Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Why are digital newsrooms unionizing now? “This generation is tired of hearing that this industry requires martyrdom”
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Dec. 3, 2008, 6:43 a.m.

Morning Links: December 3, 2008

— Blog pioneer Jason Kottke writes about how the “broken windows” theory of policing applies to web sites. In other words: If you want good behavior from comments, you need to keep the place looking clean.

Much of the tone of discourse online is governed by the level of moderation and to what extent people are encouraged to “own” their words. When forums, message boards, and blog comment threads with more than a handful of participants are unmoderated, bad behavior follows. The appearance of one troll encourages others. Undeleted hateful or ad hominem comments are an indication that that sort of thing is allowable behavior and encourages more of the same.

(Fellow blog pioneer Derek Powazek has made a similar argument some time ago, with concrete steps news sites can take.)

— Old Media New Tricks has a good interview with Aron Pilhofer, one of the NYT’s data/visualization gurus. Aron: “[F]or my little group, 2009 is going to be about community and about enabling the journalist to be more of an aggregator and curator…”

— If you liked the NYT’s recent piece on local independent news startups, you might enjoy this look at their British equivalents. (Although the Brits, in this case, seem less interested in muckraking investigations and more interested in giving quotes like “We are punk to their [local newspapers’] stadium rock.”)

— Tony Rogers quotes me defending the baby boomers from the charge of having ruined the American newspaper business.

POSTED     Dec. 3, 2008, 6:43 a.m.
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Why are digital newsrooms unionizing now? “This generation is tired of hearing that this industry requires martyrdom”
“These are professional-class jobs paying working-class wages, and these people have working-class worries about being downsized, laid off, cast aside in a market that is really stripped down.”
The New Humanitarian (no longer an acronymed UN agency) wants to move humanitarian crisis journalism beyond its wonky, depressing roots
“It’s one thing to have been an internal information center for an international NGO. It’s another thing to become a full newsroom, and an independent newsroom at that — it’s not a switch you turn on and off.”
Research from Canada suggests journalists’ creed can withstand government support
Social psychologists have demonstrated a significant link between people’s behavior, their values, and the norms of their milieu, and that they feel rewarded when they act consistently with their beliefs.