Sunday, August 31, 2014

Video on media entrepreneurs from S. Africa, Malaysia, Costa Rica

Source Fabric in Prague, which provides free, open-source content management systems for news organizations around the world, invited me to speak at their conference in the Czech Republic in October 2011.

They made a video of my presentation (below), which was about digital news entrepreneurs in South Africa, Malaysia, Guatemala, Costa Rica and other countries. (The first 30 seconds are pretty cool. I just saw the video for the first time last week after doing a search in YouTube.)

The conference, called Mediafabric 2011, had over 250 guests from five continents to explore the intersection of journalism and open technology.

Friday, August 22, 2014

On 5 continents, thousands of digital media startups

Versión en español.

As traditional media organizations cut back on staff and coverage, thousands of new digital media are popping up all over the world to fill the gaps.

I've compiled 14 lists of startups below. Some startups are included on more than one list. Can you think of any lists that I've left out?

Many of the organizations that compile lists also share tutorials, especially on revenue-generating models, to help others launch and sustain their news sites. Sustainability is the Holy Grail. Part of the reason digital media are springing up is because of the gaps left by cuts in coverage and staff at major media (graphic below, from Mark J. Perry's Carpe Diem blog via Clay Shirky's Medium post, "Last Call").

Mark J. Perry's graphic shows newspaper decline. A digital opportunity?

United States

1. The Pew Center has done a study of 178 nonprofit journalism websites with a detailed breakdown of their business models, "Nonprofit Journalism: A Growing but Fragile Part of the U.S. News System."

Gigaom followed up with an analysis of the study, and the Knight Foundation sponsored a roundtable discussion on the topic, with videos of the sessions.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

It's 1927, and the news media are out of control

Charles Lindbergh and his plane. (Library of Congress photo via Mother Nature Network)
Bill Bryson's book One Summer: America, 1927 captures a moment when the country's burgeoning news media feasted on the stories of two extraordinary men, Babe Ruth and Charles Lindbergh. The media made them into gods. The baseball hero basked in the attention. The aviator hated it.

If you can't bear the constant assault of 24-hour cable news, Buzzfeed, and Facebook updates, you should realize that America lived through a similar media explosion in the 1920s.

Then the mass media were newspapers, radio, talking pictures, phonographs, and the telephone. Thes media of the day hounded and entertained people on the streets, in their offices, in their leisure hours, and in the privacy of their homes. Sound familiar? The difference may be only a matter of degree. Today we carry the mass media with us on the devices in our pockets.

In the '20s, the new media were just becoming massive national, industrial-scale businesses that needed big stories to feed the news cycle.