A week ago, I posted a Wufoo survey here, and 173 of you were kind enough to complete it (108 said they are journalists). Thank you!
You can see the results in graphic format. It’s not the most user-friendly format I’ve ever seen, and it’s only the raw data, so it includes everyone who answered. I have downloaded all the data as a CSV file and will analyze it properly after I finish grading (yes, our semester ended Wednesday).
Missiles and Nuclear Installations of North Korea (Misiles e instalaciones nucleares de Corea del Norte): No words are necessary to explain what this animated graphic is saying (from El País). Have you ever seen a better use of satellite images? I haven’t!
Meranda Writes: I’ve linked to this blog before, but I have to say I love the enthusiasm for journalism that I find here. If j-schools can send out young ones like this more often, I think we’ll be okay. Two examples: One about learning her craft in a place where the mentors have left; the other on why she chose journalism.
I’ve been running a survey since last Saturday. Tomorrow is the one-week mark, and I’ll be taking it offline about noon (-04:00 GMT). The survey’s goal is to show what this blog’s readers like, dislike, and want more of.
We want solid journalists who can write their backsides off. We’re also looking for programmers with an understanding of Django. And if you’re a kick-ass designer with killer Flash or motion-graphics skills, we want you.
A very fat issue of Nieman Reports came out a couple of months ago. I thought, yeah, I gotta read that … and put it off, and put it off. Well, today I started reading. You know what I mean. I have the table of contents open in Firefox. The titles are not very enticing, but I’m clicking into each one, reading the first graf, and seeing whether it gives me a reason to read further. For most of these articles, the result of that test is a “no.” I’m not saying they’re bad. (I haven’t read ALL of them yet!) They are well written. But the content is nothing new.
There’s hope. There’s a positive attitude. And best of all, there’s a blueprint for turning the Titanic around.
… I asked if we could set two goals to work on together: It should be fun to be a reporter at Nordjyske, and together we should do good journalism.
Arms crossed, the reporters nodded to me in silence. Through the years they had built a reputation of being the heaviest union-controlled newsroom in Denmark and the one with the most strikes in the history of the Danish press. But now circulation was dropping like a piano thrown from a penthouse, and distrust and endless meetings about rules, procedures and contracts dominated daily life in the newsroom. Most of the reporters did their job, but not much more than that.
I was hooked right there. Because I know that the story is not going to end with those guys still sitting there, arms folded across their chests, nodding in silence.
I then told them that in 10 months our regional newspaper, now slipping into a deep crisis, would become the most ambitious media house in Europe. “It will be tough,” I reminded them, “but when we’ve made it, we’ll have a future in which it will be fun going to work every morning and a newspaper in which we will make good stories.”
Oh, man, isn’t that what all of us want? Who wouldn’t say yes to that?
Ten months later nearly the entire staff had changed jobs, offices, deadlines, editors, tools and colleagues. As we launched a new, more focused newspaper and added a free commuter paper aimed at younger readers in the big cities, in our community we introduced a regional version of CNN “Headline News.” These instant updates as part of local TV-news became an instant success. Within six months from our launch, we had more paid subscribers to 24Nordjyske, our cable TV station that broadcasts regional news 24 hours a day, than we had on our newspaper, which dates back to 1767.
Our 250 reporters — no, we didn’t fire anyone — are no longer organized into groups with the task to fill certain pages or sections in a newspaper. They work together in a matrix organization, all under the same editor in chief, and each with the same basic task of telling good stories to people in Northern Jutland using the media best suited to the telling.
We made it voluntary for newspaper reporters to work for radio or TV, or vice versa. We had to since their union contract did not specify anything about working for any other media than the one for which they were employed. In the beginning, nobody dared doing anything new. But when we stopped focusing on results and instead applauded the courage of the few reporters willing to try something new, suddenly more and more got the guts to take a chance at failure.
Telling good stories. Taking a chance. Rewarding risk-takers. What are you waiting for?
Now that we have a confusing array from which to choose, a lot of us are trying to figure out which one is the best choice for our own needs.
JourneyEd (online shopping for students and faculty, with education pricing) has everything on sale now. Prices range from $600 for the “Design Premium” bundle of Adobe Creative Suite 3 to $250 for Adobe Flash Pro CS3 (that’s Flash alone, no bundle).
There’s also a licensing deal that colleges and universities can get from Adobe; it applies only to student purchases. (Other licensing plans exist.) Under the student license, “Design Premium” is only $299. Seven packages are covered:
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium $299
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Standard $199
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Standard $199
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium $299
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection $499
Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended $169
Adobe Acrobat 8.0 Professional $55
All prices are in U.S. dollars. “Each order must include a minimum of 25 units. A mixture of products and platforms may be used to meet this order minimum.”
There are a couple of things you should look at carefully before you decide on a bundle.
Dreamweaver CS3: Great for students learning to author in CSS and XHTML. But in a newsroom, depending on your CMS, maybe you don’t need this. If you use any Web authoring software, of course, this is the one to have. I’ve used Dreamweaver exclusively since about 2000. (Until then, I’d been coding entirely by hand since 1995.)
Flash Pro CS3 is included in every bundle EXCEPT “Design Standard.” Why would you buy a bundle without Flash? (Are you crazy?)
Adobe Photoshop CS3 “Extended” includes “tools for editing 3D and motion-based content.” I hear the integration with Flash is pretty interesting. Note that some bundles include plain Photoshop, not “Extended.”
“Web Standard” doesn’t include Photoshop at all. You can’t possibly live without Photoshop. That would be even crazier than not having Flash.
Soundbooth CS3 is not included in packages unless they also include Premiere. That is really stupid. Note that Soundbooth offers “tight integration with Flash CS3 Professional.” Okay, what if I do not want to do video? Or I already have another video editing application? Yes, exactly. This is Adobe’s cruelest bundling strategy: No audio software unless you buy a video bundle.
Audition is not included in ANY of the CS3 bundles. Grrr …
My perfect bundle would be Flash, Photoshop Extended, Dreamweaver and Audition. (I would be willing to try Soundbooth instead.) That’s everything I use for Web production, authoring and editing. (I don’t edit video very often. I have used Premiere in the past. Now I have a Mac, and I’m learning iMovie. I also use QuickTime Pro on Windows to make fast edits on short videos.)
Anyway — make sure you check around and get the best pricing that’s available to you.
And all those stingy newspaper chains ought to get on the phone with Adobe and get some licensing deals, so I would stop getting e-mails from people who are still stuck with Flash 5 because their newsroom is too cheap to buy up-to-date software for them to use.