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

News Media & The Innovator's Dilemma

Volume 1:
CEOs, Coders, News Execs, Disrupters

dave-winer
If people want to find out what’s new on CNN and they go to Yahoo to find out what’s new on CNN. Then Yahoo has an unfair advantage and Yahoo can always find a way to make that work to your advantage.
Dave Winer
eric-schmidt
Google News was a simple, straightforward innovation. A particular engineer on his own decided to write a product that would aggregate news and organize it this way.
Eric Schmidt
interview_still
I think the innovator’s dilemma was very real, but I think it went beyond the innovator’s dilemma. You mentioned church and state. It wasn’t just a radical transformation.
Kathy Yates

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The Bug That Bit – Why Tech?

Volume 2:
Tech Journalists

Hedshot Richards
It was very lucky for me, because a couple years after that the Chicago Tribune bought the paper I was working for, expanded the business department, and suddenly my math and my journalism came together and I became a business reporter.
Evelyn Richards
Hedshot Markoff
There was a little team of people, who began covering this industry just as it started. I walked in right at the right time.
John Markoff
hedshot Meeks
The very first thing I wrote about was a database program and how to use it and sent it in. Lo and behold, I got a $35 check back in the mail. The very first thing I tried to get published was published.
Brock Meeks

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

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