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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Stelter’

Dog Days of Summer: Beach Reads for Journos

While there’s nothing better than a long weekend or a beach vacation, it can be hard to disconnect, especially when your job is to be connected. If you’re a little compulsive like me, you still get a little pang when you’re email starts to ding from your beachbag. So as not to enrage my family and friends, I’ve finally learned to believe in the vacation response: once it’s set on my email, I pretend not to check it.

Instead, I do other socially acceptable things that pertain, sort of, kind of, to my job. It makes me feel better.


I’ve already taken my vacation this summer and passed most of my beach days thumbing through Brian Stelter‘s Top of the Morning. If you haven’t already read it, or wrote it off, I strongly urge you to reconsider. It’s a perfect summer read: well-written so you don’t start to snooze in your lounge chair and full of juicy bits of industry gossip. It’s like a James Patterson novel, but you won’t be embarassed if someone sees you eating it up.

If you like to get more serious, Jaron Lanier‘s Who Owns the Future? is another good pick.  The guy who coined the term ‘virtual reality’ now expounds on the political economy of the internet as we work with it today. Like Stelter’s book, it’s a quick and easy read — albeit more analytical. And sort of depressing. He likens free internet services to a bad mortgage — we benefit in the short term, but there are long term, serious consequences for our economy. It might make you want to just disconnect for good, or take up arms against ‘consumer internet services.’ If you want a preview, you can listen to an interview with Lanier here.

Play on the Internet

What with all the news coming out of Egypt this week, I saved the Pew Research Center’s report on reddit that they released yesterday. If you talk about social media without really knowing what reddit is all about — and it’s more than just ‘Ask Me Anything’ — then you should probably brush up. Only six percent of Americans are reddit users, but it’s a large, diverse world out there. Maybe you’re in that top percentile and already know this, but if you’re not, it’s a world worth exploring if only for the fact that 1) you’ll take it seriously next time someone brings it up as a way to troll for good stories or sources and 2) it can be sort of fun. Careful: you can waste more time on reddit than on Twitter. And you’re in charge of firing up the grill later.

Do you have any other good recomendations? Books? Podasts we should all be listening to? Comment here or tweet us with your summer distractions!

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Brian Stelter and David Carr at Social Media Week NYC

Social Media Week has officially kicked off and this morning in New York, Brian Stelter and David Carr, of the New York Times sat down to discuss how they use social media in their reporting.

You may remember the two from the documentary Page One, in which David Carr plays the digital adaptor and Stelter, the digital native as the Times struggles to make paywalls and the online world work for them. They make a good team on the media pages of the Times and on-stage. Between their sense of humor and of gravitas about how to practice journalism in the digital age, they offer a unique perspective.

You can watch the panel discussion here, but there were two major themes.

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Five Lessons In Breaking News Reporting Learned From The Joplin Tornadoes

Brian Stelter, usually a media reporter at The New York Times, found himself wearing a different hat last week in the middle of of Joplin, Missouri, where he was covering the tornado destruction.  It was out of the scope of his usual reporting and wasn’t a planned assignment, but he happened to be at an airport when the tornadoes struck and there was a flight to Kansas leaving in 45 minutes. Like a true reporter with a passion for the story, he got a standby ticket and was on his way.

But when hit with the responsibility of completely unexpected breaking news reporting — it was Stelter’s first time coming upon a natural disaster as a reporter — there were lessons to be learned. Stelter published a stream-of-consciousness-style narrative on his Tumblr that outlines the events of his experience as he remembers them, chronologically. The full piece is worth the read. Here are some takeaways from his experience that any newsroom editor should work into their breaking news plans. Read more

Humans vs. Cyborgs: Four Ways @NYTimes Has Changed This Week

On Monday, New York Times social media editors Lexi Mainland and Liz Heron announced from the @NYTimes account that all week long, they would be engaging in a social experiment: the automated @NYTimes Twitter account would be complemented by a handwritten approach, with  Mainland and Heron taking turns writing tweets. Heron told Poynter that the experiment “is about changing the perception, and it’s about being a little more strategic about what we put out there — finding the most engaging content.”

According to Heron, Times staffers have joined in with the automated feed before, but this is the first time it has been totally turned off. So how has @NYTimes changed since the humans at the Times usurped the cyborgs? As it turns out, the differences between the automated feed and the handwritten one are pretty stark. For avid Twitter users, some of these changes may seem a little duh-worthy, but for a news organization with a notoriously ambivalent relationship with social media, these changes may represent an important attitudinal shift in regards to social networking.

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