Tag Archives: journalist

The demand for E-News

By Courtney Fishman

Last week I spent time at the CMA/ACP National Fall College Media Convention.  There, over 2,500 student journalists gathered to learn more about bettering there publication.

Last Thursday, Jim Brady and Chris Krewson gave a keynote speech at the conference about a website they launched about two months ago: billypenn.com 

Billypenn.com is challenging the norm of consuming news.

Billypenn.com is challenging the norm of consuming news.

The website helps readers navigate anything and everything regarding Philadelphia news by linking different news outlets’ content to their website. Continue reading

The High Cost of Freelance Journalism

By: Morgan Gstalter 

Photo by Claudio Riccio via Flickr

Photo by Claudio Riccio via Flickr

In 2013, Forbes named newspaper reporter as the worst job in America. In 2014, it swtiched spots with lumberjack and moved up to number two. Their reasoning seemed simple: long and unreliable hours, exceptional stress, a low median salary of $37,000 and the danger of reporting.

James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and Peter Leo Curtis were all captured by Islamic militants in Syria. All reported under the title of “freelance war journalist.” With Foley and Sotloff’s gruesome murders comes to light the true danger of freelance reporting and why this dangerous job is still one of the most important jobs.

CBS News published an article entitled “In danger and ‘on their own’: The perils of freelance war reporting” by Julia Steers.  It illustrates the harsh reality of reporters working out of the Middle East.

The numbers are frightening.  “According to Reuters, 714 journalists worldwide have been killed since 2000 for doing their job,” says an article published by Business Insider. Commitee to Protect Journalists sites  34 have been confimed dead in 2014 alone, with 11 of those deaths in Syria.

Often times, freelancers are “on their own” in dangerous environments, without security details or special press passes from the government.Their editors are thousands of miles away and reporters travel with limited equiptment. News managers need to step back from the money and assess the risk for each new reporter they hire. They need to step up and act responsibly for the life of their employees, including purchasing protective equiptment for their journalists and doing daily check-ins about their welfare.

Many are calling now the time to pull out reporters covering war-zones or where free press is restricted in a totalitarian regime. The risk is simply too high now and we have lost too many of our own. But with this manuever, we would risk a disrruption of media on current events.

The importance of freelance journalism is highlighted now more than ever, given the horrific circumstances. But one question remains: is the cost of accurate and timely news too grave for freelance reporters?

Anonymous Sources and Pseudonyms in Journalism

Posted by Marissa Mumford

The Washington Post recently published the gripping struggles of a sexually assaulted war veteran. Per her request, the source is identified only by her middle name, Diana. “Diana” pretends all is well while secretly accumulating doctor’s visits and battling stress and paranoia.

Credit to Leland Francisco, licensed under Creative Commons

Diana was viciously brutalized and hasn’t shared her story with family or friends. It isn’t the Washington Post’s job to make her pain known to the world. I understand that. Ethically, it feels right. But from a journalistic point of view, is this okay? If a prestigious news source is going to publish a lengthy piece on sexual abuse in the armed forces, shouldn’t the source be entirely verifiable?

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Journalists Are Demanding Technology That News Giants Aren’t Providing


Photo licensed under Creative Commons by crabchick.

An article in the New York Times a few days ago chronicled the departure of Ezra Klein from the Washington Post to pursue a new web-based journalism website. Klein along with two Post colleagues and other veteran journalists joined together to build Vox.com, which debuted a week ago.

The reason for their departure from a long considered benchmark of journalism to a tech-startup is intriguing: “We were badly held back not just by the technology, but by the culture of journalism,” Klein said in the article.

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Mommy Blog Craze

Embed from Getty Images
Posted by Ariella Miesner

Most of my mommy friends devour blogs on a daily basis. Instead of flipping through Parenting or Good Housekeeping, they click the links for The Pioneer Women, or Scary Mom. Even traditional media outlets, such as the N.Y. Times, has noticed these mommy blogs growing in popularity and has created their own.

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Congress’s job now includes defining Journalism?

Posted by Susan Nourse

Members of Senate panels are refining the details of the Media Shield Act before the bill goes on the full Senate. The Act offers protection for Journalists, so they won’t have to reveal their confidential sources.  Those refining details include defining who is a journalist and who isn’t.

Members of Congress. From White House Photographer.

Members of Congress. From White House Photographer.

Who is considered a journalist 

  • Journalists who have been employed for one year within the past 20
  • Journalists employed for three months within the past 5 years
  • Freelance journalists with a “substantial track record”
  • Student journalists

Who isn’t considered a journalist 

  • Groups not considered news outlets by the Senate (i.e WikiLeaks)
  • Bloggers

Journalists have often faced prison time when choosing not to reveal their confidential sources, being named co-conspirators.This bill could be  great step in moving to protect journalists from the Justice Department violating the freedom of the press, but is defining what a journalist is a step in the wrong direction?

The bill doesn’t offer absolute protection. A journalist must reveal the sources if it is a matter of national security.

The bill won’t provide protection for regular American citizens, or any media outlet that is not considered news by the government. Congress could be giving more protection to news outlets that it deems are worthy. Doesn’t the freedom of the press apply to all American citizens?

Does the good this act provide out way the bad? Should protection be provided for everyone or reserved for those who write news stories at “credible” media outlets?

Links to articles

Washington Post; Huffington Post


Google Glasses Create Possible Privacy Issue

Posted by Sarah Fulton

Journalists dream of filming without the camera influencing a subject’s actions. Capturing the natural behaviors of people during a newsworthy event is ideal. With early adapters now using Google Glasses this ideal is well on its way to becoming reality. Journalist Tim Pool used Google Glasses to film incognito during protests in Istanbul. The Glasses allowed him to simply say a voice command to begin filming without having to deal with a larger camera.

Google Glasses

Picture from: Michael Praetorius

However, the subjects of Tim Pool’s videos did not know they were being filmed, which could raise an ethical issue. While people’s public actions are fair game for journalist, the public also generally know they are being filmed. It is hard to miss a large news van or even somebody pointing a cell phone at you. It is not hard to overlook someone wearing glasses simply looking at you.

Whether journalists intend it or not people modify their actions in the presence of a camera. Google glasses deny them the opportunity to do this. Nobody wants to turn on the nightly news to find themself on it unexpectedly.

The question that will be: do the benefits for journalists outweigh the possible privacy issues for the public?

The question will most likely not be answered for a while. The Glasses are not yet available to the public. Beta testers paid $1,500 for their glasses. The consumer Glasses will likely be cheaper but still too expensive for immediate uptake.

A line will need to be defined. During a newsworthy event, like a protest or football game, journalists have the right to film using Glasses. They do not however have the right to film everyday conversations.