Archive for July, 2010
31 Jul

Legacy Media and New Media meet, clash (respectfully) in Slashfilm podcast

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I just finished listening to an amazing discussion in the recent /Filmcast [Episode 109, posted July 26th, 2010].

The /Filmcast is a podcast from the movie review site Slashfilm, and features hosts David Chen, Devindra Hardawar, and Adam Quigley.

I’ve been listening to the podcast for about a year. There are some good things and there are some bad things … but I find it engaging and entertaining enough.

What prompted me to write this late night post was their recent “after dark” bonus episode that featured New York PressArmond White as their guest.

The episode starts with a respectful, but heated discussion about the “State of Film Criticism.” White eloquently describes his discontent and, quite frankly, disgust with how the Internet has soiled the art and professionalism of film criticism.

“I do think it is fair to say that Roger Ebert destroyed film criticism,” he says at one point. In short, because of Ebert and the Internet, people are writing as fans, not as real critics.

The hosts, if you haven’t figure it out yet, are the exact people he claims are the products of this mess and are the ones ruining the professional field.

I’m not going to describe it or debate it … I just want you to listen to it and think about it. Why?

Because this is the exact clash we’ve been going through in Journalism. Web, paper, pixel, airwaves… pick a technology, distribution method, whatever… this is still a touchy subject. And I think this moment, in this podcast, both sides met… debated… and walked away.


Hear the episode: AD Ep. 109 – The State of Film Criticism and Inception Theories (GUEST: Armond White from New York Press)

Also, I do want to applaud both sides for having the courage to have this discussion. Props to /Filmcast for inviting the wide array of film critics/reviewers (choose your title), including White. Props to White for talking straight while being a guest on a very show he feels undercuts his profession.

There was a piece written about the exchange posted on Slashfilm.

Categories: Journalism Tags: , ,
20 Jul

Crowdsource help: Why am I a journalist?

Read the results:

Attention all working and non-working journalists: I need your help!

We’ve been furloughed, laid off, and have been poorly paid for decades. We’ve worked long hours, have lost relationships over breaking news and been promised that we “not only will survive, but thrive.”

We’re are some of the smartest, creative, passionate, witty people that serve the community. And based on emails and comments, they aren’t all fans.

So, why? Why the heck are we journalists?!?!? What drives you to chose this career… this lifestyle?

I want to put a crowdsourced, multimedia presentation together answering this question… and I need your help.

Please take a moment and email me, tweet me, call me (213-290-5067 and leave a voicemail) or send me a link to your video answer. Keep it short and to the point. Feel free to submit multiple responses.

Here are some of my reasons why I’m a journalist:

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· I LOVE knowing more than other people. “Yeah, that’s a great story on A1, but here’s the stuff we couldn’t put in…”

· While I’m shy, there is no bigger honor than hearing someone’s unique story… and then having the challenge and privilege in telling/sharing their story with others.

· My attention span and curiosity would drive me nuts in another profession, in journalism it’s an asset.

· Because I want to be part of the Fourth f**king Estate, the profession protected by our constitution.

The audience is for new journalism students and those needing a reminder of why we put up with this abusive relationship.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
09 Jul

How to routinely crowdsource – easily

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For the last few months I’ve been giving a presentation on How to Harness the Power of Social Media or Advance Social Media Reporting or what I called (and still need to refine) Real-Time Reporting.

In the presentation, I introduce how social media tools like Twitter, FourSquare and even can help improve our reporting.

I know I am guilty of it at times, but I hate when people vaguely talk about how great new tools are but don’t give concrete examples… so for this particular session I try to outline actual steps/scenarios on how to actually use these things in real life.

During #wjchat episode 22, I was asked how do you actually crowdsource… I rattled off five steps that capture what I tell folks during my presentation.

In cased you missed those tweets, here they are… slightly longer than 140:

Step 1:

The moment you know you are going to an assignment/event/location, announce it. Tell people you are covering the event and ask who is attending. The sooner, the better… and do it multiple times… without looking like a crazy spammer.

Step 2:

When you arrive to the scene, tweet that you are there… again, ask who is there too. The point is to find sources! Also, get people to join your reporting… ask for tips, suggestions and possible questions.

Step 3:

Give updates from the scene… not only text, but send out images and videos when applicable. Again, do a call out for tips, suggestions and questions. You are giving people direct access and getting them an opportunity to get involved.

Step 4:

When you are done, tell people when they can expect to see or read your completed, “official” piece. And, if you got responses, thank people for their help.

Step 5:

After piece runs, ask for feedback, comments, thoughts and tips. Engage with your community before, during and after these acts of journalism… be genuine and social in social media!


Additional tips:

Make sure you use hashtags throughout the process! Either use the established one or create a logical one the community would use.

You may or may not get responses, but doing this doesn’t cost you ANYTHING. Remember, it takes less than a minute per tweet!

If you get responses, don’t feel forced to use them, but be grateful you have people engaged enough that they want to HELP you. Make sure you response and thank them. I have a few examples of how crowd sourcing has helped reporters do simple, routine stories. Makes your job EASIER! And makes you more relevant and valuable to the community… which routinely translates to job security. (Well, it should.)

Everyone knows that “If your mom says she loves you, check it out.” That old journalism saying applies to tweets, as well as your mom. Just because someone tweets that they are there or gives you a juicy tidbit of info, it does not mean that it is fact. Check it out! What do we call this… reporting! Do some of that. If you get lazy, you get burned. More importantly, credibility is hard to build, but easy to lose.

And remember, these tweets/communications took only moments… think about it. Fifteen minutes can make all the difference.

Here’s a PDF of my Social Network Reporting presentation.