Welcome to a new political era

The 2016 U.S. presidential election has just been concluded and the world saw Republican candidate Donald Trump win over rival and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but the outcome shocked many because Clinton won the popular vote and Trump’s election-related statements within and outside social media garnered controversies. The world is now asking how Trump won. Did Facebook and Twitter help him win? The U.S. president-elect thinks so.

With social media having its role in the elections, it is now evolving from a communication tool to a news and information platform. Media analysts also ponder on the idea of predicting election results through social media after posts and tweets were used in forecasting results of both the European Union membership referendum in Great Britain and the U.S. election. The U.S. elections also cast a different light on social media because instead of enabling democratic discourse, people seemed to use it in spreading more negativity. Facebook also received a lot of flak on its handling of fake news appearing in its News Feed, but its CEO Mark Zuckerberg denies the company’s influence in American politics because he sees the website as a medium for sharing information.

The elections also have ramifications in journalism: there are reports of journalists fearing for their safety after receiving hate messages and threats over social media; journalism’s delivery system seems to be flawed given examples of how disjointed the current media landscape is; and journalistic standards collapse when networks begin choosing revenue and ratings over credibility and facts.

Here are other stories of interest:

Image: “American bald eagle” by Getty Images. Used under a Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) license

Ditto is a seasonal 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.

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Misinformation in Social Media

 

In this day and age when information can be easily shared with a click, perhaps everyone has used social media to disseminate information. But not everything about this is positive because not all information shared is true and verified. The ability to instantly publish and share content to your readers has enabled trolls and hoax news to thrive; worse, once you click “share” and your content has wrong details, every second or minute that it stays uncorrected all the more perpetuates misinformation.

 

In response, media and Web-supporting companies such as Google have implemented measures to ensure that the content released through them is verified and fact-checked, while others have begun to educate readers, teaching them to choose the right sources of information and to fact-check the stories on their own because the cycle of misinformation will only end if the media providers and platforms, as well as the audience, all work together.

 

Here are our stories for this issue:

 

  • Facebook launches Workplace, made it’s news feed work better for users with slow network connections, and now offers free online courses for journalists who would like to use the social media platform for their media work.
  • Twitter announces that it will be discontinuing Vine in the coming months.
  • Black Mirror writer Charlie Brooker tells how his experience with hatred on social media inspired this season’s finale, “Hated in the Nation.”
  • University of Connecticut associate professor Dave D’Allesio discusses media bias and the US presidential elections.
  • Poynter presents a brief history of data journalism.
  • The Pulitzer Prize Board announces a few changes for the annual contest. Both print and online magazines can now submit an entry in every Pulitzer category.
  • Paul Beatty takes home this year’s Man Booker prize, the first US author to do so.
  • Websites these days use lighter and thinner fonts, but these fonts make it difficult for the elderly and the visually impaired to read the websites.
  • Artists around the world celebrate Inktober by sharing one ink drawing or doodle each day for the whole month of October.
  • The “information literacy” framework used by librarians offers media practitioners and audience members a “more meaningful way to engage with and manage information” especially in the current milieu where information is constantly repackaged and repurposed, especially via social media.
  • Research shows that the decline of traditional media platforms and the reliance on a single platform (like a social media one) for news – that is mixed with gossip –  encourages clustering of like-minded individuals and may contribute to weakening the setting up of a “common public agenda” that can lead to destabilizing behavior in politics as well as in markets.
  • An investigative reporter who probed into the identity of Elena Ferrante, author of the best-selling multivolume Neapolitan novels, discusses his motivations for revealing the real identity of Ferrante, who has been likened to authors like Thomas Pynchon for shunning the public eye.

 

Image: “Confusion” by Getty Images. 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.

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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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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Discipline for improvement, teamwork for innovation

Seemingly taking a cue from competitive sports – as the 2014 Football World Cup opened in Brazil early this week — our favorite readings this issue explore the subjects of discipline for improvement and teamwork for innovation, which are key result areas in today’s competitive and hectic workplace. Discipline, said legendary graphic designer Massimo Vignelli, enables self-improvement and allows us to “offer the best of ourselves to everything around us, including every project on which we work.”  Teamwork through the combination of team members’ “separate splices of genius” can result in a “single work of collective genius” that marks “truly innovative” groups.

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What else can we do with our strengths?

March 1 to March 14

 

As technology continues to change the media, publishing, and communications landscapes, the importance of human editors is being challenged. The automation of the editing process, the pressure to break stories first, and the underselling of freelancers threaten our value to the organizations and the industries we serve.

We know that being an editor is more than just correcting grammar, spelling, and punctuation. But how do we show that to organizations and to consumers of information? In this issue of Ditto, we explore other ways we can use our editorial skills.

 

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Ditto: Mind Ticklers for Editorial Professionals

February 15 to February 28

This week’s issue is filled with editing, writing and publishing tips from various sources online. Stories also cover the rise of the platform-publisher hybrid (currently called platishers); the Hemingway app that you can use when you want to ensure your writing is “bold and clear,” and BuzzFeed’s quizzes, which are changing the picture for publishing and reader engagement. Workplace readings include tips on disagreeing at work, helping passive-aggressives, and understanding why you procrastinate and how to address it. Locally, the Supreme Court has ruled that online libel is constitutional, although concerns on the grounds and implementation of the law still remain. In other news, you might want to join ACES’ haiku contest on Twitter or share images of funny grammar lapses via CNN iReport in line with the upcoming National Grammar Day.

 

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On Bloomberg and the Financial Times, AP and Homophobia, 2012 in Review and Mannying

December 8 to December 14, 2012

Last week, Twitter, Google and Facebook released year-end reviews using data from their users revealing world search trends and memes. Also, we saw Manny Pacquiao suffer a sixth-round knockout to Juan Manuel Marquez, and that image of Pacquiao echoed through social media and sparked a meme hours after the match. Meanwhile, the Associated Press banned the use of “homophobia” based on technicality, and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg hinted on his interest to buy the Financial Times. Other stories in the lineup: Jack Reacher author Lee Child’s advice on creating suspense and using editing prompts.

Image credit: Twitter

Image credit: Twitter.

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