Dairine88's Blog

Sky News using TwitPic.

August 21, 2009
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Twitter has become so widespread as of late, that even the biggest news broadcaster in the United Kingdom is running to it for images. The problem recently was, that they did not ask for permission. Following a tragic shooting in Waterloo, Sky News must of been desperate needed to find an image to illustrate the crime scene. They took this image from a man called Joe N (Joe) on Twitter. (Without his permission)

Joe explains in an email that he didn’t know about his picture was used all day but had collegues telling him it was on the from of Sky News. He sent an a email to the editor in Sky News, but failed to get a prompt reply. In his email, joe referred to the terms of service, which clearly specified that the image was copyrighted to the owner. Sky News had no other option but to admit to the allegation, but still have failed to respond to him.

He has however used the disregarding attitude of Sky News to his claim to spread the news. Joe has taken his cause to twitter, making the interesting point that, “Newscorp use your photos without permission but have plans to charge for reading their content”, which has since, in PaulBradshaws words, been’ retweeted across the Twittersphere’.


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The Guardian deneys introducing a Paywall.

August 18, 2009
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Liberal Conspiracy, a political website claiming to be the UKs most popular left – centre blog, recently had to retract their article about the Guardian introducing a paywall to their news page. They stated on august 11th that “senior executives at the Guardian newspaper are considering launching a “members’ club” for newspaper readers”.

The survey sent to members of the Guardian website stated that they where considering launching a members club that will “provide extra benefits in return for an annual or monthly fee”. These benefits included ,”a welcome pack, exclusive content, live events, special offers from our partners and the opportunity to communicate with our journalists.”

This was later denyed by the Guardian, with Emily Bell responding: “No – we are not contemplating a pay wall, nor as far as I’m concerned would we ever….they are a stupid idea in that they restrict audiences for largely replicable content” She went on to say that, Murdoch, who released the original statement will “no doubt will find this out”.

The Guardian website has a lot of decent information, links and news on it. If in time it became a subscription service, I would definitely consider taking one out. News sites currently have big decisions to make. Bringing in paid subscriptions will certainly lose many readers, but how are they supposed to survive with an economically unsustainable business?

This is a video about the RockyNews, a newspaper that closed down earlier this year, that is now a paid subscription news webpage.

They are just one of the many newspapers that have given up on the traditional form of print media, and gone cyber. Is there a compromise? Are we now willing to pay for our news. As long as there is quality writing in print journalism, people, in my opinion will continue to buy it. Having something physically in your hand is always more valuable then reading it from a glaring computer screen.


Social Networks replacing News Sites

August 18, 2009
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Every day more and more people are joining up to the social networking craze.  If Bebo didn’t originally suit some people, there was always MySpace. By far the biggest one at the moment is Facebook.

When considering Facebook and the media, it can be increasingly seen how a confergence between news and social networking could happen. If people are logging into their facebook account one or two times a day, upcoming news bulletins along with your friends posts are a practical idea.

This question was asked in Vadim Lavrusik blog when he said: “With increasing convergence between social media and traditional content, what is known as a traditional news website might not exist in the coming years.”

He discussed how NewsCloud, a community site for sharing news,  received a grant to study how young people receive their news through social networking.

NewsCloud has set up three sites (Hot Dish, Minnesota Daily and Seattle In:Site) that attract readers in news by linking them to articles by providing a “headline, photo, or blurb”. These three sites also encourage users to blog the news themselves, posting links and images, thus encouraging citizen journalism. Participants can enter into competitions, winning themselves prizes, all with the intention to keep the readers engaged.

This all shows how Facebook has become a platform for news sites to disseminate their information and attract more readers. News spreads so quickly through these websites such as Twitter, that it seems an obvious medium for news digest.

This topic lead me to another article called ‘How Journalists can Master Twitter”. Twitter, similarly described in this article can be used for many things. Breaking stories, celebrity updates on who they just went for dinner with, or traffic updates to your mobile.

As Paul Brashaw said in his blog , “it is what you make it and the only way to figure it out is to start using it”. He explains that twitter can be a useful medium for gathering information for stories. The more people you so call “follow” the more likely it is you will find an interesting story to write about. Often when you read celebrity magazines they include extracts from peoples twitters. Some celebrity magazines even have sections dedicated to funny twitters, or ones discussing their ever dramatic love lives. Many newspapers and politicians now have twitter pages giving you direct quotes for your articles.

Like paulbradshaw says, “twitter is just a platform-it’s what you do with it is what counts”.


Charles Overbys Twelve Commandments.

August 17, 2009
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The first question to ask is who is Charles Overby?

Well Mr. Overby, is a well established journalist, editor and publisher who also happens to be the CEO of The Freedom Forum and of the Newseum (A international foundation based in Washington D.C  advocating free press and speech rights for all people).

Basically this man is pretty high up the journalistic world.

His office wall would recently  include an award from the The 2009 Gerald M. Sass Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Mass Communication at the Association for Educators in Journalism.

In his acceptance speech he outlined the twelve ‘must do’s’ or ‘commandments’ for today’s  newspapers, online or not.

(The explanation for these can be read in full on this website)

1. Free is not a business model

2. Internet cannot replace the newspaper-sized newsroom

3. Preservation of the newsroom

4. Charging for content does not make you technically illiterate:

5. Publishers are waking up

6. Publishers are to blame for their papers’ demise

7. The underline principle of news has not changed

8. The last decade is the lost decade

9. Negative trends are the result of publishers’ disastrous decisions:

10. Free is a trendy thing

11. Newspapers can’t survive if they continue to give their content for free

12. Reversing the trend


Mr. Overy gives a lot of relevant and useful advice for the media all around the world.  He speaks passionately about the need for paid subscriptions for news websites, as newsrooms will not be able to survive if they continue to give out news for free. He makes a great point when he says that the shrinking newsrooms are bad for our journalists, it is also equally bad for our democracy.

This opinion has been echoed by Rupert Murdoch when he said: “You’re going to have to pay for your favorite newspaper on the Web. (Free content online) is going to stop. Newspapers will be selling subscriptions on the Web. The whole thing (premium content) will be there. The Web as it is today will be vastly improved, they’ll be much in them and you’ll pay for them.”



Online Fanzines and the future of Online Music Blogging

August 17, 2009
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Blogs are one of the cheapest, easiest and fastest ways to get your music into the mainstream media.

Australian Journalist Andrew Muller is a London based – foreign correspondent that had made a name for himself as a self named hack and rock critic.

He speaks regularly about online fanzines, and how peoples dedication to writing about music has changed the future of rock n roll journalism.

He is quoted in another blog by Danielle Cahill, on a CNN website saying that “Music blogs and album reviews are the way of the future as they offer fans the kind of irreverence and gonzo sensibility which mainstream music journalism used to be about”.

“The best music blogs offer the best of what people used to love about the music press, that tradition of irreverence and iconoclasm,” Mr Mueller said. “It’s the exact reason why people gravitate towards what is online.”

“It’s increasingly easy for people to make music and distribute, and for others to comment about it on the internet.”

This topic lead me to research internet based fanzines. I found a website called Leeds Music Scene:  The Cities Music Resource, which had a detailed and comprehensive list of music fanzines, online or not.

Researching this topic has given me an interesting topic for an essay. How online blogging has contributed to loss of the printed music magazine. Music commentary is so wide spread now, everyone has an opinion.  Not that this is not a good thing, but has the quality of music commentary decreased. Blogging standards by in large, lack the intrinsic and personality filled language of distinctive music magazines. What effect has this convergence into the cyber world had on the quality of writing, or more importantly (for me) the job of a music journalist?


Citizen Journalism in the Arab World

August 17, 2009
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As Arab countries are known for their strong censorship of the media, it comes with no surprise that internet blogging by ‘citizen journalists’ has become widespread. Although internet freedoms are limited, they provide a medium in which people can post information, that other medias, such as television, newspapers and radio otherwise cannot.

In SugarCubes blog, he wrote about a conference he attended about Online Journalism in the Arab World. Although, he broadly spoke about Online Journalism he made some interesting points about news sites in Arab countries.

One women, had worked for Arabic CNN, and spoke about her experiences. She explained “why Dubai was particularly chosen as the location of the fifth CNN regional office in the Middle East, saying that Dubai is well known for its support of freedom of press”.

Another Professor, Dr. Jamal from the University of Algeria, spoke of the history of Algeria and the Internet. The first Arabic newspaper to go online was El-Khabar in 1991.

The most interesting part of his blog, was when he spoke of a survey made by two Palestinian Universities. They conducted a survey into the trust of online media, and where astonished by the results. They founds that 85% of Arabic people trusted what they read online, with 15% saying they where unsure and none saying they didn’t trust it. If the same experiment was conducted in Ireland, the results would be very different (especially considering the information in my Wikimedia blog).


Twitters Use in Online Blogging

August 9, 2009
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Social Media Networks are used for many things; Bebo and Facebook for connecting with friends, MySpace for its extensive music webpages and finally Twitter, a service that lets you keep in touch with people through the exchange of quick, frequent answers too one simple question: ‘What are you doing?’

Over the past six years the public’s use for online networks has soared, but its use for citizen and professional journalists alike was not something to be expected.

Online Micro-Blogging websites such as twitter have become a forum for political debates during the Iraq war, and more recently the war in the Gaza Strip in late December 2008, where the media was banned from entering.

Online Blogging was used on both sides of the war, with Israel making no secret of its intent to use the social media to its advantage. Their Consulata General in NewYork held a pres conference on Twitter and they launched a Youtube channel to provide footage and ariel from ground attacks. On the Palestinian side twitter users such as AJGaza, GazaNews and Tweets from Gaza, used this forum for inside information of casualties and called on the world to pressure the Israelis into cease fire.

Asteris Masouras (@asteris on Twitter) is a freelance photojournalist who wrote an article for the European Weekly Online Newspaper, believes in the use of Twitter for important online Information in times of conflict.

“A global peace movement is emerging that uses Flickr to share photos from demonstrations”, Mr. Masouras said in January 2009 article ‘Twittering Away’.  “Twitter (is used to) republish reports and argue heatedly, and collaborative portals and blogs to collate reports, as it petitions the slothful international community to enact a ceasefire and react to the developing humanitarian crisis”.

Although Twitter can be seen as very annoying and in some ways ruining traditional journalism, if it in any way can help people in a time of war, I support it.


Paid Subcriptions

August 9, 2009
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With the reluctance to pay for print media, due to the easily accessible (and free) forms of online media, someone is going to lose out on the cash.

However, two media outlets, Journalism Online and ViewPass, aim to help publishers in ways to get paid for their online work.

With the economic crash, it will be expected to find that the public will have to pay for at least some of their news.

Gordon Crovitz, a co-founder of Journalism Online, says “we expect a very large number of news sites will have some elements of paid content beginning in the fall.”

Gordon Crovitz

Gordon Crovitz

This payment, would generally come from paid subscriptions.

The Newyork Times also covered this story, stating that Online Journalism will be asking for paid subscriptions of approximately $15 dollars a month

“The most important thing is it’s simple to use,” said  Mr. Stephen Brill, one of the three executives who hope to build Online Journalism. “Much of the barrier to charging online is the transaction friction, as opposed to the actual cost. With this system, you’d have a single password, give your credit card number just once.” (Quote from Newyork Times)

The question is, are people willing to fork out the money for this? With the current economic climate, battered publishers can only hope.


Student exposes WikiMedia

August 6, 2009
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On May 5th there was an article in the Irish Times website about a young Irish college student, who used the laziness of journalists, to expose a world wide problem.

Shane Fitzgerald, is a UCD sociology student who decided to experiment on the unsuspecting world of the media.

He used the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, to write a fake quote for the late French composer Maurice Jarre.

His intentions where to show that ‘the global world is connected through the internet, and news reporters are relying on this resource more than ever’.

As he suspected, the fake quote was used in the media. However, he was surprised to find to the extent it was used. Respected newspapers from both Britain and Australia used his false information, which obviously took him by surprise.

In college, using Wikipedia, is often regarded as an ‘academic faux pa’. Yet as shown by Mr. Fitzgerals experiment, is being used as a primary news resource, despite its reputation for being untrustworthy.

Is this reliance on the world wide web, become for the accuracy of journalism? Shane Fitzgerald seems to believe so.


Hello world!

August 6, 2009
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Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!


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