Citizen Media Watch

december 13th, 2006

Possible new industry standard provides ability to track changes in photographs

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Tom Glocer, Chief Executive officer of Reuters, disclosed in a speech at the Globes Media Conference in Tel Aviv on Monday 11 December 2006:

I am pleased to announce today that we are working with Adobe and Canon to create a solution that enables photo editors to view an audit trail of changes to a digital image, which is permanently embedded in the photograph, ensuring the accuracy of the image.
We are still working through the details and hope this will be a new standard for Reuters and I believe should be the new industry standard.

This is of course in response to the debate following the Adnan Hajj photo controversy – photos that Reuters sent out, covering the Israel-Lebanon conflict, turned out to be digitally manipulated, adding more smoke than there originally was in the photograph. Hajj later got fired and Reuters removed all of his photos from their database.
Glocer’s speech, transcribed in his blog, was about trust in the age of two-way communicative journalism.
From the Hajj case, Reuters learnt how quickly you can lose trust that has been built up for 155 years. And he draws the conclusion that exactly because of that, independent organisations such as Reuters have an important role to play in the future media landscape. Organisations that work by a code of ethics.

The risk we as an industry face is that amid all the noise, all the amateur pictures and editorial, the victim could be the truth and fact-based journalism.

Further down, he continues:

I strongly believe that in the mixing of different voices we will always need a place for the news organization whose watchword is trust. Trust will be the differentiator in the new media dynamic. Your independence and impartiality will mark you out.

(via New Media Musings)

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december 13th, 2006

MyMissourian – lessons learnt from a hybrid project

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Kevin Anderson reports from a panel on the reader revolution, and what Clyde Bentley of the University of Missouri School of Journalism had to say about a citizen journalism project called MyMissourian.
According to Anderson, MyMissourian was inspired by Korean OhMyNews, and is open for anyone’s participation. There, readers become reporters, with the help of journalism students.
Its focus is on feature material, things that are close to home. Some of the sections are Fashion, Voices, Culture, Business, Celebrations, Spiritual Life, Recipes, Sports and Schools.
What they’ve done is that they’ve created a print product from the online material.
These are the lessons they have learnt:

  • Use citizen journalism to supplement not replace.
  • UGC (user generated content – my remark) isn’t free.
  • Online attracts the eager, but print serves the masses.
  • Give people what they want, when they want it and how they want it.
  • Get rid of preconceptions of what journalism is.
  • Every day people are better ‘journalists’ than you think.
  • All in all good points, but the first and the fifth point are the most important for old news people to take in, I think. Keeping an open mind to what constitutes journalism, and what is ”good” journalism. But not forgetting that it also takes a lot of hard work to dig up a breaking news story, and there are people trained to do that, and they are good at it.
    The established media shouldn’t hand over the responsibility of journalism to the general public. They haven’t asked for it. But we should invite the public to be creative and to use the journalistic tools, and to do it in our sphere. In close collaboration a lot is to be gained for both parts, and I believe the winner will be the future readers, who will get better and more interesting news.

    Anderson also reports:

    Is there a future for journalists? Yes, both professional and citizen journalists, but the job of professional journalists is changing, Clyde said. It is now more about guiding people to content and covering stories from a different way. Journalists should invite the public to the table.

    (via Strange Attractor)


    december 13th, 2006

    From Rocketboom to the newsroom

    Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

    Amanda Congdon at ABC News, and at Rocketboom in the old days. Screenshots.Amanda Congdon has landed a job at ABC News. The former vlogger star will keep up her usual Rocketboom style in the short news clips she’ll be doing for ABC, the NY Times reports.

    On her first minishow, which became available yesterday on ABC’s Web site, Ms. Congdon shows up in a taut Steely Dan T-shirt and opens with her trademark girly casualness: “O.K., this is weird.”

    Virginia Heffernan who wrote the Times article has an interesting analysis of the Congdon phenomenon, comparing her way of expressing surprise or disbelief straight into the camera with the melodrama of Walter Cronkite.

    It’s an interesting career step, and yet one more proof of the shooting stardom that can stem from blogging.

    (via Scripting News)

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