Monday, September 10

Adweek magazine today quotes USAToday Editor Ken Paulson, Publishing 2.0’s Scott Karp, Forbes.com President and CEO Jim Spanfeller, me, and a few others about the rise of ‘Web 2.0’ practices in major newspaper and magazines. I like what Paulson said:

Paulson reports that on a given day, a story posted in the morning can generate as many as 1,000 reader comments by noon, influencing which stories get emphasized on the site. “It’s a huge breakthrough in the way you relate to readers,” the editor says (even though journalism purists might be alarmed).

My own take on the topic boils down to:

“The main thing is that the mission of a publication is to tell not only what’s occurring in its community, but also what’s being said,” says Vin Crosbie, managing partner, Digital Deliverance, a new-media consultancy. “Web 2.0 facilitates the mission of publications.”

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For the perspective of a newspaper editor who is aware of the changes underway in his industry, if not yet where those changes are going, read the essay ‘We’re all doomed to be surprised last month from Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.

Meanwhile, the Association of Online Publishers in the UK has released its short list of award winners in its website contest.

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Danny Sanchez of the Orlando Sentinel has compiled a directory of interactive maps about crime.

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Carl Bialik of The Wall Street Journal tries to get us to realize how large an amount is the $400 billion that the United States government has spent on invading Iraq.

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A Syracuse University journalism graduate student who is American but of South Asian descent was detained and had several images from her digital camera deleted after she photographed the city’s Veterans Administration Medical Center. Hospital security officers apparently became suspicious because she was wearing a head scarf.

Mariam Jukaku said she wanted to practice for her photography course and photographed the hospital while standing on a public sidewalk in front of the hospital, which is two blocks from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. The hospital later apologized to her.

I’ll be in Syracuse next week, and this story makes me want to try the same innocent thing she did, but perhaps while I’m dressed in a burnoose and pointed slippers. The incident makes me mad because beginning on Thursday, September 19, the Newhouse school will start its year-long celebration of the First Amendment. That part of the U.S. Constitution grants every American the rights of free speech, free assembly, free press, etc. John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United State Supreme Court, will be at the University on Sept. 19 to dedicate Newhouse III, the schools new $32 million, 72,000 square-foot facility (which will be primarily used for new-media).

Mariam Jukaku was well within her rights to photograph a public building from a public placea, as the Veterans hospital later admitted.

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Speaking of paranoid governments, it’s wonderful to hear that North Korea has its own top-level domain (.kp)? Some say the ‘digital divide’ is between rich and poor. I say it’s between north and south. North and South Korea, that is. Now that it has its own top-level domain, can a communist dictatorship (actually a hereditary absolute monarchy) that has subsidized itself by selling weapons and illegal drugs and counterfeiting American money resist temptations to operate porn websites (‘See Comrade Kim without her uniform’), ‘404’ e-mail scams (‘No, believe me, I ACTUALLY am this nation’s Minister of Finance’), or online ‘Vi*gra, Ci*lis, and Levitr*’ pharmacies? My bet is theyll open a live webcam atop Pyongyang’s 105-story Ryugyong Hotel, if they can find a technican willing to use its decaying elevators or staircases.

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