The idea of using social media to report a story is appalling to some journalists. They have a certain germophobia when it comes to the Internet. Because it is littered with rumor and lies, they never use it as a source for a story, they say. They’re right, of course. Social media like Twitter and Wikipedia are littered with rumor and lies, but so are most city halls and almost every other place journalists ply their trade.
Social media, I tell my students who have been scared away from it by other professors and editors, are like all sources — a great place to start and a lousy place to finish.
Armed with the same skepticism and curiosity with which I treat any other source, I try to teach students to stop worrying and love the hyperlink.
Continue reading “If Wikipedia Says It Loves You, Check It Out”
While talking earlier this week to a journalist about the future of news, I again heard the story of newsroom leadership that has issued an edict that all reporters must blog. While I believe there are many contributions that the blog format can bring to news reporting, I can think of no more certain way to kill their potential than by making them mandatory.
If you think “blogs suck,” then there ain’t anything I’m going to say here that will convince you otherwise. I never knock another person’s religious beliefs.
If you are looking for more evidence to arm yourself in the battle of whether bloggers are/are not journalists, then please stop reading now. I have about as much interest in the answer to that question as I have in debating whether figure skaters are athletes.
BUT… if you are a journalist who wants to start blogging or be a better blogger then welcome. And if you’re a blogger who wants to be more newsy, then read on, my friend.
And if you don’t have time, just check out the PDF one-pager.
Continue reading “How to Blog”
Before I let the students in my online reporting and editing classes touch any piece of technology or blurb their first blog post, I think it’s important to spend some time talking with them about the behaviors of the online news audience. The way people consume news and information online is fundamentally different than the way they consume it in other media, and it’s pointless to practice online journalism without understanding those habits.
This is not a lecture about how I wish the online news audience behaved. It is a lecture based on years of watching actual site usage at national news sites, watching focus groups, and reading industry surveys — primarily those done by Pew and collected in the annual State of the News Media reports.
This isn’t a lecture about how to change audience habits. It’s a lecture about riding a wave that is SO much bigger than journalism. Continue reading “Lecture: The Online News Audience”
In Just Seven Easy Steps
For anyone who has ever been to an online journalism conference, you know Adrian Holovaty. He’s either on a panel, winning an award or being referenced by newsroom mangers, usually with some phrase similar to “we need more people like Adrian Holovaty”
Continue reading “Win $1M the Holovaty Way”