Bowl coverage

College bowl coverage by college journalists. Bryan Murley says the best is in Kansas.

Online Media

Your writing’s pretty good; how’s your CPM?

Career columnist Penelope Trunk blogs her firing from Yahoo!.

There’s a tremendous outpouring in the comments as well as some catty ones there and on Valleywag..

She says she was fired because her column commanded low advertising rates. So reporters and writers out there: How’s your CPM doing?

Print media writers look askance at how ratings affect TV news, but in the digital economy, they face the prospect of eventually being tied to their advertising generating power, the almighty CPM,  or advertising cost per thousand impressions.

I’ve done some rough calculating on my newspaper’s Web site and I don’t see any writers generating their salary in ad revenues from online. I think others are making similar calculations. On the other side, the same forces are seeing sports cherry-picked from newspapers for six figure salaries by ESPN.

Penelope Trunk; she’ll do fine. For hundreds of other journalists, the value placed on their work will be a bleak reality.

(One of my favorite blog posts by her is about the origin of her name, a “brand me” classic. Her Wikipedia entry, however, is over the top caustic, describing her as an “American idiot,” at least at the time of this writing.)

(via Sparkwood and 21)


A personal walk through 41 years of newspapering

Paul Steiger’s been in journalism a wee bit longer than I have and his reflections on how newspapers have changed in 41 years is a fascinating read. Steiger is stepping down as managing editor of the Wall Street Journal.
His history of the last four decades of the newspaper industry might be summed up by this paragraph:

In some ways, what’s happening to the newspaper industry is a return to its past. Less than 50 years ago, American newspapers were in the main relatively small, narrowly profitable, family-owned, locally focused and hotly competitive.

 … Or at least the locally focused and hotly competitive part.
He also says newspapers misplayed their online strategies:

A bigger problem was that newspapers often sought to copy fairly closely on the Web what they did in print, rather than offer new products taking full advantage of digitization. The most creative new products came mainly from enterprises with little connection to newspapers. And soon, if you named almost any bit of data you used to rely on papers for — sports scores, weather, stocks, movie times — there were Web sites offering more information faster, and free.

 Pretty apt. Applying the precepts of one business to another is seldom a winning gambit, but that’s a fallacy we’ve yet to recognize in day-to-day practice.

(via Romenesko)


We’re all crooks and cheats

A couple of quotes from a Washington Post story:

The [recording] industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

Copying a song you bought is “a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy,'”

So ripping a CD you bought to put it on your iPod is illegal, the music industry’s attorneys maintain.

That’s taking a logical law to its illogical end.

Preposterous? Ask a few formerly naive University of Tennessee students about the recording industry’s ball peen hammer tactics.

More from Duncan Riley at TechCrunch.


Mirror, mirror on the …

On Thursday I hung out at the family business in North Carolina for a short while.  It’s a custom injection molder (makes plastic stuff). As such, it makes parts and assembles products for a number of different customers. One of the more unusual products  (at least for me) they have been making are the housings for the mirrors featured in the YouTube video below that are sold by this company.


Win a $100 gift certificate

A checklist and a contest for the technologically impaired journalist. No cheating with a 13-year-old.