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

Google's Impact on the News Business

Volume 1:
CEOs, Coders, News Execs, Disrupters

The print circulation started going down at that point. If you look at the graph, if you look at when Google started, there was no change in the trajectory. When Google News started, no change in the trajectory.
Krishna Bharat
If you look at the most successful media company in history, it’s Google.
Henry Blodget
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 

The Future of Journalism

Volume 2:
Tech Journalists

That forces us, as human journalists, to be more creative and maybe spend our time turning over rocks. But there might be fewer of us too.
John Markoff
As far as I can tell, journalism has always had a problem of paying for reporting. What you would think of as serious reporting, whether it’s international or state house or investigative has never paid its way. It’s had to find different host bodies to latch itself onto.
James Fallows
The transition we’re going to go through and that’s already started is going to be really messy and quite unpleasant for a lot of people.
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
Huffington Post
New York Times
San Jose Mercury News
Wall Street Journal
Washington Post
East Coast
West Coast
Began Covering Tech
Before 1990 (inclusive)
After 1990
News Industry – Biz Side or Edit
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