Tag Archives: Las Vegas

MediaPost: Las Vegas newspaper to reveal commenter identities

Background: Federal prosecutors in Las Vegas are seeking the identity of two anonymous commenters on a Las Vegas Review-Journal article about the tax evasion trial of local business owner Robert Kahre.

The prosecutors’ initial request was for the names, IP addresses, email addresses and other personal details of more than 100 commenters on the article.

The paper has agreed to hand over the information in response to the ‘whittled down’ request, but civil liberty groups argue that the prosecutors’ action could ‘chill political dissent’.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that no right-thinking person would read the two comments in question and see them as a threat, ‘particularly considering the context, where hyperbolic political speech is to be expected’.

They are definitely not unequivocal and unconditional direct threats against anyone. At most, they are exaggerated expressions of the authors’ objections to the case, and are fully protected by the First Amendment,” said EFF attorney Kevin Bankston.

Context, subjectivity, freedom of speech – an interesting case in community management and reader interaction.

Full story at this link…

Local newspapers must ‘own’ local news, says Curley

In a recent blog post, the Washington Post’s Rob Curley applauds the Las Vegas Sun newspaper for its coverage of a fire at the Monte Carlo hotel, Las Vegas. Curley heaps praise on the layered and multimedia approach the paper took in its reporting, as well as the speed with which it was produced.

This is his breakdown of how the news was reported by the Sun:

1. Began with a live blog, regularly updated by the newsroom staff.

2. Addition of photos – the newspaper also set up a way for users to submit their own images through Flickr.

3. Overview of the situation and context e.g. history of the Monte Carlo hotel.

4. Addition of videos – all put up, as Curley points out, while the building was still burning.

“To me, this was a nearly textbook example of how a local newspaper should cover a big breaking news story in its community in the iPhone era,” Curley writes.

His advice to other newspaper newsrooms: be prepared for breaking news.

  • Ask what the contingency plan is for a sudden surge in traffic coming to your site – can it cope?
  • Have breaking news page templates to hand – something that Curley used in his time with the Naples Daily News and the Lawrence Journal-World.
  • Offer real time coverage to beat rival media.
  • Don’t just treat the story in print – this will be after the event has happened and too late.

Why bother? Because, says Curley, local news organisations should use their proximity to events to beat off the competition and serve their audience best.

A comment on this article from Saturday’s print edition of the newspaper, which was used to complement the web coverage, neatly sums up Curley’s argument: “I couldn’t have got that from CNN or any other news station. I was hooked from the start.”

Myfootballwriter.com: a lesson in going online

This blog post is part of the Carnival of Journalism hosted, this month, by Adrian Monck’s blog

In May, Rick Waghorn, founder of sports news website myfootballwriter.com, is hoping to attend a Las Vegas awards ceremony and hear whether his plans for sports news sites in the US will receive $2 million as part of the Knight News Challenge.

Yet, before the potential glitz and glamour of Vegas, myfootballwriter.com will compete in the EDF Energy East of England media awards (award ceremony: Whipsnade Zoo).

The site is in the running for the Website of the Year award and comes up against the site of Waghorn’s former employer, the Norwich Evening News, who after 14 years handed Waghorn a redundancy package and the financial – and personal – impetus to go it alone online.

Having started as a sports news site dedicated to Norwich City FC, myfootballwriter.com has since spawned an Ipswich Town site and in a recent recruitment drive attracted more than 70 young journalists to apply for reporting positions on new sites.

While the eveningnews24 site should be applauded for investing in its online operations, that myfootballwriter is competing directly against it is a case study in favour of the changing shape of the industry.

The site has used its online-only status – with no backing from a print product such as the Norwich Evening News or the same size editorial team – to its advantage: rolling deadlines mean rolling news coverage, while being dedicated to one locality and subject allows for more in-depth analysis and reporting.

What is more, Waghorn says he is still ‘a footsoldier’, attending matches and press conferences, filing reports and chasing transfer rumours. At the same time he can develop and innovate with the site – as he is doing with the plans to move into the US and the development of a locally-focused advertising system.

Waghorn stresses that he has by no means ‘cracked it’, yet what he has achieved so far should be used as an aspirational model by both his former paymasters at Archant and the rest of the print media in their attempts to ‘crack’ the online medium.