The Future of News

Ryan Thornburg

I Filter, You Summarize?

Clay Shirky said we don’t suffer from information overload, but filter failure. That sounds right to me. Despite by efforts to use social and technical filters to focus my daily doses of e-mail newsletters, RSS feeds and tweets, I still find myself swamped with more words than I can read in the hour I’ve given myself to “read-in” each day. I am much more efficient at pulling things that might be interesting than carefully reading text for anything that’s actually new and noteworthy.

So here’s a new deal I’m going to start trying. I find the headlines and I ask you to filter back to me the new facts, missing info and impact of the stories. If you read one of the stories that pass my filter, will kindly post one comment if you find anything interesting in the articles themselves?

Here’s what passed through my filter today:

Mashable.com and Poynter.org’s Romenesko dominated today’s Thornburg filter. Mashable had nine stories and Romenesko got eight through.

Twenty SXSW panels that journalists would find worthwhile. I SWEAR I’m going this year. Very interested in the proposals about using design thinking in newsrooms.

‘Murdoch has has never succeeded in any digital venture he’s managed’ Always love a contrarian POV. Especially when they may be right.

Primack quits Thomson Reuters to join Fortune.com An niche daily e-mail with 60,000 subscribers. As a journalist, I’ll take that. Getting that many subscribers is one problem, certainly. But once I do, what’s your suggested business plan for me?

Journalists in Mexico forced to practice ‘narco-censorship’ Amid all the fluff we get in daily news media, let’s not forget the journalists who truly risk their lives to shine light in dark places, hold powerful people accountable and explaining an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

Washington Post Co. warns on Kaplan division Always worried about one of my favorite news (and education) companies. Kaplan’s been WaPoCo’s sugar daddy for a while. All newsrooms need a sugar daddy. Or a thin staff. And by thin, I mean they don’t eat.

Aspen Institute panel discusses health of nation’s media Durn. I was just in Breckenridge. How come I couldn’t find an excuse to stay in the Rockies an extra week?

Conservative columnist Kilpatrick dies at 89 For a new media guy, it surprises me how often I get nostalgic about an old media world I never really knew but that has shaped my ideas about what the American press can and should be.

The Future of Public Relations and Social Media Sometimes Mashable’s “tip” columns are useful and sometimes they are utter self-promotion. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to sort them out every day. So, please, Mashable, less chaff and more wheat.

Use Adobe Fonts in Your Own Web Designs Always interested in the ongoing battle between openness/interoperability and attractiveness/designer tyranny. ;)

Jim Barnett on Texas Tribune via Nonprofit Road blog Barnett is a smart guy and was kind enough to let me pick his brain when I launched my failed N.C. political news service in 2001. So I hope he succeeds at Texas Tribune and continues to share the lessons he learns as an old-school entrepreneurial journalist.

Hulu Serving 3x as Many Video Ads as YouTube The two things I want to know after reading this headline: Why? and Is Hulu also doing 3x revenue as YouTube? Plus, I’m always cheering for UNC journalism alumni like Hulu CEO Jason Kilar.

Gawker boss says Web media need to be more like TV Nick Denton gets the Web, and I’m not just saying that because I too think that Web media has been slow to pick up on the “right” lessons from TV news. I wonder if Denton’s reason for saying Web media need to be more like TV are the same as mine.

5 Trends Affecting How We Connect Through Social Media I’m only interested in this Mashable column if it has actual research and data. Anyone can do anecdotes and speculation. Even me.

iPhone App Makes Barcode Scanning a Social Experience Food pricing is an untapped social news product. You want to defend your local news market? Make grocery shopping part of your UGC strategy. (See, I told you even I could offer unsubstantiated speculation.)

How People Are Signing In Across the Web [STATS] Dear Mashable, if by “[STATS]” you mean actual research and information, then I’m all about this.

Slideshare Is Going Freemium I love and use Slideshare. And HootSuite, which is also “going freemium.” And I’m putting the word “freemium” as the center square on this month’s buzzword bingo sheet. (Also, I wonder if there’s a future revenue stream from turning your letters-to-the-editor and comments sections into “freemium” services.)

TV Guide Gets a Slick New iPad App OK, so it’s slick. But is it strategically interesting in any way? Is there any lessons to transfer to other news and information services looking to make the mobile leap?

USA Today launches multimedia special marking five years since Hurricane Katrina Need to take a look at this and look for applicable lessons and suggestions for other newsrooms.

Web Faceoff: Freemium vs. Ad Supported Mashable – You’ve sunk my battleship!

Nine Questions on Patch’s New Push: National Hyperlocal?, SEO Sauces, and the Case of the Besieged Florist One journalist per 10,000 to 80,000 people. Compare that ratio to the typical newspaper newsroom ratio of five years ago. ( I think it’s 1-per-1,000, but I need to check Phil Meyer’s book “The Vanishing Newspaper” to be sure.) Also wondering if it’s time to start creating two cleavages for “community” sites — geographic AND behavioral/psychographic. One alone will not do. But do two cut the slices too small?

Please do share your thoughts.

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