Text and Ideas: A blog about ideas and innovations in journalism
Nick R. Martin

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In the meantime...
June 9, 2008

My paying job is consuming so much time, it's caused this site to stumble a bit. In the downtime, you can follow me on Twitter @nickmartin. I post there without much frequency, but it's more than here. I hesitate to... [Read more]


'Go low, people. Go really, really low.' Fired for not generating enough clicks
March 9, 2008

Gawker Media has fired at least one journalist because her work did not generate enough clicks for the company. Three months after it decided to pay its writers based on pageviews, rather than a flat fee or salary, Gawker is starting to see the fallout from its policy, according to a story posted today on the Guardian's website. [Read more]


Solving an election day dilemma with a map and a good idea
February 5, 2008

While much of the the U.S. was watching the blow-by-blow on cable news or surfing between the newspaper websites, a number of people were chatting about the races on Twitter, and their discussions were being picked up and posted on a specially-designed Google map that added a little extra "wow" to the day. [Read more]


Questions for: PolitiFact's Bill Adair
February 4, 2008

Bill Adair is one of the lucky ones. His bosses at the St. Petersburg Times let him experiment with a new way of delivering news and do it full time. Adair founded PolitiFact.com and runs it with a small staff of writers and fact checkers from the St. Pete Times and its sister publication, Congressional Quarterly. Not only do they check the claims of candidates running for president, but they rate the truthfulness of those claims on a scale from "True" to "Pants-on-fire." During one of the most exciting and historic races in presidential history, the site helps voters easily cut through the noise. [Read more]


Great idea: Video trailers to promote investigative projects
January 26, 2008

Online Journalism Review has a great feature this week about newspapers creating movie-like trailers and posting them on YouTube to promote their investigative projects. The Dallas Morning News has done this a couple times, most recently for a project about murderers given probation instead of prison. It's called "Unequal Justice." The video trailer is edgy and emotional and is a great way to hook readers and viewers. [Read more]


Why NYT text messages don't work
January 25, 2008

The New York Times launched a service today that sends text messages with the latest headlines from its various sections and columnists to your cell phone. Here's the thing: It doesn't work. With only 160 characters to work with in a typical text, it may be impossible to get the news, context and insight readers of the Times expect squeezed into a single text message. [Read more]


Former Strib editor: More editors will depart soon
January 22, 2008

"You read it here first," McGuire writes. "More editors are going to bite the newsprint dust in coming weeks and months, and many publishers are going to celebrate the demise of the 'impractical' editor because publishers are focused on the cost/profit debate." [Read more]


Iowa caucus coverage from Google
January 3, 2008

Last year was the year of the YouTube debates. Maybe this is the year of the Google primaries. Starting tonight, Google will have real-time results of the Iowa caucuses posted on an interactive map. On its blog, the company is... [Read more]


Can journalists survive on clicks alone?
January 1, 2008

When journalists earn a cut of the money their work generates through clicks and ads online, blogging giant Gawker argues that quality will improve and readers will be served. And so, the company is driving full-speed toward a business model that pays bloggers every time somebody reads their posts. "What's in heavy demand, and short supply, is linkworthy material," says an e-mail the company sent out to its employees. "A secret memo, a spy photo, a chart, a well-argued rant, a list, an exclusive piece of news, a well-packaged find." Some, however, are skeptical this model will actually improve the quality of work produced by media and worry journalists will instead shoot for cheap, top-40 success. [Read more]


Questions for: Andrew Donohue, executive editor of Voice of San Diego
December 27, 2007

In an e-mail interview, the executive editor of the pioneering news website Voice of San Diego tells me newspapers are alienating their core readers by making stories too short and too simple. "Our experience here has proven that if you write the story well, you can actually get more people interested in the crucial topics," he says. Now in its third year of publication, Voice of San Diego is being used as a model for other metro news websites nationwide. [Read more]


Finding the good ones, pushing for more
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