"A radio station hounded out of the country by Zimbabwean strongman President Robert Mugabe has found its e-mails are monitored and shortwave broadcasts are blocked by Chinese-built jamming devices, the station manager said at a press freedom conference here on Friday.
But, said SW Radio Africa founder Gerry Jackson, the censors haven't caught on yet to text messaging. It's a challenge to compress "the complexity of Zimbabwe's news into 160 characters including spaces," Jackson said. "That's what I do every day."
"Today we talked about the future of radio programming, the relevancy of their website, about moving too fast, about finding new ways to work with affiliate stations, about best practices for citizen journalism, about the value of distribution, about working with limited resources, about licensing issues with archives, and so, so, so much more.
The more I sat there and listened, the more I became convinced that NPR's future seems to be in opening themselves up to their listeners... and in turn listening to them. They are the ultimate connector. Not only connecting people to great stories, but connecting people to each other. Enabling diversity in the stories that are shared. They are one of the last bastions of integrity in news gathering. There can't be fear in that. Fear that the listeners, who in turn become creators, may spoil that integrity. Nothing great is accomplished if not without risk. And in order to take that next step they will need to understand that the reward will be far greater than the risk. Because seriously, the news not about people, it is people."
Dueling web video projects from two of the old/new media powerhouses, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Both attempt to take a fresh approach to what we call 'journalism'. Both succeed in different ways.
First, earlier in the week, was 'onBeing' from the Post. Clean, simple and personal. Short stories of Washingtonians by Washingtonians courtesy great video interviews by Jenn Crandall and great interface design by Rob Curley and crew. It has proven to be one of the most successful pieces ever posted on washingtonpost.com.
The Sunday New York Times Magazine online features director Jake Paltrow's commissioned piece, 'The First Ones', interviewing some of Hollywood's finest. The format is again, very simple - one question, "what was the first film that made an impression on you?" The answers are short and sweet and artfully filmed (almost painfully so), and it works. The interface is nice also, allowing you to watch the whole thing or pick where to enter.
These two projects are not quite YouTube, but are also a nice step away from the TV-derivative stuff we are used to seeing from MSM. Hopefully we will see more like this; video journalism that starts to feel like the web is truly its home.
Every once in while something neat breaks through the corporate creativity firewall.
Washington Post videographer Jenn Crandall's onBeing takes a simple idea and brings it to the people in the Washington, D.C. community. Rob Curley and his posse provide an interface and user experience that is both familiar (can you say iTunes?) and fun!
Haven't posted anything in a while; I have been down the corporate rabbit hole trying to 'innovate'.
This can leave one barely functional from the blows to the head received while banging against walls.
My sing-a-long album of the day, Surfer Rosa (Huh-Huh!)
"If you've ever wondered whether God laughs, think back to 1980, when the Rev. Robert Drinan was ordered by Pope John Paul II to get out of politics and leave Congress. The Jesuit priest, who died on Sunday, was finishing his fifth term representing a suburban Boston district that included Cambridge and Brookline. The pope had been hearing from rankled conservative American Catholics--the Pat Buchanan, William F. Buckley Jr., William Bennett wing of the church -- that Father Drinan, a purebred Democrat, was a dangerous liberal. His voting record on abortion was seen as too pro-choice.
Father Drinan's presence in the House of Representatives had been sanctioned by the previous pope, Paul VI, as well as by the U.S. episcopate, the cardinal of Boston, his own Jesuit superiors and emphatically by the voters in his district.
John Paul, knowing that Jesuits take a vow of loyalty to popes, had his way. And who replaced the dangerously liberal Father Drinan? The more dangerously liberal Barney Frank--as ardent an advocate for abortion rights and as he was for gay rights. If there is a God, the Frank-for-Drinan trade surely had Him laughing at the Vatican's expense."
A chance meeting with Father Drinan when I was an undergraduate at Brandeis convinced me that one could be a lawyer and a politician and still have a soul.
Had he stayed in Congress I may have never become a photographer after law school. There are still many days I wonder about what working for him would have been like.
- My life-hacking experience with Dr. Maeda was wonderful. We talked for over an hour; what a fascinating artist! I hope to find some time to head north to the Media Lab for the full effect.
- I lost my godmother over the holidays. It has been hard to write about; she was one of my parents closest friends and it reminds me of their own mortality. She was also the crazy aunt I never had, helping keep me 'real' and introducing me, to among other things, girls!
Death is a reminder to make the life you have the one you want.
- Recently had this piece published on poynter.org; its a 'rant' designed to call people out. Our industry is in turmoil but it doesn't have to be that way. Journalism has been elitist for too long, time to open the gates and let the people in to look around!
The operative word is ENGAGE. Engage your community, engage your bloggers, engage your critics; learning shouldn't stop when we get a press card, if anything, it should become part of the job.
A wonderful appreciation for the creator of, perhaps, the greatest Japanese invention ever!
"Ramen noodles, by contrast, are a dish of effortless purity. Like the egg, or tea, they attain a state of grace through a marriage with nothing but hot water. After three minutes in a yellow bath, the noodles soften. The pebbly peas and carrot chips turn practically lifelike. A near-weightless assemblage of plastic and foam is transformed into something any college student will recognize as food, for as little as 20 cents a serving." - Lawrence Downes, NYT