User-generated content and social media


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Lecture for KJB222 Online Journalism 1.

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  • User-generated content and social media

    1. 1. User-generated content and social media KJB222 Online Journalism 1 September 14, 2010 Guest lecturer: Rosanna Ryan
    2. 2. Audience voices ❖ Engaging with the audience is not unique to new media: it has certain things in common with letters to the editor, talkback radio, use of vox pops... ❖ But thanks to the internet & other digital technologies like mobile phones, creating content is simple, and submitting it to news organisations can be done almost immediately ❖ News editors have heaps of free content to use, but in exchange they have to give up a lot of control
    3. 3. Comments ❖ Comments can be time consuming and angst inducing but for many people they are the primary way they engage with news websites. ❖ How do you want your community to function? ❖ No comments? Comments on some articles? Comments on everything? ❖ Moderated before posting? Moderated after posting? Unmoderated? ❖ Allow anonymity? Force the use of real names? (Ingram 2010) ❖ How do you reward good behaviour? How do you discourage bad behaviour? ❖ Different news sites do things differently.
    4. 4. UGC photos ❖ Asian tsunami and London bombings were a turning point in how the BBC approached user-generated content (Wardle and Williams 2008) ❖ At the ABC disasters often prompt our audience to submit lots of photos ❖ Tornado strikes Lennox Head in northern NSW: photo gallery Audience submitted: Tom Berry
    5. 5. The rise of social media ❖ News consumption apparently undergoing another shift ❖ Former audience now going straight to social media - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, etc - and sharing content directly with each other, rather than visiting mainstream media websites ❖ Tweet traffic spikes at times of earthquakes (BBC 2009) ❖ Users provide the first notice of events, plus multimedia content. Does it need to be verified? How?
    6. 6. Verification ❖ Easy to get into trouble if you post before checking: “Haiti” illustration vs. original photo ❖ Is it clear who made the original post? ❖ Do they have a consistent identity? What do we know about them? ❖ Can we get in contact and ask to use the image? ❖ When covering the Haiti earthquake, the ABC used photos originally posted by Carel Pedre, but only after checking out his background and directly asking permission
    7. 7. Good manners ❖ Using content without permission can be seen as bad form: it might damage reputation and it risks infringing copyright. ❖ Asking permission and saying thank-you is appreciated.
    8. 8. Joining the community ❖ Find out what the general public cares about ❖ Listen to what people are saying about your stories ❖ Respond to criticism (sometimes?) ❖ Make connections with sources, which might be followed up with face-to-face or telephone conversations ❖ Network with other journalists ❖ Use the community to help advertise your journalism
    9. 9. On the bandwagon ❖ Each social network has its upsides and downsides e.g. Flickr often has high-quality images and users often use permissive licences, but user population is smaller ❖ Facebook is hugely popular but can be difficult to search and users seem less enthusiastic about engaging with strangers (e.g. journalists) compared to Twitter ❖ Know how to use everything; different stories will call for different approaches ❖ Be ready to try out the “next big thing” that comes along
    10. 10. References Amos, J. 2009. OMG. Did you just feel a quake? 8413128.stm (accessed September 12, 2010). Ingram, M. 2010. Anonymous Comments: Are They Good or Evil? http:// good-or-evil/ (accessed September 12, 2010). Wardle, C. & A. Williams. 2008. ugc@thebbc: Understanding its impact upon contributors, non-contributors and BBC News. Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. Retrieved from: knowledgeexchange/cardiffone.pdf (accessed September 12, 2010).