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Entries Tagged as 'Journalism Next by Mark Briggs'

‘JournalismNext’ Chapter 5 Summary

February 22nd, 2011 · No Comments

Photo by Daniel Zanetti

        Another ingredient in the recipe for feeding an audience’s insatiable need for instant news can be found by “going mobile,” so says Mark Briggs in Chapter 5 of “JournalismNext.”

        Going mobile allows a reporter to provide immediate multimedia storytelling as a news-worthy event happens, from the location where it is happening. All you need is your phone, or in the case of “gearhead” journalists a mobile back pack that acts as your office. Mobile reporting includes print, video, photo and audio aspects, which can be done with the latest cell phones in the market, according to Briggs.  

        However, not all stories lend themselves to mobile reporting says Briggs. Before deciding to file a story on the go, journalists should consider if it is the right story for a mobile format. Briggs says if it is a breaking news story where timeliness is imperative then it is probably a good ‘mobile’ story to report.

        According to Briggs other stories that lend themselves to mobile reporting are:

  • Criminal and civil trials
  • Important speeches or announcements by public officials, celebrities, and business leaders
  • Most breaking news events
  • Public gatherings
  • Grand openings

        Briggs reminds journalists, though, that all events covered should be guided by the reporter’s news sense, and not to do mobile reporting for its own sake.

        Mobile reporting is fast and furious, and it does not replace in-depth reporting. Chapter 5 says that mobile reporting is a bit like filing headlines; it is a teaser to more in-depth coverage, not a replacement for it.

Tags: Journalism Next by Mark Briggs

‘JournalismNext’ Chapter 4 Summary

February 15th, 2011 · No Comments

I just finished finding out that if I want to be a journalist of any relevance I have to have a blog. Now in Chapter 4 of “JournalismNext” Mark Briggs says that it’s not enough to have a blog, journalists have to know how to microblog, too. Hang in there, I’m overwhelmed too. It might be easier to understand if I say you have to know how to use Twitter. Writing in 140 characters or less is basically the essence of microblogging.

Here is a breakdown from Chapter 4 of how journalists can benefit by using Twitter and other microblogging services:

  • Get Leads. By knowing what people are talking about on Twitter you can get story ideas on what people care about most.
  • Find people to interview. Experts in their field also tweet (to learn the Twitter lingo click here) and it is easy to find and connect with them on Twitter.
  • Get feedback before an interview. You can ask your readers what questions they want answered before you do an interview so your story can be relevant to your readers.
  • Perform a public interview. It is also possible to interview people over Twitter.

One major thing not to forget is networking. Twitter can be an invaluable resource for journalists to connect with other journalists, and possible future employers. For a journalist’s guide on how to use Twitter visit Mandy Jenkins’s Zombie Journalism.

Another good resource is Mashable’s “The Journalist’s Guide to Twitter.”

Twitter offers people news without a time delay. Briggs calls it “real-time web.” Journalists can post breaking news and receive instantaneous feedback from readers. Journalists can also start a “real-time” conversation about other news and stories. That “journalism as a conversation” which we heard about in Chapter 3 helps the journalists know their audience and in turn adds richness and depth to a news story.

Tags: Journalism Next by Mark Briggs

‘JournalismNext’ Chapter 3 Summary

February 14th, 2011 · No Comments

“…The people formerly known as the audience…”

—Jay Rosen, New York University

It’s time for journalists to give up their high horses and join the crowd. That is the take away message from Chapter 3. Here Mark Briggs makes the point that collaborating with readers is essential in the new world of journalism.  Briggs says that journalists must eliminate the barrier which exists with their audience and embrace how technology can help them maximize that new openness. 

This new form of reporting, which heavily involves the audience, is an opportunity for wider coverage of issues that matter most to readers, Briggs suggests.   

There are three main ways in which the audience is becoming involved in journalism, according to Briggs:

Crowdsourcing: “Reporting based on the work of many people, including your readers,” says Dan Kennedy, media critic and instructor at Northeastern University.

  • Example: Haiti.ushahidi.com. During the 2010 earthquake in Haiti people living through the aftermath uploaded emergency reports to the site.

Open-source reporting: Making the reporting process transparent and encouraging feedback from readers by letting readers know the story you are working on.

  • Example:  Vartti.fi. Finnish news website that posts story ideas and encourages audience feedback and multimedia submissions, then publishes the resulting stories in several weekly papers.

Pro-am journalism: Also known as citizen journalism or participatory journalism, it is when citizens report their own stories and news organizations facilitate publication.

Citizen reporting is driven by one principle; “…Our readers know more than we do…” says Jeff Howe, the writer who came up with the term “crowdsourcing.”

However, journalists are not obsolete. Briggs points out that there are still valuable skills journalists possess which they can leverage in the new “crowd-powered” journalism environment.

  • Briggs says citizens need journalists to add context to information.
  • Journalists still have their news judgment, reporting and editing skills to contribute.

Crowdsourcing is about outsourcing the “what” in the five W’s, while journalists still provide the “why.”

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‘JournalismNext’ Chapter 2 Summary

February 7th, 2011 · No Comments

What’s the name of your blog? You don’t have one? Slacker. That’s right, in Chapter 2 of “JournalismNext,” Mark Briggs insists that “Every college journalist should have a blog.” Not just any blog, but a good blog.

What is a blog? Well, in my view it’s true information democracy. As Briggs says, anyone can publish with the click of a mouse. Briggs gives some straight forward advice for getting started, or if you do have a blog, he gives advice on how to make your blog better.

First things first. According to Briggs:

  • Learn. Understand the blogging language
  • Plan. What will be the name of your blog? Is there a catchphrase that can sum up what your blog is about? What is your mission statement, i.e. why does your blog exist?
  • Choose. What blog system will you use? Will your blog be hosted by WordPress or Blogger?
  • Customize. Make your blog your own. Pick a theme and enhance your layout; add a blogroll, widgets or RSS feeds.

Ultimately, you need people to read your blog. Briggs also goes in-depth on how to build your audience. The most important things he suggests are:

  • Publish often, and make it interesting
  • Grab attention with your post headlines
  • Be part of your blog’s community

Once you have those basics down, Briggs suggests that you should continually look for ways to improve your blog and connect with your audience. Briggs reminds us that a blog is simply another way to transmit news and information, and it can be influential or boring–it’s all up to you.

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‘JournalismNext’ Chapter 1 Summary

February 6th, 2011 · No Comments

I can no longer allow my eyes to glaze over when someone mentions HTML code. Uh, what? I know, but If you want to be in journalism, and I do, then according to Mark Briggs we need to get our heads in the game, or online.

For us novices Briggs explains a couple of basics in Chapter 1:

  • What is the Internet? (No it is not the World Wide Web)
  • What is a Web Server and how does it work?
  • What is a Web Browser? (Hint: It has a cache and needs plug-ins)

If you are already lost here is a nifty site that might help.

If you are following then you can move on to the harder stuff like:

  • RSS feeds (Briggs calls it an “efficient” way of consuming information)
  • FTP (A way to transfer large amounts of information from one computer to another)

And finally Web Design:

  • Eye-glazing HTML code
  • CSS
  • XML

I might make fun of HTML code, but it is only because I don’t understand it. But as Briggs says, as a journalist, you cannot afford to ignore some basics of online work. No one is going to hold our hands when it comes to the technical stuff, so we can either sink like the Titanic or start making friends with HTML.

Tags: Journalism Next by Mark Briggs