Journalism Ethics in the age of Digital Journalism

cd5GuqeCScott Pelley’s Fred Friendly First Amendment Aware acceptance speech sparked a lot of thought for me. For starters, when Pelley spoke about how the FBI wrote a press release asking journalists to make sure their information is accurate before the sent it and how the President of the United States told journalists that they were jumping to conclusions and if they were to keep doing that, to at least make it right.

I think all journalism students are afraid that one they will get the story wrong. I have definitely thought about how I would handle the situation if what I chose to report on ended up being wrong. I tend to over-think a lot of what I do, so I am hoping that I would be able to make sure that I get the right story.

Another one of Pelley’s comments that I liked wasSOCNews_PelleyFredFriendly_360x250_JH4_9644 that journalists feel better when they get the story first. The thing to realize is that people don’t care who said it first. When Pelley said that people aren’t at home with five screens watching each organization trying to pull it together first, I realized that it was more important to be accurate rather than first. I think it will be important for new organization to advertise themselves as the most accurate news cast rather than the news cast that delivers first.

Overall, Pelley’s speech regarding journalism ethics in the age of digital journalism got my mind spinning. He wasn’t wrong when he said that Twitter, Facebook and Reddit aren’t news; they’re gossip. We can’t always count on that information to be correct. We, as journalists, need to work hard to find the accurate sources and make news newsworthy.

Facebook launches suicide prevention tools

facebooklogoFacebook has been a consistent topic for my blog in the past few weeks. The social networking site recently launched suicide prevention tools in Australia. This idea hits close to home for me. During my junior year of high school, one of my best friends was posting statuses on Facebook that would lead me to believe my friend was going to commit suicide. So, I called the CRISIS hotline and CRISIS did what it needed to do. I consider this to be lucky. CRISIS dispatched the police to my friend’s house before anything could happen.

The new Facebook feature will allow users to report their friends content that could suggest suicide to Facebook. Depending on the seriousness of the threat, Facebook can urge the author to seek medical help. Facebook also includes a way for the person who posted the status to seek help from friends or family on Facebook. Also, Facebook will give the author access to a pop-up window so he or she can speak with a mental health professional.

Although I think this is a great tool for people to use through Facebook, it should be noted that if you feel as if somebody is in a great deal of danger, that you should call CRISIS (775-784-8090) or 9-1-1. Facebook could be the first step for somebody to get help, which I think is great. Just one “sad” post or picture could prompt one of your friends to suggest you get into contact with a professional and could stop things from getting worse.

Facebook just released this feature in Australia and plans to release it in the United States next February.

Rodham No More

secretaryclintonheadshot.0We’ve know her as Hillary Rodham Clinton for years, however, since the launch of her 2016 campaign, we have known her as Hilary Clinton. For those of you who are political writers following the campaign with a pen and paper, or rather a smartphone and Twitter, you need to know that the Associated Press (AP) has changed its style rule from Hillary Rodham Clinton to Hillary Clinton. The change is immediate for all writers.

I didn’t put it all together until I read the article. When she announced that she will be running in the 2016 election, I didn’t notice that she had dropped Rodham from her name. When the AP asked Clinton’s staffers what name she  is going by, they responded and told the AP that since the launch of the election she has stuck with Hilary Clinton. This is how she introduces herself (when she needs to), signs her name and is introduced to an audience. No longer will she sign a book “H R Clinton,” either.

Writers have to adjust to the AP style at a pretty consistent pace. Last year, I took Writing for News Me8z9FImcv_400x400dia  here at UW-Whitewater. I kid you not, on the day of the final, our professor announced a change that the AP made earlier that week. We had to quickly learn and remember it for our final exam that was set to begin five minutes later. I had another professor tell us that we should invest in the new AP Stylebook every three years or so.

Is it FB official yet!?

facebooklogoFacebook is trying everything when it comes to marketing. Promoting a better search engine on the website, different emoticons to respond with and now a way to avoid you exes without having to delete them. A new feature that may hit the social media platform will allow users to block most of the content they post from their exes. Once the relationship status changes from “In a relationship with…” to “Single.” users will have the option to limit what posts they see of that person and what posts that person sees of them.

Although this is just an experiment right now, I don’t think it will be too long before it is an option for everybody. I can’t help but wonder if Facebook is taking this a little too far. I mean, it’s great marketing because here I am again talking about a new Facebook feature that might be launched in the future.

The article states that ending a relationship in the world of Facebook is a complicated task. I wish this wasn’t the truth, but it is. We all want to keep tabs on people we no longer talk to or see everyday. Facebook knows this and is playing off both sides. Facebook is listening; what will come next?

Support Paris with one move on social media

Profile-Picture-ParisMuch like in June when Facebook users showed their support for marriage equality, users added a filter to their profile picture in support of Paris. The process is easy. Once the filter was provided, users could click on the “try-it” button and add the filter of France’s flag. I like that Facebook offers this feature because it can bring the world together as we digest recent ISIS attacks in Paris. After clicking figure out which picture users want to add the filter to, users can choose how long they want their profile picture to appear this way. It even shows up on user’s timelines saying “[name] added a temporary profile picture.”

For Facebook, this is an opportune time to showcase other safety features the website offers that include ways in which users can let their friends and family know if they are safe or not when an event like this strikes.

Facebook isn’t the only social media platform showing support for Paris. Snapchat offered users a filterCTvJn8zXIAA0pQn that said “Pray for Paris.” This “filter” was interesting, though, because it did not show any picture under it. The filter showed the flag of France and  had the words “Pray for Paris” written in French on it. Many users added the filter to their stories to show their support. Many users were able to show their support for twenty-four hours through the use of this filter. Although the support will continue even without the filter, it was inspiring to see this be added to so many stories.

This speaks to the power of social media. Through social media, many people found out about the attacks in Paris. While journalists were telling the stories, this was an interactive way for users of social media to show support for Paris.

Original article here.

Getting noticed on LinkedIn

CBpFkPazLet the job hunt begin. After next semester, I will be ready to jump into the workforce and any hints and tips that will help me find a job are welcome. I found an article that gives five hints that will help get you noticed by employers on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional networking site that one can use to make professional connections, search for jobs or recruit people for your organization.

In this article, the author starts off by suggesting that your profile has a profile picture. I’m sure some people in our generation would be shocked to realize that some people actually don’t put their photo on their profile anymore. Profiles that have a picture are 14-percent more likely to be looked at. I will always have an update picture on my LinkedIn. That is a 14-percent better chance of finding a job. One should also keep the picture professional and appear neat and groomed.

One of the other suggestions that I found useful suggests that one should detail their work experience. Not only should one have their resume uploaded, but he or she should also fill out the work experience part of their LinkedIn, too. This offers a 12-percent higher chance of a potential employer viewing your work history.

If I take the tips above, I already have a possible 26-percent higher chance of getting a job over somebody that doesn’t have a LinkedIn.

Other tips include creating  a compelling story about yourself and including examples of your work.  Pretend like an employee viewing your LinkedIn is a first date. You want to be professional, organized and subtle.

As we get closer to the end of this course, I can’t help but realize that I have a great chance of using the web to find a great career. Knowing how websites work and embedding videos and pictures into my profile will help me get where I need to be.

With that said, here is my LinkedIn!

Interviewing Tips

REPORTER-SPY-220x300As a hopeful news reporter, any interviewing tips I can obtain during my last year in college are important to me. Christopher Heath is a reporter in Orlando for WFTV. In this article, Heath gives hints and tips that I have found useful as an aspiring journalist.

For starters, Heath shared how he gets people to answer the questions that they don’t want to answer. Heath’s advice is to keep asking the question and to play dumb if you have to. If the person you are interviewing refuses to answer your question, this will help get the answer.

Another helpful tip that I learned is to always document. Not only should you document the questions you’ve asked somebody, you should document how many times you had to ask that person to meet with you before you had the chance to ask them those questions. Investigative journalism interests me, and this tip will be useful to me.

As far as speaking to a public official, Heath notes that journalists should ask for his or her schedule. If you cannot get their actual schedule, one should look at the schedule for public meetings. This will be a way for you to talk to the person before, after and between meetings.

Another piece of advice Heath offers deals with journalists knowing his or her rights when it comes to obtaining public records. Heath suggests having a public records document handy at all times so one can send in the request immediately as to avoid searching for the document on the spot.

Last, Heath encourages journalists to show what happens behind the sciences, too. “Process is part of the work; show your work.”

In the past, I have had an interest in investigative journalism. I could see myself investigating for Dateline or even follow the footsteps of Christopher Heath or Dave Savini in Chicago.

Facebook updates search feature

facebooklogoSoon, users of Facebook will be able to use the sites advanced search feature. This will allow users to find more than just people, pages, groups, events and applications. The search bar will be able find posts, news stories, discussions and other general issues. The results will be in real-time. For example, if Facebook users are interested in finding out news regarding the upcoming presidential election, they can search those keywords into Facebook to bring up different pots. This could prove to be a useful tool for news organizations. If news organizations utilize Facebook to post stories, there is a great chance that those posts will show up in the Facebook search results. The discussion on Facebook posts will be likely me more active that posts to the organization’s website. This could likely direct traffic to the website.


I actually typed “400-year-old Church uncovered” into the Facebook search menu when I was creating my Storify post. Some posts came up about the church the helped, however, once this search feature launches, I am sure more posts will come up. I think this is a great update for Facebook.

Original post found here.