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Mark on March 6th, 2013

I can understand the reasons for it, but I think cutting newsroom copy editors is a bad idea. Yes, newspapers need to cut costs to keep going – or, more properly, to keep profits at levels that make investors and owners happy. Yes, they need to preserve reporters, because they need to fill the newspaper, […]

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Continue reading about The desk may not be the place to cut

Mark on February 5th, 2013

Anyone who has spent more than a couple of hours online knows that dipping into the comment sections at some news site – okay, at most news sites – is like diving head-first into a septic tank. A number of newspapers seem to prevent comments on contentious articles, and at least one has killed it […]

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Continue reading about A modest proposal for handling comments

Mark on January 31st, 2013

A couple of tweets from this afternoon: The 800-word story is dead; go short; go long; or even better, go visual (with photos and charts) – @zseward #cjfjtalk — Craig Saila (@saila) February 1, 2013 …and… How to stand out: high-quality long-form journalism, or short-hit social-style stories. Middle stuff (800-words) is dissolving #cjfjtalk — dana […]

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Continue reading about Where we’re at. Maybe.

Mark on January 30th, 2013

The age of the media paywall is (almost) fully upon us and it’s has me doing arithmetic. If I had to put a formula to it, it would be something like x = ? + ? + ?, where x is the amount of media money I’m willing to spend and the questions marks are […]

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Continue reading about Paywall math (updated)

Mark on January 29th, 2013

I realize it’s been a while. Stuff happens. Twitter, for one. Real life, for another. Despite the social media whirl, blogging isn’t dead yet and it feels like it’s time to devote some attention to doing some writing, teasing out some deeper thoughts, performing some self-promotion… Speaking of which… Over the break between semesters, I […]

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Continue reading about Back to blogging?

Mark on May 28th, 2012

Note: Since publication, I have corrected a couple of typos. You saw the news today: Postmedia has chopped at least two dozen jobs, killed some of its newspapers’ Sunday edition, temporarily suspended Monday publication of The National Post and stopped printing on most holidays. You may have noticed, in the coverage, the reasons: the company’s […]

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Continue reading about An open letter to journalism students

Mark on December 28th, 2011

Over the past year, I’ve aimed to shoot a good photo a day. I’ve missed five or so along the way for a variety of reasons – illness, too many other demands, laziness – and the photos have not always been good, but many are. I’ve shot with two different iPhones, three different Canons and, […]

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Continue reading about Not just looking: A year of photos

Mark on December 16th, 2011

The Tascam iM2 — a set of stereo condenser mics with pre-amp that plug into iPhones and iPads — that I bought when it was first announced, arrived earlier this week but I didn’t get a chance to try it out until today, when I gave it a very quick workout. First impressions are that […]

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Continue reading about Testing Tascam iM2 on the iPhone 4S

Mark on December 13th, 2011

In the last-but-one class of the Storytelling course I taught this semester, I shared some ideas for doing better journalism. I’m sure none of these is original; I’ve likely stolen them from several sources. Find inspiration: There are many people, blogs and tweet streams I follow for the inspiration they provide. Brainpickings, by Maria Popova, […]

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Continue reading about Playing to get better: some ideas

Mark on December 12th, 2011

2011 has been a year for photography. I’ve been taking a photo a day (well, almost every day; I skipped a couple here and there), and posting the results at my Tumblr blog. It’s been interesting, fun and challenging, and I’ve learned a bunch along the way. More on that later. Now it’s almost 2012 […]

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Continue reading about A personal year for journalism