Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
The Marshall Project, an early model for single-subject nonprofit news sites, turns five today (and got a shoutout on Jeopardy last night)
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Dec. 15, 2008, 10:45 a.m.

Ethan Zuckerman, on balancing the protein and Kit Kats in your news

In Friday’s Christian Science Monitor, Vijaysree Venkatraman talks with Harvard’s Ethan Zuckerman about homophily — the tendency for people to want to associate with people like themselves. Online, this can mean someone interested in the Red Sox will spend a lot of time hanging out on Red Sox forums, writing comments on Boston Globe Red Sox stories, thinking Red Sox thoughts — but be blissfully ignorant of, say, water quality issues in Boston Harbor.

(One of the traditionalist pro-newspaper arguments you hear these days is that the newspaper broke through this homophily problem by presenting all sorts of news about different things in one convenient package, delivered to your front porch each morning. I think that tends to overestimate how much time those hypothetical monomaniacal Red Sox fans really spent reading the metro section, but that’s another argument.)

Seeing that CSM article reminds me to post this video shot by our Edward J. Delaney some time ago. It’s a couple minutes of a conversation he had with Ethan on his ideas about “nutritional labeling” for news. Ethan’s doing his part to increase the protein (a.k.a. international news) in your diet through his terrific Global Voices project.

If there are any true nerds in the audience, the world is waiting for a Firefox plugin to do what Ethan’s talking about here on a browser-by-browser basis. (You could use Calais for the metadata creation.)

POSTED     Dec. 15, 2008, 10:45 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
The Marshall Project, an early model for single-subject nonprofit news sites, turns five today (and got a shoutout on Jeopardy last night)
“As a former journalist, I was mindful of the power of honest storytelling. As an idealist, I felt that if only Americans knew the truth, changes would soon follow.”
News portals like Yahoo still bring Democrats and Republicans together for political news, but they’re fading fast
Plus: Hello “lifestyle misinformation,” hundreds of dead newspapers “revived” online to support Indian interests, and all of the fact-checking discussion you could possibly want.
Doing more with less: Seven practical tips for local newsrooms to strrrrretch their resources
Content doesn’t need to be perfect to be valuable; share resources within a city, not just a company; and other ideas.