the first day went …

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It’s a Battle of Style, Not Media

Written by Ryan Thornburg January 8, 2009 11:15 am EST No comments

With the new Pew report out this week, a lot of people are wondering this: Is there “evidence in the survey that what the internet did to newspapers may soon happen to television”?

First, the Internet didn’t do anything to newspapers that the 1970s didn’t do more effectively.

Second, these aren’t the right questions to ask.

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N.C. Rising Dropout Rate: A Call for Media Partners

Written by Ryan Thornburg November 19, 2008 5:00 pm EST No comments

Next semester, I’m leading a group of students in a service-learning class at UNC-Chapel Hill that be using online reporting and publishing techniques to dig in to the story of North Carolina’s rising high school dropout rate. As part of this experiment, we’re working with news outlets in the state on a collaboration that will live both on their individual sites and on a centralized site at UNC. If you’re interested in participating, please take a look at our draft plan of attack here .

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‘Think Romanesko When He Was 20′

Written by Ryan Thornburg September 9, 2008 8:50 pm EDT 1 comment

Collegerag.net is a site launched yesterday by two UNC-Chapel Hill journalism students, Sara Gregory and Andrew Dunn.

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What I'm reading

  • Writing from Video Exercise 2 hours ago
    These video writing and editing exercises are from the 4th Edition of the Broadcast News Handbook by Charlie Tuggle, Forrest Carr and Suzanne Hoffman.
  • News Corp. Donation Clouds Fox Coverage of Prop. 24 - NYTimes.com 2010/11/02
  • How to Count Items in a Filtered List in Excel 2010/10/25
  • Relational Databases - Example - Martin Baker 2010/10/16
  • MySQL :: MySQL 5.0 Reference Manual :: 10 Data Types 2010/10/16

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