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.

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Written by David Craig

August 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm

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