Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dan Weintraub engages column writing in a 'conversation'

CSU, SACRAMENTO, Sacramento, Calif., USA - Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Weintraub said he is bullish on journalism, less bullish on newspapers themselves when he spoke to the column-writing class at CSU, Sacramento Tuesday night.

Weintraub, a veteran newsman who has spent the last eight years with The Sacramento Bee in a columnist's dream job, said that the evolving nature of the business is exciting as a participant, but that the impacts of the new information technologies on the newspaper industry have been devastating.

One of Weintraub's newest Sacramento Bee projects, in addition to his regular column writing, has been to edit a new Bee feature called "The Conversation," a segment that is published both in print and online on Sunday, but continues through the week online with readers making comments.

Software glitches have added to the adventure. But Weintraub says that "The Conversation" is still a work in progress.

The students offered a number of suggestions for making the feature more interactive, including making it easier for readers to access the latest postings to "The Conversation." In a recent software shift, that function was somehow dropped.

Here's a brief video of a portion of the presentation.