Tag Archives: Online News Association

Thoughts from a shrunken newsroom on transitions

I am by nature a positive person.

So today, I am working to find a good spin on the fact that our newsroom is nearly 24 per cent smaller than it was yesterday.

Yesterday we saw section editors, copy editors, photographers and writers leave our newsroom – all of them excellent journalists – as part of a buyout program.

It’s no understatement to say the news business is in a period of transition, and change is never easy. This, too, is as cliched as it is true.

Our newsroom’s changes got me thinking about triathlons.

I recently started competing in triathlons again  (No, not Iron Mans, and I’m no Simon Whitfield), and while the race is grueling, most competitors will agree that it is the transitions between sports that are the toughest test.

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Why journalists should hang out with hackers

First confesstion: I’m not very good with numbers and I don’t know how to program in Linux, so I’m naturally fearful of the super computer-savvy.

Second confession: my impression of a hacker had largely been shaped by a really mediocre 1990’s movie. Great soundtrack, but no way could I do what these folks were doing.

Fast forward 16 years and I’m a convert. Partnering with hackers is a natural fit: as more and more data is available to the public, there are stories to be told.

And despite the way they are portrayed by the media – yes, us – hackers are not in their basements dreaming up viruses to take over the world.

I’m part of a group that brought a Hacks/Hackers chapter to Ottawa, and I’m learning that when journalists and technology collide, amazing things happen.

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Foursquare in the newsroom

“So you’re the mayor of the Ottawa Citizen. Now what?’

Coming from the Publisher of the same news organization, it’s a good question. Indeed, Now What? Stage a coup?

Well, it’s a game, I explained. You try to get more points than your friends..  then you become mayor…

He wasn’t convinced. Neither was Niall Harrison of simplyzesty.com, when it first came out.

“But how does our newsroom use Foursquare?” our Publisher continued.

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