Videos as web stories: Where is the text?


The Internet is great for news because we can use it to tell stories in multiple forms, like both text and video.  Video can complement and enhance text stories, adding new information and content.  However, a problem I have been running into lately is having online stories that are only in video form.

For example, on CNN’s website, there are many news stories that are only video.  Granted, you can find the corresponding text version elsewhere on the site, but how hard would it be for CNN to pair the two together on the same webpage?

On my Facebook News Feed, people post human-interest stories that catch my attention, but to my dismay, often the stories have no text to accompany videos.  This is especially problematic when I am in a public setting, like a classroom (before class, not during…), and I am unable to watch or listen.

Sometimes, it is just an inconvenience and I can easily perform a Google search and find a text version of the story. This is generally the case with straight news stories.  It’s harder when the stories are not straight news, because these are the more unique stories that cannot be found on every news website’s homepage.

Often, I don’t have the time or patience to watch a video.  I’d rather have the story in front of me, where I can scan it and quickly get important details out of it.  With videos, it is difficult to locate the important details, and when you try to skip around, it usually ends up taking longer to watch with all the buffering and/or freezing that ensues.  Plus, videos generally require you to watch ads before the story, which is beneficial for the host site’s pockets, but is not in the interest of saving time.

Because it can be so complicated and frustrating to play videos, I usually don’t watch them at all.

Even though there are undoubtedly Internet users who prefer stories as videos, I think having a story only in video format can be detrimental to a story’s success.  Having a news story only in video format will lead viewers to other websites.

And the last thing a journalist wants is to lose readers to another similar story.

Press regulation in UK could spread


There is an argument going on right now about whether or not press regulation in the United Kingdom is going to destroy journalism or actually prevent journalists from abusing their jobs.

Supporters of the charter say that the press in the UK has failed in self-regulation and that this new charter will be the answer in keeping journalists in check.  The charter includes a number of penalties for when journalists do something they’re not supposed to.

I have read that some people think this charter is a blessing in disguise because it is the best way to keep the government fully off the press’ back. It is a shield that is preventing a full regulation that could for sure affect how journalists do their job.

But many journalists in the UK are angry. There is a battle between the journalists who are for and against the charter. There are some who see it as a compromise with the government, but the others are very angry because they were the ones who were involved in implementing it, instead of stopping it.

I think this is in a way a violation to freedom of the press. Journalists have always had the right to regulate themselves. I understand, however, why they are implementing a charter to regulate and watch over the journalists. In 2012, the UK had incident in where multiple high profile cell phones were hacked by journalists and that is completely wrong.

After reading about this, I was also reminded of Princess Diana’s death and how the paparazzi were a big part of it. I’m sure the UK is just fed up with interference from journalists.

What needs to be watched is that the charter does not abuse their power and take things too far by implementing laws that really do violate journalists’ freedoms. So far it’s borderline, but it can easily be taken to another level.

I also have to wonder if other countries will take a similar route. What if it becomes a domino effect? The U.S. could be next. There could be a charter here as well regulating the press.  The UK has always been known to set a standard. Perhaps this is just the beginning. This could possibly be the future for ALL of journalism around the globe.

Twitter hires first head of news


Twitter just made a big move by hiring Vivian Schiller, NBC News’ chief digital officer, as its first head of news and journalism partnerships. She also has had prior experience at CNN, The New York Times, and National Public Radio.

Schiller will be the person who connects Twitter to prominent news organizations. Twitter executives have been saying for months that they want to help media companies distribute news and now they have the right person for the job.

It is also said that she was hired due to the fact that there have been complaints about Twitter’s Board of Directors being mostly made up of white men. Her hiring adds diversity to the company.

Twitter has been hiring a number of prominent people to be heads of other departments like music and sports.

I get the feeling that this is just another step towards social media taking over journalism. A head of news and journalism partnerships at a social media company is already very different from how social media have been operating in the past, not to mention the fact that high profile people, like Schiller, are leaving their high profile jobs, like at NBC, to work there.

I also feel that this is a strategy for Twitter to be on top of all other social media sites. If Twitter is hiring people to make stronger relations with other companies, then that means it will have the support from multiple diverse organizations.

Journalism is a important part of society, and if Twitter is taking that leap to make it a prominent part of their site, then it will be more widely used by people.

Lost internships hurt journalism


As summer rolls around each year, aspiring college level journalists compete for internship opportunities at all different prestigious companies to “get their foot in the door” for their future career.

These students go through rigorous interview screenings and have to compete with an ample amount of peers for coveted opportunities so they can some day “make-it” in journalism.

A major powerhouse in the journalism field is the major company Condé Nast.

Condé Nast is the company behind some of the most glamorous and high-end magazines and digital platforms in today’s modern journalism industry.

Some of the best journalists in the industry dominate Condé Nast and have become known throughout the world. Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, and Graydon Carter, the editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, are just some of the many examples of amazing Condé Nast editors.

Fortunately, I was very honored to be one of the approximately 260 Condé Nast interns last summer. I made it through a Skype interview and numerous e-mail conversations until I finally took the position to work under the fashion editor, fashion assistant, and stylist at Condé Nast Traveler.

Besides the two-hour commute into the journalism hub of New York City in my “Condé” appropriate up-to-par outfit and running around the city in heels only someone in the office would understand, I really benefited from this internship.

I went to amazing seminars, learned what it is like to be an editor, had great opportunities to network and learned the details about the company itself.

As an intern, I can honestly say it is a true shame that it is official in 2014 that the Condé Nast internship program will be shut down.

According to WWD, an intern, Lauren Ballinger, who interned for W in 2009 and another intern, Matthew Leib, who worked for The New Yorker in 2009 and 2010 have filed a lawsuits against Condé Nast for “being paid below the minimum wage during internships.”

What I do not understand is why Leib would intern for the company two summers in a row if the rules about getting paid did not change and he was unhappy enough to sue.

I am curious to know if these two interns allowed their names to be released in the press because I would believe this would taint their reputation if they are trying to pursue a career in this industry.

Competitive companies like Hearst and Fox Searchlight Pictures were also sued by interns for a similar reason.

I am truly in shock that a student who had the same amazing opportunities I had at Condé Nast would complain about not getting paid when they were honored with such an amazing “foot in the door.”

These two interns jeopardized many future internships for students who could have learned and benefited from Condé Nast.

I am curious to find out how this lack of an internship program will affect the hiring process of this generation and future generation of interns. I wonder if the students who were too young to intern before the program shut down are at a disadvantage at some day getting a job at Condé Nast.

Hopefully, they will start this program up again with repercussions to protect the company against lawsuits with paid internships. I hope future interns can have the amazing experience I was “lucky” enough to have had at Condé Nast.

For more information visit:

Photojournalism’s future uncertain


Cameras are everywhere.

They fit in our pockets, they’re installed in our computers and even attached to our phones. What was once an expensive hobby has now become an affordable necessity. Because of the affordability and the availability, everyone who owns a camera considers themselves a photographer.

A professional photographer is someone who has spent his or her entire career as a photographer and has earned a living by taking pictures. A freelance photographer is a person who sells services (in this case images) to employers without a long-term commitment to them. An amateur photographer is a person who engages in photography as a hobby versus as a profession. In other words, they take pictures for fun.

A photojournalist can be defined as someone who communicates news through photographs. Think National Geographic. Until recently, a photojournalist was a full-time, paid position involving being sent out on assignment to cover a story similar to a reporter in  broadcast.

Now-a-days though, many magazines and newspapers have laid off their photography departments and switched from using full-time salaried employees to using freelance and amateur photographers instead.

So what does this mean for the future of photojournalism?

Well, in order to have a future it must have a present. The day “digital” became useable and affordable marked the death of photojournalism as we know it. Why pay an employee to rush over to the scene of investigation when an amateur is already on site? Wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper to pay the amateur for the use of the images than the salary of the professional?

Photographers, like myself, who are looking to start a career in photography / photojournalism, see this as a terrible consequence of the digital age and social media.

However, others see this as liberating and evolutionary. They see the amateur photographer as liberating the professional from the role of documenting mundane, ordinary, and unexciting newsworthy events, thus allowing the professional to reiterate the true meaning behind being a photojournalist — to document and tell stories.

It is not the professional photojournalist who has died out, only the means of how they get their stories and where they publish them. Instead of reaching out to a magazine or newspaper for work, the professional photojournalist should instead become a freelance photographer and invest in a self-financed story that has not been covered in mainstream media. Then he or she can publish the work via social media outlets with the possibility of publication at a later date. Because mainstream media outlets chase provocative and sensational stories in order to drive in readership, the quality of the work has taken a backseat thus forcing professional photojournalists to self-publish.

The professional photojournalist should not cringe at the amateur photographer but should instead thank them for picking up tedious, unimportant news stories and allowing the professionals to instead, return to the art of their profession. The art of photojournalism is to document and tell stories, often hidden stories, ones mainstream media outlets tend to ignore.

For more information, visit

eBay founder starts digital news site


Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay and billionaire, announced that he is prepared to fund a new news organization that will promote what he calls “serious journalism.”

eBay founder Pierre Omidyar wants to fund a news organization designed strictly for "serious journalism" (Photo by Joi Ito, Flickr ).

eBay founder Pierre Omidyar wants to fund a news organization designed strictly for “serious journalism” (Photo by Joi Ito, Flickr ).

Omidyar says that he wants to create a place where journalists are able to “elevate” and are allowed to “pursue the truth.”

The goal is to make a new organization like CNN and The Washington Post, but to be founded on different principles. Investigative journalism is his main concern for this all-new, strictly digital site and he says he is ready to commit $250 million.

A journalist who is ready to jump on board is Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald is leaving Britain’s Guardian newspaper, where he became an important figure, so he can join this new online site.

Jay Rosen, professor at NYU, who has spoken to Omidyar about the project, seems supportive. He announced the news of the online site to his students and they were excited because most of them do plan on eventually getting jobs in journalism. This new site could provide many jobs for journalists looking for work and whom are interested strictly in serious journalism.

I think that this whole thing is a great idea. I’d love to see a new news organization rise, especially one that is strictly digital and that is steered towards investigative journalism, which I believe is some of the trickiest journalism.

I’d also like to see more jobs for students who are just getting their start in the journalism world. Mostly because I am a student myself and finding jobs nowadays is a nightmare.

But, I’m slightly skeptical on how well this new site will actually do. Since journalism has taken such a hit these past few years, I’m doubtful that it will become the next CNN or MSNBC. These big organizations have been around for so long and it’ll take time before this new one can catch the eye of the general public. Hopefully more important figures hop on to the production of this project and everything runs smoothly.

Here is a link to Jay Rosen’s blog with more information on the matter:

Should we use Twitter for our news?


Twitter is an interesting form of information source. According to the article, “The Twitter Explosion,” by Paul Farhi, “it all depends” on whether Twitter can be a useful news tool or not.

Why? Unknown

Because sometimes it is fast, newsworthy, and reachable for millions of people. But sometimes, it gives incorrect information, for example, immediately after the Boston Marathon terrorist bombing attack. Sometimes it can even give false information so damaging that it can actually destroy a person’s life.

Like the article says, Twitter is a “free social networking service that enables anyone to post pithy messages, known as tweets, to groups of self-designated followers. The tweets can be sent from and received by any kind of device — desktop, laptop, BlackBerry, cellphone.”

This is practical in one way but, in another, it also means that many people not only have fast access to the information, but also to the posting of it, even if sometimes what they post is not true. The problem with this service functioning as a news source is the fact that so many people use it nowadays and but some do not have the best intentions. 

Why is Twitter different from other sources? Because it is a type of media which is utilized not only for breaking news, but for many sorts of things such as giving news about events, stores, sports, and of course for individuals who want to share their own thoughts. Anyone can post and its content is neither filtered nor edited by professional journalists.

Twitter is capable of creating conversations between different sources, provides the ability to comment, as well as the opportunity to “retweet” someone else’s posts. WIth all of these possibilities, it is easy for a rumor to be formed and rapidly be delivered to millions of people around the world.

News reporters use Twitter from any event and ‘tweet’ what is going on around them.

“Twitter can be a serious aid in reporting. Reporters now routinely tweet from all kinds of events — speeches, meetings and conferences, sports events,” said Farhi, which I believe is true but, for that same reason, people should always make sure that what they are reading is true and that it has enough evidence to support the written facts.

Journalism, a career or a death wish?


The practice of journalism in Central America has become more than a career choice, it is considered more of an attempt to find death in an intellectual way.

My country, Honduras, is not an exception for journalists, who fight for exposé of political corruption as well as other internal problems. While working towards the truth, these professionals put not only their lives, but also the lives of their families, at high risks.

Ramón Custodio, Honduran Human Rights commissioner, expressed his concern about the impunity that keeps the murders of 35 people linked to the news media recorded at their institution between 2003 and so far this year, only two of such cases have come to judgment.

According to the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice (a private organization and part of the Mexican Employers’ Association), for the second year in a row, San Pedro Sula, Honduras, remains at the top spot as the most violent city in the world, with 169 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

Such a ranking brings up the question of what is Porfirio Lobo, president of Honduras, doing to address the criminal crisis?

Juan Ramón Mairena, president of the Honduran College of Journalism, mentioned his sorrow towards the incompetence from President Lobo’s government to complete their promises to implement a protection program mainly targeted for journalists.

In the past year, President Lobo has maintained a confrontation with different media outlets, especially with the ones that criticize his administration by pointing out his security, economic and social failures.

One of the main causes for deaths in the Latin America country is the constant fight among the drug cartels and politicians who are related to extortion, corruption and money-laundering schemes.

A mass communication career is very difficult in a nation where drug trafficking has influenced many people to begin campaigns to stop journalists from denouncing the corrupt.

Journalists, in their attempt to portray the reality of things, lose their fear and end up throwing themselves into the enemy’s claws.

Believe it or not, if I had to live in Honduras again, my passion for journalism would still be the same. In other words, I’d still choose to communicate with others regardless the risks to which I would be exposed.

For more information:

Meter model is newspaper’s best bet


The Dallas Morning News recently had to take down its paywall for online digital subscribers because it turned out that it wasn’t doing as well as managers thought it would.

At first, publisher Jim Moroney stated that the paywall would only hinder the paper.

That was in 2009.

After putting the paywall into effect in 2011, Moroney then stated in 2012 that the paywall was “very satisfying” and that it drew many subscribers in the first year. In May of this year, Moroney decided to input a meter model, like the one that The New York Times has previously adopted. This is where a certain number of articles are available for free but then after the monthly limit is reached, readers must pay a subscription to see additional articles.

As it turns out, the copy-cat attempt flopped.

In my opinion, it’s interesting to see how newspapers are having to adjust to the digital age. Since print newspapers are not doing as well as before in creating revenue, newspaper companies have to find new ways of gaining income.

What this paper did wrong was that it input a hard paywall that barely allowed articles to be seen for free and THEN put a model meter after.

Other papers are struggling with this same dilemma. Paywalls seem unreasonable,  especially when there are ways of getting news for free, but when it comes to these small papers, they have to make sure some type of money is coming in for their online news services. I agree that paywalls are completely necessary for the journalism world these days. Unfortunately, these smaller papers are not The New York Times and have to be more efficient to maintain their profits.

Other papers need to just follow what The New York Times did. It’s a much more larger and more popular newspaper. They set the standard for every other paper, in a sense.  Constantly changing the strategy of your online newspaper’s website is not a good marketing idea.

Original article found here:

The rapid decline of the photojournalist


As time goes on, it is becoming evident that there is a decline in professional photojournalism. Even more recently, there has been a shift in the videographer field as well.

Because of technology and the rapid pace at which it is created, there are many more commonly named “citizen journalists.” These are people who capture newsworthy photos and/or videos on the street and send them to news organizations.

Another problem for photojournalists/videographers is that the people who are submitting images and videos don’t necessarily have the initiative to get paid. For any news company, this is a gold mine because, in contrast, a photojournalist would be paid for his or her services. So the potential of free services of these citizen journalists is highly desirable.

News organizations are not doing as well as they once did. Staffs are much smaller now and saving money is key for managers. Why hire a photojournalist when they can just get one of the reporters to take their own pictures or when they can get submissions from these citizen journalists?

This is a huge blow for someone like me because I am currently studying photojournalism. Recently, I discovered that my major has been taken out of my school and has been merged with the journalism major. This is so that writers and reporters will learn the craft as well. This drastic change is a reflection of how the business is changing and that the need for photojournalists is declining.

One of only things that can keep some of these citizen journalists from being too popular in the news industry is validity. How can a newspaper or news channel be completely certain that the submissions they are receiving are real? This is one of the reasons why I argue that there is still a need for photojournalists. I also argue that great feature photography is something that amateurs will never be able to recreate. A photojournalist is taught to have a certain eye for capturing images. It is a learned skill whereas citizen journalists may have just been at the right place at the right time.

Getting a job in the future is definitely going to be a challenge for people like me. The jobs in photojournalism may be dwindling but I feel that photojournalism will always be extremely important.

Journalism will survive the Digital Age


As the world constantly changes, as do technology and society, and the press has had to adapt to these changes that have taken place throughout history.

Whether it was the invention of the telegraph or advanced presses, environmental upheaval such as war, or governmental and societal pressures, history has illustrated the world’s constant state of change. The media has always played a prevalent role in all parts of society, and these changes have affected it. But rather than die out or become extinct, the craft of journalism has altered and modified itself to fit the fluctuating times.

And the future holds no exception.

Whenever I tell others that I’m a journalism major, a look of concern and pity washes over their faces.

“Are you sure about that sweetie?” they say. “You know, journalism is a dying career nowadays.”

Those who make these comments view journalism through a keyhole. They see journalism as strictly meaning the production of newspapers and – who reads the news anymore? Everything’s online, right?

Right! But you shouldn’t have doubted journalism’s ability to mold and change and grow alongside a society that is becoming increasingly digital.

George Brock, former managing editor of The Times and current head of the Department of Journalism at City University in London, wrote a book (officially published Sept. 28 of this year) titled Out of Print: Newspapers, Journalism and the Business of News in the Digital Age. 

In it, he says that “journalism is being adapted, rethought and reconstructed in thousands of ways….”

And he lists reasons journalism will adapt to survive in the Digital Age.

One is the natural fact that people like to read words from paper. And luckily, the Internet harbors potential business models for all readable platforms — magazines, newspapers, and books.  Daily newspapers have been affected because the Internet produces information in real-time, but magazines and books still remain a valued source to readers.

Which leads to the second reason — humans are creatures of habit. Those who read the news will still read the news. Newspapers have lost prevalence and may still continue to lose it but complete extinction seems rare. Avid newspaper readers will be more likely to choose website and apps that best mimic the newspaper layout, and it turns out that newspaper readers are also enthusiastic about the newspapers’ online versions.

Brock explains, “The DNA of printed journalism will altar over time, but at a slow and evolutionary pace…. News publishers must adapt their strategies to the temperament of the audience they have or they want, because members of their audience can switch so easily.”

Another reason is the fact that yes, the Internet is quick to post and comment, but newspapers – whether printed or online – know where the story is. They specialize in catering to specific interests and pointing out different details that gets the public listening.

Also catering to readers is journalism’s ability to sift through the heavy flow of information that pours out from online and organizing it in a way that is easy and accessible.

“The world’s information flow creates a demand: it is up to journalism to supply it,” writes Brock.

Perhaps Brock’s most exemplary reason that journalism will survive and evolve is its many existing precedents of already doing so, as I spoke of earlier. Journalism has renewed itself countless times, and Brock asserts that “journalism cannot survive without adapting again.”

As long as publishers and journalists understand that their work can be redesigned and modified, journalism will continue to change along with our ever-changing world.

This information from George Brock was taken from an article on, which excerpted Brock’s book.

To read the full article visit or pick up Brock’s book, Out of Print: Newspapers, Journalism, and the Business of News in the Digital Age.

Where modern journalism stands …


Media is the new term we now use instead of press, said media critic Jay Rosen in his article “An Introduction,” explaining that the term is more of a “modern, abstract, inclusive, elastic, and of course more commercial” term.

Through this article Prof. Rosen tries to persuade readers that was he’s saying is true. He says “we need to keep the press from being absorbed into The Media.” This caught my attention because technology is definitely taking over and each day that goes by the Internet is more and more part of our lives.

The news we once had to sit and watch, or read in newspapers, are now available instantly in our computers, smartphones, or other portable devices.

This article, as a whole, is a way of saying we shouldn’t make that mistake of leaving press behind, since historically it’s what started it all, and for him the best “backward glancing term.”

Rosen defines it at the end as “Ghost of democracy in the media machine” and I believe it is the perfect way of expressing that press must not be forgotten and must always have a presence in this new modern journalism world we’ve seen grow and develop to these days.

The article can actually present to the world a certain assessment of where journalism stands now and where it’s headed. Nowadays, the public that was once on the other side to only receive information, now participates actively. It has become a two-way thing, where opinions, comments, even information from citizens, are now part of it all.

“Armed with easy-to-use Web publishing tools, always-on connections and increasingly powerful mobile devices, the online audience has the means to become an active participant in the creation and dissemination of news and information.” In other words, Rosen explains, journalism of today is “threatened by not just new technology and competitors but, potentially, by the audience it serves.”

This conversion in journalism has been occurring during the last few years and is all about telling stories in new and different ways, like for example using Twitter or Facebook, as well as blogs and other social media.

Since this is happening so fast around the world, sometimes we professional journalists have to be careful which way is the correct and best way to present information to the public, while always making sure it is accurate, true and reliable.