Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
The Wall Street Journal website — paywalled from the very beginning — turns 20 years old today
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
March 12, 2009, 8:17 a.m.

Baltimore Sun takes its readers behind the curtain with streamed news meetings

The sound is barely adequate. The cinematography is basic. But the new daily show coming out of Baltimore should be of interest to anyone who cares about journalism.

About two weeks ago, The Baltimore Sun (disclaimer: I used to work there) began live-streaming its Monday-Friday daily news meeting, at 3 p.m. EDT. It’s been described as experimental by some of the people involved, meaning it may or may not be there for the long haul. But for now, a link to the stream appears on the site’s home page just as the meeting is starting, or you can get there ahead of time at the direct link, baltimoresun.com/pageone.

Traffic to the stream is most charitably described as “small, but growing” at the moment (perhaps due to little promotion outside of Twitter and Facebook), but for those who do watch — especially those who haven’t been able to attend or participate in an actual news meeting — the visit can be eye-opening. They’ll learn how such meetings can be simultaneously rote — as section editors rattle off slugs and brief descriptions of what they’re offering for Page One — and engaging, as, for example yesterday, the editors discussed whether tips about a local movie theater’s possible foreclosure were true (they were), or the online editor explained to the rest of the staff which stories were actually being read that day, and how much.

Opening the process to public eyes has its risks of course, not the least of which is competitors tuning in for tips (I assume enterprise will be discussed with circumspection, if at all, while the camera is on), but it seems to me that the upside is even greater, as readers discover that the “Ivory Tower” they’d disdained or dark conspiracy they’d suspected was, in actuality, a room full of mostly smart people trying to get at the truth. It’s also a model for how to get through a packed meeting in 20 minutes or less.

Once they fix the sound (more microphones please) and the video (try the camera off the tripod, or at least use the zoom occasionally), The Sun just might have a hit on its hands.

***

Elsewhere:

Liverpool Daily Post daily editorial meeting

Spokane Spokesman-Review daily editorial webcasts are promoted on the site, but according to this page are “discontinued for now”

Any others out there?  What do you think — is live-streaming the news meeting a good idea?

POSTED     March 12, 2009, 8:17 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
The Wall Street Journal website — paywalled from the very beginning — turns 20 years old today
“From the very beginning it was very clear we needed to cover all the same concerns and sensibilities of the print Journal even though we were online and even though we were a young staff.”
Newsonomics: In the platform wars, how well are you armed?
“Think about platforms as fishing places where you can find large, engaged audiences and build a relationship with them by providing content. Then offer these users some other services off-platform.”
Wired’s making the long and slow switch to HTTPS and it wants to help other news sites do the same
With its HTTPS implementation, Wired’s starting with its security vertical and for users who pay for the ad-free version of the site.
What to read next
0
tweets
The U.K.’s Times and Sunday Times are structuring their new apps and website around peak traffic times
The papers are behind a hard paywall, and their platforms will be updated four times each day to correspond with peaks in readership.
0Can audio go viral on Facebook? Here’s what happened when NPR ran an experiment for a month
“Trust me, this is really, really great even though you don’t know who’s talking and there’s nothing to look at and I’m asking you to focus for 40 seconds!”
0NPR built a private personal finance Facebook group that now has more than 10,000 members
“The group has become a great community in its own right.”
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
PBS
Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Wall Street Journal
NewsTilt
Demand Media
ABC News
San Diego News Network
Quartz
National Review
NPR
New Jersey Newsroom