Tag Archives: new media

An about turn on Twitter

6 Dec

I’m happy to say that the journalism.co.za Twitter profile is thriving, and I’ve had a lot of fun maintaining it. As jocoza is for a very niche audience (news and analysis for journalists in Southern Africa) the number of users can be low but the quality of conversation and exchange is relevant and lively.

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I’m in love with the Beast

17 Oct

I’ve always admired the balls (or literal lack thereof) of Tina Brown, former editor of The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and general all-round magazine queen. To the surprise of everyone in the print publishing world, she left news print last year to launch the online news aggregator The Daily Beast. No one thought she could get it right, but of course she did. I’ve heard that she’s a manic task master at The Beast, and the site looks all the better for it. The design is sleek, modern and in your face. The Cheat Sheet is a clever and smart daily must read and she’s started to tackle online advertising woes by working with clients to create innovative advertising ideas.

Daily Beast

There has been some controversy over the way in which adverts are embedded as articles – illustrating how thin the line between advertising and editorial can be online- but this is the Internet, and there’s no denying that new ways have to be found to make money. I trust that Brown is a journalist down to the core, and would never do anything to compromise the site’s principles. I hope.

The site’s commenting function is very innovative: readers have the ability to respond to specific comments, and these “threads” within a comments section can be collapsed, making other comments easier to read. I’ve never seen a website deal with off-topic comments and back and forth arguments so efficiently before.

She’s also made some daring decisions, widening the site’s scope with “The Sexy Beast” (entertainment and fashion), “The Book Beast” (print publishing of books less than 50, 000 words by Beast writers) and my favorite, the recently launched “The Giving Beast” in partnership with the Global Philanthropy Group. At first glance – I haven’t looked at it much – the site highlights causes championed by celebrities (a smart move considering that everyone loves a good celebrity just as much as they love a bad one) and has blog posts detailing innovative approaches to the world’s problems.

Daily Beast

Beyond her reputation as a driven woman with high expectations for her staff, Brown is also considered a dahling in social circles, and most people love her, which is surprising for such a powerful woman who has smashed her way up the magazine career ladder – in both the U.K and the U.S. Writers respect her, publishers listen to her, investors invest in her online schemes in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression!

I also love the fact that she has perfectly coiffed blond short hair, almost always rocks a form-fitting kick-ass leather jacket, can be erudite and call bullshit at the same time, and has a longer marriage with a much older husband that looks like it’s characterized by love, respect and kindness in every single society photo op.

The Financial Times recently wrote an article on Brown on the occasion of the first anniversary of The Daily Beast titled: “The Beast of New Journalism” (another shrewd move on the part of Brown, the sites’s name lends itself to hundreds of great headlines and puns). The article describes some of the challenges Brown and the Beast will face, trying to find sustainable funding after their initial start-up investments run out. I have a feeling that if anyone can figure out how to find a sustainable, classy and ethical way to get money from online advertising, it’s Brown.

daily beast 2

Read more of Brown's columns here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/author/tina-brown/

I really admire the woman for all she’s achieved in her career, but I particularly admire her class. She spoke at the Journalism School while I was there and I loved every minute of her frank and honest speech. in which she shared ideas, her inspiration behind the Beast and her commitment to narrative journalism, which she admitted she is still trying to figure out how to do online. I’d love to get away with having balls and still be liked as a successful woman one day!

Have you read the site? What do you guys think?

Let the debate begin

26 Jan

This is an all too familiar argument: will the print industry hold out in the future against the meteoric yet poorly funded rise of new media and online content? I asked this question on the password-protected blog of our Producing a Magazine class but want to throw it out there, with an added slant.

What does the death of traditional media such as print, and the rise of online media and usage, mean for developing countries and closed societies where online use is limited or restricted. Here’s what I wrote, I would love it if you guys could weigh in.

R.I.P Newsweekly?

The newsweekly is being vaunted by the new media community as the latest print category to spiral slowly towards a terrible death. (Click on the pic for the link to the NY Times story)

mag-pic

Is it just me, or is there a subtle sense of glee in the discussion (not necessarily the stories) on the death of the print industry? Something like, “We told you this would happen, IN 1999.” Maybe I’m being a cry baby, but being hit every single day with comments, threads, discussions and stories about how new media will take pride of place in the journalism of tomorrow constantly brings me back to two questions:

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