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Life news: I got a dog


I might be changing my metric

At Thunderdome, I proposed a core metric that could guide Digital First Media:

The cumulative number of years our newsrooms have been serving their communities.

I estimated this figure to be in the thousands. The New Haven Register has been doing business for 205 years; The Denver Post for 125; The Daily Freeman for 146. That’s just three papers!

But holy crap, have I became a sad & cynical person at my not-so-old age of 28. Was it me? Was it the newspaper industry? I pay a therapist pretty well to help me figure that out. There was so much history riding on us getting this right. Why do folks push back against innovation and change?

And, even if these newspaper institutions were bullish on change – if DFM hadn’t closed Thunderdome and had backed “”; if PMN knew how the Crovitz/Friedlich investment in the ultra-light digital model reconciled with their own weird cerberus of two newspapers and a site – what does it say about the future of the paper brands? The same could be said about Gannett, which continues the bloodshed with no real roadmap for the papers in sight.

I’m finding less and less reason for optimism. Help me!

I’ve been thinking about changing my metric. In some ways, this feels like giving up. But in others, it feels like a breath of fresh air.

The total number of journalists earning living wages to cover their local communities.

History remembers institutions, but what is an institution other than the cumulative character of its people? Should we care who employs a journalist so long as they can practice ethically? How else should we respond to institutions that aren’t taking care of themselves?

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Less, More, and None

My friend Ethan shared his Less, More, and None list (inspired by Jacoby Young). Cool idea, thought I’d give it a try. Always good to remind yourself of your better aspirations.

Lenfest Institute and Digital First Media?

Notes on dynamic meters

Notes on newsletters

Notes on the membership model for news


Capturing Shawmont Station before its $1,000,000 preservation begins – the oldest extant passenger rail station in America

Originally a 18′ by 36′ stone house (Wissahickon Schist), the structure wouldn’t have stood out from the other country homes in this part of Philadelphia, at the tip of the Manayunk Reach, situated at the end of today’s Manayunk Canal Towpath.

Testing WordPress Gutenberg on a high volume news site

Water, sand, and societal change

The best restaurant? Matunuck Oyster Bar

Does Perry Raso run the best restaurant? Yes, I think he does.

EverQuote and patent medicine

In a thread begun October 2016, Washington Post technology director Aram Zucker-Scharff tweeted about the shady advertising practices of EverQuote, a Boston-based startup. Since then these ads have become prolific on the web (and nearly as prolific are Aram’s tweets documenting the malfeasance).

Lenfest Institute and Digital First Media?

What if Alden let another organization manage its newspaper assets as a blind trust? It would lose a great deal of flexibility in using DFM assets to leverage other companies it owns, but it would be able to wash its hands of the growing public relations crisis. Furthermore, it would give space for the strategic direction of DFM to be explored and pursued without the added baggage of hedge fund cross-percolation.

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