“News is the biggest formula. It’s a game where journalists write the rule book for each day. “Important” and “unusual” are descriptions of some news, but ultimately, we redefine news every day. An hour before deadline, everything we have becomes news. “That’s news” is the excuse to chase all that convenient stuff. My point: news is not some stringently defined substance like iron ore. Mining companies can’t redefine iron ore on a slow ore day. Journalists can and do redefine their product every day. Creativity requires a high tolerance for ambiguity. If formulas are your only tool, someone’s going to come along and blow you out of the water. A journalist¹s key strength is his or her history of gathering and delivering reliable accounts of the day.”—The Natural Order of Photojournalism by Tom Hubbard - The Digital Journalist
($5.25/glass) Blackish-purple in the glass. Black-fruit and pleasant leathery aromas carry over to the palate in a fresh and balanced flavor, ripe black plums and “sweet” leather, faint smooth tannins becoming a little more pronounced in the finish.
In Asia, people have been paying real money for virtual goods for years. It is the primary business model for games and Internet companies in China and Korea, far more important that advertising. We’re starting to see similar behavior in the U.S., also led here by online games and social networks. On the back of the rise of social networks and games, 2009 will be the first real breakout year for this business model in the US.
To people who do not spend time on social networks, it seems crazy that people would pay real money to buy each other virtual gifts - pictures of things ranging from birthday cakes to hugging penguins - and then display them on their profile pages. But estimates peg Facebook’s digital gifts sales in the $35 million – 50 million range this year. As more human interaction moves online, these social tokens of appreciation move online in parallel.
In the same way, gamers are more than willing to buy virtual goods In 2007, Nexon made $30 million selling virtual goods to U.S. players of their games. These items either allow players extra powers in the game (e.g a bigger gun), or allow players to customize the way that their character looks (e.g. cool sunglasses). People want to win, and they want to look good doing it. Dozens of other games companies are now employing this model in the U.S.
Why would this recession be a time for virtual goods to take off in the U.S.? It actually has nothing to do with the economy, Rather, two new payment mechanisms are becoming available now that allow gamers, many young and without credit cards, to play these games to their full capacity. The first is that prepaid game cards are now being sold at retail, with Target leading the charge. The second is incentive marketing. If a player take an action (like signing up for a ring tone service, or completing a survey) the advertiser who benefits will fund the purchase of that players desired virtual goods. One virtual world company, Gaia, used to have three full time employees who did nothing but open envelopes of cash that their teen and ‘tween players sent them to buy virtual goods. Since rolling out their new payment mechanisms, their revenues have doubled and they no longer have to open envelopes full of pocket money.
"The real tragedy is that as more newspapers cut back, you're not going to have anybody watching the congressional delegation," says
George Condon, Copley's former Washington bureau chief who took a buyout.
As newspapers grapple with the ever-growing pressure to cut costs, more and more of them come to view Washington bureaus as luxuries they simply cannot afford. During the last three years, newspapers – including those in San Diego, Orlando, Los Angeles, Toledo, San Francisco, Des Moines, Pittsburgh, Denver, Newark and St. Louis – have eliminated more than 40 Washington regional reporter positions through layoffs, buyouts or attrition. These were journalists who followed not the splashy national stories but their readers' parochial interests in Washington. In November alone, Copley and Newhouse News Service shuttered their Washington bureaus, and Small Newspapers eliminated the position of Edward Felker, its lone Washington reporter, who covered six senators and seven House members from Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa.
Pasted from <http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=4645>
“They’ll be missing details of who is on what committee. What are they doing? What is their status in Washington? Those are things they can’t get locally. But in this day and age that kind of detail isn’t that important. What really matters is whether they have a ‘D’ or an ‘R’ after their names," says Gary Jacobson, political science professor at the University of California, San Diego and author of "The Politics of Congressional Elections" and a daily reader of the Union-Tribune. "The partisan process dictates how the individual members vote most of the time. The individual members are important only as votes for their party. It’s far more important to know what their leadership is up to.”—Endangered Species | American Journalism Review