Posts Tagged ‘New Media’

Who’s Watching Your Statehouse? No One

Monday, July 21st, 2014

The number of full-time journalists on the Capitol beat is down 40 percent since 2003. Why even politicians are saying weak newspaper economics is a disaster for democracy.

For generations of journalists, covering the statehouse has been a prestigious beat. It typically came with a desk in the building, and ample access to lawmakers. It was not an assignment for a novice. You worked your way up to it, and you had to be good. Bringing down a governor, exposing corruption—all in a day’s work. The statehouse is where reputations were made and politicians ran scared, knowing multiple news organizations could be on their case.

But that era is ending, a casualty of newspaper economics and a changing society. On a good day, state news is under-covered, especially compared to its importance. While multitudes of reporters in Washington chronicle the gridlocked Congress, the number of full-time reporters covering 50 statehouses has fallen to roughly 300, down from 500 in 2003, according to the Pew Research Center.

Read the full article at The Daily Beast

Can social sharing save journalism?

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Jonah Peretti, founder of BuzzFeed says social media might save journalism.

By Melissa Bell | Washington Post Blogs

Political and journalism circles were a-flutter Monday morning when Ben Smith, longtime blogging pundit for Politico, broke the news that Ben Smith would be joining BuzzFeed as editor-in-chief.

Smith is seen by many as part of the young political journalism establishment and his move to a site that offers up stories such as “Dogs Sticking Their Head Out of Car Windows” shocked many media watchers. The obligatory jokes about the level of depth on BuzzFeed began in earnest with Reuters social media editor Anthony de Rosa tweeting an imaginary pitch: “Mr. President, Ben from @BuzzFeed, what are your top ten Honey Badger mashups?”

The digs don’t concern BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti, who’s seen a healthy growth in traffic to his site over the past year. Peretti thinks there’s room for both LolCats and longform, in-depth journalism on his site. We spoke on the phone this morning to discuss how hiring Smith should be seen as a logical step in his site’s expansion and how social sharing may save journalism.

News distribution, Peretti says, has moved past a reliance on Google search to a reliance on sharing. “The media you share is becoming a key part of who you are,” he said, and that means that quality journalism is becoming increasingly important. People will anonymously click on a trashy gossip story, but they want to share “something that’s hilarious or smart or touching. … People are going to share things that they’re proud of, that have an emotional resonance to them. That is good for reporters.”

Though Peretti won’t comment on BuzzFeed’s relationship to Huffington Post, it’s not hard to see this emphasis on sharing as setting the site up as a newer version of Huffington Post — a site Peretti helped co-found. What Huffington Post showed the journalism establishment about search, Peretti seems to want to show about people’s sharing habits. It’s part of why he hired Smith, who he sees as “an amazing combination of old school swashbuckling reporter and Twitter and social media fanatic.” Continue  reading.