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March 27, 2009

Free Dawit Isaak: Swedish Publishing Houses Collaborating

This story, while tragic in itself, also warms my heart. I’ve been watching it from the sideline, from the first tweet, and now this: Five editors from Sweden’s largest newspapers are taking a break from their usual roles of competition, in an effort to inform the world of the situation for Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak, who is imprisoned in Eritrea with no trial nor charge.

On September 23, 2001 he was arrested and imprisoned in connection with the Eritrean government shutting down the country’s independent newspapers.

The regime in Eritrea has never formulated any allegations against Isaak, let alone a prosecution, a trial or a sentence. In total silence, he has for nearly eight years been locked up in Eritrea’s capital Asmara.

The idea is to put more light on this topic with cross-media coverage, as well as get the readers to sign a nationwide petition. read more

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March 20, 2009

Science journalists turning to blogging?

Filed as News with no comments

It’s not news that many journalists working in traditional print media are feeling the pinch, but a new survey published in Nature journal suggests that science journalism is really under pressure.

Surveying nearly 500 science journalists from Europe and North America, it found that jobs are being lost because the science sections of newspapers aren’t making money.

Conversely, it found that science blogs and web sites run by researchers are growing in number and readership, and are often looked to by traditional journalists for story ideas.

Of course there are plenty of issues to contend with when it comes to science blogging — authenticity and trustworthiness, for a start, as well as how to monetise, particularly when sponsorship and advertising could come from drug companies, threatening readers’ perception of a site’s impartiality.

Are science blogs a good substitute for the in-depth research and analysis found in the papers?

(Via Xinhua Net)

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February 13, 2009

How Not to Respond to Local Bloggers if you’re a Newspaper

West Seattle Herald is either really freaked out about the competition from local blog West Seattle Blog, or they simply just don’t get it. Probably the latter, or perhaps it is a matter of being frustrated by the fact that they just can’t break news from events anymore, since it is being liveblogged. I don’t know, but I think Eat Sleep Publish is dead on, and would like to quote this from an editorial by the West Seattle Herald who questions local blogging:

Professional journalists don’t waste your time

Professional journalists perform a very valuable function in a democratic society. They sift through the information and, when they are good, provide as unbiased a view as possible. That’s the job.

Instead of 3000 words about a community council meeting that was ‘live blogged’ with updates every seven minutes, wouldn’t you honestly prefer 300 words that tell you what happened and what was decided?

While I probably wouldn’t read a liveblogged council meeting, I still find this offensive. Let’s say I’m really interested in local politics but can’t attend, then the live blog is a great way to keep up to date as it happens. Is it the perfect way to cover a council meeting? No, of course not, but it is live and happening right now. read more

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