It has probably been fun to watch, but not for the people who work here. I heard from several talented young women who are a big part of The New York Times’s future. “I really don’t see a path for me here,” said one. “Are we O.K.?”
Well, that depends on how the next few weeks go and whether The Times can convince female employees that it is a fair place to work, with ample opportunity to advance. But more broadly we’ll probably be O.K. We have a talented executive editor, a stable if challenged business outlook and a very dedicated audience. To the extent that The New York Times does anything remarkable, it emerges from collaboration and shared enterprise. It’s worth remembering that its legacy begets an excellence that surpasses the particulars of who produces it.
What if front pages were selected by newspapers’ readers instead of their editors? At NewsWhip, we’re always interested in the news stories people are choosing to share – and how those stories differ from the normal news stories editors put on the front pages of big newspapers. So we ran a little experiment.
On Wednesday morning, we gathered the front pages of leading newspapers in several countries. Then we used Spike to check the most shared stories from each one.
A little work at our end, and we used those most shared stories to make new “people powered” front pages for each newspaper – giving the most shared story the most prominence, the second most shared the second most prominence, etc.
We replaced headlines and pictures, though did not get into replacing story text and bylines. The results are pretty neat – maybe even thought provoking.
It is longtime [Media Research Center] media analysis director Tim Graham who writes “almost everything published under [Bozell’s] name,” a former MRC employee tells me in an email. “That includes his weekly column. Same goes for his books, which at least carry Graham’s name in a secondary billing, but also aren’t written by Bozell (but Bozell keeps 80-90% of the advance and all profits!)”
Turns out right-wing media watchdog Brent Bozell doesn’t write his own material. As distasteful as this is, I’m more appalled by the response from the company that syndicates his material when presented with the accusation:
“It is absolutely false to say that Brent Bozell does not write his column. … I remember years ago when Brent suggested that he share the byline for his column with Tim, and I said it would be better for us to promote a single individual. We have decided, however, that since Tim works so closely with Brent on the column, we have changed it to a joint byline.”
That’s right; it’s an accusation so false that they changed the byline just because.
Working between the crowd and the algorithm in the information ecosystem is where a journalist is able to have most effect, by serving as an investigator, a translator, a storyteller. Without leveraging the possibilities of either the crowd or the algorithm, some kinds of journalism become unsustainable, falling behind the real-time world of data and networks available to audiences through everything from the sensor on their waste bin to the trending list on their Twitter stream. The journalism layer within the ecosystem thus becomes about humanizing the data and not about the mechanizing process.
Putting this here as much as a reminder for me to dig through the whole thing as soon as possible as anything else. I feel like I’m nearing another of my “This is what I should be doing with my time!” brain dumps.