Posts Tagged ‘transparency’

Notes from DigiDave

David Cohn, or DigiDave, is the founder and creator of Spot.us.  Today our Digital Journalism class was lucky enough to sit in with him for a video chat on important topics and trends in journalism.

Objectivity

“Transparency trumps objectivity.”

  • Some of the best journalism come from advocacy journalism.
  • Good reporting is thorough and accurate – but not necessarily objective.
  • Focusing on objectivity in metropolitan newspapers created a loss and disconnect with “on the ground” local issues.

Community journalism

  • Community journalists and professional news organizations are interdependent.
  • Citizens have amazing ability to cover breaking news, i.e. crisis situations.
  • Reporter as community organizer – use readers as sources.
  • “Do what you do best and link to the rest” –Jeff Jarvis.
  • Hone in on what you do best for added value.
  • Shared power, shared voice.

Interesting ventures in entrepreneurial journalism

Future business models

  • There won’t be one solution –  the best organization will use multiple tools.
  • Being an expert in a certain field results in multiple revenue streams.
  • Hyperlocal journalism fills a niche.

Tips for reporting in the Digital Age

1.  Common sense still applies.  For example, Photoshop is great tool for manipulating photos but there are differences in what is permissible for personal use and what constitutes a news photo.  While it is perfectly acceptable to remove wrinkles from a picture of a family member that same practice would be an inappropriate alteration of content in journalistic terms.

2.  Use your audience.  The decreasing divide between the producer and consumer of news content allows readers to be a great source of information.  Many readers are also experts in their own field and can be efficient fact-checkers if they are encouraged to comment.

3.  Transparency is crucial.  These days many journalists are apt to create a brand for themselves to help market content.  It is important that this identity be genuine and not misrepresent or skew the goals of the journalist.  This is especially essential in the blogosphere, where readers have little patience for veils and are quick to question a source’s motivations.  Transparency also helps prevent potential conflicts between the editorial/content aspect and the business/revenue aspect.

4.  Your peers are your friends.  The days of competing newspapers are coming to an end.  To excel in the virtual world, a journalist must consider his peers as assets to his success.  If someone breaks a story or idea before you do, acknowledge his efforts and provide additional information and commentary.  This community mentality can also help you stay aware of developing trends.

5.  It’s okay to make mistakes.  Always check facts and information before publishing.  However, one of the advantages of online content is the ease of updates and corrections.  Just make sure you take responsibility for the mistake and make a thorough effort to clear up any confusion and prevent similar mishaps in the future.

This is by no means a comprehensive list.  Online publishing brings an amazing amount of new opportunities and responsibilities.