Tomorrow 2009 begins. Instead of doing a top ten list of posts like most, I want to review the year in important journalism-related blog posts.
There are a lot of bloggers who focus on journalism. From grizzled veterans, tech geeks and corporate stiffs who are looking for the future, to those who blog the news, and younger cats like me, who have some of the experience, all the enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to offer. Yes, while some have written newspaper obituaries, some are looking toward the future.
So, with all of us running around blabbing on about new media and the future of newspapers, it turns out that every once in a while something I think is pretty meaningful comes to light. This year has been a big one, so below, in my humble opinion, see a guide to 12 months of the best journalism-related blog posts of 2008.
- Journalism At The Crossroads: Change Or Die
On Publishing 2.0 | Jan. 6, 2008
It may just be largely a collection of posts beginning 2008’s furor on switching the dialogue from convincing to planning for the future of newspapers, but it set the tone for the year. Scott Karp, the founder of journalism news aggregator Publish2 and among the 40-most influential people in publishing, was a good place to begin this year in new media blogging.
- Top ten list of tips for journalism students
On The Linchpen | Jan. 22, 2008
This changeover of journalism involves new voices, so I wanted to include voices from college media, which is surprisingly innovating at a similar rate to the professional world. Greg Linch, online editor for the college paper at the University of Miami, is among a bright crop of young 20-something voices adding genuine insight to the dialogue. His tips for other aspiring journalists is a must-read for professors, students and, really, others interested in where newspapers just might be going.
- What the journalism industry can learn from porn
On 10,000 Words | Jan. 24, 2008
Mark S. Luckie, an online associate producer for Entertainment Weekly, has one of those blogs that anyone involved in this age of journalism transition should be reading. In this memorable post, he tells us what pornography has to teach. If the details aren’t new, the mention of newspapers needing help from all sides is.
- My Last Portfolio Sucked, Yours Might Too
On Astheria | Feb. 12, 2008
Turns out lots of people are looking for jobs or just to impress and network with folks (myself included). I stumbled upon this post and thought it offered genuine insight and perspective on how your portfolio looks. Print, Web and graphic designers and photographers can all grab something from this, I think.
- Social Bookmarking For Journalists: 101
By DigiDave | Feb. 16, 2008
David Cohn is the young journalist behind Spot.Us, which won the 2008 Knight News Challenge and $340,000 to help innovate news. On his personal blog, he regularly offers a bridge between newsrooms and the Web, none better than this post, helping reporters understand how social bookmarking and other online social networks can help them do their job better.
- How I have used the print edition, historically speaking
On Invisible Inkling | March 20, 2008
This is likely the simplest of the posts on this list, but no less meaningful. Ryan Sholin, a San Jose State graduate student and an online editor with Gatehouse Media, reviews common uses for newsprint, why normal people pay for a subscription to a newspaper. How do those real reasons translate to an online product?
- Information ethics
By Howard Owens | April 14, 2008
Owens is a big dog at Gatehouse Media online and a regular contributor to the future of newspapers.
- Defining quality in journalism
On Buzz Machine | April 27, 2008
Inspired by an e-mail from Norweigians who visited Jeff Jarvis, media consultant and professor at the City University of New York, he gives his thoughts on how quality in journalism will change as new media becomes media. Of course, it comes from a man sometimes criticizing for relishing in the struggles of print media.
- Teach yourself
By Paul Conley | May 7, 2008
The former corporate-journalism executive responds to questions of how does a veteran go from print journalist to multimedia journalist. This is a must-read for folks looking to do just that.
- 32 of the best real world career and life tips for new journalism graduates entering the newspaper industry
On Journerdism | May 16, 2008
The title gives you everything you need to know. So why haven’t you read it?
- Do you own trees?
On Seth Godin’s Blog | June 2, 2008
He’s a marketer and author but Godin, with more than 30,000 online subscribers, sometimes swings into newspapers. In this post he uses newspapers devotion to print in an increasingly digital world as an example, why let nostalgia or tradition or the past dictate your business decisions, even if they only harm you?
- 14 ways newspapers can make more money
By Sean Blanda | July 21, 2008
For a time, Sean Blanda was among the best college journalism students blogging. Then he graduated, and nobody cared anymore. OK, well, not exactly so drastic, considering he helped spearhead the national BarCamp NewsInnovation unconference (Are you going to Philadelphia in April to help find the future of newspapers?), but fresh after his graduation from Temple University, young Blanda offers his thoughts on alternative revenue streams for newspapers. With limited professional experience and an outsider’s eye, more than his actual suggestions, I think it’s important for everyone to understand daily newspapers can only survive as brands, as niche publications beat them otherwise.
- Are editors a luxury that we can do without?
On The Guardian | Aug. 18, 2008
That provocative question came from Jeff Jarvis, of Buzz Machine above, in his media column for the Guardian, a U.K. newspaper. He says reporting is the top priority for a newspaper, so when the cuts come, perhaps editors should be shipped out first. The debate ensued there and on the Buzz Machine.
- Wednesday was a really fun day at the Las Vegas Sun
On Internet Punk | Sept. 19, 2008
Rob Curley’s name gets tossed around sometimes as the best online and multimedia editor in the newspaper business. That’s why it was seen as a bit of a coup when the Las Vegas Sun got him in 2006. So no surprise his average posts hold some weight. Here he talks about some experiences at the Sun one Wednesday, and it feels like insight on the future of newspapers everywhere.
- Student news as process
By Daniel Bachhuber | Oct. 19, 2008
Daniel is the youngest on this list, and, unlike the other younger folks seen here, I don’t know a lick about him, aside from his role (with Linch, above) pushing to launch CoPress, a college media consulting service. But it’s important to follow what young journalists are saying. The University of Oregon student writes about how a college newspaper might take on an innovated-business model.
- Watching the Times struggle (and what you can learn)
On Seth Godin’s Blog | Nov. 23, 2008
Another from the marketing guru is another post in which Godin draws broader thoughts from struggling newspapers. After the New York Times announced it would borrow against its headquarters to free up cash, Godin sees a world of lessons to be had. What’s most important to you?
- What is…? A handy guide for the new media novice
On 10,000 Words | Dec. 1, 2008
Here is a perfect example of evergreen blogging. If you are new to multimedia journalism, then bookmark this post. It’s a shorthand dictionary of everything you need to know.
- Introducing BarCamp NewsInnovation
We Media | Dec. 2, 2008
Here’s the post that started a flurry of excitement in recent weeks and is indicative of this year and the future of newspapers. Jason Kristufek wants multimedia-minded individuals to get together and talk about newspapers 2.0, so he did something about it. He started a conversation about hosting an un-conference and helped initiate a few of them across the country, including the national one in Philly (as mentioned above).
- Dear Blogosphere, There’s more to newspapers than The New York Times
Invisible Inking | Dec. 2, 2008
Some time after the horrors of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, our country became more obsessed with New York City than it ever was before (that’s for a future post). In this post, Sholin astutely tells the world of online writers that we need to get over the New York Times. Its financial woes, while just as daunting, isn’t representative of the broader conversation. When the money really started to disappear from newspapers in the 1980s and 1990s, a huge divide began to develop between the top tier newspapers of our country – like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal – which retained global news coverage and others – like every other once competing now depleted big urban newspaper – that didn’t.
- The 48 Laws Of Power Applied To Blogging
The Future Buzz | Dec. 8, 2008
Adam Singer interestingly takes Robert Greene’s laws of power and applies them to blogging. This just might add something to the conversation for even savvy bloggers, and certainly will add some understanding to those newer to the scene.
- What Happens Next? Some Scenarios
Recovering Journalist | Dec. 18, 2008
Mark Potts, a former print journalist and current consultant, is almost two decades removed from a newsroom but can still add to the conversation. In this post he talks generally about what might actually be the future of newspapers once this transition and newspaper bubble is complete.
- Ten questions for journalists in the era of overload
On Newsless | Dec. 31, 2008
Update 1/1/09: In the below comment field, Will Sullivan of Journerdism put me on to some great posts by Matt Thompson, former online editor of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. In this one, Thompson provides a real checklist journalists might read every morning.
What great journalism posts of 2008 did I miss? Is it yours or someone else’s? I don’t care, but I want to see it. I hope to update this post accordingly.