David Shedden

David Shedden is a researcher and the library director at the Poynter Institute. He also contributes to various online resources about history and the transformation of journalism.


Happy 37th birthday, Poynter

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Mosaic was the Web’s first killer app, said 1993 NYT story

The New York Times
Eighteen years ago this month The New York Times introduced its readers to the Web, and its first killer app, the Mosaic browser.

The newspaper didn’t have an online site yet, but you could find
John Markoff’s story on page D1:

Think of it as a map to the buried treasures of the Information Age.

A new software program available free to companies and individuals is helping even novice computer users find their way around the global Internet, the network of networks that is rich in information but can be baffling to navigate.

….Mosaic’s many passionate proponents hail it as the first “killer app” of network computing — an applications program so different and so obviously useful that it can create a new industry from scratch.

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Flashback to 2005: HuffPost, YouTube launched; Podcasts proliferate; ‘Print Needs Its Own iPod’

New York Times
Six years ago today, on October 10, 2005, New York Times columnist David Carr wrote a story called, “Forget Blogs, Print Needs Its Own iPod.” It is a fascinating reminder of how much media and technology have changed since.

His piece made me wonder about other 2005 stories and statistics from the pre-iPad world. Here are a few.

February 15, 2005
YouTube is founded with the first video posted in April.

May 2005
The Huffington Post is launched.
Related: “Dazzle, Yes. But Can They Blog?” By Howard Kurtz, Washington Post, May 9, 2005

May 2005
Google introduced a new AdSense program that invited bloggers to share revenue from targeted Web page ads.

June 28, 2005
Google Earth is launched.… Read more


Front pages from 2001 to 2011 tell story of 9/11 decade, from WTC attacks to war on terror and bin Laden’s death

A decade has passed since newspapers began telling the story of the
post-9/11 world.

Ten years of front pages describe the events that followed the attack that killed nearly 3,000 people: The war on terrorism; the war in Iraq; the capture and hanging of Saddam Hussein; the war in Afghanistan; the rebuilding of Ground Zero, and the death of Osama bin Laden.

We have compiled and posted some of these front pages below, with thanks to the Newseum and all the newspapers that have helped create and preserve Page One memories from the last 10 years.


September 11, 2001: Newsday
September 12, 2001: The New York Times (Related: “Portraits of Grief” & additional stories)

September 12, 2001: The Washington Post (Related: Recent & archival stories)
September 12, 2001: Sun (Bremerton, Washington)


February 22, 2002: The Wall Street Journal (Article: “Reporter Daniel Pearl Is Dead“) (Related: Daniel Pearl Foundation)
September 11, 2002: The Des Moines Register


March 30, 2003: San Francisco Chronicle
March 30, 2003: The Daily Telegraph (London, England)
April 10, 2003: The Charlotte Observer
April 10, 2003: New York Post
May 2, 2003: The New York Times (Related: Additional information about President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech)
December 15, 2003: The Seattle Times
December 15, 2003: Liberation (Paris, France)


June 29, 2004: The Guardian


January 31, 2005: Rocky Mountain News
July 8, 2005: Daily MIrror (London, England)


March 31, 2006: Christian Science Monitor (Article: “Jill Carroll: Finally Free”)
September 12, 2006: Daily News
September 12, 2006: Newsday
December 31, 2006: Sunday Mail (Brisbane, Australia)
December 31, 2006: Alwaqt (Manama, Bahrain)


June 18, 2007: The Washington Post (Anne Hull, Dana Priest & Michel du Cille’s series on Walter Reed Hospital earned a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.)
October 10, 2007: The Olympian


March 19, 2008: Winston-Salem Journal
September 11, 2008: The Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
September 12, 2008: Daily News


May 22, 2009: Akron Beacon Journal
December 4, 2009: Stars and Stripes


August 19, 2010: Los Angeles Times


May 2, 2011: St.
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Did CBS really invent original reporting on TV?

Romenesko | TVNewser | YouTube
55 years ago today, on August 12, 1956, a group of CBS News journalists appeared on the quiz show, “What’s My Line?

They were some of the best reporters in the history of broadcast journalism: Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid, Robert Trout, Charles Collingwood and Douglas Edwards. On the show, blindfolded panelists tried to guess the group’s occupations by asking a series of questions. Here is a video of the show:

Coincidentally, Romenesko linked to a story earlier this week about a new CBS News promo that claims the network invented original reporting on TV. The claim largely rests on the work of these early broadcast journalists and their colleagues.

If we could go back 55 years, perhaps we could ask these journalists
what they think.… Read more


What was Rupert Murdoch thinking when he bought Myspace?

BBC | ASNE Speech
Shortly before he bought MySpace in 2005, Rupert Murdoch shared his thoughts on the digital age in a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

At the time, the BBC reported on News Corporation’s purchase of
MySpace. They also offered an analysis of Murdoch’s speech and his
company’s past attempts with online technology. Jeremy Scott-Joynt wrote:

“Just three months ago, news magnate Rupert Murdoch made an unusual admission.

He had realised, he told a high-powered audience at the American Society of Newspaper Editors in Washington DC, that he had got something rather important rather wrong.

News Corporation, the global media group he controls, had failed properly to engage with the online world – and risked losing its hard-won position in news as a result.

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1982 New York Times story predicts the future of technology, Facebook

New York Times

Here is a look at the future from 29 years ago today.

In a June 14, 1982 story called, “Study Says Technology Could
Transform Society”
the New York Times described a report from the
National Science Foundation:

A report commissioned by the National Science Foundation and made public today speculates that by the end of this century electronic information technology will have transformed American home, business, manufacturing, school, family and political life.

The report suggests that one-way and two-way home information systems, called teletext and videotex, will penetrate deeply into daily life, with an effect on society as profound as those of the automobile and commercial television earlier in this century.

It conjured a vision, at once appealing and threatening, of a style of life defined and controlled by videotex terminals throughout the house.

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What is the future of mobile advertising?

Business Insider

Business Insider continues its special report on the future of
with a look at possible trends in mobile advertising.
Dan Frommer writes:

As mobile phones evolve, mobile advertising is evolving, too.

Already, we’ve seen a shift from tiny text and banner ads to more
sophisticated efforts. Some are trying to captivate you with
mini-games, interactive widgets, and contests. Others serve up a
specific deal based on your location.

And while today’s mobile ads aren’t doing too poorly — 60% of mobile users click on mobile ads at least one a week, according to a recent report — there’s still a lot of room for advancements as the industry matures. (Especially considering that a lot of those “clicks” are probably by accident.)

He continues to describe the following mobile advertising trends they expect to see during the next few years.… Read more


Edward R. Murrow producer dies at 90

CBS News

CBS News reports that another link to the early days of broadcast journalism has passed away:

Veteran TV producer and reporter Joseph Wershba, whose resume includes Edward R. Murrow’sSee It Now” broadcasts exposing Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch hunt in the 1950s, and who was one of the original producers of “60 Minutes,” died Saturday at age 90.

Wershba, who resided in Floral Park, N.Y., succumbed to complications from pneumonia in North Shore Hospital on Long Island, with his wife Shirley at his side.

Wershba’s career spanned more than half a century in broadcast and print journalism. A two-time Emmy Award-winner and Pulitzer Prize nominee, Wershba joined CBS News in 1944 as a radio news writer, rising to news director of WCBS Radio in New York.

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Looking back at news homepage history

10,000 Words | Vimeo

In his post, “Nostalgia: 11 Retro News Website Homepages,” Ethan
Klapper takes us back in time with old news website homepages.

He writes:

Inspired by a recent Facebook album posted by Jim Brady, the former
washingtonpost.com executive editor and TBD general manager, here are
a couple of old homepages from news sites we know well. Any notable
omission is due to the Wayback Machine not being able to crawl the
(Click here for the homepages.)

Vostok design studio has also posted some homepages with
their video, “15 years of NYTimes.com.”

And finally, here are a few early homepages we found while
compiling our New Media Timeline project.

Mercury Center on AOL, 1994

Time Magazine on AOL, 1994

U.S.Read more

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