Benjamin Melançon

by Benjamin Melançon

One pig, if only in the news topic logo*, usually gets a cameo in television coverage of swine flu. The lonely pig is out of context, though — separated from the three-quarters of a million caged, crammed, and fattened pigs slaughtered annually at the massively polluting pig factory in the town with the first human [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

It’s the one that got away. With many Knight News Challenge projects using Drupal, the dedicated Knight Drupal Initiative (reopening after DrupalCon in March), and Drupal sites for the Knight Foundation’s own community, David Cohn must just be deficient in groupthink to have chosen to develop Spot.Us in Ruby on Rails. Despite my bias, the [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

Where will today’s journalists will find tomorrow’s jobs, Amy Gahran asks, and partially answers, in a recent Idealab post. She opened by quoting Alan Abbey, a commenter on her Poynter blog, discussing journalists’ job losses: this downturn does feel similar to the widespread closures of coal mines and steel mills 25-30 years ago. What can [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

For people without their own web site or blog, a newspaper article can become their primary identity online. Local news sites face this responsibility most often and most intensely. Every article or blog on the internet can become part of the permanent record, but the publisher doesn’t control how and when people access this information- [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

At Journalism That Matters “The New Pamphleteers,” held earlier this week in Minneapolis, every session meant horizontal communication: no one on a stage, a circle of chairs with the facilitator at the same level as anyone else. John Nichols is most certainly one of my favorite organizers of the National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR), [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

Seth Godin on the news buiness versus the paper business: Jason wrote in to ask why I thought that the newspaper industry was in a Dip. In my book, I point out that with classified ads disappearing and the web thriving, the days of newspapers as we know them are clearly over. That shouldn’t mean [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

Related Content will provide an easy way for people visiting a Drupal-powered newspaper site to connect articles to past reports, opinion pieces, letters to the editor, or feature stories- to relate any piece of content on the web site to any other piece. This engages readers with the lowest barrier to participation while providing to [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

Related Content: If you’re in California’s bay area, don’t miss Drupal Day on Friday May 3, a special open session of NewsTools2008’s mixing up journalists, technologists, entrepreneurs. Journalism’s charge is to increase the signal to noise ratio. Some commentators on stuff, including my favorite marketing guru, say the irrelevant noise has begun encroaching on the [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

Senator Barack Obama mischaracterized statements of Reverend Jeremiah Wright. To be charitable, there’s only so many media narratives any one person or even campaign can try to change at one time. That’s my question for today: how are these media narratives formed in the first place, and why? Easier question: Did you see the videos [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

Thanks to Chris O’Brien’s challenge, serious talk of business models for journalism have come to the IdeaLab blog. Let’s pause a moment for an overarching view. Turn off the bright lights and stare into the empty studio. Markets – selling and buying at prices set by supply and demand – don’t work for news and [...] more »