How Does it Serve the Public to Be First?

The following post is a response to Scott Pelley’s comments on reporting today.

Well, what an acceptance speech.

In this video, Scott Pelley comments on how journalists have an increased responsibility on accurate reporting in a day and age where consumers have more access than ever to right information as well as wrong information.

He comments on how news organizations are so concerned about being the first to report on significant tragedies, like the Boston bombings and the Newtown shootings, that they ignore the fact that the don’t have all the information yet and could be wrong.

Pelley says, “If you’re first, no one will ever remember, but if you’re wrong, no one will ever forget.

And I completely agree with him.

A lot of news organizations today have such clear agendas most of the time, that they have almost become gullible to an extent.

They want to be first, and they want to believe the juicy story. And those two aspects together can be dangerous.

Pelley asks, “How does it serve the public to be first?”

It doesn’t. What’s being first all about? Vanity. It’s selfish.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Durant Rips Media Again: This Time It’s Kobe

Why can’t we all just get along? Well, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is at it again, having some more harsh words for the media.

This time Durant is upset at all the media coverage on L.A. Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. More specifically, he’s upset on all the coverage on Bryant’s poor play.

“I’ve been disappointed this year because you guys treated him like shit,” Durant said to reporters.”He’s a legend and all I hear about is how bad he’s playing, how bad he’s shooting, time for him to hang it up. You guys treated one of our legends like shit and I really didn’t like it. Hopefully now you can start being nice to him now that he decided to retire after this year.”

This isn’t the first time Durant has been upset with the media. During the all star break last year he ripped the media saying they “don’t know shit” about the game.

Apparently that seems to be his favorite word.

He also recently lashed back on ESPN analyst Steven A. Smith a few months back after Smith reported that Durant would be interested in leaving Oklahoma City and going to play with the L.A. Lakers, saying that he had no sources and made it up.

You would think that Durant could be nicer to the people who voted him MVP a few years back, right? The media has tried to embrace the talented superstar, but he wants none of it.

Maybe Durant will soften up over time, but until then, it’s war.

Online Video Tips

Millions of videos are posted online each and everyday. However, not every video is posted on the same platform. But why is the platform important? Because each platform requires different storytelling techniques.

Four popular platforms for sharing videos on the internet today includes, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and YouTube. Here are some helpful tips that will help your next video a success. 


Facebook videos are found in user’s News Feed to draw engagement. The videos are autoplayed without sound, so make sure they have visual appeal. Videos posted on Facebook the best place to start a viral campaign.


Instagram videos become found because of popular hashtags. High quality content is expected from them, so make sure you invest in premium video.


Vine videos are very short, and use a creative use of looping to create an endless sequence. Having a planned story arc will increase the users time spent with the content.


With YouTube, content is searched, so it needs to be search optimized to be found. The video lives on a search engine, so it can be found longer. Interested thumbnails and first frames nudge users to continue.

Anonymous Declares Cyber War on ISIS

After a horrific set of events that took place in Paris last Friday that killed 129 people and wounded at least 350, online activist group Anonymous has declared a cyber war on ISIS.

The terrorist group ISIS, which is notorious for executing acts of terror against innocent civilians in the name of an incorrect and twisted version of Islam, claimed responsibility for the attacks on Paris.

Anonymous released a statement in the form of a mock newscast in which a man behind a mask warned that the Anonymous group would be launching a full-scale operation against ISIS, including cyber-attacks.

“War has been declared,” he said in French.

Anonymous is a powerful group. They are very skilled at what they do and they don’t have to play by ANY set of rules or account for their actions to the voting public or media.

Anonymous has already damaged ISIS’s recruiting propaganda online, which is a big step towards taking them down. Also, Anonymous’s ability to track the money supply funding ISIS would help the world understand who is behind it all.

When Local Goes National

For most of us, we heard about the recent tension at the University of Missouri after the football team went on strike. But for the student newspaper at Missouri, it didn’t start when the players protested, or even when a student went on a hunger strike. It started after Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri last year.

It’s hard to imagine the recent tension that all the students in Missouri have been going through in recent months. Today, students are afraid to go to class because of threats issued on campus.

Because of all the tension and national exposure, covering this ongoing story in the newspaper has gotten to be even more tricky.

The world is watching them. A week ago on a Sunday, the Missourian had 8,400 unique visitors to the site. This past Sunday, it had 217,000 unique visitors.

These students are watching these stories that they’ve been covering blow up nationally and what frustrates them the most is the missed context from national media outlets.

“We were sitting in the newsroom here in Columbia,” Daniela Sirtori-Cortina, a student who writes for the paper said. “We’ve been covering this for a long time, and we were like, this is odd. This is not what we’re seeing.”

The students are worried about the inaccuracy of larger news organizations, and how those inaccuracies may affect their relationships with sources.

“I’m sure we’ve made mistakes, of course, but I’m concerned that the accuracy problems that have been widely broadcast by stories in national organizations have hurt our news organization’s relationship with the social justice activists here in Columbia, and the thing is, we’re still here, we’re not going to go away. We’re going to continue covering this,” Sirtori-Cortina said. 

It’s hard to see how much worse the situation will get before it gets any better, but the students at the University of Missouri are determined to see it out until the end.

The Packer Way?

After making the playoffs each of the last six seasons, there’s no doubt that the Green Bay Packers provide a level of intimidation to most of the other teams in the NFL. However, according to a recent report, it seems like that intimidation is making its way off the field too.

Last week in the Journal Sentinel, Michael Cohen uncovered a previously unreported allegation of domestic violence against Packers defensive lineman Letroy Guion.

The article by Cohen talked about past charges where Guion was connected with a stalking allegation and a pair of domestic violence incidents that resulted in three counts of battery.

Charges were dropped in two of the cases, and in the other, Guion paid restitution in order to avoid additional consequences.

These cases occurred between 2011 and 2013 when Guion played for the Minnesota Vikings. The incidents were publicly unreported, so they went unnoticed.

A few days ago, Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel wrote how a Packer’s official tried to intimidate Cohen while he was covering the team after the article was published. 

McGinn writes, “Packers director of player development Rob Davis continually gestured at and stared at Cohen, then walked up to Cohen while Cohen was looking down taking notes and stuck his head about a foot from Cohen’s head. Davis is a former NFL player who was listed at 6-foot-3 and 284 pounds during his playing days, so it’s easy to see why someone could feel intimidated having Davis invade his personal space. Cohen attempted to remain professional and extended his hand, but Davis refused to shake it.”

“No, we haven’t met,” Davis said to Cohen, according to McGinn. “And I don’t want to know you.”

Davis claims that he was not trying to intimidate Cohen.

But what do you think? Do you think that Davis was trying to intimidate Cohen for the article he wrote? Was bringing up something so far in Guion’s past fair for the Sentinel to report? Do the Packers have the right to be upset for having their integrity questioned?Leave your comments below!

Investigative Journalism: Getting The Tough Answers

Now of course you don’t have to just be in investigative journalism to ask tough questions. Actually, we ask tough questions everyday. But WFTV investigative reporter Christopher has a few tips on what to expect, and how to get the answers you are looking for in the world of investigative Journalism. 

1. The Non-Answer

If the interviewee will not answer your question, there’s a simple solution. Ask it again. If they still won’t answer, ask it again, and again and again. You can also play dumb and tell them you don’t understand.

2. The Dodge 

Get the question on the air. Be willing to point out “the dodge” and share how many times you have asked the question.

3. Public Officials 

Ask for an interview early and ask in writing. If that doesn’t work, go farther. Ask for their schedule or look for a schedule of their public meetings. There’s nothing wrong with finding them in public. Just make sure not to show up at their house.

Finally, It’s important to know what rights you have when it comes to public records and access to meetings and documents. These will help you get the information you need to be an effective investigative journalist.



Facebook To Warn Users Subject To Government Hacking

It’s bad enough that we have to worry about criminals and weirdos hacking into our personal information, but now the government?

I guess everyone always assumed that the government was trying to find out everything about us, so it’s kind of nice that Facebook is trying to give us the heads up to those who have become the latest targets.

According to an article by Stan Schroeder of Mashable, Facebook will begin warning users if it detects a user’s account is being targeted or compromised by a nation-state or a state-sponsored actor.

So if Facebook does have a strong belief that the government is intruding on your account, they will send this warning.

Facebook Privacy

So don’t worry if you’re trying to plan the President’s next surprise birthday party over Messenger, Facebook’s got your back.