Category Archives: Journalism

Twitter saves the day

As Twitter detractor’s often sneer that nothing of value can be said in 140 characters. The UK Parliament and The Guardian newspaper would now beg to differ. When reporter  Alan Rusbridger, left the office on a Monday evening after a frustrating day, after lawyer Carter-Ruck persuade a judge to suppress a confidential but embarrassing document which has fallen into journalists’ hands on the Trafigura fiasco. Rusbridger’s tweet:

  “Now Guardian prevented from reporting parliament for unreportable reasons. Did John Wilkes live in vain?”

These 15 words sent internet uses into battle to reveal all, marking a historical victory for the power of the internet after a gagging attempt on routine act of journalism.

The results are unparallel. As Rusridger writes

“By lunchtime – an hour before we were due in court – Trafigura threw in the towel. The textbook stuff – elaborate carrot, expensive stick – had been blown away by a newspaper together with the mass collaboration of total strangers on the web. Trafigura thought it was buying silence. A combination of old media – the Guardian – and new – Twitter – turned attempted obscurity into mass notoriety.”

Is this a lesson of the times on how to usesocial media for the greater good. The internet is an important tool for freedom of speech and used correctly it can seek justice.

Read the full story here:
The Trafigura fiasco tears up the textbook
Trafigura: A few tweets and freedom of speech is restored


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Filed under citizen journalism, Internet, Journalism

Can pictures tell a thousand words?

The profession of photojournalism – an investigation into objectivity, principles and ethics



Jabaliya Refugee Camp, Ahmed Jadallah (Rueters)

In 2004 Ahmed Jadallah won the World Press Photo of the Year Award for his image of refugees in the Gaza Strip. The picture was taken in March 2003 in the aftermath of an Isreali tank attack in Jabalya refugee camp. At the time Jadallah and his group had been hit by a bomb. Jadallah describes the incident stating “It’s really hard, you know, to see people dying in front of you and I was feeling that I was also dying.” (cited in Leith, 2004, p. 200) He then describes a big hole opening up in the ground and he felt he was falling. After waking up he realised he too was injured. “My legs had been broken, I thought I was dying, and I couldn’t move but I did my job and I took pictures of the dead people beside me.” (cited in Leith, 2004, p. 201) Ahmed Jadallah’s picture captures the horrific scene, the brutal reality, the chaos and the sad truth of death and conflict. Jadallah claims there were no gunmen in the vicinity when they were attacked, only civilians. Ahmed Jadallah’s story, like many other photojournalists, allow us to see the need for photojournalism as a powerful voice within society as well as the danger of the profession and ethical and moral issues involved. “For me I don’t have any power, only the hope that there is change and only the ability to try my best as a journalist, as a photographer to show what is going on.” (cited in Leith, 2004, p. 203)Jadallah’s humble words poignantly reflect the essential role of photojournalism – to inform and educate the world. Continue reading

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Creating a click

“If you don’t like the news…. go out and make some of your own.” — Wes “Scoop” Nisker

Nisker’s words can be a tribute to citizen journalism today. I thought it’d be good to compile a list of organisations where people are making some news of there own. Here is a list of citizen journalism publications,that are demonstrating the strength of this new media platform: Continue reading

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“I’ll take some sport mixed with a little fashion and a side order of politics…”

When I read the paper I skim the front page, skip the business and economics, sometimes dabble into a little world news, pour over the arts and entertainment, adore the beautiful pictures of different countries in the travel section, love reading an inticing feature and gaze at the weather and my stars. Now I can have my very own personalised paper with all my favourite bits delievered to my door by 8am – well that’s if I lived in Germany.

Here’s the proof:

(AFP) – 1 day ago

 BERLIN — Two young German entrepreneurs presented what they described as a Europe-wide first on Tuesday: a newspaper tailored to readers’ individual wishes and delivered to their door before 8:00 am.

Customers of the paper choose what topics they want to read about — be it sport, politics, fashion or any from a wide choice — and receive news only on their chosen subjects collected together and delivered like any other paper.

Articles are pulled together from major German papers such as Handelsblatt, Bild and Tagesspiegel, foreign titles such as the International Herald Tribune or the New York Times, as well as major blogs and Internet news sources.

The newspaper, called “niiu” will carry articles in both English and German and is aimed primarily at students, explained founders Hendrik Tiedemann, 27, and Wanja Soeren Oberhof, 23.

Students would pay 1.20 euros (1.79 dollars) for their daily news fix whereas others would be expected to stump up 1.80 euros. Bild costs 0.60 euros, and the Tagesspiegel 0.95 euros in Berlin.

Unveiling the concept at a news conference on Tuesday, the entrepreneurs acknowledged that founding a new paper when traditional media are suffering from competition online was a risky venture.

However, they said that young people are tired of trawling the Internet for news and would pay for the personalised, tailored service that niiu would offer.

“Our feedback has shown that people prefer to read from paper,” said Oberhof.

Oberhof and Tiedemann aim to have 5,000 clients in the next six months in Berlin before extending the concept throughout the whole of Germany.

In addition, they said they hoped to make money from advertisers “because they can do very targeted advertising and reach exactly the readers they want.”

The first editions will be rolling off the presses on November 16, they said, and will be available from Monday to Saturday.

Eventually, clients will also be able to choose the length of the paper delivered — for example, eight pages on a busy Monday but 60 pages on a Friday when there is more time to read.

Initially, the paper will be 16 pages.

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Everyone’s a journalist

So lets delve into user-generated content. Citizen journalism is about the people, it’s a new media, so how much impact has it really had? How are news companies engaging and using citizens as journalists? What are the effects of this? And why is it such a growing trend? This Digital Media TV episode looks at these questions … enjoy!

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Journalists <3 social media

Here’s an interesting article by Jeremy Porter from blog Journalists that looks at how 70 per cent of journalists use social networks to assist in reporting. Continue reading

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Filed under Internet, Journalism, Social media, Social networking

Face time

In 2008, Dentyne gum launched an advertising campaign called Make Face Time. Under the words:

“Power down. Log off. Unplug.
Have mercy on your thumbs.
Browse the world wide something else.
Send some not-so-instant-messages.
Undo. Hit cancel. Be together.
Make face time.”

The campaign  encourages internet users to allocate time to be with friends, face to face. It includes a television commercial, a series of print advertisements, and an interactive site ( which can only be accessed for three minutes at a time.

This advertising campaign highlights the need to not forget the importance of social interaction that involves human contact. As Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other social networking devices become more and more popular it is easy for people to become complacent. Why have coffee with a friend, an associate or a future business partner when it’s just as easy to send an email that takes at max 10 minutes. The internet is convenient and efficient.  I know I’m definitely guilty of sending a text instead of taking the time to chat to a loved one. But as journalist, we cannot get lazy. We cannot be trapped behind our laptops and keyboards. How can the emotions of a person be evident in a story that the journalist merely copies and pastes from emailed questions? How can a journalist truly know the area, the subject and the issue when all their information comes from Google, Facebook and Twitter? While we cannot deny the significant impact social networking and the internet has had on news and they way we now receive and produce it, the journalist still needs to get out and experience the situation to truly report on the world we are living in.

This post titled Lazy Journalism and Lazy Reading from the blog Filipino Voices explains a situation where a theoretical exercise was taken as truth by the Inquirer, the Star and the ABC-CBN news in the Philipines. Instead of finding out the real story, which regarded an alleged receipt for a GMA New York dinner at Le Clique, these companies just used social networking sites to find the information. Had they had gone to the restaurant or had they called the GMA, they would have realised this receipt was theoretical not actually real. It was merely an experiment to see if it was possible to spend a certain amount of money. Despite time constraints and the need to constantly have new updated news, it is still unacceptable for news agencies to succumb to lazy journalism.

The following Youtube video is a satirical portrayal of the world of Twitter and adds to the need for face-to-face communication that is highlighted in the Dentyne gum campaign . Enjoy!

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