Twitter is stressing me out. It all culminated this weekend when I wanted to waste some time on an Amtrak train, but couldn’t focus. The journo chatter was too loud. Jacob Harris seemed to understand me:
There are like three different conferences happening simultaneously in my stream
— Jacob Harris (@harrisj) April 5, 2014
But while he seemed ambivalent about the noise, it was making me properly anxious. Not only is the conference streaming in my feed, but then you’re having inter-conference #chats, too. Of course, this could be a personal problem. I’ll disclose that because of some family matters, I’ve had to take a step back from being plugged in 24 hours a day. Since I’m not forced to post, write, or respond to news like I normally do, maybe the noisiness is more obvious to me. I can’t use it right now, therefore it is meaningless. That might be too easy of an out.
The thing is, we journalists talk too much. I like following Twitter chats — #mucked up or #wjchat — until I actually follow them. At some point in refreshing my feed and discerning what you’re trying to say about advertising and wearables in your MT of a RT of an A1 to Q2 I give up and go see what @unfoRETTAble is watching. Read more
It could happen to anyone: You’re following a hashtag or a trending news topic on Twitter, and bam, you’re assaulted with hashtag spam or, worse, some sexually explicit item you don’t want to see.
Most of us quickly scroll away or close the browser, offended and put off for seconds. But what if you can’t pan away quick enough to avert not only your eyes but your viewers eyes from seeing … well everything?
Denver TV Station Fox 31 found out the hard way yesterday that you really need to curate that user-generated content before you put it up on screen. In the course of scrolling through Twitter images of the deadly helicopter crash in Seattle, the show went to the Twitter feed of photos from the crash scene.
Unfortunately, this was a crash course in the crassness of the Internet. The images weren’t selected ahead of time and so ended up being a hodge podge of pictures, including some off-topic and inappropriate things users had tagged to ride the coattails of the news cycle. That’s how the Denver morning show team ended up showing some non-relevant images that included food, Edward Scissors Hands and a penis. Yeah, that. On live TV. The reaction of shock on the anchors’ faces says it all:
Many of the videos of this have been pulled down, but if you for some reason want to see the actual broadcast, Deadspin still has it posted in full. (Obviously, NSFW.)
The station did issue an apology, but it’s the type of thing you can’t unsee — and a lesson we hope nobody else needs to re-learn.
While reporting breaking news about the crash of the KOMO-TV helicopter in Seattle, FOX31 Denver accidentally broadcast an offensive photo while scrolling live through a Twitter feed of pictures from the crash scene.
The photo was mistakenly broadcast by our control room. It did not come from the tablet many viewers saw being used by one of our anchors.
We apologize for the inadvertent broadcast of the image and we are taking immediate steps to prevent such an accident from happening again.
This is why you don’t show uncurated feeds on live TV. And while we’re on it, really, you should be verifying any of those images you share before airing them anyway. This wouldn’t have happened if that step had taken place.
This week, Doree Shafrir over at Buzzfeed wrote about the ‘internship hamster wheel,’ especially pervasive in our industry. She continued the discussion on Twitter under #myinternship, where a lot of current and ex-journo interns shared their woes, their ideas for making existing intern programs better, and rethinking the whole system entirely. In addition to being a fun and easy way to engage with her readers, there were some good anecdotes.
Here are some of the highlights:
If you’re in journalism, and people tell you to pitch stuff to your managers, they’re not lying about that. #myinternship
— Katherine Miller (@katherinemiller) February 18, 2014
unpaid at a community paper, for-credit at a larger paper transitioning to focus on web, paid at BuzzFeed: says where $$ is #myinternship
— Megan Paolone (@meganpaolone) February 18, 2014
I still know the precise Starbucks coffee orders of over 10 mid-level fashion editors. Def doesn’t make me a better writer. #myinternship
— Rega Jha (@RegaJha) February 18, 2014
Tonight (Jan. 14) at 8 p.m. Eastern time, log into your Twitter feed and follow the hashtag #MuckedUp for Muck Rack’s weekly chat — this time, the topic is about digital entrepreneurship and journalism startups.
As Adam Popescu said in his event preview, “today’s journalism is like an avalanche of content that seems never ending.” Because of this fact, Popescu reasons there are two categories of journalists: “churnalists,” who thrive, at least for the short term, on the hustle and bustle of constant deadlines and producing tons of content — and then there’s the “entrepreneurial” type, who is more fulfilled in sniffing out underreported stories and earning a reputation as a topical expert.