Simon Willison’s Weblog


17 items tagged “newspapers”


Want to see what one digital future for newspapers looks like? Look at The Guardian, which isn’t losing money anymore (via) After losing money every single year since 1998, the Guardian just managed to turn a profit! Detailed analysis of how they did it by Joshua Benton. # 2nd May 2019, 5:49 am


Why do so many newspapers have astrology columns?

Partly because there is demand for it (if a newspaper stopped running horoscopes they would likely lose some of their subscribers to rival publications. Mainly, I imagine, for cash: At least in the UK, most newspaper horoscope pages are accompanied by adverts for premium rate phone numbers that provide a “personal” horoscope service.

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What’s the best free online newspaper in the U.K?

The Guardian. (OK, I used to work there, but I would say the same even if I hadn’t. It’s a world class newspaper with a truly excellent website)

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What are the most popular conferences and events for digital publishers to attend?

The O’Reilly TOC (Tools of Change for Publishers) events look very good (I haven’t been myself)—they publish a lot of video so you can watch some talks to decide if it looks like the right event for you to attend:

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Today’s Guardian, by Phil Gyford. An alternative interface for reading today’s Guardian, built using the new Open Platform Content API and with extensive design notes from creator Phil Gyford. # 9th June 2010, 11:21 pm

They Write For You. I helped put together this visualisation of stories written by MPs for various newspapers at last Friday’s ’Hackers and Hacks" hack day. # 2nd February 2010, 9:27 am

After Three Months, Only 35 Subscriptions for Newsday’s Web Site. Not an entirely representative figure, since it doesn’t include the print and cable subscribers who get access to the website as part of their existing package. # 27th January 2010, 8:16 am


Authority, historically, gets bestowed on the gatekeepers of information, such as Britannica, universities, newspapers, etc. Everything that can be digitized will be digitized, and will then be available over the internet, which is disruptive, not only to business models, but to authority.

Joe Gregorio # 19th November 2009, 6:53 pm

Most journalists have grown up with a fortress mindset. They have lived and worked in proud institutions with thick walls. Their daily knightly task has been simple: to battle journalists from other fortresses. But the fortresses are crumbling and courtly jousts with fellow journalists are no longer impressing the crowds.

Peter Horrocks # 20th July 2009, 5:20 pm

Newspaper Club—A work in progress. “We’re building a service to help people make their own newspapers. This is the blog where we’re alarmingly honest about where it’s all going wrong.” # 2nd July 2009, 7:34 pm

It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core problem publishing solves—the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public—has stopped being a problem.

Clay Shirky # 15th March 2009, 5:09 am

Announcing the Article Search API. The most interesting API from the NYTimes yet—search against 2.8 million articles from 1981 until today using 35 searchable fields and get back detailed metadata as well as the first paragraph of the articles themselves. # 5th February 2009, 11:06 pm

Train Crash Leads LA Times to Create Django Database on Deadline. A story from last September. I didn’t know the LA Times used Django. UPDATE: Yes I did, I introduced their panel about it at DjangoCon. Sorry, mind like a sieve sometimes. # 21st January 2009, 5:19 pm


Making the “24-hour newsroom” work (via) More on the Lawrence Journal-World, this time from the point of view of the reporters in the newsroom. # 16th June 2007, 12:27 am

Doing Local Right

“Doing Local Right” was the title of my talk at this year’s @media Europe. Patrick had asked me if I could put together a case study, and I jumped at the chance to share some of the work of my former colleagues at the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper in Lawrence, Kansas. I had the privilege of working at the newspaper for a year in late 2003-2004.

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Web Focus Leads Newspapers to Hire Programmers for Editorial Staff. It’s great to see this trend taking off. A newsroom is an excellent place to work as a programmer. # 8th March 2007, 12:27 am