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Posts Tagged ‘steve buttry’

Steve Buttry Wants to Change How You Work (It Will Be Better, We Promise)

project unboltMost of our newsrooms, if we’re honest, are print organizations with the digital initiative “bolted on.” Or so admitted Digital First Media CEO John Paton. I can’t decide whether I’m jealous of or pity the man, Steve Buttry, who has been tasked with unbolting four test newsrooms as DFM’s digital transformation editor.

He obviously knew what he was getting into. More than just refocusing attention to mobile reporting, engaging with audiences over social media or creating new ways to play with and use data, Project Unbolt is about actually changing how newsrooms think and act. Buttry elaborated on his blog this week about what it will actually entail and look like to ‘wrench’ newsrooms away from thinking for print. Here are some highlights:

  • Everything is live, all the time. He writes:

Virtually all event coverage and breaking news coverage are handled as live coverage, with ScribbleLive, livetweeting, livestreaming, etc. This includes sports events, government meetings, trials, community festivals, etc….Live coverage is routine for the unbolted newsroom. Reporters and/or visual journalists covering events plan for live coverage unless they have a good reason not to (a judge won’t allow phones or computers in a courtroom; a family would rather not have you livetweet a funeral; connectivity at a site is poor).

  • In the unbolted newsroom, you post content when you have an audience. Digital content is fresh every morning, you aren’t planning for morning editions, and those ‘Sunday magazine’ style features go up during the week. Read more
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EJC Releases Free Verification Handbook for Newsrooms

verificationhandbookNo one likes to make mistakes. Especially during a crisis and in a digital world like ours when it’s easier to make them and easier to find yourself in serious ethical trouble for it.

There’s finally a guide for all of that. This week, the Emergency Journalism Centre released their Verification Handbook, available for free on the web and soon in downloadable form. The Handbook was edited by Poynter’s ‘Regret the Error’ editor Craig Silverman, and compiled by a team of working journalists and media industry thought leaders, like Steve Buttry, Mathew Ingram, Anthony De Rosa, among many others.

The Handbook is useful for everyone (did you retweet that story about Elan Gale on a plane?). But it’s tailored for journalists reporting on emergencies or disasters, when information flows faster than usual, making it hard to triple check your work and get it posted. Think about the Boston Marathon bombing last year and how we were glued to our Twitter accounts for information. There are chapters on verifying, yes, social media accounts, but also images, video and user generated content.  There’re also a ‘Verification Checklist’ for newsrooms and chapters specific to preparing and implementing disaster coverage. My favorite part? The chapter on how to best ‘use the crowd’. Everyone throws ‘crowdsourcing’ around very easily, but it’s a skill and if it’s done improperly, your newsroom will be sorry for it.

You can read the handbook here and follow the EJC at @EJC.

Plagiarism and Attribution Tests for Journalists: A Must or Not?

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If there’s anything journalists know, it’s how not to plagiarize in our writing. Right? Right?! Wrong, apparently.

Wednesday Jim Romenesko broke the news on his blog that Digital First Media (DFM) has been having some issues with their reporters failing to attribute sources correctly in their work and as a result, their leadership team is asking everyone to take a “plagiarism and attribution quiz.” In a memo from Steve Buttry to DFM staff members, Digital Transformation Editor Buttry wrote that there had been “too many plagiarism cases recently in DFM newsrooms” (read the full memo, first published by Romenesko, here).

On top of the five-question quiz, reporters will have to complete a webinar regarding Web journalism and ethics. In the staff note, Buttry cited DFM’s reputation, “integrity” and “standards” as reasons to encourage all DFM journalists to go through the quick training.

Read more

When To Link Back, Give Credit In Your Posts

I follow hundreds of people on Twitter and more than a hundred blogs in Google Reader, not to mention the myriad other ways interesting stories and information comes my way. Maybe I saw it on MetaFilter or Reddit, or maybe my fiancé or a former co-worker personally passed it on to me. After looking at hundreds of stories/web pages each day, it’s hard to keep track of what I’ve seen or, having seen it, where I saw it or who shared it first. It’s a digital age dilemma when it comes to blogging about cool new tools or breaking news. It’s especially difficult when the news seems so ubiquitous it’s hard to determine who really broke it (and often, whether that scoop is really a scoop).

This came to mind when GigaOm founder Om Malik posted this tweet praising TechCrunch for “do[ing] the right thing” and crediting them for their “scoop” regarding Google’s acquisition of BufferBox.

The comments on his tweet are particularly interesting, with comments ranging from “I didn’t know you guys had anything on it” to “How is it a GigaOm scoop when they announced it in a company blog post?” to the toungue-in-cheek “Google may acquire a startup in the next six months. You heard it here first. Please make sure to source me. Thanks.” As background, Om apparently had a post about Amazon Locker/BufferBox last month that mentioned, “I have heard rumors that Google is interested in buying the company,” and speculates on what BufferBox could add to the search giant’s line up. TechCrunch updated its post on the sale, which cites the Financial Post interview with the founder, to include a link to Om’s story as background.

But here’s the thing: Are rumors scoops? When does a scoop cease being a scoop, when the info is public and everyone else reports it? Even when it’s not a scoop, but a publicized feature/event/purchase/etc…. Who do you credit? When do you have to credit them? How do you credit them?

With that in mind, here are some best practices to help deliver credit where it’s due and, because it’s about the readers, give your visitors more background into the story and topic. What it comes down to is, it’s better to give too much credit than not enough. Hopefully these tips help navigate the sometimes murky link-back. Read more

Digital First Announces Curation Team

Digital First Media announced today that it is creating a national curation team as part of its centralized news operation. That operation, called Thunderdome, will be produced by Digital First’s MediaNews Group and Journal Register Company. The content from Thunderdome will be distributed to its 800 multi-platform products in an effort to bolster the quality of its newsrooms. Julie Westfall will lead the team with Angela Carter and Karen Workman joining as curators. Read more

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