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

The Riptide blog


When we created Riptide as Fellows at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, we wanted to find out “what really happened” between the moment online services were first introduced into journalistic institutions in the late 1970s to today, 35 years later. We spoke to over 60 people who made the decisions and worked in the institutions that were a part of the digital disruption that we’re now so familiar with. Our hope is that Riptide will provide insight into the history of digital journalism; but as important, we hope that it will inform its future.

The Riptide blog is way to keep the conversation going. Frankly, we don’t know where this will lead. The three of us will post here, and we’ll invite others to do so, too. Our very first post, by the IAB’s Randall Rothenberg, argues that we made a mistake in not interviewing anyone from Bloomberg for the project. Bruce Sagan (Paul’s father), a prominent Chicago newspaper publisher, writes about business models in our second post. These posts represent just the kind of conversation we hope to continue to engender going forward.

Please feel free to reach out to us with questions and comments. You can reach any of us from the About page or all of us from the Feedback page.

September 5, 2013, 12:44 pm