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

Too Few Engineers in Sr Leadership?

Volume 1:
CEOs, Coders, News Execs, Disrupters

Larry Kramer
Plus he had the idea that, since markets were nine to five Monday to Friday but they owned this bandwidth 24 hours a day and seven days a week and they weren’t using it nights and weekends, he would look for some kind of information that could transmit on nights and weekends. That’s when he came to me and he said, “Could sports be that?” I said, “Perfect.
Larry Kramer
krishna-bharat
For the purposes of my project, I needed to find an online source, and I picked this one because it had news. And I wanted this newspaper firstly to look like a real newspaper, and I wanted it to work for me and work differently for somebody else, because they had different interests.
Krishna Bharat
lewis-dvorkin
One of the reasons it worked, I think, was because late at night we liked each other a lot, but during the day I considered him a terrorist.
Lewis DVorkin

Explore more topics Vol. 1 

Aha! Moments

Volume 2:
Tech Journalists

Hedshot Schlender
I was in Central America and I finally got this little Tandy…a trash 80 — little thing with a cup modem that even worked down there. Until then, I had to stay up until 1:00 in the morning to use the hotel’s teletype machine to punch a tape to send a story in all capital letters to New York.
Brent Schlender
Hedshot Angwin
It turns out that what I’ve learned by being a tech journalist is I have no idea what’s going to be big.
Julia Angwin
Hedshot Gillmor
That was the epiphany of the power of the network. That was the moment I totally got that something was going on here. By God, I had to be part of it!.
Dan Gillmor

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. 

Browse Interviews
All
Industry
Academia
Media
Technology
Organizations
AOL
Atlantic
Forbes
Google
Huffington Post
Infoworld
MIT
New York Times
San Jose Mercury News
Time
Wall Street Journal
Washington Post
Wired
Business
Broadcast
Magazines
Newspapers
Online
Platform
Locale
East Coast
West Coast
Other
Gender
Female
Male
Began Covering Tech
Before 1990 (inclusive)
After 1990
News Industry – Biz Side or Edit
Business
Journalism
Volume
Vol 1: CEOs, Coders, News Execs, Disrupters
Vol 2: Tech Journalists
Update Bell Headshot
Hedshot Markoff
dave-winer
interview_still
Larry Kramer
Hedshot Swisher
Hedshot Richards
Hedshot Dyson
andrew-sullivan
hedshot Meeks
betsy-morgan
Justin Smith
eric-schmidt
john-harris
scott-kurnit
bob-november
tim-berners-lee
nick-denton
Update Branscum Hedshot
marty-baron
doc-searls
gordon-crovitz
jeff-jarvis
julius-genachowski
matt-mullenweg
will-hearst
donald-graham
lewis-dvorkin
om-malik
Hedshot Caruso
michael-kinsley
Hedshot Schlender
alan-spoon
david-graves
martin-nisenholtz
krishna-bharat
P1260656
art-kern
Hedshot Michelle Quinn
steve-newhouse
henry-blodget
nick-negroponte
hedshot Elmer-Dewitt
arianna-huffington
david-bradley
Hedshot Levy
harry-motro
steve-case
caroline-little
Hedshot Dvorak
scott-woelfel
ken-richieri
rob-grimshaw
Mike-Perlis1
Hedshot Fallows
Hedshot Gillmor
tim-armstrong
chris-schroeder
Hedshot Angwin
walter-isaacson
Hedshot Mossberg
POLITICO Executive Editor Jim VandeHei. John Shinkle/Politico
Hedshot Pogue
Hedshot Bray
mike-moritz
8255KR01
chris-cox
Will India Meet Global Expectations?:
gerald-levin
jonah-peretti
ted-leonsis
john-battelle
michael-sippey
roger-fidler
chloe-sladden
richard-gingras
clay-christensen
Hedshot Quittner
arthur-sulzberger
dick-costolo
merrill-brown

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