Posts Tagged ‘journalists


10 changes in journalists role (and 5 things that remain the same)

(Versão portuguesa aqui)

um-jornalista-e-um-djJournalism is changing: technologically, commercially, in the media, in the formats, in business models. So it is quite natural that the very role of journalists must be renewed and adapted to the unavoidable reality.

But first, we must understand what a journalist is and does:

Journalism is the profession of writing or communicating, formally employed by publications and broadcasters, for the benefit of a particular community of people. The writer or journalist is expected to use facts to describe events, ideas, or issues that are relevant to the public. Journalists (also known as news analysts, reporters, and correspondents) gather information, and broadcast it so we remain informed about local, state, national, and international events. They can also present their points of view on current issues and report on the actions of the government, public officials, corporate executives, interest groups, media houses, and those who hold social power or authority.

Wikipedia(english version)

Now that we cleared things up, we can enumerate the new changes demanded by the job:

1- A journalist must know how to work for different media.  He must be multi-skilled and master different languages.

It’ a matter of professional survival. If being an expert in a medium is an added value, it is also essencial that we can adapt to others, just in case we’re caught up in a company restructuring. Besides, that multitasking is very useful in this age of media convergence: a journalist with good radio skills can take the production of his newspapers podcast, or use his photographic qualities to illustrate the news in his station’s website.

2-A journalist is his own editor.

Calm down, i’m not promoting the newsroom anarchy. But editorial independence is needed in these times where the news is published immediately, as breaking news or via Twitter, calling for a faster response time.  Staff cuts and new newsrooms organization -telework, for instance- promote that autonomy.  But the weight of responsibility increases.

3-A journalist is a brand.

And his own product.If the job market is volatile, freelancing is an option (as it has always been). To value himself, a journalist must know how to sell his work: by creating off-work contents – blogs, photo galleries, slideshows, videos, flash experiments ,podcasts, etc. It is fundamental to have an entrepreneurial attitude, and know how to highlight his individuality. Personal marketing weighs in here, in the way your CV/Resume and  portfolio and also the profile in social networks is presented. Besides, it becomes more easy for the audience to associate the work to the worker, which humanizes the professional and the company he works for. Proactivity is a characteristic that all good journalists must have, but is of utmost importance in a world that allows to create  your own projects with low costs.

4-A journalist must network.

It had to before, but there were geographical limitations, social and economical factors , and a whole sort of real world constraints. Online, the limit is in the number and the value of the contacts one has. A well set up professional network can increase recognition and it allows to reach out to more sources and get help.

5-A journalist is a producer.

The age of typewriters is long gone, so we need to know something more than writing. Now  programming and video,audio, photography, design knowledge are demanded, to develop multimedia works on your own or to effectively communicate when working as a team.  And we can get  that knowledge online. The final result may no longer be a text, but a multimedia package, that we must know how to make, or explain.

6-A journalist is an information archaeologist.

Think of yourselves as explorers, digital Indiana Jones. There is room for new types of journalism, driven by database use or using links to older news related to the subject we’re covering. It’s part of the new role of journalists to select, cross, select and use other sources -even from the competition- from different times, simultaneously and immediately, to explain the evolution or to frame a story.  And the web is full of information for those who know how to look it up and use it.

7-A journalist is a moderator.

The journalist is the bridge between users, the newsroom and the story’s characters. Through managing the comments of the article, crowdsourcing, and collaborating with the readers, the journalist can add value to the first published draft. We must understand that a story isn’t finished after being published, there is always  more data that can help to improve the understanding of the facts. So, it’s  part of the role of the journalist to feed, gather and filter the dialogue that now is sustained with the users, and incorporate it in the final result.

8-A journalist is a authenticator.

Amid all the user generated content and contributions is up to the journalist to verify and validate what is news or not. Fact checking is still a part of the job, but now it has a bigger importance because of the immediate impact a wrong information can have, because it spreads faster and further. This is a good example.

9-A journalist is more a traffic cop than a private investigator.

Or even better:  there will be more traffic cops than private investigators.. .I’m sorry to destroy a romantic image of journalism, but there will be less Humphrey Bogarts, the rise in the volume of information will demand for more traffic managers. Their role will be essential to guide the masses in the search for information. Sites like are a good example. Journalistic creation and investigation will continue to exist, but most of the work will be redirecting users and contents into the right places.

10-A journalist is a DJ.

Remixes and makes the news flow coherent.

…and 5 things that haven’t changed:

1-A journalist is a professional specialized in gathering, treating, creating and managing information;

2-A journalist works for society;

3-A journalist is curious by nature, and tries to know more than what is showed;

4-A journalist is the first defender of freedom of speech and information;

5-A journalist is a target;

What other items can be added to these lists?

Other links used for this post:

The Changing Context of News Work:Liquid Journalism and Monitorial Citizenship, Mark Deuze (.pdf)

Is Web 2.0 killing journalism?

The changing role of journalists in a world where everyone can publish

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Mapa dos jornalistas mortos em 2008 | Map of journalists killed in 2008

Sem comentários | No comments

Continue a ler ‘Mapa dos jornalistas mortos em 2008 | Map of journalists killed in 2008’


Os blogs sob fogo | Blogs under fire

Amanhã é discutida no Parlamento Europeu uma proposta que pretende clarificar o “estatuto jurídico das diferentes categorias de autores e editores de blogues, um meio de expressão cada vez mais comum na Internet.

Porquê? “…o seu estatuto jurídico, não está definido nem é indicado aos leitores, o que causa incertezas em relação à imparcialidade, fiabilidade, protecção das fontes, aplicabilidade dos códigos deontológicos e atribuição de responsabilidades em caso de acção judicial.” Ah! Porque os autores dos blogs são pessoas irresponsáveis, e na maior parte dos casos não dizem nada de jeito. Se fosse só nos blogs…

Já hoje no Guardian, Marcel Berlins queixava-se dos problemas que o anonimato na net traz a quem quer fazer um trabalho responsável, e mostra a cara. Aliás, tem sido muito discutida a forma como os jornais moderam os comentários aos seu artigos. Mas , e quando o anonimato é necessário para a protecção  de pessoas que denunciam casos de interesse público?

Do Brasil vem a notícia que o presidente do Sindicato dos Jornalistas do Rio Grande do Sul defende que “blogs informativos têm de ser assinados por jornalistas.” Ora isto porque os jornalistas são mais responsáveis e têm estatuto jurídico, talvez. Nunca se ouviu falar de jornalistas que veicularam notícias falsas e que escaparam impunes.

Jeff Jarvis suspira porque os tiques dos velhos media levam muita gente a queixar-se da falta de qualidade dos blogs, e da falta de ética dos bloggers.  A resposta virá na coluna que ele escreve no Guardian esta semana. E vai ser boa.

Entretanto, aqui fica a minha: meus senhores e senhoras, deixem-se de tretas. O anonimato é uma arma perigosa,é sim senhor, mas também devia ser uma forma de descredibilizar alguns personagens.E não conheço um único jornalista que não tenha trabalhado a partir de uma fonte anónima. Depois, os jornalistas não são obrigatoriamente mais capazes que outros cidadãos para criar conteúdos jornalísticos. O que não falta por aí são jornalistas incompetentes que seguem agendas pessoais, corporativas ou políticas que nada dignificam a profissão.

E quantos jornalistas são antes outra coisa qualquer? Digam-me a percentagem de jornalistas portugueses com Carteira Profissional com um curso ou formação em Jornalismo, a experiência é importante, mas quando é que passaram do que eram antes a jornalistas? Todos os produtores de conteúdos informativos deviam estar abrangidos pela mesma cartilha  e sem ser necessário estarem encartados, porque muitos que ganham a vida como jornalistas não o estão, e não são piores profissionais. Antes de mais existe responsabilidade civil e depois a profissional.

E quanto à criação independente de conteúdos criada por cidadãos, bem ela está aqui e não vai acabar enquanto houver meios para isso. Habituem-se, e esforcem-se por fazer melhor.

Tomorrow the European Parliament will debate a proposal that intends to clarify “their legal status, and to create legal safeguards for use in the event of lawsuits as well as to establish a right to reply.” And why?

“…their legal status is not defined and it’s not clear for their reader, which causes uncertainties regarding impartiality, liability, source protection, applicability of the  deonthological codes and the attribution of responsabilities in cases of legal actions.” Oh! Because blog authors are irresposible people, and most of times don’t say anything good. Were it only in blogs…

Today in The Guardian Marcel Berlin complained about all the troubles that net anonimity brings to those who want to do a responsible job while showing their faces. In fact, there has been a lot of discussion on how newspapers moderate the comments to their articles. But, what happens when anonimity is necessary to protect those who expose situtions of public interest?

From Brazil arrives the story of the president of a journalists union defending that “news blogs must be of the responsibility of journalists”. Yes, because journalists are far more responsible and have lega status , maybe. We never heard of journalists that published fake stories and got away with it, have we?

Jeff Jarvis sighs because the old media habits have led many to complain about the low quality of blogs, and blogger’s lack of ethics. The answer will come in the weekly column he writes  for the Guardian. And i bet it will be good.

Meanwhile, here’s my very own answer: ladies and gentleman, cut the crap. Anonimity is a dangerous weapon, no doubt about it, but it should also be a way to deny credit to  some characters. And i don’t know a single journalist who has based a news story  from an anonymous tip or source. And journalists aren’t compulsorily  more able than other citizens to create journalistic contents. We have our share of incompetent journalists following personal, corporate or political agendas, that make this job look real ugly from society’s point of view.

And how many journalists are something else first? Tell me, how many portuguese journalists with the Professional Card have a degree or a course in Journalism, experience is of utmost importance, when did they stopped being something else to reborn as journalists? All news content generators should be under the same rules, without the need of any kind of certification, because there are many who have been making their lives as good journalists that don’t have it, and they aren’t worse than the others. Before there must be something called civil responsability, and only afterwards the professional responsability.

And what about the independent user generated content, well, it’s here to stay, and it won’t disappear while there are the means to do it. So, suck it up, and try to do better.


Amanhã é um dia importante para a Blogosfera

The web encourages lies and deceit. It’s impossible to know who lurks behind a funny nickname

blogs informativos têm de ser assinados por jornalistas, diz sindicato


Continue a ler ‘Os blogs sob fogo | Blogs under fire’


Os professores de jornalismo dizem o que os alunos precisam de saber | Journalism teachers tell what students need to know

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Rosental Alves, director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas in Austin

Durante o ONA, Alfred Hermida pegou no seu N95 e perguntou as professores presentes o que é que eles precisam de ensinar para formar novos jornalistas.

Robert Scoble, Rosental Alves – o orientador do workshop de Jornalismo Online a que assisti em Junho (sim, eu vou continuar a falar disto porque foi mesmo bom) –   e outros deixam a sua opinião sobre o que é necessário que os estudantes de Jornalismo sejam e aprendam.

Vejam todos os videos aqui.

During ONA, Alfred Hermida took his N95 and asked around to the  teachers present at the event about what they have to teach to grad journo students.

Robert Scoble, Rosental Alves – the professor at the Online Journalism workshop i attended last June (yes, i’ll keep on referring to it because it was really damn good)- and others leave their opinion about what journalism students need to learn and to be.

Watch all videos here.

The advice for graduates was that they need journalism plus a new set of skills. The basics of journalism — curiosity, passion, accuracy, serving the public interest — were still important. But journalist students also need to learn about how the digital revolution has changed, and continues to change, the media.

This involves understanding how people are consuming media and how content flows online, as well as being aware of the importance of community and the conversation taking place online. Teaching journalism has become “journalism…plus” as Robert Scoble says below.

Journalism Grads Need Basic Skills Plus Openness, Flexibility by Alfred Hermida

Continue a ler ‘Os professores de jornalismo dizem o que os alunos precisam de saber | Journalism teachers tell what students need to know’


Ferramentas online para jornalistas | Online tools for journalists

Ferramentas do negócio | Tools of the trade

Que ferramentas online usam no vosso dia a dia como jornalistas? São suficientes e as mais eficientes? Permitem colaborações externas?  Podem ser usadas a partir de qualquer lado? E mais importante ainda: facilitam e melhoram o vosso trabalho?

Alfred Hermida criou uma lista para os seus alunos com as 31 melhores aplicações para jornalistas.

Which online  tools do you use in your daily work as journalists? Are they enough and the most efficient? Do they allow external collaborations? Can they be used from any computer? And most  important even: do they improve and make your work easier?

Alfred Hermida set up a list for his students with the 31 best apps for journalists.

As part of the iJournalism class I teach at the UBC j-school, I hold a session on online tools for journalists.

What is striking is how much these tools have developed in the past year.

Some fall by the wayside and new ones spring up, such as sites that mine social network sites for personal information.

31 essential online tools for journalists

Continue a ler ‘Ferramentas online para jornalistas | Online tools for journalists’


Mapa de jornalistas Freelance | Freelance journalists Map

O freelance, where art thou?

O freelance, where art thou?

O criou um mapa para freelancers. Basta só chegarem ao site, inscreverem-se e criar o vosso perfil. Mas só estão realmente no mapa se membros pagantes da directoria freelance do

Eu estou a pensar fazer um igual, de borla, para Portugal. Há interessados? created a map for freelancers. All you have to do is go to their site, sign up and create your profile. But you’ll only be on the map if you’re a paid-up member of’s freelance directory.

I’m thinking about doing the same thing for Portuguese freelancers only, for free. Anyone interested?

“In this online and news-hungry world with rolling deadlines, location is both less significant and more significant for freelancers. Less significant, because it’s much easier to be found by and to work for clients anywhere in the world; more significant, because location can be key for breaking news or stories that are local to the freelancer,” said John Thompson, publisher of builds listing maps for freelance journalists

Continue a ler ‘Mapa de jornalistas Freelance | Freelance journalists Map’



Querem ir a Bruxelas para um encontro de jovens jornalistas? Se têm entre 18 e 30 anos então inscrevam-se. O encontro é de 15 a 17 de Outubro e tem um programa muito bom. O prazo para se inscreverem é dia 24 de Setembro.

Do you want to go to Brussels for young journalists meeting? If you are between 18 and 30 years old then sign up. It will be from the October 15th to the 17th, and it has a great programme. The deadline for applications is September 24th.



From 15 to 17 October 2008, 200 young journalists from across the European Union will gather at the European Youth Media Days for high-ranking debates and hands-on media production. Application until 24 September 2008 at

Brussels, 4 September 2008 – New media, open minds and challenging ideas. From 15 to 17 October 2008, the next generation of European journalists meets at the European Parliament in Brussels for the second European Youth Media Days. Hosted by the European Parliament and organised with the support of the European Youth Press, the gathering of 200 emerging journalists promotes a broad discussion and networking on European issues, confronting and provoking with diverse perspectives and realities.

This year’s Media Days programme emphasises the need to bridge national borders in media in order to create a European public and political sphere. To meet these aims, participants will discuss with speakers such as European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering, the Chairpersons of the Parliament’s political groups, and European media correspondents.

Young people interested in European media and politics, journalism students or young professionals living in one of the 27 EU countries (or being an EU national abroad) can apply until 24 September 2008 at

Press Release

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