The internet has opened up all sorts of creative possibilities for journalists – and artists. The following is just a selection of examples of both – but which is journalism, and which is art?
- Send in Your Stories About the World’s Worst Roommate
- Here’s a Young Jon Stewart, Moshing at a Dead Kennedys Show (Update: Probably Not)
- How Old Does Google Think You Are?
- Yes, This Is a Picture of Terry Richardson Fucking (Someone Who Looks Like Juliette Lewis) [Update]
- That’s Not Juliette Lewis Getting Boned by Terry Richardson, Juliette Lewis’s Publicist Says Continue reading
This is a shorter version of an article appearing on the Wardman Wire.
Plagiarism is an interesting game.
You can either rewrite the piece, find a bit more information, leave other bits out, and – if you’re the Daily Mail – reduce the reading age by a year or three.
Or you can acknowledge that the story came from somewhere else, and give a hat-tip for a nugget, or a small fee for an article.
Or you can try and ride both horses and end up sitting on your backside in the middle.
So, we have Exhibit A, from Dizzy Thinks:
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has a dedicated civil servant working on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012? Not particular shocking really, but there is an oddity.
According to an FoI release, one of the roles of this civil servant is the development of equalities impact assessment for the Queen’s celebratory bash. Why does a celebration for one person need an equalities impact assessment?
Mind you, as an eagle-eyed reader put to to me. Perhaps it’s because she’s (a) a woman, (b) a pensioner, (c) dependent on state benefits, and (d) married to an immigrant?
and Exhibit B, from the Daily Mail:
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has a dedicated civil servant working on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012. One of the roles of the civil servant is the development of an ‘equalities impact assessment’. Why does a Âcelebration for one person need an equalities impact assessment? Is it because she’s a woman, a pensioner, relies on the state for handouts — and is married to a foreigner?
The two are nearly the same, and it’s only an item in a Diary column, for heaven’s sake. A tip would cost about twenty pounds or a gift voucher, and an acknowledgement would cost nothing.
Quiz: Are you a networked journalist?
Are you powering down the Information Superhighway, fueled by Google Juice bought with Social Capital? Or are you stuck in the News Cycle Lane pedalling the Penny Farthing of journalism?
Are you among the widows of journalism past – or the orphans of journalism future?*
Do you know your tweets from your twats? Your friends from your Friendster? In just 7 questions this quiz will determine – once and for all time, eternally – your value as an professional journalist in the networked economy**. Go ahead.
Question 1: You witness a car crash involving a Premiership footballer. Do you:
a) Whip out your iPhone and take photos that go straight onto Flickr and Twitpic. Then create a new venue on Foursquare: ‘scene of car crash’ – of which you are now mayor.
b) Phone into the office to ask them to send a photographer, then whip out your notebook and try to get a quote
c) Phone an ambulance, then rush over to help him
Question 2: The Prime Minister calls a press conference. As you rush off to attend do you:
a) Ask people on your blog to suggest what questions you should put to the PM
b) Ask people in your office what big issues you should raise
c) Ask your partner if your flies are undone
Question 3: When you arrive at the press conference do you:
a) Look for a wifi signal
b) Look for someone to interview
c) Look for the toilets
Question 4: A major international story breaks while you’re in the office. Do you:
a) Start scouring Twitter, Tweepsearch and Twitterfall to see if you can track down someone tweeting from the scene
b) Pick up the phone and call a relevant international agency for their 30th official quote of the hour
c) Turn on the TV
Question 5: You’re about to go home when the editor asks you for an 800 word background feature on an ongoing issue in your field. Do you:
a) Open up your Delicious account and look through all your bookmarks under the relevant tags – and those of your network. Then check LinkedIn for contacts.
b) Flick through your contacts book. Then search Google.
c) Say no – you have to pick up your kids from school
Question 6: The newsroom post contains a vaguely interesting press release. Do you:
a) Spend 10 seconds googling to see if it’s online, then bookmarking it on Delicious with a key passage, which is then automatically republished with a link to the source on your Twitter stream, blog, and 24 different social networks.
b) Spend 10 minutes rewriting it for a potential filler for the next day’s paper
c) Read something else
Question 7: A notorious local dies, suddenly. Do you:
a) Shamelessly lift a picture from their Facebook profile, and aggregate everything under the #deadlocal hashtag
b) Go through the cuttings files to pull together an obituary
c) Send a card
Are you a social journalist? Check your results:
Congratulations: you’re a social journalist. You are permanently connected to the online world of your readers and contacts. Permanently.
You’re an old school journalist. Your equipment doesn’t need a battery and a wifi signal. But occasionally a pen will leak all over your jacket’s inside pocket.
You’re a human being. Expect a P45 any day now.
A mix of the above
What do you think this is? A Mensa test? OK, so you’re complicated. Do us all a favour and find a pigeonhole to sit in for once.
*Sub editing joke.
**Because you need external validation from someone you’ve never met before, obviously.
PS: You may want to add your own questions – this would be welcome.
Nestle staffer 1: “Greenpeace have done a viral video attacking our sourcing policy. I do so hope people don’t pass it on and it becomes a huge viral hit.”
Nestle staffer 2: “Yes. I know what will stop people passing it around and it becoming a huge viral hit: get YouTube to take it down for alleged copyright infringement.”
Nestle staffer 1: “Yes, that will definitely stop people passing it around and it becoming a huge viral hit. That is a good idea and I hope you get all the credit for that.”
Here’s a bit of fun for a Friday. Here are 9 types of Twitter user that I reckon exist – you might be able to think of more. I’ve not included spammers and bots because, not existing, they won’t be reading this. So… which one are you?
You follow a couple dozen people who mostly follow you back. Most of your tweets start with @. Twitter is the new Facebook to you.
You follow a few thousand people. Twitter is just one big pool of potentially interesting stuff to you, and you’re followed largely by people who feel the same way. Most of your tweets start with RT. Twitter is the new Google Reader to you.
You follow a few hundred people, most of whom work in your industry or you know professionally. You try to keep track of most of what they’re saying and your tweets are a mix of replies, retweets and remarks. Twitter is the new LinkedIn for you.
You follow half a dozen people who either work with you, or are actually you on another Twitter account. Most of your tweets come from Twitterfeed and end with three dots and a URL. The @ sign never appears in your Twitter stream. Twitter is the new blog for you. With comments disabled.
You follow a couple dozen people, mostly DJs and TV personalities, who all ignore your @ messages. You found out about Twitter on the radio and although you talk to your friends about it, you don’t talk to your friends on it. Twitter is the new gossip magazine for you.
You probably plugged your plant into Twitter or something. It sounded like a good idea at the time.
You follow a few thousand people but never read anything that they say. Your biography includes WORDS IN CAPITALS and reads like you vomited up a pile of business cards. A few hundred people have followed you back by mistake. To you, Twitter is the new email newsletter.
Your updates are protected. You never let anyone see your updates. Actually, you never post any updates but no one knows that. Your Twitter account exists purely to annoy people – to you, it’s the new ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign.
You heard about Twitter on TV, signed up to the site, posted one tweet and wondered why nothing happened. You’ve since forgotten all about it but in 9 months time one of your friends will start following you and it will all make sense. Twitter is the new Friends Reunited to you.
Great post at Boing Boing (which AP could learn a thing or two about new business models from) on AP’s recent announcement “that they had spent millions of dollars on a DRM system for news that would limit how you could paste the text you copied from your browser window”. Ed Felten did some digging:
“Unfortunately for AP, the hNews spec bears little resemblance to AP’s claims about it. hNews is a handy way of annotating news stories with information about the author, dateline, and so on. But it doesn’t “encapsulate” anything in a “wrapper”, nor does it do much of anything to facilitate metering, monitoring, or paywalls.
“AP also says that hNews ” includes a digital permissions framework that lets publishers specify how their content is to be used online”. This may sound like a restrictive DRM scheme, aimed at clawing back the rights copyright grants to users. But read the fine print. hNews does include a “rights” field that can be attached to an article, but the rights field uses ccREL, the Creative Commons Rights Expression Language, whose definition states unequivocally that it does not limit users’ rights already granted by copyright and can only convey further rights to the user.”
FROM THE COMMENTS: Matthew Somerville points to Yoz Grahame’s excellent post on the subject, which suggests some rather more intelligent ideas and also looks at the Media Standards Trust’s Value-Added News project.
ALSO FROM THE COMMENTS: Steve Yelvington gives a good backgrounder (thanks Martin Stabe).
Hope you enjoy this. Concept by Paul Bradshaw, drawings by the wonderful Alex Hughes:
Here are some Twitter avatar-size versions too:
To those who haven’t been caught up in the fuss, Plurk is a new microblogging service and rival to Twitter. Users are invited to post about what they’re doing using one of 15 verb prefixes, including ‘loves’, ‘is’, ‘thinks’ and ‘shares’. Indeed, it has found itself so successful among disenchanted Twitterati that Plurk has decided to introduce 15 new verb options. These are:
- smokes – e.g. “ryanlim smokes another wimpy rollup”. In an attempt to generate revenue, users will be charged a 15% tax on every smoke-Plurk. However, due to health and safety regulations they will not be able to smoke-Plurk indoors.
- shouts – for users who accidentally leave caps lock on. e.g. “ryanlim shouts GOING HOME NOW”.
- lies – for double-bluffing Plurk users.
- lurks – for users who are only there to read other Plurks. Lurk-Plurks are invisible.
- waffles – for users who, even with a 140 character limit, still manage to talk too much.
- dies – for users who smoke-Plurk 60 times a day.
- rhymes – for hip hop artists, poets and drunkards.
- impersonates – for identity thieves.
- mutters – for users who really don’t want to be heard. mutter-Plurks disappear after two seconds.
- reincarnates – depending on a user’s karma score, they may be reincarnated as follows:
- 0.00 to 21.00: a bee
- 21.00 to 41.00: a big bee
- 41.00 to 61.00: a wasp
- 61.00 to 81.00: a small mammal
- 81.00 to 100.00: a drummer in a tribute band
- steals – Plurk “warns users that valuables are left on Plurk at their own risk”.
- denies – for users who have been accused of steal-Plurking and Plurk-lying.
- shags – Plurk-porn is a further business model being considered by the founders, who promise shag-Plurks will be done tastefully and with great lighting.
- gloats – for users with inordinately high karma scores
- leaves – for Plurkers who have decided one Twitter service is enough.