Giraffes at Work?

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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.

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:

ProPublica starts citizen journalism project

This week ProPublica announced the start of a citizen journalism project, the ProPublica Reporting Network.  This citizen journalism network will not be open-ended---it will have both an editor and a specific project.  The first effort is to monitor stimulus projects.  People can sign on and select a local stimulus project to report on, tracking it for abuse.  Former OffTheBus Director Amanda Michel will act as editor.  You can read about ProPublica and founder Paul Steiger on his media giraffe profile.

New textbook on media literacy

Giraffe Prospect John McManus has recently put out a textbook in DVD-format that's meant to help teach students how to view the news and find trustworthy information.  The book is titled Detecting Bull:  How to Identify Bias and Junk Journalism in Print, Broadcast and on the Wild Web.  It takes the lessons learned from his years leading, a website that rated the news in San Francisco.

A quick tour of media innovation in San Francisco

Media Giraffe prospect Chris Nolan provides a whirlwind alternate tour of journalism/ media innovation around San Francisco in this sendup of a piece by NYT columnist Maureen Dowd.  Nolan's collection of links shows that the glass is as half full as it is half empty.

Read More:
Nolan's Media Giraffe profile
The original Dowd column

St. Louis Beacon and both find a home in local television stations

This article talks about the St. Louis Beacon (started by reporters laid off by the Post-Dispatch) and the newly minted, a recently founded (though not yet live) local online site started by employees of Seattle's now defunct Post-Intelligencer. What they have in common--

Jimmy Wales pulls plug on Wikia Search

Yesterday, giraffe prospect Jimmy Wales pulled the plug on Wikia Search, his open-sourced, collaborative search engine that he hoped would rival Google.  He wrote the postmortem on his blog:  

Creating a film that keeps up with the news

Media Giraffe Prospect Robert Greenwald was in the news over the weekend for his latest film, "Rethink Afghanistan."  This New York Times article, "Released on Web, a Film Stays Fresh," talks about Greenwald's efforts to make his documentaries as real time as possible. With "Rethink Afghanistan," he is shrinking the gap between creation and the audience even further, posting the film (on and

New Profiles on Tracy Record and Bob Gough

We've added two new profiles to our database:  Tracy Record from West Seattle Blog and Bob Gough from  These are both pioneers in the local online news field.  Much of the information in these profiles was excerpted from Jane Steven's ReJurno (she and MGP's Bill Densmore are both fellows at the Reynolds Journalism Institute this year).  Researching the Record profile, I found this YouTube video clip from Flip the Media--it's a fun and quirky behind-the-scenes look at the West Seattle Blog family and their house.

Vint Cerf on the Internet

Media Giraffe has added another video to the archives.  Here, Vint Cerf, Vice President and Internet Evangelist for Google, talks about the infrastructure of the Internet and his role in helping develop that structure. Cerf also talks about the egalitarian nature of the Internet and its function in a democracy. 

The Media Giraffe Project’s Bill Densmore conducted the interview in August 2005. Below is a condensed, 9 minute version.  A full length version will be added to the site soon.  In the meanwhile, view it here.


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