The week’s highlights from the digital media business:
Imprisioned U.S. freelancer ends hunger strike – Roxana Saberi, the freelance broadcast convicted of spying in Iran ended a two-week hunger strike after Iranian authorities agreed to hold an appeal hearing for her next week. The Iranian-American freelance broadcast reporter was arrested in January and convicted of spying in a closed-door trial in April. Saberi’s supporters have created a website, Free Roxana Saberi.
Congress holds U.S. newspaper industry hearings – Plenty of big names held forth on the future of the news business at a May 6 Congresssional hearing. As could be expected, presenters’ POVs varied. HuffPost founder Arianna Huffington was the optimist, declaring, “Despite all the current hand wringing about the dire state of the newspaper industry – well-warranted hand wringing, I might add – we are actually in the midst of a Golden Age for news consumers.” Ex-newspaperman turned Hollywood writer (“The Wire”) David Simon was much more downbeat, saying “High-end journalism is dying in America and unless a new economic model is achieved it will not be reborn on the web or anywhere else.” Replay the entire Webcast here.
Is this what they had in mind? – The Chicago Tribune is working on a new Website called Chicago Now that could be a blueprint for the 21st century news ventures discussed at this week’s Congressional hearings. According to news reports, Chicago Now will combine elements of traditional news coverage with e-commerce, blogs, advertorials and social media. The new site is distinct from RedEye, the Tribune’s free daily paper for “young, urban professionals.” The Tribune and other Tribune publishing holdings filed for federal bankruptcy protection last December.
Other stories, items and websites of interest –
- 2009 Online News Association Awards categories – 14 categories, including four paying a total of $28,000 in cash prizes. Deadline for entries is June 30, 2009.
- The Center for Investigative Journalism is hiring reporters to staff a California investigative reporting initiative funded by $2.4 million in grants.
- The Boston Globe, Las Vegas Sun, ESPN.com and CNN.com each won two 2009 Editor & Publisher EPpy awards for outstanding news industry websites and blogs. See the full list here.
- Neighborlogs – a free service/website template for creating hyperlocal community news sites.
- 17 statistics for monitoring your blog – From ProBlogger.
Twitter tools –
- Tweetmeme – Like a Digg for Twitter, this service finds the hottest stories on the service based on the number of retweets.
- How to integrate Twitter into WordPress – A Web Designer Magazine tutorial that explains in 16 very code-y steps how to weave Twitter into a WordPress.com blog.
- Twitter Secrets – An entire blog dedicated to Twitter apps and tools.
Got Websites, news or tips about the digital media business to share? Send them to me: michellerafter (at) comcast (dot) net.