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New tools for reporting

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The 21st century is spring for the media when more and more new media tools keeps coming out: blogs, Youtube, Facebook, Delicious, Twitter……

On one hand, they are giving journalists a headache as they strive to keep updated to these tools; on the other hand, the numerous tools are all specialised for different purpose and are helping journalists a lot.

Thanks to them, people are always kept posted on news.

In terms of journalism, blogs, Twitter and Facebook are probably the most special tools that worth highlighting, when blogs advocate citizen journalism; twiiter helping both journalists and audiences keep updated to the latest information; Facebook make it easier for journalists to get in touch with people (interviewee).

Blogs have encourages people to be citizen journalists and write online which has also made it a good platform for journalists to do their research- they simply have to go to Technorati and they can see the “hottest blogosphere items” or they can search for posts on a particular topic with keywords.

As for Twitter, it only allows maximum 140 characters for each posting which will be shown to followers on their cell phones or web browsers. While a lot of people use it for gossiping and stalking celebrities (John Mayer has quit Twitter for the reason) which I am not a big fan of, such short postings are however perfect for keeping people updated with concise news headlines which people can just scan through.

This is an age of information explosion when journalists have to struggle to keep updated or they risk losing their values.

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Written by klatalj301

August 19, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

OhmyNews.com

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“OhmyNews” is an internet-based news organisation in South Korea, aiming to promote free speech, identity and privacy.

Started in 2000 as “a pioneer of internet news business model” as noted by New York Times, it has now become one of the most successful citizen journalism web sites in the world, with about 80, 000 citizen journalists submitting about 200 stories a day.

To guarantee the credibility of the news stories, every citizen reporter has to be background-checked before they can sign up and the stories they submit would be fact-checked.

The editors would select the stories (one-third of the stories would be rejected) and arrange them on page, later the contributors would be paid according to the page positions of their stories- around AUD20 for top story, AUD10 for sub-top and AUD2 for basic story.

Nonetheless, I personally think most people are not submitting their articles for money but more the approval they can get from the readers- readers can “like” or “dislike” the stories.

“OhmyNews” does not only publish hard news but also accepts articles which include authors’ opinion as long as they are good and fact based, which I see as a practice that does encourage freedom of speech.

Its english page “OhmyNews International” used to be like its official Korean site, a site where journalists can submit their stories to but recently there has been a change in its policy– it now concentrates more on commentary on citizen journalism and its role in democracy.

Currently it only sources news form other established citizen journalism organisations and only publish original stories occasionally.

Written by klatalj301

August 13, 2010 at 5:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

News agencies no longer “own” the news

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I say user generated content is a breakthrough for journalism, for no matter how hard professional journalists try, this world is just too big with too many stories for them to cover.

Such idea as user generated content is a product of the web 2.0 which allows people to share thoughts and information.

The 21st century we are living in is an era where everyone in the city holds a cell phone which is compatible with taking photos and video footages- you would agree even stronger if you watch “Gossip Girl”.

When there are accidents or whatever, it is likely that someone would take snaps of  the scenes.

Hopefully this is not happening...citizen journalism is overall a good thing nonetheless

They would write their own articles and post them on their blogs or send these files to news agencies through e-mails, which is really helpful since it is too often that things are happening around in the absence of professional journalists.

While in the old times we used to be seeing what had been seen and reported by professional journalists, time has changed and so has the situation- ordinary citizens are contributing to the news stories.

According to Mathew Eltringham, the assistant editor of BBC News’ UGC (User Generated Content) hub, in average they would receive around 10,000 to 12, 000 e-mails everyday which may contain potentially news worthy materials including photos and videos.

These  e-mails can be comments on issues written by audience and may be used by news agencies.

By including more points of view on an issue would help avoid any subjective reporting.

This is how we can get ourselves involved in news reporting and balance out the power of media companies.

Written by klatalj301

August 6, 2010 at 9:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Can e-reader be a savior of the newspaper industry?

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Emergence of internet has forced the media to change the ways they distribute information. Web news services were opened to the public for free in the beginning, which now the media may probably be regretting- people have been so used to it that they are now feeling reluctant to pay for the contents.

News agents have tried many ways to got more readers actually pay for their online contents, but only a few works. What the news agents have done in these years have told us that people only pay for the contents if you are providing users unique information or services, or that you are bringing them convenience that  cannot be obtained elsewhere easily.

Now there are Kindles and iPad and many other e-readers that have emerged and the market is expecting more. Are they gonna make things easier for the news industry? To me, the answer is “yes”.

E-readers like iPad are born with an advantage- convenience and capability of multi-media that analogue prints cannot match. Through a well designed internet store like iTunes, news agents can charge their users for their contents monthly or so. If it is well designed (good layout helps differentiate it from ordinary internet reading), with good content and of decent price, I believe people would pay for it.

(Photo from paidcontent.co.uk)

E-readers are still pretty new to most people and thus users are not feeling reluctant to pay for news subscriptions and they will probably get used to it.

Nonetheless, I have to remind the industry again- decent price!

Written by klatalj301

July 30, 2010 at 11:24 am

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Journalism Convergence

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(Photo from macrumors.com)

(Photo from digitaltrends.com)

What is meant by Journalism convergence is basically the shift of the distribution of information through analogue prints to that through the internet. This topic has long been discussed ever since internet has become popular.

According to the World Bank, around 70.8% of the Australian population, 75.9% of the US population has got internet access in 2008.

Internet has an advantage over paper prints on the fact that news can be published on the website in multi-media form with audio visuals in addition to the traditional photos and words.

Not only that it allows information to be delivered to readers in more ways, the internet also enables the concept of “24-hour newsroom” to come true. Now news is updated in minutes intervals; audience can get the latest news through the web.

This is a crucial  feature which make people read news online on the news website.

Now the Apple iPad is released ( Apple said it sold 3.27 million iPads during the quarter (till 26 June)), which in my opinion, would push the Journalism convergence further, leading more people to start reading news on other media rather than on printed newspaper.

I am saying this as an iPad user.

iPad with its big touch screen is like a combination between the internet and a book.

When certain apps are installed on the iPad, news feed would get updated automatically every time when you open them up, which is really convenient.

There would be a whole new layout, which would be a combination between that of internet and traditional print media.

Mag+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

For journalists, there are no other options but to adapt, to learn to report with multi-media.

Written by klatalj301

July 23, 2010 at 10:38 am

Posted in Uncategorized