Archive for October, 2013

I’m going to be interested in watching the New Haven Register’s effort to engage the community in an always-running liveblog:

The blog is at asktheregister.com and the community can ask questions on the liveblog or on Twitter by using the hashtag #asktheregister.

Initial posts include the budget of stories the Register staff is working on today and an admission by Connecticut Editor Matt DeRienzo that the Register is weak today on planning to cover the local impact of the federal government shutdown.

The blog “will enable readers to provide feedback or ask questions about what or how we’re covering particular stories, or why we’re not covering something they deem important,” Matt said in a blog post announcing the blog.

I like the approach and hope it is successful in engaging the communities in and around New Haven in a discussion of local news and issues. Other newsrooms should watch as well and consider a similar liveblog if this is successful.

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I will be presenting a webinar on attribution and avoiding plagiarism several times in October for Digital First Media colleagues.

If you haven’t already taken the plagiarism quiz, please do so. I encourage journalists taking the webinar to read the ebook Telling the Truth and Nothing But as well as these blog posts:

I lifted (but attributed) most of this post on plagiarism

You can quote me on that: Advice on attribution for journalists

Our cheating culture: Plagiarism and fabrication are unacceptable in journalism

4 reasons why linking is good journalism; 2 reasons why linking is good business

Plagiarism and Fabrication Summit: Journalists need to use links to show our work

Journalism’s Summer of Sin marked by plagiarism, fabrication, obfuscation by Craig Silverman

How to handle plagiarism and fabrication allegations by Craig Silverman and Kelly McBride

Journalism has an originality problem, not a plagiarism problem by Kelly McBride

ACES moves forward with effort to fight plagiarism by Gerri Berendzen

Here are the slides for the webinar:

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This post continues a series on advice for new top editors in Digital First Media newsrooms.

A newsroom’s success is a blend of teamwork and individual excellence, so an editor must foster and reward both.

Here are important ways to encourage teamwork on your staff:

Pair staff members strategically. Keep staff members’ strengths and weaknesses in mind as you pair them on assignments that require more than one person. My editors at the Omaha World-Herald often paired me with less experienced reporters so they would learn from me (I learned from them, too, and I’m sure that happens even more today when you might pair a veteran with great journalism experience with a less-experienced reporter with strong digital skills).

Acknowledge the staff members’ skills as you’re discussing plans for their work together. For a quick story, you might divide the labor according to their strengths: This reporter will search social media for sources because social media is a strength of hers and that reporter is going to check with his excellent sources in law enforcement. But sometimes, especially for a longer-term story, you will want to be clear that you want them to work together in an aspect of the story, to ensure that the reporters learn from each other, rather than just leaning on each other. Specify that they work together on the data analysis, rather than letting the data expert handle that herself. Or they should work together on the video instead of giving that to the video whiz to handle the video himself. (more…)

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