Public news consumption and journalistic objectivity and accountability in the social media era

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The values of both traditional and new media seem to have merged as the popularity of social media as news platforms has significantly grown in recent years. Public news consumption also seems to be shifting away from traditional to digital media. Journalists should keep up with the changing media landscape and not take journalistic principles like objectivity and accountability to the public for granted now that news and information can be accessed with just one click.

As journalists increasingly use social media in their work, it seems they need to be reminded of two important principles in their line of work — objectivity and accountability to the public — amid developments like dubious sources and trend lists as reported below:

  • Columbia Journalism Review revealed how phony news sites trick journalists and how the news industry seems to consider errors related to reporters’ use of questionable information as a “forgiveable sin.”
  • NYU technology researcher Danah Boyd said that recent controversies regarding Facebook’s “Trending Topics” go beyond the issue of neutrality. She asserted that Facebook must be accountable to the public because it is among “powerful” institutions that need checks and balances in the interest of the responsible functioning of society.

 

Here are other interesting posts in our reading list:

 

  • Facebook announced that it has developed a new AI called “DeepText” that can understand textual content with “near-human accuracy.”
  • Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his opinion on how he would address the problem of media killings in the country in a recent press conference. He said that the journalists who are corrupt and who accept bribes were “legitimate targets for assassination.” Meanwhile, journalists’ groups in the Philippines have slammed Duterte’s statement about the problem of media killing in the country.
  • Facebook has taken down reporter Ed Lingao’s post against former President Marcos’ burial at the “Libingan ng mga Bayani,” citing violation of “Facebook community standards.” Some Facebook users have called out the site for violating press freedom and reposted Lingao’s article on their timelines.
  • The UK’s National Environment Research Council (NERC) got itself in a tight PR situation when it crowdsourced the naming of its new ship and “Boaty McBoatface” got the most votes to be the name for the new research vessel. Here are some lessons on brand control on the Internet.
  • A recent study suggests that “Grammar Nazis,” or people who are obsessed with correcting others’ grammar mistakes, may not be nice people after all.
  • Mobile livestreaming apps like Facebook and Periscope need a waiting room to keep people entertained while they wait for their livestreams to begin.
  • Is today’s “selfie culture” bad for our brains? Philosopher-psychoanalyst Elsa Godart discusses the impact of “egoportraits” and how there is a real danger of losing the connection and consciousness of the world around us.
  • Paleoanthropologist Genevieve von Petzinger has found markings around Europe that may point out how writing began.
  • Do you want to know how productive people send their e-mails? This article provides six ways on how to do it.
  • Gmail is now the world’s largest e-mail service. Nathan McAlone shares 17 tips and tricks that will change the way you use Gmail.
Image: “Survey Delves into Journalists’ Social Media Habits” by Marketwired Blog. Used under a Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) license
Ditto is a fortnightly collection of stories on publishing, media, communications, and topics that concern editorial professionals from the most credible sources on the Web. We hope to educate young professional writers and editors about industry standards, breakthroughs, and trends, among other things. Usually, you’ll find news and commentaries in here, but from time to time, we also feature tweets, visuals, games, freebies, and other fun but useful stuff that caught our eye.

Adapting and adopting innovations in social media

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Twitter just announced that its user growth is still in a slump despite the introduction of its Moments feature. This seems to show that in the age where everything for a social media site could change in an instant, one of the keys to surviving the social media rat race is to offer innovation whenever possible.

Users could easily come and go, so social media sites offer new content and retool features as a way to make them stay. Whether it be through big moves, such as Facebook lining up new features ranging from indexing all user’s posts, testing out emoji reactions, instant articles, to rolling out a notification card system, or via small changes, like Twitter changing its star-shaped “favorite” button to a heart-shaped “like” button, these are decisions that site owners need to make to tip the scales in their favor.

Whether it’s for the upcoming elections or for the Internet’s biggest phenomenon, social media use plays a key role in how trends develop. With social media, site owners have an opportunity to showcase their flexibility and tech-savviness and a platform to discuss society’s biggest issues. It also powers the cycle where users adapt and adopt technology.

Here are the other stories that made it to our reading list:

Image: “50 Days of AWE” by AWSC. Used under a Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) license
Ditto is a fortnightly selection of stories on publishing, media, communications, and topics that concern editorial professionals from the most credible sources on the Web. We hope to educate young professional writers and editors about industry standards, breakthroughs, and trends, among other things. Usually, you’ll find news and commentaries in here, but from time to time, we also feature tweets, visuals, games, freebies, and other fun but useful stuff that caught our eye.

Sending love to all mothers

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Last May 10, the world celebrated Mother’s Day by giving thanks to all mothers: biological or adoptive, stepmothers and mothers-in-law, stay-at-home and working moms. Google’s Doodle for the occasion showcased various forms of motherly love ranging from a swan and her cygnet, a cheetah with her cub, to a child running to her mother for a hug.

People look up to their mothers for their selfless love, dedication for their families’ well-being, and wisdom. This issue is dedicated to resilient women everywhere. Here are selected articles for the queen of the house:

  • A mom’s job is surely tough. The challenges of motherhood come with opportunities to learn unique skills. One successful entrepreneur and mother listed the reasons why moms make for a great hire.
  • Working mothers have maternity leaves. But what if fathers can have more paternity leaves to help their wives get back on their feet?
  • There are also tips for the working mom-to-be in preparing for the birth of her baby while trying to sort things out in her job.

Other posts of interest include:

  • Fresh graduates will have to step up their game to land a good job. Here’s some advice to help them settle in as they join the job hunt. Also, here’s an insider’s view on some workplace secrets.
  • E-mails are an efficient communication alternative but they are also prone to misinterpretations. Look out for these five rude e-mails that you might be sending out every day.
  • Social media interaction can get tedious and monotonous over time if what you share or what your audience see stimulate insufficient interest. You might want to consider these seven ways to keep the conversation going.
  • How much of your posts on social media show your real life? On Instagram, college freshman Madison Holleran looked like she had it all: intelligence, beauty, and even athletic prowess. Behind the photos she shared, however, was a struggle holding her back from living a happy life.
  • Here’s a critique on Filipinos’ use of the word “Gayweather” as they reacted on the outcome of the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao boxing match.
Image: “Mother” by James Goodman (Flickr). Used under a Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) license
Ditto is a fortnightly collection of stories on publishing, media, communications, and topics that concern editorial professionals from the most credible sources on the Web. We hope to educate young professional writers and editors about industry standards, breakthroughs, and trends, among other things. Usually, you’ll find news and commentaries in here, but from time to time, we also feature tweets, visuals, games, freebies, and other fun but useful stuff that caught our eye. 

Social media as news platforms

socialmediaJournalist Elizabeth Jane Cochran, under the pen name Nellie Bly, once said “energy rightly applied and directed will accomplish anything.”

In celebration of Nellie Bly’s 151st birth anniversary last May 5, Google presented a Doodle tribute showing her milestones that left a legacy in the field of investigative journalism and in the world.

The field of journalism has changed drastically over the last two decades, particularly due to the Internet. The emergence of social media platforms will have an impact on the future of journalism and communication as the new source of news and as the vital tool for information dissemination. Examples of social media-influenced journalism in the last two weeks include:

 

  • In Philippine news, Mary Jane Veloso was granted a last-minute reprieve on her execution for the crime of drug trafficking in Indonesia. The Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of the top three newspapers in the country, however, published an article with an erroneous headline implying that Mary Jane had died. Here is a blog post reflecting on how this incident shows what is happening to journalism today.
  • The Baltimore riot has been the topic of major U.S. headlines because of the violence, the looting, and the city’s state of emergency. Here is the back story and timeline on Freddie Grey’s death, the investigation on six police officers involved, and the alleged police brutality that led to the riot.
  • Al Jazeera used their social media app unit AJ+ for real-time reporting on the Baltimore riots.

 

Here are other posts in our reading list:

Image: “Social Media” by Yoel Ben-Avraham (Flickr). Used under a Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) license.
Ditto is a fortnightly collection of stories on publishing, media, communications, and topics that concern editorial professionals from the most credible sources on the Web. We hope to educate young professional writers and editors about industry standards, breakthroughs, and trends, among other things. Usually, you’ll find news and commentaries in here, but from time to time, we also feature tweets, visuals, games, freebies, and other fun but useful stuff that caught our eye.

On time management, emotional intelligence, and developing habits

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It’s the second quarter of the year. How are you doing with your goals and resolutions? Our picks for this week include a book review on how you can get yourself to develop habits that will help you with your goals, as well as readings on managing your schedule so you can leave work on time and prioritizing using psychological distance. Check out:

Other posts of interest:

Image: “time” by Sean MacEntee (Flickr). Used under a Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) license.
Ditto is a fortnightly collection of stories on publishing, media, communications, and topics that concern editorial professionals from the most credible sources on the Web. We hope to educate young professional writers and editors about industry standards, breakthroughs, and trends, among other things. Usually, you’ll find news and commentaries in here, but from time to time, we also feature tweets, visuals, games, freebies, and other fun but useful stuff that caught our eye.

What’s haunting you?

Halloween (or Hallowe’en) may be over, but for writers and editors, the haunting season lasts more than a day or two. We have demons that prevent us from typing that first word in a story we’ve been wanting to write or from suggesting that an awkward phrase be changed in an author’s work. And these may continue to disturb us even long after a work is published.

Aside from zombies and possessed dolls, one fear that perhaps we all share is the fear of failure. On one hand, it helps us become more careful. On the other hand, it keeps us from taking risks and learning. And so, we try to play safe, keep mum, procrastinate, and develop other bad habits. But actually, failure is not fatal, and some people are really just born haters. It doesn’t really matter that we fail; what matters is what we do after a failure.

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Technology and changes in the workplace

Less than a year since Samsung’s Note 3 and Apple’s iPhone 5 were released, we now have the Note 4 and the iPhone 6. Technology is rapidly changing; so is almost everything around us. In this post, we share some readings about changes in the work environment, their impact, and what possibly lies ahead.

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On mojo, mental virtues, and other work and career tips

Whether you work as part of a team in a corporate setting or solo as an independent contractor in a home or virtual office, our key Web picks this period turn some commonly held work notions upside down. For instance, if you think that the company that hired you is responsible for your career, you’re wrong. “Your career is YOUR responsibility. That’s right, YOUR responsibility.”  You must not turn in mediocre work and you just have to keep on proving that you are an asset to the company.

Also, if you think that your company’s work culture — its mojo — could be improved but you’re stumped because you think everything is pretty much set by management and nothing can be done, think again. There are ways for employees to make an impact on a company’s mission, passion, and vibe.  One of them is by owning up to one’s role. There are at least six other ways to make things better.

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Media ethics in focus

Ethical standards for media practitioners are among our key themes this issue, amid two events that shook the world in the last fortnight – the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 in the Ukraine and the exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. When media organizations compete against one another in a frenzy to satisfy the public’s desire to quickly know what is happening in the world, some practice standards – information verification, for instance – may be overlooked. A case in point would be why the media reportage on MH-17 was wrong at first on the number of AIDS researchers – supposedly 100 – who were on the plane.  Why did a journalist who went through some luggage items while covering the crash site feel compelled to apologize for his “error of judgment”?

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Regaining control of your career and your social media timeline

“[T]ime spent poking around in a library in the past led to great ideas. It’s unclear if the same is true for time spent online,” said Stanford philosophy professor John Perry in an article on The New York Times encouraging today’s social media-attentive generation to reclaim their real lives. In this issue, we offer tips on how you can regain control of your career development and your timeline.

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