posts about or somewhat related to ‘Newsroom’

Best and Worst in Olympic Media Gold
Before we leave the Olympics behind here’s a selective roundup of some of the best (and worst) coverage we saw during the last two weeks.
We call it the FJP Media Games, English Language Edition.
Best Olympic CoverageGold: The BBCWhy: From FJP contributor John Johnston: ”The BBC’s coverage has been amazing throughout. They’ve had a stream of every sport on their website uninterrupted, their live player has had chapters installed to let you go back to any point of the action on their TV stations. They’ve had great pundits, great insight and have just covered it impeccably.”
Best Use of Lego Animations to Get Around IOC Licensing IssuesGold: The GuardianWhy: The International Olympic Committee is rather aggressive when it comes to protecting its brand. Only those who’ve paid steep licensing fees can broadcast moving images and other brand marks associated with the games. (For example, an English butcher near a yachting event was told he couldn’t display his sausages as Olympic rings).
The Guardian obviously didn’t have video to use in its reporting so it did the next — and possibly best — thing: It recreated weightlifting, gymnastics, basketball, track and swimming events out of stop motion legos.
Best Introduction to a Sport We Previously DismissedGold: Brian Phillips, Grantland. Sparkle MotionWhy: Writing on deadline, Phillips needed to come up with something about the Olympics. His plan was to write something snarky about “one of the sillier-sounding Olympic sports ‘race walking, maybe, or trampoline’” but then he discovered a love for Rhythmic Gymnastics:

The problem my little plan almost immediately ran into is that when, as part of my research, I started watching [Rhythmic Gymnastics] videos, I found that I actually liked it. I mean, I think you’re not supposed to say that if you’re an American sports fan with pretensions to red-bloodedness, but fuck it: These women are amazing. If you care about sports on any level beyond box scores and regional rivalries, if you love watching a wide receiver make an acrobatic catch or a striker score an off-balance goal, if you ever feel astonished by, just, like, the incredible things people do with their bodies — then I defy you to watch a few minutes of RG and not think it’s pretty cool.

Best Retro Technology Used to Report The OlympicsGold: The Animated GIFWhy, part 01: As Buzzfeed’s deputy sports editor Kevin Lincoln told Nieman Lab’s Andrew Phelps, “What GIFs do is sort of bridge the gap between an image and a video, which becomes incredibly useful in sports — you don’t have to wade through and listen to an entire highlight video, but at the same time, you get the motion and action that makes sports sports.”
Why, part 02: Check this use of animated GIFs to illustrate how and why a Korean fencer refused to leave the floor after a timing dispute lead to her defeat in a match for Olympic gold.
Best Owning of an Olympic MemeGold: McKayla MaroneyWhy: To be sixteen. To be an odds on favorite to win Olympic gold. To fall short, get caught in a photo with an odd expression your face and have that turn into a viral meme. That is the case of McKayla Maroney. Lesser spirits would hide under the table.
McKayla owns it though, posting a picture of herself and some teammates on Twitter/Instagram that they were #notimpressed that the Olympic pool was closed.
Dishonorable Mention
Worst Olympic CoverageGold: NBCWhy: Criticizing NBC became a sport in itself. But know what? Like other gold medalists, the network earned it. It wasn’t just the tape delays. Here’s a critique from Jim Sylvester in a comment to one of our posts.

NBC is offering some form of reality show that is loosely based on the Olympics, but it is not “sports coverage.” …For one, it lacks coherence.  It’s some sort of wretched compromise between continuous coverage and a Sports Center highlights review.  What NBC is peddling  is chopped up drips and drabs of pieces of events that interrupt the unceasing flow of advertisements - which is the real content being provided.
Supposedly there is an out (but only with a cable subscription - which seems to serve the purposes of NBC’s owner Comcast) to access all events live and online, but as anyone who has suffered with that service knows, it is unreliable, crashes, repeatedly buffers, and is heavily laden with ads imposed at short intervals that can and do interrupt events at critical moments.

Worst Reaction to An Olympic Gold MedalistGold: Some Haters on the Internet to Gabby Douglas’ HairWhy: We consider this self evident.
Most Dickish Profile of an Olympic AthleteGold: Jere Longman, New York Times. For Lolo Jones, Everything Is ImageWhy: From Slate’s Alyssa Rosenberg:

[A]s Olympic gymnastics and swimming competitions wound down and London and the world geared up for track and field, the New York Times published one of the nastiest profiles I’ve ever seen of an athlete, or really anyone, an indictment of the media presence of hurdler Lolo Jones. “Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be—vixen, virgin, victim—to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses,” wrote Jere Longman, in a piece that flayed Jones, while passing less judgment on the media outlets that have asked her to pose while scantily dressed or the companies that have purchased her endorsement.
In an Olympics that’s been marked by stories about the financial woes of athletes, and the financial disparities between the families of competitors, there’s something deeply strange about condemning a competitor for doing what it takes to fund a rigorous training program and to stay financially afloat.

See also, Isaac Rauch, Deadspin. What Did Lolo Jones Ever Do To The New York Times?
Worst Reaction to Olympic Media CriticismGold: (tie) Twitter and NBCWhy: As #NBCFail trended to a fever pitch, Twitter informed NBC how to file a complaint against British journalist Guy Adams for posting the corporate email address of NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel.
NBC followed through and Adams’ account was suspended until public outcry eventually got him reinstated.
Next Up
We’re sure you have your own so hit it in the reblogs or comments below. Next stop, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and then on to Rio.
Image: Evangelia Platanioti and Despoina Solomou of Greece in the synchronized swimming competition. Alberto Pizzoli, AFP/Getty Images, via New York Magazine.

Best and Worst in Olympic Media Gold

Before we leave the Olympics behind here’s a selective roundup of some of the best (and worst) coverage we saw during the last two weeks.

We call it the FJP Media Games, English Language Edition.

Best Olympic Coverage
Gold: The BBC
Why: From FJP contributor John Johnston: ”The BBC’s coverage has been amazing throughout. They’ve had a stream of every sport on their website uninterrupted, their live player has had chapters installed to let you go back to any point of the action on their TV stations. They’ve had great pundits, great insight and have just covered it impeccably.”

Best Use of Lego Animations to Get Around IOC Licensing Issues
Gold: The Guardian
Why: The International Olympic Committee is rather aggressive when it comes to protecting its brand. Only those who’ve paid steep licensing fees can broadcast moving images and other brand marks associated with the games. (For example, an English butcher near a yachting event was told he couldn’t display his sausages as Olympic rings).

The Guardian obviously didn’t have video to use in its reporting so it did the next — and possibly best — thing: It recreated weightlifting, gymnastics, basketball, track and swimming events out of stop motion legos.

Best Introduction to a Sport We Previously Dismissed
Gold: Brian Phillips, Grantland. Sparkle Motion
Why: Writing on deadline, Phillips needed to come up with something about the Olympics. His plan was to write something snarky about “one of the sillier-sounding Olympic sports ‘race walking, maybe, or trampoline’” but then he discovered a love for Rhythmic Gymnastics:

The problem my little plan almost immediately ran into is that when, as part of my research, I started watching [Rhythmic Gymnastics] videos, I found that I actually liked it. I mean, I think you’re not supposed to say that if you’re an American sports fan with pretensions to red-bloodedness, but fuck it: These women are amazing. If you care about sports on any level beyond box scores and regional rivalries, if you love watching a wide receiver make an acrobatic catch or a striker score an off-balance goal, if you ever feel astonished by, just, like, the incredible things people do with their bodies — then I defy you to watch a few minutes of RG and not think it’s pretty cool.

Best Retro Technology Used to Report The Olympics
Gold: The Animated GIF
Why, part 01: As Buzzfeed’s deputy sports editor Kevin Lincoln told Nieman Lab’s Andrew Phelps, “What GIFs do is sort of bridge the gap between an image and a video, which becomes incredibly useful in sports — you don’t have to wade through and listen to an entire highlight video, but at the same time, you get the motion and action that makes sports sports.”

Why, part 02: Check this use of animated GIFs to illustrate how and why a Korean fencer refused to leave the floor after a timing dispute lead to her defeat in a match for Olympic gold.

Best Owning of an Olympic Meme
Gold: McKayla Maroney
Why: To be sixteen. To be an odds on favorite to win Olympic gold. To fall short, get caught in a photo with an odd expression your face and have that turn into a viral meme. That is the case of McKayla Maroney. Lesser spirits would hide under the table.

McKayla owns it though, posting a picture of herself and some teammates on Twitter/Instagram that they were #notimpressed that the Olympic pool was closed.

Dishonorable Mention

Worst Olympic Coverage
Gold: NBC
Why: Criticizing NBC became a sport in itself. But know what? Like other gold medalists, the network earned it. It wasn’t just the tape delays. Here’s a critique from Jim Sylvester in a comment to one of our posts.

NBC is offering some form of reality show that is loosely based on the Olympics, but it is not “sports coverage.” …For one, it lacks coherence.  It’s some sort of wretched compromise between continuous coverage and a Sports Center highlights review.  What NBC is peddling  is chopped up drips and drabs of pieces of events that interrupt the unceasing flow of advertisements - which is the real content being provided.

Supposedly there is an out (but only with a cable subscription - which seems to serve the purposes of NBC’s owner Comcast) to access all events live and online, but as anyone who has suffered with that service knows, it is unreliable, crashes, repeatedly buffers, and is heavily laden with ads imposed at short intervals that can and do interrupt events at critical moments.

Worst Reaction to An Olympic Gold Medalist
Gold: Some Haters on the Internet to Gabby Douglas’ Hair
Why: We consider this self evident.

Most Dickish Profile of an Olympic Athlete
Gold: Jere Longman, New York Times. For Lolo Jones, Everything Is Image
Why: From Slate’s Alyssa Rosenberg:

[A]s Olympic gymnastics and swimming competitions wound down and London and the world geared up for track and field, the New York Times published one of the nastiest profiles I’ve ever seen of an athlete, or really anyone, an indictment of the media presence of hurdler Lolo Jones. “Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be—vixen, virgin, victim—to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses,” wrote Jere Longman, in a piece that flayed Jones, while passing less judgment on the media outlets that have asked her to pose while scantily dressed or the companies that have purchased her endorsement.

In an Olympics that’s been marked by stories about the financial woes of athletes, and the financial disparities between the families of competitors, there’s something deeply strange about condemning a competitor for doing what it takes to fund a rigorous training program and to stay financially afloat.

See also, Isaac Rauch, Deadspin. What Did Lolo Jones Ever Do To The New York Times?

Worst Reaction to Olympic Media Criticism
Gold: (tie) Twitter and NBC
Why: As #NBCFail trended to a fever pitch, Twitter informed NBC how to file a complaint against British journalist Guy Adams for posting the corporate email address of NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel.

NBC followed through and Adams’ account was suspended until public outcry eventually got him reinstated.

Next Up

We’re sure you have your own so hit it in the reblogs or comments below. Next stop, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and then on to Rio.

Image: Evangelia Platanioti and Despoina Solomou of Greece in the synchronized swimming competition. Alberto Pizzoli, AFP/Getty Images, via New York Magazine.

Facebook’s New… Newsrooms?

 
On Sunday, Facebook quietly registered a series of “Facebook Newsroom” domains—a move that seems to signal that Facebook’s entering the media content game in a new way. Three domains were registered, according to Fusible, facebook-newsroom.com, facebook-newsroom.org, and facebook-newsroom.net. Facebook is listed on Whois.com as the registrant, administrative contact, and technical contact for all three.
The Facebook Newsroom project looks like it could be similar to another Facebook project:Facebook Studio (facebook-studio.com) is a community for advertisers and marketers that already has more than 400,000 participants and observers.

continue reading at Fast Company

Facebook’s New… Newsrooms?

On Sunday, Facebook quietly registered a series of “Facebook Newsroom” domains—a move that seems to signal that Facebook’s entering the media content game in a new way. Three domains were registered, according to Fusible, facebook-newsroom.com, facebook-newsroom.org, and facebook-newsroom.net. Facebook is listed on Whois.com as the registrant, administrative contact, and technical contact for all three.

The Facebook Newsroom project looks like it could be similar to another Facebook project:Facebook Studio (facebook-studio.com) is a community for advertisers and marketers that already has more than 400,000 participants and observers.

continue reading at Fast Company

 
Heron: “I think my job will probably not exist in five years.” 

Why the social media editor job may be a transitional one. -by Megan Garber
via Nieman Lab 

Heron: “I think my job will probably not exist in five years.” 

Why the social media editor job may be a transitional one. -by Megan Garber

via Nieman Lab 

The bigger issue is that journalists are completely innumerate. I can count on one hand the number of journalists who have any understanding of mathematics.

Andrew, in response to this

Not to totally excuse David Brooks here, but his editors share the blame here. A good editor is a reader advocate, and should be adding up and questioning these figures during the editing process.

This is a particular problem with opinion pieces; we’ve all read columns that are chock full of outrageous, untrue bullshit. Editors who let this stuff through typically do it with the excuse that “this is an opinion piece.” True, but facts aren’t a matter of opinion, and a publication has abdicated its role if it allows its opinion writers to publish things that are simply wrong. 

(via markcoatney)

(via markcoatney)

[Phone sex] is not so unlike being a reporter. A central challenge of success at both is keeping random strangers—horny guys, hostile hedge-fund managers—on the phone, talking to you, confessing to you, growing fond of you, resolving to talk to you again. And at all times, phone-sex operators, like reporters, are expected to remain detached, wise to “The Game,” objective—but in a way, that’s crap. It’s not easy to become beloved by strangers if not a single part of you truly yearns for that love.

— Maureen Tkacik, Columbia Journalism Review, Look At Me! A writer’s search for journalism in the age of branding.

Let me tell you a thing or two about editors. Most that I’ve known have mistakenly thought they, and not the writers, deserved the credit for all the good pieces that run in their publication and none of the blame for the bad ones. (I think this held true for me, too, when I was an editor!) Try complimenting an editor sometime about a good piece in his publication, and you’re certain to get this eye-rolling response: “You shoulda seen it when it came in!” For this reason alone, editors should be sentenced to perpetual anonymity

…Not to go all Ed Anger on you, but editor credits make my bowels seize the same way the “letters from the editor” in some magazines do. Graydon Carter! Shut up and let me read my Vanity Fair in peace! I don’t want to know more about the writer of the story, how the story came together, and how wonderful it is. Just let me intuit all of that from reading the story itself.

On Monday’s edition of NPR’s All Things Considered, host Robert Siegal interviewed Andy Carvin, NPR’s Senior Strategist for Social Media.

Carvin has virtually become a one man news wire with his Twitter curation of MENA protests in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya among other hotspots. In this brief interview, Carvin explains his processes, how he tries to verify trusted sources and a little bit about what the medium and platform is doing for journalism.

Typically what happens is I start in a country and just think about who are the people that I already know. So, for example, during the Egyptian and the Tunisian uprisings, I had a lot of contacts in each country, at least half a dozen or so that I felt comfortable re-tweeting. And then as time goes by, you get a sense of who they trust as well. Who are they talking to? Who are they re-tweeting?

Libya has been a lot more complex because there aren’t many people there who are on Twitter, rumors of it being shut down altogether. And so, it’s been tough. I had to essentially start from scratch in order to find some sources there. But fortunately, there do seem to be some, including one young man who’s been sending out a live video stream. He’s reporting what he’s hearing from friends around the country. And it’s been absolutely riveting.

Run Time: 4:43. Transcript.

Lessons in Narrative Journalism →

With bells, whistles and technologies oh, my, we sometimes miss the forest for the trees, forgetting that good journalism is good facts wrapped with good storytelling.

Steve Buttry, Director of Community Engagement at TBD, walks us through one of his favorite reported pieces and gives the following tips on creating engaging narrative journalism:

  • Write as you report
  • Get tapes where you can
  • Get records where you can
  • Identify story elements
  • Use dialogue instead of quotes
  • Keep you lead brief and enticing
  • Identify your key moments
  • Keep your beginning in mind when you write the ending
  • Read your story aloud

For details on each of these bullets, visit Steve’s blog.

ReportingOn: A Post Mortem →

In 2008, Ryan Sholin won a Knight News Challenge grant to create ReportingOn, a Web-based application to connect reporters working on similar stories so that they could share information.

Earlier this week, he mothballed the project and wrote a few words about the experience.

And a few recommendations for developers of software “for journalists:”

  • Reporters don’t want to talk about unpublished stories in public.
  • Unless they’re looking for sources.
  • There are some great places on the Internet to find sources.
  • When they do talk about unpublished stories among themselves, they do it in familiar, well-lit places, like e-mail or the telephone. Not in your application.
  • Actually, keep this in mind: Unless what you’re building meets a very journalism-specific need, you’re probably grinding your gears to build something “for journalists” when they just need a great communication tool, independent of any particular niche or category of users.

From: Sammon, Bill
To: 169 -SPECIAL REPORT; 036 -FOX.WHU; 054 -FNSunday; 030 -Root (FoxNews.Com); 050 -Senior Producers; 051 -Producers; 069 -Politics; 005 -Washington
Cc: Clemente, Michael; Stack, John; Wallace, Jay; Smith, Sean
Sent: Tue Dec 08 12:49:51 2009
Subject: Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data…

…we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.

— Bill Sammon, Washington Bureau Chief, Fox News, advising news anchors on how they should report climate science.

How Should We Update Our News Apps? →

Colombia’s El Tiempo updates its iPad app with two “editions” each day, one morning, one night.

Writes Mario Gargia:

Indeed, a much debated topic in news app development is the frequency with which they must be updated.  I have stated my position on the topic earlier: the app is a medium for relaxation and not for constant beeps and updates.  However, I understand this is an issue that has two strong sides for debate.

In the case of El Tiempo, and as I was involved with the early stages of creation for the app, I proposed the idea of editioning, nothing new if you are a journalist of a certain age and remember when US newspapers had morning and evening editions, and sometimes even three a day.

What do you think? Should the app edition update continuously, RSS style, or as a delivered bundle of new stories?

The Guardian Explains its Javascript Interactive
Time once was that interactives were created in Flash. Now, not so much. Javascript frameworks allow quick, rich, interactive deployment of data sets with all the whizz bang animation and movement users could want as they explore content.
The Guardian notes this, and gives a nod to Apple’s well-known refusal to support Flash on its mobile devices, as they explain how they put together their interactive on how British soldiers have died in Afghanistan.

The original Flash version fetched data from an XML document. The updating process was fairly long-winded, requiring a developer to update the XML then upload it along with new images. Now, journalists can update a public Google Spreadsheet and use existing editor tools to upload appropriate images. They then publish the spreadsheet and the application fetches a JSON object from the spreadsheet’s Atom feed on page load, resulting in live updates with no involvement from anyone on the development team…
…The JavaScript used is fairly straightforward; get data from the Atom feed and parse it to create the markup. We have a JavaScript carousel object which controls the pagination and use lazy loading to display the full size image of the soldiers to try and cut down on the number of initial HTTP requests.

Nice work.

The Guardian Explains its Javascript Interactive

Time once was that interactives were created in Flash. Now, not so much. Javascript frameworks allow quick, rich, interactive deployment of data sets with all the whizz bang animation and movement users could want as they explore content.

The Guardian notes this, and gives a nod to Apple’s well-known refusal to support Flash on its mobile devices, as they explain how they put together their interactive on how British soldiers have died in Afghanistan.

The original Flash version fetched data from an XML document. The updating process was fairly long-winded, requiring a developer to update the XML then upload it along with new images. Now, journalists can update a public Google Spreadsheet and use existing editor tools to upload appropriate images. They then publish the spreadsheet and the application fetches a JSON object from the spreadsheet’s Atom feed on page load, resulting in live updates with no involvement from anyone on the development team…

…The JavaScript used is fairly straightforward; get data from the Atom feed and parse it to create the markup. We have a JavaScript carousel object which controls the pagination and use lazy loading to display the full size image of the soldiers to try and cut down on the number of initial HTTP requests.

Nice work.

People from the digital world are always saying we don’t need journalists at all because information is everywhere and there in no barrier to entry. But these documents provide a good answer to that question. Even though journalists didn’t dig them out, there is a great deal of value in their efforts to explain and examine them. Who else would have had the energy or resources to do what these news organization have done?

— Nicholas Lemann, Dean, Columbia University School of Journalism, on the role of news organizations in the age of WikiLeaks.

…I’m afraid we can no longer afford someone of your caliber…

…I’m afraid we can no longer afford someone of your caliber…