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Five reporting tips from Chapter 9: Trolls, Spin, and the Boundaries of Trust

  1. Avoid anonymity! Always sign your name alongside your work. “Credibility stems not just from smart arguments; it also comes froma willingness to stand behind those arguments when a compelling reason to stay anonymous is absent.”
  2. Don’t feed the troll! What’s a troll?? I had no idea either. As defined by Ward Cunningham’s Wiki: “A troll is deliberately crafted to provoke others with the intention of wasting their time and energy. A troll is a time theif…Trolls can be identified by their disengagement from a conversation or argument. They do not believe what they say, but merely say it for effect.” The best thing to do when you have someone trolling your work online is to ignore it. That way the troll won’t waste your time and eventually give up trolling.
  3. Look out for spin! This was a term I recognized but in case you are unfamiliar with it, Wikipedia defines it as: “putting events or other facts, especially of those with political or legal significance, into contexts favoring oneself or one’s client or cause, at least in comparison to opponents.” Make sure to avoid directly advertising for your interviewee and include other opinions in your work.
  4. Use credible sources! If you find an interesting story or quote from an anonymous source, you should always check the information with a credible human source or document.
  5. Be careful for cutting and pasting! Make sure you get the main gist of the information if you choose to cut and paste from a source (try not to take out one viewpoint without mentioning the other) and always attribute your source. It is best to link to the entire article or source as opposed to cutting and pasting segments.

Strike A Different Bargain With Online Video from Mark Briggs’ Journalism 2.0 brings up an interesting view on how video production is changing on online news sites. News sites are much more open to publishing lower quality videos (for example video taken from cell phones) than they would have been even a couple years ago.

Word cloud of the article

Briggs compares video productions from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, both well-known and respectable news sources. The videos produced by the technology columnists are the focus of his comparison. The New York Times produces a high-quality and professional video that also appears on cable television while The Wall Street Journal is produced by only one man who uses a web cam to create the video. Briggs states that both types of video are acceptable in today’s media environment.

Key take-away points from Mark Brigg’s Journalism 2.0 Chapters 7 & 8

Chapter 7-Digital Audio and Podcasting

  • Audio formats
    -MP3 are the most universal compressed sound files
  • Buying a recorder
    -An Olympus WS-100 is the best quality recorder you can get for $100
    – An Edirol R-1 or a M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96 are the recommended with “Excellent” quality ranging from $350-500. Both are Mac and Windows capable.
  • Using a microphone
    -Natural sound is NOT the same as background noise
  • Editing with Audacity
    -Edit and crop out bad noises such as awkward mouth noises and “umms”
  • Using time points for speed
    -On your notes, write down the times on your audio where you have good quotes
  • Podcasting
    -How to set-up podcasts

Chapter 8- Shooting and Managing Digital Photos

  • Benefits of digital cameras
    -You can take as many photos as you want and see what the picture looks like immediately after
  • Resolution refers to the number of pixels in an image, PPI= Pixels Per Inch
    -72 ppi for web
    -200 ppi for print
    -300 ppi for glossy photos
  • “Cloudy and party sunny days provide the best light for photography”
  • Instead of relying on the zoom feature, get physically closer to your subject
  • Use automatic settings on a digital camera first
  • Editing photographs digitally
    -Always edit a copy, not the original
    -Crop and resize photos
  • Use photos to liven up your blogs or stories

    Personally, I felt the Cluetrain Manifesto and its 95 theses had a hostile undertone. I agreed with the point being made– that consumers are human beings and should be treated and addressed as such– but I thought the 95 different theses to be repetitive and at times snappy. What was dragged out in 95 points could have been presented in at least half that. I believe corporations have been doing a better job at being more consumer oriented than the site gave them credit for, but then when I read the theses concerning Y2K I realized the information was outdated. The information was copyrighted to 1999 and I give the authors credit for foreseeing the changes I have noticed companies making over the past decade in the way they handle customers. Even though the site was written in 1999, the main goals still apply as corporations can always improve how they handle and view their customers.Facebook Logo

    Chapter Two, Web 2.0, of “Journalism 2.0: How to Survive and Thrive” presented information about media corporations in a more factual and less opinionated way than the Cluetrain Manifesto. I thought it was straight forward and was easy to read. Specific cited examples helped get points across. The main topic of the chapter was the concept of “Web 2.0” which is a form of the internet where the viewers contribute to the content of the site (for example Facebook or YouTube).YouTube Logo

    These two readings relate to each other because they both concern the evolution of the web and how corporations need to adapt (in the case of the first reading from 1999) and have adapted (in the case of the second reading from the mid 2000’s) in order to hold the interest of their consumers.

    I feel the implication for news is that the line between the role of the consumer and producer of information are beginning to blur. As both a consumer and producer of information, this makes it especially important to differentiate myself as someone with journalism skills and utilize my knowledge and training in all aspects of media, because now any consumer has access to many of the same methods of information producing that I do.

    I found “What’s really wrong with newspapers” to be well written with a strong sense of voice. I enjoyed the introduction because it gave readers the reasons why many people think newspapers are dying, which we have all heard before, before countering them. The information Talton provided opened up my eyes to real economic, political and social reasons of what is really wrong with newspapers, instead of the usual excuses. Talton’s point of view was clearly expressed but at times I felt that he should have used specific examples (from companies or newpapers) to back up his points.

    I found “No More Free Content” to be very well researched, with numerous sources and data utilized. The writer makes a strong point about how the content is not actually what readers are paying for when they buy a newspaper and backs this up with cited facts and figures. I felt the story was reliable, although it was obvious the writer had a specific message in mind. Breaking the story up into sub headings also helped with readability. I believe it was evident that the “Follow-Up” was a well thought response to an argument and was handled tastefully.

    I found “Newspaper economics: online and offline” to have a specific motive to tell others that online content is not bad and newspaper companies should experiment until they find a way to become more successful. Seeing as this is posted on a Google Public Policy blog, I do not find this opinion surprising. Obviously Google supports online media and argues that printing papers not cost beneficial. Google does not want the internet to be the blame for the death of newspapers, therefore the post pulls facts that show that newspaper circulation was declining long before the birth of the internet and with that the appearance of Google.

    I found “What Does the Future Hold for Newspapers” to have a lot of valuable information, statistics and facts to support its gloomy outlook. I feel that the story did not look for hope in the situation and was quick to bring the negative back into its position.

    Overall I found these essays to enlightening on how the newspaper has been, is being and will be affected due to numerous factors other than just the birth of the world wide web.