Following clues from Obama’s 1995 book, reporters tracked down Aunt Zeituni via Kenya, searches of public records, and persistent fieldwork. This took them to Boston but they still needed someone to identify Zeituni positively:
“It was not until Wednesday evening that The Times obtained a formal identification of Ms Onyango by George Hussein, Mr Obama’s half-brother who had known her throughout his childhood.
Whatever the Democrat campaign may imply, there is nothing suspicious about the story or its timing. The only mystery, perhaps, is how so many people read Mr Obama’s book in the US without wondering what might have happened to the mysterious relative, lost in America.”
Swimming Lessons for Journalists | PBS November 5, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Widen your view of jobs in journalism, urges Amy Gahran:
"In my opinion, journalists need to start leaping en masse from the sinking ship of the newsroom and start working for search engines, nonprofits, think tanks, collaboratives, and other kinds of businesses and organizations. In fact, it might even be a good idea to trade in the label "journalist" for the more inclusive "person with journalism skills" […] That kind of humility offers considerable flexibility and room to grow.
Also, today's journalists can — and probably should — consciously shift away from jobs that revolve around content creation (producing packaged "stories") and toward providing layers of journalistic insight and context on top of content created by others (including public information). Finding ways to help people sort through info overload is far more valuable than providing more information."
Talking hyperlocal, ultralocal workshop at mashup* — Ultra Local Voice: communities, communicating November 5, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Hyperlocal publisher William Perrin on the paradoxes of local news, particularly the challenge — impossibility? — of making it pay, at least without drawing heavily on volunteers, UGC, citizen journalism etc:
“…it is hard to see how solo ultralocal or hyperlocal sites can support a paid member of staff (at the very lowest £25k inc overheads). So unless new sources of funding arise, a conventional paid for journalist model looks unlikely at an ultralocal level. The only way to gather hyperlocal news for an industrial era news model is by tapping into a volunteer base to write news for you.”
The Orwell Blog Prize 2009 | for political blogs November 5, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Bloggers gain their own category in another award:
"…the Orwell Prize is delighted to announce a Special Prize for Blogs in 2009."
Online versions of print articles are not eligible for the blog prize — and interesting to see that anonymity is allowed:
"Those bloggers who wish to remain anonymous may enter by their public username – their real identity will not be divulged by the Orwell Prize."
Paid-for-free papers: the mirage of the hybrid models | Monday Note November 5, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
More than 56% of the IHT's circulation is free, says, Frédéric Filloux (Schibsted), analysing the free/hybrid model and some key questions it raises:
"How to reach a bigger chunk of high value audiences using the same technique? “Than can be summed up in one idea”, says Bruno Patino, former CEO of Le Monde Interactive, who likes to pitch the concept of paid-for-free newspapers: “The audience I do want, as a publisher, gets the paper for free; the rest have to pay for it”. […]
"The hybrid model bumps against two limits, though. The first one is the fit of the product to the target audience(s). […] The second limit is the social approach of the news business."