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The Wall Street Journal website — paywalled from the very beginning — turns 20 years old today
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Dec. 2, 2008, 6:34 a.m.

Morning Links: December 2, 2008

— Interesting to see a NYT writer blogging for the NYT about being laid off by…the NYT. Marci Alboher was a freelancer for the Times (who wrote great pieces on career advice), but still, this feels like a step in the direction of openness. (More here, including the response Marci got from readers.) There are some good lessons in there for any journalist at risk of being laid off — including the rewards that come with being open about it, like other job opportunities.

She’ll be taking her blogging to her personal site, Hey Marci, which I suspect is facing an unprecedented wave of visitors at the moment, based on how the server is occasionally throwing errors. I wonder if she or the NYT owns the rights to her blog title, Shifting Careers.

— Along the lines of my post yesterday on journalists as “discoverers,” Alison Gow tells how her newspaper credited a citizen whose public-records request led to a front-page story.

Gow: “I know some of our colleagues have been confused by our decision to do this. Why would we blatently tell people that it wasn’t 100% ours? why would we admit that we found and used information someone else (gasp — not a journalist!) had set in train? Well, we did it because it was in everyone’s interest to say where it had come from. We found the information sitting on a public website. Any of our readers could have used it; how many were aware of its existance is another matter.”

Is that the approach your paper would take? Or would it stand boldly on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and proclaim the discovery their own?

Steve Hanson points to this article on the anti-corporate Indymedia‘s difficulties with an application that some of its volunteers submitted to the Knight News Challenge. “The debate has also encapsulated, once again, the thorny issue of how to sustain radical projects without compromising that radicalism by accepting tainted money.” Indymedia has also rejected assistance from “the notorious Ford Foundation,” for the record. Love this quote from an Indymedia volunteer:

In my humble opinion, the Knight Foundation competition is not just *a competition* by *a foundation*; it is a competition intentionally designed by one of the biggest DEpendent media companies in the USA with the main management goal of developing ‘Manufacturing of Consent 2.0’.

POSTED     Dec. 2, 2008, 6:34 a.m.
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