Sunday, February 27, 2011

Columnist puts news, posts into context

Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts (above), who writes for the Miami Herald, last week had a terrific column about the venomous attacks hurled at CBS News reporter Lara Logan following the journalist's beating and sexual assault at the hands of a mob in Cairo's Liberation Square this month.

Besides standing up to the anonymous comment posters whose mean remarks mocked and dismissed the incident, Pitts defended her -- and all victims of such violence.

"The woman is a reporter and she was doing what reporters do: going places, sometimes dicey, difficult or dangerous places, in order to originate the information that allows the rest of us to opine from the comfort of our chairs," Pitts wrote. "We are talking about a real attack on a real woman who must now grapple with real consequences.

"It's as if some feel Logan's tragedy exists only as a vehicle for them to score political points."

Reading the whole essay:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Understanding the participatory news consumer

According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project and the Project for Excellence in Journalism, almost two-thirds of Americans get daily news from a combination of print and web, and almosts half used multiple media platforms daily.

The Internet is generally a more popular source of news than print and radio, making it the third most popular news platform overall, behind only national and local television news.

The survey, "Understanding the Participatory News Consumer: How Internet and Cell Phone Users Have Turned News into a Social Experience," was based on responses from more than 2,000 American adults. Its findings include:

•Nearly 60% of Americans get daily news from both Internet and print sources.
•46% obtained news from four to six media platforms per day, while only 7% get news from a single platform.
•33% of cell phone owners access news on their portable phones.
•28% of Internet users have a homepage personalized with news sources, and 37% have participated in news creation, commentary and dissemination.
While the Internet is an increasingly popular news source, the survey found that Americans have mixed feelings about it. While more than half say it is easier to keep up with news and information today than it was five years ago, 70% feel overwhelmed by the amount of news and information available. In addition, nearly 75% of respondents have concerns that many news sources are biased in their coverage.

Young journalists' conversation yields 'benchmarks'

The national J-Lab convened a weekend meeting of a group of youong journalists, who came up with examples of stories that were inspiring or otherewise effective.

In the discussion, those gathered came up with a list of 10 ways "content providers" can produce good work. They are:

We can produce good journalism if we:

1) Challenge knee-jerk master narratives

2) Reach for new kinds of accountability

3) Add historical context

4) Impart a sense of community, sense of place

5) Seek authenticity

6) Have impact

7) Make the invisible visible

8) Strive for attachment vs. detachment

9) Do less harm

10) Anticipate the future

Monday, February 7, 2011

Editorial cartoon right on time

Cartoonist John Cole of the Scranton Times-Tribune created this excellent graphic commentary on thugs' treatment of journalists trying to cover events in Egypt.