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

Tech & News -- Too Late an Embrace

Volume 1:
CEOs, Coders, News Execs, Disrupters

Broadcast network news never really understood the 24×7 news cycle. They weren’t set up, they didn’t have a history that was geared towards being on air, except in very specialized, breaking news moments, 9/11 being one of them.
Betsy Morgan
There was a eureka phenomenon that, gee, if we can take stuff that already exists and put it in a different platform, that’s a double use of the same material.
Gerald M. Levin
We brought in engineers at Knight Ridder Digital. We actually did implement an engineering oriented culture. I should say, more than engineering, a software oriented culture.
Kathy Yates

Explore more topics Vol. 1 

Tech Journalism's Evolution

Volume 2:
Tech Journalists

No job has been untouched and so now it’s an entirely different thing covering tech because you’re covering everything.
Evelyn Richards
I do almost no reviews of PCs anymore, computers. It seems like that category reached its maturity. It’s finished evolving.
David Pogue
I had access to all the founders even ones that are gone now. I met Pierre Omidyar when he was leaving General Magic.
Kara Swisher

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