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Links for today | Links para hoje


As journalism is rebuilt and rethought – out of necessity and opportunity – it’s important to abstract it and understand what functions it performs and what functions we need performed.

I tried to rethink the article as the basic unit of reporting here.

Christiane Schulzki-Haddouti (auf Deutsch) broke down the basic functions of journalism into five here (please correct my translation, German friends):
(1) Research (reporting) and monitoring,
(2) The simple presentation of complex issues,
(3) Identification of trends, visualizing them, and giving them context,
(4) Dialogue and moderation,
(5) Generating attention. [See the discussion about that from Davos here.]

Somewhat related | De alguma forma relacionado- The Elements of Journalism, 2006


Seems every where I turn online I find questions about alternative or new business models for news. At the same time, everywhere I turn offline I seem to run into a new independent journalism startup.

Maybe there’s something in the water in the greater Seattle area that is driving it, but even if it is only a regional trend, it’s encouraging to see them sprouting up.

A handful had representatives at a workshop Saturday sponsored by the local AAJA chapter and hosted by the UW. However nascent each effort may seem today, they collectively offer a glimpse toward  a sustainable future for journalism, each with a different twist on potential business models.

Writing articles is no longer enough
This is no doubt a really great idea in a world where a journalist fresh out of school is less and less likely to be employed at a offline newspaper. And the ongoing financial crisis means that journalists need to learn more than how to write great articles.

While some take it a step further and say that journalists need to learn how to work with programming code I’m quite satisfied with the requirements from The Danish School of Media and Journalism.

Of course it’s great if journalists can understand and write computer programming code (I myself now a bit of PHP and a smaller bit of JavaScript), but let’s start by learning them the basics — it’s about time :-)

What would be the single most important piece of advice you could give to aspiring journalists at this time as they see a shrinking job market in the newspaper industry?

  1. Become diverse in skills: 25 (be versatile, including in multimedia reporting; prepare for a career in journalism, not just in newspapers) [I would add: and not just in magazines, or TV, or Web]
  2. Be determined: 12 (never give up; have patience; don’t be discouraged; be aggressive in job search)
  3. Be willing to start at a small paper: 7

Later this year, Everyblock will publish the open source code for the application that already powers its “micro news” engines in 11 U.S. cities.

EveryBlock scrapes the Web for content of interest and makes it available by neighborhood down to the block level. Simply input an address and it will show you links to news, links to public data such as building permits, rezoning proposals, liquor licenses, restaurant inspections and, of course, crime reports.

The group’s message, said Barrett, is straightforward:

– Newspapers are very much alive and growing when you consider the print and online audience together. And they talk to far more people than their radio, television and Internet competitors.

– Newspapers have earned the public’s trust because they employ professional journalists to verify news for truth, accuracy and context, and they are usually the first source of local news.

- Advertisers continue to invest in newspapers because they deliver results. They still move goods and services more reliably than other forms of promotion.

– Newspapers remain essential to our democratic system of government, serving as a watchdog against crime and corruption, and a guide dog for information that allows the public to make informed decisions on the issues of the day.

The photo slideshow has revolutionized online journalism and can be seen on nearly every major news site. Many are created in Flash and many more are created using the popular program Soundslides. The problem is building slideshows in Flash can be daunting for the non-technical reporter and Soundslides, while extraordinarily simple to use, costs money. Because many newsrooms face financial difficulty, journalists must cut corners where they can.

Somewhat related | De alguma forma relacionado- Figuring Out When, and How, Journalists Should Use Audio Slideshows

A YouTube video of KGTV’s Joe Little has been making the rounds lately. Inside of one week, four people sent it to me. Little works as a one-man band. In other words, he shoots his own video, reports the story and edits it.

The e-mailers all marveled at how this guy, working alone, could be so creative, especially shooting his own stand-ups. (A stand-up for those of you print and online folks who don’t know is when a journalist appears, talking, on camera.)

Watch this video featuring excerpts from his stand-ups, then hear from Little about how he does his work.


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