Results for “newspapers”

It was only business. I always liked you.

The reaction to John Oliver’s 19-minute rant about the decline of newspapers immediately struck a chord among journalists.

Within minutes of the segment’s airing, journalists were jizzing themselves on Twitter over its “truth to power”, “somebody finally said it” qualities. The Washington Post declared it the “best defense of newspapers ever.”

The fact that journalists excitedly agreed with Oliver’s report doesn’t make it correct. To me, that’s a giant confirmation bias red flag. As Upton Sinclair wrote “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

Fact... More

Welcome to the bungle

The Boston Globe, faced with a week of problems with its home delivery, saw members of the newsroom band together and go out in the cold early-morning hours to deliver papers.

It’s a heartwarming tale, just like an Amish barn raising!

For newsroom staff a one-night only adventure in the delivery department with its giant clackety machines seemed to be a lot of fun. The Globe’s story shows the plucky substitute crew having wacky adventures as they fulfill orders.

Having newsroom people work as delivery drivers seems an extreme step. But the Sunday paper and its advertising circulars is... More

Leaves you with nothing, mister

On a lovely early fall day in 1992, I was walking across campus.

It was move-in day at Eastern Illinois University. I’d just unloaded my meager possessions from the back of my aging beige hatchback and was wandering around taking in the sights.

The day was warm and the leaves had not yet started to change. Dozens of students were wandering around. Families were disgorging belongings from the backs of minivans and trucks.

Posters and fliers covered buildings and bulletin boards. The ‘92 election was a couple months away, so Bill Clinton placards were up all over.

The opening notes... More

One, two, three, four, I declare an adblock war

It’s the ad-block-apocalypse.

When iOS 9 was announced this spring, the feature that allowed for the creation of ad blockers was barely mentioned, let alone touted as one of its headline features.

Thanks to the Streisand effect, it’s the story of iOS9 launch weekend. Many users are finding out about ad blockers for the first time thanks to the kerfuffle.

Notably, Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper1, introduced Peace, an ad and tracker blocking app based on Ghostery. It quickly shot to the top of the App Store charts despite its $2.99 price.

In a move that... More

In which I engage in self abuse

I’ve become Internet famous in the past few days.

I’d always hoped it would be because I pulled a really good internet prank. Turns out it was because I wrote a blog post.

So far, it’s be tweeted out or linked from Harvard’s Nieman Lab and included in their e mail newsletter, it made Neiman Labs’ Fuego, and has been shared by, NewsWhip, PBS Idea Lab, PBS Mediashift and by countless editors and designers. Tweets about the post have been linked to, favorited and retweeted more times than I can count. As of this... More

UX from hell

A couple weeks ago a UX designer Twitter friend tweeted “Web peeps: Is there a particularly industry, segment, or niche that–generally speaking–has REALLY bad mobile web experiences?”

I didn’t even have to have to think about it before replying: News sites. And it isn’t just that some news site have been slow to adopt responsive design or to redesign in general. Newly designed sites are terrible.

And, in particular, they aren’t conducive to the way people use web sites today.

A large swath of readers don’t go directly to news sites and enter through the front page. Twitter or... More


I got a text message a few hours ago from a longtime friend.

“Denis just turned in his resignation”

It wasn’t a surprise. It was still a gut punch.

The text referred to Denis Finley, editor of The Virginian-Pilot, a man I worked for most of my professional career, a man I admire, faults and all.

I first met him in 1999, when he was design team leader. He’d just been named DME for presentation, and I was to interview with him for a spot on The Pilot’s design team. He was tall, nicely dressed, and – my gearhead... More

The two takes

A video of the late David Carr smacking down an impudent editor from Vice showed up in my timeline at least a dozen times before 9 a.m. yesterday.

The clip, taken from the documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times Newsroom, seemed to be a lot of folks’ favorite remembrances of Carr. It did capture his hard-hitting incisiveness pretty well.

Granted, I have a skewed sample in my Twitter feed. I follow a lot of journalists and people in the news industry on Twitter.

I’m also someone who thinks the entire newspaper industry needs a goodMore

The news business

I was in an uncomfortable chair sitting through another boring quarterly meeting led by our publisher and his PowerPoint deck.

Some astute member of the newsroom had coined the nickname “Mojo” for him, partly as a play on his name, but more as a comment on his dreary lack of charisma. It was all EBITAs and P&Ls.

Well, not so much Ps as Ls.

He showed a 10-year chart of company earnings and it looked like an EKG right before the nurse called for a crash cart. I returned from the meeting, and a newsroom friend asked how it... More

Is it better to be first than good?

The Boston Globe is lauded – rightfully – for being the first major responsive website.

It won Society of News Design honors. The technological step forward was what made me want to work there as a designer.

That’s why this tweet jumped out at me.

He’s right. This page is a total hot mess, and it makes me sad. Is this one of the world’s best designed sites... More

I fled the news today, oh boy

I’ve worked at newspapers since 1987.

Seems like every job that can be done at a paper, I’ve done at least once. I’ve been a reporter, copy editor and page designer.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of a team that created and launched a new daily newspaper. It started with an all-day secret skunkworks meeting in my apartment. I designed the paper from scratch, so I’ve had a rare chance to make a newspaper exactly how I wanted to make it.

I even paid for my first two years of college by working as a janitor – at... More