Chords & Commissions- Audio Slideshow

Photo and Audio in collaboration with Joey Maestas


Business of Journalism Assignment

1) Name three trends that have significantly changed economic models for news organizations in the digital age

a. Supply of news content and access to it has increased exponentially. However, lots of this content is available for free, and the increased competition among vendors means that news organizations cannot demand the same prices that they used to.

Case in point: The McClatchy Magazine reported a 17% increase in unique visitors to their website, but only a 2% increase in digital revenue.

b. Aggregation: In the past, aggregation was a major source of revenue for news organizations. They were able to bundle consumers together and present them to advertisers as one lucrative bundle. However, in the digital world, everything is separated. Users cannot be bundled as they make seamless transitions between different  sources of news content (e.g. ESPN for sport, WSJ for financial news). This trend results in a large loss of advertising revenue for news organizations.

Another development in aggregation is the rise of alternate aggregators such as Google News, The Huffington Post, etc. These new media entities are skilled at engaging readers and are much more agile than traditional news companies. Since they don’t charge for content, they take away a lot of the audience and subsequent revenue from news companies.

c. The trend towards digital has meant that advertising revenues are much more unpredictable than with traditional news sources. A newspaper or magazine can increase the total number of pages they print in order to accommodate an extra advertising spread. Similarly for broadcast, the organization has full knowledge and control over the airtime they give out to advertisers (e.g. 8minutes in a 30minute news segment). However, with digital, the readers determine how many pages get turned (based on clicks) and hence how many ads will be viewed. As a result, digital news organizations generally have to undersell the amount of proper advertisements on their site and sell many cheap last-minute ads called remnants.

2) List up to three advantages that a new, digitally based news company has over a traditional print or broadcast organization.

a. Digital news companies have a rich bank of information on their readers. They can analyze content preferences and tweak their offering accordingly. They can also collect demographic and financial information on their readers with more precision than traditional news organizations.

b. The ability to create and engage readers with alternate content: For example receives only 14% of its traffic from magazine-related articles, the rest of its traffic is due to original website content, which helps NYMag build both its online brand and increase interest in its magazine.

c. The ability to create rich multimedia experiences and crowdsource content: Digital news companies can engage readers in innovative ways including comments, reaction videos and crowdsourcing. Readers can provide dynamic feedback and in many cases contribute valuable content to the news organization. Tools like Storify etc help readers become publishers of newsworthy and original content.

3. List up to three advantages that a traditional print or broadcast organization has over a new, digitally based news company.

a. Traditional news organizations can provide more immersive experiences: The average time that people spend reading a newspaper is 30minutes, as compared to 3-4 minutes ib a news website. People have a shorter and more fickle attention span online.

b. The ability to control the product that they sell to advertisers: As mentioned above, traditional news organizations can determine how much advertising they will sell in advance, and can alter their product to allow for increased advertising. Digital organizations are unable to do this in advance.

c. Since traditional news organizations charge for content, they are able to offer advertisers filtered readers; i.e. the advertiser knows that the readers are serious about the content since they are paying for it. This makes them more attractive to advertisers and thus more lucrative to news organizations as compared to digital readers, who often read content that is not behind a paywall and are more likely to jump.

Responses to Tips for Social Media

1. Name some effective ways for journalists to use social media (no more  than 250 words).

a. Re-broadcast messages from those that are actually on the front lines. A great example is NPR’s Andy Carvin (@acarvin), who retweets messages from those that are demonstrating during the Arab Spring, and consequently raises awareness, helps demonstrators connect and share resources.

b. Humanize their brand. Octavia Nasr (@octavianasr) tweets about motherhood, travels, etc. in addition to her journalistic tweets. These help us get to know the person behind the mic and connect at a more meaningful level.

c. Engagement. Twitter is a good way of understanding how your audience feels about a certain issue, and could also be used to generate ideas. Shreeya Sinha (@shreeyasinha) does this well.

2. Over a one-week period, you might send out dozens of tweets. Please cut and paste a representative sample of 10 tweets you actually sent out any time after Thursday, Aug. 4. These should reflect the kind of tweets you send on a regular basis.

Bruised leg=An afternoon of sport reading An old gem from @newyorker Jordan’s moment

Brilliant. Craigslist Missed Connections, visualized @BennettKlein

“there is no sound quite like a mother’s wail when she sees her son’s executed. It surrounds the room.” @storycorps with #cuj12

@ErinCauchi Rejoice, keen one. RT @NiemanLab With its new iPad app, The Atlantic unifies its brand

RT @gigiogidi #slapyourself if you think Ramadan Mubarak is the son of Hosni Mubarak

@JRubinBlogger Have some shame. Your “jihadist hydra” behind the Norway attacks was actually a devout right-wing conservative.

Repulsive. The “Jihadist hydra” being indicted for the Norway massacre by a trigger-happy media..

@Lina18 Keefik? We had the @StoryCorps guy come speak to us today, wow 🙂…

RT @rahulbose1 : irony. indian bowlers to Cook. but Cook makes a meal of Indian bowlers.

Whoops my bad @newswithnasr‘ Return of the Trequartista’, an amazing bit of footie writing by fellow #cuj12 ‘r @suhrith

3. Please identify five journalists’ Twitter accounts that you have started following after Thursday, Aug. 4.  List each handle and describe, in a sentence why you are following that person.

a. Deborah Amos (@deborahamos)- Middle East correspondent for NPR News. Deborah helped us edit our radio spots in radio skills class and since I’ve fallen love with radio and would like to work in the Middle East, following Deb was a natural choice.

b. Zaheer Cassim (@mrcassim)- J-School grad & Associate Editor at The Blaze. Zaheer is a good guy to learn from when it comes to creating a rapport with people.

c. Vadim Lavrusik (@lavrusik)- Journalism Program Manager at Facebook. Vadim is involved in the future of digital media journalism and helps me keep with the industry.

d. Anup Kaphle (@anupkaphle): Online editor for World & National Security at the Washington Post. Following Anup is a great way to get international breaking news, quickly and reliably.

e. Alex Crawford (@alexcrawfordsky): Sky News Special Correspondent. Alex is an incredibly courageous journalist who gives one a sense of what it feels like from the front lines.
4. Name some ways your use of Facebook might change now that you are in J-school (no more than 150 words).

I will be more guarded about the information that I share on my personal profile. However, I will take advantage of initiatives such as Journalists on Facebook and will build a public page that can be recommended and shared. I will build my identity as a journalist by sharing links, publishing posts, and asking questions that engage.



Law Assignment

1. What are the elements of a defamation claim, whether it is libel (written) or slander (oral)?

a. It must be a statement of fact b. It must be false  c. It must be published, externally, to a third party   d. It must be specific, not a blanket statement   e. It must be able to cause harm, i.e. it must be considered defamatory by the society-at-large

In the US, the burden of proving defamation lies with the plaintiff

2. If someone gives you her name and password to access her employer’s website, should you use that information to access the site?

No you should not, as by using the name and password you are technically pretending to be someone else. It’s akin to walking into an event with someone else’s ID card in real life.

3. How much time should you give the subject of an article or video to comment before publication?

There is no specific required timeframe. The subject should be given every opportunity to comment before publication, keeping in mind story deadlines.

Contacting a subject for comment should be distinguished from sharing a pre-publication story with them. It is not recommended to share your story with a source/subject before publication.

4.  What is the rule on reading back quotes to sources?  (Something of a trick question)

There is no legal requirement on reading back quotes to sources, although there may be a policy on it at your workplace.

If you do decide to read back quotes to sources, try to do it shortly after they spoke the particular quotes (i.e. at the end of the session). Do not wait until the next day, because sources are likely to forget what they said and may contest their own quotes.