Today I discovered ESPN Local, which aggregates stories from across the Web, organizing them by sport. A quick survey of the site reveals that most of those sources are traditional, hometown newspapers.
Because I live in the Tampa Bay area, I first chose the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Local News, which brought up a page of stories from Tampabay.com (the St. Petersburg Times‘ site), TBO.com, Lakeland Ledger, WTSP-TV and Naples Daily News.
Major League Baseball is in season, so the Tampa Bay Rays page currently has an even more eclectic array of sources, including the Edmonton Sun, Kansas City Star, Bradenton Herald, TwinCities.com, Desert Sun, The Stuart News, MLB.com, The Oregonian, Fanball and Detroit News.
Each link includes both the headline and lede graf from each source. It seems like a win for both ESPN Local and the aggregated sites that get the benefit of ESPN Local’s traffic.
And the value for fans is clear: Instead of having to add umpteen sites to an RSS feed, they can go to one site that has already done the aggregation and see every story at a glance.
Ars Technica recently asked Associated Press news editor Ted Bridis how the AP plans to stop what it considers illegal use of its content. In part, this was Bridis’s reply:
“What we’re doing is employing some technology, and the technology is not going to be looking for a paragraph,” he disclosed. “The technology is going to be looking for the entire story that gets republished somewhere, and at that point it flags it. It doesn’t do anything in an automated way, it’s going to flag it for a lawyer or a paralegal to look at, and make a judgment on ‘Well, is this OK? Is this a one-time offense?’”
To provide some context, MediaShift has a concise, brief look at the history of the AP’s battles with news aggregators, from its 1918 Supreme Court case, International News v. Associated Press, to its disputes with Google News.
Posted in aggregation, copyright, fair use, news industry
Tagged aggregation, Ars Technica, Associated Press, copyright law, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Drudge Retort, fair use, google news
Michelle Nicolosi, executive producer of the new SeattlePI, offers some great insight into the direction of the former Post-Intelligencer’s new online endeavor.
Nicolosi talks with Content Bridges about news sites that she goes to for inspiration (The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald), partner content for PI, it’s impressive resource of Reader Blogs, and much more. Here’s Nicolosi on:
Posted in aggregation, blogging, civic journalism, headlines, hyperlinks, investigative journalism, Mainstream media, Multimedia, news industry, newspaper cutbacks, Newspaper industry, Online communities, Online journalism, The Internet
Tagged aggregation, Content Bridges, Michelle Nicolosi, news industry, news website, online news, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SeattlePI.com, Twitter
Today, a fellow journalist e-mailed me this link to a New York Times article on the fair use of online content. He’s of the opinion that sites that aggregate and excerpt material are essentially stealing. Well …
While the Times article doesn’t break any new ground on this topic — at least not for those who’ve been following it on a regular basis — it does provide a decent general overview for newcomers.
However, one of its assertions doesn’t quite tell the whole story:
Rick Garner’s top 10 list of tips for making TV websites relevant offers some excellent advice for news sites of all stripes to consider, not the least of which is his overall point that in order to effect the changes he recommends, TV stations must change their culture:
Most TV stations spend more time and resources on their onair product and save the scraps for online. This isn’t surprising since onair revenue is still king and what keeps the books in black. This has allowed local TV sales staffs to remain very green at selling their online inventory and being able to convince advertisers to buy their goods.
Why is this? Because the root of the problem hasn’t changed. Like a cancer, every TV station has a core that’s keeping them from success: the culture. Change a station’s culture and you can do wonders. Change a culture and a website can become relevant to the station personnel and their customers. Change a culture and a people can enjoy coming to work and making a difference.
#9 on Garner’s list follows a basic tenet of Web design and usability:
Posted in aggregation, blogging, media criticism, news industry
Tagged aggregation, local news, Mr. Garner Goes to Washington, Rick Garner, RSS feeds, TV News, TV stations, web design, web layout, web usability
Enjoy the hard work of professional journalists while you can, online aggregators. Take one last bath in the million of dollars you’ve reaped from advertisements around content you didn’t create. Because if the folks behind Newspaper Project have their way, it’s likely your free ride will be over.
Publisher Randy Siegel talks to Columbia Journalism Review about the recently launched Newspaper Project, a coalition of newspaper executives endeavoring to share ideas about their industry vital.
Siegel, described by interviewer Megan Barber as the leader of the project, talks about the purpose of the organization, touts the value of professional journalism, and then throws down the gauntlet before the “information wants to be free” champions:
Posted in aggregation, news industry, Newspaper industry, newspapers, Online journalism, Print Journalism
Tagged aggregation, aggregators, Columbia Journalism Review, Megan Garber, Newspaper industry, Newspaper Project, newspapers, online aggregation, Print Journalism, Randy Siegel
I’ve put up a couple of posts about EveryBlock, here and here. Today, I found David Cohn’s brief interview with EveryBlock creator Adrian Holovaty at the Poynter Institute. Go to Aggregation is Creation at NewsInnovation to watch their talk.
Toward the end of the discussion, Holovaty offers advice for computational journalists, which I think could apply to journalists of all stripes: “Pick something you’re passionate about, and make a website about it.”