How contemporary journalism works

7 09 2009

A number of forward-thinking journalists in Germany have issued a manifesto. I am reproducing an abbreviated version. The original version (in German) is available at

  1. The internet is different.
  2. The internet is a pocket-sized media empire.
  3. The internet is society is the internet.
  4. Internet freedom is inalienable.
  5. The internet is the triumph of information.
  6. The internet is changing improving journalism.
  7. The network requires networking.
  8. Links bring value, quotes are a form of recognition.
  9. The internet is the new home for political discussion.
  10. The new freedom of the press is freedom of opinion.
  11. More is more – there’s no such thing as too much information.
  12. Tradition is not a business model.
  13. On the internet, copyright becomes a civic duty.
  14. The internet has many currencies
  15. What’s in the network stays in the network.
  16. Quality is the most important quality
  17. All for all.

Translation by Jeff Jarvis with some minor edits by me. Amendments welcome.

  1. Denis Pelli was kind enough to point out that it should be civic duty (not civil)
  2. Tim Schlüter tweeted that the more appropriate gloss for ‘Gesellschaft’ in 3 is ‘society’ (not business).
  3. Jenna L. Brinning, a professional translator, has posted a proper English version of the original manifest.
  4. One of the authors, Janko Roettgers, says the manifesto was written in response to the Hamburg manifesto.
  5. Additional declarations have also been suggested by David Goldenberg

18. A viable Internet depends on media literacy and critical thinking.
19. Anonymity is the enemy of the Internet.


On print and online journalism (again)

19 06 2009

UPDATED (June 20th, 2009)

Inspired by a number of recent blogs by Cody Brown, Jay Rosen, Charles Arthur, Robert Picard, Michael Arrington, I’ve tried to list a number of basic differences between print journalism and online journalism. This is very much a mind-mapping exercise, so feel free to comment and share your views.


I’m assuming that most of the list categories are rather straightforward, but let me elaborate on what I call ‘product’,  ‘authorship’, ‘authority’ and ‘context’.  Read the rest of this entry »

Taking the paper out of news

13 05 2009

Ditching print for online news only does not increase web traffic according to a lovely case study in Journalism Studies. Authors Neil Thurman and Merja Myllylahti show how a Finnish financial daily that went online-only to save money not only lost advertising revenue but also readers.

Thurman, N. and Myllylahti, M. (2009) Taking the Paper out of News. A case study of Taloussanomat, Europe’s first online-only newspaper. Journalism Studies (10) 5.


Using in-depth interviews, newsroom observation, and internal documents, this case study presents and analyses changes that have taken place at Finnish financial daily Taloussanomat since it stopped printing on 28 December 2007 to focus exclusively on digital delivery via the Web, email, and mobile. It reveals the savings that can be achieved when a newspaper no longer prints and distributes a physical product; but also the revenue lost from subscriptions and print advertising. The consequences of a newspaper’s decision to go online-only are examined as they relate to its business model, website traffic, and editorial practice. The findings illustrate the extent to which the medium rather than the content it carries determines news consumption patterns, show the differing attention a newspaper and its online substitute command, and reveal the changes to working patterns journalists can expect in the online-only environment.

Download: final version (subscription required) or preprint version (.pdf)

More coverage: The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal

[via Chuck @ The Seybold Report]