posts about or somewhat related to ‘journalist’

Journalists: spend $10 to buy and get a Twitter handle →


A chilling USA Today story Misinformation campaign targets USA TODAY reporter, editor is currently dominating the Muck Rack Newsroom:

“A USA TODAY reporter and editor investigating Pentagon propaganda contractors have themselves been subjected to a propaganda campaign of sorts, waged on the Internet through a series of bogus websites.”

Everyone is vulnerable to misinformation attacks on the web, but journalists who haven’t put effort into building their digital identities are particularly at risk. For example, both of the victims hadn’t spent $10 to buy their domain names:

“Internet domain registries show the website was created Jan. 7 — just days after Pentagon reporter Tom Vanden Brook first contacted Pentagon contractors involved in the program. Two weeks after his editor Ray Locker’s byline appeared on a story, someone created a similar site,, through the same company.”

As a result, the bogus site is still the 4th non-news Google result for Tom Vanden Brook:

Had this news not broken, the fake site would have been the first non-USA Today result for Tom’s name.

Had Tom set up a site on his own domain name, a Twitter profile and a Muck Rack profile, it’s unlikely a bogus site would have so quickly made it to the first page of Google results for his name.

We’ve said before that journalists owe it to their readers not to be phished. They also need to be proactive about establishing their digital identities before someone else does.

FJP: Abide this Muck Rack pro tip.

The depressing tale of Johann Hari

The key passage from the apology runs:

I did two wrong and stupid things. The first concerns some people I interviewed over the years. When I recorded and typed up any conversation, I found something odd: points that sounded perfectly clear when you heard them being spoken often don’t translate to the page. They can be quite confusing and unclear. When this happened, if the interviewee had made a similar point in their writing (or, much more rarely, when they were speaking to somebody else), I would use those words instead. At the time, I justified this to myself by saying I was giving the clearest possible representation of what the interviewee thought, in their most considered and clear words.
But I was wrong. An interview isn’t an X-ray of a person’s finest thoughts. It’s a report of an encounter. If you want to add material from elsewhere, there are conventions that let you do that. You write “she has said,” instead of “she says”. You write “as she told the New York Times” or “as she says in her book”, instead of just replacing the garbled chunk she said with the clear chunk she wrote or said elsewhere. If I had asked the many experienced colleagues I have here at The Independent – who have always been very generous with their time – they would have told me that, and they would have explained just how wrong I was. It was arrogant and stupid of me not to ask

Read it quickly, and it sounds terrifically contrite. Read it carefully, and Mr Hari is actually blaming his interviewees for their lack of verbal polish. It is a nifty defence: there he was, travelling the world to meet all these famous and brilliant people, conducting all these excellent interviews, only to find, on returning to his hotel room to transcribes his tapes, that time and again his subjects had garbled their lines.

Read the entire article at The Economist

You’re not less important than the job — the job is just more important than anything else.

Tom Chambers writes 5 things you should know before dating a journalist.

What are your top reasons for dating a journalist, or maybe for not dating a journalist?

H/T: ProBlogger