Excellence in Online Journalism

Ch. 5: Open-endedness in Story Development

Multiple Stages in Line with Life Span

Inauguration covered online in stages because of importance and venue [Post] – 92

Public Contributions are Integral

Cell phones turned London bombing witnesses into journalists [BBC] – 94

User-generated photos and video provided immediate images from subway [BBC] – 94

Trapped witness shared photo of subway car door being pried open for air [Post] – 94

BBC reports it received 50 images from public within hour of first bomb [BBC] – 94

Citizens took photos and video of suspects’ arrests, adding to ongoing story [BBC] – 95

Virginia Tech student submitted cell phone video of scenes after shootings [CNN] – 95

Other Virginia Tech students uploaded video to Flickr and YouTube [Press Gazette] – 96

Some students posted information on blogs and social media sites [Press Gazette] – 96

Journalists used social media to contact students after shootings [Searchviews] – 96

Some citizens resented being contacted by journalists via social media [Press Gazette] – 96

Protesters took to the streets to challenge outcome of Iranian elections [Times] – 96

Most learned of Iranian protests through social media, especially Twitter [Times] – 96

Public Contributions are Integral: Another Example

NPR’s Andy Carvin covers Arab Spring and beyond with followers playing central role [Twitter]

Critical Eye, Respect for the Public

CNN’s iReport distributed false report about Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ health [CNET] – 98

Apple denied report while stocks fell, and SEC investigated the report [Times] – 98

CNN removed initial false report from site after “community” complaints [Business Insider] – 98

Journalism rules were often “bent” in covering Iranian protests [Times] – 99

Citizen Media Law Project provides legal information for journalists [CMLP] – 102

Citizens may enjoy more protection from libel lawsuits than professionals [US Code] – 102

Editors may be liable for changing or adding to user-generated content [CMLP] – 102

Law also provides protection for user-generated content from copyright [US Code] – 102

“Safe Harbor” provisions may protect those who republish content [CMLP]  103

Critical Eye, Respect for the Public
: Another Example

Baltimore Sun reporter breaks crime news and engages the public [Twitter]

Box: Striking a Balance: Sifting Accounts of Iranian Protests

News blog supplemented coverage with social media content and caveats [Times] – 99

Traditional news outlet argued that user-generated content “bent” the rules [Times] – 101

Decision to use unverified citizen-provided content involved ethical issues [SPJ] – 101

Striking a Balance: Another Example

News blog supplements coverage again for Egyptian protests [Times]

The Dynamic of Excellence

Wikinews users control production and editing, drawing skepticism [AJR] – 105

Wikipedia acknowledges limits to its own content due to user oversight [Wikipedia] – 105

On-The-Job Profile: Robert Quigley Facing the Daily Challenges

Reporter set up Twitter account to aggregate comments about shootings [Twitter] – 111

Twitter added to newspaper home page to share content with readers [Statesman] – 111

I welcome your comments about the site and ways to improve it.

Please let me know if you have new examples of excellent work to suggest to add.


Written by David Craig

August 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm

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