Tag Archives: Israel

News tracker helps uncover cit-j story in earthquake aftermath

Behind the reported events of last week’s earthquake in China, a story of a citizen journalism was emerging.

Ronen Medzini, an Israeli student, affected by the earthquake in the Chengdu area was quoted by the Associated Press on the crisis in the area.

Medzini’s role in reporting the disaster, which was quickly picked up by other mainstream media, was in itself newsworthy – he reported the devastation around him in a text message sent to the AP, a citizen journalist breaking news on a mobile.

But how to detect this thread within the mass of reporting? Ian Cairns from Managing News, has blogged about how the system, which tracks and analyses mainstream and social media sources, did just this.

What is particularly interesting – and crucial – about how Managing News worked in this situation, is the collaboration between two of its features: a map displaying geotagged news items on a topic (in this case breaking news) and a tag cloud.

Investigating the tag cloud next to the map of news coverage of the earthquake, tags for both ‘Ronen Medzini’ and ‘cellular’ showed up, as such highlighting the cit-j element of the story which would otherwise have been buried.

Interesting how the visual representation of news trends, in this case, allowed the observer to quickly pick up on new leads in the reporting.

Guardian removes suicide bomb video after 550 complaints

The Guardian has removed a video from its website showing a suicide bomb attack in Israel after more than 550 complaints were made about the footage.

The piece, which was selected from a package of footage and text supplied to the paper by Reuters, showed the wounded being taken to hospital, as well as statements from the Palestinian agriculture minister and a Hamas spokesman. It was removed four days after being posted to the site.

Writing about the decision to remove the video from the site, Siobhain Butterworth, readers’ editor, says most traffic to the video came from the site Honest Reporting, which criticised the lack of an Israeli spokesperson in the footage.

In response Butterworth points out that at the time no Israeli sources featured in the Reuters package.

She also directs complainants, readers and Honest Reporting to the paper’s other online coverage of the event:

“Honest Reporting linked only to the video; it ignored the rest of the Guardian’s coverage. It didn’t mention that the story published on the day of the bombing (and which the video accompanied) began with comments from the Israeli prime minister and included statements from an eyewitness, a doctor at the scene and a police spokesman. Stories about the event in the following days also included statements from Israeli sources.”

However, with regards to the video in question, Butterworth admits there was ‘an editing error’, which may have lead to a perceived Palestinian bias. While this was the reason the piece was removed, this was not ‘a deliberate attempt to give a one-sided response to the event’, she adds.