Tag Archives: New York Times

Multimedia journalism is like sex in junior high: Garcia

Photo from Garcia's wikipedia page
Photo from Garcia’s wikipedia page

Media consultant Mario Garcia was at the Ottawa Citizen today to share his thoughts on a new wave in storytelling, in which four platforms (mobile, tablet, web and print) are considered at the conception of a story.

Thursday’s talk was a pared-down version of a course he’ll be teaching next term at the Columbia School of Journalism called ‘Storytelling in the age of the tablet.’

Multimedia storytelling is to be considered as a story is assigned, Garcia said, something all newsrooms should be doing, but they’re not, said Garcia.

“Multimedia is like sex in junior high,” Garcia said “Everybody says they’re doing it but nobody really is.”

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8 great reads on Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post

Photo by flickr user vpickering
Photo by flickr user vpickering

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve heard that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has bought the Washington Post for a cool $250 million.

In his letter to Post employees, Bezos wrote:

The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs. There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment.”

Media analysts were stunned by this announcement. But they were quick to share their thoughts on the end of the Graham family’s reign on this newspaper empire.

I’ve compiled some of the most interesting thoughts here:

Continue reading 8 great reads on Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post

The Globe and Mail: three communities editors embedded in the newsroom


The Globe and Mail was one of the first – if not the very first – major news organization in North America to recognize the importance of engaging with its community when it created a newsroom position for someone whose focus was just that.

Mathew Ingram, who became the Globe’s first Communities Editor in late 2008, said he’s “pretty sure it was the first social media editor type job” in the continent.

“At least I haven’t come across a mention of anyone who had one earlier than that. And when the New York Times got one, [Former Communities Editor Jennifer Preston] called me for advice,” said Ingram, who is now a senior writer for Gigaom.

The Globe’s connection to its community continues to run deep. The national news organization now has three communities editors: one in embedded in the newsroom’s Business, News and Features sections.

This is modeled after The Guardian’s newsroom, Jen MacMillan, the Globe’s Senior Communities Editor explained.

“First we had Mathew, one person in the role with fantastic ideas,” MacMillan said in an interview. “It’s great to see how the newsroom evolved.”

Indeed, the twitter account that Ingram set up for @globeandmail now has more than 213,000 followers (and growing), as well as smaller accounts for individual sections; its Facebook page has more than 68,000 fans; and its Instagram account is growing by leaps and bounds.

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The ethics of using user-generated content

While social media platforms have vastly increased the speed by which a reader can submit content, an ONA ethics panel agreed that traditional verification of sources is more important than ever.

During a panel of the Ethics the Community Newsroom, Jennifer Preston of the New York Times pointed out that her paper has been publishing user-generated content for centuries – in the form of letters to the editor from readers.

User-generated content (UGC) is not new, but the need for verification is more important than ever before, Preston said.

Fergus Bell, Senior Producer and Digital Newsgatherer for the Associated Press in London said that when he finds content he’d like to put out on the AP wire, he has a system of sourcing and verification that includes:

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ONA’s Social media debate: Best practices vs. bad habits

This was a great debate at the Online News Association conference. Rather than try to sum it up, I decided to post as a Q&A.

Panel members included:

Eric Carvin, Social Media Editor, Associated Press
Liz Heron, Director of Social Media, Wall Street Journal
Niketa Patel, Social Media PM, CNN
Anthony De Rosa, Social Media Editor and columnist, Reuters

Q: Liking people and organizations on Facebook – does the terminology need to be changed?

Heron: I don’t get too hung up on it. I don’t see liking as a personal endorsement, people aren’t going to think you’re endorsing that person

Patel:– Should be following people who have the same beat, and follow as many people as you can

Carvin: :At AP, we recommend that journalists follow opponents of a candidate as well as original candidate

De Rosa: I think you have to have common sense, don’t go out of your way to stray from perception

Heron: It allows for more transparency, allows for more scrutinty and bias, but it’s worth it to be out there and more available to people

Q: When is it appropriate to be tweeting/sharing unconfirmed reports?

Continue reading ONA’s Social media debate: Best practices vs. bad habits

Beat reporting in the digital age

Hours before their website won the Knight Award for Public Service at the 2012 Online Journalism Awards, DC Homicide Watch’s Laura and Chris Amico said it’s important to not get lost in the technology and remember that the purpose to tell a story.

Though it’s a massive database detailing every homicide from incident to sentencing (or cold case status) in Washington DC, their site’s logo echoes this sentiment:

‘Mark every death. Remember every victim. Follow every case.’

When building the site, Chris and Laura said they were aware that though the deaths were an organizing principle, or their beat,  the focus had to be on storytelling and community building.

“Beats are built for and around a community, with a clear understanding of who a beat is for, and what it’s about,” said Chris Amico.

The DC Homicide Watch founders talked about beats during a session they hosted with Politico’s Juana Summers  at this year’s ONA conference.

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The ‘New Journalist’: the tale of a sexy SEO headline

I have to say, this one bothers me.

Over the weekend, Kashmir Hill of Forbes.com had a sensational instant webhit “How Target figured out a teen girl was pregnant before her father did.”

A sexy little piece of business analysis, it got more than 680,000 page views on a President’s Day weekend, and Ms. Hill made a name for herself.

But here’s the thing: Hill didn’t do any of the reporting for it.

Nick O’Neill was the first to call her on it. In a blog post titled ‘How Forbes stole a New York Times article and got all the traffic‘.

The original 6,700-word story, which ran in the Times’ Magazine under the headline How companies learn your secrets, with its months of research, was a great piece, O’Neill wrote, but “didn’t have the headline it deserved.”

Hill “cut out the crap and got to the real shocker of the story,” O’Neill blogged.

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