Tag Archives: press

The News, In Fact

George Seldes and his publication In Fact will forever stand as a symbol of independent media in the face of adversity. Although he passed away at 104 in 1995, his legacy lives on in every journalist who marches to the beat of his own drum. Drudge, Huffington, I.F. Stone, Josh Marshall and others have learned from example of In Fact that to beat the mainstream media, you have to create your own vessel for media. Seldes challenged dictators in his time, challenged the cigarette industry, challenged the government during wartime, and most of all challenged other publications. He started at the Pittsburgh Post and Chicago Tribune and later criticized the newspaper industry in America in his books Freedom of the Press and Lords of the Press. In You Can’t Print That! and Can These Things Be! Seldes he was able to publish work he wasn’t allowed to publish at the Tribune. No one believed Seldes when he reported unpublished scientific evidence linking cigarettes to cancer (until the news was reprinted in Reader’s Digest). He took the unpopular root because he defied advertisers that usually controlled content in MSMs.

I know that some lessons I have learned from George include:

  • screw advertisers, you don’t need them
  • you don’t need other writers to help, they might just bog you down
  • stick to your principles
  • pass on your wisdom (like Seldes did to Stone)
  • always challenge war. nothing is natural, everything is political. 
  • tell the truth and run

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The New Press Pass

Perhaps it’s the newest tool for journalists and a sign of times to come. I heard about Press Pass on a great tumblr I recently discovered called The Future Journalism Project.  I’m finding out every day more and more that tumblr is actually a great tool for news, photojournalism, and sharing information. Besides the personal, art, photography, cute animals, music, and fashion blogs I follow- I’m now starting to follow more news sources.[[ It might surprise people to hear that I first read about President Mubarak resigning and other major world events through tumblr.]] No site will ever compete with the passion and timeliness that tumblr uses have when it comes to world news, media, and pop culture. Twitter has these same users but doesn’t provide the proper space to elaborate on stories as much. The FJP tumblr recently posted:

From The Next Web:

Press Pass, a ’live directory’ of journalists from major publications, is a brand new Dubai-based site that comes to us courtesy of co-founders David Haddad, a product manager and software engineer, and Valencio Cardoso, an interactive designer.

The site lists journalists by region, beat or by publication, making it incredibly easy to find the journalist who can cover your story. Not only can you find out which journalists work at major publications and sites, you can connect with them through Twitter. You can also find out what they’re personally interested in, as Press Pass highlights the stories that they’re sharing through their Twitter feed.

The site analyzes each journalist’s tweets, creating a profile based on that content – including what they’re reading, topics they’re interested in and who they’re talking to. Each journalist is ranked based on the number of followers they have and their number of tweets.

I can’t wait to see what this leads to for independent internet journalism. Maybe we’ll even be using it soon!
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