Former Rocketboom host to star on TV says Amanda Congdon, former host of video blog Rocketboom, has signed with TV network HBO to develop and star in a comedy show.

Details of the project are still being hammered out, but Congdon said she’s aiming for a multiplatform property that will be integrated with original video content online. She intends to write and star in the series.

“HBO is exactly the place where I want to be,” Congdon said. “I’m most interested in playing in that new dimension with two parallel levels of programming, online and on TV.”

Congdon, who remains a part owner of Rocketboom, fell out with co-owner Andrew Baron earlier this year and has since been producing a video blog called Amanda Across America.

Hat tip: Lost Remote

Read More

Winning photos online

Picture by Thomas James Hurst, the Seattle Times. Click for larger version.

Editor and Publisher has posted the winning pictures from its 7th annual photo competition, with audio descriptions by the photographers.

[Shown: Grand prize-winning picture by Thomas James Hurst, the Seattle Times.]

Read More

LA Times editor quits on principle

Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet resisted corporate demands to cut staff in his 940-strong news department until he was forced to resign.

But blogger Jeff Jarvis is “crying no tears“, accusing Baquet of failing to have a vision of a networked, online, multimedia, hyperlocal future. And of failing to make cuts in “the old newsroom” in order to invest in areas of future growth.

Read More

Google to sell newspaper advertising

Google, which has been criticised by newspapers for exploiting their content on Google News, wants to partner with newspapers to sell print advertising.

As Saul Hansell reports on, Google will test the scheme for three months with 50 major papers and 100 advertisers in the United States.

Using the same technology that drives its AdWords online advertising programme, Google will offer newspapers the chance to sell unbooked advertising spaces that would otherwise be filled with the publisher’s own “house ads”.

Read More

NY Times makes web content free

All this week, is offering free access to its Times Select content. This is a great opportunity to catch up on some great writing. It even includes access to some of the NY Times archive back to 1851. But, as they say, it’s a limited-time offer.

But here’s an interesting angle: the free access is sponsored by a major corporate. So, let’s just explore that idea a little further…

Say you had an advertising-supported free website, but you decided to charge readers to access parts of it. You might then convince an advertiser to sponsor the removal of the access charge.

Sort of like having an advertising-supported free website.

It’s brilliant! 😉

Oh, if you’re following the US election, has – as usual – produced a stunning interactive graphic.

Read More

Citizen journos ready for vote

David Cohn at “open-source journalism” site lists nine ways citizens will be covering tomorrow’s US congressional election.

One of those ways is the Polling Place Photo Project in which Americans are invited to snap photos at their local polling station. The PPPP project is sponsored by AIGA [a professional association of graphic designers] and supported by

The PPPP site says the project will capture “the richness and complexity of voting in America”.

Read More

Publishing chain to ‘crowdsource’ news

US publishing chain Gannett will no longer have “newsrooms” at its papers. Instead: “Information Centres”.

Among other changes, the company will turn increasingly to its customers as sources of information – an approach known as “crowdsourcing”.

Jeff Howe on Wired News reports that the changes began two days ago.

The initiative emphasizes four goals: Prioritize local news over national news; publish more user-generated content; become 24-7 news operations, in which the newspapers do less and the websites do much more; and finally, use crowdsourcing methods to put readers to work as watchdogs, whistle-blowers and researchers in large, investigative features.

Gannett is the largest US newspaper publisher by circulation. The company owns 90 daily papers including the country’s largest newspaper, USA Today, as well as nearly 1000 daily publications plus TV stations and websites.

CEO Craig Dubow, in a memo to staff, said the concept had been tested in 11 Gannett locations, including three full scale implementations. Other sites tested different aspects of information gathering such as crowdsourcing and multimedia. He described the results as “remarkable”:

Read More

Skills of the online journalist


I found myself nodding in agreement as I read a new report on the job skills that online news managers look for when hiring journalists.

During my almost seven years as editor of nzherald I interviewed a lot of job seekers, and put them each through a series of job tests. These assessments had nothing to do with skills in Dreamweaver or Flash (popular topics at journalism schools it seems). Rather, what I looked for first and foremost were strengths in English language writing, attention to detail, news judgment, and team “fit”.

Read More