Tuesday, February 07, 2006

State of The American Newspaper

By William Prochnau, a former national reporter for the Washington Post, is a contributing editor of Vanity Fair and Pulitzer Prize winner

….Alan Geere is also British. Garner's paladin, he is a self-described hired gun brought in to get the Mesa operation up and moving aggressively in its suburban war against the Arizona Republic. An immensely joyous man, he runs on a mix of adrenaline and ideas, good and bad, both of which will become yesterday's news without cheers or tears, a new set having by then erupted. He is here until December 31, 1999, when his work visa expires. His only regret after a year in the U.S. is that people find him intimidating. (“Everywhere I go I am surrounded by a sea of mildly antagonistic faces,” he tells me.)
Now he exults about his Mesa experience: “We have fun day and night! We're not wrapped up in winning awards! We used to be a fancy-pants newspaper that tried to be like the Washington Post.” But no more, he says. “I don't want to be a guiding light for society.” Recently, he sent a young reporter out to interview moviegoers emerging from the political satire “Wag the Dog.” All went well until an elderly man, three times the interviewer's age, began chasing the reporter down the street, scolding, “You're the problem! You're the problem!”
Full story:

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The future’s not black and white

Richard Burton, editor of telegraph.co.uk, looks at the perils and advantages of reporting online and how new technology is changing the media.

Alan Geere, head of the London-based Journalism Training Centre, was quoted in the hack's magazine, Press Gazette, criticising regional newspapers for their “old fashioned, one dimensional, institutional reporting” and slams their “cavalier disregard for readers who don't seem to matter. No wonder they're not buying papers any more”.
Never one to mince his words, he goes on to cite such new media success stories as Ohmynews as placing tanks on the lawn of the press and even suggests newspapers scrap their offices altogether.
He’s told me since he expects fewer Christmas cards this year but that may be mildly prophetic, given the number of job cuts the same magazine reports every week….

Full story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/