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Meranda Adams

Meranda Adams (née Watling) is a senior online editor for a magazine by day and journalism blogger (or more prolific twitterer) by night. She's loved writing and design since childhood, and developed an early interest in technology when she started teaching herself HTML at age 10. She's a graduate of Kent State University‘s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is about a half hour from her hometown of Akron, Ohio. Currently, she lives near Indianapolis with her husband and their dog, Dickens. Contact Meranda at meranda at merandawrites dot com or on Twitter @meranduh.

Why Does a Mainstream Media Outlet Want a Share of this Non-profit Digital Site’s Pulitzer?

OK, the headline is a maybe over the top, but the sentiment isn’t. Why does a mainstream media TV news organization want a cut of a non-profit digital site’s Pulitzer?

cpi pulitzer announcementThe non-profit digital news site Center for Public Integrity was awarded its first Pulitzer Prize this week for its in-depth, dogged reporting on miners systematically denied medical care for black lung and related conditions. The top prize in journalism is a major feat for any news organization, much less a digital non-profit.

That would be where the happy story ends… except Poynter today is reporting on a project partner who’s less impressed with the award, not because it wasn’t deserved but because they felt like they deserved the credit too. The reporting was shared with the ABC News team, allowing the black lung project to reach a significantly wider audience. Read more

This Is Why You Don’t Show Twitter Streams Live On TV

It could happen to anyone: You’re following a hashtag or a trending news topic on Twitter, and bam, you’re assaulted with hashtag spam or, worse, some sexually explicit item you don’t want to see.

Most of us quickly scroll away or close the browser, offended and put off for seconds. But what if you can’t pan away quick enough to avert not only your eyes but your viewers eyes from seeing … well everything?

Denver TV Station Fox 31 found out the hard way yesterday that you really need to curate that user-generated content before you put it up on screen. In the course of scrolling through Twitter images of the deadly helicopter crash in Seattle, the show went to the Twitter feed of photos from the crash scene.

Unfortunately, this was a crash course in the crassness of the Internet. The images weren’t selected ahead of time and so ended up being a hodge podge of pictures, including some off-topic and inappropriate things users had tagged to ride the coattails of the news cycle. That’s how the Denver morning show team ended up showing some non-relevant images that included food, Edward Scissors Hands and a penis. Yeah, that. On live TV. The reaction of shock on the anchors’ faces says it all:

surprisetweet

Many of the videos of this have been pulled down, but if you for some reason want to see the actual broadcast, Deadspin still has it posted in full. (Obviously, NSFW.)

The station did issue an apology, but it’s the type of thing you can’t unsee — and a lesson we hope nobody else needs to re-learn.

While reporting breaking news about the crash of the KOMO-TV helicopter in Seattle, FOX31 Denver accidentally broadcast an offensive photo while scrolling live through a Twitter feed of pictures from the crash scene.

The photo was mistakenly broadcast by our control room. It did not come from the tablet many viewers saw being used by one of our anchors.

We apologize for the inadvertent broadcast of the image and we are taking immediate steps to prevent such an accident from happening again.

This is why you don’t show uncurated feeds on live TV. And while we’re on it, really, you should be verifying any of those images you share before airing them anyway. This wouldn’t have happened if that step had taken place.

(h/t Deadspin)

Even Upworthy’s Corrections Are Designed To Go Viral

upworthycorrection_featuredYou’ve seen and no doubt probably shared a piece of content or two that came to your attention via viral news-worth-sharing aggregator Upworthy. But have you ever gone back to a piece you shared, or circled back to a piece you’ve already seen before?

No?

That’s the problem with corrections on the Internet. Nobody (OK, very few people) goes back to re-read or re-watch something they’ve already seen. Why would you when there are hundreds of thousands of other awesome videos that will make you cry or reconsider your life waiting for you to discover.

But what happens if that video or story misled you or contained inaccuracies? You’ll probably never know, or forget the source where you first saw that mistake appear. In a newspaper, clarifications and corrections are typically appended to the stories and appear in print, either near the masthead or in a standard area of the section of the paper. Blog posts often append updated information at the top or bottom, or strike-through info that comes to light as being wrong. But how do you get those misinformed visitors to come back to see that?
Read more

Journalist Sues Police For Barring Drone Videography Of Crash Scene

Any desperate local news reporter who’s ever been denied access to a crime or accident scene can relate to the motivation behind the attempted work-around one Connecticut TV photographer, Pedro Rivera, used to circumvent the road block while at the scene of a fatal crash: an overhead drone to grab some video.

Yes, drones. As in unmanned flying crafts more likely to evoke images of the Middle East than the East Coast. But you can buy small drones capable of capturing a video online for about $1,000, which is cheaper than a pro DSLR or even many lenses. That’s much more affordable than a helicopter to hover over news scenes, which is why the idea is actually kind of genius. Except, maybe not…

dronejournalism_featuredimgSo why haven’t more other enterprising journalists thought of this yet? Probably because the FAA says it’s not legal. They say commerical use of the video from these drones is not allowed, but apparently are reviewing things, per the Hartford Courant story on Rivera’s case. (They also note that Rivera wasn’t actually on the job at the scene, and the station he works for didn’t air the video, so it may not even have been a commercial use.)

Rivera, according to the Courant, has filed a federal lawsuit against the local police for blocking his drone usage at the accident scene earlier this month. He claims they violated his civil rights when they stopped him. (H/T Romenesko) Read more

Valentines For Journalists, 2014 Edition

The only thing journalists love more than their significant other — if they’re lucky enough to find one who puts up with the whole journalism thing — is pushing deadlines. So, we know the odds are pretty good you’re still looking for the perfect words to say “I love you” in journo-geek speak in time for Friday’s Hallmark holiday.

Don’t worry! You’ve got plenty of time. But just in case you’re short on ideas or develop writer’s block before penning that love note, go ahead and send one of this year’s Valentines For Journalists to your sweetheart — especially if you both share the journalism bug.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for in this year’s batch, we’ve probably touched on your sentiment before in 2013201220112010 or 2009.

If you’re still not feeling it, join the fun in the comments and on Twitter with the hashtag #journolove. Maybe we’ll use it next year! Spread the love!

breakingmyheart

upworthyheadlinelove

sourcessay
Read more

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