Rebooting the News #47

In Podcast on April 14, 2010 by Jay Rosen

Proving the magic of mobile communications, Dave is phoning in from a parking lot in California, on the road, Jay is in the studio.

Dave and Jay will both be speaking at the 140 characters conference in New York, April 20. “Hello, New York” is Dave’s topic. (Which really means: hello, media industry.) For Jay: “The self-informing public.”

iPad reax, continued

Jay: “the iPad’s release, a major event in the tech industry, is also seen as a major event in the media industry.”

Dave on the iPad’s release: “The Mercedes of a category that didn’t exist… ” “They are the top of their game at Apple…” “It’s not as insidious as I thought it was. My [first] interpretation of this was, They’re just trying to shut off every possible avenue of free content. But I don’t think they’re doing that. They’re trying to avoid the mistakes of the least common denominator platform. They don’t like cross platform at Apple.” (On that, a key post by John Gruber.)

Jay: another key piece by Steven Johnson: Rethinking a Gospel of the Web. The iPhone is a closed platform but still, there’s been a lot of innovation done on it. Dave: can’t argue with that because it’s true.

Dave: “The process of discovering why the product is useless to me… is fun!” “What I hope we get from this is the best of both worlds”… the gorgeous design of the iPad and the openness of another more web-friendly device that is sure to emerge. But I don’t know that we will, once Apple starts suing people.

Jay: But will the iPad change the re-booting the news puzzle?

Dave: the answer is no. “It’s not a tool that a source can go direct with.” You can’t really write and edit on it. No camera. It’s not even a tool for blogging.

Jay: Did you see that the Wall Street and New York Times aps have no links, no comments and no way to cut and paste? (Scoble: “I’ve already uninstalled that and the Wall Street Journal and New York Times apps are next. They suck. They suck the same way that Pointcast did. Greedy baaaahhhhssssttttaaaarrrrdddddsssss who don’t want me to tell anyone else about their awesome content. Well, it sure is pretty. Gag.”

Dave: They need to do a complete re-think. These applications–NYT, WSJ–are not going to cut it.

Jay: two things jumped out of me in the iPad reactions: 1.) the extreme counter-reaction to Cory Doctorow’s post criticizing the iPad for being so sealed up. (See this one, for example.) 2.) The claim that “most people don’t really want to write” with their computers or make stuff, that only the digerati care about that. To me, it’s “write or be written,” similar to what Doug Rushkoff said, “Program or be programmed.”

Dave: Just as everyone should be able to vote, everyone should be able to write. That’s the camp I am in and I always will be.

Columbia J School will try to train news geeks

Jay: Columbia School of Journalism announced a new joint masters degree in journalism and computer engineering. It start in fall 2011, a five semester program. What do you think?

Dave: “I think we should be doing it at NYU.” This is the competition doing something innovative. I heard about this at the Hackathon for NYU and Columbia students. One of the first things to try would be a seminar in how to cover technology. “That’s the pragmatic way of starting.”

Fact checking the Sunday shows

A suggestion Jay floated in December to “fix” the Sunday talk shows–fact check what the guests say on Sunday, and put it online Wednesday–was actually adopted by Jake Tapper, who is hosting ABC’s This Week. The checking itself was outsourced to, which was also one of Jay’s suggestions.

Twitter and the developers

After Fred Wilson’s post, The Twitter Platform’s Inflection Point, after Twitter announces they are acquiring the leading Twitter client on the iPhone, Tweetie, lots of angst among independent developers working on Twitter apps, as Dave noted at It even made the New York Times.

Dave: The developers should have seen this coming. “You can’t really have a platform that is owned by a corporation.”

Here’s the show, we hope you enjoy it. And please, do comment. We engage!

3 Responses to “Rebooting the News #47”

  1. I’m happy to see someone with a little bit of clout saying this about the iPad. No matter how badly media professionals would like the iPad to be the panacea that will save the news industry (and from the covers of the news weeklies, it’s clear that they do), it won’t. There’s still work to do, including fixing the news product itself, not just the way it’s delivered.

    As for myself, I still think it’s as insidious as Dave thought it was at first, and I can’t afford one to assuage those concerns.

    Also, Mr. Winer and Mr. Rosen, I just want to introduce myself. I have an application in to the NYU journalism department at the moment. I’m not optimistic about it, but hopefully I’ll be seeing you both in the fall.

  2. […] sure to listen to the latest Rebooting The News podcast. […]

  3. […] on your lap … and Apple got you to pay for the building.” And blogging/RSS/podcasting pioneer Dave Winer says the iPad doesn’t change much for news because it’s so difficult to create media […]

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