Comment and a test – Peter Preston: New era? It’s all Huff and puff

Peter Preston: New era? It’s all Huff and puff | Media | The Observer.

Peter Preston analyses the Daily Beast.

Noted this down for reading yesterday, and only just got around to it. I certainly agree with Preston that the Beast is being over valued, particularly based on revenues last year for the Huffington Post. Whilst digital advertising isn’t expected to be as badly hit as other media, it none the less will not see the massive increases in growth made in previous years. The value of member bases / regular users has also still to be realised, for the best example of this look no further than Facebook.

So what was the test?

Press This screen shotThis post was created using “Press This” a WordPress plugin, that works a bit like a bookmarklet.

Press This automatically put the headline of Preston’s article into the subject box, which I then edited, and added the link and text into the main text box duly HTML’d. The category list and tagging box are also included within the pop-up interface, as is the ability to add an image or embed a video from an existing URL (although not from your computer). The screen shot was inserted afterwards by re-editing.

The only immediately obvious downside is that all the text needs to be hard coded, no WYSIWYG interface. That aside, it’s really rather good and I’m sure will come in very handy.

UPDATE: The tags I added didn’t appear in the published version from Press This, I may have omitted to press something though. Have re-added.

ONA live blogging: Tina Brown keynote

A journey from old media to new:

“I’ve had the priviledge of working on a wide variety of media, but working on the Daily Beast is a real high for me, and has been a great blast.

“I’ve felt assailed every minute by new things to learn. What the hell are these terms – wire frames? I’ve found new contradictions, it’s intoxicating, the wait between holding on to our scoops are over. On the web I’m more boxed in though from a layout point of view I’m less free, but I’m learning how to be experimental, in finding new voices.

Also what would the web have looked like if we’What would or have looked like

Raw news can flash onto our screens without the filter.

Unmediated voices are extremely thrilling and finding them is very satisfactory.

But what of the consumer? There is a cachophony of voices. There are unsettling sides too. What Nick Davis has called Churnalism. The same few facts recycled over and over. The ever increasing want for copy, for immediate filing. People too busy filing to actuall see the real piece of news. People feel secretly out of the loop. Some have stopped reading altogether and rely on comedy programmes last thing at night.

Who can consumers trust?

There is a real incideous side to the web.

What do we as journalists have to do?
Think about what editors can do. They need to curate the news in a more rigourous way. Examples of sites that are doing that: FirstPost, Huffington Post, Real Clear Politicts, Arts & Letters Daily. But there is still room for more.

Evolution of a publication is now possible at great speed – fruit fly speed. This allows editors to be more creative than ever before. Online liberates, it supports freedom of thought, freedom of expression.

The first duty of the journalist: arouse interest.


UPDATE: Alf Hermida on the speech.