December 8, 2008
BBC learned the hard way that Twitter is not always reliable. I doubt they thought so from the start, but the fact that they screwed up their Mumbai terror reporting running rumors floating on Twitter not only looks bad for the publisher, it also hurts the credibility of user generated content online. Steve Herrmann writes extensively on this on The Editors blog. read more
Tags: BBC, blogs, credibility, Facebook, Journalism, Social Media, The Editors, Twitter
November 21, 2008
When asked in an interview with Sarah Palin on FoxTV, her first public interview after the election, if there were false allegations made that needed to be addressed, and Sarah Palin blames the media, with a minor slap against bloggers that is making the rounds of the blogosphere.
…if the media had taken one step further and investigated a little bit, not just gone on some blogger – probably sitting there in their parent’s basement, wearing their pajamas, blogging some kind of gossip or lie regarding, for instance, the discussion of who is Trig’s real mom…and that was in mainstream media, the question that was asked, instead of just coming to me and setting the record straight. And when I tried to correct that – that yeah, I’m truly Trig’s mother – to take days for everything to have been corrected…
Rumors are flying around that she is attacking and judging bloggers. While she does make a sweeping generalization about bloggers, one that we bloggers deal with daily, her point is to actually take the media to task for using blogs as a source of fact and fiction. read more
Tags: attack against bloggers, attack against news media, Bloggers, blogging the news, Journalism, journalist, mainstream media, news media, Palin, Sarah Palin, Social Media
October 28, 2008
Reporters working for traditional news organisations are becoming burned out because of the demands placed upon them to engage in new media and communications tools, according to journalists at the National Press Club forum at the University of Missouri.
It’s quite common to find online versions of newspapers and news broadcasters kitting out their web sites with blogs, Twitter feeds, and social networking links, but it seems that in many cases this is a loss-making exercise, done only because it’s “cool” or institutions feel that they have to “keep up”.
A correspondent for the St Louis Post-Dispatch, Tony Messenger, said that he had been blogging for years but had never had a discussion with the newsroom as to why they were blogging and how that should tie in to their business model. read more
Tags: Blogging, Journalism, National Press Club, newspaper, reporters, Social Media, traditional
August 25, 2008
NY Times blog Shifting Careers recently featured a story about a student interning at a blogger’s home office. High school student Sara Jane Berman was on-the-job for a few weeks at the home-office of NY Times columnist (and blogger) Marci Alboher and had described the experience as “different from a conventional internship.”
Instead of the stereotypical “gofer” work, such as photocopying, my job consisted of tasks such as thinking of questions for interviews, proof-reading Marci’s blog posts, and keeping an eye on her dog, Sinatra, during phone interviews.
On my first day I noticed that the line between work and home life was blurred, which may be expected from the author who coined the term “slash” as a type of career. I quickly learned that for working out of a home, versatility was essential. One minute I was answering the phone “Hello, Marci’s office” and next it was time to walk the dog or fix something for lunch.
Tags: Blogging, Education, internships, Journalism, problogging
July 21, 2008
A recent article in ABC News paints a fairly grim picture about the current state of blogging. According to the article, as well as the Media Law Resource Center, there have been 159 civil and criminal court actions taken against bloggers since 2004 with countless others threatened into silence before any kind of action was filed.
Though the number of actions taken are still very small compared to the number of bloggers writing (Technorati was tracking over 70 million blogs at its last report), the threat of legal action is enough to scare many bloggers into changing the way they write, removing content or otherwise altering their site.
The problem is that, even if the image of bloggers being sued is an exaggerated one, the image of bloggers being threatened with such suits is much less so. For every lawsuit that reaches trial, there are dozens that are settled and for every one that is settled there are likely hundreds that are threatened, but never filed.
This has helped to create a climate of fear, one that bloggers need to be prepared for.
Tags: copyright, Ethics, Journalism, Legal
May 5, 2008
I’m no big fan of the Drudge Report, a popular site run by Matt Drudge, but this I find this pretty scary, since I am a fan of free speech. The background is that the Drudge Report picked up on a story that UK Prince Harry was in Afghanistan, and that was against the agreement UK press had with the military. In other words: No one reported this, it was a sanctioned news blackout.
Tags: integrity, Journalism, Matt Drudge, The Drudge Report
Andrew Keen is the author of a book with this title:
THE CULT OF THE AMATEUR: How Blogs, Wikis, Social Networking, and the Digital World are Assaulting our Economy, Culture and Values
In a Word Press Freedom Day Debate he maintained that new media is killing journalism, a line that didn’t win according to Andrew himself. Journalism.co.uk, who are responsible for the overly aggressive headline of this story, has got a report up, where this quote stands out:
“It is no coincidence that just as you have the rise of The Huffington Post that encourages people to give away their content for free you have job losses and the death of the professional journalist.”
Read the full piece, and then check out Andrew’s piece in The Guardian, heralding lovely things like this:
The truth is that today’s internet – with its radical challenge to the traditional authority of elitist journalism – is as much a consequence of these socio-cultural changes than a cause of them. Today’s Web 2.0 media is just technology. We bring it to life. When we go online, we are staring into a ubiquitous mirror. New media is us, our collective narcissism, our aggregated hubris. So rather than accusing digital technology of killing journalism, we are the criminals here. It’s our use of democratising internet technology – our cult of the amateur, our cult of authenticity, our cult of ourselves – which is undermining the authority of professional public reporters.
What do you think? Are we killing journalism here?
Tags: Blogging, Journalism, New Media
April 25, 2008
The Smoking Gun is still going strong, making a living on publishing celebrity mugshots and a lot of other things. Mark Glaser over at MediaShift have a great interview with William Bastone, founder of The Smoking Gun, and he’s got a lot of things to say about online publishing.
There are a lot of people commenting on stuff and riffing on things and blogging, but actually reporters breaking stories on the Net — there are a lot fewer than I would expect…Even though we’re no longer running the site out of my living room and sold it, we’re still a three-person outfit. We’re the smallest division within the Time Warner monstrosity. We’re still three guys in a room who generate every story we do…We still maintain a shadow of our indie cred.
An interesting read for sure, so check it out this weekend.
April 21, 2008
As a blogger, links have been part of my daily blogging rounds. I click links on blogs to check out references and sources. And I use links on my blog posts to provide readers relevant information or alternative sources of information. Links have been so prevalent in the blogging culture that sometimes we tend to take these for granted.
However, not everyone is familiar with links, and the relevance of hyperlinking in blogging and the Web in general.
For instance, consider someone from the traditional media. How would they consider links? Would they think of links as relevant or important, even? Formal studies and print publications would usually include footnotes or even endnotes with references. Or, sources can be referenced in the bibliographies or appendices. But what about links? Well, you can’t hyperlink from paper, can you?
In fact, I have a few colleagues whose background involves traditional media of all kinds (print journalism, radio broadcasting). They’re prolific writers, yes. But in a way, they are still not that familiar with using links when writing blog posts. Or perhaps they are, but they just prefer to stick to their way of citing material. The way they reference sources and related information is a bit different. But that is not to say it’s inadequate. Being from traditional media, they tend to be able to do better research, and to dig deeper into the facts.
Referencing Jonathan Bailey’s recent post about lessons for and from journalism, I would think that effective linking is another lesson that journalists can learn from the bloggers. Having good sources and references is one thing. But giving your readers easier access to these would definitely be better, especially in a more interactive environment.
However, this should be the case for bloggers, too. Effective linking would mean using links more sensibly and reasonably, and thus ensuring the quality of the links. Just like how a journalist wouldn’t cite bogus information, we bloggers should try our best to link only to the good stuff. You wouldn’t link to a scraper site to cite information, would you?
So here’s a challenge I pose to our dear readers. Whenever you see a hyperlink on a blog or a webpage, don’t just click on it blindly. Try to think about the relevance of that link. Why was it there in the first place? What was the intent of the author? Is it relevant at all? Is it even appropriate?
The search engines have been looking into quality of linkages (both inbound and outbound). Shouldn’t we humans start doing the same?
Tags: Blogging, Editorial, hyperlinks, Journalism, linking, Opinion
As the proud holder of a journalism degree, I am always looking for ways to connect what I’ve learned both in school and in previous jobs to my blogging.
The fact is that blogging and traditional news reporting are actually closer to one another than many would like to admit. They both involve many of the same elements including, finding stories, researching them, writing the article, crafting the headline and finding supporting media.
So what do professional journalists have to teach bloggers, especially new/amateur ones and what can bloggers teach the print world about online media?
As it turns out, there is a great deal for both sides to learn, if they are willing to listen.
Tags: Blogging, Ethics, Journalism, New Media