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The News? We’re Talking About The News?

Extra: The New Media At Work via

Extra: The New Media At Work via

Print journalism shines brightest when a lowly reporter speaks truth to power.

Woodward and Bernstein wrote about President Nixon and you know how that turned out.

Who’s been a go-to reporter since then? Mario Lopez?

Once you hit the big time in books and movies based on your reporting, it’s harder waiting for the next Deep Throat in a parking garage.

Does that mean today’s young reporters aim for the story with the biggest splash, or do they still dig for news at the city counsel meetings?

You get a sense of where news is headed by watching the on-going coverage of the lost plane. Instead of reporting what they’ve found, news outlets report that it’s still lost.

And that’s good enough, but is it good enough for you?

This test will tell.

1. Did you know about Darfur before George Clooney brought it up?

2. Had you heard of Malawi before Madonna adopted kids from there?

3. Can you name the countries Angelina Jolie’s kids were either adopted from or born in?

4. How many kids has Mia Farrow adopted and where are they from?

If your favorite news show is Entertainment Tonight, or Extra, instead of CNN or the PBS News Hour, you probably have the answers.

Thirty senior editors at the New York Times probably have a good idea, too.

So do a gaggle of photographers who used to work for the Chicago Sun-Times.

In fear-based journalism the saying goes ‘if it bleeds, it leads.’ Now you have to take your own pictures as well as write the story.

Portland baby boomers heard the news about the Oregonian staff and their site,

Layoffs, buyouts, resignations, call it what you like, but the bottom line is don’t show up for work on Monday.

Who’s going to cover the business story, the sports story, the breaking news in Salem? More important, if boomers are as lame online as some like to think, where will we find the stories?

Let’s keep up with the times. Newspapers move from print to digital and lose a ton of money from advertising. Staff reductions follow.

Oregonian readers show their savvy nature by harvesting news from a variety of new sites.

From Willamette Week:

“But the kind of news Oregonians get will change. The Oregonian’s newsroom is already under enormous pressure to write stories that draw hits on the website—often at the expense of in-depth reporting that reveals what’s actually happening in the community.

Few feel this more strongly than James O. Long, an investigative reporter at the newspaper who retired in 2003 after 41 years, who was widely regarded as the dean of the newsroom.

Long sees last week’s changes as a sign the paper’s New Jersey owners can no longer be trusted, by its employees or by readers.

“Ownership has frittered away the extraordinary trust it had earned from staff over the years, simply by treating people fairly and letting them produce good-quality journalism, even if it cost them money to do that,” Long says. “You don’t feel they are doing the right thing now, but rather squeezing the last pennies out of the print papers before they go away forever.””

One way of getting the news you can use is setting up a social media account like facebook with likes to papers across the world, magazines about your special interests, or writers you like.

The experience we gain from the changes in print media demonstrate how to abuse loyalty and leave readers in the cold. That’s not something you won’t find on boomerpdx.

Where do you find the news? Let us know and we’ll push the idea.

(This post was inspired by a conversation with a University of Oregon journalism school graduate.)





About David Gillaspie


  1. I’m fond of an app called Flipboard on my tablet, which is like reading a magazine put together from custom sources that I specify…. the trouble, though, with Flipboard and any other aggregator — including a Facebook stream, although that’s a great idea — is that what you get is still only as good as the sources you’re aggregating.

    • David Gillaspie says:

      You got down to it, David. News doesn’t write itself and when you aggregate the same story by the same people on different platforms, it’s hard to get both sides. Maybe that’s the point, but I still like finding new angles that wider coverage delivers.

      One fiction writer was asked they they thought college discouraged young writers. She said, “Not enough” or something close. We’re bloggers. We don’t need more discouraged news writers crowding the turf.

      I think we can agree on the writing part, though. Great stories always find a way.

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