We’re on summer break for a bit.

In Podcast on July 1, 2011 by Jay Rosen

As several of you noticed, Rebooting the News has been on a bit of hiatus. Summer travel and conferences have put Jay out of town on Mondays, and so the show is on break, as NYU itself is from June to September. But we’ll probably be back before that; we just don’t know exactly when.

Thanks for your interest in RBTN.


Rebooting the News #94

In Podcast on May 23, 2011 by Jay Rosen

Our guest this week: Lisa Williams: blogger, news hacker and CEO of

Update on Dave’s Blork system…

The importance of learning programming and doing it yourself, which Lisa is attempting to do.

Appearing at TechCrunch Disrupt, Jay tried to suggest a rebooted-system-of-news direction for the new Huffington-led AOL, which TechCrunch is now a part of. This is what would make the new AOL distinctive as a news company:

1.) Toward news tools, technologies and sharing systems, the default setting is “open.”
2.) An editorial culture emerges at AOL/Huffington Post Media Group that is grounded in where journalism and technology are now, not where they have been.
3.) AOL/Huffington Post Media Group separates two things that have been confounded with one another: journalism that is grounded in reporting, and the View from Nowhere. In fact, you can have one without the other, and that is what Huffington and company should do: jettison the View from Nowhere, insist on fact-based reporting.

Last week, Bill Keller went full curmudgeon on us–or, troll, take your pick–and Nick Bilton of the Times answered him.

New association of local news sites springs up: authentically local:

Local doesn’t scale. Local isn’t McDonald’s, even if the McDonald’s is right down the street. Local doesn’t send profits back to a home office somewhere else. Local is something that’s part of what makes where you are unique. As unique and flawed and loveable as your own kids. Something is authentically local if it’s the first thing you’d want an old friend, visiting from the other side of the world, to see. It’s authentically local if its disappearance could potentially break your heart.

Local is suddenly the newest, hippest, most lucrative frontier. The local advertising market alone is estimated to be $100 billion a year. Companies like AOL, Google, Apple and Groupon all want a piece of the action. Some of the devices they sell you are even collecting data about everywhere you go – all to help their local campaigns.

Dave: I just saw this come across my feed from Berkeleyside, an authentically local blog: Markos Moulitsas says… I live in Berkeley “because it makes Bill O’Reilly cry.” You’re not going to get that from Patch.

So here’s the program: we hope you like it.


Rebooting the News #93

In Podcast on May 9, 2011 by Jay Rosen

Dave’s report on traveling to Amsterdam for the Next Web conference.

Mike Arrington: “These people, the tech press, just disgust me.”

Kara Swisher of The Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital site (and conference) on Twitter… The biggest difference between Arrington and me “is that he is simply not a journalist.”

Journalist or not a journalist? That’s the wrong question., says Dave. It’s really insiders vs. outsiders.

Insiders vs. outsiders! McClatchy proved the value of the “outside-in” approach during the build-up to the war in Iraq. See this speech from John Walcott, Washington bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers, upon accepting the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence from the Nieman Foundation in 2008.

Why, in a nutshell, was our reporting different from so much other reporting? One important reason was that we sought out the dissidents, and we listened to them, instead of serving as stenographers to high-ranking officials and Iraqi exiles. I’m afraid that much the same thing may have happened on Wall Street. Power and money and celebrity, in other words, can blind you. Somehow, the idea has taken hold in Washington journalism that the value of a source is directly proportional to his or her rank, when in my experience the relationship is more often inverse.

Is there an outside-in approach possible in tech journalism? Jay: I think there is. Dave: I’d almost given up all hope for that.

One reference point for it: Consumer Reports on the iPhone antenna problems.

And how’s about pay-to-speak at tech conferences, which is just part of a larger problem with the tech industry.

Tom Evslin: “If we’re going to pay papers for online access, we should expect good online practice to be followed.” Like: link to what you are talking about.

Felix Salmon: The hermetic and arrogant New York Times.

Here’s the show; we hope you like it. Feel free to comment.


Rebooting the News #92

In Podcast on April 29, 2011 by Jay Rosen

Dave calls this “the best RBTN we’ve ever done.” Why? “All the others were punditry. This one was a user and a developer going back and forth.”

What we were going back and forth about was Blork, the new RSS-based blogging tool and news aggregator that Dave and others (like Adam Curry) have been developing.

Screenshot of what the Blork system looks like when you’re adding to your feed, or when Jay is using it to post to Twitter.

We were talking about Jay’s feed. And his top 40 page.

We also discussed his (unsuccessful) attempt to create a control room or discussion forum off of his Twitter feed by using the Facebook page feature. Here’s how it used to work when Jay used Friendfeed for this.

Dave at “There are new features in the product based on this discussion and Ted Howard is looking into ways of replicating the FriendFeed experience for Jay.”

Here’s the show; please enjoy it.


Rebooting the News #91

In Podcast on April 22, 2011 by Jay Rosen

No time for show notes this week, but a good show! Please listen:


Rebooting the News #90

In Podcast on April 11, 2011 by Jay Rosen

The coming media frenzy over the royal wedding shows, in a way, that we do not have a free press. Because they have to go overboard with it; they have no choice.

YouTube is incorporating livestreaming.

Chris Dixon: Google’s Social Strategy…. ” Should Google try to make social networking commoditized or new profit center? The advantage of creating a new social networking profit center is obvious: if you win, you make lots of money. The advantage of commoditizing social networking is that although you forgo the potential direct profits, you open up a wider range of pricing and product options…

“By interoperating with other social networks, messaging systems, check-in services, etc., Google could encourage 3rd-party developers to build on their platform. If Google chose, say, RSS for their messaging system, it would already work with tens of thousands of existing tools and websites and would be readily embraced by hackers in the open source community. The web itself (http/html) and email (smtp) are famous examples where the choice to open them unleashed huge waves of innovation and (eventually) killed off closed competitors like AOL.”

We’re missing an institution that would bring about open protocols whether or not these protocols benefit that institution.

The simplest way to create value in journalism is to save the user time.

People come back to places that send them away.

Jay has a new page on Facebook specifically for discussion of his Twitter feed:

The minimum blogging tool Dave’s been working on is now called Blork. “Its a reading and writing environment for news.”

Here’s the show, hope you like it.


Rebooting the News #89

In Podcast on April 4, 2011 by Jay Rosen

Dave: My linkblog merges with my realblog. Plus: an update on the new blogging tools.

Part of the Engadget team moves to sbnation to start a new tech blog there. Why? There had been no progress in the content management system at AOL since 2003, was one reason. They’re frustrated. (See Nieman Lab on sbnation.)

The strange series of attacks on the Huffington Post from New York Times people. What’s up with that? It included this exchange:

Times person: :”I look at your writers much less than I find myself clicking on stuff that’s been aggregated or the more salacious, boob-related posts.”

Huffington: “That’s really a shame. I think you’re missing out. Jason Linkins is doing some of the best media writing. Amanda Terkel’s coverage of Afghanistan has been ahead of the curve. Shahien Nasiripour has been breaking news constantly on Wall Street reform. Maybe you should be reading more of that and clicking less on the boobs.”

Evan Williams and his next step after Twitter.

News publishers go after Zite. “If creating an app that makes it easier to read your content is a threat to your business, you’re doing business wrong.” — Mike Masnick. “Note to Media: Don’t Fight Zite, Learn from It.” — Mathew Ingram.

Here’s the show; please enjoy.