The influence of Kansas newspapers and making money on the Internet

This upcoming weekend, I will be going back to Kansas to see my parents, as well as to visit my alma mater, Emporia State University.

On Friday, April 6, I will have a full day of speaking events on the ESU campus.

From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., I will be talking about the business of online newspapers. More specifically, I will be explaining how newspapers make money on the Internet and through other new-media opportunities.

What makes this interesting is that there are some sort of universal ways in which newspapers make money on the Internet — such as classifieds — and then there are very different ways of making money on the web that are totally dependent upon a newspaper’s size and the amount of traffic that its site gets.

When you’re washingtonpost.com, having a substantial portion of your revenue tied to CPM works. When you’re ottawaherald.com in Ottawa, Kan., having your revenue tied to CPM isn’t going to pay the bills.

There’s no real guidebook on how newspapers make money on the Internet.

Some newspapers are very creative and aggressive with their new-media strategies. And some just suck at it. (Well, maybe a lot of them.)

The one thing I’ve noticed is that if the top person at a newspaper really cares about success on the Internet, and places a high priority on it, then the website does just fine on both the revenue side and the content side.

But what’s going to make this presentation at ESU fun for me is that I’m going to focus on what I think all of this means for newspapers in Kansas.

I know I’m biased, but I love Kansas newspapers — and I know that my views on things like hyper-local journalism were formed by reading Kansas newspapers as I was growing up.

From the influence of William Allen White and The Emporia Gazette on American journalism in the early-to-mid 1900s to today’s influence of the Lawrence Journal-World on the current evolution of the newspaper industry, journalism in Kansas matters.

So, when I speak with the students at Emporia State on Friday, I won’t be talking about how I think you make money on the Internet if you’re The Washington Post or The New York Times — it will be about how I think this works if you’re the El Dorado Times or the Prairie Post.

The newspaper industry in Kansas is fascinating to me. Here is a state that is definitely in the lower-half of the nation when it comes to population (a little over 2.5 million, I think — or about half what the DC metro is), yet it has 40 daily newspapers. And there are more than a handful of newspapers in Kansas with less than 2,500 daily circulation.

I love that!

I also will be giving two other shorter presentations that day at Emporia State.

From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., I will be focusing more on the technical/software aspects of being a newspaper on the Internet.

Then from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., I will be talking about the social and community applications of being a newspaper on the web.

My guess is there will be some overlap in all three of the sessions.
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I’m told that all of these presentations at ESU will be free and open to the public.

If you’re going to come to one of them, drop me a line so we can chat either before or afterwards.

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And because I don’t get back home as much as I would like, I have to figure out how to balance spending time with my family, eating at the restaurants that I miss, and then whether I take my kids to Worlds of Fun or to a Royals baseball game.

I have to note that with yesterday’s 7-1 Opening Day butt-kicking of the Boston Red Sox, my beloved Kansas City Royals are currently tied for first place.

I needed to go ahead and write that sentence right now because I might not be able to write it anymore this season. Or even this decade.

Speaking at Berkeley on Tuesday

On Tuesday, March 27, I will be speaking at a couple of events in the San Francisco area — one of which is free and open to the public.

First off, I’m going to speak at Google in the early afternoon on Tuesday — which I can’t decide if I’m more nervous or excited about. Probably both.
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More importantly, I get to have lunch in the famed Google cafeteria.

Then that evening, I will be speaking at Berkeley for a Knight New Media/UC Berkeley conference.

I’ve been a speaker at this event for the last several years. It’s a weeklong training session for mid-career journalists, and it’s always a very cool event. I always love to meet the folks who get selected to be in this program, as well as to meet the other speakers.

It’s just a great, great event.

Just like in past years, this year’s speakers are cool: Lisa Stone from BlogHer (and the first Internet journalist awarded a Nieman Fellowship by Harvard University); Kevin Sites from Yahoo! (am I the only one who loves that this guy works for Yahoo and his name is “Sites”?); Sean Connelley and Katy Newton from the Oakland Tribune (the Oakland newspaper is doing some damn fine multimedia journalism, and I’m wondering how long it’s going to take for the rest of the newspaper industry to take notice); and Yahoo’s Matt McAlister.

Here is a link to the schedule of speakers for this event, all of which are free and open to the public.

My presentation — titled “It’s Not About the Device, It’s About The Information” — will be Tuesday from 7:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. at the North Gate Library, located at the intersection of Hearst and Euclid Avenues on the northern edge of the UC Berkeley campus.

Here is a link for directions to North Gate Hall, where the North Gate Library is located.

My guess is that I’ll probably be all over the place during this talk.

I’m definitely going to be focusing on how our industry better get beyond paper. Hell, we better get beyond the web. I think I’m also going to go into some detail on how and why we did certain things in Topeka, Lawrence and Naples.

I think I’m also going to be talking about our recent “onBeing” project here at The Washington Post, as well as some of the other new things we’re working on at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive.

If you’re going to come, drop me a line and maybe we can meet up before or after the event.

“The Creativity 50″

According to Wikipedia, Creativity magazine “provides a showcase of the best ideas across all areas of consumer culture, an exploration of the talent and techniques behind the work and insight on the people and the trends shaping brand creativity.”

I know of Creativity magazine because back in the Wild Wild West days of the Internet, one of my favorite web sites on the planet was AdCritic.com. If there was a killer commercial for a Canadian beer company that featured some guy getting kicked in the grapes, you were going to find it on that site. I loved it.

When the original AdCritic site shut down in late 2001, it was purchased by the folks who run Creativity magazine.

I thought of all of this a few months ago when I was told that I had been named to Creativity magazine’s annual list “chronicling 50 creative folks who have inspired us over the previous year.”

My thoughts immediately were that they must have had problems coming up with 50 solid candidates this time around. But, I did answer their e-mailed list of questions, just in case they were serious.

(To be honest, it sure would make my mom happy back in Osage City, Kan., if it were true.)

Well, I got an invitation this week saying that I am invited to a party in New York to celebrate this year’s “Creativity 50.” So, I immediately did what any self-respecting nerd would do and Googled it. Here’s a link to the PDF of the article from the March issue of the magazine if you want to see what an Internet geek looks like in print.

And just as I had thought back in early February, there clearly had to have been mistakes made that landed me on this list.

Or maybe I was put on the list to give it more of an “everyday person” feel so that others could say, “well here’s some dork I’ve never heard of.”

As a good rule of thumb, a list that includes kick-ass video game designers, Sergey Brin, Bono, Ze Frank, Steve Jobs, Blake Ross, and the guy who dreams up the crazy shit that happens in Geico commercials — well, that list probably shouldn’t include a dork who still tries to hide goofy Easter eggs in the sites we build for major news organizations.

Anyway, I’ve now got to ask my wife if she wants to go to the party.

If she does, we’re going to have to find a babysitter because I’m guessing that the other folks at this shin-dig aren’t going to be bringing their kids.

(My boss at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive once said she would babysit for us, but I’m guessing she was just being nice because she’s even busier than I am, and there’s no way she can possibly have the time to watch the Curley offspring.)

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Anyway, here are the answers that I gave in the e-mail interview with the writer from “Creativity” magazine:

Describe your role now.

I work with a small skunkworks team that works with all of the different properties at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive.

To be honest, our WPNI marketing folks described my job so well when it was announced that I was coming to Washington, that you’d probably be much better off just using their description. They made it sound like our team knows what we’re doing. Heck, I believed it after I read it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-adv/mediacenter/html/robcurley_090506.htm

How have you applied the strategies that worked in places like Naples (eg going deep on local issues; building stuff that’s useful to readers’ daily lives) to the Washington Post?

Our team’s first few months in Washington have been about laying the groundwork for a lot of things, so there hasn’t been a lot to show — but things are really starting to gear up.

In early February, our team released its first major project for washingtonpost.com. It was a video series called “onBeing.”

For me, “onBeing” represents everything our team stands for: celebrating local people who have great stories to tell; multimedia storytelling that tries to embrace the things that make the Internet such a unique environment; lots of interactive elements, from how the audience initially reacts to the video player built specifically for the project to the ability for our audience to offer their thoughts on every video; building a delivery method that allows the content to be enjoyed on tons of different devices, and — of course — the ability to get reminders sent to your e-mail whenever we post a new video.

But we’ve got lots more cool stuff in the pipeline including our take on what a huge hyper-local community site looks like when your local newspaper is The Washington Post, and a local sports site that’s got me so excited I just keep the “Rocky” theme music playing in my office in a continuous loop.

Have there been universal truths about creating an online voice for a newspaper that have applied to all the markets you’ve worked in?

I think there always is a balance between “small j” journalism and “big J” Journalism. And for the most part, I think most newspapers have forgotten how important “small j” journalism can be in helping a community feel connected to its newspaper.

Newspapers have to be the Fourth Estate and look under the table for things that aren’t right, but we can’t forget that doing little things that help our readers live their daily lives better is a very admirable and honorable profession. And that’s where I’ve noticed what you called the “universal truths.”

People look to their local newspaper web site as almost a guide to living in their community, and most fail horribly in that role.

Everywhere I’ve ever been, there are certain things people love to discover on their newspaper site:

* What’s going on tonight, and if there’s something I really want to do, will you remind me of it?

* Where can I still get a good meal at midnight?

* Which local church is the best fit for my family?

* Tell me about our local schools.

* I heard the neighbor kid ran for a 52-yard touchdown on Friday night. Can I see video of that?

From what I’ve been able to tell, whether you live in Lawrence, Kan., or Washington, D.C., those are great things to be able to turn to your newspaper’s web site for. Useful stuff is useful stuff regardless of how long your commute is.

Your comments on your blog about even bigger papers needing to be relevant to the community as well as cover the ‘big j’ stories – do you think papers with the history of the Washington Post or the NY Times take that to heart — is there a snobbery about going too local/too accessible (or whatever you want to call it?)

I know The Washington Post takes that to heart. The problem is that it’s a lot harder to do that when you’re the local newspaper for four or five million people.

That being said, I can’t wait until people see how we’re going to approach it here.

I read a quote from you that said something to the effect of “I just want to make cool sh*t.” It’s funny a lot of the best younger creatives today have used those words to describe what interests them about the job of doing brand-related creative (i.e. as opposed to occupying a specific role where you are meant to do a specific job like ‘writing tv commercials’) Is that harder to do within a larger organization?

It’s definitely harder, but also very rewarding. We had “onBeing” basically ready to go months before it showed up on our site, and we were in more meetings for that project than every other project our team has ever worked on combined. Ever.

But, you know, more people saw “onBeing” on its first day on washingtonpost.com than would have seen it in a year on naplesnews.com or LJWorld.com.

And I know our team feels pretty confident that “onBeing” is some cool shit.
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What have been some of your favorite projects/initiatives in your current job?

I’ve loved nearly everything we’ve built here at WPNI. Of course, we haven’t built much.

What’s been the biggest challenge?

I’m not a big ‘meeting’ person, and we certainly have a lot of meetings here. But the worst thing about meetings is that they have set start times, and I’ve never had much of a relationship with watches and clocks.

How do you instill a creative culture in the companies/departments you’ve worked in?

I think it’s really important to hire self-motivated people who generally are much smarter than me. Then you layer in a very light atmosphere that encourages people to joke around with each other and enjoy their time in the office. It’s also good to give them lots of free highly caffeinated beverages.

Plus, if you asked anyone on our team if they worked for me, they would all correct you to say that they worked with me, not for me. I like that.

What inspires you consistently?

I learn so much from watching my kids do things. They don’t know how things have always been done, so they see things without the baggage that I do.

I’m always writing myself little notes based upon something I’ve seen my kids do.

And I never stop thinking about things our team should be building. I’m always writing things down on napkins, or leaving myself voicemails, and my wife has just come to expect that I will wake up numerous times throughout the night to write down ideas.

Everyday when I come to work, my pockets are full of these little notes.

I know this is going to sound like a cliche from someone who’s supposed to be fresh, but I guess I’m saying that everything inspires me, and I write a lot of it down.

What do you like to do/read/watch/play? (not necessarily your favorite sites, just other stuff that keeps you interested)

I love music — both listening to it on my iPod and going to concerts. I saw Prince a month ago, and that guy is a genius. But I also love a lot of the newer bands. I’m weird. I love the Scissor Sisters and Motley Crue, and something about that is seriously not right.

My all-time favorite band is Semisonic and they really should just get back together.

I love buying all the latest gadgets. And they don’t even have to be electronic gadgets. I just love little gizmos.

I’m enamored with Disney — the man, the company, the movies, the theme parks, everything. Mickey Mouse kicks ass on about 100 different levels.

I’m a sports nut. And, yes, the Kansas Jayhawks have a legitimate shot at the NCAA men’s basketball title this year. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

A cool addition to Slate and a few other smaller projects …

What’s really fun about being on this new “product development” team here at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive is that our projects are really diverse in both involvement and scope.

Our team’s first major project here at WPNI was “onBeing” which was a lot of fun to be a part of because although it was primarily a video-based project, it felt different to me than any other thing we’ve worked on in the past.

We’ve got lots of other projects in the pipeline — some small, some huge. To give some perspective on what I mean by the size of projects, “onBeing” is kind of a medium-sized project.

Here are a few other smaller projects that our team has released over the last few months or so:

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Clive James comes to Slate!

Clive James is a great interviewer, as well as quite the personality himself. And although he’s huge across the pond, he’s relatively unknown here in the States.

Which is a damn shame.

Thankfully, Slate is trying to do something about it.

Although Slate already has been publishing a 24-part series called “Clives Lives” — which is an excerpt of James’ 20th Century intellectual history, Cultural Amnesia — to me, the crown jewel is “The Clive James Show.”

These longer video interviews conducted by James directly from his London home are great, and definitely different than what most folks with a “YouTube” mentality might be expecting. For starters, they’re longer than what typical videos are on the Internet. But really interesting and definitely worth your attention.

If the video player for “The Clive James Show” looks a little familiar, it’s because it is. It’s basically a re-skinned version of the player that Jesse Foltz and Deryck Hodge built for “onBeing.” The design tweaks came from talented Slate designer Vivian Selbo, and look great.

And just like with “onBeing,” all the clips can be downloaded in tons of different formats, and there is a blog attached to each video.

I know I’m biased, but just like with “onBeing,” I love the total experience of “The Clive James Show” on Slate. It seriously kicks ass.

To get a much better introduction to all of this, please read Slate editor Jacob Weisberg’s post about this new video series.

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Coverage of health issues is something that Newsweek magazine does a really nice job with. Related to that, one of the things the Newsweek team asked us to do was build a health calculator for Newsweek.com.

This was a different project for us than what we normally do because most of the stuff that we typically build is stuff that we dream up and implement on our own. But for this health calculator, our team pretty much just built what was outlined for us, which was definitely a new experience for us.

The project specs and the content for the calculator basically came from the Newsweek.com team in New York. On our end, django programmer Deryck Hodge and journalism news nerd Levi Chronister (whose official title is Journalism Technology Specialist) did most of the heavy lifting.

Here is a link to the Newsweek.com health calculator.

One interesting note about this project is that we know instantly when MSNBC.com is linking to the health calculator because the traffic just explodes.

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As I’ve probably already alluded to enough on this blog, and in numerous conversations, building stuff for Slate is a blast!

From the publisher (Cliff Sloan) to the editor (Jacob Weisberg), to basically everyone else we’ve ever dealt with at Slate, you really get the feeling that they’re on to something at that site. They’re smart, fun and hard-working.

So, when the folks at Slate asked our team to build them a database to coincide with the Slate 60, we were all over it.

For those of you who don’t know (and I have to admit that I didn’t before I joined WPNI), the Slate 60 is an annual list of the biggest philanthropists in the United States.

So, to commemorate 10 years of this, our team was asked if we could build a database for the project. Working closely with the editors at Slate, Levi Chronister and Deryck hodge built this beauty.

And just like our experience with the Newsweek.com health calculator being crushed when it was linked to by MSNBC, we had a similar experience when MSN linked to the Slate 60 database — more traffic in a shorter amount of time than anything I’ve ever experience in my life.

I remember back in Lawrence when we would get a little nervous when Drudge would link to us. Well, that sort of traffic is nothing like when MSN links to something.

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You know what’s cool for this dork from Kansas? What I love is that we’re just getting started.

We’ve got another cool thing launching for Slate in the next week or so, then we’ve got two or three really big things we’ve been working on here at WPNI all launching in April and May. It’s going to be a blast!

What is the role of an online managing editor?

At the conferences I speak at, and more and more often via e-mail, I frequently get asked what I think the role — and even the daily responsibilities — of a new-media managing editor should be at a newspaper that wants to truly embrace the Internet and all of the other goofy stuff that’s swirling around us.

After recently doing an interview with Bryan Murley at the Innovation in College Media blog, where I touched on this topic a little, I thought I might go back and expand a little upon that initial discussion.

I can really only speak from my experiences in Naples, Lawrence and Topeka, so let me throw out a few hypotheticals before I post what I think an online M.E. does (and did in the organizations I helped lead before I came to Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive).

Since nearly all of my experiences are from smaller newspapers, I have a better grasp of what those types of organizations require than I do at say washingtonpost.com.

And yes, it’s obvious to me that an online editorial leader’s roles are different based upon the size and roles of the overall organization, as well as the size and roles of the new media team.

That being said, my guess is that if your newspaper’s new-media organization is between three and 20 people (which would be the vast majority of the newspaper web sites in the United States), then the examples I’m going to give likely apply to you. I’m also guessing that because newspapers across the nation have handled new media so differently across the board that these things probably apply to online managing editors from 10,000-circulation papers all the way up to 250,000-circ papers. Maybe even bigger.

Here goes …

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There needs to be a real new-media editor at every newspaper. Not someone who just makes sure that things get posted to the site, which — in my mind — is not the only thing that an online M.E. does.

In the local news organizations that I’ve been a part of, the online M.E. was someone who knew when stories needed to be posted early (and actually did the vast majority of the writing and posting), knew when stories needed some sort of multimedia, knew when stories needed a live chat with a key source, knew when a story would be better by scanning in some supporting documents, knew when a database would be hugely important in helping to tell a story, knew when a poll or forum would better engage the community for a particular story, knew when to use stories from the newspaper’s archive to help the audience have a better understanding of a story topic, etc…

Not to mention all of the other things that go along with being a real new-media editor — such as use of alternate-delivery methods (e-mail, SMS/text messaging, podcasts, etc…), at least a rough understanding of the technologies used to do all of this, etc…

In nearly every local news organization I’ve been a part of, the online M.E. wrote the majority of the breaking news stories that were phoned in by reporters in the field, wrote the breaking cops stories each morning before our audience got to work, wrote the morning weather story if appropriate (which would often be one of our most-read stories of the day), edited the audio from reporters’ tape recorders, conducted the reporter interviews for the audio and video podcasts, helped with the podcast scripts, etc…

As a matter of a fact, in nearly every local news organization I’ve been a part of, the new-media managing editor actually did the majority of the things I’ve listed above except for the things that required programming skills, such as building databases, etc…

The online M.E. would even edit and shoot some videos when needed, as well as take the 360-degree “steerable” virtual reality photos when needed.

The new-media managing editor also should be a key person in the planning of future enterprise pieces, as well as giving guidance to the newsroom about how different stories are performing on the site — which, as we used to do it in Lawrece, could change a story from a brief to something that was a full-fledged story on A1 or the metro front.

I think that for an online newspaper that’s not The Washington Post or New York Times or L.A. Times or Chicago Tribune to succeed with new media, the most important hire very well could be the online managing editor. I think you’re looking for that magical combination of a very solid journalist who understands what all of this technology means to local journalism, along with a healthy dose of work ethic.

I’ve been very lucky, because in Lawrence, Topeka and Naples, our team got to work with two of the best new-media managing editors in the business — Tim Richardson and Dave Toplikar.

I think in order to succeed in today’s day and age, every local newspaper needs someone like a Tim or a Dave as the online managing editor.

(Note: Dave is no longer the editor of LJWorld.com. He is currently the Lawrence operation’s multimedia reporter and tech columnist.)

Here in Washington, we’re working on our hyper-local strategies, and I can’t even imagine tackling those without Tim around.

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If anyone is interested, I might try to post an overview of what I think new-media editorial staffing should look like at most newspapers. If this sounds like something that might be useful to you, just send me a note.

New Bill Snead project at LJWorld.com

It’s no secret to anyone who has been around me much that Lawrence Journal-World senior editor Bill Snead is one of my favorite journalists in the world. I love the guy and his work is an inspiration to me.

A couple of years ago, I even blogged about why I thought Bill was the best multimedia journalist I’ve ever met.

About a week ago, I got an e-mail from Bill saying that his latest project had just been posted on LJWorld.com.

It’s called “My Cancer, My Story: Kathy’s Long Journey” and it’s classic Snead.

Great writing. Powerful photos. Extremely well-done multimedia components, including a Flash slide show with audio and some very nice video pieces.

Here is the description of this project directly from the site:

For nearly 2 years, Bill Snead got to spend time with Kathy Jardon when she was dealing with treatments and emotional stress in her fight against anal cancer. In the process, the two shared and compared their experiences with the disease. Along the way Snead took notes and photographs, documenting Kathy’s rough journey and her bravery. His narrative with these photos recounts his personal observations of her ordeal.

It’s just a gorgeous package. Bill is an amazing journalist, and the web editors and designers at LJWorld.com did a beautiful job pulling it all together.

I don’t care what medium it’s in, this is great local journalism.

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While I was at the Lawrence Journal-World, I learned more about connecting with readers from Bill Snead than at any other time in my career. Working with him was a blessing and gift for me.

And I’m feeling all sorts of blessed again. Bill is taking a short leave from the Journal-World to come back to Washington, D.C.

Over the next few months, our team once again will be working with Bill on local projects — this time for The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com.

We can’t wait to get started.

Cool youth journalism project …

Yesterday, I received an e-mail about a multimedia youth news club, the 4-H Network News that is based in Jefferson County, WA, and produced in partnership with Washington State University, its extension office, and 4-H. (Though first glance leads me to believe it’s more 4-H involvement than anything else.)

I haven’t been able to spend as much time on this site as I would like, but my first glance definitely had me more than a little impressed.

It’s hard to tell how much of the work on this project is from the kids and how much of it is great input and help from the project’s advisors, but I’m not sure that matters. The bottom line is that it seems like a really interesting and well-done project.

It’s set up like a blog, but has video, photos and more — using lots of services that are available for free on the Internet, and all produced by the kids. People sometimes ask me to define Web. 2.0, which I don’t have a canned response for, but this project seems about as Web 2.0 as anything I’ve ever seen.

There are a few links in the right-hand rail to media coverage of the site, which to me had me scratching my head a little.

Do I think it’s a local news story to write about this project? Absolutely.

But if these folks were in Washington, D.C., instead of Washington state, I guarantee you we’d be partnering with them at washingtonpost.com in one way, shape or form — not just doing a story about them. Maybe that’s already happening with the local media in their area.

Like I said, I haven’t spent as much time on this site as I would like to, but I will.

PBS Frontline series

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been watching the PBS Frontline series called “News War.”

It’s been fascinating to me on several levels. After each episode, it’s been interesting — and highly enjoyable — to talk with my colleagues (both at WPNI and at The Washington Post) about their thoughts on the series.

At least from my point of view, this show should be required viewing for every J-School student in the country, or anyone who is thinking about going into journalism.

Granted, few journalists will ever have to go through the things that the first two episodes dealt with (namely high-level use of confidential sources and the relationship between journalists and the government), but the shows still talk about things that need to be discussed by even journalists at the smallest news organizations.

Last night’s episode focused on new media’s relationship with journalism, as well as lots on all that is going on at the Los Angeles Times.

Near the end of the 90-minute show, it talked some about what’s going on at washingtonpost.com in regards to new media and hyper-local journalism.

For that segment, washingtonpost.com executive editor Jim Brady and I were interviewed.

Doing that interview was not the most enjoyable thing I’ve ever done.

One of the show’s main producers, Lowell Bergman, did the interview. Bergman is a former producer and big shot at “60 Minutes,” and there were times during my discussion with him that I felt like I was on 60 Minutes.

Plus, when I did this interview, I had only been with Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive for a few months, and I was more than a little stressed that I would say something really stupid that would get me canned.
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Anyway, it all turned out OK, I guess.

If you missed any of this Frontline series, you can see it here. Last night’s show can be seen by clicking on the “Part Three” tab.

To see the segment about hyper-local journalism and washingtonpost.com, click on the “Part Three” tab, then click on chapter 23.

There also is a transcript of Bergman’s interview with me. That can be found here.

I’m really looking forward to next week’s final installment of this series.

And, to be honest, I can’t wait to get to work today. It’s time for our industry to get out there and kick some ass.

This isn’t the time to be dreaming of past glory days.

Roanoke Times makes great point with ad for editor …

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of roanoke.com. I think the new-media team behind that site is smart, creative and builds websites the way that the Internet really works, instead of how many newspaper publishers wish the Internet worked.

This morning, I became a fan of The Roanoke Times — the newspaper that helps power roanoke.com — and the reason is an employment ad that was posted on the site for the newspaper’s vacant executive editor position.

Here is the link to that ad.

Dan Wheeler, director of digital media at The Roanoke Times, wrote me that when the newspaper recently lost its editor to another publication, it was not only a blow to the newspaper, but to the website. As Dan put it in his e-mail to me, the former editor “was instrumental in pushing our online efforts here in Roanoke. Now we are looking for more of the same.”

Which is what I think is the genius behind this posting for the top newsroom job at this organization. Before an applicant even makes the trip to Roanoke, that person will know that new media is an important part of this job.

I mean, even the publisher appears in one of the little video vignettes for the job. That shows the commitment runs to the top.

I love it.

And once again, the folks at roanoke.com have made my day.