networked journalism

The iconic photo of the Egypt protests

Taken by an amateur photographer — a wonderful example of the altered media landscape.

He describes the scene:

I am not a journalist, just an amateur photographer.

[The protest] was mostly young people, but there were some old people as well. A woman that looked 60 was marching beside me from Gamet El Dowal street to Tahrir Square, almost two hours of walking and shouting.

The scene was absolutely wonderful last night in that square. The support of the people around you gives you so much strength and courage to do stuff like what this guy is doing. Morale was so high. People were constantly coming in with supplies of water, food, and blankets. I felt very proud of my fellow Egyptians.

Here’s the metadata: 18-105mm lens @ 105mm, f/5.6, 1/13 second. I made a mistake earlier thinking it was ISO 1,600 (I am very disoriented from yesterday’s events, since I have never participated in such a massive protest, and it was my first time with tear gas). This is actually shot at ISO 800. I shot everything else at 1,600, but for this one I sat down on the ground and gave the camera more support using my knee, which allowed me to lower the ISO a bit.

Looks like the protests aren’t stopping. Will be interesting to see where this leads.

By | January 26th, 2011|Uncategorized|1 Comment

How to properly include a link on Twitter

If you’re going to include a link on Twitter, you should use a service that shortens the long Web address. I use Simply go the site and paste the long link in — then hit the button and your short link is produced. Copy this and paste it into Twitter — that was you don’t waste your 140 characters of space. You can also find a toolbar application that allows you to do the whole process without leaving the Web page you want to link to.

No, go forth and Tweet properly.

By | November 29th, 2010|Uncategorized|0 Comments

News outlets must embrace Twitter

Great editorial from the Guardian about the benefits of Twitter for news organizations. The top 15 reasons include news dissemination, powerful aggregation, altering notions of authority and — my favorite — being an agent of change. Alan Rusbridger writes:

As this ability of people to combine around issues and to articulate them grows, so it will have increasing effect on people in authority. Companies are already learning to respect, even fear, the power of collaborative media. Increasingly, social media will challenge conventional politics and, for instance, the laws relating to expression and speech.

Very true. Of course, at face value many of these reasons don’t seem to benefit the news outlets. (What newspaper wants to give up their authority?) But, these reasons and the corresponding increase in credibility that engagement delivers should persuade news organizations to get serious about Twitter.

The Guardian already has. Click here to read their social media guidelines, which effectively encourage their employees to get into conversations with readers via Twitter and Facebook. The Washington Post, on the other hand, recently issued rules to forbid such interaction.

Which move feels like it’s on the right side of history?

By | November 20th, 2010|networked journalism, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Crowd-sourcing success

Great example of networked journalism at the online site TBD in Washington, DC. The news outlet asked readers to note instances where subway escalators were malfunctioning. By harnessing the power of the audience, they produced a  map that accurately reflects the problems with the metro system. Good stuff. The old-school reporting would have featured a few anecdotes about malfunctioning escalators followed by a quote from a PR flack for the subway saying that the problems weren’t too serious.

Makes you wonder — Why are so few news outlets embracing this type of reporting?

UPDATE: Practical tips to engage the audience.

By | November 18th, 2010|networked journalism|0 Comments

Atlanta Journal-Constitution is turning a profit

According to the paper’s public editor:

A year ago, the newspaper was losing money. Business leaders moved quickly to turn that around, making a series of painful expense cuts that included trimming home delivery to outlying regions and reducing staff. Printing was consolidated at the company’s Gwinnett County plant, meaning the downtown presses were no longer used. And so the downtown office, which was expensive to maintain and no longer fully utilized, became an obvious choice for savings.

As difficult as those cuts were, the work paid off. The AJC has been profitable for the past several months. And in the face of necessary changes, the newspaper maintained its focus on what is essential to readers: a comprehensive report with deep local news, business, sports and entertainment coverage; a diverse mix of opinion and expertise; and in-depth watchdog reporting on topics that matter to all of metro Atlanta.

The AJC has indeed been doing a good job covering the area despite its reduced staff. They also put an impressive amount of resources into investigative journalism — producing about 10 enterprise pieces a week.

I would also add that the paper has worked on listening to complaints about its liberal bias — both in the news section and on the editorial pages. The paper shifted its editorial board to the center a year ago.

The AJC should also be lauded for its embrace of networked journalism. They often use shout-outs to their Twitter followers to get information on developing stories. And anecdotal evidence shows they’re quite receptive to fixing the mistakes pointed out by their networked community. Earlier this year, I criticized a lede for unfairly portraying a suspect in a crime as guilty. They fixed it within 2 hours and alerted me via Twitter.

It appears that all these elements make for profitable journalism. Other news outlets should take note of the AJC’s approach to the news business.

By | April 19th, 2010|AJC, networked journalism, new media|0 Comments