Tag Archives: Technology coverage

Recode

Arguing for the importance of tech coverage

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David Folkenflik of National Public Radio interviewed Kara Swisher of Re/code about the creation of the tech news site and the difficulty in getting newspaper editors to understand the importance of tech stories when she was at The Wall Street Journal.

Here is an excerpt:

FOLKENFLIK: Swisher chronicled the birth, the struggles and then the explosion of digital media, often to the seeming indifference of editors, even as she left The Post for The Wall Street Journal.

SWISHER: And even at The Journal there was a lot of doubt over this Internet thing. They thought – they treated it like it was a fad – I was covering a fad. Someone called it CB radio to me. They said oh, you’re covering CB radio. And I was like, no, I’m covering massive change in worldwide communications. But you’ll see.

FOLKENFLIK: Along with The Journal’s influential tech columnist Walt Mossberg, Swisher wanted to create a standalone blog with an identity apart from the paper. But they got nowhere. So instead, in 2003, the high-octane reporter and the high-profile columnist created a conference; called it D – All Things Digital, recruited heavyweights to take questions and charged each attendee thousands of dollars.

SWISHER: We do live journalism at the conferences. We break news. We create historic interview moments like Gates and Jobs, of course, everybody remembers that.

Read more here.

Ezra Klein 1124

Vox, the forefront of technology and journalism?

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Ezra Klein is being hailed as the future of technology driven journalism in a Sunday profile in the New York Times by Leslie Kaufman. In the introductory quote, Klein says that while he respects the Washington Post, he was being hampered by its technology. He rolled out the new version of Vox.com on Sunday and talked about the decision with the Times:

Technology has become crucial to every newsroom, of course, but not all technology has been designed equally. News organizations born in the print era have generally knit together disparate systems over the years to produce websites that integrate graphics, social media and reader comments with various degrees of smoothness.

Many all-digital organizations have built their content management systems from the ground up with the Internet in mind. That strategy, many say, produces a more organic melding of journalism and technology.

The result is an increasingly dynamic publishing universe where sites like Vox, Vice and BuzzFeed, and new enterprises like Pierre Omidyar’s The Intercept, are luring seasoned journalists as well as a new generation of storytellers.

In this high-tech universe, Vox Media’s content management system — which even has its own name, Chorus, and is used to publish all the company’s websites — has earned recognition. It is credited with having a toolset that allows journalists to edit and illustrate their copy in dramatic fashion, promote their work on social media, and interact with readers — all seamlessly and intuitively.

What is interesting is that the site isn’t being hailed for its content, but the ability to make managing it easier and more accessible. The BBC reported that venture capitalists are:

The financial future of the news business is uncertain, but lately US venture capitalists have been placing their bets on journalism.

Over the past year, venture capitalists contributed at least $300m (£180m) to digital news organisations, many of them start-ups, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center.

“It’s a great time to build new brands in the media landscape,” says Eric Hippeau, managing director at Lerer Ventures, a venture capital fund that has invested in scores of digital start-ups, including Policymic, a news site geared towards millennials – people born between 1980 and 2000.

Mr Hippeau believes the youngest generation of news consumers are an appealing target audience.

“Young people do not really care about the old brands for the most part. They are attracted by brands that cater to and are building content that are specifically for what they like,” he says.

That sounds like good news for Vox. The Times story reported they’re trying to create a pool of reporters who are constantly updating pages, much like Wikipedia:

To help accomplish this, the developers have been building a tool they call the card stack. The cards, trimmed in brilliant canary yellow, contain definitions of essential terms that a reader can turn to if they require more context. For example, a story updating the battle over the Affordable Care Act might include cards explaining the term “insurance exchange.”

Ms. Bell said Vox.com would start with roughly 20 reporters with expertise around specific topics, a limited travel budget, and, of course, very inchoate technology.

Ms. Bell confessed that she was both “excited and terrified” to go out with a product that has had just three months to gestate. “I worry people will say, ‘Hey, you guys promised us magic,’ ” she said, “and I’ll say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. Give us some time and we will get there.’

Columbia Journalism Review also touched on the topic of journalism and technology this week:

Cultivating many small audiences of superfans in different subject areas isn’t exactly a new business model. Many old-school trade magazines share a single publisher. And digital powerhouses like Gawker segment their audience and appeal to advertisers with a portfolio of sites, each with a distinct, narrow focus. But with companies tracking individual users’ every click across the internet, advertisers can increasingly target users over sites. Rather than buy a large banner ad atop Jalopnik, Gawker Media’s car blog, the company can just serve its ad to a subset of car-interested people no matter where they browse. (If you’ve become annoyed when a product you clicked on once while online shopping shows up in ads on every other site you visit, you’ve experienced this phenomenon firsthand.) This sort of highly targeted ad usually involves a middleman, and therefore results in less revenue for the publication serving it. Soon the niches will have to be even niche-ier, the superfans even more devoted, to convince an advertiser to buy directly from a publication.

Digital trends point to the biggest media companies getting even bigger, with everyone else staying relatively small. Despite the explosion of blogs and media startups, the top 7 percent of news websites still attract 80 percent of all traffic, according to Nielsen. Most sites will never be big enough to appeal to advertisers on the basis of unique visitors alone, but they can embrace their size by making a play to keep the readers they do have engaged and coming back. But systematic thinking about how to do that has fallen by the wayside as even the little guys pursue viral hits—and the immediate Chartbeat spike that comes with them—to meet monthly traffic goals. According to Chartbeat, visitors from social are the least likely to return to a site in the future.

What if some of the effort spent writing the perfect tweet or shareable headline was focused instead on trying to deepen the relationship with existing repeat visitors?

It’s a good question. And according to CJR, Vox will have a lot of work to do to attract eyes. But if the model of deeper engagement is one that works, then there will be many following their example. And if not, then Klein will have a lot of questions to answer.

Tech Times

Tech Times seeks reporters

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Tech Times is a digital media startup that owns and manages several news sites, and delivers engaging content on technology, health and science for diverse audience.

As part of our organization, you’ll enjoy a stable and growing environment, along with an office culture that rewards, recognizes and respects talent and achievements. We provide competitive compensation and offer a great environment and opportunities for growth.

We’re looking for talented, passionate and web-savvy reporters/bloggers (full time/freelancers) who are experienced in writing on technology, science, health, general and offbeat stories.

Job Requirements -

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism or equivalent
  • Experience in writing for online news site/blog
  • Solid understanding of consumer technology, science and health topics
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Prolific writer
  • Excellent in English and research skills
  • Social-media savvy and solid understanding of the importance of engaging our audience via multiple channels
  • Sound knowledge of how to craft SEO-friendly interesting stories
  • Creative storyteller

Submit your application with [1] resume and [2] at least 3 online writing sample(s) (preferably on technology, health or science) to career@techtimes.com.

investors_business_daily_online_newspaper

Investor’s Business Daily seeks tech reporter

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Investor’s Business Daily’s Silicon Valley bureau seeks a technology reporter to write breaking news and features for the national IBD newspaper and Investors.com website.

The ideal candidate is familiar with key technologies, industry players and trends, can read financial statements and has an interest in stocks. We’ll provide training on using computer databases and stock charts to analyze tech companies and glean trends. At least three years of experience is preferred. A four-year degree is required.

Submit resume, cover letter and at least three clips to IBDnewsjobs@investors.com. Put Tech Reporter in the email subject field.

CNET

CNET en Espanol seeks journalists

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We are: CNET en Español. We are a small team working within CNET.com (the world’s No. 1 tech news and reviews site) to launch the most comprehensive, timely, and engaging technology news, reviews, and advice on the planet, custom-written for the U.S. Spanish-speaking audience.

We work with a team of more than 90 of the world’s best journalists to hunt down the best tech, then tell our readers and viewers how to incorporate technology into their lives. We live tech, and then we write, translate, and produce compelling, informative product reviews, articles, and videos.

You are: A creative, tech-obsessed, English/Spanish bilingual journalist ready to try anything. As part of our charter editorial team for CNET en Español, you will be responsible for reviewing products with wit and flair, writing technology news and original commentary, creating slideshows, confidently presenting products in videos, developing buying advice and features, and translating some content from English very quickly. We’re looking for an independent thinker, a creative writer, and a natural storyteller who is passionate about technology and loves the idea of bringing that passion to others. You will build strong working relationships with your peers, customers, users and all levels management.

Other duties steering content through the editing and production process, working with the CNET.com team on content development, and developing a following on CNET and on social media. On-camera experience isn’t essential, but the position will require filming First Look videos and occasional media appearances. Some travel is necessary, particularly to industry events, trade shows, and product launches where you’ll be required to write news stories, appear in product videos, and shoot photos.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

A successful senior editor brings passion and creativity to the job every day. You will:

Translate, write, and pitch consumer tech reviews, news stories, and appropriate companion content
Write scripts and star in videos to accompany your posts
Maintain an active and engaging presence across major social media platforms
Maintain and cultivate contacts with all beat-appropriate product vendors
Support colleagues across CNET’s Reviews and News divisions with your expertise
Become an expert technology photographer
Travel as necessary to industry events and trade shows

To apply, go here.

Los Angeles Times

LA Times seeks technology reporter

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The business section of the Los Angeles Times has an immediate opening for a technology reporter based in Silicon Valley or San Francisco, to cover Google, Facebook and Twitter as well as the region’s tech culture and economy.

The beat is among the most competitive and most important in business journalism. The ability to scoop our rivals and work closely with our Business section colleagues, especially those covering the entertainment industry and government regulators, is critical. The ideal candidate also must be able to step back to write compelling feature and enterprise stories.

Experience covering technology is strongly preferred. Essential is a curiosity about the social impacts of technology and an ability to explain difficult concepts to a lay audience. The reporter on this beat will file breaking news and other items to the Web, including the Tech Now blog, and will have great opportunities to land on A1 and interpret our increasingly connected lives in the 21st century.

If interested, please contact Technology Editor Peter Pae at peter.pae@latimes.com.

Amazon

Amazon plans free streaming video

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Watch out Netflix. Amazon is moving in, putting more pressure on the streaming movie and television service.

Greg Bensinger had this scoop for the Wall Street Journal:

Amazon.com Inc. plans a free, advertising-supported streaming television and music-video service, a departure from its strategy of offering video only to members of its $99-a-year Prime service, according to people familiar with the matter.

The new service, which could launch in the coming months, likely will feature original series and may include licensed programming, these people said. As part of the project, Amazon has held talks with the creators of “Betas,” a series about a Silicon Valley startup that Amazon produced last year for Prime, these people said.

Amazon also plans to offer free music videos with advertising to people visiting its retail website, two of the people said. A search for Bruce Springsteen CDs, for example, might yield an option to watch the “Born in the U.S.A.” video.

An Amazon spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

The new project is part of a broader push by Amazon to transform itself from a retailer into a multimedia power. The company dominates e-commerce, but it has seen rivals like Google Inc.’s YouTube and Netflix Inc. leap ahead in streaming music and video.

Many have speculated that Amazon’s April 2 press conference will be a debut for a device to stream content. Writing for CNet, David Carnoy had this quick report:

For months, Amazon has been rumored to have a video set-top box in the works to rival the Google Chromecast, Roku, and Apple TV. Well, we may finally get to see it on April 2, as the company has sent out a press invite for an event in New York, where it will discuss “an update to our video business.”

At many of Amazon’s larger press events, CEO Jeff Bezos delivers the presentation, but in this case it appears that Peter Larsen, a vice president in Amazon’s Kindle division, will do the honors.

At this point, it’s unclear what exactly the new device is, though rumors suggest that it will be shaped like a dongle — similar to Google’s Chromecast and Roku’s new Streaming Stick – and be very affordable, with a possible discount for Amazon Prime members.

But Thursday also brought other news for consumers. The New York Times reported in a story by Nick Wingfield that Microsoft was finally going to allow its Office suite on iPads:

One of the most lucrative software franchises in history, Microsoft Office, has finally come to the most influential computing device of the last few years, the iPad.

Microsoft’s new chief executive, Satya Nadella, announced the product at a news conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

At the conference, Mr. Nadella said Microsoft intends to make sure its Office software can work on all major computing devices, including those made by its competitors.

“What motivates us is the reality of our customers,” he said.

Microsoft’s decision to bring Office to the Apple device comes after years of wavering by the company as it mulled over the product’s implications for its own efforts to make a tablet computer. To many people, the move is a refreshing sign of a new Microsoft, one slowly unshackling itself from an era when all of its major decisions were made in deference to Windows, Microsoft’s operating system.

But to skeptics, Office for the iPad is arriving dangerously late.

That’s because the delay has given people who use iPads, especially business professionals, years to get used to using the tablet without Office, a suite of programs that includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Start-ups like Evernote, Quip, Smartsheet and Haiku Deck, along with Apple’s own iWork suite of applications, have filled the void left by Microsoft with productivity applications that work on tablets and other devices.

For both of these companies, it’s a story of being left out and playing catch-up in offering various services in high demand for customers. The move by Amazon to an ad-supported model may also be attractive for marketers looking to engage customers, particularly those giving up TV for on-demand content.

Jordan Crook wrote for TechCrunch that Amazon’s plans will be made clear on April 2, but that it has a good chance of capturing the market:

But in a world where everyone is hooked on binge-viewing and on-demand content, Amazon has a good opportunity to push people toward its own video content.

As it stands now, Amazon Instant video is included with your Prime package as a last ditch effort to get you to sign into the Amazon Video app on your Roku or Apple TV, instead of the much more prominent and popular apps like Netflix, HBO Go, and Hulu.

With it’s own Box, Amazon could offer all the same channels as its competitors and give more prominent placement to its own original and licensed content. Or, if they don’t want to tell any of these new devices, they could exclude other content sources and just focus on Amazon Instant Video offerings.

It’s an interesting move for a retailer to move into content. But what’s clear is that consumers are the big winners in both the Microsoft and Amazon moves. More available content will likely drive down prices, while having access to business tools on mobile devices will only make people more productive where they want to be.

Business Insider

Business Insider hiring five tech reporters, one editor

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The following was posted Thursday by Business Insider editor in chief Henry Blodget:

We’re hiring (at least) 5 tech industry reporters (or talented folks who can quickly become tech industry reporters). Not “writers” — although you have to be able to write accurately, quickly, cleanly, and succinctly. Not “opinionators.” Reporters. Professional journalists who know or want to quickly learn what’s important on their beat, develop industry sources (people, documents, feeds, databases, etc.), gather important information about topics that matter, assess the information, and then explain to readers what the information is, why it matters, and what it means. To do this job well, you will have to learn what’s important and why and then share your ever-growing expertise every day. You will have to use your brain and judgement. (We’re not looking for folks to parrot press releases). You don’t necessarily need prior reporting experience or industry expertise, although it will help if you have some. (If you don’t have any, we might start you with a paid internship.) You will probably travel a bit. You will use the telephone and the Internet a lot. This job will be great training and experience for pretty much every other job you might have in your life, including other great jobs in journalism and at Business Insider.

We’re hiring 1 great business editor.  You need to be able to hire and manage a great team, including teaching them how to figure out what’s important, develop sources, gather information, analyze information, write accurately, quickly, cleanly, and succinctly, and produce awesome graphics (visual storytelling). And you need to edit your team’s work and make sure it’s great.

To be clear:

Your job will be to gather and analyze important business information (reporting) and then explain and show why the information is important and what it means. Your job will not just be to “write articles,” although you might occasionally choose to share the information that way. Your job will also not be to generate page views or “traffic.” You will need to care deeply whether your readers are reading, valuing, and sharing what you write, of course, but the raw volume of that readership will not be important.

Interested?

Awesome!

Please send your resume, links to stuff you have written (and reported!), and a note to our Assistant Managing Editor, Lyndsay Hemphill (lhemphill@businessinsider.com).

Dawn Chmielewski

Chmielewski joins Re/code as second mobile reporter

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Kara Swisher of Re/code writes about the tech news site’s new reporter, Dawn Chmielewski.

Swisher writes, “Now, we are adding to the beat with the addition of Dawn Chmielewski to cover mobile, devices and digital media computing for Re/code from the Los Angeles area.

“She is a veteran journalist, most recently at the Los Angeles Times, where she worked for eight years as an entertainment writer responsible for covering two of the world’s largest media conglomerates, Disney and News Corp. (now 21st Century Fox). More recently, she has turned her attention to digital media — profiling new players shaking up the Hollywood status quo.

“Prior to the Times, she worked as a technology reporter and personal technology columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, where she chronicled Apple’s renaissance and the rise of file-sharing networks. Chmielewski also previously worked at the Orange County Register, the Patriot Ledger and the Watertown Daily Times. She graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University.

“We are thrilled to add her expertise to Re/code, joining the best group of tech reporters and editors around (IMHO).”

Read more here.

las-vegas-sun-logo

Las Vegas Sun seeks tech reporter

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The Las Vegas Sun is looking for a technology reporter with ambition, will and flexibility to produce compelling, unique content for a range of innovative digital and print products.

A successful candidate must be abreast of the latest developments in technology with a primary focus on technology’s role in business and economic development of the region. A secondary, but very important, focus will be on technology’s impact on our lives and localizing technology (and device) news for the Las Vegas audience.

A solid working knowledge of general trends in technology, infrastructure, legal and practical concerns surrounding technology and the entertaining side of technology are desirable. The goal for this writer will be to produce stories for a general audience that illuminates and engages the reader and create a lively picture our technological landscape.

With dynamic developments in our role in internet infrastructure, web startups, medical technology developments and gaming technology, Las Vegas stands poised to become a major player in tech going forward. We are seeking a person to chronicle what promises to be an extremely dynamic area of coverage.

In addition to the daily Sun print publication and its website, lasvegassun.com, the reporter will produce stories for The Sunday, a new weekly print publication offering graphically rich news stories, features and lifestyle content.

Please submit resumes with writing samples and the subject line “Technology Reporter” to: jobs@gmgvegas.com