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#JCARN: Journalism innovation needs direction, not desperation

Knight and Reynolds are in unique positions to drive innovation. Their focus on journalism as central to a democracy will ensure that whatever innovations they sponsor will serve communities. But they must go beyond simply funding projects. They need to drive innovation by drawing upon their vast experience and resources to suggest the course innovation will take.

I learned this lesson the hard way as an educator. It’s not enough for me to hand my students a toolbox without telling them what I expect them to build.

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Practice what you preach: Yahoo! News helps improve citizen journalism

But as Yahoo! has expanded their original news offerings once again, I think they’ve set new standards for citizen journalism. The Style Guide is a first step. Sure the guide has a lot on SEO, but Barr repeated over and over again to students that no one should write for the search engines. I agree. It leads to the kind of articles Slate’s Farjad Manjoo describes. Barr also assured us that all members of the Yahoo! Contributor Network work with editors. At this stage, that’s good enough. At least it shows Yahoo! is practicing what it is preaching.

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Newspapers, magazines should realize it’s worth it to subscribe through iTunes

What would news organizations give for a system that would handle subscriptions for them effortlessly? Is it worth 30 % of revenue?
That’s what Apple seems to be asking right now from big media house such as Time Inc. who want to sell iPad magazine subscriptions. I admit I don’t know all the details. I also understand the need to access and mine subscriber data. I know Apple can be a control freak that isn’t willing to compromise.
But I still have to ask if publishers shouldn’t be willing to give a little to get something invaluable.

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Hesperia Star: Follow your dreams

When Peter Day and Beau Yarbrough of the Hesperia Star addressed my J314: Online Journalism class last May, they were frank in explaining how they just tried online and social media tools to see if they’d work, and worried about the consequences later. We all laughed when they said they’d get chastised for using Twitter one week and then corporate encouraged them to do the exact thing that got them in trouble the next.

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Don’t count on iPad to save or democratize news

What I’m really hoping the iPad does, however, is demonstrate that people are willing and ready to switch to digital delivery. Then other companies will get the hint and start developing less expensive and more open platforms to ensure news gets to as many people as possible. In fact, devices like the iPad will have be as ubiquitous as paper if digital delivery is to save publishing and promote democracy.

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Journalists’ new role: Leveraging the media

Dan Rather suggests Web journalism works best when it leverages all of its tools and abilities toward the service of democracy. I agree and present a ways journalists can step outside themselves and take full advantage of the new media landscape.

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Lesson from the road: Readers get it

It took a 10-hour drive with my inlaws in the care for me to realize how important it is for journalism professionals and academics to listen to the audience.

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Web’s future embraces ‘content curation’

We are in a state of information overload, folks. I’m sure you’ve noticed, and Cashmore says in 2010 the people who can cull that information down into easily digestible chunks will be valuable. Facebook has taught us that our friends are our first filters, and I agree. I hate to say that I don’t check New York Times and CNN as often as I used to, if at all. I’ll hit my livefeed on Facebook first and can always count on a couple of friends linking the news I care about.

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News can learn from WoW, but not TMZ

News organizations should have learned long ago that people will pay for interactivity. Games like World of Warcraft have clearly established that fact. Instead, they were reprinting rumors and innuendo from sources like TMZ and lost sight of the mission of journalism.

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iTunes shuffle is NOT random (and I’m OK with that)

After about an hour, I came to my senses. Using my training in statistics to prove something this trivial was a waste of time, but I also felt gratified that I had entered this line of inquiry. It reminded me of something one of my graduate school professors said (and I’m paraphrasing here): There will come a day when you start thinking like an academic, when you approach questions from the scientific method instead of just wondering what the answer might be.

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