How do you ensure accuracy with speed, so that social media driven journalism is credible?
Conciseness, the ability to summarise complex stories in the 140 characters demanded by microblogs such as Twitter, should already be a given.
However, some twitterati often appear to be unconcerned whether the information they distribute is correct, coherent or even recent.
Twitter is often maligned as fast and simple chat for empty headed gossips. This may be often true.
But if its combined with good journalism fact checking, it can help create an unprecedented network of sources providing global reach, diversity and credibility.
Jess Hill, 28, is a reporter and producer at ABC Radio current affairs. Her Twitter site shows she’s following more than three thousand other chatters; a distinct contrast to celebrity journalists who talk more than they might appear to listen. She began using Twitter for reporting on the first day of the Libyan protests. Instead of trying to find people on conventional contact lists, she began putting messages out on Twitter asking, “Does anyone in #…. know about… and then have a conversation back and forth” But how did she know the people she was chatting with were who they said they were? More…
Journalism and Information Technology have been fused in a new Master of Computer Science and Journalism degree offered by Columbia University.
Columbia, based in New York, said the program aimed to help redefine journalism in a fast-changing digital media environment. Graduates could be employed as a:
- Online editor/manager of information technology at a large news organization
- Data-mining expert for journalistic applications and investigative journalism
- Entrepreneur/founder of media startup
- Web designer for news site
Four Corners celebrates 50 years of investigative journalism
What makes investigative journalism different from ordinary reporting? Daily reporters are deluged with transitory events which often obscure the larger issues; the gaffes, media releases, staged photo opportunities and the hot house intrigues of parliamentary politics. Pressed by deadlines, and hemmed by the size of the news hole, daily journalists often have to ignore the stories behind the news. Investigative journalists can go much further. If journalism is non fiction writing (news) embedded with identifiable sources, Investigative Journalism can involve finding important news someone does not want the public to know. More…
Australia’s most prestigious newspaper group, Fairfax Media, this week moved to sack about eighty experienced sub-editors to outsource production and cut costs. The move followed share price falls resulting from from weak advertising markets, currency fluctuations and the impact of the internet on readership. It may have long term implications for the journalism culture which has sustained quality Fairfax newspapers.
Newspapers, like the automatic wrist watch or the big gun battleship, were inventions of the mechanical age. Journalists were at the front end of an information assembly line where reporters collected the raw materials, sub-editors refined it, lay out staff boilerplated the words together and printers manufactured the industrial out put. Newspapers were called “the daily miracle”.
Queensland police media had thirty nine million Facebook hits in twenty four hours during the flood crisis.
Social media “saved us”, according to Queensland Police Media Executive Director, Kym Charlton.
“That equates to someone looking at our Facebook site 450 times every second”, she said. More…
There has always been a view in the journalism industry that journalism educators should really be producing a better class of word technician. We heard a little of that at the Journalism Education conference , from some members of the industry panel who reckoned that what they needed was future journalists expert in the Dickensian skills of shorthand and writing news copy designed for the telegraph.
I have heard worse. I remember a celebrated JEA conference on the Gold Coast , when the cadet trainer, as he was styled, from the Brisbane Courier Mail got up before us and said he’d looked at all the university journalism courses and in his words, “they are all bullshit”!
“Why are they bullshit?” he asked.
“Because they don’t teach spelling and punctuation!” More…
Mainstream journalism has failed the public interest, reckons author, Martin Hirst. Citizen journalism is too feeble to provide a viable alternative. The future looks grim.
Fortunately, Dr Hirst believes that pessimism of the intellect should be coupled with optimism of the will.
Dr Martin Hirst is an Associate Professor of Journalism at the Auckland University of Technology. A former Sydney journalist, he’s previously co-published a book on journalism ethics.
Hirst’s new book,News 2.0, asks whether journalism can survive the internet? His brief is broad and his arguments impeccable. But ultimately he provides only qualified answers. More…
Sydney once boasted of one of the world’s wildest and wooliest Journalists clubs. Unique in Australia, the club owned its own city building which served as a centre for strikes, union meetings, offered literary awards, held a star studded guest speaker series and a library founded by one Australia’s leading poets and featured, lets admit it, a good deal of drinking.
Memorabilia from the Sydney club, which closed in 1997, is informing a major research project on Australian contemporary journalism history by the University of Technology Sydney.
Club members included a who’s who of Australian journalism, as well as movie stars like the iconic Chips Rafferty and Academy Award winner, Peter Finch and Prime Ministers, Robert Menzies and John Curtin.
Labor governments have been crippled by leaders appointed for their obedience to factions and state public services paralysed by generations of political appointments. The people selected to fill these highly paid and powerful positions are drawn from a shrinking Labor Party and its mates and relatives. More…