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Posts Tagged ‘online media’

Bloggers Are Not Journalists Rules Portland Judge

In the ongoing debate on journalist vs. blogger, a Portland judge’s recent ruling draws a clear distinction between the two. Crystal Cox, a self-identified investigative blogger, was sued by the investment firm Obsidian Finance Group for defamation. She wrote several articles that were highly critical of the firm’s co-founder Kevin Padrick, who told OregonLive.com “The damage to me is forever. The Internet is not capable of being undone.”

U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez decided that Cox is not entitled to protection under Oregon’s media shield law because she is not “affiliated with any newspaper, magazine, periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system.” He disagrees with her self-identification as “media,” but goes on to say that even if she were entitled protection, it would not be granted due to the case being a “civil action for defamation.”

This case highlights the gap between our slow-to-change institutions and the always-changing Internet. As Matthew Ingram at GigaOm pointed out, there are “shield laws” in 40 states, “but some have been updated to include cover newer forms of media such as blogs, and others haven’t.” Just a little bit north in Washington state, Cox would’ve been protected by an expanded shield law. Read more

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Comic Lesson: Don’t Say It If You Can’t Explain It

Everybody’s favorite cubicle dweller, Dilbert, often contains what-not-to-do life lessons, but this comic is especially relevant for those working in digital media who must interact and explain their job and work to people who see Facebook or Twitter at work as slacking off not working hard. It’s hard to get others on board with your plans when you speak in acronyms or jargon even you barely understand.

Dilbert.com

A few short (and ideally, unnecessary) tips to avoid being the drone in this strip:

  • Don’t say it if you can’t explain it. And if you can’t explain it, why are you doing it?

  • Don’t explain it with more jargon. There are correct terms for practices and there are useful terms. The useful ones describe what you do in layman’s terms without resorting to phrases only SEO expert wannabes use.
  • If you must use jargon or unfamiliar acronyms, acknowledge that without making your audience feel stupid. It’s not nice, and it’s not necessary.

This comic is funny because it’s true. Most people have been on the “huh” end of a similar conversation. Don’t do that.