How to make a newspaper talk

At Online News, Chet Rhodes of gives an inspirational talk about how he is turning the paper into video, training print reporters to take video (it takes 55 minutes, he says) and how it is working. Why do this? he asks. Because you have to. When we looked at video from a number of news sites in my CUNY class, the students liked’s video best because it was still somewhat raw, not overproduced. And that makes it easier for print people to learn how to shoot good video, I say, as the definition of good shifts away from the priests of the tools.

: Pankaj Paul of DelawareOnline tells about utterly reorganizing his paper’s newsroom to be platform agnostic. He said that a few years ago, only four people could post on the web but now 50 can and the number of web updates skyrocketed. They are a small paper and so they are not throwing staff at this; they are throwing simplicity at it: They are using iMovie and GarageBand to produce multimedia. He said that they have had four people leave because multimedia is not for them. I see that as a very good thing. Welcome to the future, newsroom. Says Paul: “There is no online department. It has ceased to exist. We are the online department. The newsroom is the online department.”

  • “Wide shots are your friends.”

  • A terror raid that doesn’t make the headlines – despite chemical explosives and a rocket launcher
    Here’s a police seizure of weapons that wasn’t splashed all over the front pages.

    This week a British National Party election candidate has been accused of possessing the largest amount of chemical explosives of its type ever found in the country. That’s right, the largest ever – imagine if he’d been an Asian man. Home secretary John Reid would have held a special press conference and it would have led every news bulletin.

    The home of another man charged with similar offences contained a rocket launcher and a nuclear biological suit as well as BNP literature and chemicals!

    Robert Cottage of Talbot Street, Colne, and David Bolus Jackson of Trent Road, Nelson, made separate appearances in court charged with being in possession of an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose.

    Cottage was arrested at his home on Thursday of last week, while retired dentist Jackson was arrested in the Lancaster area on Friday.

    The 22 chemical components recovered by police are believed to be the largest haul ever found at a house in this country. Cottage stood as a BNP candidate in the Pendle council elections in May.

    Christiana Buchanan, who appeared for the prosecution in Jackson’s case, alleged the pair had “some kind of masterplan”.

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  • Jeff:
    Personally I’d like to hear more about how your CUNY experience is going. Both from your point of view in becoming a teacher and from the point of view of what you are learning about the attitudes and expectations of your students.

    Are they still interested in traditional print muckraking, or are they more interested in multimedia, for example?

    What do they see as the role of the news media?

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