“A VIDEO SHOWS a line of people trudging up a snow-covered footpath. A shot is heard; the first person in line falls. A voice-over says, “They are killing them like dogs.” Another shot, and another body drops to the ground. A Chinese soldier fires his rifle again. Then a group of soldiers examines the bodies.
“These images were captured in the Himalayas by a member of a mountaineering expedition who claims to have stumbled on the killing. The video first aired on Romanian television, but it only gained worldwide attention when it was posted on YouTube, the video-sharing website. (To view it, go to YouTube.com and type “Tibet, ProTV, China”). Human rights groups say the slain Tibetan refugees included monks, women and children. The Chinese government had claimed the soldiers shot in self-defense after they were attacked by 70 refugees, but the video seems to render that explanation absurd. The U.S. ambassador to China lodged a complaint.”
[Keyword: journalism, online journalism, citizen journalism, blogging]. Journalism.co.uk reports on a citizen journalism project by the BBC in collaboration with the University of Brighton, Nokia and mobile and web engagement specialist Ymogen “to explore new multi-media story telling ideas using mobile phones and GPS”
[Keyword: journalism, online journalism, citizen journalism, blogging]. As promised, MediaSkills.org now has further details of the Citizen Journalism conference planned for January 26, where the BBC’s Vicky Taylor, blogger Tom Reynolds and Trinity Mirror’s Michael Hill will all be speaking on how the media and citizen journalists can better work together.
[Keyword: journalism, online journalism, citizen journalism, blogging]. Journalism.co.uk recently held its first Readers’ Revolution speaking event with guests Clyde Bentley, associate professor at Missouri School of Journalism, Robin Hamman, BBC blog network producer, and Kevin Anderson, the Guardian’s recently appointed blogging guru. Watch all three in glorious pixelated YouTube video at http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/story3104.shtml
“We are a citizen journalism news Web site based in Vancouver, Canada that aims to put a human face on the news by showcasing vivid, first-person stories from individuals involved in current events.
“We are driven by the belief that writing in the first person is more compelling than traditional journalism because it almost always requires the inclusion of personality. Third-person “he-said-she-said” reporting can mask the truth while making the reporter’s prejudice appear objective.
“We invite ordinary people to tell their stories for free, letting readers vote on their favourites. The highest-rated stories star on the web site’s main pages, netting citizen journalists’ names high ratings and exposure on web search engines.”
[Keyword: journalism, online journalism, citizen journalism, blogging]. Jen McClure talks about New York Times chairman and publisher Arthur Sulzberger’s talk about citizen journalism and its effect on the New York Times and traditional media model:
“While Mr. Sulzberger stated that his newspaper and others are increasingly embracing citizen journalism in some way, he seemed to exhibit what I would characterize as arrogance about the unchallenged role of arbiter for the New York Times and the traditional media model in today’s society. He spoke of the NYT pursuing its role the way it has for the last 150 years, and seemed quite comfortable in discounting the knowledge, wisdom and emerging influence of new citizen journalists and the social media movement. This is only a two-minute clip and admittedly his comments could have been taken out of context, but I invite you to check it out and share your thoughts and opinions here. “
[Keyword: journalism, online journalism, citizen journalism, blogging]. The British Journalism Review includes a relatively brief piece by Stephen Kingston on ‘community journalism’ (a term I would include some citizen journalism under) and the reasons for its rising popularity:
“Welcome to Salford, the epicentre of some of Europe’s biggest regeneration projects – and home of the free, independent Salford Star magazine, which, among other things, aims to ensure that Salfordians living in some of the most deprived areas in Europe get a fair deal. So far, Salfordians aren’t happy with their deal. The Star’s summer issue revealed how more than £15 million of regeneration money is being pumped into the awardwinning Urban Splash “upside-down terraced house” development – bedrooms on the ground floor, living accommodation upstairs – in Salford’s Chimney Pot Park area, for a return to the community of not one single affordable home in its first phase. That’s a scandal. And there’s more. Lots more.
“This particular story was sitting up and begging to be written. The reason why it never broke – despite God knows how many well-paid writers working for the nationals down the road in Manchester – is the reason community journalism is on the rise. The “proper” journalists, who are supposed to be the guardians of democracy, accountability and stuff like that, are swallowing the hype and either can’t be arsed or haven’t got the time to investigate it. They’ve got no personal stake in the place. Instead, Urban Splash riding into a “crap place” – U.S. chairman, Tom Bloxham’s words – and saving the day by making the neighbourhood funky makes a good, quick, cheap feature, alongside all those Harvey Nicks-type ads.”
[Keyword: journalism, online journalism, web 2.0]. Here’s a useful document for any publishers wondering what to do with the opportunities of web 2.0. Strangely, the whole thing is in Flash, and even more strangely, it tries to replicate a traditional magazine (pages turn, complete with rustling sound effect). Hardly web 2.0 (the tag cloud is particularly frustrating, as it’s simply an image), but if you can put that aside it’s a good beginner’s guide.
This originally appeared in the Blogger-hosted predecessor to this website.
‘Convergence’ is one of many buzzwords currently doing the rounds in the news industry, and like many buzzwords, there is often confusion about what it actually means. For some it represents a new model of mixed-media journalism; for others it represents a change in organisational structure.
For Janet Kolodzy it’s both, and more besides. Kolodzy takes that term ‘convergence’ as her starting point, and spends the whole of the first chapter outlining its different forms – from the convergence of technologies that has taken place with digitisation, to economic convergence in media ownership, through to the journalistic convergence that is seeing both a combination of media forms into one ‘multimedia’ form, and a multiplication of delivery systems.
From there she looks at how newsroom practices have had to change as a result of convergence, and at news values. To her credit she speaks to the people working in converged newsrooms and the book is littered with case studies – essential when looking at a medium that is being made up as we speak – and there are conceptual models for the theorist too.
There is a chapter on gathering and producing a news story in a convergent age, which gives a good insight into the different considerations in gathering video and text material – although more thought could have been given here to audio and interactivity. Indeed, a journalist following the steps outlined here would be guilty of traditional linear storytelling: while interviews are covered, for example, no mention is made of the option to get readers to post questions online, or indeed to arrange a live chat.
These ideas are left instead for the chapters on broadcast, print, and online ‘basics’. To her credit here Kolodzy does not stop at how to write for the web but also outlines non-linear forms from polls and forums to quizzes, timelines, calculators, slideshows, animations, webcasts and podcasts. A traditional journalist could be forgiven for getting dizzy at the raft of options – and that’s even before we’ve covered “Participatory journalism” (citizen journalism, wikis), which is given a chapter of its own under ‘The Next Wave’ section.
It is a sign of how fast things are moving that that particular ‘next wave’ is probably already with us, but in the final chapter Kolodzy quotes media design consultants Bowman and Willis on a trend that may be more significant in the longer term: “While news organisations may see their audiences as readers and viewers,” she notes, “the next wave are increasingly gamers, who like to explore.”
This is an unusual book. Most authors would identify themselves as practitioners or academics, and set out to appeal to an audience in their own image: either the budding journalist, or the student of the craft. Convergence Journalism, however, dares to assume the reader is interested in both the how and the why. Perhaps we are finally seeing a convergence of the two?