Long live the newspaper!

The clock is ticking on printed newspapers in Pittsburgh – but what will that actually mean for journalists and, more importantly, for readers? My latest NEXTpittsburgh column has dropped with some perspective – both historical and contemporary. If you like it, please take a moment to share it and/or write to me at PittsburghPublicEditor@gmail.com.

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What Pittsburgh can learn from Philly. No, seriously…

Never thought I would advocate looking to Philadelphia for advice on Pittsburgh, but … they’re doing some interesting work around media collaboration. I would like to see what we can accomplish here if we get different media outlets all pulling in the same direction. My latest column in NEXTpittsburgh.

Pittsburgh media column

“We are all passionate in our belief that strong journalism is essential to a strong community.”

I’m excited to be partnering with NEXTpittsburgh on a new media column. Inspired by my work at the Center for Media Innovation. Because journalism is too important to ignore or let die.

Please check it out…

Andrew Conte speaking in June 2018 at The First Amendment for the Twenty-First Century conference in Pittsburgh. 

 

#1APgh: The freedom to care

I was humbled and honored to participate in Pittsburgh’s first First Amendment conference this month. The Pittsburgh Foundation and Heinz Endowments asked the CMI to pull together a panel on how technology both threatens and expands our freedoms of speech, assembly and religion. We put together a killer group that included Trevor Timm from the Freedom of Press Foundation; Stephanie Whited, who “directs communications” at The Tor Project; and David Greene, civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

It turns out that, yes, you should be afraid … of some lurking threats such as increased government surveillance and government crackdowns on whistleblowers. But I insisted that everyone provide some reason for hope as well, and the panelists had no trouble offering evidence for feeling good. They cited the Supreme Court’s narrow decision requiring law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before accessing cell phone records.

In addition, WESA offered me a prime slot to speak on The Confluence next to Robert Rosenthal, executive producer for the Center for Investigative Reporting, and Indira Lakshmanan, who teaches journalism ethics at the Poynter Institute and is a columnist for the Boston Globe. You may hear the interview here (starting around 36:00). 

 

 

Seedlings for journalism

Erin Gannon with her Golden Quill. Photo by Jennifer Jordan.

Like seedlings taking root after a fire, small journalism outlets are rising up amid the massive disruptions taking place across our industry. How do I know? My latest column features media outlets that did not exist until recently – but that won big at the Press Club’s annual awards dinner. The most inspirational: Erin Gannon beat out established media outlets. The catch? She has Down Syndrome and would not have had access to traditional media in the past. The revolution is finally happening.

Please check out (and share) my column: http://triblive.com/opinion/columnists/andrewconte/13674497-74/andrew-conte-more-voices-being-heard-in-journalisms-walled-garden.

It’s a small world…

How small is the world after all? I creeped up on this guy wearing a Trib Total Media Pirates shirt near the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan outside of Mexico City.

MEXICO CITY – The strange car pulled up outside of our rental house at 4:30 a.m.

None of us in my family of four knew the driver, but we walked up to the Volkswagen in the early morning darkness, handed the man our luggage and climbed inside.

We felt comfortable riding with our Uber driver even in the middle of the night. He has a rating of 4.83 out of 5 possible stars, has been driving for the past year and has received 83 rider compliments for excellent service. Other customers had spoken up and validated him. Besides, we knew that Uber would track the path of our ride.

We often think in the United States about how technology makes simple tasks easier, but here smartphone apps and other innovations of the so-called sharing economy also have made life safer while creating new job opportunities. The sharing economy refers to businesses in which people loan out their homes, vehicles and other possessions to strangers who are willing to pay for their use. Read more…

Young people showing way forward via social media

It’s an inspiring time to be the parent of teenagers. From my latest column…

Emma Gonzalez.

Emma Gonzalez barely knew how to use Twitter on the morning of Feb. 14, but six weeks later, she had tweeted more than 1,200 times and had 1.23 million followers.

Of course, her life changed that day, along with the lives of her Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School classmates in Parkland, Fla., when a former student with an assault rifle killed 17 people. After Gonzalez gave an impassioned speech about gun control in the days following the attack, her social-media prominence swelled. Now, she uses the platform to connect with, recognize and elevate other users — particularly young people.

Since the attack, high school students nationwide have used social media like never before, inspiring organic collective action such as school walkouts across the country and this weekend’s “March For Our Lives” in Washington.

As Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight data analyst, noted a week after Parkland , “Something is different this time.” Keep reading…