Snippets From A Fast-Changing World

An independent observer looks at things differently to someone who is right in the middle.

Hyperlocal News Source EveryBlock Relaunches As Community Site

EveryBlock, a hyperlocal news site acquired by msnbc.com in August 2009, unveiled a new version Monday designed to encourage conversation and collaboration among neighbors.

“We’re shifting from a one-way newsfeed to more of a community-empowered website,” says EveryBlock founder Adrian Holovaty. “Instead of going to the site to passively consume information, we’re going to offer a platform for posting messages to your neighbors, to discover who lives near you.”...more

The State of the News Media 2011

By Tom Rosenstiel and Amy Mitchell of the Project for Excellence in Journalism

By several measures, the state of the American news media improved in 2010.

After two dreadful years, most sectors of the industry saw revenue begin to recover. With some notable exceptions, cutbacks in newsrooms eased. And while still more talk than action, some experiments with new revenue models began to show signs of blossoming.

Among the major sectors, only newspapers suffered continued revenue declines last year—an unmistakable sign that the structural economic problems facing newspapers are more severe than those of other media. When the final tallies are in, we estimate 1,000 to 1,500 more newsroom jobs will have been lost—meaning newspaper newsroomsare 30% smaller than in 2000.…more

Japan Quake Shows the Limits of User-Generate Content

by Erik Sass

One of the big promises of the digital age was that journalism would be transformed by an army of amateur videographers – namely, all of us regular citizens – who might just happen to be nearby when something important goes down. And it’s true this kind of user-generate content has provided some pretty amazing scoops and footage from incidents which might otherwise have been missed by “real” TV news outfits: some of the most alarming video I have ever seen is amateur, close-up footage of tornadoes (I mean really close-up – way closer than any professional news outfit would get). But it’s also clear that the close-up perspective of the random passer-by just can’t compete with professionals when it comes to certain types of events...more