Online Journalism Archive

News judgment with the audience in control

In print newsrooms I’ve worked in, certain colleagues were acknowledged as having better or worse news judgment. The “news values” taught in journalism school weren’t referred to explicitly. News judgment was like charisma; you had it or you didn’t. In digital newsrooms, there is temptation to swing the other way, reducing story decisions to consultation

News values reconsidered, or, why ‘man bites dog’ matters

How do journalists decide if a story is worth reporting? They consult the list of possible news values — easy-peasy, since everyone agrees there are just 10 … or 12 … or a different 12 … or eight … or nine-ish … or five … or seven … I confronted that confusion when I started

The business of publishing, Part 2

This post is about how to pay for journalism. SPOILER ALERT: I do not solve the equation and save the business. While I was preparing to teach a course on the business of (journalism) publishing, smart people advised me to forget a textbook. Instead, they said, use the news. Riff off industry developments. I created

The business of publishing: Lesson for a journalism teacher

Sure, I said, I can teach the Business of Publishing. Granted, all I remember learning about it in college was that libel is expensive, so it’s cheaper to be accurate. But I was a financial journalist for years. And, like every journalist of my generation, I got a crash course in the finances of journalism

Sketchnoting & the big box of crayons: Lesson for a journalism teacher

Journalism, done right, is storytelling. The upside to the increased demands on reporters — to be proficient in text and on video, with photos and maps and social media and on and on — is that journalists have more and more tools to tell stories well. In other words: a big box of crayons. A

Reporter gets rude emailer in trouble with boss, saves world

There are two ways to respond to crude insults. One way is to remain above them, either ignoring the jerk or responding politely. The other way is to embrace the insult as an excuse to behave like a jerk yourself. Guess which way a reporter for the Wall Street Journal took recently? The screenshot accompanying

Amazon, the amorous legislator and loose threads

Sports fans may get excited over spotting something like back-to-back sacrifice bunts. I geek out over spotting two instances of the loose threads defense in the same week. First, mighty Amazon responds to a New York Times article. The original article came out in August. It said Amazon’s success was built in part on pushing

Why The Plain Dealer will miss having Thom Fladung around

The set of all great managers and the set of all newsroom managers have a fairly small area of intersection, in my experience. One of the great ones is leaving, so that intersection is getting even smaller. Thom Fladung returned home to Northeast Ohio as managing editor of The Plain Dealer in 2011. I worked deserves a Pulitzer: True

Last week was a great time for news — fake news, that is. Misinformation is spreading faster than measles in a colony of anti-vaccine nudists, so the time has come for something long overdue: a Pulitzer for This weekend Jim Romenesko pointed to, which had several of my Facebook friends fooled with claims

This is how easily visual data can mislead

After the Supreme Court decision declaring bans on gay marriage unconstitutional, Bloomberg Business dusted off a pretty example of visual data journalism. Which sucks. Data journalism done well is powerful. Intelligent visual display of that data often can tell a story better than plain words. As with any form of journalism, though, decisions about what