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JA Network Profile: The Breaking News Network explores new ways of expressing media

February 22, 2013 in Blog, Experiments

Breaking News Network 

Started in 2009, the Breaking News Network curates the media and blog feeds in 350-plus cities worldwide to create a real-time ticker tape of social-media-sourced news in each city. The noncommercial network is unique in supporting each city’s civic groups, arts organizations and causes by providing them with a free media voice to connect with their community.

Journalism Accelerator

The JA had the opportunity to participate in the recent Street Fight Summit in New York City. While there, Breaking News Network (BNN) founder Patrick Kitano introduced himself.

When BNN was launched three years ago to give voice to community causes, Kitano brought a unique knowledge from early experiments using Twitter (2006 – 2009) and social media to develop hyperlocal community information networks for the real estate market. Focusing on social at the outset, Kitano was “cobbling together” segmented lists on Twitter before Twitter had even created “lists.” (For context, Twitter launched in July of 2006.) This early social community development revealed new ways that Kitano found effectively enabled an active, community-sourced and locally driven information network.

Kitano sees BNN providing a shared social channel – one community, one voice, one cause at a time – with promise of doing good for others by supporting civic groups, local causes and arts organizations. Read the rest of this entry →

Ten hot ethical challenges facing political reporting in 2012

September 28, 2012 in Blog, Craft

Gregory Korte

USA Today reporter Gregory Korte tells the crowd at the 2012 Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop why he sometimes agrees to quote approval. Credit: Kent State University

Journalism Accelerator

“The values of journalism are under pressure.” With that remark, Kelly McBride of The Poynter Institute set the stage for “Dirty Politics,” the 2012 ethics workshop at Kent State University.

Here are ten hot ethical challenges in political coverage that emerged from the workshop. Join in the series of online conversations exploring ways to handle them. Bring your questions! Bring your experience! Help uncover ethical issues in political coverage that require clarity to provide the accurate reporting people deserve to inform their vote. Read the rest of this entry →

Truth in the Age of Social Media

August 13, 2012 in Craft, Resources

The new issue of Nieman Reports includes an exhaustive cover package about the craft of verification.

The issue includes contributions from journalists with Associated Press, the BBC, CNN, and Storyful, among other outlets. Incoming New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan also contributed a piece.

The articles deliver advice, case studies and insight into what it’s like to verify information flowing in from social networks and a multitude of other sources.

I was honored to write an introductory essay for the package. I attempted to outline some of the challenges and opportunities presented by today’s decentralized, democratized and socialized media world…

Reading through the different articles, I was struck by how much of the advice overlapped; the verification advice from the BBC’s User Generated Content Hub, Storyful’s Mark Little, AP’s Santiago Lyon and CNN iReport’s Lila King all hit similar points.

That’s a good thing.

It suggests that, even amid the rapidly changing world of journalism and citizen media, there are new best practices being applied across newsrooms. We have a sense of what’s working, and a productive way to do this work.

As a result, this issue’s collection of checklists, case studies and other tips is something of a blueprint for journalists looking to build their skills in this area, or organizations trying to establish policies and procedures for vetting information. It’s a state of the art crib sheet of best practices.

One key piece of advice for verifying user generated content that’s repeated over and over again may seem obvious but is too often ignored: always contact the person who uploaded or provided the material. In other words, check the source as much as the information…

Another theme in the package is uncertainty. Verification may seem like an exact science, but it usually comes down to collecting as much information as possible and practicing triangulation to make an informed decision. There is always the risk that you make the wrong call, or act too soon. Errors are a constant concern, and a fact of life.”
Source: Poynter’s Regret the Error

100 Reporters

June 27, 2012 in Community, Craft, Experiments, Resources

100Reporters is a revolutionary news organization, dedicated to forging new frontiers in responsible journalism. It joins scores of the planet’s finest professional reporters with whistle-blowers and citizen journalists across the globe, to report on corruption in all its forms. The organization, spearheaded by veteran correspondents of top-tier news outlets, aims to raise the caliber, impact and visibility of citizen-driven investigative journalism, as a means of promoting transparency and good government.

Thanks to advances in technology and heightened transparency among international institutions, we are in an unprecedented position to know and report more than ever before on both the flow of illicit cash, and on the spending habits of government officials and their friends….

Our goal is to embrace technology’s potential to build new forms of journalism around a towering, intractable global issue. We’re working with citizens–the first victims of graft and cronyism–to expose the corruption around them, and bringing these citizens into the reporting of stories where possible.

With initial backing from The Ford Foundation, we are building a multiplatform site where sources can submit—anonymously, if necessary—news tips and evidence of corruption. These will become the raw material for stories to be reported and written by our professional journalists, and presented in hard-hitting news reports available to a worldwide audience. Where feasible, our 100 reporters will work hand-in-hand with citizen journalists, sharing bylines and payment.” Source: 100 Reporters

Public Insight Network

September 16, 2011 in Community, Craft, Experiments, Resources

The Public Insight Network (PIN) is a powerful database of over 85,000 people who help to shape and deepen local and national public radio news coverage by volunteering their personal knowledge, experience, and opinions. Members of the network provide basic information about themselves and their areas of expertise, and receive periodic emails from their local newsroom soliciting their thoughts on issues that the station plans to cover. As Public Insight Network editor Andrew Haeg explains, reporter working on a series or piece on healthcare, could reach out into the network and find nurses and patients and doctors and administrators, sifting through responses to “see what themes and patterns emerge.”

The concept of Public Insight Journalism, with the PIN as its centerpiece, was originally pioneered by Minnesota Public Radio in response to what Haeg describes as “a big disconnect between what was going on in the newsroom — the decisions we were making, our editorial meetings — and what was going on out there in the community.” The PIN was designed to bridge that divide, pioneering what the Public Insight Journalism website describes as, “a new model of journalism to meet the needs of today’s open-source society…built on genuine partnership between news media and the public.”

This network-driven structure moves beyond what Haeg calls “Rolodex journalism” — relying on a small and trusted group of sources for news tips and suggestions for coverage. “We all know that people out there in the community have a much better feel for what’s actually going on on-the-ground,” he says, “and if you can include them in the conversation, you’re going to be much better off.”

This method of engaging the community in the process of newsgathering has steadily gained traction in public radio newsrooms since its launch in 2003, and has spread beyond Minnesota Public Radio and its parent organization, American Public Media, to local stations nationwide.” SourceCenter for Social Media