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The Twitter Feature to End All Twitter Corrections Mishaps for Newsrooms

twitterIf there is one thing I do over here, it’s complain about how news outlets correct themselves, rant about the ethics of reporting news on Twitter, and wonder about best practices on social media. Now, Twitter has added a feature where you can embed a tweet within a tweet, and my head has exploded.

This changes everything about the do’s and don’ts of reporting breaking news and correcting yourself on social media. It still has to be done manually and only from the desktop version of Twitter or the official iOS and Android apps. But it’s easy: you copy the entire url of the tweet you want to embed, add a little comment, and voila: the original tweet is there. Read more

The News, in 100 Words or Less

abridgemeUh, oh, the sky is falling.

This month, AbridgeME.com launched as the first user-generated summation tool for news articles. Weird timing, right? At a moment when everyone is dedicated to  providing stacks of digital flashcards and explainers for the news, founder Eric Rems wants to cut to the chase.

His reasoning? Everyone explains and comments — just look at your Twitter feed right now and count the links to opinions on the news — and he wants to provide readers with fact based summaries of the news. This way, you can start to delve into the topic with the facts and only the facts. Then you can create your reading adventure across the web and decide for yourself as you dig in rather than start with the editorial and have them choose sides for you.  Read more

The Comment Discussion Continues: APME Editors Say Comments Are Here to Stay

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 1.14.01 PMA writeup that surfaced yesterday from The Spokesman-Review‘s Gary Graham revealed some new perspectives from newspaper editors involved in the Associated Press Media Editors (APME) organization.

Graham is an APME board member and reported some of the following noteworthy results depicting what editors and journalists really think about the often-lambasted comment section. You may be surprised at the results of the Sounding Board survey, which included 101 responses:

  • 94 percent said they “consistently allow comment” sections on their websites. According to Graham, many “believe allowing comments is important to encourage community discussions in a public forum.” Still, some cited complaints such as incivility, off-topic and ill-informed comments, and negativity as reasons comment sections can be frustrating.
  • 71 percent said it is unlikely that they would ever ban online commenting on their websites
  • 11 percent said they would never ban online commenting on their websites
  • Nine percent said it is “very likely” they will ban all comments
  • A few respondents reported that they have taken the time to ban individual commenters who either dominate conversation or are consistently uncivil in the comment section
  • 14 percent said they find a “great deal of value” in their comment section
  • 46 percent of the news organizations that responded allow anonymous comments
  • 38 percent of the news organizations require commenters to identify themselves by first and last name

Read more

Grandparents.com Seeks Freelance Pitches on Modern Grandparenting

Grandparents.com is a site for the modern grandparent. Its readers are interested in traveling, staying healthy and, of course, finding fun things to do with the grandkids. After all, explains editor-in-chief Ellen Breslau, the average age of a grandparent today is only 52. So freelancers interested in pitching the site should steer clear of stories on hearing aids or assisted living.

Instead, Breslau says she wants “more health stories and smart takes on financial matters, such as estate planning or the best part-time jobs for baby boomers.” You should also note:

Articles typically average 500 words and include one to two expert sources. Slide shows are another popular format on the website and should be made up of quick, easily digestible tips. The tone is conversational — “as if your best friend or neighbor were speaking to you,” says Breslau.

For more details on what to pitch the site, read: How to Pitch: Grandparents.com.

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‘Bellingcat’ Kickstarter Campaign Seeks to Unite Investigative Citizen Journalists

BellingcatCitizen journalism is more prevalent than ever with the upsurge in social media platforms. Now that so much information is available at our fingertips, it seems that reporters — both formally trained and novice — are even hungrier for accurate news.

A crowdfunding campaign by a man named Eliot Higgins has the goal of bringing together citizen journalists who are curious about hard news issues through an open-source website. His vision is for contributors all over the world to continue coverage of “Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Kurdistan, Nigeria, Jihadists, Shia armed groups, the UK phone hacking scandal, police corruption, and more,” he wrote on Kickstarter.

Bellingcat, as he calls it, is based on the idea that citizen journalists have the power to do much of the investigation that traditional media outlets do. YouTube and Reddit are just two hugely important tools that anyone who values verification and getting to the bottom of a news story can use, and it’s totally open-sourced. Social media does the same thing, Higgins wrote on his Kickstarter page.

Read more

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