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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The case for treating Julian Assange as a source rather than a fellow journalist

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2015 at 12:09 am
Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr user acidpolly.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr user acidpolly.

You can’t dictate the ways of the web. It’s an intrinsic truth of content production and distribution.

Publishing is among the most democratic processes there are. Hell, it’s why the men who wrote the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights nearly 250 years ago counted freedom of speech and the press as the highest and most inalienable of rights. It used to be that you needed to have enough money to pay for the facilities to produce your own content.

And, as well all know, the barrier to entry into the field of publishing is almost non-existent. Any man, woman or child with access to the Internet, whether it’s the public computer at a city library, a data plan with a smartphone or a Macbook or iPad, has the ability to post, posit and communicate with the outside world.

But that freedom isn’t without a cost. Read the rest of this entry »

Takeaways from a conversation with Pulitzer-Prize winning digital journalist Steve Doig

In Uncategorized on February 12, 2015 at 1:49 pm


Steve Doig

On Wednesday afternoon, we met with Steve Doig, a Pulitzer Prize winner who’s currently serving as the Knight Chair of Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State University.

Doig’s a pioneer in data journalism. He was the first staffer at the Miami Herald to take advantage of digital records in his reporting. When Hurricane Andrew roared through Florida, he and a team of reporters analyzed damage estimates and weather patterns to assess the initial reports. Then, when they began looking at property records and compared them with the storm’s path, they found a curious statistic: The newest homes in the area were the most likely to sustain major damage.

As he said, many of the newer neighborhoods resembled a lumber yard rather than a housing development.

Doig and his team dug deeper. They hired two outside firms to collect and individually enter $8 million worth of campaign contributions into a database. What they gleaned from that was that 25 percent of campaign contributions were coming from the building industry.

Wow. Read the rest of this entry »

What Ellen Degeneres and The New York Times can teach us about social media presence

In Uncategorized on February 1, 2015 at 11:34 pm

The Internet is a fickle thing. Do something it likes, and you’ll live in infamy (well, Internet infamy, anyway. And that can last anywhere from five minutes to maybe a week and a half.)

Sometimes all it takes is a meticulously constructed recipe for virality. Take, for instance, Ellen Degeneres’ tweet from the 2014 Academy Awards. You know the one.

It got 3.3 million retweets. The second-most retweeted post? Justin Bieber with 550,000.

Ellen’s tweet may have contained all of the ingredients for success, but it wasn’t entirely planned. Samsung, one of the sponsors of the 2014 Academy Awards, included in its contract with the event’s planners that the Galaxy be worked into the show in some way. Enter Ellen. Read the rest of this entry »

Why the Washington Post needs Chris Cillizza and The Fix

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2015 at 11:40 pm
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Angela Pan.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Angela Pan.

U.S. politics are full of bullshit to wade through. People talk — sometimes only under the condition of anonymity. More often than not, you’re stuck decoding what a politician means when he or she says something.

That’s why a blog can help supplement the steady flow of information that comes out of the nation’s capitol. The Washington Post has a few blogs that help provide insight into many of the issues that the paper covers.

The Fix might be the best example of a blog that helps shed light on that coverage by polishing the presentation.

Take presidential elections.

Sometimes people say they’re running for president when they probably have no intention of doing so. Other times, the presidential field gets so crowded somebody needs to explain why. And yet others still, somebody just needs to tell Mitt Romney it might be time to stop trying.

The Fix is valuable because it takes topics that The Post has already covered and spins them forward. Chris Cillizza and his writers dissect these issues with language that’s less stiff than traditional newswriting but neutral enough that it doesn’t ooze bias. Read the rest of this entry »

What can bloggers learn from journalists and vice-versa?

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2015 at 3:21 pm


The basis for the post is two different Poynter essays: “What Bloggers Can Learn From Journalists” and “What Journalists Can Learn From Bloggers.”

It’s a bit hard to dissect both lessons when the lines that defined the rigid boundary between blogger and journalist in 2004 — when the articles were written — has become blurred over time to the point that there’s hardly a difference between the two practices.

The blurring of those lines is personified in Brian Stelter. He’s the senior media correspondent for CNN. Before that, he worked for The New York Times with fellow blogger/reporter badass David Carr. And before that? He was a blogger. Take a quick look at the trailer for Page One: Inside the New York Times:

Read the rest of this entry »

First tweets: Emerald Media Group edition

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Twitter recently rolled out this tool that allows you to look up your first tweet. So I took it upon myself to incorporate it with one of my favorite pastimes: Publicly embarrassing the staff at The Emerald. Here’s the first tweets of everyone I could find in the winter staff list and a few randos. Let’s start with mine:

Here’s the rest of the Emerald management team. Sam Stites’ first tweet will surprise no one.

While Chelsea Wicks begrudgingly joined the social media service.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reflections on a year working a dream come true

In Uncategorized on March 13, 2014 at 9:00 am


I’ll never forget the day Andy Rossback and I sat down at Marche Café.

“What do you think of this issue?” he asked.

Since we parted ways upon enrolling at the University of Oregon, he and I had kept in touch over coffee every month or so. When he was appointed the editor-in-chief of The Emerald, he would often discuss future ventures in a roundabout way — we had, after all, spent an entire year practically joined at the hip at the helm of The Torch, Lane Community College’s student paper.

And so I critiqued. I told Andy that the cover headline promised a story that didn’t materialize in the issue. The headlines were weak. Ledes weren’t what they could be.

As I tore apart an issue of the newspaper Andy managed, he simply said, “We have an opening for a print managing editor. You interested?”

Hell yes I was. Read the rest of this entry »

Given the Chance

In Uncategorized on December 5, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Wordpress Profile Pic

From the fall of 2004 until the spring of 2005, it wasn’t uncommon to see the bundle of newspapers from The Oregonian sitting in front of the principal’s office at McMinnville High School a little disheveled. The stack would arrive around 7:30 a.m. every day. By 7:45, at least one of those papers would go missing.

That’s because I would steal it. I’d then take it back to the student newspaper offices, dropping the sports, business and living sections and hold on to news and metro.

I took a newspaper production class during zero period — which started at 7 a.m. — my senior year of high school. We were constantly asking to get an individual subscription for the newsroom, but the word from the administration was … well, I forget the exact reason, but suffice it to say we didn’t like it. I decided to start stealing the paper. Read the rest of this entry »

My day as a ‘sports’ reporter

In Uncategorized on December 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm
Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr user MDGovpics.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr user MDGovpics.

I give the sports staff at The Emerald a lot of shit.

I make fun of the baffling number of statistics and trivia sports reporters imbue their tweets with. I goad them for using strange-sounding words such as “winningnest.” And now I understand why they do it all.

When you’re facing a similar set of circumstances from day to day, it’s tough to be creative with your words. How do you keep readers engaged, stave off vocabulary fatigue and maintain a steady stream of content going on a beat where Team A is always going to beat or tie with Team B and access to the playmakers is limited?

The answers are simple: stats, creative word choice and an unwavering love for anything and everything to do with your beat. Over the course of 14 hours on a Sunday, I tried my hand at tweeting like a sports reporter and the results were interesting.  Read the rest of this entry »

In Memoriam: David Baker

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2013 at 11:34 pm

David Baker

David Baker stood at the intersection of two things that have defined me for as long as I can remember.

I recall a dreary afternoon when I was reading The New York Times on the first floor of the then-new Allen Hall, partly hidden by the stairway that wraps around the remains of an old tree in the building’s foyer. I had relayed the following to David and a few others: Find the arrow on the whiteboard in Allen; follow it and I’ll be waiting.

I watched as David entered the building from its eastern entrance. He missed the arrow completely, walking right by it and beginning an ascent to the second floor. As he reached the first landing before the stairs continued, he looked down and what followed will forever be etched in my memory. Read the rest of this entry »