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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

News Sites Prepare Online Coverage Of Presidential Debate

Tonight marks the first official presidential campaign debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. It’s taking place in Denver (at 9 p.m. Eastern, or 6 p.m. Pacific), but since you likely haven’t snagged a seat, your options for viewing are plentiful this election year. You may not have determined who you’re voting for let alone figured out how you’re watching the debates. Here are five options for where to watch tonight’s Q&A and interact with others watching.
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How Do You (And Should You Need To) Prove You’re A Journalist?

How often have you, as a journalist, been asked to provide proof that you are, in fact, a journalist? At least one contributor has been asked several times lately.

Alan Greenblatt explains in his story today that increasingly, government officials are asking him to prove his official journalist status before granting him interviews. Tides have turned and now it’s not just the reporter doing background research, but the sources are backgrounding the reporters.

The other day, I arranged to speak with Bob Wirch, a Democratic state senator in Wisconsin. The morning of our appointment, I received a call from one of his aides, instructing me to bring along a press badge or some other credential that included a picture and identified me as a reporter.

This rarely happens. In some 20 years of interviews, less than a handful of people have ever asked me to prove that I was the reporter I was claiming to be.

But, increasingly, elected officials and their staffs are checking journalistic bona fides, going online to read old stories and check out photos.

He points to other instances where this was the case, and notes the irony that the people politicians most need to be on guard against are not those allegedly pretending to be journalists — when someone says they’re a journalist you should be on your guard about what you say because the whole point is other people will hear about it — but from people who gain access and broadcast gaffes never intended to be shared.

His point, however, had me wondering… should you need to prove you’re a journalist? What type of proof is enough? What if you’re not working for an agency that hands out press badges? What’s stopping you from printing up your own press badge and business cards? It’s not like you apply for a license to be a journalist and can hand out your license number to verify with the state, as electricians or plumbers do. (I hope nobody gets any bright ideas.) And it’s not like medical professions where you need a certain degree and set of training to perform the job; you simply do not need a degree in journalism to prove you know how to ask who, what, when, where, why and how, and then write it up accurately. Plenty of good reporters didn’t learn those skills in the classroom. And plenty of bad reporters have a degree but still didn’t learn to apply those skills well.
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Current TV’s Bringing Truth Back To Journalism

From hiring Keith Olbermann and Internet pioneer  Cenk Uygur to expanding into daytime with shows featuring  Stephanie Miller and Bill Press, Current TV has undergone a great deal of changes since its launch in 2005. And co-founder Joel Hyatt, who stepped back into the CEO role in July 2012, says the network won’t be stopping its hiring spree any time soon.

“We’re going to look for budding journalists, young journalists who we think are really smart with a bright future, get them on Current,” said Hyatt in our So What Do You Do? interview.

And with this younger on-air talent appealing to a more engaged audience, the Current chief hopes to present a clearer view of true journalism on the airwaves.

“There are times in which the cable networks do a really outstanding job; there are times in which I think the job they do is embarrassingly bad,” he said. “I think that what journalism needs to do is seek truth. And that means care about facts, care about science, care about reasoning, and help provide context to the audience.”

But the reality, said Hyatt, is that “we’ve seen so much of professional journalism dissipate away to be replaced by infotainment, entertainment and frankly I think pure fraud, since it’s being passed along, purported to be news. It’s just a fraud to call it news.” Read the full interview.

Twitter Used to Deliver Nevada Caucus Results

Typically when an American news organization provides live election night results, it comes over their Associated Press feed, a subscription that costs thousands and thousands of dollars a year to use. But on Saturday night, the night of the Nevada Caucus, Twitter was also used to deliver live results, directly from their source, the Nevada Republican Party.

The feed, @NVVoteCount, was a partnership between the Nevada Republican Party and Twitter. It used a standard data format — which is also how the AP delivers results to its subscribers. The key difference, of course, was that Twitter was used as the delivery mechanism. Read more

Senator Reid Postpones Vote on PIPA

Senator Harry Reid has announced he will postpone the Senate vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act (PIPA), originally scheduled for Tuesday. Following the shutdown of thousands of websites earlier this week, Congressional support for the bi-partisan legislation has declined.

Google has collected more than 7 million signatures in an online petition to stop PIPA and its corresponding House bill, SOPA. Reid, however, is still hopeful that the bill can be revised to the satisfaction of critics. In a statement released earlier today, he said, “There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved. Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs.” He also commended the work of Senator Patrick Leahy who introduced the bill, and said that he was “optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.” Read more