Academic Pursuits

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Future of community newspapers in Newfoundland and Labrador

As part of the Crosstalk show, at CBC Newfoundland and Labrador, I was involved in a call-in about the future of community newspapers last Wednesday. Transcontinental Media shut down The Georgian, covering Bay St. George; the Coaster, from Harbour Breton; and the Charter, which covered the Placentia area. These have all been rolled into the nearby regional newspapers. It has also added a paywall metred system to the St. Continue Reading →

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A gut reaction to the new OCNA Digital Market Study and the future of community newspapers

By Robert Washburn

A significant step towards helping independent community newspaper become more sustainable in the face of massive changes in the news industry took place last week with the release of the Ontario Community Newspaper Association’s Digital Market Study. The informative and highly practical document produced by Borrell Associates, and partially funded by the Collective Initiatives program at Canadian Heritage, provides a candid summary of current trends in small market newspaper publishing in Canada, while comparing the results to trends in the United States. The report is rich in its content and the results deserve careful scrutiny over a longer period of time. But, on first blush, a couple of things stand out. (more…) Continue Reading →

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The Canadian Hyperlocal News Project launches

In an effort to explore innovative forms of journalism, the Canadian Hyperlocal News Project begins today. This article by Robert Washburn, professor of e-journalism at Loyalist College, starts the investigation with some basic terminology and an overview of this growing trend. But, it will not stop here. Over the upcoming days and months, the project will post articles, blogs, resources, links and other important materials to enhance the understanding of hyperlocal journalism and assist those interested in starting a hyperlocal news site. In addition, there will be opportunities for discussion on relevant topics and chances for timely debate on breaking news. Continue Reading →

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A letter to the team on Dan Gilmour


Dan Gilmour, author of We Media, a seminal book in citizen journalism, makes the most honest confessions about his experiment in San Francisco. As a team of researchers, we should express great empathy for what he says and his experience. I also take solace in our work, since we often meet with the same result.

Our Vote experience, while brief, peaked at 1,177 visitors. We had 130 visitors Monday night and another 135 Tuesday during our election coverage. It dropped to 22 on Wednesday. Continue Reading →

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beyond Deuze

Since starting my MA, Mark Deuze represented a keystone for my work. Particularly his definition of key tools: hyperlinking, multimediality and interactivity. I am now adding immediacy to this list. The ability to create timely news for instant consumption for audiences is critical. First posted: 12/11/06 Continue Reading →

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Bennett – New Media Power

The Internet and other digital media play an important part in the contesting of power, not merely as emerging communication tools, but also in the manner in which it impacts the political, social, economic, and psychological aspects of citizens and society, according to Bennett. His optimism for the potential of these trends is mitigated by a level of uncertainty in forecasting future results of global activism and new media, but his analysis clearly outlines the historic and current trends clearly enough for the reader to appreciate the potential. This article goes beyond previous ones by identifying a number of new technologies beyond the Internet, such as mobile phones, streaming technology, wireless networks and information-sharing software. This represents a more sophisticated approach to the technology and a greater understanding of the subtle differences between technologies as compared to other readings where technology is lumped into an amorphous gray mass. Bennett ability to clearly outline how networks control and use information to communicate is beyond other critiques. Continue Reading →

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