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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Twitter Libel Case - The Latest

Twitter have been ordered to provide the details of five British users that have been accused of libel on the soial networking webstie.

A California judge has asked for the information in what seems to be the first time that Twitter has had to provide details of British users.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

The Gallery - Video

The Gallery is the base of the production team, and controls very important parts of the news broadcast. This includes the autoqueue, the lights, the camera shots, the sound and more.
It is run by a production crew, lead by the production manager and director.
In this video, we hear from the people that currently control the Production Team for Winol[Winchester News Online]. They explain why The Gallery is so important.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Ryan Giggs Named by MP

Ryan Giggs was yesterday named as the Premier League footballer who took out a super-injunction preventing any publication that would reveal he had an affair with BB star Imogen Thomas.

MP John Hemming named the star in the House of Commons, using a 300 year old law which gives members of parliament freedom of speech without danger of prosecution (known as parliamentary privilege).

Monday, 16 May 2011

Twitpics - Citizen Journalism in Photo Form

As a big fan (and user) of Twitter, I see a lot of pictures posted through 'twitpic', this a website that allows twitter users to post pictures, and then link their followers to them in their tweets. It's basically Twitter's answer to facebooks 'picture feature'.

Although, much like the comparison of 'tweets' and 'facebook status', they have very different uses. Facebook pictures are to show you drunk on a night out, letting people see your family holiday photos, and are generally a more personal collection. Twitpic is different (at least for most people). It's where people make observations in their day to day life, maybe a comical sign they've seen in the street, or more interestingly - a big news-worthy event that they've seen right in front of them.

EPL Footballer Injunction Still Stands

The Sun lost another attempt to name the premier league footballer linked to an affair with Imogen Thomas.

News Group Newspapers (that represents the newspaper) appeared in court today along with Imogen in an attempt to halt the gagging order that has so far prevented the player from being named.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Wiki Boss speaks out against Injunctions

Jimmy Wales (The founder of Wikipedia) has suggested that injunctions and super injunctions are a ‘human rights violation’.

Mr Wales said "There should be no law constraining people form publishing legally obtained, factual infromation".
Anybody can edit and update the online encyclopaedia, and this has created a bit of controversy and trouble for Wales regarding super injunction laws. Users have been posting details on Wikipedia linking people to recent injunctions that have been made.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

J'Accuse by Emile Zola

What is J'Accuse?

J'Accuse was an open letter written by journalist Emile Zola, and was addressed to the President of France - Felix Faure. It was published on the front of a daily paris newspaper called L'Aurore on January 13th 1898. In the letter, Zola explains the injustice he feels regarding the sentencing of Alfred Dreyfus, and accuses the French government of anti-semitism. Zola was found guilty of libel on February 23rd 1898. He fled to England as a way of avoiding prison, but continued his defence of Dreyfus. He only returned after the French government had collapsed.

Fact Mongering Online - New Media Reporting

I have started reading a book edited together by Julia Hobsbawm (Britain's first professor of Public Relations at the London College of Communication). The book contains a number of 'wide-ranging and thought-provoking essays' and explores various issues involving journalists and new media. I hope to keep you up to date on my thoughts regarding the opinions and observations expressed in this book.

In this blog I'll be talking about 'Fact Mongering Online' which was written by Emily Bell. She has worked for The Observer and The Guardian, which included setting up 'mediaguardian.co.uk' in 2000 before becoming 'editor-in-chief of Guardian Unlimited in 2001 which won her a number of awards (including a Webby for Best Newspaper on the World Wide Web).

In this essay, Emily describes the 'limitless connectivity' of the internet as 'the single most empowering publishing technology since Gutenberg invented the printing press'. However, she felt it was vilified 'as a home of the con artist and the paedophile'.

She claims that for many years in the 1990's the internet had a bad image, seen as somewhere that made the 'untalented' rich, and that lead to crashes from sleep deprived 'internet addicts'.

This shows (to some extent) why the transformation from newspaper to news online has been such a gradual process. It has taken a lot of time to establish a sense of trust into what is published on the net.

However, there was a clear plus - the ability to spread news across the world very quickly, but the danger of course was 'Chinese whispers' - the idea that reports would be altered and slowly distance from the true events.

Emily claims that the posting of 'false facts' would affect our perception of truth, and make it difficult for those online to decipher which is which.

With old media, the truth could be assured simply because of the source - a newspaper. Although some would argue that the old media lead to a one-dimensional view, and now access online provides alternate sources and news providers and give us a chance to hear broader opinions and reports.

Emily then speaks about 'electronic news' not necessarily being as dangerous as old media. An electronic reported can get edited and you can apologise for mistakes almost instantly, and while that news is accessible globally, the damage wouldn't be any greater than a printed copy distributed to just one nation, where you have to wait to correct yourself.

Although, the expanding world of the internet means that errors need to be corrected even more urgently because of technology such as RSS feeds, this means that reports become instantly accessible to so many people.

Emily also mentions a phrase for journalists to remember, it was made by journalist Dan Gillmor –

‘There is always someone closer to the story than you.’
Dan Gillmor

And this quote makes many points in my opinion. One suggesting that as journalists we cant rely only on our opinions and what we see, it's always important to speak with those closest to the story so that we get a completely honest and truthful opinion and viewpoint.
Another(that Emily points out) is that with publishing online now being so accessible, somebody(bloggers) with more insight than you will be able to post thier views with more detail, emotion and insight. Often these people will not be driven by money, but simply an enjoyable hoppy.

One question that needs to be asked is whether a lot of 'citizen journalists' are merely reporting the same as professional journalists, or are they really providing an alternate view. Even if they are - is it truthful and backed up by facts and sources? Thier are millions of blogs online, it's difficult for them to stand out, and the fact that many do it as a hobby suggests that the information is not neccessarily deeply sourced. Is this the advantage that the mainstream news reporters have?

Mass communication is the future of news reporting, the likelyhood of incorrect reporting circulating is obviously more common, but the ability to correct it has also become a lot easier.
Looking at ths transfer to focussing on mass communcation and the online world, Emily Bell ends her piece by stating '...there is no reason why truth should be the casualty of this particular revolution'.

Special thanks to Emily Bell and Julia Hobsbawm

Monday, 9 May 2011

Journalists on Twitter

A number of Journalists now use twitter, it has become a great way of releasing stories as well as discovering stories.
Through things like hashtags(#) and 'trending topics' it can be easy to locate opinions on certain topics and news stories.
Thier are a number of top journalists and bloggers from a number of newspapers, news broadcasters and more on Twitter.

I have spent some time locating some of the top journalistic tweeters and have composed a list that will show all of thier tweets as soon as they are posted.
This is accessible to anyone at this link - http://twitter.com/#!/danielmackrell/journalists

Here you can read all the very up-to-date postings of some of the professions top reporters and get updates on thier latest posts, comments and links to the newest news stories.
It doesn't require you to sign up to Twitter to access and read the tweets, although if you are a member of twitter, you can follow the list, and all journalist tweets would be added directly to your twitter feed.
I will continue to add more and more top journalists when I find them, and if you know of any, then let me know and I will include them.

What the list includes
It has a variety of journalists. Ranging from sports, technology, politics, and economic experts, as well as editors, presenters, sports presenters and bloggers. Thier are also links to the latest online news reports and alerts from the likes of Sky News, The Mirror, The Telegraph. And thier is also a useful Tweeter that reports the latest journalism jobs available.

It currently features just over 100 tweeters, but only has currently 3 'followers' but one of those is Chris Choi who is a consumer editor for ITV news and has worked on Radio 4, Watchdog and Five Live.

I hope this will be useful to some of you.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Page One - New Documentary about The New York Times

I just want to promote and bring to attention this new film documentary that follows The New York Times.

Unprecedented access to the New York Times newsroom yields a complex view of the transformation of a media landscape fraught with both peril and opportunity.

The filme will be out 24th June

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Power of Twitter - Part 1

I recently made a post regarding Facebook, and a comment made that if it was a country, it would be the third biggest one in the world. And it got me thinking as too how it might work out if Facebook really did become a country.
Well in this post i'm going to take a look at Twitter and question what sort of country it would form.

Before I go into Twitter as a country, i'd just like to give you an idea into it's current popularity.
Thier are around 2-300 Million twitter accounts, which isn't quite as much as Facebooks 500 Million active accounts, but it's still a pretty large number and almost reaches the same amount as America's population of around 311 Million.
Twitter’s lead on Application Services - Raffi Krikorian mde a presentation in March of this year and raised a number of interesting statistics (courtesy of 'Fresh Networks' Hamrid Sirhan).

- The current rate of tweeting is 1,200 Tweets per second (tps)
- There are currently 110 million tweets per day

These two statistics alone highlight the now huge popularity and activity that Twitter has. It has become very trendy amongst celebrities and athletes to promote themselves and anyting hey're invovled in. It has also broken down barriers that were once in place between celebrities and 'regular people'. It's introduced a new level of fan interaction. It has also become a way for businesses to promote thier products, and even for 'twitter celebrities' to emerge, becoming popular simply through thier 140 character tweets.

Trending topics has also become popular, and has enabled tweeters to view other opinions in a matter of seconds regarding big world events and announcements. It has become a perfect example of 'citizen journalism'.

Making 'The United Nations of Twitter'
Much like Facebook, the flag would surely be the logo. But this time maybe not of the word 'Twitter', but of the bird or maybe the 'failwhale' that we see so often.

In terms of the type of government, I think a democracy would work quite well. It would enable everyone to have a voice (nobody can exeed 140 characters in twitter - nobody!). With this Democracy could also come 'Popular Sovereignty', which is based on the idea that a state is 'created by the will and consent of its people'. This is also similairly linked with The Social Contract which comes from philosophers such as Locke, Rousseau and Hobbes. This is the idea that the population would agree to obide common rules and protect each other from harm etc...

This would very much be a united nation. Generally the people i have encountered have been friendly and just happy to express thier views to those that will read them. It is also filled with a diverse mixture of nationalities, age groups, and careers. Thier are doctors, actors, singers, plumbers, presidents, journalists, sales assistants, I'm sure every profession is covered somewhere on twitter.

In part two I will be analysing exactl what would make Twitter a dominant and powerful country.
In my Facebook post, I included a world map which highlighted the popularity of the social networking site. Well here is Twitters own version -

Twitter around the world
You can read 'The Power of Facebook - Part 1' by clicking here.