News consumers: Salon’s Alex Pareene wrote today of the combined media entity, “This will now be the single largest SEO-gaming operation ever created.” Both AOL and the Huffington Post share the emphasis on click-happy headlines, which continue to clog up Google searches and make the original stuff harder to find. They also both emphasize speed over quality, aggregation over originality, and opinion over reporting. So perhaps this isn’t such an unlikely union, after all. And perhaps this won’t really change what online news readers are getting from what they’ve already got; they’ll just get it faster, and there will be even more of it.
The News Frontier
02:55 PM - February 7, 2011
Parsing the AOL/HuffPo Merger
What everyone gets out of the deal, and what to look for next
Fox News not outraged by retailers’ War on Thanksgiving - As giant stores commercialize the last holdout, Bill O’Reilly & Co. shrug
BuzzFeed’s all-positive books section - It doesn’t make sense to pledge positivity if your aim is to provide readers with critics’ takes on new books. It makes more sense if your aim is to cultivate a thriving community.
Disappointing Deadspin - It broke the Manti Te’o story, but then stopped reporting and resumed trashing
Healthcare in Great Britain vs. healthcare in the USA: part one - A conversation with Chris Smyth, health reporter for The Times of London
Asperger’s, pedophiles, and questionable motivations - A dart to the Daily Beast, for its ill-informed speculation on Adam Lanza’s psyche
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
The problem with viral videos
The NYT’s obituary for the South African leader, written by Bill Keller
How two alienated, angry geeks broke the story of the year
In magnificent defense of snark
Timelapse of a photo-realistic painting of the actor being done on an iPad
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.