Monthly Archives: November 2005

If Old Journalism Dies

Sydney Schanberg asks, "If Old Journalism Dies . . .Where will new media get the news?"

Word by Word Author Interviews

Writer / radio host Jordan Rosenfeld has updated the archive of author interviews from her show Word by Word.

Bryant Park Skating (photos)


Harpers Ferry Store Window (photo)

Harpers Ferry Store Window

Repeat Record: Digital Rights Management

With the continued debate over digital rights management, a startup called Navio has risen "to help shift the balance of power back to the media companies," says an article in Business 2.0.

How? Imagine if you went to a music site to buy a single download for 99 cents, but instead you were offered the option to purchase the perpetual right to that song. With this right, you could download the song to your PC, your iPod, or your cell phone in whatever format was appropriate. And if you got a new computer, or if the digital-rights-management software protecting the file changed one day, you wouldn’t need to buy the song again. Your rights to the song would be stored online. Pay once, and it would be yours forever. If you lost it, you’d just download it again. Or you could share the song with a friend, or even resell it, depending on what rights you bought.

Jason Ball asks the question: how much should you charge for these rights? Meanwhile, Jeff Jarvis asks, why stop there?

Why not go a step further and offer future contracts on artists. For $30 I get the rights to every song or creative work that that artist produces over their career and I can use it unrestricted providing I don’t violate their copyright.

Doug Lansky Interview

Nana Chen interviews Doug Lansky (, editor of Scanorama and the author of The Last Trout in Venice.

Nana: What have you learned over the years about travel writing that you think would have made life a bit easier in the beginning, be it the business itself, the choice of topics or the actual writing?

Doug: Not to take it personally when you’re stuff gets lost or rejected. And you should have loads of different proposals going at once. There’s a tendency at the beginning to pitch an idea and wait for ages to see if it gets accepted. Better to put it out there and follow up, but also have a lot of others going so you don’t feel like you’re helplessly waiting for someone to make a decision.

Rolf Potts has also interviewed Doug.

Backstage at Magnum Photos

Martin Fuchs has posted a "behind the scenes" gallery of the people at Magnum Photos. Fuchs has served as an intern at the renown photo agency. Image No. 16 shows notes scribbled by Magnum printer Pablo on a photo by Chien-Chi Chang. "[Pablo] scribbles areas for different exposures, gradations, burning and
dodging on there, so that he knows how to do the print the next time he
has to." Martin has been profiled by Canon Europe.

Literary Theory on Reflection

Stephen Metcalf defends literary theory in

Kodak Points to Capture

Kopin Tan argues in this week’s Barrons that Kodak remains a viable force in digital imaging, that "prospects for a turnaround might be brighter than Kodak skeptics think."

While Kodak faces competition in each segment — Hewlett-Packard is a big name in printers, Snapfish a popular Internet printer — few rivals can challenge the company across the entire photo-finishing spectrum, where a still-formidable brand remains a key asset. Study after study has shown how awareness of the Kodak name helps drive purchase consideration. Taking a page from Apple Computer’s (AAPL) playbook, Kodak this month opened lifestyle stores in New York and San Francisco, ostensibly to showcase its multitude of gadgets, but in fact to brand itself as the shrine for all things imaging.

Although Kodak is No. 1 in U.S. camera sales, it trails Sony (SNE) and Canon worldwide. Moreover, as the digital business grows, the company must stay ahead of rapidly evolving technology and fickle consumer tastes. It doesn’t inspire confidence to know that the average age of Kodak’s board is 59 and that the executives leading the turnaround are old enough to have starred in home movies shot with a Brownie. On the other hand, Kodak’s storied past could be a source of future revenues. […] Every few decades, something comes along to transform the way people take pictures. If Kodak can keep pace today, its customers — and its shareholders — will relish the results. As Ivan Feinseth, director of research at Matrix USA and Wall Street’s lone Kodak bull, observes, Kodak’s return on capital already is edging up, after bottoming at 2.5% three years ago. Given its strong brand, and his belief that the worst is behind it, Kodak should trade up as management makes more progress.

Essential Reading

Bill Bryson has written a wonderful short essay in The New York Times on why he always has reading material on hand with him. He says it started with an assignment from Granta to write about the aurora borealis.

There is little to do in Hammerfest in winter but go for creeping
walks in the pitch-blackness, watch the single channel of Norwegian
television or read. I read. By the end of the second week, I
had read everything in my possession, including the labels inside my
suitcase and every word of the three English-language magazines sold in
the local newspaper shop. I reached the point where I was calling in
twice a day to find out if the new issue of Woman’s Weekly had arrived. Since then I have never ventured abroad without packing more
books than is strictly sensible and enough magazines that I can always
have one rolled up in a back pocket. More often than not, it is a copy
of The Economist, which I like very much except sometimes when it
reviews my books.

Hemingway was known for keeping at least a book in his back pocket. I nearly always have reading material with me as well. Once, I found myself stranded for three hours in a shop in Shenzhen while my wife and my sister-in-law systematically went through all its wares. Luckily, I went prepared, and my wife was praised for her "patient husband…"