Tag Archives: Texas

Don’t direct students to file FOI requests to universities, Texas lecturers told

From the US last week, but worth reading – a curious situation for journalism academics:

Journalism teachers sometimes instruct students to file such requests under the Texas Public Information Act to gain experience using an important tool for reporters.

But in response to an inquiry from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, an A&M [Texas A&M University] campus about 155 miles north of Austin, the system’s general counsel warned that a faculty member could be disciplined and even fired for directing students to file requests with any of the system’s 12 universities and seven agencies. Faculty members are free to direct students to file requests with other state universities and agencies.

Full story on Statesman.com at this link…

RCFP: Texas court finds links in e-mail can be defamatory

I’ve been wondering about how ‘linking’ fits into defamation law for a while, and I’ve just stumbled across this story by the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press (RCFP):

A federal bankruptcy court in Texas became one of the first to find that individuals can be held liable for linking to defamatory blog posts earlier this year.

The court in In re Perry held that an individual’s e-mail opened him up to a defamation claim even though he did not author any of the inflammatory postings himself.

Full story at this link…

Reportr.net: Blogging from International Online Journalism Symposium

If you’ve got the time, you can follow the live updates from the International Online Journalism Symposium at UT Austin in Texas, via the event’s live-stream (you have to download the relevant plug-in).

Alfred Hermida is updating after sessions over at Reportr.net. Here’s his post from the first panel:’The search for a business model for journalism‘.

He blogs on ProPublica’s Paul Steiger presentation here, at this link.

The AP ‘beginning to fracture’ as members form collectives, reduce reliance

The Wall Street Journal wrote this week that the 162-year-old Associated Press (AP) is ‘beginning to fracture’ as the newspaper business in the US breaks up.

The AP last week announced a new set of ‘wire’ tools and cash back options to sweeten newspaper clients that are becoming disenchanted with the fees it demands and its increasing focus providing news and information packages for web publishing and non-traditional customers like Google and Yahoo.

However, its members have already started to seek alternatives to the AP for syndicating their stories and picking up relevant content for their publications from other news providers.

Journalism.co.uk detailed in April how eight of the largest newspapers in the US state of Ohio had begun bypassing the AP and forged an alliance to share their top stories.

The Columbus Dispatch, The Toledo Blade, the Cincinnati Enquirer, The Akron Beacon Journal, The Plain Dealer are amongst newspapers making up the membership of the Ohio News Organization (with the unfortunate acronym, OHNO).

Rather than relying to the Associated Press to decide at the end of each news day whether or not to distribute their stories, the papers now post content to private website – accessible only to those eight newsrooms – from which partner organisations will be able to select pieces to use and publish while the stories are still hot.

But it seems that OHNO is not alone in taking this kind of stance against the AP. According to the WSJ piece, Five Montana newspapers owned by the newspaper concern Lee Enterprises have also begun sharing content. In addition, editors in Texas, Pennsylvania and Indiana have inquired about how the Ohio cooperative works.

News as niche: video traffic updates for mobiles

Local television broadcaster KHCW-TV channel 39 in Houston, Texas, has come up with an innovative idea for delivering traffic reports. The free service for mobile phones allows users to view images and video of traffic hotspots supplied by live traffic cameras along their route. The images provided by the KHCW Traffic Jam Cell Cams are near real-time, a press release for the service claims, and can be programmed into keys on your mobile phone for quick access.

The ideas behind this service are very much in keeping with my earlier blog post on experiments with niche news delivery, as the channel’s vice president and general manager Roger Bare describes: “This is something that isn’t dependent on having a morning news show to offer traffic to commuters. This service gives people real-time traffic information anytime, anywhere”