Kcb101 productive citizens and journalism
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  • Things to cover: Do produce news Do contribute to journalism Creating new info is not the exemplar of journalism Definition of news is changing Opening up the definition is important Get across the sense of the validity of young people’s opinions ‘ don’t have sources’ Moral panics around youtube/myspace Examples, use lots Other sites: fark/digg etc - enron example: Jon stewart findings I can has cheezebuger Screenshot of ‘typical’ blogs What chances have young people had to engage with news: school newspapers, cadetships, A number of walkleys won by cadets: workplace issues Rise of the permanent intern - structurally prevented from creating news Is this stuf inane? Ref: web2.0 video What is news Narrative of decline Current programming is boring, not targeted at youth Focussed on issues that aren’t interesting to youth Insults youth, insults them for not engaging Changing patterns of use Produsage Citizen media

Kcb101 productive citizens and journalism Kcb101 productive citizens and journalism Presentation Transcript

  • Journalism in the new economy productive citizens and journalism Barry Saunders KCB101 [email_address] http://investigativeblog.net http://qlddecides.com
  • Me
    • QUT CI PhD student, ARC Linkage Citizen Journalism project - http://youdecide2007.org
    • http://qlddecides.com
    • Founding member Brisbane Indymedia (now defunct)
    • Project Director Convergent Community Newsroom – http://ccnonline.org.au
    • Background in activism and media production: http://vibewire.net , http://newstandardnews.net ,
  • Video links
        • Please be aware these links will begin playing the video - I advise you watch these at home to avoid wiping out your QUT download limit!
  • Common narratives about journalism
    • The kids don’t watch the news
    • Online classifieds are destroying the newspaper business
    • Quality journalism no longer exists
    • Company mergers are putting journalists under pressure
    • Bloggers are parasites who feed off hard working journalists
  • The kids don’t watch the news
    • They may not watch the network news, but consume news via:
    • Websites / blogs / comedy programs / mobile media / free papers / web portals / podcasts
    • Ubiquitous media
    • People who watch Jon Stewart and read news online are more informed than those who watch Fox News and network news
    • People today are as informed as in the 80s
  • The Chaser Vs Fox News http://youtube.com/watch?v=NPr5IPRhiZ4
  • Classifieds
    • Craigslist has affected newspapers
    • However newspapers as a business are still strong financially - the concern is that investors can’t see a way forward even though they are still making massive profits
    • Should newspapers be publicly traded?
  • Newspaper revenues http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/2008/03/of-fly-eyes-and.html
  • PBS - News War http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/newswar/ Worth a watch if you’re interested, part 3 is probably the most relevant for this lecture.
  • Quality journalism no longer exists
    • Depends what you mean by quality
    • This is often an aesthetic complaint made by older journalists who don’t think personal ‘feminized’ journalism is journalism
    • Even so - in the last few years we have seen journalism that exposed:
      • GW Bush’s drug history
      • Rape in the armed services
      • The illegality of the war in Iraq
      • The complicity of AT&T in wide ranging spying on American citizens
      • The use of spurious charges brought against critics of the Bush government
      • Numerous cases of corruption
  • The power of the press
    • The Watergate story, while important, pales in significance against some of these. The difference is governments now understand that public opinion has little to no power except during an election cycle- just look at the response to the massive anti-Iraq war protests. This is a change in how politicians respond to journalism, not journalism itself.
    • Business journalism, by contrast, remains very powerful.
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watergate
  • Investigative journalism
    • Now often undertaken by non-journalists
    • http://Sourcewatch.org
    • http://Publicintegrity.org
    • http://Thememoryhole.org
    • Note also: 4 Corners, Dateline, Rolling Stone
  • Company mergers are putting journalists under pressure
    • This is true, as with any business
    • Downside of the portfolio career
    • Newspaper journalists at smaller papers often have to write up to 13 stories a day
    • Broadcast journalists now have to do video, radio and print in some organisations
    • New skillsets are important - ABC now employs ‘user-generated content producers’
    • Journalists may have to follow the example of programmers
  • Bloggers are parasites who feed off hard working journalists
    • It’s a two way street
    • Journalists may use blogs to find sources, leads, story ideas, instead of doing a beat
    • Fox News has programs based on what the blogs are saying
    • Often stories are stolen wholesale
    • Blogs often do the hard work of correcting and contextualising stories for free
    • Blogs add to the conversation - expand coverage beyond talking heads
    • Professional jealousy, fear, moral panics, incompetence
    • Death of the punditocracy
    • “ We understand Newspoll because we own it”
    • http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/09/27/2045115.htm
    • http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/09/2086436.htm
  • John Stewart vs Crossfire Video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=aFQFB5YpDZE Transcript: http://mediamatters.org/items/200410160003
  • Blogs and the news
    • Blogs played key roles in the U.S. Presidential primaries (even if the world’ s first mainstream blogger-candidate Howard Dean crashed back to earth when the broadcast media joined the party); bloggers were invited to cover the national conventions of both Democrats and Republicans; and blogs also played a significant role in reporting unfolding world events from the London underground to the streets of Iraq, to the shores of Indonesia and Thailand. CNN, BBC, newspapers and other mainstream media now regularly turn to the blogosphere to gauge public opinion on controversial issues, and this coverage of w hat the bloggers are saying has begun to replace the traditional vox-pop interview with the person in the street. (Bruns and Jacobs, 2006)
    • Blogs provide a way for young people to enter into public debate and the newsmaking process that is no longer offered by mainstream journalism
  • News blogging
    • Participatory form of journalism
    • Expands the coverage of news
    • Allows non-experts to take depart in discourse
    • Also allows experts to explain issues in detail - economists, scientists, doctors, etc
    • a scarcity of quality economic analysis and a conservative political climate in the US has restricted the economic coverage of major media to supply-side ‘voodoo economics’. This has led numerous economists to publish their work online. (Quiggin, 2006)
    • Mainstream news doesn’t deal with youth issues well either - youth need their own voice
  • Fox and Friends fight over soundbite culture and fact distortion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiIK8jh3ZCE
  • News consumption
    • Industry recognition of move to online/incidental/ubiquitous consumption
    • Remember - media companies don’t sell content to readers, they sell readers to advertisers
    • Murdoch - Myspace purchase, Microsoft - Facebook.com
    • Brisbanetimes.com.au - first completely online mainstream newspaper in Australia
    • Fairfax and News Corp putting blogs on their websites
    • Conflict between newspaper editors and journalists and company owners
    • Search for business model - high rate of failure in startups. Youtube/Myspace/mobile content - difficulty finding profit
    • More accurate metrics for online advertising - Tivo effect
    • Cheap outrage easier to produce than investigative journalism
  • CNNNN - A Chaser Affair http://youtube.com/watch?v=jHso1e6NY90
  • Citizen Journalism
    • Definition - somewhat broad, contested
    • What is a citizen?
    • Used to refer to media produced by non-professionals, or in a non-professional capacity
    • ‘ user generated content’ ‘user led production’
    • Media made by non-journalists
    • Includes things like: blogs, podcasts, Youtube
  • Models of citizen journalism
        • 1. Opening articles up to feedback
        • 2. Citizen add-on reporter
        • 3. Open-source or participatory reporting
        • 4. The citizen bloghouse
        • 5. Newsroom citizen 'transparency' blogs
        • 6. The stand-alone citizen-journalism site: Edited version
        • 7. The stand-alone citizen-journalism site: Unedited version
        • 8. Add a print edition
        • 9. pro-am hybrid
        • 10. integrating citizen and professional journalism
        • 11. wiki journalism, or readers as editors
        • (Outing, 2005)
  • Criticisms of citizen journalism
    • Is it journalism? (well, what is journalism?)
    • Is journalism: about writing? About research? About doing interviews?
    • Are bloggers journalists?
    • Possibly a better question: does blogging contribute to the practice of journalism?
    • Does journalism need help?
    • Who determines what is news? Journalism?
    • Does anyone care except journalists?
  • The computer wore menace shoes - the Simpsons Kent: A new Internet watchdog is creating a stir in Springfield. Mr. "X", if that is real name, has come up with a sensational scoop. Homer: [watching at home] Darn tooting! Kent: But we must never forget that the real news is on local TV, delivered by real officially licensed newsmen, like me, Kent Brockman. Coming up: how do they get those dogs to talk on the beer commercials? [a reporter in a big cowboy hat appears] Cowboy Steve will tell you!
  • Other terms
    • Userled production:
    • Production is driven by users: examples include Youtube, blogs, video game mods
    • Hyperlocal
    • read-write web
    • Internet sites that allow readers to contribute, edit: examples include blogs, wikis
    • produsers /produsage
    • Combination of producers and users - used to describe the complex ways people interact with media online
    • (Bruns, 2005)
  • Gatewatching
    • Differs from gatekeeping -
    • Gatekeepers only publish what they think is relevant/important
    • Gatewatchers point to all relevant information, with differing levels of emphasis - allows the reader more agency
    • ABC/News Corp/Netscape now employing people to do this
  • The Mullet strategy
    • Combination of user generated content and editor control
    • E.g.: http: //digg .com http: //myspace .com
    • “ Business up the front, party out the back”
    • Pro-am engagement -
    • http: //OhMyNews .com
    • http: //Newassignment .net
  • Redactive journalism, or cut ‘n paste ‘n comment
    • Redactive journalism - journalism that is made of editing - making sense of information that is publicly available
    • We now live in a world where we have too much info rather than not enough - simply adding more information to public discourse is no longer the most important function of journalism
    • Problem with the Narrative of Decline - assumes a perfect form of journalism, without recognizing that journalism changes as society changes
    • … the continuing trend in journalism away from investigative reporting and toward pundit commentary also makes blog-based commentary on the news highly compatible with mainstream news content.
          • (Bruns, 2006)
  • Redactive journalism
    • PZ Myers blog: http: //scienceblogs . com/pharyngula
    • Tim Lambert
    • http: //scienceblogs .com/deltoid/
    • Do exemplary redactive journalism that exposes scientific fraud simply by examining publicly available documents
    • IF Stone did the same thing during the Vietnam War
  • Daily Show - America to the Rescue Video: http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/08/23/daily-show-three-generations-of-america-to-the-rescue/
  • Hyperlocal journalism
    • Coverage of local issues that are not profitable
    • Political issues are often rooted in a local context
    • http://youdecide2007.org
    • http: //qlddecides .com
  • New forms of journalism and engagement
    • All of the information necessary to understand the massive fraud at Enron was publicly available
    • Changing forms of journalism - Wired magazine database mashup of Myspace and public sex offender registries
    • Recognition that journalism needs skill sets not ordinarily associated with journalists
    • E.g.: US scholarships for journalists to learn programming
    • Bloggers may not do interviews - but an entry about medical quackery may have 200 commenters offering their perspective - many of whom are doctors, biologists, scientists, etc
    • Coverage of under-served areas
  • Major source of news and media
    • Voices not otherwise heard in mainstream media
    • Pushing the boundaries of debate (both left and right)
    • Allows misquoted/misrepresented people to have their say
    • Coverage of important stories outside of media’s coverage
    • Random acts of journalism:
    • Little Green Footballs: fake documents, Dan Rather
    • Left blogs, Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond
    • Often involves amplification, follow up reporting and analysis.
    • Dedicated reportage:
    • Indymedia: police violence, corruption
    • TPM Muckraker: firing of US attorneys
    • TheMemoryhole.org: classified documents, photos of returning American coffins
  • Forms of citizen journalism
    • Blogs /journals: Boingboing / LP / Troppo
    • collaborative news sites: Slashdot / digg
    • Vlogs/citizen video: Youtube /
    • Podcasts: Rocketboom / NYUB
    • More traditional portal style: Vibewire
    • Corporations also using these formats:
    • SBS / ABC / QUT
    • Brisbane Times / News Corp
  • Social media
    • Includes citizen media, blogs
    • Also includes social networks
    • http: //myspace .com / http: //linkedin .com
    • ‘ folksonomies’
    • Social linking
    • http://del. icio .us / http: //digg .com
  • Web 2.0
    • The read-write web
    • The next generation of web-based services
    • Term coined by O’Reilly Media as name for a series of conferences
    • Somewhat misleading as implies discrete generations of the web
    • - Web 2.0 video from Youtube
  • Web 2.0 - technical
    • A move from web made up of linked pages to a web made up of linked data sources
    • This means - formatting is not fixed
    • Also means - data sources are not necessarily text - eg: http: //frappr .com / http://pipes.yahoo.com
    • Uses AJAX (asynchronous java and xml)
    • RSS (real simple syndication)
    • CSS (cascading style sheets)
  • The Machine is Us/ing Us http://mediatedcultures.net/ksudigg/?p=84 http://youtube.com/watch?v=NLlGopyXT_g
  • Blogs
    • Blog - shortened form of web - log
    • Usage: I have a blog, I blog, I’m a blogger.
    • Not: I wrote a blog today. (blog entry or blog post)
    • Often: one author
    • May be based on a single theme.
  • blogs
    • Numerous forms
    • Personal blogs:
    • http: //livejournal .com / http: //dooce .com
    • Political blogs
    • http: //timblair .net / http: //johnquiggin .com / http: //dneiwert . blogspot .com/
    • Corporate blogs
    • http: //scobleizer .com/ / http://www. blogmaverick .com/
    • Science blogs
    • http: //scienceblogs . com/pharyngula/ / http: //badscience .net
  • More blogs
    • Randomness
    • http: //boingboing .net / http: //kottke .org
    • Feminism
    • http: //feministing .com / http: //pandagon .net
    • Food
    • http: //megnut .com / http: //glutenfreegirl . blogspot .com
  • Even more blogs
    • Gossip
    • http: //thesuperficial .com / http: //perezhilton .com
    • Tech
    • http: //gizmodo .com / http: //engadget .com
    • Video games
    • http: //kotaku .com / http: //joystiq .com
    • Education
    • http: //whatswrongwiththejschool . blogspot .com/
  • Characteristics of blogs
    • Personal tone
    • Often short entries (notable exceptions)
    • Use of quotes and links
    • RSS
    • Comments, trackback
  • Popular blog services
    • Livejournal
    • Blogger
    • Typepad
    • Wordpress
  • Issues with blogging
    • Privacy - youtube, facebook, livejournal
    • Getting a job afterwards…
    • Licensing - open source, Creative Commons, copyright
    • Rampant use of quotes and copying of material
    • Libel
    • Storage and archiving