Our 50th show! Help us out with topics and questions…

In Podcast on May 3, 2010 by Jay Rosen

Dave and I are doing our 50th Rebooting the News at noon Eastern today. That seemed to be worth celebrating. So we’re going to try to do our version of “all request radio.”

We’ll talk about the topics, questions and puzzles listeners and fans suggest. So if you’re listener or a fan, you know what to do: use the comment thread and suggest. Help us celebrate. Be a mensch. We’ll use your name on the air and you may make it into the shows notes. Links appreciated if they help us understand your prompt. Thanks, everybody!

18 Responses to “Our 50th show! Help us out with topics and questions…”

  1. Do you guys think that the non-profit model for news is really sustainable (apart from NPR maybe)? I think the foundation or government grant cycle is just too slow and onerous to serve start-ups. I’m not sure things like Paul Steiger’s salary requirements put existing non-profit news outfits on a good long-term footing either.

    Mightn’t radically reduced overhead and many small revenue streams work better? Or would the L3C “low-profit” corporation model [] offer some hope for getting grants AND cash revenue?

  2. How important are changing our comment/interaction/getting-feedback-from-them-formerly-known-as-the-audience systems to keep up with the times and/or better adapt to different situations?

    Most comments on papers are cesspools, but recent Q&A sites like StackOverflow have shown we can do better, at least in certain areas with certain communities and certain systems. Dave keeps talking about how he’d like a NYC map of where you can get Verizon, so my question is: Do we need to evolve the tools we use to gather and process community information, just better use the tools we have now, or start looking outside journalism for great tools?

    Should news organizations be more actively investing and investigating the use of these tools for big stories, like Pro Publica did for its healthcare tracker or the Guardian did for its MP Expenses story ( Any advice on what needs to be made to help reboot the comment systems around news to make them useful?

  3. Hi guys. Discovered your podcast a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it very much. I’m suggesting the following topics for today’s podcast:

    1. “iPhoneGate”

    2. New Arizona Immigration Law

    3. HP Buys Palm

    4. WordPress conference

    5. White House Correspondents Dinner

  4. Dave, Last edition of RBN almost created a near epiphany moment for me, as I heard you explaining how facebook will go down, the same way that microsoft did; that bit of advice for facebook about becoming an investor rather than hiring more programmers was fascinating. It was perhaps the clearest explanation of the tech-startups life cycle that I had ever heard.Perhaps you’re one of the few programmers who criticises programmers, while even really intelligent people like to romanticise them. I think last RBN was the best ever.

    Can you please talk a bit about areas that are good for startups to focus on these days ? Plus, Do you build something from scratch or around the APIs of bigger companies. Thanks

  5. Congrats on show 50! And thank you for making this a “crowdsourced” show.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on, as a signal that mainstream media has failed in their traditional role as the fourth estate.

    I’d also love a follow up to, what’s been the result, have any projects come out of it, and possibly, how does Google’s Living Stories open source code affect that goal?

  6. Thanks, everyone. These are excellent suggestions. (With one WTF: the immigration law?)

    The requests are pouring in: From Twitter: greglinch: Congrats on no. 50! I’d be interested to hear your and @davewiner’s thoughts on this:

  7. A thought: instead of making reinventing the web newspaper, why not reinvent the newspaper by what we’ve learned from the web? People still read paper, magazines, journals, pamphlets, whatever– their design, layout, and information have ultimately barely changed over the last decade. What if your daily paper was shorter, with each section/category on one page (and you getting to choose which sections you received). On one side you’d have summaries of the big stories and easy links to read more. On the other, you had 2-3 thoughtful editorials/blog posts, short, smart, worth it.

    This isn’t new– but no one has proved it could be profitable. Why not? I think people want (and would pay for) something to catch up on what-they-need-to-know in the morning and much fewer people than we think regularly read/subscribe to/know how to subscribe to a broad enough amount of information to get it (which is why they still read the WSJ/NYT in the first place). The newspaper 2.0, but seriously.

  8. How has the news changed since your first show?

  9. One of the key aspects of the real time rebooted news system is identity. Facebook wants to own our identity. So does Google and others. It’s important that a federated system operate well on the identity level and centralized identity systems do make for a good user experience. But they are dangerous too. What are your thoughts?

  10. From Brad Bonnette…

    Congrats on making it to 50.

    I think it’s fair to say that the focus of the show is on political and tech media. Here’s my suggestion: I’d like to see you expand your conversation to the unquestioned assumptions, problems, opportunities, long-term prospect, etc.of the sports press, science press, medical press, pop culture press, and other niches. Out of all of these areas, science coverage seems to me to be the least affected by savviness, insiderism, and splitting the difference. So here’s my question(s): Do you agree with that assessment of science press? Why do you think science news is not as plagued by these problems? Are there specific things about covering science the the rest of the rebooted news system can learn?

    Looking forward to at least 50 more shows.

  11. From Phillip Smith…

    Congratulations on making it to the big five-oh! 🙂

    Here’s a topic that would pull me in: Where are the *holes* (in the rebooted news system)?

    Specifically, I’m wondering about few things:

    1. The show has talked about courses that will train journalists to program, and others that will train programmers about journalism, but — looking at the landscape of academic / education initiatives — what’s missing, and what still needs to be undertaken? Is the rebooted news ecosystem really *just* about programmers and journalists, or are there other roles that need re-thinking? (Obviously, your “Studio” initiative is a great example of a different approach… are there others?)

    2. How is news innovation being funded and sustained, and is that working as well as it could be? Many listeners have probably heard of the Knight Foundation, but are there other factors — other grant-making organizations, innovative non-profits, values-driven businesses, or key network-building events — that are having an impact on the new news ecology? If so, who/what are they and how can people get involved or help out? Or, what work needs to be done to ensure that news innovation not only continues but expands and accelerates?

    3. And, finally, What are the changes that are required *within* news organizations? Colleagues in larger news companies have told me about changes to the physical layout of the newsroom that are underway, where online and traditional teams are integrated. However, that seems almost dated — circa 2005 — when thinking about the more radical changes that are underway. Where are the *holes* here, i.e., What really needs to happen to help larger news organizations move toward a rebooted news system? Could it be something like “embedded news innovation agents” that work to shake things up from the inside? Or will it be disruptive external pressure that forces the necessary reboot? (Like the example you provided of the Journal Register Company looking at innovation due, in part, to their financial situation.)

    That’s it for today. Hope that helps a bit. Looking forward to the show!


  12. With indications that government has been taken over by big business interests (think Goldman) and mainstream media focusing primarily on rating-motivated flavors du jour, who can we trust to voice/represent the interests of the people?

  13. As a science and medical journalist, I’m happy to see Brad Bonnette’s question! We’ve been leaving the innovation to the non-journalist side for too long.(Note that Google Health is not putting its health news service at the top of searches on medical conditions.)

    Science and medical journalists are notably absent from incubators like the Knight awards. Does that mean we’re still fat and happy in our traditional niches, or clueless?

    And for those of use science journalists who are contemplating an entrepreneurial start-up, which comes first: the market research or the product?

    looking forward to the program, Nancy

  14. Congrats!! I would love to hear you guys comment on the simple (simplistic?) observation that there is a growing divide between those who understand and embrace new media and Everyone Else, who are indeed given a barrage of mixed messages–the recent Frontline program on Autism and vaccines suggests the web now spreads and reifies dangerous pseudo-science and its typical–the message is that new media will end in tears

  15. Could you ever imagine yourself paying a source for information in a blog post or other news article? If so, what sort of story would you buy?

  16. Here’s an amusing story you might enjoy reading later, about the CBC (Canada’s public radio & television), specifically CBC Radio: “How to Drive Your Employees Nuts: CBC’s Leaked Survey”

    If “computational thinking” (as per comment, above) is yet another term for “new management” strategies, then CBC’s “The Hub” might be the scary warning that says, “don’t go there!”

    We know enough to realize that journalists can’t “reflect” the news completely, accurately, or innocently – there’s ideology and editing and other forms of craft at work in how a reporter structures his/her representations (articles). The CBC story shows how management can further muddy the waters by sticking its oars in, albeit all in the name of making things more efficient.

    Have a conversation about efficiency, and whether or not news and efficiency are (or are not) like oil and water! 😉

  17. […] Our 50th show! Help us out with topics and questions… […]

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