Why Do We Need a CMS?

Written by Ryan Thornburg February 21, 2009 10:36 pm EST 2 comments

A bit of career advice for anyone in an online news organization: Never get roped in to leading the creation of your site’s new content management system. Yes, you may realize that the business rules that underly the CMS will determine who has the power to make decisions in your newsroom, but CMS projects are like storming the beach at Normandy — even if it’s successful, many involved in the operation will not survive.

With that optimistic image fresh in your mind, let’s look at what CMSs do and why your news organization needs one.

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Why Journalists Need to Know HTML

Written by Ryan Thornburg February 20, 2009 4:11 pm EST 1 comment

I’ve written in a previous post that journalism students should be taught HTML as a way of helping them understand the concept of separating content from formatting. But I ran in to another perfect example today of why even journalists who are working in a CMS and working primarily with text need to know some basic HTML.

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DIY Online Newsroom: Budget Edition

Written by Ryan Thornburg January 14, 2009 5:06 pm EST No comments

Starting an online newsroom at a journalism school isn’t exactly the same as starting one in the world outside those friendly confines. First, the staff tends to pay us to work there. Second, there’s usually a pretty substantial technical infrastructure already in place.

That said, there are still technical hurdles to overcome before we can start doing good journalism. Let me give a brief rundown of where we stand on technology on this third day of classes.

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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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