JD Lasica, Journalist, Online Journalism Review &
Author - 8th June 2003
How did you get your break in journalism, and in your
make your own breaks, right? I started out in daily
newspaper journalism, and spent 11 years at The
Sacramento Bee as an editor and columnist. I started
writing about online journalism as the first new media
columnist for the American
Journalism Review, and for the past five years
I've been writing about new media as a freelance columnist
for the Online Journalism
1997 I made the leap to the frenetic world of dotcoms,
working as a senior editor or department head for
guide, (then owned by eToys)
and an ecommerce startup. The differences were striking:
We worked longer but more satisfying hours. Goal-oriented
teamwork and collaboration, not atrophy and bureaucracy,
were the shared assumptions at all three new media
In May 2001, after I wrote an
article two-part series about weblogs for OJR,
I started my own. New
Media Musings now gets about 3,000 visitors
gives you the edge?
think any journalist who tackles a subject fearlessly
-- honestly, without favor, and without worrying about
the repercussions -- has an edge.
are your greatest accomplishments?
just ahead, of course. Mine seems to be one of a handful
of voices from within the news industry pushing for
real reforms in the way newspapers interact with their
customers. Readers and users need to be made partners
in the news. Through new media, they need to be brought
inside the news equation, not preached to by a closed
priesthood. In my massive amounts of spare time, I
wrote a novel, Return of the
Legends, a few years ago. It was the hardest
thing I've ever done, and it came within an inch of
being published by Putnam. Now an online
year I began writing a nonfiction book, about the
growing clash between the entertainment industry and
users and creators of digital technologies. Just signed
on with a New York agent, so I'm hopeful the book
will be published next year.
But my greatest accomplishment has got to be fatherhood.
do you prefer to write about, and why?
topics I frequently tackle for OJR are emerging media
or tools -- such as RSS
news sites and other niches
of trust ,
multimedia gear, weblogs
as journalism, personalization,
ethics, such as online news practices after 9/11,
search engines, the ethical dilemmas of sponsored
content, and online credibility
is the worst sin in journalism?
and deception. (See fired New
York Times reporter Jayson
Blair.) If you break that bond of trust with
your reader, it's terribly difficult to reestablish.
But far more common than deceit are the sins of arrogance,
hubris and aloofness. The main reason the public no
longer thinks highly of the news media is that journalists
have grown removed from the ordinary people whose
lives they have to cover. When readers see a mistake
in news coverage, they don't report it because they
think news organizations don't care, or they make
it too difficult to do so.
else would you like to advise our media-savvy audience
be afraid of your readers -- use them to extend news
coverage in new directions. The fact that hundreds
of thousands of users have taken up weblogs shows
the power inherent in personal media. Beyond text,
we've begun to see in the past few months the power
of amateur photojournalism with photo blogs. And we're
already seeing early examples of vlogs, or video blogs,
with users posting video footage of news events, movie
reviews -- whatever interesting new uses of personal
media they can devise.
comment: JD Lasica is and will continue to be a huge
and positive influence in media. Watch this space!
mentioned on JD's Blog: 9th June 2003
Blog: New Media Musings