Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Another nail in the newspaper coffin

As someone who has been a tech journalist for more than 25 years, I have watched our industry go from startup to cool down. The latest in the melding of journalism and technology came across my email with a series of linked pieces about Journatic.com, a company that is trying to bring about a new way to deliver hyperlocal news to traditional daily newspapers.

It is no secret that newspapers are in their sunset years, or at least being transformed from profitable ad-driven enterprises to something else. Newsrooms around the country are shrinking or disappearing altogether. Freelance rates per story are dropping. And many pubs are being run by a single editor, or with minimal copyediting and other production staff.

Sure Web pubs are cheaper to produce than dead trees’ versions. At least, you think so until you start to add up things such as buying the right domain name, hiring SEO mavens, adding database tools that can work for lead generation, and other things that are strictly part of the online world.

Earlier this month, Ryan Smith wrote about his experiences as being a freelancer for Journatic. He claimed that the company was using him to edit stories that were written offshore, and contained barely rewritten press releases, or at most superficial washes over online data. The “research” as it were had minimal to no reporting. After all, if you are being paid $12 a piece, you can’t do extensive interviews, or even any interviews.

Journatic’s CEO Brian Timpone, in a piece that ran in the radio program “This American Life” claims that he is trying to make it easier for the struggling dailies to have access to markets, news and data that they don’t have the time or the money or the staffers to cover. If you listen to the episode, it is fascinating, as you hear Sarah Koenig contrast what they are doing with the traditional journalism model that she (and I) spent most of our careers doing.

In the program, Timpone mentions that the “single reporter model” is dead. This means that I, as the reporter, am paid to do the following tasks: research the story, interview the principals, get additional facts, and then write everything up. Each of those tasks in his new model are assigned to different people, people who are working in different parts of the world and who communicate via email and IM. Notably missing from this new model are such things as actually going to the event in person, considering the context, and then making an editorial judgment as to what to cover and report on.

Geez, and I remember not too long ago there was controversy over doing interviews with subjects via email, rather than phone calls. How naïve we once were!

I have some questions about this whole escapade.

Does Journatic give the traditional press access to data that they have never accessed before, and free up their time to report on more important things? Or is it just another Demand Media play to leverage ever-cheaper content?

Without much analysis and context, can we really call what they produce as journalism? Indeed, most people now just call it “copy” which makes my skin crawl.

Is a byline meaningful anymore? Koenig’s radio piece goes into detail about whose name is being attached to which story, and finds out that most of the Journatic bylines are made up names. Since her interview, they have decided not to use the fake names any longer. But still.

Is using a single source for newspaper stories better than not having any story at all? Another way to phrase this: Is it better for a newspaper to have hyperlocal news, even poorly reported news, than no news at all?

It is hard to say. I welcome your thoughts.


Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By David Strom

David Strom is an international authority on network and Internet technologies. He has written extensively on the topic for 20 years for a wide variety of print publications and websites, such as The New York Times, TechTarget.com, PC Week/eWeek, Internet.com, Network World, Infoworld, Computerworld, Small Business Computing, Communications Week, Windows Sources, c|net and news.com, Web Review, Tom's Hardware, EETimes, and many others.

Latest Stories
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
In the first article of this three-part series on hybrid cloud security, we discussed the Shared Responsibility Model and examined how the most common attack strategies persist, are amplified, or are mitigated as assets move from data centers to the cloud. Today, we’ll look at some of the unique security challenges that are introduced by public cloud environments. While cloud computing delivers many operational, cost-saving and security benefits, it takes place in a public, shared and on-demand ...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, will discuss how to use Kubernetes to setup a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace....
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sudarshan Krishnamurthi, a Senior Manager, Business Strategy, at Cisco Systems, will discuss how IT and operational technology (OT) work together, as opposed to being in separate siloes as once was traditional. Attendees will learn how to fully leverage the power of IoT in their organization by bringing the two sides together and bridging the communication gap. He will also look at what good leadership must entail in order to accomplish this, and how IT managers ca...
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jared Parker, Director of Financial Services at Kinetica, will discuss how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich inf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Providing the needed data for application development and testing is a huge headache for most organizations. The problems are often the same across companies - speed, quality, cost, and control. Provisioning data can take days or weeks, every time a refresh is required. Using dummy data leads to quality problems. Creating physical copies of large data sets and sending them to distributed teams of developers eats up expensive storage and bandwidth resources. And, all of these copies proliferating...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Column Technologies exhibited at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, which took place at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, in June 2016. Established in 1998, Column Technologies is a global technology solutions provider with over 400 employees, headquartered in the United States with offices in Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. Column Technologies provides “Best of Breed” technology solutions that automate the key DevOps principals and help our customers meet today’s DevOps and Dig...
Wooed by the promise of faster innovation, lower TCO, and greater agility, businesses of every shape and size have embraced the cloud at every layer of the IT stack – from apps to file sharing to infrastructure. The typical organization currently uses more than a dozen sanctioned cloud apps and will shift more than half of all workloads to the cloud by 2018. Such cloud investments have delivered measurable benefits. But they’ve also resulted in some unintended side-effects: complexity and risk. ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.