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Rules of the Road: Navigating the New Ethics of Local Journalism

August 16, 2012 in Community, Craft, Resources

With journalism entrepreneurs launching local news startups at a rapid pace, the local news landscape is evolving ­– and so are the rules of the road guiding ethical decisions.

Where a bright ethical line once separated a newsroom from its business operations, one person now often wears multiple hats, as editor, business manager and grants writer. Site publishers navigate new kinds of critical decisions daily. This guide examines a number of them. You can click to any topic in any order. Or, you can cruise through the Table of Contents.

On every page you’ll find a box that says, “Share your story.” We invite you to weigh in with an ethical problem you faced – and your solution.  Your participation will help inform a work in progress.” Source: J-Lab

Fifteen site operators and one digital ethicist candidly discuss dilemmas they’ve confronted and the solutions they’ve reached. The good news, [J-Lab Executive Director Jan] Schaffer said, is that the internal compasses of community news site founders are working well. Indeed, many actually draw more stringent rules for behavior than traditional news organizations do.

“We’ve seen how entrepreneurial news startups are trying to responsibly fill gaps in investigative journalism. With this publication, we see how local news startups are meeting new challenges of covering community news,” said Bob Ross, president and CEO of Ethics and Excellence Journalism Foundation.” Source: J-Lab

How to Use Twitter for Business: An Introductory Guide

June 15, 2012 in Community, Resources, Revenue, Technology

People are in more control over how they consume media and what messages they care to hear…

This changing nature of consumers‘ shopping habits means that instead of continuing to push marketing messages out, effective marketers must adapt to consumers‘ new behavior by creating marketing campaigns that pull people in to their business. This strategy is called inbound marketing. Inbound marketers offer useful information, tools, and resources to attract people to their business
and its website, while also interacting and developing relationships with consumers on the web. The three key inbound marketing tools are blogging and content creation, search engine optimization, and social media marketing.

Twitter is one of the most powerful social networks for your business…

Twitter is a relationship-building and relationship maintenance tool; the most obvious business use of Twitter is to meet potential customers and leads the same way you would at networking event or tradeshow.

However, You Can Also Use it To:

  1. Develop and promote your brand
  2. Interact with your customer base
  3. Track what people are saying about your company and brand
  4. Create buzz around upcoming events
  5. Help individual employees act as liaisons to the public
  6. Promote other content you‘ve created, including webinars, blog posts or podcasts
  7. Develop direct relationships with bloggers and journalists for potential PR placement
  8. Generate sales leads for your business

Source: How to Use Twitter for Business: An Introductory Guide

Data Journalism Handbook

June 1, 2012 in Craft, Education, Resources, Technology

The Data Journalism Handbook is a free, open source reference book for anyone interested in the emerging field of data journalism.

It was born at a 48 hour workshop at MozFest 2011 in London. It subsequently spilled over into an international, collaborative effort involving dozens of data journalism’s leading advocates and best practitioners – including from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC, the Chicago Tribune, Deutsche Welle, the Guardian, the Financial Times, Helsingin Sanomat, La Nacion, the New York Times, ProPublica, the Washington Post, the Texas Tribune, Verdens Gang, Wales Online, Zeit Online and many others.” Source: Data Journalism Handbook

This book is intended to be a useful resource for anyone who thinks that they might be interested in becoming a data journalist, or dabbling in data journalism.

Lots of people have contributed to writing it, and through our editorial we have tried to let their different voices and views shine through. We hope that it reads like a rich and informative conversation about what data journalism is, why it is important, and how to do it.

Lamentably the act of reading this book will not supply you with a comprehensive repertoire of all if the knowledge and skills you need to become a data journalist. This would require a vast library manned by hundreds of experts able to help answer questions on hundreds of topics. Luckily this library exists and it is called the internet. Instead, we hope this book will give you a sense of how to get started and where to look if you want to go further. Examples and tutorials serve to be illustrative rather than exhaustive.

We count ourselves very lucky to have had so much time, energy, and patience from all of our contributors and have tried our best to use this wisely. We hope that – in addition to being a useful reference source – the book does something to document the passion and enthusiasm, the vision and energy of a nascent movement. The book attempts to give a sense of what happens behind the scenes, the stories behind the stories.

The Data Journalism Handbook is a work in progress. If you think there is anything which needs to be amended or is conspicuously absent, then please flag it for inclusion in the next version. It is also freely available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, and we strongly encourage you to share it with anyone that you think might be interested in reading it.” Source: Data Journalism Handbook

Mobile Security Survival Guide for Journalists

May 22, 2012 in Craft, Resources, Technology

The Mobile Security Survival Guide for Journalists helps you better understand the risks inherent in the use of mobile technology. It also discusses some tactics you can use to protect yourself. The guide covers both local journalists and those on assignment in another country. It is important for any journalists or person engaged in sensitive work to understand that mobile communications are inherently insecure and expose you to risks that are not easy to detect or overcome. This guide is designed to help you navigate these challenges.

We outline the risks and offer tips to help mitigate them. Our primary goal is to help you make better decisions about using your mobile phone while on assignment for both your professional and personal communication.

It should be noted that this guide does not guarantee your safety. Rather, it is a foundational resource for you to understand and minimize risks of mobile communication in the field.

The Mobile Security Survival Guide is written with the workflow of a journalist in mind:

  1. Mobile Network Awareness: The Basics — What does your mobile use say about you?
  2. Preparing for Assignment — Assess your digital risks and prepare your phone.
  3. Reporting/In the Field — Talking to sources and conducting interviews; checking in with your newsroom, your phone in emergency situations.
  4. Filing the Story – Sending updates, news bursts, or multimedia content from the field.
  5. BONUS! Social Media – Safer use of social media to follow news, connect with sources, share breaking stories and promote your work.” Source: SaferMobile

Mobile Media Toolkit

February 8, 2012 in Craft, Distribution, Education, Resources, Technology

Mobile phones are everywhere in today’s world, and they have many applications for those in media. Most journalists already use mobiles phones, but the sheer number of tools and applications available makes it difficult to know the most effective way to use them. The proliferation of mobiles has greatly increased the number and capabilities of citizen reporters, but questions remain about the role of citizen reporting. The public is consuming more and more information on mobile phones, but media organizations need to learn how best to disseminate their content and reach out to the mobile market.

This is where the Mobile Media Toolkit comes in. There are many media projects that use mobiles effectively. There are also many tools and resources that can serve the potential needs of journalists, citizen reporters, and media organizations. The Mobile Media Toolkit is a collection of these tools and resources, as well as examples of how mobile phones can be and are being used in the media industry.The simple fact is that using mobile phones in media production isn’t always as easy as it seems.

Finding the right tool and using it correctly to reach the broadest possible audience requires knowledge of the mobile landscape. The need for guidance in the industry is apparent.

The Mobile Media Toolkit provides guidance on tools, resources, and case studies of how mobiles can be used for reporting, news broadcasting, and citizen media participation on a variety of platforms and in a variety of circumstances.” Source: Mobile Media Toolkit