new media

Atlanta Journal-Constitution is turning a profit

According to the paper’s public editor:

A year ago, the newspaper was losing money. Business leaders moved quickly to turn that around, making a series of painful expense cuts that included trimming home delivery to outlying regions and reducing staff. Printing was consolidated at the company’s Gwinnett County plant, meaning the downtown presses were no longer used. And so the downtown office, which was expensive to maintain and no longer fully utilized, became an obvious choice for savings.

As difficult as those cuts were, the work paid off. The AJC has been profitable for the past several months. And in the face of necessary changes, the newspaper maintained its focus on what is essential to readers: a comprehensive report with deep local news, business, sports and entertainment coverage; a diverse mix of opinion and expertise; and in-depth watchdog reporting on topics that matter to all of metro Atlanta.

The AJC has indeed been doing a good job covering the area despite its reduced staff. They also put an impressive amount of resources into investigative journalism — producing about 10 enterprise pieces a week.

I would also add that the paper has worked on listening to complaints about its liberal bias — both in the news section and on the editorial pages. The paper shifted its editorial board to the center a year ago.

The AJC should also be lauded for its embrace of networked journalism. They often use shout-outs to their Twitter followers to get information on developing stories. And anecdotal evidence shows they’re quite receptive to fixing the mistakes pointed out by their networked community. Earlier this year, I criticized a lede for unfairly portraying a suspect in a crime as guilty. They fixed it within 2 hours and alerted me via Twitter.

It appears that all these elements make for profitable journalism. Other news outlets should take note of the AJC’s approach to the news business.

By | April 19th, 2010|AJC, networked journalism, new media|0 Comments

SeeClickFix

Interesting article in the New York Times about a new service that aims to make government more responsive:

SeeClickFix.com, a local advocacy Web site … lets users write about issues to encourage communication between residents and local government. SeeClickFix users post a complaint about problems that occur within a set of boundaries on a Google Map, like graffiti at a bus stop or potholes on a busy street, and the site communicates the problem to the appropriate government agency and marks the problem on the map.

Seems like a no-brainer addition to any hyperlocal Web site.

By | January 4th, 2010|new media|0 Comments

Twittering ‘Mahabharata’

A prof in England is twittering the “Mahabharata,” the epic Indian poem:

It’s the world’s longest poem — over 1.8 million words, containing over one hundred thousand verses and approximately ten times the length of the Iliad and Odyssey combined. And now India’s celebrated epic the Mahabharata, the writing of which began around 300 B. C. by the venerated Hindu figure Vyasa, is being written again — one 140-character tweet at a time.

Here’s how the tweets begin:

I can’t help staring at the lady with the black cloth over her eyes. I feel disturbed, scared – but I can’t look away.

Pale, beautiful face. Black strip wound tight. Beneath it, the eyes – the eyes with which she wouldn’t see. Gandhari. Our aunt. The Queen.

She hugs Mother. Then us five children. Yudhistira first, then me, Arjuna, the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva. Why is she sobbing?

“Come,” Aunt Gandhari says. “The king is waiting.” She turns. I see the knot of blindfold black against her gray hair. I stare.

Yudhistira follows her. I walk with Mother and the young ones as the palace doors close behind. So it was all true? We were really princes?

You can follow the rest by following him on Twitter.

By | August 21st, 2009|new media|0 Comments