From “mojo” to data viz: Five takeaways from the International Symposium of Online Journalism

Mobile journalists, or "mojos," in training. (Credit: Allissa Richardson/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Mobile journalists, or “mojos,” in training. (Credit: Allissa Richardson/Flickr/Creative Commons License

On April 19 to 20, more than 300 journalists from around the world descended on Austin for a sold-out conference on online journalism. The International Symposium of Online Journalism, hosted by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, featured a host of new media gurus discussing everything from “mojos” to data visualization. A selection of takeaways: [Read more…]

Reader reporting finding flaws in Cheney story

If you are looking for a strong example of reader-driver distributed news reporting, click over to Josh Marshall’s today. Under a post by Paul Begala, readers are filling in the details of Vice President Dick Cheney’s shooting a fellow hunter in Texas over the weekend.

Readers with hunting experience are blowing a hole (I know, really bad pun) in newspaper reports that Cheney stood 30 feet to 30 yards away from the victim when the vice president shot him. Based on the reported number of pellet strikes, the hit pattern and the number of pellets in a shell, readers are concluding that the victim may have been shot at close to point-blank range.

Another administration cover-up? Whatever the case, this incident may yet provide another example of how the Internet can connect thousands of sharp readers who, collectively, can find flaws in stories that a small handful of traditional reporters might miss.

Be careful when syndicating Web headlines

Here’s another example of what can go wrong when you send your publication’s headlines to another website.

I was looking for a specific L.A. Times story on Yahoo News this morning. And on Yahoo’s L.A. Times headlines page I found the following link five stories down:

“Major Quake Jolts San Fernando Valley
Thu Feb 9, 7:55 AM ET”

What the heck?!? I didn’t feel a quake, and I’m in nearby Pasadena. Did I sleep through it? What’s going on?

I click the link in about 3 microseconds, only to find a story with the overhead “TIMES PAST: FEB. 9, 1971.”

Nope, I didn’t sleep through that quake. In fact, I remember it well. But it ain’t exactly news anymore. So why scare readers by including it in a daily news feed?