Journalism Next: Chapter 4

Microblogging is a digital platform that allows users to users to post and publish messages with up to 140 characters. Twitter is currently the dominating platform for microblogging, with the ability to share links, photos and videos instantly. Nowadays, news breaks faster on Twitter than in mainstream media.

Young journalists can harness the power of microblogging through:

  • Sharing insight and connecting with the audience
  • Verifying facts and posting continuous updates during a breaking news story
  • Learning about audience through public interviews

With microblogging journalists can receive a more immediate response from a diverse crowd of followers and build a stronger network or readers.

Ellyn Angelotti, Interactivity Editor of Poynter Institute, shares the following guidelines to publishing effective stories:

  • Be informative
  • Stay relevant (timely stories)
  • Be instructive
  • Include links
  • Reflect your personality
  • Build relationships

Learn the Twitter basics:

  • DM (Direct message)
  • @ (Reply, comes before a Twitter ID)
  • RT (Retweet)
  • # (Hashtag)
  • Post message in 140 characters or less
  • Read messages on your Twitter home page
  • Read reply messages
  • Send direct messages (private)
  • Follow people and build a network
  • Go mobile with a smartphone
  • Use the 80/20 rule when posting: 80 percent  adds value to the community, the other 20 percent is self-promoting content

2 comments Posted in  annibraz ,briggs ,comm361 February 15, 2012

The Buttry Diary- Questions and answers about journalists’ opinions in social media

Steve Buttry addresses the issue of journalists’ expression via social media with three main principles:

  1. Opinions are not fundamentally unethical journalism– Editors and reporters conduct subjective news judgments on a daily basis. Numerous opinions are expressed when deciding on a story, based on elements such as timeliness, significance, facts, news angle, etc.
  2. Opinions matter, and the place of opinions in journalism is being reassessed on many fronts– Expressing neutrality or personal perspective should be assessed by the writer, depending on the issue at hand.
  3. Decisions about using social media should be guided by good journalism ethics– There are no special rules for Twitter or Facebook (John Paton and JRC Employee Rules For Using Social Media). However, clearing it with the editor will remove uncertainties about whether it is appropriate to express an opinion about a story you are covering.

I agree with Buttry’s principles and I believe that journalists should put more of themselves into a story in order to establish the connection between reader and writer. Furthermore, it is important for journalists to consider whether their opinions will add value to the story. Journalism can still be ethical and credible without being objective, as long as reporting reflects accuracy and fairness on both sides of an issue.

Add comment Posted in  annibraz ,comm361  Tagged:  February 9, 2012

The Buttry Diary- Engage on community Facebook pages, not just your page

In order to harness the power of social media to better engage with users, journalists must take initiative to reach out to Facebook community pages. Steve Buttry shares tips to aid journalists with proper Facebook community engagement. They are:

  • Identify community Facebook pages that are worth following
  • Ask questions on community pages, be receptive towards feedback
  • Monitor community Facebook pages
  • Post stories and comments on community pages to spark reader interest
  • Respond to criticism
  • Pay attention to rumors or shared interests circulating on social media
  • Post and share images to draw attention

Read The Buttry Diary: Engage on community Facebook pages, not just your page.


Add comment Posted in  annibraz ,comm361  Tagged:  February 8, 2012

Briggs: Chapter 3

Chapter three is about open reporting and publishing, a new type of journalism that collaborates with readers. This type of reporting is ubiquitous, with sites such as YouTube, Flickr, Wikipedia, Facebook and more. News organizations are moving in the direction of integrating more collaborative news reporting approaches such as crowdsourcing, open-source reporting and pro-am journalism.

Crowdsourcing or distributed reporting focuses on a large group of people committed to a specific task or project. With crowdsourcing, the public shapes the reporting

Open-source reporting is collaborative with the audience and brings readers closer to journalists. Furthermore, news organizations disclose stories that are premature and enable readers to report the story. Open-source reporting helps prevent reporter bias and increases journalist credibility. It encourages feedback and enables the audience to participate in news process.

Beatblogging is a type of open-source reporting, in which a blog or online platform acts as a social network around a reporting beat or coverage area. This serves as an area for discussion and commentary among users. Beatblogging helps reporters get a better sense of a topic by listening to multiple perspectives.

Link journalism provides links for the audience to easily access other sources of information. For example, the Drudge Report is simply a news aggregator that contains links to news content, and yet it attracts 25 million visitors a day and is one of the most popular news sites. Link journalism is valuable for navigation and helps to build readership. It also collaborates with different news organizations, which provide links to other news sites. This way, readers can find additional news sources on related subjects.

Pro-am journalism is when an audience may publish on the same online platform as journalist. This type of journalism enables readers to become the reporter and publish news, thereby providing a broader selection of information. One example of pro-am journalism is CNN iReport, a phone application that allows the public to post photos or videos. Some content may even be aired on CNN.

1 comment Posted in  annibraz ,briggs ,comm361 February 6, 2012


[View the story “GMU Homecoming 2012” on Storify]

1 comment Posted in  annibraz ,comm361  Tagged:  , February 2, 2012

The Buttry Diary- You can quote me on that: Advice on attribution for journalists

Steve Buttry shares a quick guide for journalists on how to effectively attribute sources without wearing out writing.

Buttry states that attribution is used to ensure credibility and lets readers know where reporters got the information. Therefore, it is important to attribute facts provided by another source, opinions and when using someone else’s words. Public domain knowledge or first-hand observances do not need to be attributed. Buttry also emphasizes careful note taking, linking, writing with authority, checking sources and crediting anonymous sources.

Proper attribution is the foundation for conducting ethical journalism. When in doubt, keep in mind that something as simple as a quick Google search can help circumvent unintended plagiarism.

Read The Buttry Diary for more journalistic tips.

Add comment Posted in  annibraz ,comm361  Tagged:  February 2, 2012

Journalism Next: Chapter 2

In chapter two, Briggs offers tips on how to start and maintain a blog. In this day and age, anyone with access to a computer can get published online by starting their own blog. Blogs are being used a lot more as a publishing platform for journalists, with the ability to engage the audience through blog posts and establish a community by allowing readers to comment and leave feedback.

The key to creating a blog is to first read other blogs that interest you and find a writing style which is comfortable and suits you best. When starting a blog, consider using free platforms such as or Users have the ability to customize their blog’s appearance with a variety of fonts, backgrounds, templates, widgets, headers, etc.

When writing, it is important to do all of the following:

  • Publish posts regularly
  • Write effectively by using simple sentences
  • Maintain clarity/civility
  • Engage the audience with attention grabbing headlines

Learn to develop a writing style which is your own and will want to make your audience read more. It is also vital to include visuals, but be aware of copyright laws and ask permission to use another individual’s photo.

As you start to write more, it is wise to develop the habit of reading and commenting on other blogs while providing links to different sites so that the reader can access more information. Subscribing to RSS feeds is crucial to discovering new information that matches your interests. Since most journalism today is presented in blog form, it is essential for all journalists to enter the blogosphere.

Add comment Posted in  annibraz ,briggs ,comm361 January 31, 2012

Journalism Next: Chapter 1

Chapter one touches on the technical aspects of understanding digital information and the Internet. The author differentiates between Internet and the World Wide Web. According to the book, the Internet is a network of computers which are connected to share information while the web is the way information is accessed through networks by web browsers. Web browsers, such as Safari or Firefox, are used to access information that is published on the internet. Browsers work to find and retrieve information and stores downloaded files in a temporary storage space called the cache.

Briggs also outlines the concept of RSS or Really Simple Syndication, a tool which allows users to instantly access information without having to visit multiple sites. With RSS, users can subscribe to different news and blog feeds and have the content organized on one RSS reader or web browsers. The three simple steps on how use RSS are:

  1. Select a reader (users can create personalized home pages on Yahoo or Google with RSS feeds)
  2. Find an RSS feed on a preferred website by clicking on the RSS icon/link
  3. Subscribe

FTP or File Transfer Protocol is another process that moves larger files such as photos, audio or video and is also used to upload web pages on a web server for online publication. Knowing a little bit about web-design is also useful for journalists to create and customize web sites.

Web pages are designed using HTML code with multiple tags. Individuals may practice using HTML code with a text editor and saving the file with .html extension and then opening a file on a web browser. Note that the web page will only be visible on the machine where it was created and cannot be published online until it is uploaded onto a web server.

Another type of code, Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is a more creative way to design web pages. Tutorials on how to use HTML and CSS can be found online as well. Extensible Markup Language or XML is also used alongside with HTML to access RSS feeds. A solid understanding of web-design, HTML, CSS and XML is important for journalists to control and manage their digital content.

Add comment Posted in  annibraz ,briggs ,comm361 January 31, 2012

Journalism Next: Introduction

“Journalism Next” by Mark Briggs is a guide on how to engage in digital journalism and reporting across multimedia platforms. Briggs introduces the book with a few statements that are pertinent to aspiring journalists. First, as we live amongst the digital information age, journalism has evolved past newspapers and print and spread to several multimedia outlets. As a result, journalists need to adapt to these newer technologies and ultimately adopt a new craft of journalism. There is a higher demand for “bottom-up” journalism, which focuses on more specific topics and caters to a narrower audience. The journalism industry is changing dramatically and craves up-and-coming journalists for fresh perspectives and proficiency with modern technology.

Add comment Posted in  annibraz ,briggs ,comm361 January 31, 2012

I Really Need You to Read This Article, Okay?

In response to Joel Achenbach‘s article, I agree with his statement, “Good writing remains good writing regardless of platform.” Although the Internet may attract sensational stories with informal language, readers are still looking for well written journalism and can still appreciate solid writing, even if it is on the web. Also, if journalists collaborate with readers through multimedia platforms such as blogs, feedback can help the writer engage with the audience and establish an online community.


Add comment Posted in  annibraz ,comm361  Tagged:  January 31, 2012

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