Howard Owens is a digital media pioneer. He started publishing local news online in 1995 when very few local news outlets had web sites. The header image on the site depicts the film camera he used early in his career and the press pass from his year on the staff of the Carlsbad Journal. For more on Howard's professional background, read his LinkedIn profile.
HowardOwens.com is the personal web site of Howard Owens and covers his range of interests -- political localism and libertarianism, music and personal interests, as well as his professional interests.
Howard is currently publisher of The Batavian and lives in Batavia, N.Y.
- Bob Netherton on Why I’m rooting for Vance Albitz
- seagazer101 on ‘Lede’ vs. ‘Lead’
- Pamela Lagahid on IFRA launches second vertical search engine for media
- kapiyo on My new Nikon F4
- bradleyplunk on Chris Tolles brings some stats to the anonymous vs. registration debate
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Daily Archives: March 27, 2007
Here’s a counter intuative statement from Bob Woodword:
“We need more unnamed sources, because people who are on the record are lying.”
My position has always been, and will remain: The opposite is true. I don’t trust stories sourced with unnamed government officials. It’s much easier to lie when you know your name is going to be kept out of the story, and a journalist is probably willing to go to jail to protect your identity. That’s the perfect time spin.
Of course, much of what passes for unsourced journalism inside the beltway is just gossip and rumor anyway. It has nothing to do with fact or serving democracy. Continue reading
I don’t often read long pieces on the web, but this profile starts with a lede from Citizen Kane, and it’s about Brian Tierney, who does come across as a complex and fascinating fellow, so over the course of the day, I digested this eight-link page turner.
Tierney seems to embody in one person the good and the bad of turning over metro papers to local, private owners. He’s a visionary and ambitious, but seemingly mercurial and maybe a tad less than honest.
As the article says, kind of like the press barons of bygone eras. Continue reading
If you don’t know what a norg is, this should help:
On October 24, 2005 Will Bunch, of the Philadelphia Daily News, put out a call for conversation, on the future of newspaper journalism. He coined the term “Norg” to represent a new form of news organization that isn’t defined by the paper itself.
Karl Martino, of Philly Future, and a previous Knight Ridder software engineer, contacted technologists and writers, to participate, to share ideas, and build bridges between different points of view.
The discussion now comprises of assorted minds from the upper management of traditional news organizations to the trenches of independent media, from seasoned journalists to young news consumers, from personal bloggers to online community hosts, from software engineers, to media entrepreneurs.
Wendy Warren, of The Philadelphia Daily News, and Susie Madrak of Suburban Guerilla organized, managed and led an unconference, that took place March 25, 2006. A group of about 40 met at Penn’s Annenberg School. During the unconference a tone was struck for what is hoped will be a lasting, organic conversation about the necessary adaptations for journalism in the 21st century.
Not much new here if you’re already emmersed in this stuff, but some good resources. If this way of thinking about news is new to you, then the collection of resource links on this site is a good place to start.
I do have to wonder why a supposedly public service project like this is running Google AdWords. Continue reading
For several years now, we’ve been subjected to news media scare stories about how what you do online can stay online for a long time. Google never forgets. Those frat party pictures of you naked on the lawn might never disappear.
Here’s the new angle: Potential employers who can’t google you and find you might wonder how net savvy you are.
And it’s not just about technology, Bray says. “Most companies would rather have somebody who has demonstrated the propensity to contribute, and one [sign] of that is going out and getting involved, joining in the discussion.”
Still, says Nolan Bayliss, founder of Naymz, an online identity services provider in Chicago, “someone who has no information online might be perceived as not being as tech-savvy as someone else.”
My advice: Start a blog and use your real name. Continue reading
Ryan Sholin takes on the idea that newspaper’s lack imagination in dealing with the digital era.
He’s posted several examples of imagination. I’ve added several more. Go add yours.
There was an accusation a while back in the trade press that the newspaper business was failing because it lacked innovators. The charge was since we had failed to invent MySpace or YouTube that we had failed at the big earth shattering idea, we had failed as innovators.
I said then, and I’ll say now, there are all levels of innovation. Newspapers don’t necessarily need to invent the next Google to save itself. It just has to do a lot of small things right and often.
I said in an early post: The answers are out there. There are many, many newspapers doing very good things that are growing audience and growing revenue. No one newspaper has put it all together yet, but we’re getting closer (and I think Bakersfield.com is one that is the closest). We’ll get there.
There all kinds of reasons not to panic — good ideas and good examples, and also, don’t forget, a lot of people still read newspapers and still advertise in newspapers. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a sense of urgency, though. There is no room left for complacency or ignoring the obvious. The margin for error has shrunk to nil. But that doesn’t mean we need to listen to the doomsayers and let panic get in the way of sound decisions. Continue reading
I’ve been wondering when somebody would introduce a video player/RSS aggregator package.Â Here’s Democracy Player.
I just downloaded it and it looks pretty promising.
It looks like a Mac OS X thing. Continue reading
YouTube has announced the winners of its first awards effort — the UGC awards for 2006.
OK Go’s “Here it Goes Again” is probably my all-time favorite music video. It’s great to see the band-produced piece get some official recognition. But it wasn’t the most popular music video (it won for most creative). That honor went to this inexpensively produced piece.
Check out the other winners — this is what people are watching. Continue reading