(also what, when and more...)
were set in molten lead at one of the nation's oldest newspapers,
Hartford Courant, which eventually put a computer keyboard
front of me. As a result, I've been writing with (and writing
for about 25 years. I've been a writer and editor for a
software company, for national magazines, and I spent a few
years as an editor at
one of the Web's first 24-hour news sites, the Nando
Times, while working on my doctorate at the University of
In September 1999 I moved to Boston to begin teaching about news,
and the "digital culture" of the Internet as a full-time member of
journalism department at Emerson College.
In 2003 I was in transition again. I moved
my memorable fourth-floor-walkup office in May after Emerson sold
Beacon St. brownstone that had housed the journalism department.
came a summer 2003 trip to Chapel
Hill to finish off my Ph.D. (Part of my dissertation on the
of a news website had already seen the light of day as a conference
paper for an MIT Media In Transition event.) My final role
at Emerson was as adviser on the last of my students'
Then what? Stop in at stepno.com for further news about
my post-Emerson career. Please switch any
e-mail address listing for me to an @stepno.com address. If you
Web pages I created, be aware that they will fade from Emerson's
if they haven't already. However, you'll find archival copies of
/..." work relocated to http://stepno.com/ec/..."
Emerson gave me a great opportunity to teach and
learn, so thanks to all of the students and colleagues who have
four years an education. Coincidentally, I'm not the only one
My attic office will become someone's $4 million condo, while the
Journalism Department settles into new quarters across the Boston
ironically upstairs over a bar named Pravda.
What I (& my students) did at
Some of these student projects from my courses
personal pages subject to change or removal; others were "frozen"
as final-exam projects, warts and all. Others may be restricted to
What I did (& do) elsewhere...
My teaching and research interests include the use
computers by journalists, educators and communities -- real and
including nautical-virtual and
I'm intrigued by the way "online" can
pull together elements of print and broadcasting, for better or
Perhaps these "converged" media will
someday appear to do "ivrything" for us the way the newspaper once
according to my favorite 100-year-old Irish bartender, Mr.
Dooley... which introduces to my other research interest --
the history of communication
technology and journalism technique, including the innovations of
scandal-mongering newspaper from the 1920s.
(It's hardly "history," but a 20-year-old story
and photo are
the oldest examples of
my own journalism online, resurrected
by the organizers of the born-again New England Fiddle Contest.)
In addition to teaching
old and new media at Emerson, I served as advisor or co-adviser to
of Professional Journalists chapter at Emerson and an excellent but
student Digital Media Group.
from my office window, at quitting
My 130 Beacon St. office window
up Berkeley Street and toward skyscrapers around Copley Square,
a switch after North Carolina's old oaks and loblolly pines. For
who want to see what I did in Chapel Hill, here's is my old
home page, with links to things like the syllabus for the
I helped develop, Electronic
Information Sources, as Professor Deb
Aikat's first teaching assistant.
Evangelism & lab notes:
Emerson's support for its computing labs gets better every year, but
times I've had to supplement it with things like these:
Some basic Lab Tips, and an introduction to sharing
documents on Emerson's PAGES
Web server, including how to set network file privileges.
- An intro to Weblogs, a
journalistic, sometimes self-indulgent form of self-publishing
I adapted to classroom use.
- Suggestions for an online journalism style guide.
- "Start a discussion" pages about communities for online journalists, alternative models, templates and visual design for information sites.
- Notes on News jargon and Computer Assisted Reporting.
- Instructions on making a Plain Vanilla
Web Page with (ick)
- For various courses, as needed, an assortment of debugging tips and notes on using tables, backgrounds and
multimedia on Web pages.
- For students who thought Web publishing was for experts only,
my 1999 "15
megabytes of fame" page.
- This even older Born
on the Web collection of readings about Web publishing may
still have some working links.
Nuts and bolts:
This page was made mostly on Macintoshes, using BBEdit,
other Web page creation tools were handy. On Windows machines,
Notepad, Homesite and Arachnophilia (by Paul Lutus,
whose CareWare concept is a breath of fresh air). Lately,
most of my students have moved on to Dreamweaver,
which among other things does a nice job of cleaning up quick and
dirty pages made with word processors.
Before they get distracted by multimedia
and whistles, I advise students to see Jacob Nielsen's UseIt.com for thoughts about
"usable" information design. Journalism students
will notice that Nielsen says writing in newspaper
style is a valuable skill online. I'm also a fan of the Yale
CAIM Style Guide for Web page design, and of Philip Greenspun,
wrote Philip &
Alex's Guide to using open-source
software to build database-backed, community-oriented Web
sites like the photo.net online community.
(Philip is a triple-threat: programmer, photographer and a fine
The right column
page has links to about 100 of my favorite Web sites. Those links
from my thousands of bookmarks, which I'm gradually sorting into
to post at my new home.
Last revision: Sept. 24, 2003
Sites I use...
- Google.com, Altavista.com and alltheweb.com usually find
whatever I'm looking for online. Whois
identifies domain owners.
- For news media issues and news, I check Jim Romenesko's MediaNews,
Concerned Journalists, Society of
Journalists, FAIR and the
Poynter Institute, as well as
local columnists Dan
Kennedy and Mark
- Globalvision's MediaChannel.org is
another valuable resource. Walter Cronkite explains
- For technology news, I watch Slashdot and The New York Times: Tech,
Salon, and CNet.
- I visit WRAL OnLine, the News
& Observer, and NandO
Times for news from North Carolina and more.
- Boston.com is no slouch,
For local news, also see WBUR
radio), the Boston
Boston Phoenix and Community
Newspapers, a list of
dailies, a more complete list at Newslink,
and a list of college papers at dmoz.org.
- Also based in Boston, The
Science Monitor, has thoughtful coverage of world and
- Emerson students and faculty can search the full text of the
Globe, the Herald and more, using the Emerson
Library's dozens of databases
and electronic resource subject-lists.
- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has made some improvements
website, including an easier name: mass.gov;
it includes a section with information for students
living in Massachusetts.
- Journalism students also should know about The
Society of Professional Journalists and the Emerson SPJ
Chapter, which helped put on the Northeast
Journalism Conference 2001, with SPJ, RTNDA & AP.
- The Berkeley
Emerson's student-run weekly newspaper. JSONS,
the Journalism Students Online News Service, is produced by
taking classes with Manny Paraschos; Emerson
Today is, despite its name, a monthly.
- JSONS and the Beacon use the College
Publisher system created by former Emerson students. So does
a School of Communication newsletter.
- For "All the news..." The New
York Times requires you to register, but there's no charge
for basic services.
Also see The Washington
Chicago Tribune, MSNBC,
ABC News, and for variety
Irish Times, The Guardian
Shimbun (in English).
- The Associated Press Web
for today's news (enter through the Boston
Herald), or review the AP's history.
- For world news: Reuters,
BBC, and CNN.
- For crime news: APB
although a shadow of what it was before the dot-com shakeout.
- Anyone can add news headlines to a page using Moreover.com,
a new kind of news service that points to individual articles at
range of publications, and sorts them into more than 300
categories, including Boston
- The Communication Technology
& Policy division of AEJMC, the
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
belong to its Newspaper
Division, among others
- For professional journalism issues see: Freedom
Forum, National Press
& Editors, Fairness &
In Reporting (FAIR),
for Freedom of the Press, Student
Press Law Center, the Ethics
AdviceLine for Journalists, and the Committee
to Protect Journalists.
- For background on media issues, including corporate
mergers (1987) creating global
media giants (1997), see the archives
of FAIR's magazine, Extra.
- For more specifically "wired" issues, see the Electronic
Frontier Foundation and its publications on online free
speech and censorship
- For more alternatives to the traditional news media, see VoxCap.com,
Adbusters, or this
media links created by journalist-satirist-agitator Michael Moore
- Speaking of satire, The
Onion is funny, offensive, and often wonderful. Those
adjectives also used
to fit the more Web-oriented, but now archival Suck.com,
which even linked to one
of my pages once...before the dotcom shakeout.
- Online "magazines" with no print counterparts are
a "not-newspaper" genre: Salon,
Slate... and the political
and the link list at the Drudge
- The School of
Mass Communication and the School of
Information & Library Science at UNC Chapel Hill, the UNC library and ibiblio (when it
are where I first got my hands on the Web. As Ibiblio, the site
houses everything from Jim McGuinn's folksongs to
the archives of John December's Computer
Mediated Communication Magazine, and the Internet
- Journalists and academics interested in online news
list. The list's creator, columnist Steve
Outing, writes the "Stop the Presses" electronic publishing
for Editor &
- For journalism industry news and issues, see American
Journalism Review, Editor
& Publisher, Columbia
Annenberg West's Online Journalism
and the WWW Virtual
journalism page by John Makulowich.
- C|NET for industry news,
more. Really speak geek? See Slashdot.org,
Hotwired or Internet
News, formerly "The Netly News," Internet-related business
from internet.com, not to be
with WWW.w3.org, the World Wide
- Here's something to read if you're concerned about the "liberal
media," from Eric Alterman's "What
for when I really have to get away.
- Finally, Web Pages That
because they haven't found me yet.