We’re not looking to discover real-time content on Facebook. They clutter up the design. So why add them? Firstly, the same kind of “me too” behavior that led Facebook to rename “subscribers” — people who receive your public updates but aren’t actual friends — to “followers.” Many people post their Twitter updates to Facebook automatically, so the social network might as well utilize the hashtags in those tweets.
The second reason is a common one for Facebook engineers, whose slogan is “move fast and break things.” Even if a user does only use hashtags once in a blue moon, they will help Facebook learn a little bit more about that user’s likes and dislikes. This enables the social network to serve you more targeted ads. (Advertisers can’t buy hashtags yet, but have no doubt: that’s coming.)
This morning, media pros gathered at the Bryant Park Grill for the inaugural “Media Minds” breakfast, featuring Tim Armstrong, chairman and CEO of AOL, and Susan Lyne, the newly installed CEO of AOL’s brand group. Alex Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics & Public Policy at Harvard, moderated the event, which covered everything from women in leadership roles to the Time Inc. spinoff. While the panelists shared many insights, Armstrong’s comments on the future of content were heartening.
While the rise of digital has been blamed for the “death” of journalism, people are still voracious content consumers. ”Technology changes a lot, but human behavior doesn’t change as much,” said Armstrong. “One of the things that’s most important to [humans] is trusting information.” He cited Google eye-tracking studies that show that, when people search, they immediately look at the URL after seeing a result to asses where the information came from. “Human beings want fast information from trusted sources… trusted brands of information, and I believe trusted brands of information come from powerful sources of people.” That means you, editors and journos. continued…
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Reporters Without Borders is appalled by journalist José Roberto Ornelas de Lemos' murder in Rio de Janeiro state on 11 June (picture). The editor of the Hora H newspaper, he was shot 44 times from a car while visiting a bakery.
The media freedom organization also condemns the way military police treated journalists covering a street protest against bus fare hikes the same day in the city of São Paulo.
Three journalists were arrested during clashes between police and demonstrators on São Paulo's Paulista Avenue. Two of them – Leandro Machado of the Folha de S. Paulo daily and photographer Leandro Morais of the Universo Online news portal – were charged with obstructing the police and were released after one hour.
But the third, Pedro Ribeiro Nogueira of Portal Aprendiz, was absurdly charged with “forming a criminal gang” and “property damage,” and is still being held.
And a fourth journalist, Fernando Mellis of the R7 news portal, was attacked by members of the military police after watching them hit a demonstrator. One of them used his baton to hit Mellis in the ribs although the reporter had shown them his press badge.
“We call for Ribeiro Nogueira's immediate release as he is being held for ridiculous reasons,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“These police abuses constitute serious violations of freedom of information. The media play a key role during demonstrations, by reporting demonstrators' demands, covering the authorities' response and allowing a debate about the demands to emerge.”
Reporters Without Borders added: “Journalists must not be treated as if they were demonstrators. The police must undertake to respect their neutrality and their physical integrity."
Hail of bullets
Ornelas de Lemos, 45, was murdered in a bakery in Nova Iguaçu, a municipality that is part of the Baixada Fluminense region just to the north of Rio de Janeiro city. He was killed in a hail of bullets fired by four men aboard a car.
His brother, Luciano, said Ornelas de Lemos had received phone threats and had seen suspicious-looking cars loitering in his neighbourhood. The brother thought his death was linked to the newspaper's frequent outspoken criticism of the police and local politicians.
“We urge the police, who are already investigating the murder, to do everything possible to establish the motive,” Reporters Without Borders said. “They must not rule out the possibility that it was linked to his work as a journalist.”
Since the start of 2013, Ornelas de Lemos is the fourth Brazilian journalist to be the victim of a murder that is probably or definitely connected with their work. Brazil continues to be the western hemisphere's deadliest country for journalists in 2013.
Dallas-area students who are tardy or accused of unexcused absences are allegedly being handcuffed at school, forced into court and saddled with fines of up to $500 — in violation of their constitutional and civil rights, according to a complaint three civil rights groups filed Wednesday with the U.S. Justice Department.
The complaint was filed against four Texas school districts in the Dallas region and against Dallas County truancy courts, where children accused of excessive absences must appear before judges.
The complaint, which asks federal officials to intervene, alleges that students’ rights are violated because they appear in court for prosecution on misdemeanor charges with no appointed counsel; are inappropriately restrained; and are not adequately advised of their rights. The rights of children and parents who speak limited English and of disabled children have also been violated, the rights groups allege.
The Center contacted the independent school districts named in the complaint — Richardson, Mesquite, Dallas and Garland — and the truancy courts, but not all were available for comment. The districts that did respond said they were complying with the law, and using the truancy courts only as a last resort.
Attorneys with Texas Appleseed, a nonprofit law group, the National Center for Youth Law and Disability Rights Texas filed the complaint on behalf of seven children.
Texas courts, the complaint charges, pursued about 113,000 truancy cases against children ages 12-17 in 2012, allegedly more than twice the number of truancy cases prosecuted in the other 49 states combined. Dallas County prosecutes more truancy cases than any other county in Texas, with more than 36,000 cases filed in 2012.
The courts collected in excess of $2.9 million in truancy fines in 2012. According to the complaint, that’s equivalent to about 75 percent of the Dallas Truancy Courts’ total operational costs per year.
Deputy Director of Texas Appleseed Deborah Fowler told the Center for Public Integrity she observed truancy court proceedings over the course of a year and witnessed tactics she believed amounted to intimidation.
“The pressure on children during the plea process,” the complaint says, “is amplified by the truancy court’s threat of jail.” The complaint went to say that “families regularly reported that judges threatened to send children to jail, even children who were too young to be sent to jail.”
“During one court proceeding,” the complaint alleges, “a judge told a student that he would be ‘happy to take two days out of [the student’s] life’ by sending him to jail and that the student would ‘never get [those days] back again.’ ”
Richardson Independent School District published a statement saying that it complies with Texas Law in prosecuting truancy, and works proactively to educate students and parents about attendance expectations.
Laura Jobe, an administrative officer for communication for Mesquite Independent School District, said it treats truancy courts as “a last resort.” The district has no current plans to update their truancy policy or practices, but will be reviewing the concerns raised in the complaint.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told the Dallas Morning News that that representatives of the three law centers spent days in court “harassing” families, and looking for disgruntled defendants.
“People who are being held accountable for not complying with the law are generally not happy about it,” the Morning News quoted the judge saying.
Attorneys with the law centers told the Center that schools in the Dallas area have developed a variety of stringent policies and anti-truancy rules that are often confusing and overly punitive.
In some schools, turning in a doctor’s note three days late means a sickness is counted as an unexcused absence. Three absences can lead to a Class C misdemeanor ticket, which carries up to $500 fines and if not paid, the risk of jail time once a minor turns 17.
One student named in the complaint, Brittany Brown, is a special-education student who claims to have received erroneous unexcused absences by her school. At her hearing, Brown appeared with no counsel, the complaint says, and her mother threatened with contempt of court.
Another student named in the complaint only by her initials, J.D., allegedly missed school because of illness – she suffers from asthma — and was prosecuted for truancy for failing to turn in a doctor’s note within three days.
Another student, K.W., has missed school because of her mother’s serious illness and was prosecuted for absences, the complaint says.
Michael Harris, senior attorney for the National Center for Youth Law, said he wonders if courts have grown accustomed to the flow of cash.
“Over and over again, they were really focused on extracting money from the students or the parents,” he told the Center. “We heard judges many times threaten students or parents with jail time if they did not pay these fines. It was really frightening. If they are under 17, then the judge really doesn't have the authority to put them in jail, but the kids don’t know that.”
The complaint is filed with the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Equal Education Opportunities Section. The complaint asks that the Justice Department declare the practice of prosecuting truancy as a crime as unconstitutional.
It also asks that schools be required to exhaust school-based and community-based intervention programs to deal with unexcused absences and turn to courts only as a last resort.
The complaint asks that federal officials require that school districts direct teachers and administrators to consider reasonable explanations for class tardiness and absences, and modify polices to ensure that disability-related absences are properly excused.
On the second day of a two-day visit to Athens in the wake of the Greek government's abrupt closure of state broadcaster ERT's three TV stations, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire called today for a “media spring” in Greece.
In interviews for various media, including those of ERT, and in an address to thousands of demonstrators outside ERT headquarters today, Deloire stressed RWB's solidarity with the Greek public, Greece's journalists and ERT employees following the closure, which led RWB to ask in a release yesterday whether the government was trying to “economize on democracy.”
Deloire urged the Greek Council of State to “take all necessary measures so that the reopening of the ERT group and a resumption of service by the disconnected TV stations can be carried out as soon as possible.”
Recalling the democratic requirements for European Union membership and article 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which says that, “The freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected,” Deloire called on EU bodies to “take a position on the legality of the Greek government's decision to close the state broadcaster.”
But Deloire also referred to the many other difficulties experienced by news providers in Greece in recent years and stressed that “reopening ERT will not be enough.”
“It is the entire media system that must be transformed,” he said. “It is time to end the conflicts of interest, the lack of transparency and the political affiliations. A transition from a state broadcaster to a public broadcaster that really serves the Greek people should be a government priority.”
Deloire also stressed the importance for Greek democracy of “independent journalists in both state and privately-owned media, journalists who resist government pressure, personal interests and self-censorship, journalists without links to political party, journalists capable of playing the role of watchdog and reporting the truth to the Greek people.”
To ensure the media's independence, Deloire said, “a new basic law on media freedom, guaranteeing pluralism, must be adopted and implemented.” He also urged the Greek authorities to “stop intervening in the media and stop prosecuting journalists in connection with their reporting.”
He finally urged the Greek authorities “to be uncompromising in dealing with violations of freedom of information” and to “end the climate of impunity surrounding the repeated acts of violence against journalists.”
The coverage on Nieman Journalism Lab yesterday of the Engaging News Project pretty much ruined my coffee break as I clicked through the research: there are few things I love more than seemingly wonky research about journalism and democracy. Especially when it’s put in action. Talia Stroud’s research shows, in the most simple explanation, that when you change the language, it can also change how people engage with your website. That should perk most of our ears up. If you want, you can already start making your readers ‘Respect’ stories instead of ‘Like’ them with a WordPress plug-in.
What you can’t make people do, according to her research, is actively seek out information that goes against their views, or their niche. That sounds like old news to me. We’re all in our own little ‘bubbles’ to use Bill Maher’s lingo. That’s bad for democracy, but good for online publishers. It also has something to do with why magazines have fared better in a digital landscape. Chris Hughes of The New Republic spoke to a lot of like-minded, nodding heads this week about how readers (users? can we agree on a terminology?) still look for ‘curated editorial experiences’ whether online or off. That’s something not easy to do with a daily news site, but the goal of most magazines — whether it’s the New Republic or Slate or Field and Stream.
Apart from saving democracy from ourselves online, the Respect button has my head spinning for another reason. In terms of design and user experience, it’s hard for pubs to break out of the Web 2.0 standards whether it’s about asking readers to like things, comment, or use hashtags. I’m sure there are many strategists and design experts who haven’t slept considering the same things. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing that everything starts to look the same, all the time. I don’t know for how much longer I even want to ‘like’, let alone ‘respect’ content online, although that’s the formula publications work with to determine all the numbers that make up their bottom line.
Maybe it’s the stormy weather on the East Coast that has me thinking too much about it — but what do you think? If we’ve moved past Web 2.0 and onto the semantic web, how does that affect how we’ll have to start thinking about reader engagement and page design? Is it just that we’ll be able to better search our hashtags and generate more niche content to read?
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Ik lees DeWereldMorgen.be omdat ik graag weet hoe het er in de wereld aan toe gaat.
Een krant lezen is hetzelfde als naar het nieuws kijken op TV. Vooral ongelukken en persoonlijke ongemakken ter plaatse, en verder een selectie van gebeurtenissen die sterk de indruk geeft van een vooringenomen standpunt. Nieuwslijn 'Een goed doordacht wereldbeeld' Leona Maes steunt DeWereldMorgen.be omdat ze “graag weet hoe het er in de wereld aan toe gaat”...
Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by journalist and cartoonist Charles Fils Elangue's detention for the past six days in the business capital of Douala pending payment of a fine, damages and legal costs in a defamation case heard before a court in the Douala district of Ndokoti.
The court ordered Elangue's detention on 7 June after ruling that he must pay 2 million CFA francs (3,000 euros) in damages, a fine of 500,000 CFA francs (760 euros) and court costs of 156,000 CFA francs (240 euros) in a lawsuit brought by the wife of the musician Njohreur.
“A disturbing trend can be seen in the way media cases are handled in Douala,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Plaintiffs, often influential local figures with an increasing readiness to sue, seem to be benefitting from the complicity of judges, who rule in their favour even when there is no evidence against the defendant."
“This local microcosm seems bent on deterring journalists from doing their job to report the news and investigate corruption. We condemn the Ndokoti court's regrettable decision and call for Elangue's immediate release. After a brief respite, the jailing of journalists in defamation cases seems to have resumed in Cameroon.”
Elangue, who works for various media including ABK television, was found guilty of defamation and “spreading false news through the press” in a 2012 article for the Kawali website. As soon as the court issued the detention order, he was taken to Douala's New-Bell prison.
A drawn-out defamation case ended on 25 March with Jean-Marie Tchatchouang, the publisher of the monthly Paroles, being sentenced to two months in prison and a fine of 500,000 CFA francs (760 euros). The judge also ordered him to pay 2.5 million CFA francs (3,800 euros) in damages and to suspend publishing. His monthly has nonetheless continued to appear.
He was found guilty of libelling Jean Ernest Ngallè Bibéhé, the CEO of the urban transport company Socatur, in a series of articles in November and December 2010 about alleged corruption within the company. Tchatchouang was released on 24 May after completing the jail sentence and a court was due to begin hearing his appeal today.
Tchatchouang already received a six-month suspended prison sentence in 2011 in connection with the same libel action. So the courts have convicted him twice on the same charge, albeit for a different article.
More information about media freedom in Cameroon
The public still believes that one of the most important roles the media can play is to act as a watchdog holding key institutions and individuals to account, according to a new cross-national study.
The watchdog journalism model is one of the most popular among journalists worldwide and reflects the long‐established liberal conception of the news media as the fourth estate. But critics have argued recently that journalism has become indiscriminately critical and corrosively cynical of officials and candidates. They complain that this can lead to overemphasized sensational reporting that is argued to increase apathy and cynicism about politics and to decrease news credibility.
A study by Nael Jebril at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism argues in his paper: “Is Watchdog Journalism Satisfactory Journalism? A Cross-national Study of Public Satisfaction with Political Coverage” that the public want watchdog journalism: they are more satisfied with news outlets that they believe fulfil this function.
The study surveyed public attitudes to the media in three European countries: Spain, Great Britain and Denmark. The researchers used Daniel C. Hallin and Paolo Mancini’s classic work “Comparing Media Systems: Models of Media and Politics,” to select the countries. Britain represents the Liberal Model known for its early development of press freedom and the predominance of commercial and professional journalism. Denmark represents the Democratic Corporatist Model, which features a strong mass-circulation commercial press and media that are tied to political and civil groups, the presence of both political parallelism and professionalization, and the traditions of both press freedom and active state intervention. Spain represents the Polarized Pluralist Model, which is characterized by a high degree of political parallelism and a weak development of the commercial press. The country also features a relatively weak public service regulation compared to Britain and Denmark.
Taking advantage of the cross-national design, the paper examines whether differences in news satisfaction can be explained by the perceived presence (or absence) of watchdog journalism.
A two-wave panel survey with a representative sample of the Danish, British and Spanish populations was conducted through managed online access panels. The general population targeted was from 18-65 years old and the questionnaire length was about 15 minutes for each wave.
The response rates in Denmark were 75 percent in wave I and 68.2 percent in wave II; in Britain 63.3 percent in wave I and 74.4 percent in wave II; and in Spain 74.7 percent in wave I and 74.6 percent in wave II. A net sample of 1,539 respondents in Denmark, 1,571 respondents in Britain, and 1,642 respondents in Spain participated in both waves.
In this study news satisfaction is conceived as a response following media exposure. News is assumed to be a product vested with public interest rather than a commodity product and an evaluation of media use is assumed to precede the feeling of satisfaction.
The study points out that the watchdog model has important implications for the relationship between the media and the state. While authoritarian theories hold that journalism should always be subordinate to the interests of the state in maintaining social order or achieving political goals, the liberal press theory expects the press to provide a marketplace of ideas and sees the government as the primary (if not only) threat to press freedom. In addition, the watchdog model dominates the occupational ideology of journalists.
The ideal of objectivity is central to journalists’ professional self-perception. Although no one can be value neutral, journalists and researchers adopt concepts such as fairness, professional distance, or impartiality. The watchdog journalist is, above all, a broker of relevant information with a distinctive, objective style of reporting based on facts. The watchdog role is also meant to distinguish between factual coverage and commentary.
To measure perceived watchdog reporting, respondents were asked to rate each news outlet (per country) according to the following watchdog criteria: objective, informative, and critical-of-government news reporting. The question was: “Media are different in the way they operate and cover issues. Using the scale provided, please rate each of the following media.”
Danes and Brits perceive the journalistic style of their media to be significantly more in line with the watchdog ideal than the general population in Spain.
The Spanish audience is also the least satisfied with media coverage. To measure audience satisfaction with political coverage respondents were asked to answer the following question: “How satisfied or not are you with the way in which national politics is covered by the media in general?” The results show that Denmark comprises the largest proportion of highly satisfied individuals (55 percent), followed by Britain (40 percent ), then Spain (33 percent). Denmark also has the smallest proportion of dissatisfied respondents (20 percent), followed by Britain (26 percent), then Spain (34 percent). On average, respondents in Denmark and Britain showed the highest levels of overall satisfaction with political coverage, and those in Spain the lowest.
Citizens in Denmark and Britain perceive their media to act more as watchdogs than citizens in Spain do. Danish citizens are by far the most satisfied with their media’s coverage of politics, followed by Britain. In Spain, the satisfaction is the lowest with more than one-third being outright dissatisfied. The analysis shows that perceived watchdog reporting increases satisfaction with political coverage; the more respondents perceived news media to perform according to the watchdog journalistic ideal, the more they are satisfied with the overall coverage of national politics.
The analysis further provides that respondents’ perceptions of watchdog coverage mediate the effects of news exposure on satisfaction with political coverage.
Journalism researchers generally agree about the inadequacy of the watchdog model as an empirical journalistic standard. Objectivity, informational quality, and critical stances to power holders do not always go together. That said, Jebril argues that the evidence provided in this paper suggests a rather favorable public perception of that model. The general public appreciate the media acting as watchdog, regardless of critics’ fears that it may eventually lead to cynicism and disaffection with politics.
Critics have claimed that there is potential conflict between the ideal of objectivity and the need for the journalist to function as an active watchdog in the public interest. This study has shown however that the public believe journalists can be objective while being critical of government, and are happier with media that combines both.
Photo by: flickr4jazz / Flickr CC
Reactions have been mixed to the unveiling of Apple’s new iOS 7, available in autumn. New features that are better suited to users habits have been welcomed while the move away from skeuomorphism – using real-world textures like wood or leather – to a flatter, more cartoon-like appearance has been greeted with uncertainty.
Cosmetic aspects aside, mobile reporting expert Neal Augenstein and the Nieman Lab’s Joshua Benton have been musing on what the changes and updates could mean for journalists and news outlets. If you’re an Apple user it is well worth having a read of Augenstein’s first thoughts and Benton’s early conclusions.Similar Posts:
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