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 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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PH National Language Month and updates on editing and journalism

The Philippines celebrates Buwan ng Wika (National Language Month) this August and the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) has lined up several activities including a series of seminars on official correspondence, a three-day translation congress, and a book launch. This year’s celebration highlights unity with the theme: “Filipino: Wika ng Pagkakaisa.”

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On change, writing apps, overcoming creative block, pet peeves, and more

“Change is constant. Change is inevitable.” This applies to language, writing, and journalism too, especially in this age of technology. Perhaps at one point — when we were being sticklers for “proper” usage — we have corrected someone’s misuse of hopefully, literally, or enormity. However, people’s use of these words has changed, and we understand what they mean nonetheless, which is the point of language. Technology has also evolved, and it is changing how we write, edit, check for facts and plagiarism, and think about business. Here, we list recent stories on these changes, along with some creativity tips and fun reads.

 

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“Tech” and other skills media folks need in the age of the Web

Journalists, editors, and writers may not need to know how to make software or assemble and maintain hardware, but the rise of the Internet and related technology has made it necessary for media folk to “get into tech.”  There’s much to learn about distribution platforms as well as modes of content-sharing and content ownership brought about by the Web that was not anticipated by the old journalism or mass communication curricula; there may be a bit of catching-up to do. This is not to say, though, that “classic” editorial skills are out the window.  Specialized skills remain valued and valuable through time. Like other professionals, those in media just need to understand and manage changes in the world and career environment that are taking place.

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How can we be more productive?

As a response to a reader’s request, John McIntyre shares “the secrets” to editing quickly and decisively. Rich Adin suggests reducing time spent on the mechanical pillar to have more time on the thinking pillar. Here, we gathered other tips to improve productivity. Some of them may be counterintuitive or even contradict each other, but given the credibility of the sources we found and how they echo one another, it’s difficult to not try them out.

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Staff Picks: Essential MS Word Tools and Features

So you’ve been using F7 and Find and Replace. Now, it’s time you discover other Microsoft Word tools and features that could make you a more productive copy editor.

Although we’ve heard about books entirely written by computers, we still believe that writing and editing are tasks that cannot fully be done automatically. But that doesn’t mean writers and editors should do the entire content development process manually. In the same way that doctors have medical equipment and carpenters have toolboxes, there are a lot of tools available now to help writers and editors streamline the process. And most of these tools are already available in your favorite word processing software.

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Myth: Copy editors only correct spelling and grammar errors.

We’re still busting some of the most common misconceptions about copy editors. Last time, we clarified that a superior vocabulary is not as important as knowing how to deal with words, phrases and idioms that are unfamiliar. Before that, we also mentioned that a journalism or English degree is not a strict requirement for copy editor and that there are opportunities for copy editors outside the newsroom or publishing firms. Now, we try to clarify the copy editor’s scope by busting another myth:

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Myth: Copy editors are walking dictionaries.

Sources summarize copy editing as making copy correct, complete, concise, clear and consistent — the five Cs, as the pros call them. It is often confused with either proofreading or developmental editing. You’d probably think that to be a successful copy editor, you’d have to love writing, or you’d need to be a grammar geek. But actually, the role goes beyond checking for subject-verb agreement and usage errors. So what does it actually take to be a copy editor?

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Myth: Copy editors work in newspapers or magazines only.

Most people would think they have a clear idea of what copy editing is or what copy editors do. After all, copy editing seems straightforward: editing copy. I thought that way too. But my first week on the job made me realize a lot of my assumptions were wrong.

Sources summarize copy editing as making copy correct, complete, concise, clear and consistent — the five Cs as the pros call them. It is often confused with either proofreading or developmental editing. You’d probably think that to be a successful copy editor, you’d have to love writing, or you’d need to be a grammar geek. But actually, the role goes beyond checking for subject-verb agreement and usage errors. So what does it actually take to be a copy editor?

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