links for 2009-07-06

  • Kevin: Dr Michelle Ferrier was part of the development team and the managing editor for, a hyper-local site for the Daytona (Florida) Beach News-Journal. She talks about the lessons that she learned as the site is being shut after less than two years. There are lessons that are common with other hyperlocal projects, and she highlights some new lessons. Some of her points: "Integrate the effort throughout the larger organization or they'll constantly be monkey wrenches to dig out of the works." This was a key point that jumped out at me: "For legacy media, there's too much overhead weighing down the profit margins to turn red into black in the short term." Read the post if you're doing hyperlocal projects. It's well worth it.
  • Kevin: David Carr writes about the Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth's attempts to explain what looked like a money for access play by the paper, allowing lobbyists to pay up to a quarter of a million dollars for dinner with lawmakers and Post journalists. Car says, "The absence of a credible explanation, compounded a grievous wound to an important newspaper. The whole episode suggests a misreading of history that has been well covered by the paper but also, and perhaps worse, a tin ear to newsroom dynamics."
  • Kevin: Joshua Green at The Atlantic says that the invitations sent by Washington Post to lobbyists and to lawmakers for a dinner and discussion at Post publisher Katharine Weymouth differ greatly. The invitation to US lawmakers make no mention that lobbyists were paying invited to pay from $25,000 to $250,000 for the privilege to meet lawmakers and Post journalists. The Washington Post newsroom rebelled against the project, and the Post hastily canceled the 'salon'. Some lawmakers feel blindsided.
  • Kevin: David Olive writes: "Groupthink rules. No editor or producer wants her media outlet to be the only one that ignores the Michael Jackson story for even a day. If a reporter's story in next edition differs significantly from everyone else's, he feels stupid and worries about his job security."