Smarter: Keeping up with journalism

I read a lot of posts and articles and news about journalism — about the evolution of this field. Job prospects. Technology. New content formats. Ethical problems, scandals, lawsuits. New publications, new websites, new mobile apps. Thank goodness for Twitter — that’s how most of the information comes to me.

Last week I started a new project. The idea is to help journalism students keep up (at least a little) the way I do, but without expecting them to read 100 different articles a week.

I called it Smarter.

If you’re not on Tumblr, you can follow it on my blog, where there will be one post each Sunday.


Blog post 14: Journalism blogs

Most news organizations nowadays have one or more blogs on their website. These blogs vary widely in both tone and content.

In this assignment, you will find two blogs within ONE news organization. I do not mean two blog POSTS; I mean the entire blog.

Tuesday I showed you a post at The New York Times Lens blog, for example.

How to find blogs: I went to the website of a major TV news organization and looked around for a LIST of blogs. At the BOTTOM of the page of one of their blogs, I found a list of links to all the other blogs for that news organization. Another way to find the blogs at one news organization is to search on Google with the word blogs and the name of the news organization.

Find two blogs at one news organization. Examine them. Read several posts. Then compare the two blogs. Read more of this post

New news startup targets ‘the Change Generation’ Sept. 18, 2013

What do you think about this site? is a new site with a mission of keeping younger adults (like you) informed without … um … stressing you out too much, I guess.

Leave your reactions (if any) in the comments.

Blog post 7: Journalism ethics

Last week you had an optional reading link to NPR’s ethics statement. This week, you will find an ethics statement on the site of a different news organization. The organization can be primarily magazine, newspaper, radio, television, or online. However, it CANNOT be a professional group organization, such as SPJ, ASME, RTDNA or NPPA. It must be an organization that produces journalistic products, such as magazines, newspapers, TV or radio news programs, or online news.

The idea behind this assignment is to get you thinking about what kinds of things journalists want to include in a public statement about their ethics.

No two students may write about the same organization. So, as soon as you decide which organization you’re using, REPLY TO THIS POST and write the name of the organization and ALSO paste the complete URL of their ethics page on their site. If you are first, you can write about that one. If someone else named that one first, then you must choose another.

The reply with the organization name and URL is separate from your later reply, with the link to your own blog post. So you are going to reply TWICE to this post. Your second reply is for your blog post, which will be graded.
Read more of this post

Check, check and check again: Images on TV

Here’s a funny story about what happens when journalists are not careful about their work:

Photoshopped book title from Paula Broadwell’s Gen. David Petraeus’ biography goes viral on web

During the 5 p.m. newscast, 7NEWS wanted to show the book cover of the Petraeus biography, written by Broadwell. So someone did a Web image search, found an image of the book cover, and downloaded  that image.

They showed it on-air.

Only it wasn’t the correct cover.

“The editor pulled the image of the book cover from the Internet without realizing it had been doctored.”

Take this as a cautionary tale — when you’re reporting to the public, you can’t be quick and sloppy. You really MUST check things carefully, or you can end up looking like a total idiot!