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 Biz -- Entrepreneurs vs Traditionalists

Volume 1:
CEOs, Coders, News Execs, Disrupters

donald-graham
Junglee, which had come to us as a threat but listened to Ralph and Alan and decided that they would be way better off partnering with us.
Donald Graham
harry-motro
I remember the first time I showed Ted a page of CNN.com. We had started our offices under a stairwell. I don’t know if Scott Woelful told you this story. It was the most unattractive space in the entire CNN Center.
Harry Motro
scott-kurnit
R Kurnit: To Rupert, who didn’t really care about his stock price on any given day it’s like, “Yeah, I get that it takes $500 million to go build the new AOL on the Internet,” and was prepared to do it.
Scott Kurnit

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Predicting the Disruption of News

Volume 2:
Tech Journalists

Hedshot Fallows
“Look around you. You’re complaining about having to generate too much copy to space out these ads, et cetera. This is not how it normally is. Notice this, be grateful for it. This is not how your life as reporters is always going to be.”.
James Fallows
Hedshot Angwin
I always joke that I was totally right that social was going to be big. I was completely wrong about the social network that I picked.
Julia Angwin
Hedshot Richards
I don’t think we did but certain reporters could see it more than others.
Evelyn Richards

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

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