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Posts Tagged ‘breaking news reporting’

Is Grasswire, a “Real-Time Newsroom,” a Better Version of Reddit?

GrasswireIt’s no secret that the Internet is often a hotbed of misinformation in the wake of a breaking news event, particularly during horrible disasters involving multiple deaths, such as the Sandy Hook shootings. And social media is often a conduit for the rapid spread of fake facts and those terribly convincing photos that circulate around seemingly without end.

But a new service called Grasswire plans to be a “real-time newsroom curated and fact checked by everyone.” Covered by PandoDaily’s David Holmes recently, the Android app and website seeks to rectify all the wrongs people (including journalists) have Twitter have committed in spreading non fact-checked information on social media by ensuring it doesn’t keep happening. The platform is reminiscent of Reddit, Holmes notes — only Grasswire’s verification process is a bit more in-depth.

“…Instead of simply upvoting or downvoting, users can click “confirm” or “refute.” The confirmations and refutations stick with each post so that when the link is shared to social media, whatever factchecking is in place goes along with it. That way, even if a Grasswire link to a false claim is tweeted out or posted to Facebook, once its been refuted all subsequent retweets and posts will surface that factcheck,” Holmes explained.

Honestly, I think Grasswire’s idea is a huge step in the right direction. As more social media outlets surface, and user bases rise, citizen journalism is becoming more mainstream. On the one hand, it’s great. An engaged citizenry that reads and shares the news and seeks to inform their followers of what’s going on in their towns, states, country, the world?

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Friday Roundup: The Week in Journalism

huffpostAPtweet.jpgIf anyone complained about dog days of summer in the newsroom, this week you got what you wished for. Here are some highlights in all of the chaos that was the news this week:

1) You can’t win if you’re covering Gaza. John Stewart illustrated this best in a skit on Monday night. And the New York Observer called out the New York Times for what it thinks is biased coverage of recent events. The ‘paper of record’ doesn’t think it’s doing anything wrong. What about you? How have you been staying objective — or have you decided to ditch that effort?

BREAKING: Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash lands in Eindhoven.

— The Associated Press (@AP) July 23, 2014

2) A lot of us need to read slower and learn AP style. On Tuesday, the AP tweeted about a plane carrying the victims of flight MH17. AP style is “crash-landed,” anyway, but a lot of us journos need to slow down. It was like we were waiting to start a fight with them. Read more

Journalist-Made Liveblog Pro Connects Real-Time Blogging and Twitter

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 9.26.36 PMWe talk often about reporting news in real time on this blog. Live-tweeting, live-blogging, live-streaming — the whole shebang. We’ve talked about ScribbleLive and CoverItLive as options for breaking things quickly via a live blog to your readers. But don’t forget about Liveblog Pro.

The UK-based company launched in beta about a year ago, but I didn’t hear about it until Digital First Media’s Digital Transformation Editor Steve Buttry mentioned it in passing during a post about the pros and cons of live-tweeting versus live-blogging Monday, the topic of which several industry professionals passionately discussed via Twitter recently (spoiler alert: Buttry says they’re both vital; neither is superior).

Anyway, using the Liveblog Pro software doesn’t require any knowledge of code and was created specifically for journalists. In a nutshell, Liveblog Pro ”allows publishers to cover a wide range of content — from events, to developing news stories, to Q&A sessions.” It was even used by Columbia Journalism Review on election night in 2012.

Now, for the part you really care about: what does it offer, and what does it cost?

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BBG Launches Mobile First, Live-Reporting Platform

relay1Say what you will about the government, but it might have just changed how we think of breaking news platforms. Go figure.

The Office of Digital and Design Innovation at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) has released Relay, a mobile first platform for real-time reporting.

It’s interesting from both the backend and the consumer’s experience. In terms of the CMS, it’s not hard to train reporters how to use it, according to Randy Abramson, Director of Audio and Video Projects at the BBG. Reporters in the field submit content via email, by including the content type (text, video, audio) and the designated hashtag for a story in the subject line. Says Abramson, “then you just include your message in the email and it’s filtered through the system.”

Editors can also assign multiple permissions and stories. Some content, like a video interview, can be published immediately. Other breaking news content will be sent to a queue to be reviewed, verified, and fact checked. Says Abramson:

Fact checking is a definite concern for the BBG and our services….At the same time, there are a lot of types of stories that don’t have to go through the same type of fact checking as a breaking news story. If you’re covering SXSW or something, you can  publish very quickly.relay-mandela-death-pakistan2

For the news consumer, it’s easy to follow breaking, real-time reporting. Each story has a unique URL, so you don’t have to already be following Voice of America, for example, or download an app. Instead of searching through various social media feeds for info, it’s all collected on the Relay site.

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Twitter Direct Message Change Could Make News Tips On Twitter Easier

By this point in time, every reporter has probably tried to reach out to some potential source via Twitter. It’s awkward, and often if the subject is of interest to you they’re probably inundated with other requests.

A quick search today of the phrase “reporter” & “reach” turned up examples of how most of us go about it today:
Finding sources on Twitter is awkward

See, awkward.

Not to mention exposed. What if you want to reach someone without tipping off your competition? What if you don’t want to put all your contact information out there day in and day out? What if you’re trying to reach a bunch of people — you look like a spam bot with tweet after tweet after tweet of the same thing. Plus, it gives off the “he’s just not that into me vibe” to potential sources.

In an ideal world, you’d be able to see their email address or other contact information and take the convo off Twitter where it belongs. That’s not happening. But Twitter recently made a subtle change to direct messages that over time should be good for journalists. You can direct message people who aren’t following you back.
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