Fridge poetry

Canadian Newspaper Tweets Turned Into Poems

Poetweet, the new online tool that automatically takes tweets from a profile and spits them out into a poem, has taken the world by storm over the past couple of days. Even TIME got in on the action.

While it’s fun to see how your timeline reads as poetry (seriously, go try it!), some of the more interesting outputs are those from major newspapers. They offer a rough and dirty collage of what’s making headlines, turning them into rather beautiful prose. Without further ado, here’s a look at what Canadian newspapers are tweeting.

You can click on the picture to go to the actual page, where you can scroll over each line and see the full tweet.

Globe & Mail

What better place to start than our paper of record?

The Globe & Mail seamlessly jumps from the XL pipeline to Melissa McCarthy’s role in the upcoming Ghostbusters movie and even covers some sports.

Globe and Mail Twitter

Poetweet takes Twitter timelines and turns them into poems. Here, the Globe & Mail is turned into “Fiscal issues,” a rondel poem.

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Seeing Automation As Opportunity, Not The End

As if journalists needed anything more to worry about, robots look poised to begin a gradual takeover of basic newswriting tasks.

The discussion surrounding robot, or automated, journalism has fired up this summer, following The Associated Press’ (AP) announcement that the majority of U.S. corporate earnings stories will go automated, thought-provoking pieces by Nieman Lab and the Guardian, and discussions at the Global Editors Network regarding automated journalism launching in Europe as early as next year.


The concept of automated journalism first gained widespread attention this March, after an earthquake provided an early wake-up call to the residents of Beverly Hills, California at 6:25 a.m. TheĀ Los Angeles TimesĀ had a story about the quake on their website up as quickly as three minutes later, according to Ken Schwenke, the reporter who’s byline accompanied the story.

How? The brief had been written by Quakebot, a program that extracts information from the U.S. Geological Survey, plugs it into a pre-configured template, and then pushes it onto the Times‘ content management system, where it waits for Schwenke to publish it.

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State of the Journalism Industry – Highlights from the AEJMC

I have the fortunate opportunity to be spending this weekend in Washington, D.C., as I have been invited to the annual conference put on by the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication to present one of my papers.

This afternoon I was able to attend the conference highlight I was most looking forward to, a panel discussion on the state of the industry featuring Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute; Jim Brady, who is editor-in-chief of Digital First Media and president of the Online News Association; Rob Mennie of Gannett Broadcasting; Karen Dunlap, president of the Poynster Institute; and the host of the panel session, Bob Papper of Hofstra University.

I cannot begin to describe how insightful, interesting and exciting this discussion was. Not surprisingly, engagement was a theme that resonated throughout the session. What was interesting, however, was the idea of a return civic journalism and commitment to communities being regarded in very high standards by news outlets.

Without further ado, I present some highlights from these powerful speakers.

Tom Rosenstiel

  • Previously, consumers had to adapt their behaviours to accommodate the media (in terms of news at specific times, for example). Today, the news media need to adapt their cycle and behaviours to suit the audience.
  • We are in a period of democratization and a type of enlightenment, in this sense.
  • Audiences are consuming more news today, not less. 25% of people state they are consuming more news, while only 10% say they are consuming less. Among those who consume through mobile technologies, 32% say they are consuming more and only 8% consuming less.

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The Newspaper That Almost Seized The Future

An amazing piece here – albeit very very long (took me about four sittings to get through it) – by the Columbia Journalism Review that looks into the San Jose Mercury, a newspaper that had a headstart on the electronic wave that has shaken the journalism industry.

The main character in the piece, Bob Ingle, was an absolute visionary for what the web could do for newspapers in bolstering content. Following a failed attempt at something called Viewtron, Ingle launced the Mercury Center, a home for extra content, online classifieds, and other important features.

Though it started out as something small in terms of extra content (transcript, press releases, etc.), Ingle grew the project over years, moving it to become one of the first on the World Wide Web, where they were then able to expand into a terrain now necessary, though not all that beneficial, to newspapers. These are things like adding audio content to accompany stories, running online classifieds (especially important in the booming Silicon Valley region at the time), and adding features that allowed the reader to have fast access to stories of interest to them.

Everything that we are still talking about newspapers having to do today – though today we talk about it on iPads and Tablets instead of on PCs – Ingle had the upper-hand on. That is the story of how the Merc almost seized the future, but ultimately, was unable to.