Tag Archives: associated press

Is Ice Cream Strawberry? Part 1

The following is the first part of my inaugural lecture at City University London, ‘Is Ice Cream Strawberry?’. The total runs to 3,000 words so I’ve split it and adapted it for online reading.

The myth of journalism and the telegraph

Samuel Morse was a portrait painter. And he invented the telegraph. The telegraph is probably one of the most mythologised technologies in journalism. The story goes that the telegraph changed journalism during the US Civil War – because telegraph operators had to get the key facts of the story in at the top in case the telegraph line failed or were cut. This in turn led to the objective, inverted pyramid style of journalism that relied on facts rather than opinion.

This story, however, is a myth. Continue reading

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Objectivity has changed – why hasn’t journalism?

The following is cross-posted from a guest post I wrote for Wannabe Hacks.

Objectivity is one of the key pillars of journalistic identity: it is one of the ways in which we identify ourselves as a profession. But for the past decade it has been subject to increasing criticism from those (and I include myself here) who suggest that sustaining the appearance of objectivity is unfeasible and unsustainable, and that transparency is a much more realistic aim.

Recently I’ve been revisiting some of the research on journalistic objectivity for my inaugural lecture at City University. But as I only mention objectivity once in that lecture, I thought it was worth fleshing out the issue further.

Things change

One of the reasons why I think studying journalism is so important at the moment is that the profession is rooted in a series of practices and beliefs that have specific historical roots – and things change. Continue reading

The photographer’s role in the age of citizen journalism: grab the guy filming on his mobile

The Guardian reports on the AP photographer whose image dominated the front pages today. The following passage on how he returned to his office with a member of the public who had filmed it on his mobile phone passes by without remark:

“The adrenaline was running by now. So I turned [the flash] on and took five pictures. I realised they were important and I saw another guy shooting video on his phone.

“So I got him into a taxi and we went back to AP’s offices in Camden.”

Worth noting.

2 great analyses of the Associated Press’s plans to be the RIAA of news

Pat Thornton writes on AP’s plans to stop people sharing news content…

DRM always works like this: It never stops people who really want to steal or break the law, but it almost always hinders law abiding, paying customers. Will this extra layer of code eat up CPU cycles and RAM, bring computers to a halt and not even work on some machines? My guess is that this negatively impacts law abiding users. User experiences matter.

And Jackie Hai looks at what they should be doing.

It’s time to take news to the next level, to a form that not only informs and educates, but also has strong replay value. Then, and only then, will people be willing to pay for it.

They shoot – they score!

War is coming – and AP mustn’t be allowed to win

The tanks are massing at the borders. The officers are drawing up “rules of engagement”. Soldiers are “rattling their sabres”. When times are hard, empires go to war. And so in the coming months we can expect to see “the web’s news cop” The Associated Press ignore the lessons of history and declare war against their perceived enemies.

The AP’s announcement yesterday that it will police the web for what it sees as “illegally” published content is so worrying, on so many levels, that I will struggle to cover everything here. Continue reading

Mobile newspapers, mobile advertising: good news, bad news

Here’s the good news for mobile phone websites: Vodafone has “seen a 50% rise in revenues from its data services over the past quarter, after the number of its customers using the web from mobile devices more than doubled.” Continue reading