Buttry’s Thoughts on the “P” Word

Logan 2014 Christmas(web)Robin’s Road is nearing the end.  Semester is almost over and soon this blog will just be a thing of the past, neglected, and only looked at every now and then as a reminder of what Journalism on the Web looks like.

So, I thought I would close with a post regarding a Steve Buttry article on the most important thing to a Journalist – our words.  It is our intellectual property and as such, needs to be protected and revered. plagiarism Just as we, when crafting our stories, our posts, our blogs, our Storify’s, our Twitters, our FB posts, and ALL of the other plethora of tools a journalist has at their disposal to create news with, should revere, respect, and give attribute where due when using another’s words.

This attribution and respect was not apparent to journalist Fareed Zakaria, as he wrote columns for Newsweek, Time, the Washington Post, hosted his own show on CNN and “lifted” several phrases from other news sources without giving due credit.  Zakaria stated he was spread thin and it was a mistake.

Whatever he wanted to call it, it was and still is, Plagiarism.

Buttry’s article is one of insight, as he discusses what his LSU Dean, Jerry Ceppos, had a classroom do with the Zakaria story and the alleged allegations – they broke the “P” word down into five blocks; Words, Facts, Ideas, Quotes, and Medium.  Buttry responded with his comments on their analysis and a reiteration from one of his previous blogs, “Sloppiness, as I’ve said before, is not an excuse, but a guilty plea“.

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Ray Rice “Sorry” – Wins Appeal

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Kim Wilson’s SocialNewsDesk Comes Full Circle

The holidays are here, which means school is nearing the break, and so is Robin’s Road Blog! George & Robin Kinda sad when you think about it.  But then many people do get nostalgic at this time of year, for things that are gone, things that have changed, and yet, time keeps moving on!

Kim Wilson, founder of SocialNewsDesk, feels the same way – nostalgic – things are changing for her and the “baby” that she launched four years ago.  SocialNewsDeskSitting in a restaurant with her husband and friends, eight years out of college working at WJXT (Graham Media Group), the conversation was centered around the idea of social media (FB in particular) and having a newsroom interact with it – somehow.  Remember people, this was 2010 – no company interacted with FB, there was no Twitter, no Instagram, nothing!

At the end of dinner and their brainstorming session, they chose the “least-sucky idea”, approached the GM of WJXT about interacting with Facebook from the newsroom, he loved it and SocialNewsDesk was born!  And as with many babies at birth – it was not very

SocialNewsDesk prototype

BUT, it grew, evolved and the ugly duckling became a beautiful swan! Back now in the Graham Media Group with 600 paying clients at last count, Kim Wilson doesn’t know how she got here, but she sure is glad they went with that “least-sucky idea” back in 2010.SND-Clients



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Wanted – Gender Parity in Journalism: Courage is Required

RobinThis week, I take a look at an old problem with a new twist on how to fix it – gender equality in the workplace.  Thus, it is fitting to use my “newscaster” headshot from a few years back, when I was fighting for this same parity within the heavily, competitive advertising world.

In Amanda Bennett’s article, Push for Parity: What do women in leadership need next? Courage. she writes “We no longer need to prove that leadership from women adds dimension, credibility and authenticity to news coverage. It has been proven. We no longer need to fill the pipeline. It has been filled. We no longer need to get the credentials. We have them. We no longer need to prove that women can be successful leaders. They have been so.”  JournalistsAnd inequality is not just in pay scales, as Jill Abramson found out at The Times – but it is in number of bylines by gender as well.


But where women are found to be lacking is in having the COURAGE to stand up and say those things.  To stand up and say, “no, we won’t work for less money” and “no, we won’t accept that we were passed over again for a promotion” due to anatomical differences.  Yet, women journalists who have proven themselves over and over again, do not REQUIRE that their boss move to the next step – wMale vs Womenomen journalists just ACCEPT.

So, where’s the twist?  Bennett, says that women need to do this so that their MALE counterparts can benefit as well, “Require this not only for women, but for men as well, first, so that they will be able to better support the women they share family duties with, but also so that their work life will be better, happier and more balanced. If you see women or men of accomplishment and ambition being blocked for reasons of flexibility, this is no longer their problem. It is your problem.”  

That’s right, let me repeat – if women WIN, then so do men!

Now, why wouldn’t you vote for equality for all?  It just takes that first step down the yellow brick road.cowardly-lion


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Bedtime Stories Go Mainstream

bedtime storiesAs if I didn’t already have enough addictions — media wise –, now comes along a new site that I couldn’t get enough of, StoryCorps. Founder, 6-time Peabody Award winner, David Isay, just won the 2015 TED $1M check for his 10-year-old storytelling company, where listening is listed as the biggest virtue.

According to Isay, there is no greater story than those told between two people as they sit and reflect on the stories that were important in their lives.  Isay got the idea for IsayStoryCorps from his days producing radio documentaries on controversial topics such as; America’s ghettos, prison executions  and other neglected communities. In 2003, he took the documentary style of telling a story to the public – and they responded overwhelmingly – with almost 100,000 storytellers stepping up to preserve the stories that were important to them.  Excerpts from the top StoryCorps recorded stories can be heard weekly on NPRstorycorpsEach StoryCorp conversation is recorded in a private booth, between two people, with the interview lasting 40 minutes.  It is then edited, graphically animated and put on a CD to share, which is also preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.   All this for a minimal donation of $25!  What’s your story worth?

Isay comments to his 9-year-old nephew in his interview, “Everybody has a story. Everyone has something interesting to share. It just takes a good journalist to dig deep and to listen.  Listening is an act of love.”

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