Links for today | Links para hoje

Earlier this week, a report of “man overboard” from a Seattle-based ferry put the local Coast Guard station into immediate action. As boats and helicopters were being launched, real-time updates were being posted to Twitter. By the Coast Guard.

Four nonprofit groups devoted to investigative journalism will have their work distributed by The Associated Press, The A.P. will announce on Saturday, greatly expanding their potential audience and helping newspapers fill the gap left by their own shrinking resources.

Starting on July 1, the A.P. will deliver work by the Center for Public Integrity, the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and ProPublica to the 1,500 American newspapers that are A.P. members, which will be free to publish the material.

Public data from the government – is it an opportunity for innovation and essential accountability or a snoozer that no one really cares about? Government transparency advocacy group The Sunlight Foundation offers one example today of something that can be done with government data that is clearly worth doing – but the data they used hasn’t been made available on the Obama administration’s anemic new data repository Data.gov.

Virginia Senator, Jim Webb, has a bill going through hearings that would create a National Commission to study and make recommendations on the reform of US criminal justice laws and practices. Twenty eight other Senators have signed on in support of the bill, but cross referenced statistics shed some interesting light on those Senators still standing on the sidelines.

Video, audio, pictures, timelines, slideshows, maps….multimedia’s great isn’t it? As a journalist it gives you an amazing choice of how to treat a story.

But how many journalists use that choice? And how many chose wisely?

In order to know which medium to use for which story, you must know its strengths and weaknesses; not of the software or  the content – but of the very medium itself.  Because some mediums are only good for some things.

David Cohn pegs a newsroom as a cafe where people can hang out and, through food and drink purchase, provide an alternate source of revenue for reporting. Twenty percent of every coffee you bought might go to reporting in your local community, or something like that. For Steve Outing, the newsroom as a cafe is a place for your people to connect so that you can have greater access to your community. Both of these are pieces of a bigger picture that’s been stewing in me for a couple of months; dessert and beer at the Pied Cow on Belmont last night provided a photograph to illustrate my idea.

It’s not just about using a different industry to add to reporting revenue, but rather repositioning the news organization as the information hub for the community. The newsroom as a cafe should be an 18th century salon, or space for the leading discussions of the day to take place, ferment, and spawn action.


How should a great paper develop its brand?
As the voice of god. Most of the biggest city newspapers took The Times’s lead in the 1890’s and have since spent a century developing their brand as public trusts that get it right the first time, all the time. When two city newspapers are in competition with one another, it is a war of access and infallibility – slighting an organization with a piece that is full of ’scuttlebutt’ leads to sources less willing to talk to the paper the next time. The community does not own the paper, an average person has little ability to influence it and because of this the paper is under constant scrutiny. It needs to create an aura that its work is in the interest of the public. Competitive newspapers spend millions of dollars hiring j-graduate reporters, copy editors, fact checkers, section editors, managing editors, all to create a kind of trust between the community and its information provider. When they drop a story, it is designed to be read as fact.

Raquel Recuero é um dos principais nomes brasileiros na pesquisa sobre redes sociais. Recentemente, lançou o livro “Redes Sociais na Internet”, que deve se tornar uma referência obrigatória para aqueles que se interessam pelo assunto. O livro pode ser encontrado nas livrarias e num site especialmente criado para o seu download. Na entrevista a seguir, Raquel fala um pouco mais sobre o tema. Confira…

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Junho 2009

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