Tag Archives: mainstream media

Currybet.net: Phil Spector Twitter hoax proof of ‘online honesty gap’ between bloggers and newspapers

Joanna Geary’s overt self-correction of a blog post about the Birmingham Mail and the ex-Villa player, Gareth Barry, in contrast with the mainstream media’s handling of the Phil Spector Twitter hoax, was evidence for blogger and information architect Martin Belam of the ‘online honesty gap’ between bloggers and newspapers.

Belam asks:

“Can you remember the last time you heard a newspaper executive stand up and say that ‘One of the problems our businesses face in the digital era is that we have repeatedly been caught publishing completely untrue things on the internet, and in the face of that, we then neither correct nor retract them, or apologise to our audience’?”

Jem Stone, communities executive for the BBC Audio and Music department, raises another point in the comments below Belam’s post: not all bloggers might follow Geary’s lead, he says. “Joanna is an excellent journalist who deploys blogs, tweets, social media in her work. So making those corrections comes naturally to her. But not all bloggers do this do they?”

Full post at this link…

Nicky Getgood on being a community blogger who is Not Stupid

Nicky Getgood who blogs about the Birmingham district of Digbeth, at Digbeth is Good,  has been a little riled of late, by some members of the mainstream media and their perception of bloggers. She cites a few particular examples and speaks up for the local blogger:

“I’m not mad (eccentric yes, mad no). I’m not a liar (too much Catholic guilt for that). Most importantly, I’m Not Stupid. I actually don’t think I’m that unusual in being Not Stupid. A lot of bloggers are Not Stupid enough to realise filling a blog with personal gripes, neighbourhood wars, scurrilous rumours and conjecture makes for a miserable read and isn’t going to get them or their blog very far.

“[Local bloggers] tell stories about our community from our own personal perspective, admittedly – I have never made any claim that Digbeth is Good is completely impartial – but by in large we keep things real.  And as we go on telling local stories using our own, personalised voices people reading them get to know us, talk to us and hopefully, if we’re doing it right, trust us.”

Full post at this link…

Online commenters are like ‘particularly aggressive sub-editors’ says Guardian’s Andrew Sparrow

Bloggers and journalists discussed their shifting roles and relationships in the context of online political blogging at Monday’s Voices Online blogging conference at City University, organised by the Next Century Foundation.

Blogging is improving the quality of journalism by forcing reporters to be more honest about their sources the Guardian’s senior political correspondent, Andrew Sparrow, said yesterday.

Sparrow said that traditional journalistic secrecy had become ‘hard to justify in the blogosphere’ because readers act as ‘particularly aggressive sub-editors’.

“There’s an expectation that you will be more upfront about your sources, and that’s a good thing,” he said.

“In a conventional news story, you can never own up to doubt. In a blog, it’s perfectly acceptable to say what you know and what you don’t know.”

Sparrow also suggested that political bloggers have raised the bar of competition for traditional news organisations.

“I don’t see myself as part of the blogging community in the way that Paul Staines or Nick Fielding are,” he said. “I view blogging as a tool that we use [at the Guardian] for our mainstream journalism. But I worry if the amateurs are doing it better than we are.”

However, in an earlier panel, Paul Staines questioned whether drawing a distinction between ‘journalist’ and ‘bloggers’ is still relevant.

“How long is it before we stop asking that question?” he said. “With converging digital platforms, there may no longer be a difference.”

Sparrow, who has previously reported on the political arena for the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, said that he had been frustrated by ‘the limited way you could tell stories’ in traditional print media.

“The internet has an immediacy that you don’t always get in mainstream media. I like the commentability, but it makes many journalists uncomfortable,” he said.

He added that digital media has improved the range of sources available to journalists. “Once, you might have had to spend the morning ringing ten people to find out what they thought about something, whereas now, you can subscribe to ten RSS feeds,” he said.

However, Sparrow also said that the Guardian ensures its blogs ‘report in accordance with its journalistic values and the public interest’, and acknowledged that the wider blogging community ‘survives on subjectivity’ which is at odd with traditional journalistic notions of balance.

But Mick Fealty, creator of the Slugger O’Toole blog and who also blogs at the Telegraph and the Guardian sites, insisted this did not compromise the quality and integrity of blogging. “The journalists who make good bloggers are the ones who know they’re only interjecting into a larger conversation. There is a value in being challenged,” he said.

“Truth is more useful than balance. One truth at a time is enough.”

Journalism.co.uk reported live from the Voices Online Blogging conference 2009. Follow @journalism_live on Twitter for updates from a wide array of media events.

StinkyJournalism.org: ABC News ‘exploitation of medical conditions’

StinkyJournalism.org flags up what it thinks is an example of mainstream media’s “recent venture into commercial exploitation of what former generations unkindly called ‘freaks’.”

“The ABC News photo gallery titled ‘Medical Marvels’ might just as easily have appeared in a lurid grocery store tabloid from the 1950s. It titillates viewers with a black screen and the cautionary words: ‘WARNING: Some of the following pictures are of a graphic nature. Viewer discretion is advised’.”

Full story at this link…

DNA09: ‘The Established Media React’

A look at how mainstream media (MSM) is seizing upon, or resisting technological changes.

A panel chaired by Wired Magazine’s Ben Hammersley. He is joined by:

  • Guido Baumhauer, director of marketing, sales and distribution at Deutshe Welle.

Hammersley points out this been happening for a long time. So why are we still having the same conversations about the mainstream media reacting? There wasn’t really an answer to that one but there were some other big questions raised:

Are ‘publishers’ and broadcasters ending up in the same space
?
It’s not really a relevant distinction, the BBC’s Loughrey tells Journalism.co.uk after the discussion.

“I do not see myself as part of the established media,” Hans Laroes is keen to point out at the beginning.

The broadcast enterprise is still quite a separate one from the web at Sky, says Bucks – although web users already have some influence on television content, and maybe, the future could see online increasingly dictating television content.

What on earth is ‘database journalism’?
Neil McIntosh said that while ‘it has to be said it’s being used for extremely boring journalism,’ it’s about pulling together raw material in exciting ways, such as in crime mapping. There is lots of potential for the Wall Street Journal, he added.

How do we manage editorial, strategy and sales relationships?

Following on from his keynote speech, Vandermeersch stresses that editorial, sales and strategy will have to work closer together.

However, how far that goes is up for debate he says: for example, do you drop stories which are less good commercially?

Meanwhile, at Deutsche Welle, marketing team, editorial and media sales representatives are meeting in small ‘competence teams’  in order to address monetising and editorial issues in different countries (they have 4,500 media partners worldwide), explains Baumhauer.

Obama’s digital guru (aka Thomas Gensemer) at City: “Email is still the killer app”

Obama digital campaign ‘guru,’ Thomas Gensemer, has attracted a fair bit of attention with his arrival in London – check out the Guardian G2 feature and this article at TimesOnline, for example. A Guardian video can be watched here at this link.

Gensemer, whose company Blue State Digital built the Obama website and managed the online campaign, was also speaking at City University on Tuesday evening: at an event entitled ‘Obama’s (not so) Secret Weapon: the role of the internet in the 2008 US Presidential Election’.

His talk officially launched the journalism school’s new MA in Political Campaigning and Reporting. A video of the event can be watched here.

Etan Smallman was at the event, and shares his report with us here:

Plain old-fashioned email is the key tool for successful political campaigning in the digital age, the mastermind behind the Obama digital campaign, Thomas Gensemer, told an audience at City University this week.

Thomas Gensemer, managing partner of Blue State Digital, who built the highly acclaimed online operation, dismissed the impact of social networking in favour of ‘the simplicity of email’.

The message is ‘use tools, not gimmicks’, Gensemer said. “For all the talk of social networking, blogs, and mobile applications, email is still the ‘killer app’. Our email list of 13.5 million individual email subscribers was the backbone of the campaign,” he added.

“This is not a story about technology; this is not a story about Facebook or Twitter. This is about dynamic, personalised, two-way relationship via email,” he said. Gensemer said that more than a billion emails were sent out to over 13.5 million email subscribers throughout Obama’s presidential campaign. It resulted in my.barackobama.com raising half a billion dollars in donations.

The mainstream media is ‘still included in the cycle’, Gensemer said. “It is often that you’re bypassing them to get to the audience, and then encouraging the media to tell the story to the audience. You’re inverting the relationship a little bit. They don’t serve as the filter any more – when you have the engaged constituency online, you go directly to them.”

Gensemer, who previously worked in the UK on Ken Livingstone’s unsuccessful London mayoral campaign, is currently expanding his operation to the UK political arena by opening an office in London.

thomas-gensemer-head-shot-1

Some organisations still believe their audience isn’t online, he said. “It’s no longer the case in the ‘first world’. Even people over 70 – the ‘silver surfers’ – they’re out there. They’re willing to do something for you. They just need to be asked. This isn’t just about college kids. This isn’t just about bloggers in Westminster.”

“It is not about magical technology,’ he said, arguing that the key components to successful online campaigning are transparency and authenticity: “You can’t fake it,” he added.

“Do you really believe that the average MP is Twittering?” he asked. “Do you believe that Barack Obama Twitters? I’ll tell you, he doesn’t.”

New social media crazes like Twitter ‘tend to distract,’ Gensemer said.

“It tends to be from shiny object, to shiny object, to shiny object. For organisations that need to invest in deep personal relationships with a variety of people, just doing that sort of scattergun approach is dizzying.

“It burns through political capital pretty quickly because it doesn’t really talk to the people it’s trying to talk to,” he said.

“The lesson of the Obama campaign is to use tools to facilitate a message – don’t use gimmicks. None of this would have happened [just] because somebody was Twittering.”

Sea change: did online campaign group force political transparency?

It’s an interesting landmark: a quickly put-together online campaign in the UK may have influenced a political reversal. Gordon Brown has cancelled proposals for MPs to protect the details of their expenses.

The House of Commons leader, Harriet Harman, cited lack of cross-party support as the reason behind the change, according to the BBC report.

Meanwhile, the Guardian reported:

“The decision is a major victory for freedom of information campaigners and follows growing opposition led by the Liberal Democrats to the proposal, and website campaigns urging the public to email their MP objecting to the move.”

Does this show something of a sea change in political influence? Note that the campaigners directly mobilised their supporters, without reliance on mainstream media.

Tom Steinberg, founder of My Society, the organisation behind the campaign, thinks traditional media manipulation tools had little effect.

He comments on the MySociety blog:

“This is a huge victory not just for transparency, it’s a bellweather for a change in the way politics works. There’s no such thing as a good day to bury bad news any more, the internet has seen to that.”

Matthew Cain, over on his BacAtU blog, gives five reasons why he believes the campaign had clout, and points out that Stephen Fry helped the cause too… with a humble re-tweet on Twitter:

But, also today, a reminder of the way media connections have traditionally worked, with the appointment of a new head of political lobby, the Financial Times’ Jean Eaglesham. But how much influence and inside knowledge does the lobby have anymore?

Press Gazette reported:

“Eaglesham dismissed any suggestion that the need for constant ‘rolling’ news has diminished the quality of parliamentary reporting.

“She said: ‘Clearly it’s a risk we’re all aware of, however, now we also have the added value of more analysis and breaking news through blogging and other online content. Things change so fast now, it’s fascinating.'”

The role of the lobby was discussed at the end of last year in the House of Lords. Hazel Blears talked about the influence of the political bloggers in November, in an address to the Hansard Society.

Ben Goldacre on how blogs can be ‘more reliable’ than mainstream media

Courtesy of Conrad Quilty-Harper, of the Spalpeen blog, here’s Dr Ben Goldacre on video talking about Bad Science… in a toilet (Goldacre’s choice, apparently). With little fear of the germs, Goldacre puts the loo seat down (about halfway through) and summarizes his thoughts on sensationalised science reporting.

Perhaps most interestingly for online journalists he airs his thought on media reliability: around the seven minute mark Goldacre says:

“…blogs are potentially more reliable than mainstream media ever was – mainly because you can check for each individual blog author, how credible they are, because bloggers link to primary resources…”

His thoughts on journalists and their deliberate disguising of sources (for example, not making it clear they’re quoting a press release) are worth a listen.

The doc’s getting about in the mainstream media too: he was on BBC Radio 4 (again) yesterday, featuring on ‘Start the Week‘.

Here’s the original Spalpeen video:


Ben Goldacre of Bad Science talks about Sensationalised Science Reporting from Conrad on Vimeo.

Jeffrey McManus: Consulting for free on ‘How to save journalism’

Jeffrey McManus, CEO of Platform Associates, sets out his advice on how to save the journalism industry. “Eliminate the distinction between ‘mainstream media’ and ‘blogging’. Blogging is mainstream and has been for years now. What we’ve been referring to as ‘mainstream media’ is really ‘large corporate media,’ and that model is finished,” he begins.

Mumbai online: the attacks reported live (updating)

A look at where the news has unfolded. Please post additional links below. Journalism.co.uk will add in more links as they are spotted.

Washington-based blogger and social media expert, Gaurav Mishra talks to Journalism.co.uk in an interview published on the main page.

One of the few on-the-ground user-generated content examples, Vinu’s Flickr stream (screen grab above). Slide show below:

How it has been reported:

Photography:

  • Flickr users such as Vinu, have uploaded pictures from the scene (images: all rights reserved).
  • A Flickr search such as this one, brings up images from Mumbai, although many are reproduced from a few sources. People have also taken pictures of the television news coverage.
  • But before you re-publish your finds beware: an advanced search which filters pictures by copyright and only shows up images opened up under Creative Commons, limits the results.

Blogs:

Breaking news:

Social Media:

Microblogging:

Mapping:

Video:

  • The Google video seach is here. YouTube videos are mainly limited to broadcast footage, with one user even filming the TV reports, for those without access to live television coverage. YouTube videos seem to be all second-hand broadcasts from mainstream media.

Timelines:

  • Dipity timeline here:

Campaigns / Aid: