Posts Tagged ‘reporting’

Video: Jeff Jarvis, Michael Arrington talk bias and transparency

May 24th, 2011

Michael Arrington talks transparency, bias with Jeff Jarvis

Media guru Jeff Jarvis sat down with Michael Arrington at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference yesterday.

The conversation focuses on objectivity and transparency in journalism, new journalism and what it means to be a reporter today.

I’ll let the video speak for itself without too much primer, but for those interested in bias, transparency and the discussion around the role of journalists, it’s an interesting talk:

Video spoof sheds light on journalism’s obsession with social media

October 20th, 2010

Illustration by Matt Hamm

If you were to sit in on a meeting with the digital media team of any news organization, you’d hear discussion about Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, YouTube and just about every other hot tech start-up that is playing a role in redefining the media landscape.

While the benefits of using social media are obvious, there comes a point where we have to ask: How much is too much? How much should a news organization rely on social media in its newsgathering-process, and how much should the “old-school” methods be utilized to gather info? The answer depends on the news organization, but KDFW has produced a spoof video (below) that is going viral. The video pokes fun at social media obsession in newsgathering.

Posted to its Facebook page on Monday, the video pokes fun at every social media tool and journalism’s increasing obsession with each. Some of the video highlights include a reporter who doesn’t say a word on TV, instead choosing to share news by sending tweets from his mobile phone; it showcases a reporter taking a picture with a corpse so she can post it to her Facebook page; and a reporter who checks-in on FourSquare to get coupons while reporting on-scene.

According to the Dallas Observer, the video looks to have debuted at the Lone Star Emmys. Here it is:

- Cross-posted to Future of Media

Facebook, media outlets discuss social media’s news revolution

August 17th, 2010

Social media has upended everything from how people find information to media organizations’ business models. Digital Journal talks to a few industry leaders on what this means for the future of media.

In media circles, the words “social media” are uttered almost as often as one would greet a co-worker in the morning, for good reason: It’s completely changed journalism, business models and strategies of news organizations.

According to comScore, almost 75 percent of global Web users access social media sites every month. When it comes to generating revenue, eMarketer says U.S. advertisers will spend $1.68 billion on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter in 2010. That is a 20 percent jump over 2009 numbers.

And when it comes to journalism, many experts agree social media lets reporters have more frequent two-way communication with news consumers; it allows journalists to find more sources and real-time information; and it enables inexpensive live reporting for just about anyone.

“Social media has fundamentally changed the two most important aspects of traditional news, namely breaking news and commentary,” Jordan Banks, managing director of Facebook Canada, told DigitalJournal.com. “As a result, it is no longer sufficient just to provide the news. The expectation of the masses is now to be able to participate in the news, to share it, shape it, comment on it, define it and to use it as a tool to democratize the entire creation and dissemination process.”

Banks oversees Facebook’s Canadian operations and is responsible for leading and managing all commercial operations from the company’s Toronto-based office.

Previously, Banks was the managing partner at Thunder Road Capital which he founded in 2008 to provide investment and advisory services to early stage technology companies. Prior to that role he was the CEO of JumpTV and managing director of eBay Canada.

As a seasoned executive who has run the Canadian offices of a few Silicon Valley giants, Banks is widely respected and is an expert on social media’s impact on business. In one of his first major public events since taking over Facebook’s Canadian operations, Banks is set to appear on a five-person panel discussion at the Future of Media, an event taking place in Toronto on Sept. 8. The event is hosted by DigitalJournal.com and invites key executives, entrepreneurs, social media experts and journalists to comment on the future of media and engage in a Q&A with audience members.

“In a world where ‘social’ is the norm and expectation, all content — and news is no exception — will have to play by the rules of transparency, honesty and mass collaboration,” said Banks. With social media changing how, where and when people communicate, large news organizations are now adapting their business models and strategies to capitalize on an increasingly engaged audience.

“Media organizations need to look at social media as a distribution tool to get their content and brand to readers and users who may not be visiting their website, mobile site and applications,” Anjali Kapoor told DigitalJournal.com. Kapoor is the Managing Editor, Digital at The Globe and Mail. “The experience of a news user has also changed and more often than not, a news item might show up in a Facebook feed or Twitter feed first. It offers amazing potential and changes the way journalists need to think about their audience and their journalism.”

Kapoor oversees the editorial digital strategy for The Globe and Mail. She was also director of product and editorial at Yahoo! Canada where she was responsible for overseeing the product strategy and business goals of the Media Group. She will also be speaking at the Future of Media in Toronto on Sept. 8.

Kapoor says a social media plan and strategy is always an integral part of The Globe and Mail‘s coverage of various news stories. She says the Globe is using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to cover stories and cites a Toronto example: “Our coverage of the G20 Summit was a combination of traditional journalism and a live blog that incorporated real-time tweeting, photos and video from reporters, our readers and other blogs,” Kapoor said.

Print journalism is not the only medium to be affected by social media, either. As David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News told DigitalJournal.com, broadcast media is also in the middle of undergoing massive change.

“The ivory tower approach of an anchor telling the audience what kind of day it’s been has been replaced by a collaborative and symbiotic relationship between the audience and the reporter,” Skok said. “On a consumption level, the audience now gets to decide what it wants, when it wants it. Whether through social graphs or geo-targeted hyper-local news, the audience that now determines what’s important to them and their friends, and not the news editor.”

Skok oversees the local and national digital properties under the GlobalNews.ca network. His career spans both the online and on-air worlds of news, and he’s pioneered many of Global News’ online and cross-platform efforts. Prior to that position, he worked with ABC News in Washington on its Nightline program, and with CHUM Radio in Toronto. Skok will also be speaking at the Future of Media in Toronto on Sept. 8.

“The ultimate purpose of journalism is to communicate with, and on behalf of, the audience,” said Skok. “As the audience changes the way it consumes news and information, it is vital that journalists reflect these changes both in their news-gathering and storytelling abilities. Ignoring the effect of social media on journalism is akin to turning your back on the audience you serve.”

Skok believes social media has greatly increased the transparency between news organizations and their audiences, which has improved relationships between the two. And while many news organizations have embraced social media in some way, Skok believes they are not utilizing new platforms to their fullest.

“Very few news organizations have a strong grasp of what each services’ strengths and weaknesses are, and how each can be effectively used as distribution and communication tools,” he said. “Social media isn’t just about communicating to your audience, it’s about sharing with and learning from them in a transparent and honest way. That’s a concept that I think most news organizations are still grappling with.”

For more info on social media and mobile platforms, don’t miss the Future of Media event in Toronto on Sept. 8. The event is hosted by DigitalJournal.com and it’s free to attend but space is limited. More info on the event can be found here.

YouTube announces ‘News Feed’ showcasing top citizen journalism

June 15th, 2010
To tap into the growing market of Web-savvy news junkies, YouTube has announced its testing a new feature called News Feed. The feature incorporates news videos from both citizen journalists and professional news outlets.

YouTube may be famous for quirky videos, but with 24 hours of video footage uploaded every minute to the site, there is also a lot of news being reported.

Working with the the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, YouTube announced it is creating a News Feed designed to help Web-goers find breaking news videos. In total, three journalism-school students and grads from Berkeley are working at YouTube for the summer on the project, the school announced.

In addition to finding and organizing video, YouTube will be working with media organizations to expand their presence online.

YouTube’s News Feed will focus on breaking news, highlighting the most recent videos, as well as videos that showcase impressive visuals and video content from citizen journalists. The News Feed can be found on YouTube’s CitizenTube where the company has collected and showcased news videos in the past.

CitizenTube showcases a lot of citizen journalism work, including not-so-friendly encounters with politicians, international protests and gorillas attempting escape from a zoo.

A few examples include one roving reporter who got a South Carolina congressman running for governor to admit his campaign commercial incorrectly states he is retired from the US Army (watch the video); a video of a bomb going off in a crowded rally in Nairobi, Kenya (watch it here); and activists who took to the streets of Tehran to mark the one-year anniversary of the Iranian election (the video is here).

Politicians will also find it important to remember everyone with a camera is a potential reporter, as the video below clearly demonstrates. In it, U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-NC, aggressively grabs a student who approached him on a sidewalk to ask about his support for the Obama administration. He later apologized.


If you’re a citizen journliasts or freelancer, you can Tweet YouTube @citizentube to let them know you uploaded a video that may be of interest.

Study: Citizen Journalism sites complement newspapers

May 27th, 2010

According to a study in the Newspaper Research Journal, citizen journalism sites, including both news sites and blogs, differ significantly from newspaper websites. The report says citizen journalism complements rather than replaces commercial news sites.

Anyone following the rapidly changing world of media has noticed citizen journalists are increasingly playing some sort of role in the news-gathering process. Be it tipping-off pro journos about issues, working independently to dig through government documents or joining citizen journalism networks such as my company Digital Journal, citizen journalists are an increasingly active group.

As citizen journalism grows, more and more people are looking at its relationship with mainstream media. According to a study in the spring edition of the Newspaper Research Journal, citizen journalism complements rather than substitutes commercial news sites.

Researchers at Michigan State University, the University of Missouri, and the University of North Carolina examined content from 86 citizen blog sites, 53 citizen news sites and 63 daily newspaper sites in June and July 2009. Research evaluated which sites publish content on a daily basis, and how similar content was between citizen and mainstream sources.

“Like weeklies, citizen news and blog sites can serve as complements to daily newspapers,” the study notes. “They can provide opinion and hyperlocal news that large dailies do not. Dailies have more resources, but they tend to concentrate those resources on issues that affect larger geographic areas in their markets. The dailies are less likely to cover details of a neighborhood than are citizen news and blog sites, unless they actually imitate these citizen sites. Perhaps serving as a complement better suits these citizen sites.”

The study also indicates citizen journalism sites were further divided into “citizen news” sites and “citizen blog” sites. Researchers classified each by examining the “About” and “FAQ” sections on each site.
“The citizen news sites and citizen blog sites appear to be very different,” researchers note. “The citizen news sites resemble daily newspaper sites more than do blog sites, which indicates clearly that blog and news sites are not necessarily substitutes for each other within a local community.”

When it comes to timeliness of reporting, the researchers noted citizen blogs sites are not typically as up-to-date as daily newspaper websites. Their findings indicated 27.1 percent of the 85 citizen blog sites evaluated had published news on the day researchers visited the site. Furthermore, 55.3 percent published during the past week and another 10.6 percent had published within two weeks.

“Citizen news sites were slightly timelier than citizen blog sites, but the vast majority was not timely if daily posting is the standard for timeliness,” the study indicates.

From a technological and interactivity perspective, researchers say newspaper sites are more “sophisticated technologically than citizen blog sites,” as they often host more interactive content such as polls, forums and the ability to upload content.

One distinction, however, is that daily newspaper sites allowed more uploading opportunities than citizen blog sites, but not more than citizen news sites.

When it comes to linking to external sources, the study notes that citizen blog sites typically have more links to local websites than newspaper sites. Citizen blogs also link to other citizen news and blog sites more often than newspaper sites.

Researchers say data indicates citizen journalism sites (news and blog sites) are generally not substitutes for daily newspaper websites because they’re not as timely or not updated as often. Researchers say that is likely because news sites have greater financial resources to run a newsroom.

“Timeliness requires a newsroom that interacts with the community on a regular basis, and, as a result, news stories typically require greater investment of time than do opinion pieces,” the report says.

That said, the report indicates citizen news sites are more like weekly newspapers, and could pose as a better substitute for a weekly.

The study was financed with grants from the Knight and Pew foundations and authored by Stephen Lacy, Margaret Duffy, Daniel Riffe, Esther Thorson and Ken Fleming. The entire study can be found online here (opens in PDF).