An oral history of the epic collision between journalism and digital technology, 1980 to the present

A project of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

An oral history of the epic collision between journalism and digital technology, from 1980 to the present

How Did Tech Platforms Affect News?

Volume 1:
CEOs, Coders, News Execs, Disrupters

richard-gingras
The notion, really, with Google TV was, “How could we enable the full flowering of IP for video, and in a sense, to some extent, bypass the control points of the cable guys?
Richard Gingras
henry-blodget
Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, just an incredible new mechanism for unlocking information. We see that all the time. You can do things. You do not have to have a reporter on the ground, necessarily, to learn a huge amount about what’s going on. Citizens are contributing to global knowledge.
Henry Blodget
john-battelle
But if they wanted to declare that they are truly brands that are transparent, trustworthy and have earned the permission to be engaged in consumer’s lives all day, every day, I can’t imagine a better way to do that than to wrap your brand in the banner of supporting super high quality news.
John Battelle

Explore more topics Vol. 1 

Social Media and Reporting

Volume 2:
Tech Journalists

hedshot Elmer-Dewitt
He and I ran the [Time] bulletin board on AOL, which was really my first taste of how you can just get overwhelmed once you start interacting [with your audience].
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Hedshot Schlender
What’s really changed isn’t so much the medium of whether it’s email or written letter or a postcard or a text or what. What’s changed is that the people who write to you are playing to the audience, too.
Brent Schlender
steve-newhouse
It was important for the readers, the users, to participate in the process. Epicurious didn’t just have amazing recipes. It had readers discussing the recipes, improving the recipes, offering solutions. On the local side, the users of our local sites like NJ.com started jumping in and talking about things that were interesting to them. The Giants or the local political races, in different counties in New Jersey. That became really great content and made the site grow.
Steve Newhouse

Explore more topics Vol. 2 

The Big Picture

For most of the 20th century, any list of America’s wealthiest families would include quite a few publishers generally considered to be in the “news business”: the Hearsts, the Pulitzers, the Sulzbergers, the Grahams, the Chandlers, the Coxes, the Knights, the Ridders, the Luces, the Bancrofts — a tribute to the fabulous business model that once delivered the country its news. While many of those families remain wealthy today, their historic core businesses are in steep decline (or worse), and their position at the top of the wealth builders has long since been eclipsed by people with other names: Gates, Page and Brin and Schmidt, Zuckerberg, Bezos, Case, and Jobs — builders of digital platforms that, while not specifically targeted at the “news business,” have nonetheless severely disrupted it.

Keep reading Vol 1. 

The Tech Journalists

A transformative wave washed over the world economy this past quarter-century and technology journalists were its chroniclers and front-row witnesses. Many, among the twenty interviewed, say a catastrophic disruption of the news business was to be expected. But they feel their warnings went largely unheard within their workplaces, a contributing factor to the industry’s late and ineffectual counter-efforts. In contrast to pessimism about the future financial underpinnings of their business, they’re optimistic about the outlook for journalism as new tools, audiences and approaches emerge and evolve.

Keep reading Vol 2. 

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Volume
Vol 1: CEOs, Coders, News Execs, Disrupters
Vol 2: Tech Journalists
john-battelle
bob-november
P1260656
Hedshot Quittner
matt-mullenweg
dick-costolo
Hedshot Fallows
scott-woelfel
Hedshot Michelle Quinn
nick-denton
walter-isaacson
Hedshot Dyson
interview_still
marty-baron
Hedshot Bray
Will India Meet Global Expectations?:
Hedshot Levy
roger-fidler
david-graves
will-hearst
merrill-brown
art-kern
richard-gingras
Hedshot Caruso
caroline-little
POLITICO Executive Editor Jim VandeHei. John Shinkle/Politico
julius-genachowski
gerald-levin
arianna-huffington
dave-winer
jeff-jarvis
john-harris
Hedshot Gillmor
scott-kurnit
nick-negroponte
Hedshot Richards
ted-leonsis
michael-sippey
chloe-sladden
chris-cox
8255KR01
Larry Kramer
hedshot Elmer-Dewitt
steve-newhouse
doc-searls
mike-moritz
martin-nisenholtz
clay-christensen
harry-motro
Hedshot Swisher
betsy-morgan
donald-graham
arthur-sulzberger
alan-spoon
Hedshot Schlender
gordon-crovitz
Hedshot Dvorak
chris-schroeder
Hedshot Markoff
michael-kinsley
henry-blodget
hedshot Meeks
Mike-Perlis1
Hedshot Angwin
david-bradley
Hedshot Pogue
jonah-peretti
ken-richieri
andrew-sullivan
tim-berners-lee
steve-case
krishna-bharat
rob-grimshaw
eric-schmidt
lewis-dvorkin
om-malik
Justin Smith
tim-armstrong
Hedshot Mossberg
Update Branscum Hedshot
Update Bell Headshot

Four veterans of digital journalism and media — John Huey, Martin Nisenholtz, Paul Sagan, and later John Geddes — interviewed dozens of people who played important roles in the intersection of media and technology — from CEOs to coders, journalists to disruptors.

Riptide is the result: more than 50 hours of video interviews and two narrative essays that trace the evolution of digital news from early experiments to today. It’s what really happened to the news business.

Read Vol. 1  
See interviews