About Me

  • I'm CEO of Newspeg.com, a social news-sharing platform. I've spent 20 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies. You can read more about me here.

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December 04, 2006



Mark - thanks for the heads up on Gannett's continued innovations. This new type of reporter is a challenge to the established, embedded ones and seems similar to the challenge that many bloggers (e.g. Josh Marshall) are posing to tradition media. Lean, mean, reporting machines -- Gannett gets it.


I agree that Gannett is focusing in the right direction of hyper-local. It will be interesting to see if they can:

1. afford all their stringers
2. get the rest of the staff to see the value
3. get members of the community to participate (assuming they want the community to participate--beyond the stringers)
4. Offer something on their web site that isn't simply a slighly more localized version of their print service

Anyway, hats off to them for giving it a try and fighting the good fight.

Mr Osato

Having news ideas is one thing, actually executing them is another. Executing and funding them properly so they succeed without damaging your other products is quite something else. When Gannett, or more specifically Newsquest, manages all three I might be impressed.


On the contrary, Gannett's new direction has severely damaged the news content on so many levels. For example, there is no substance to the "hyper-local" news because they've removed all of the reporters who had any deep connections to the local communities. They've been replaced with lower-salaried, lower IQ'd blogger types who move from newspaper to newspaper like locusts and can't even spell. In my opinion, the "old school" reporters are still head and shoulders, and will always be, above the modern "mojo" journalist. Gannett is getting lean alright, but not in the way that will benefit anybody but those at the top. The media must be taken back from the corporations.

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