Friday, June 18, 2010

Hello Again!

It has been awhile since I have written to the blog. It is obvious that I am not a dedicated blogger. That said I am committed to continue to try.

I have had the opportunity in the past two weeks to attend two conferences that were both focused on the creation and movement of digital content. The first conference was entitled The Future of Reading (most believe this practice will continue) and the second one was entitled Current Practices in Fine Art Reproduction. While I heard and learned many interesting things at both of these conferences I was once again reminded of the power of media distribution and the various methods in which content can be repurposed and moved from platform to platform.

This was just a little nugget that I wanted to share. Hopefully in the near future I will have some more concrete information to blog about, but for now I would encourage you to check out the websites from both of these recent conferences as I think you will find the information very insightful. For The Future of Reading go to: and for Current Practices in Fine Art Reproduction go to:


Distribution Diva

Friday, May 7, 2010

Isaiah Thomas Award in Publishing - Part II

Sorry I've been MIA. I guess I don't deserve to be in the Blogger's Club. My last blog was focused on the annoucment of the 2010 Isaiah Thomas Award in Publishing Recipient, Mark S. Mikolajczyk, President and Publisher of FLORIDA TODAY. Today's posting is focused on the events surrounding the awards ceremony which was held on April 21, 2010.

When Isaiah Thomas' newspaper The Massachusetts Spy covered the growing resistance to British royal rule in the American colonies, handwritten notes were typeset, with each sheet printed one at a time and then the finished newspaper was put together and distributed.

"Today, the battles of Lexington or Concord would be covered by journalists uploading handheld video to the Web as they Tweet and Facebook about the combat," Florida Today Publisher Mark S. Mikolajczyk said Wednesday.

Even as the technology and techniques of delivering news have changed, and as the business of newspapering has stumbled under the weight of the economy and changing trends, "We've not given up and rolled over," said the winner of Rochester's Institute of Technology's Isaiah Thomas Award in Publishing. "We're transforming our business to meet the needs of our customers. Through innovation and risk taking, we're winning the battle."

The Thomas Award is arguably the biggest honor given by RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, and it goes to noteworthy people in the newspaper industry, said Twyla Cummings,Ph.D., interim associate dean of the College of Imaging Arts & Sciences. Past winners have included Washington Post Co. President Katharine Graham and New York Times Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. Mikolajczyk is the 26th winner of the award. A Cleveland native, he is a 1983 graduate of RIT.

During the awards ceremony, Mikolajczyk talked about how necessity — from the economy to the broad trend of readers seeking news in a widening variety of mediums — pushed Florida Today to change its operations over the past four years. Along with a daily newspaper and a variety of smaller publications, it also puts sizable resources into its Website, including staff responsible for getting breaking news online quickly. And Florida Today does a daily 30-minute televised news show five days a week.

So how long until Florida Today no longer comes out in paper form? "That's the $1 million question," Mikolajczyk said. "The news is the important part and the paper is just one of the delivery systems."

But given the 70,000 papers it sells daily, he added, "Print will be around for quite some time."


Friday, March 5, 2010

Isaiah Thomas Award in Publishing

As I have noted before media is distributed in many ways. One primary media distribution channel is in news delivery. This year RIT will celebrate an outstanding professional in the news media industry by presenting him with the Isaiah Thomas Award in Publishing. From a recent press release:

Mark Mikolajczyk, president and publisher of FLORIDA TODAY, is the recipient of the 2010 RIT Isaiah Thomas Award in Publishing. He will receive the award—presented by Rochester Institute of Technology—on April 21.

The Isaiah Thomas Award in Publishing, named for one of America’s great patriot printers, recognizes outstanding contributions made to the publishing industry. Mikolajczyk is the 26th recipient of the award.

In 2006, Mikolajczyk was named president and publisher of FLORIDA TODAY, which is part of the U.S. Community Publishing Division of Gannett Co. Inc. In November 2009, he was named South Group vice president and oversees Gannett’s Florida newspapers in Fort Myers, Tallahassee and Pensacola. A native of Cleveland, Mikolajczyk graduated from RIT in 1983 with a B.S. in printing management and technology.

“RIT is proud to honor Mark Mikolajczyk with the 2010 Isaiah Thomas Award,” says Bill Destler, RIT President. “He is not only a leader of innovation in the publishing industry, but a shining example of an RIT graduate who has shown that hard work, commitment and leadership can lead to tremendous success.”

“One of the many criteria for this award is someone who has demonstrated career achievements and been a role model for students pursuing careers in the fields of printing, publishing and media,” says Twyla Cummings, Paul and Louise Miller Distinguished Professor at RIT. “Mark Mikolajczyk has clearly demonstrated these attributes in his more than 25 years in the news media industry. As an alumnus of RIT’s School of Print Media, he is someone that our students can look to as a true success story. We are proud to welcome Mark to a select group of award recipients.”

Mikolajczyk’s career in the newspaper industry began at Newsday, where he served as a summer production intern. He then went on to work as a production coordinator and night operations manager at USA Today. His career path included jobs at the Cincinnati Enquirer and Times Herald in Port Huron, Mich. In 1996, he joined Gannett’s corporate staff in Arlington, Va., as director of production for the newspaper division. He moved up the ranks to hold positions as vice president of production and senior vice president of operations for the newspaper division. Prior to his current position, Mikolajczyk served as president and CEO of the Detroit Newspaper Partnership from 2005 to 2006.

“While a student at RIT, Mark was a leader and an innovator,” says Brian Ambor, vice president of operations, Democrat and Chronicle, and a 1985 graduate of RIT. “As a graduate, he continued to demonstrate these characteristics at Gannett. Over the years, he has worked his way up the ladder to his current position as president and publisher of FLORIDA TODAY and a regional vice president for the South Group of the U.S. Community Publishing. Mark has been successful in his career for many reasons. Overall, he is a leader, communicator and innovator in our industry.”

Past recipients of the Isaiah Thomas Award include Tom Curley, president and CEO of the Associated Press, and Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of the New York Times Co. and publisher of The New York Times.

RIT established the Isaiah Thomas Award in 1979 to honor leaders in the newspaper industry. The award is named in tribute to an early leader of the American printing industry. In 1779, Isaiah Thomas created The Massachusetts Spy at a print shop known as the “sedition factory” by the British colonial government. Additionally, in 1810, Thomas wrote The History of Printing in America, which was regarded as the basic source of information on early American printing and publishing.

We congratulate Mark for his accomplishments.


Friday, February 12, 2010

What's the Twitter About?

Sorry to be disconnected for so long. Life gets in the way of the best intentions.

There has been a lot of chatter lately about the use of social media for news distribution. The question has been raised: "Can reliable news stories be written based on Facebook and Twitter? My answer is no. What is Twitter anyway? From my and many other's perspective its only purpose is to answer the "What am I doing right now?" question which is clearly not news. At least not to me.

There is no question that social media outlets like Twitter allows news to travel very fast to the masses, but at the end of the day news needs to be reliable and of quality.

Enough said ... for now.


Friday, January 8, 2010

The Future of Media Distribution

Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!

What does the year 2010 hold for the world of media and the distribution of content? I don't know specifically, but I do know that the way in which content is distributed will continue to amaze us and that it is unlikely that we will go back to traditional methods as the norm. In reading an article entitled News Orgs'Goal for 2010: Imagine tomorrow's media world today the message is to plan for the future even if we are unsure what the future will look like. Pretty scary, but the technology and the creativity exists to make this happen. To read the full article go to:

Think about it.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Print is not dead ... it's different

A comment was made by one of my students that in my class on media distribution that I focused too heavily on print. I hope that isn't true because it certainly wasn't the intent nor was it in the course outline. That said I do have an affinity for purposeful print. Print is not dead it's different and it's not just on paper.

The Print Council promotes this very message through their website and presentations where they collaborate with industry partners. Their very compelling publication "Why Print" provide ten reasons why printed content is important in everyday life. For more information on the Print Council go to:

So I leave you with a message of good tidings and joy as we head into the new year. I will take a break from the blog until next year.

Happy Holidays,


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Power of Media ... When is it too much?

The recent revelation of Tiger Wood's "transgression" reminded me once again of the power of media. This power lies in the ability to transmit content instantly via multiple channels everywhere and to any and everyone.

This capability has proven to be life changing in many cases. Sometimes those life changing experiences are very positive and lucrative (e.g. Susan Boyle) and in other situations the experience serves as a reminder that you can't do wrong and get away with it. I am sure that Tiger and others wish they would have considered the consequences of their actions before engaging in inappropriate activities that have been played out on the world stage.

The power of media results in that constant "in your face" and "in your ears" exposure that reinforces wonderful events and disgusting acts. Media outlets work diligently to find more dirt and new angles. Technology makes it easier for this to be accomplished.

So to Tiger and others I say media is powerful and the methods for accessing information are very sophisticated. Best advice: don't do it.