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Archive for September, 2011

I will be leading a workshop on accuracy and verification today with Craig Silverman for Georgetown University.

My slides and Craig’s are below. Some resources Craig and I (and others) have developed to help journalists ensure accuracy:

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I spent much of the year after 9/11 writing about the impact of that terrorist attack. I was a national correspondent for the Omaha World-Herald. The nation’s only academic center for Afghanistan studies was at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and I wrote dozens of stories about our city’s involvement with Afghanistan before and after the attack.

A story that stands out in my memory was part of our first anniversary package. I wrote about the day before the attack, 10 years ago today. Today, I’ll review that story, published Sept. 10, 2002, discussing the storytelling techniques involved.

A  cliché about reporting (and many aspects of life: I got 57,000 hits when I Googled to see where to attribute the phrase) is that you zig when others zag. On the first anniversary of 9/11, everyone was writing stories about that day a year earlier, just as journalists this week have been writing and broadcasting stories about that day 10 years ago. That was zagging. I wanted to zig, to write about something else. So I wrote about the day before:

The big change for many in the Omaha area that day was the closing of the westbound lanes on the Interstate 480 bridge across the Missouri River.

The next day everything changed. (more…)

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Here are resources to help journalists using Twitter and other social media.

For the last few months, as I’ve been visiting Journal Register Co. newsrooms and blogging more tips for journalists using social media, I have been meaning to update my Twitter resources for journalists (now more than a year old). After today’s news that a new Journal Register subsidiary, Digital First Media, will start managing MediaNews Group, I suddenly got messages that I was being followed by lots of MediaNews journalists, particularly from the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

I don’t know yet what my specific role will be in working with MediaNews, but I think it’s safe to say I will remain a leader in social media news for JRC, with likely roles in leading social media use for Digital First and/or MediaNews. So maybe I should introduce myself to my new colleagues with a list of resources for journalists using social media.

(more…)

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Everyone in the news business knows at some level, even if they’re having trouble admitting it, that the future is digital.

I’ve spent much of the past 15 years fighting legacy-media issues, mostly in the newspaper business but also for a couple companies in the TV business. I had great experiences, but hit brick walls when resistance to change blinded the companies to new approaches, new ideas or new revenue streams.

So I jumped earlier this year at the chance to work for a company that unabashedly proclaimed itself “Digital First,” led by a CEO, John Paton, who sought my advice, shared my vision of the future and asked me to help him achieve that vision. (more…)

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“Do you know of any standards for content of live tweets?” a commenter asked on my blog recently.

“I have students live tweet meetings and speeches. Would love some specific guidelines for what makes a good tweet,” asked Michele Day, who teaches journalism at Northern Kentucky University.

I know of no such standards. And if I did, I’d probably react that “standards” for a developing pursuit such as live-tweeting might be a bit rigid. This is a new technique and we are learning about it as we do it. I don’t want standards to inhibit our development and experimentation with the technique. My standards would be the standards of good reporting: Be accurate, fair, interesting and engaging.

But I’m happy to offer some live-tweeting suggestions: (more…)

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Following up on the story of Lon Seidman’s anger about utility response to the power outages in Connecticut:

These are great examples of community engagement in the continuing Journal Register Co. coverage of the hurricane recovery.

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