Facebook: Social media site for news


Social media are allowing for news-related content to reach more screens faster and easier.

For those seeking news, Pew Research found that 65 percent of Americans consume news on at least one social networking website. Of these Americans, Facebook is the choice for news consumption. This also holds true for users who consume media on multiple social networking sites. Right now, Facebook is the go to social network for news consumption. That means about half of the users are getting news on the site. That beats out all of the other social networks by a large margin.

What we’re seeing is a shift in news consumption. Information needs to be mobile-friendly, engaging, short and to the point. While Facebook can achieve all of that, it’s struggling to keep its younger base.

The younger audiences have fled away from Facebook because new social media like Instagram, Twitter, and Vine have emerged and offer newer, fresher ideas. Facebook has been generally the same since 2008.

Is journalism still important?


With news media changing faster than you can tweet, Tumble or post about it … it is hard to weigh the importance of journalism in this Digital Age.

Print journalism is going through a difficult time: facing deaths of newspapers and media outlets. Is journalism at risk as well?

Many people ask: “What is it that journalists actually do? How do we define a journalist? How is a journalist different than a blogger?” Traditionally, journalists go to the scene themselves and write, narrate, or shoot what is happening. They investigate and publish stories.

In our modern Digital Age, journalists have the ability to do more with the power of technology. We really had a hands-on experience in this through the Scavenger Hunt project in our CNJ 208 reporting class. They filter the clatter of the Internet by gathering all of the relevant articles in one story. They use these powerful new ways of communication to bring attention to important issues, whether they reported first or not. They live-blog and retweet the revolutions by introducing raw facts.

There is a need for professional journalists, not because they know how to write, but because they follow the rules and journalistic ethics, and they are competent about many topics they report on.

Journalism is still relevant, but it has definitely changed.

Facebook users would be large country


Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said that the social network now has 1 billion friends.

“Just so we’re clear: As of Sept. 14, one in seven people on this planet has been classified as an active Facebook user,” said Zuckerberg. “If Facebook was a country, it would have the third largest population, right behind China (1,347,350,000) and India (1,210,200,000), and ahead of the United States (314,500,000).”

A recent Pew study showed that the percentage of all Americans getting news from Facebook and other social networks has tripled since 2010. And the proportion of social networkers who regularly get news there has more than doubled.

The percentage of young adults getting news socially has increased from about 20 percent in 2010 to about 33 percent in 2012. The median age of Facebook users is now 22. That’s down from August 2008 when the median age peaked at 26. In January of 2006, the median user age was 19.

We don’t realize how much Facebook has impacted our world, so much so that it is taking over.

Tweets may cause cancellation of trip


Plans for students at Ohio University’s journalism school to travel with the United States Soccer Team to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, writing for and about the team, may come undone thanks to the students’ tenacity.

On Monday, students in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism learned of the trip and a lot of them tweeted about it. On Wednesday, several students contacted the U.S. Soccer Federation to start asking questions. And now, the U.S. Soccer Federation is thinking otherwise.

The program seemed a sure thing on Monday when the school held a press conference announcing the team-school partnership.

“It is still in the works, actually. There has been a lot of excitement from our students,” said Associate Professor and Institute for International Journalism Director Yusuf Kalyango.

But nothing is yet confirmed, he said, and the whole thing could fall through.

Journalism students being journalism students ran with the story and contacted the federation for details, resulting in bad news of “it may not happen now.”

Kalyango did hold the press conference with journalism students, but he didn’t expect them, or the journalism school, to then report on it. But they did.

For more information, see http://www.ohio.edu/scrippscollege/news-story.cfm?newsItem=6ED0AB31-5056-A81E-8D34D5FE7D34FB12.

ABC News is going back to school


ABC News is going back to school.

The network announced Wednesday that it was opening five college campus bureaus in September at journalism schools around the country.

The multimedia bureaus will be staffed by undergraduate and graduate journalism students who will report stories for the news division’s online offerings as well as its broadcast news programs.

With resources and mentoring provided by ABC News, multimedia newsgathering bureaus were established at each of the universities. Modeled on a network news bureau, the college bureaus are staffed primarily by juniors, seniors and graduate students selected by ABC News and university faculty and fully equipped with state-of-the-art camera equipment, computers and edit software.

ABC News on Campus provides an opportunity for students to report on stories in their areas and produce a wide array of content for ABC News digital and broadcast platforms. These college digital bureaus will extend the news gathering reach of ABC News throughout the country. In addition, they will enable ABC News to nurture bright, beginning journalism students, give them hands-on training from some of the most seasoned news professionals in the business.

I think it’s a great program that they are starting because employees will be able to learn so much through this, as well as it gives students a chance to have a feel about what it is to be a journalist.

Lack of protection for a reporter


The Washington Times is preparing a lawsuit after federal agents invaded the Maryland home of award-winning investigative reporter, Audrey Hudson, and confiscated her notes.

The agents had a warrant, but it was for unregistered firearms that belonged to her husband. Only after they left did Hudson realize that some of her notes, which included interviews with confidential sources, were missing. The notes pertained to her reporting on problems within the Department of Homeland Security’s federal air marshal service.

During the raid, a Homeland Security agent asked Hudson if she was the reporter who had written the air marshal stories for The Times.When she was interviewed, she said, “There is no reason for agents to use an unrelated gun case to seize the First Amendment protected materials of a reporter. This violates the very premise of a free press, and it raises additional concerns when one of the seizing agencies was a frequent target of the reporter’s work.”

The Coast Guard, which orchestrated the raid, says there was no wrongdoing.

The Times says the search and seizure was unconstitutional because the warrant was specifically for firearms and communication related to the acquisition of firearms. The damage is done, however; the department had Hudson’s notes for more than a month.

Social media taking over journalism


You can ask 99 percent of the people who own a cell phone if they have either Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or all three on their phone … and nine times out of 10, they will.

Social media have taken over our lives and they have also taken over the life of traditional journalism.

We are living in the digital information age where nearly half of all Americans get some form of local news on a mobile device and 46 percent of people get their news online at least three times a week.

What’s more, online news sources officially surpassed print newspapers in ad revenue in 2010. Thanks to online news, we’re getting more breaking news than ever before. And thanks to social media, we’re getting news as it happens — sometimes even before news organizations have a chance to report it.

Are more people turning to social media for breaking news? And can we trust the news that social media delivers to be accurate and factual? The changing face of news delivery and how social media may end up leading the charge is extremely evident and all we have to do is look at our cell phones to see it.

Technology fuels public domain debate


Anyone who reads the 10 Commandments understands them quite clear: Thou shall not steal. And nowadays that can also mean: Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s computer files and text messages.

But one recent news story suggests it’s not quite that simple. New technology has hyped the debate over what should be in the public domain, but done nothing to clarify the answers.

One of the principal reasons is that the audience is participating and opposing, in real time, as journalists decide what subjects are fair game.

Many websites obtain information, verify its authenticity, and ask the right questions about what is of valid public interest.

One example is a website called TechCrunch, that did this through Twitter.

The site posted, instead, information that cut more to the nature of Twitter’s business: financial projections, product plans and notes from executive strategy meetings and “talked about the Facebook threat and when and how they might sell the company,” adding “that is immensely interesting from a news perspective.”

The TechCrunch crew correctly noted that the public seemed much less exercised about previous instances in which media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, published internal company documents from Yahoo and other firms.

In many other instances over the decades, as important as the Pentagon Papers, journalists have depended on internal documents to tell the real story.

In many of those cases, the documents were effectively “stolen,” pushed by employees who ignored confidentiality rules to put information into the public domain.

China’s journalists and the government


Tensions are flaring between China’s journalists and government officials after the Southern Weekend newspaper took a stand against government censorship. Recent protests against the nation’s long-standing government involvement in the press launched what many are referring to as the Beijing News incident.

It all began when the New Year’s issue of a Guangdong province newspaper, Southern Weekend, printed a piece by the local propaganda minister that ran without the knowledge of any of the editors. This was the final straw for several of the newspaper’s employees who, up to that point, had been obeying China’s censorship laws by not running pieces that the government had asked them to pull from print.

Southern Weekend’s fed-up editors publicly spoke out on Chinese microblogging site Weibo, claiming that the article allegedly written by Tuo Zhen, a provincial-level official, was “raping” the newspaper’s independence. The post went viral and was eventually taken down, but that hasn’t stopped a flow of criticism against China’s censorship laws.

The most recent backlash occurred when officials answered Southern Weekend’s plea for less government involvement with increased censorship and additional propaganda.

Another article was written, however. It was not as easy for officials to get news outlets to run the article this time around. Officials issued an order to several newspapers nationwide to run the article Tuesday, but only a handful followed through. However, newspapers like the Beijing News, who chose not to run it on Tuesday, were forced to do so the following day. The Beijing News did not give in easily and caved only when authorities physically arrived at its offices.

What really happened at the Beijing News office is still unclear, but several posts on Twitter said that the Weibo accounts of Beijing News employees were all deleted. Alleged photos of a chaotic Beijing News newsroom also made its way through Twitter.

One Beijing News employee, who chose to remain anonymous, confirmed that there was a meeting of administrative-level employees Wednesday morning.

If Dai’s resignation is confirmed, this will likely be the most defiant act a newspaper leader has taken in response to the recent Southern Weekend situation.

Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, has blocked all chatter on the Southern Weekend situation, as well as of the Beijing News incident, but that has not stopped Chinese sources from getting the news out.

Be a reporter, be a friend, or be both?

Posted September 24, 2013


Last Saturday, Sept. 21, reporter Jason Straziuso had to choose what was more important to him … being a friend or being a reporter.

Jason Straziuso was in Nairobi, Kenya, when he got a frantic phone call from a close friend that was staying the weekend with his family. She was inside Nairobi’s most upscale mall and could hear gunshots. Her husband and 2-year-old daughter were inside, too, but she didn’t know where. Where should she go?

“Over the next several hours, my role as a reporter collided with my concern for close friends in mortal danger,” said Straziuso.

Reporters must separate their emotions from scenes of horror, but that’s a near-impossible task when your friends are facing attackers lobbing grenades and firing bullets.

At first, his friend, Lyndsay, had no idea what was going on, but as soon as he rushed over to the mall, he realized that everyone there was under attack by al-Shabab terrorists.

Lyndsay’s husband, Nick, was with their daughter, Julia, in the downstairs cafe that appeared to be the initial attack point. He scooped up his toddler and ran. They ended up being pushed into a department store storage area and would stay there the next three hours.

“Lyndsay was in a third-floor movie theater when she called me again. If gunmen found her and others, there was no escape, she told me,” said Straziuso.

After Straziuso told the police everything he knew about what was going on inside the mall, he returned to his own work as a reporter. Suppressing his fears that his friends could be killed. He snapped photos, took video, and interviewed a Dutch couple who had been close to the grenade blast.

About an hour later, Straziuso got a call from Lyndsay that she was on the roof and he got some police officers to help her and the roof hostages escape, but husband Nick and daughter Julia were still inside. Eventually, police offers were able to help more hostages escape, Nick and Julia being two of them.

“We were so scared,” Nick said later,”I was just finding any way I could to get out.”

Fortunately, Straziuso was able to help out his friends and, at the same time, get his job done as a reporter. He was so thankful that he was able to accomplish both.
As a reporter, he knew that not everyone’s day ended so well.

Who are today’s reporters? All of us


Over the last decade, technology, especially cell phones, has become one of the most important devices in our day-to-day lives. During the last couple of years, however, technology has not only been one of our favorite devices for entertainment, but even for news reporting and the information it gives us.

Reporting? You ask.

Yes, even reporting. Every thing we do every day we publish onto the Internet. Whether it is what we wore to work today, what we did for our best friend’s birthday, or what we think about the latest iPhone update.

Either way, we have all become reporters.

One of these reporters living in South Miami, just blocks from the UM campus, reported something on his Facebook page that will change his life forever.

A Miami man fatally shot his wife and then posted a picture of her body on Facebook.

“I’m going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife love you guys, miss you guys take care Facebook people you will see me in the news,” Derek Medina, 31, wrote on his Facebook site just moments before adding the gruesome image.

The picture showed his 26-year-old wife, Jennifer Alfonso, slumped on the kitchen floor of the townhouse they shared.

She had suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

According to police reports, he claimed that before he killed her, they were having an argument. During the course of the argument, Alfonso threatened him with a knife, but he was able to disarm her. But when she began punching him again Medina said he shot her.

 After the shooting, Medina posted the photo of his wife on his Facebook page with the caption saying “RIP Jennifer Alfonso.”

The photo shows Alonso on the floor, on her back with her legs bent backward and blood on her left arm and cheek.

Shortly after posting the picture he wrote,

“My wife punching me and I not going to stand anymore with the abuse, so I did what I did. I hope u understand me.”

Without calling 911, Medina changed his clothes and went to see his family to whom he confessed the crime, before turning himself into the police.

He has been charged with first-degree murder.

It is things like this that clearly show how much our world has changed over the years. This was not a story that news reporters found. This was not a story that the police formed. This is a story that the man who killed his wife wrote. He was the reporter.