Our guest this week was Saul Hansell, programming director of AOL’s Seed.com, and a former technology reporter for the New York Times. Saul is also a loyal listener to Rebooting the News and says that he sometimes has the urge to argue with the hosts, so we invited him on to do just that.
We talked about pros, amateurs, pro-am journalism and what happens when the sources go direct.
We talked about Dave’s suggestion, going back many years, that the New York Times give a nytimes.com blog to everyone quoted in the newspaper and everyone who published an op-ed page. (See his post for more elaboration on this idea.)
We talked about AOL’s ambition to be a company that uses all methods: high-priced talent, part-time freelancers and the people formerly known as the audience—machines as well as humanoids—to get the job done, rather than dogmatically picking one and calling it “the” way. (Jay’s summary, not Saul’s words.)
We talked about what it’s like to report about the technology industry for 12 years, as Saul did, and then become an executive at one of the companies you used to write about.
Saul explained how articles like this one, How Old is Sharron Angle? in AOL’s Politics Daily arise from search data showing that people want to know such things.
We talked about Dave’s “Amen brother!” shout-out to Bob Woodward, after Woodward said he had no use for Twitter. Dave said he was like a nicotine addict warning a kid not to smoke.
Here’s the show; we hope you like it.