Fascinating piece in Vanity Fair by Michael Wolff on Rupert Murdoch and his attitude towards the internet. Younger, tech-savvy readers will find it hilarious; older, inky-fingered sorts will find themselves feeling strangely warm towards the man. “Murdoch’s abiding love of newspapers has turned into a personal antipathy to the Internet: for him it’s a place for porn, thievery, and hackers.”
The blog 10,000 words runs a feature on interactive maps, an increasingly popular way not just to illustrate a story but to tell it. “With a wide range of ways to create online maps, many more news organizations are using these tools to create interesting and unique online maps. Some media companies like the ones featured below are consistently producing good maps that are both visually engaging and educate readers,” he says.
I love news graphics and I love interactive gizmos. Latest: News Dots from Slate. Sponsored by Jack Daniels (is that good or bad?) and powered by Calais, a service from Thompson Reuters that “tags” content and displays it.
Two manifestoes for media on the internet. One is by a group of celebrated German netheads and I have to say is mostly dull, hackneyed tripe, but with some important calls to action for the older media. Its first article: “The Internet is different… It produces different public spheres, different terms of trade and different cultural skills. The media must adapt their work methods to today’s technological reality instead of ignoring or challenging it. It is their duty to develop the best possible form of journalism based on the available technology. This includes new journalistic products and methods.
The other by the blogger 10,000 words tells some straightforward truths about the media industry, but is less visionary in terms of pointing the way towards the future. It starts with: “The stories that are published are the stories that sell…. The reason you’re more likely to read about a shooting spree than a library opening is because with dwindling resources, broadcasters and print publications must devote their time to stories that will grab the most attention. Hyperlocal sites like EveryBlock have stepped up to fill the void, but the phrase “if it bleeds, it leads” has never been truer.
I prefer the second but also read and got something from the first. My view of manifestoes: the point is not just to understand the world, it is to change it.
I do enjoy Peter Preston (Observer, ex-Guardian). In this week’s column: why American media is wrong to moan on about “jumps”.
Most newspaper websites are poor and hard to read, says Online Journalism Blog. “Small fonts, long off-putting paragraphs, no subheadings, no in-content boxes or pictures, and no in-content links.” Reminds me of some other websites I could mention but won’t because that would get me into trouble.
The use of news graphics, often interactive, to illustrate the economy’s problems, is especially effective. A lot of ingenuity goes into this. I always enjoyed working with the graphics departments of the media orgs I worked with. Creative and interesting people. 10,000 Words illustrates some recent examples. This one is from USA Today, which specialises in such creations.