Netflix could be awarding $1 Million soon

About a year ago I read a Wired story about a Netflix contest with a million dollar prize attached.  The contest was to try to improve their recommendation system, and I was interested in the crowd-sourced and intelligent-search implications.  For anyone who's been following it, it looks like this week there might be a winner, barring any competing teams being able to outdo their result (a recommendation improvement of 10.05%) over

Why Journalism Matters

We've added a new MGP video to our archive (watch it above, or click here to see it full-sized). When some 100 journalists, technologists, academics and citizens gathered March 1-4, 2009 at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg,

UPDATE: Role of Twitter in Iran

In response to the media's focus on the role of Twitter in Iran (see post below), both Slate and Salon had stories today downplaying its role:

"Doubting Twitter:  Let's not get carried away about its role in Iran's demonstration."  (Slate)
"Twitter won't bring down Ahmadinejad."  (Salon)

NYT covers role of social networking sites in Iran

According to today's New York Times, a presidential aide asked Twitter if they could postpone scheduled maintenance that would have temporarily shut down the site, underscoring the role Twitter has been playing in the Iranian protests.  The article talks about how Twitter has been used by those protesting, but also about Twitter's (and YouTube's) value for US diplomacy and for the media, where Iranians have been able to release videos and pictures---information that is becoming increasingly difficult for journalists to obtain.

Knight Foundation committed to new models for investigative journalism

Yesterday, The Knight Foundation announced $15 million in funding for models that support online investigative reporting (read the full press release here).  Some of this money goes to projects already committed to, but they also announced new grants for ProPublica, Sunlight Foundation, and the Center for Investigative Reporting.  All three are giraffe prospects---we interviewed Paul Steiger from ProPublica last month, and you can listen to that interview from his profile.

New giraffe profile: Denise Lockwood starts up "Know More"

We've put up a new giraffe profile:  Denise Lockwood who started a local Wisconsin news site called Know More.  She recast her career to go independent and online after being laid off of her newspaper job.  You can click below to listen to her talk about the site with Bill Densmore and Matt Thompson when it was in its planning stage in 2008.  And view her profile to read more, including written excerpts of the interview and links.


New report ranks top Chicago websites

With support from the Chicago Community Trust, the Community Media Workshop released "the New news: Journalism We Want and Need." This 36-page report is co-authored by giraffe prospect Thom Clark and includes a ranking of their top sixty news websites in Chicago, topping the list is the Chi-Town Daily News.

Read More:
Giraffe profile for Thom Clark.
Giraffe profile for Chi-Town Daily News.
Columbia Journalism Review article on the report.

Literary world weighs in on newspapers

Dave Eggers announced that the next issue of McSweeney's, the literary journal he founded, would be in newspaper format.  He said they wanted to show that the newspaper was viable if done in an interesting, colorful fashion.  One imagines the next issue, then, will be a full, hands-on display of this potential.   Read More.

Twin Cities Daily Planet wins web award

The Twin Cities Daily Planet (directed by giraffe prospect Jeremy Iggers) won best independent news website in the annual Page One competition of the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. You can read the full list of winners at the SPJ website (scroll down for a link to the Word document). In their press release, the Daily Planet wrote:

CircLabs, a new project to help sustain newspapers

Last week at the DC conference "From Gatekeeper to Information Valet," the formation of CircLabs was announced.  (Read the press release, or watch the announcement.)  CircLabs is a Silicon Valley startup financed by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.  Their first project is named Circulate---the goal is to help ensure a future for newspapers by finding ways to monetize online news. 

Circulate comes out of MGP's Bill Densmore's year-long research fellowship at the Reynolds Journalism Institute.  His project there was called the Information Valet.

Densmore will be joined by Martin Langeveld, Joe Bergeron, and Jeffrey Vander Clute as co-founders of CircLabs.  It is set to launch in the second half of 2009.

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