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Posts Tagged ‘Journalism’
07 Apr

My ISOJ talk: Life After Television + Mobile is Dead

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I was honored to be asked by Rosental Alves to chair/moderate a talk with some amazing panelists (Rahul Chopra, senior vice president video at News Corp; Daniel Eilemberg, senior vice president, chief digital officer at Fusion; Rebecca Howard, general manager video, The New York Times; Riyaad Minty, project lead of AJ+ at Al Jazeera; Katharine Zaleski, managing editor at NowThis News), under the topic of Life After Television, a book written by George Gilder.

After Alves explained his vision in planning the panel around the book, I went to the library and checked out both the hardcover and book on (cassette) tape.

For my intro talk, I wanted to summarize and try to explain Gilder’s book and, inspired by its predictions (and the 80s), I decided to add my own grand prediction.

Here are the slides, in animated GIF form, with some text to explain my thoughts.

NOTE: Gilder is known to have said some controversial things about women, people of color and more. While I vehemently disagree with his statements, let’s focus on the book, which was quite impressive.

// Slide 01
The book, which was published in 1990, has many innovative ideas… the first being that it contained advertising for FedEx every five or six pages.

isoj-mobileisdead-slide01

 

// Slide 02
The short book had a collection of fantastic lines that I wanted to quote. Here is a small a collection. What is impressive is that he essentially describes today’s major players of the Web. He was, however, a bit off with the type of quality, educational and informative content he hoped would be created.

isoj-mobileisdead-slide02

 

// Slide 03
Perhaps it was the timing of Harold Ramis’ death, perhaps it is that I am overly influenced by the 80s, but the book reminded me of the infamous scene in Ghostbusters where Egon (Ramis) declares “print is dead.” (But it appears that print outlived Egon. How nerds react to that joke.)

I took Gilder’s book as an Egon-esque declaration television is dead. So, I was inspired to make a bold – and clearly early – declaration too.

isoj-mobileisdead-slide03

 

// Slide 04
Mobile is dead!!! And by that, I really mean, mobile phones… the devices we carry in our purses or back pockets. Wearables – which have been around since the 80s thanks to the work by Steven Mann – have finally begun to mature. It’s not about white guys wearing glass… or brown guys, despite the coverage.

The future is… STOP! It’s not the device.

isoj-mobileisdead-slide04

 

// Slide 05
If you believe that content is still king, then it’s not about the device. It’s about the content that we optimize on that device. (Please don’t say the ‘medium is the message,’ because I believe that is wrong.)

isoj-mobileisdead-slide05

 

// Slide 06
So, if it’s not mobile… and it’s content… what the hell am I talking about? One type of technology that I do believe will play a role in the (not-so-distant) future is augmented reality.

This tech we’ve seen in Sci-Fi is real. Re+public labs have used it to augment art/murals in public spaces, with this example in Austin during SXSW. (Learn more here: http://www.republiclab.com/projects)

And my students and I have produced AR Storytelling + Journalism, by augmenting the downtown Los Angeles Public Library. (Learn more here: http://arjournalism.tumblr.com and watch the video)

isoj-mobileisdead-slide06

 

We live in the future. So, journalism better adapt.

P.S. I’m trolling here… kinda. I do believe mobile PHONES will die sooner than we think and replaced by what’s next, like wearables. It’s inevitable. This “declaration” was made in line with the hyperbole from Gilder and “Egon.”

28 Feb

Launched! [blank] is the future of journalism

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blank-is-the-future-of-journalism-animated

[Blank] is the future of journalism is bar game for jaded journalists, created by Kim Bui, David Cohn, Maite Fernandez, Robert Hernandez and Matt Thompson at a DC bar in January 2014.

The premise is that you have two minutes to become a pundit and seriously preach/defend/sell the randomized concept, or [blank], to your jaded friends.

Go play and send us feedback: http://blankisthefutureofjournalism.com/

12 Dec

Guest on O’Reilly Radar Podcast

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I was fortunate to join Jon Bruner and Jenn Webb, co-hosts of the Radar Podcast for a roundtable discussion with Mark Trammell (of Sonos, previously of Obama HQ and Twitter) and Rebekah Monson (of the University of Miami) during NewsFoo last month.

06 Sep

USC Annenberg Journalism Forum: Storytelling with Google Glass

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I organized and hosted a forum exploring Google Glass and Journalism/Storytelling. It was held on USC Annenberg on Aug. 27, 2013.

Below is the video of the event:

For more on my experiences with Google Glass + Journalism, go here: http://glassjournalism.tumblr.com/

11 Aug

“Why All Your Students Must Be Programmers” – The #AEJMCBattleRoyale

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I was fortunate to be on a lively panel for this year’s Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Conference in D.C.

The session was titled “Why all your students must be programmers,” but I named it The #AEJMCBattleRoyale.

Organized and moderated by Medill’s Jeremy Gilbert, the panelists included:

and me.

Here is a G+ Hangout of the talk… as expected, strong language was used and knowledge was dropped.

Here are the latest #AEJMCBattleRoyale tweets:


02 Aug

Mediatwits #89: Google Glass: Revolutionizing News or Public Annoyance?

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I joined a the PBS podcast to talk about Glass + Journalism.

For those interested, I am maintaining a Tumblr about my Glass journalism experience here: http://glassjournalism.tumblr.com/

My latest tweets via the @GlassJournalism Twitter account:

24 May

My Google Glass app ideas for different news orgs



Google Glass is clearly in its early stages, but it is emerging as a platform that merits our attention as news and information distributors.

The NYTimes has an app, but I think it really falls short of understanding and using this new platform.

Inspired by Thomas Baekdal‘s Google Glass for news post, here are my Glass app ideas for other news orgs… to help spark ideas and conversation.

These app ideas are practical and based on reality… not hypothetical futuristic dream apps.

// LATimes (or any regional/local news org)
Offer the Glass user an app card with trending/editor selected keywords/topics. The Los Angeles Times already does the keyword selection with their sub-navigation called “trending now.” Today’s (5/23) included: L.A. Mayor’s race, U.S. drones, Boy Scouts, London Attack, Helen Mirren, Lebron James.

Via Glass, the user could say, “Okay LATimes, tell me about [TOPIC]” and it will load the headline and nutgraph… it will of course offer a longer version of the story, perhaps in audio form.

Newspapers and print media also have an opportunity with Glass to embed and launch multimedia elements like videos or photo galleries from their print pages. ​That QR code may finally have value!

 

// NPR
This one, for now, is the most traditional app to do. The app is a card that plays, when a user opts in, the latest Hourly News Summary that is traditionally read on the air.

These apps are fairly simple tapping into the existing technology and framework. These do not are not “futuristic” apps. Naturally, if we tap into the GPS, we can create an app that brings you the latest news from “around you.”

 

// @BreakingNews (or other breaking news Twitter accounts)
The obvious option for this essential Twitter account is just to notify the Glass user with every breaking news tweet… but that can be overwhelming.

I’d suggest creating an app where the tweets that get the most retweets at a faster rate get a category of “important,” and those items notify the Glass user. Think of the classic breaking news interruption.

 

// Circa news app
This new news platform is actually a great fit for Glass. They have broken down a story into bullet points, and they add points to the story as it develops. It knows what you’ve read about the story when you return.

What they should offer is a list of headlines, and, as you do know, you can follow the story for updates. Their app would notify you when a story has been updated. Since the information is a bullet point, it wouldn’t be overwhelming.

 

// Newsbound
This visual-storytelling platform presents information like a PowerPoint presentation, but it’s compelling. What’s also powerful about this format is that these slides add up to tell a long form piece.

Yes, long form storytelling for Glass.

 

// SoundGecko
If a visual version of long form doesn’t work, check out SoundGecko, which converts text — any text — into audio.

Yes, at this stage it’s like Siri trying to read you a story, but when you are on the go and you actually want to consume a long form piece, this new technology may be good enough.

 

Well, since I am pitching Glass app ideas, here are some more “future” and obvious ones:

  • Eventually be apps that are ​GPS aware to give information/news feeds.
  • Based on video’s audio as a timeline, tie bonus material content to the broadcast news story. (This already happens with DVDs/movies and will eventually become available to us.)
  • In terms of TV production, have Glass replace the TV new anchor’s Teletrompter and ear piece.

Two extremely obvious and simple ones:

  • ​Live stream a press conference, but audio quality is not ideal. You can at least do a live POV shot of a scene.
  • Using Glass as your second screen as you watch a live event either on TV on in person… like we do with tweets via hashtag.

I hope news organizations take advantage of this new type of platform and I look forward to what we will produce.

Personally, as a Google Glass Explorer (which gives me the “privilege” to buy and experiment with Glass early), I can’t wait to try these things out to see what works and what doesn’t.

12 Mar

Learn Code Project: A year ago…

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It was about a year that I was boarding my plane headed back to the West Coast, recharged and inspired by SXSW12.

By the time I landed, I had coded and launched this new project.
learncodeforjournalismwithme-logo-thumbnail
Man, what a difference a year makes.

Frustrated (and starting to get desperate) with finding partners to collaborate/experiment with, I figured I should put off the inevitable and teach myself code. I know I wouldn’t be the best coder — like I’m not the best audio storytelling or photographer — but I respected the craft and know its power.

I had been director of development for seattletimes.com where we designed and built cool shit, which was ahead of its time… and now feels… so… quaint.

In my quest for dev skills, I tried a variety of different non-journalism, code classes… from video to web-based tutorials. I, as ONA pre-conference and NAHJ conference coordinator, recruited friends and colleagues to craft custom journalism focused all-day coding workshops.

I even offered a (nearly free) all-day, intro to Python bootcamp at USC Annenberg thanks to the awesome PyLadies.

For the record, while this benefited the community as a whole, I was doing it for me. And none of it worked… for me.

But after SXSW, inspired by Codecademy‘s Code Year (even though I had given up on it like other New Year’s resolutions) and a curious user of Google+ Hangouts, I created the Learn Code for Journalism with Me project.

Yes, it’s a loooooong name. My partner-in-crime Kim Bui openly hates it. I know.

But it comes from a series of projects I’ve hung around the domain journalismwith.me.

Anyway, the idea was a simple one and the reaction to it was overwhelming. I was clearly on to something… and I wasn’t the only one trying to solve this.

Cindy Royal of Texas State University was trying to build a curriculum, Dave Stanton (who was joining two other friends and myself in launching a cooperative consulting firm) had expressed interest and I’m sure others were trying to grapple with this issue.

But, again, what a difference a year makes.

As I wait for my plane to take me back to the City of Angels still recovering from SXSW13, the landscape for this has completely changed.

There are two projects I want to point out:

First is Sisi Wei‘s Code with me project that offers weekend coding bootcamps for about $85.

Second is For Journalism, the successfully-funded kickstarter from Stanton, which will create journalism-focused coding tutorials.

Outside giving money to For Journalism and being a cross-country supporter of Code with me, I had nothing to do with their launches.

Even if their project names sound familiar, as people have point out … to be fair, my loooong title clearly had all the right words required for any successful coding for journalism project aimed to empower the community.

For my little project that is reaching its year anniversary, I didn’t have the bandwidth to make tshirts to use crowd funding.

It was just me.

Actually, it’s not just me anymore.

It’s me and my amazing cohort of determined classmates-turned-friends that still meet every Monday at 3PM PT via Google+ Hangouts since April of last year.

We’ve abandoned Code Year and have been developing our own journalism-based, project-focused coding lessons. We’re teaching each other code and hoping to share what we learn with others.

You can hear about the LCFJWM phase 2 in this View Source podcast interview or read about what I’ve learned in this post.

What a difference a year makes. And I am so glad talented people have come into this mix and found ways to address this need… in ways I couldn’t have for lack of the bandwidth or connections.

God only knows what the next year will bring, but we all know we’re going to benefit from this work.

11 Feb

The Pope, the Invisible Gorilla and journalism

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This post is brought to you by today’s Morning Edition.

Two stories from today’s show, for me, are made relevant to journalism after running it through my journalistic filter.

Those who know me (or have read past rants) know that newsroom leadership, across the country and regardless of medium or market size, has frustrated me.

The news story about radiologists that invoked the ‘invisible gorilla’ reminded me about this struggle. Years ago, while I was at The Seattle Times, editors were brought into a retreat called Newspaper Next, I believe. (The site no longer exists, but thanks to the way back machine, you can still see it).

This was a retreat that had started popping up in newsrooms across the country, dealing with one central question: How do we pivot and use our existing resources to generate revenue for the newspaper.

Great topic.

During the presentation they played a video that has stuck with me for years since the talk, and which was played this morning on NPR (KPCC is my local NPR station).

I didn’t recall the name, but now know it is called the ‘invisible gorilla.’

While mine was slightly different, here is the video. Play it and follow the instructions.

The logo from theinvisiblegorilla.com is a gorilla reading a newspaper. A newspaper!

So, did you notice the gorilla? Or those other changes? Isn’t that amazing? According to the story and video, 50 percent of people who see this video are so focused on the task at hand that they miss the not-so-invisible gorilla that walks into the frame.

The take away from the video during that newspaper retreat was “are we so focused on newspapers that we are missing the gorilla?” And in newspaper speak, the gorilla meant digital.

A high up editor at the time, after watching the video, said how eye opening the exercise was… me, being a bit of a loud mouth, responded by saying “I’ve been that guy in the gorilla suit. Not only waving my hands, but also jumping up and down.”

Most digital journalists have had this experience.

It’s the culture difference between traditional and, well, digital leadership and competence that is such a challenge. Many of us have dealt with this in a variety of ways.

Which leads me to the second story: The Pope.

In his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI said “I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.”

In today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith … I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me,” said the Pope.

I hear that, then tweet this:


If the Pope can realize he’s not fit to lead in these modern times, why can’t some newsroom leaders? #thingsithinkabout
@webjournalist
Robert Hernandez

And then I write this post.

Look, there have been so many changes in newsrooms and its leadership. We are the better for it. But there is still much more to go. And it’s on us to push it forward.

We will have moments when newsroom leaders retire, take buyouts, etc. … and their incredibly valuable newsroom knowledge will be greatly missed… but we have to remember that we are moving — slowly — toward the goal of a modern, well, newsroom.

This is not about age. No. It’s about understanding culture… in this case digital/Web culture.

And these are the things I think about. And occasionally ramble on in a post.

Please feel free to tell me what you think.

For those interested, here is a Poynter piece from 2008 about Newspaper Next 2.0: http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/business-news/the-biz-blog/87155/newspaper-next-2-0-way-outside-the-box/

29 Sep

Ode to the printing press operator (and many others)

This thought just occurred to me… so let’s see if I can express it here.

Our industry has experienced many, MANY changes. Obviously.

But one the things I think we tend to forget are the people outside of the newsroom and even the business side.

When was the last time you thought about the printing press operator? The one actually printing the beautiful broadsheet that millions still read. (Yes, millions.)

The people who know how to make the presses sing, carefully printing news and information efficiently… and under their own deadlines.

Those that love — or deal with — the loud roaring sound of the presses.

Those ones that truly get their hands dirty with newsprint.

The real ones who can actually “stop the presses.”

You know, they could be working somewhere else. They, too, know they could get another job where their industry isn’t “dying.”

But they choose to work the presses.

Why?

I bet they feel the same amount of pride working their craft as you feel in yours.

I bet they value their role — albeit one often forgotten, evolving but yet still vital — in helping inform their community.

I bet they are as proud to work for the masthead as the journalists across town.

I bet their chests get broader when they see a powerful headline that will help their community as it blurs fast through the presses… I imagine that they try to print it even faster to get the information to the community quicker. (But without compromising quality.)

They feel the same pain and have the same worries when they see the revenue challenges and face layoffs.

Let’s take this out of print and look toward audio engineers. Or how about those that run the backend equipment that makes the nightly newscast viewable via satellite.

Let’s look at the computers — granted old ones, typically stuck with IE — and the people behind making these crappy things last a little longer to help keep the budget lean.

The IT people that take pride in their work, knowing that they are facilitating the production of journalism. They can probably make more money elsewhere, but stay here because they want to help inform their community too.

How about the Web developer? Coder? Programmer?

They can make a ton of money elsewhere.

So can you… P.R. is right there. All companies are now media companies and they need help telling their own stories.

These are great, honorable jobs. But you, like the others, stay.

Look, we are all “suckers.”

Suckers because we believe in journalism, in informing our community, in doing the best we can with the resources we’ve got… on deadline. And we do it all while working long hours and being underpaid.

But we can’t imagine doing anything else.

These are all different crafts. All to be respected. All to be valued.

Just a thought.

// State of Play
The closing credits of the journalism thriller, State of Play, is all about the printing of the paper. It’s a great homeage to the process. I captured the final frames because I loved their CMYK moment that passes in a blink of an eye. Here it is slowed down,

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