Winter 2006

Goodbye Gutenberg

Journalism is on a fast-paced, transformative journey, its destination still unknown. That the Web and other media technologies are affecting mightily the practice of journalism is beyond dispute. Less clear is any shared vision of what the future holds.

In this issue, words about journalists' experiences in the digital era transport our vision forward, while our eye takes us on a visual voyage back to a time when newspapers wove communities together. – Melissa Ludtke, Editor

Goodbye Gutenberg
By Melissa Ludtke, editor
Newspaper Gallery (3 comments)
By Various contributors
Sensing the Change
Caught in the Web
‘With the Web, we could be witnessing the most important development in expressive media since the advent of writing.’
By Jon Palfreman
A Dinosaur Adapts
‘Unencumbered by the need to squeeze words into a finite space, the Internet proved better for me, as the writer, and I'd argue for readers, too, than newsprint.’
By Kevin Cullen
Risk-Adverse Newspapers Won't Cross the Digital Divide
‘Newspapers lacked the external vision necessary to see the vast range of opportunities created by the Internet.’
By Chris Cobler
Capital Crisis in the Profitable Newspaper Industry
Solving this ‘will call upon levels of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship infrequently found in newspapers in recent years.’
By Robert G. Picard
Newspapers and Their Quest for the Holy Grail
Putting the Web first might be ‘the most difficult transformation in our mindset, but we should go ahead and flip our world on its head.’
By Michael Riley
Pushing Forward
Tired of Waiting to Move Ahead
With plenty of ideas about how to move journalism into its digital time, a journalist tries to push the industry past its natural inclination to ‘voice the “no ways.”’
By Geneva Overholser
Media Convergence: ‘Just Do It’ (1 comment)
Changing people’s way of thinking is key to ‘the media revolution’ in northern Denmark.
By Ulrik Haagerup
Navigating the Road to Convergence
'Being small and a family-owned company are attributes that have helped us to become a multimedia news organization.'
By Ralph Gage
Meshing Purpose With Product
Heeding the warning against forcing ‘existing quality standards into new technology,’ a journalist is cautiously optimistic about the digital future.
By Philip Meyer
Building Community
Community Building on the Web: Implications for Journalism
The founder of craigslist speaks about online lessons he shares with new media journalists.
By Craig Newmark
The Challenge of Community Building
Knight Foundation asks whether the community role newspapers play can be replicated by new media and offers to support those who show it can.
By Gary Kebbel
Why Anonymity Exists and Works on Newspapers' Web Sites
‘If we require real names in print, shouldn’t we do the same thing online?’
By Steve Yelvington
Finding Our Footing
Are Journalists the 21st Century's Buggy Whip Makers? (1 comment)
Newspapers might vanish, too, if they continue to ‘dream of past dominance while taking their product and trying to fit it into their competitor's terrain.’
By William Dietrich
Vanishing Jobs at Newspapers
By William Dietrich
Looking Past the Rush Into Convergence
As technology drives big newsroom changes, what will happen to journalism?
By Edward Wasserman
We Can Adjust to Changing Demands, But Should We?
‘People can adapt to anything if the order comes from the person who signs the paychecks.’
By Joe Zelnik
Evolving Definitions of News (1 comment)
‘Journalists may have thought it was necessary to set the old school aside to accommodate the new realities, but with the new realities there is no new ethic.’
By Tom Bettag
Toward a New Journalism With Verification
‘This journalism must recognize that the distribution, the organization, and the sources of our work must change.’
By Bill Kovach
Journalism and Web 2.0 (1 comment)
‘Tomorrow’s potential readers are using the Web in ways we can hardly imagine, and if we want to remain significant for them, we need to understand how.’
By Francis Pisani
Expanding Our Reach
Gathering Voices to Share With a Worldwide Online Audience
‘Global Voices pulls together interesting threads of conversation and reporting from the global cacophony of blogging voices.’
By Rebecca MacKinnon and Ethan Zuckerman
The Global Voices Manifesto
By Rebecca MacKinnon and Ethan Zuckerman
Blogging News in China
‘In China, the Internet enjoys relatively greater freedom than other media. Even so, three of the articles I posted on my blog vanished without notice.’
By Luwei (Rose) Luqiu
Puzzling Contradictions of China's Internet Journalism
A journalist who has worked in China says that ‘the Internet has strengthened the power of the central government, not undermined it.’
By Fons Tuinstra
Will News Find a Home on YouTube?
With little original news reporting surfacing on this Web site, ‘perhaps an important lesson learned is that tools don't make a tradesman.’
By Morris Jones
Converging on the Web
Myths and Realities of Convergence
‘… news organizations will be best served if they focus on stories—not delivery platforms.’
By Randy Covington
When Walls Come Tumbling Down
The Associated Press is making ‘radical adjustments’ to its news reports and business strategies in response to the Web.
By Jim Kennedy
Enterprising Journalism in a Multimedia World
With video, audio and interactive data, The Associated Press makes its investigative reporting accessible, useful to other news outlets, and compelling to its consumers.
By John Solomon
Confronting the Dual Challenge of Print and Electronic News
‘To make best use of both editions, we need to be increasingly disciplined about what goes where.’
By Paul E. Steiger
Feeding the Web While Reporting the Story
At The New York Times, multimedia storytelling is becoming more a part of the journalism and less of an afterthought.
By Neil Chase
Exploring New Connections
Taking the Big Gulp
‘The Web is its own medium with its own characteristics. It is not newspapers. It is not TV news. It is not radio.’
By Jane Ellen Stevens
Must-Read Books
Suggestions by Jane Ellen Stevens
Sights and Sounds of a Newspaper’s Editorials (1 comment)
An editorial page editor describes ‘a wide-open, creative new world for journalists who want to make use of new media and relate to newspaper readers in new ways.’
By Susan Albright
An Optimistic Plunge Into Multimedia Reporting
‘One columnist took on a controversial local issue and covered it in a way we'd never done before.’
By Joe Howry
Narrative Journalism in the Era of the Web
‘Once the idea of using footnotes took hold, the question became whether we could use them for more than their usual purpose of attribution …’
By Lee Hancock and Mark Miller
Finding New People to Tell the Stories
‘… progress in democratizing journalism doesn't necessarily translate into more or better news coverage—at least not yet.’
By Craig Cox
Letter to the Editor
By Liz McLemore
When the Web Feeds the Newspaper
The letter ‘i’ in iHerald stands for ‘interactivity, the individual and the Internet.’
By Eric Blom
Inviting Readers Into the Editorial Process
In online polling about story selection, editors at the Wisconsin State Journal learn that ‘the readers who vote consistently do choose weighty stories.’
By Ellen Foley
The Quickening Pace of Change
By Ellen Foley
The Digital Reach of a Newspaper's Code of Ethics
‘It offers readers ideas and phrases to use in their criticism of our journalism, which has a way of sorting serious critics from simple haters.’
By Dean Miller
Taking Words
‘About This Story’
Newspapers work to make narrative journalism be accountable to readers.
By Russell Frank
Plagiarism Goes by a Different Name on the Web
A journalism class experiences firsthand ‘the slippery new terms being used in our slippery times.’
By Judy Muller
Teaching Journalism Students to Value What Is Authentic
‘I thought by sheer will I could be the one teacher who led his students away from plagiarism.’
By Brent Walth
The 'P' Word in the Book Business
‘Newspapers constantly editorialize about other professionals hiding their misdeeds, but with this they were silent.’
By Margaret Engel
Curator's Corner
Examining the Core of the Nieman Experience
The Curator explores how the foundation can best cultivate the skills journalists will need in the digital era.
By Bob Giles
Nieman Notes
Newspapers Have Met Their Enemy Within
‘The question is not whether the newspaper is dead, but whether it can be rescued from unreasonable demands.’
By Watson Sims
Goodbye to All That—A Memoir (2 comments)
‘My introduction to daily journalism began with a murder. My introduction to Niemanry also began with a murder.’
By Edward C. Norton