A New Year’s Apology to the Man Who Saved My Life

TWENTY-FOUR YEARS AGO, a college journalism professor kept me from making the biggest mistake of my life – and in doing so, saved it. I was a broadcast major at the University of Missouri, which tells you how little emphasis the school placed on looks. My face is far better suited for radio, so notContinue reading “A New Year’s Apology to the Man Who Saved My Life”

Freedom From the Press Should Empower Today’s Journalists

Journalists have more on their minds these days than the mere transformation of their profession. They are struggling with being just like everyone else. Journalists are used to being special. They are the only professionals with their own line in the U.S. Constitution — "Freedom of the press." That meant anyone could be a reporter,Continue reading “Freedom From the Press Should Empower Today’s Journalists”

Cancer Can’t Kill What She Did for Modern Media

Five years ago, a young San Francisco Chronicle editor built a bridge from old mainstream media to the then new and largely untested digital frontier. She didn’t know that she was doing it at the time – all she knew was that she had cancer, and rather than cry in silence, she decided that ifContinue reading “Cancer Can’t Kill What She Did for Modern Media”

Newspapers: Making the Case for Free

(Originally posted at http://www.edelmandigital.com) The future of newspapers may well be in Colorado, once home to the late “gonzo journalism” provocateur Hunter S. Thomson and today home to no less that 12 free dailies. All of these papers are very local, and perhaps more importantly, successful. This trend is even more interesting in light ofContinue reading “Newspapers: Making the Case for Free”

The Real Story behind “The Last Newspaper”

 You don’t get to age 43 without experiencing some loss, usually the loss of hair and the ability to maintain that body you once knew in high school. It’s a familiar theme, even necessary. Hell, without loss there would never have been a Disney animated film. A few days ago, someone asked what my newContinue reading “The Real Story behind “The Last Newspaper””

Where There is Journalism, There is Hope

(Note: The following is the final chapter from my forthcoming book, “The Last Newspaper.” It’s printed here with permission from, well, myself…) “The one thing most likely to make the public value newspapers is newspapers valuing the public.” — Paul Bradshaw, senior lecturer in online journalism at Birmingham City University THERE IS A POPULAR TWITTERContinue reading “Where There is Journalism, There is Hope”

Leave the Journalism to the Journalists

Being married for 18 years has taught me how to make excuses. Usually these excuses have little effect, other than to serve as a caustic reminder of just how little influence I have in my own house. Nevertheless, my excuse for not posting in the past couple months is a pretty good one: I’ve beenContinue reading “Leave the Journalism to the Journalists”

What Google Doesn’t Know (and never will)

Inspired by a colleague who proclaimed that “books would be dead” in five years, I posed a tongue-in-cheek question on my Facebook page, asking “what will disappear first, books or the book review section” of newspapers? Expecting similarly tongue-in-cheek answers, I instead received this: “I read a story today in the New York Times MagazineContinue reading “What Google Doesn’t Know (and never will)”

The Last Newspaper

Daniel headed for the darkest corner of his local Starbucks, the Last Newspaper clutched snug against his chest. He opened it slowly, carefully, as if he were cradling an ancient parchment. The crinkling sound it made drew a few stares, and then a few more as those around him realized that they were sitting justContinue reading “The Last Newspaper”

Newspapers Can Win by Being Last

My boss, who given the nature of our work is a savvy digital guy, noted via Facebook how the news about Gen. Colin Powell’s endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama for President broke first on Twitter, before the Washington Post, New York Times or Wall Street Journal. This is interesting as a piece of trivia, butContinue reading “Newspapers Can Win by Being Last”