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

We have editors who want to create products that the link tears asunder. That alone is difficult. But all the same reasons.
Jeff Jarvis
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
If you look at what Warren Buffet’s investing in, he’s investing in the hyper local newspapers that have great revenue, profit margins and consumers that don’t move.
Tim Armstrong

Explore more topics Vol. 1 

Audience Ties – Snail Mail to Tweets

Volume 2:
Tech Journalists

I was a representative of Time magazine which took itself very seriously.
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
People fed off of each other, took tips from each other and took pieces of the puzzle and got together and that type of thing. That was a big inflection point.
Brock Meeks
If I started a blog again, I would not post comments.
Denise Caruso

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

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