Posts tagged “Journalism”

Know the rules to avoid being removed from an NTSB investigation

Major transportation accidents such as plane crashes and train wrecks usually draw a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation into the cause and ways to prevent future accidents.

Last weekend’s train derailment in New York City, which killed four people and injured 67 others, is currently under such scrutiny. As is typical, the investigation is highly charged, garnering intense media attention and featuring a full range of people with a vested interest in the outcome, from the railway company to the families of victims and the union representing the train’s operator. Politicians are jumping into the fray, grandstanding for TV cameras with their demands for accountability, and no doubt plaintiff attorneys are circling like vultures.

The NTSB’s job…

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How Facebook Makes Local Journalism DIY

There was a recent study from Pew Research Center that you might have seen. It certainly grabbed my attention. It was titled, “The Role of News on Facebook: Common Yet Incidental.”

Allegedly the most important finding from the report, which Pew conducted in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, was that almost 80% of respondents get news on Facebook when they are on the site for other reasons. In other words, they discovered the news by accident.

That was a novelty that drove a lot of media coverage. But the novelty factor did not mean much to me. The fact is that even if they’re getting it by accident, 80% of people get news on Facebook.

But here is what stopped me as I read the report – 65% of people on Facebook are looking for news…

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The real danger of social media

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and have concluded that the danger of social media isn’t just what is said there about you. The real danger of social media is what you don’t say there about yourself.

Obviously danger can lurk in social networks and blogs.

The creator of Napster – also formerly president of Facebook – complained bitterly when social media noted that he paid millions in fines to settle a government complaint over construction work he had conducted on a site planned for his wedding in a protected forest. He criticized the “rehashing and regurgitating of nonsense news, contrived to tell whatever seems to be the most sensational story…”

Similarly there is danger in how news media use social media.

When news broke of the school shootings in…

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Are newspapers still relevant?

My former newspaper colleague asked a central question recently: “When you pitch stories on behalf of your clients, do you still contact newspapers?”

There was both doubt and hope behind the question from the 40-year veteran of the newspaper business. His industry had just weathered a week like none other. The Washington Post ($250 million), The Boston Globe ($70 million) and Newsweek (undisclosed price) all had been sold.  By comparison, consider that Yahoo recently purchased microblogging site Tumblr for $1.1 billion!

Closer to home, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reduced its home delivery schedule, and the publisher of Crain’s Cleveland Business announced his pending retirement.

What my former colleague really was asking was whether newspapers still reached…

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If China is important to you, Sina Weibo is important to you.

One thing journalists really hate is to be told by their editors that they have “buried the lead.”

It means the point of the story is not obvious from the first few paragraphs, and that the “lead” or premise of the story is buried too far down in the story.   

As always there is a lot of news right now about China. These are all important stories.

But look closely here, because none of these stories directly affects you or me:

  • A strike by journalists at a newspaper to protest censorship over their stories.
  • The government tightening control over the Internet and of Western media.
  • The air pollution that is literally off the charts and besieging everyone in Beijing.
  • The challenges facing Yum Brands, particularly in its lucrative KFC unit, in…
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