Monday, October 1, 2007

Wake up!

Time to get back to work

8:30 a.m.
Bill Mitchell from Poynter
Topic: Decision-making on Deadline: From Good, Bad & Ugly to Better, Faster, Easier

Discussion: good and bad decisions fellows made in their newsrooms

When deciding whether to do something:
Think about the consequences. Almost any info you share will have consequences
Think about the stakeholders
Consider at least three alternatives

Maximizing clicks, minimizing harm
I'm talking about Minimizing Harm to your organization... its appropriate in an organization to say if we do that we're going to generate a lot of traffic. We've got to run this organization.

Quotes from Heather who said yesterday: They'll click on it, but will they respect you in the morning.

You have to ask: What will it take for the reader to respect you?

2006 Poynter conference decided:
The time for ad hoc case by case decision making is way past.

May 2007: Poynter created some online resources on Dialog or Diatribe (soundoffs and forums, conversation online)

What can we do to encourage good conversation and dialog online?

Ten critical areas/tensions
1. Revenue and content
2. Community generated content
3. Reporter as commentator
4. Credibility accuracy
5. Speed vs. thoroughness
6. Transparency
7. Multimedia and manipulation
8. Voice, Tone and Attitude
9. Workflow and staffing changes
10. Journalism's Role,: Watchdog vs. Corporate

The need for Verification
Lots of sites posting now have no tradition of verifying what they post. A recent study of what people recommend on reddit and other news recommending sites found that something like 70 percent of stuff that people recommend comes from sites with no tradition of verification.

9 a.m.
BillM: Social media -- conversation -- can contribute to verification -- not without complication. (You can verify/learn about sources on myspace)

New point: News organizations are not good at fostering conversation.
Topix gets 75,000 comments A Day! Not all comments will be lovely, says the lady here from Topix. Sometimes the commentators on your site "may not be people you want to have over to dinner, but those are the people who are reading your stories."

Jeff Light explains to the room a story they did at the Orange County Register about a 400 pound woman who didn't know she was pregnant until right before she gave birth. "It was really ugly. People ripped into the mom. There was this big debate about where the bounds of propriety were."

"This woman was really eviscerated. ... One of the things that really got lost" i n all that is that there were a number of assumptions in the story that most of he commentors just didn't agree with: That being morbidly obese is a medical condition and not an area of personal responsibility, that the facts about the family -- that the woman was morbidly obese and didn't know she was pregnant, that the husband was an unemployed musician -- didn't make them bad parents, and the story contained the assumption that this would be a suitable case for charity (it told people how they could donate). "People totally disagreed with those assumptions."

Poynter's 10 ethics steps:
Define the goal; gather the facts; know your purpose; consider principles; name the main ones; ID stakeholders ... sorry, moved onto new screen. The last four steps probably weren't that important.

We're breaking into groups

10 a.m.
Man, I can't believe this scintillating stuff isn't getting any comments. I guess Kay and Mark are still sleeping. I don't know what Rita's excuse is.

Here's the conclusions from my breakout group:

Ashley Wells, multimedia guru, creative director

NEWS FLASH: "Online news is still a business." While we want to tell great stories we have to make money to do it.

News slideshow cost = $60 per hour x 3 hours. CPM=$2. CPM is low because no advertisers are interested in advertising around news. Need 180,000 pv to break even.

Animal tracks lives in a higher CPM section. Costs $6 hour x 4 hours, CPM=$15. Mucho profit.

Ashley: You will probably never break even on investigations. You cover your costs by covering your celebrites and animals.

Audience guy: How do you use this information on a daily basis?

Ashley: We keep this information in the back of our heads when a request comes in for a slide show. They will reject a request if they think a slide show will not bring in enough traffic.

Paige, another MSNBC editor: But they'll tend to approve slide shows that have news value.

Ashley: "We make our money off of the features (entertainment) that we do."

MSNBC's cpms on nbc video: $3- to $50 CPM. Wow.

Note to self: check out Dandalife? A cool tool for creating timelines.

11:19 BRITNEY!
The guy from La Opinion said it. Man, took a few hours to get around to it.

11:26 BRITNEY!
One Britney begets another. Maybe Britney's are viral. The guy from USA Today said it.

1:07 p.m.
Time for a refresher on Copyright Law. Quick notes:

How do I know if something is fair use? There are no hard and fast rules. Weigh all of these considerations:
1. purpose and character of use: Non profit/educational use or commercial? Nonprofits will be viewed more favorably. News reporting, criticism and comment are also favored as fair use applications. Whether the use is transformative.
2. Nature of work copied. The more creative the work the less likely it is to be taken under fair use. More factual works are going to be more susceptible to taking for fair use. Is the work you want to take already published or not? Courts don't like it if you take something that hasn't been already published. Political debates are more susceptible to taking than most things. They're long, they're factual, if you take 20 seconds you're not taking substantially.
3. How much used? The less you take the more likely it is to be a favored use.
4. What's the effect in the market on the taking? Are you creating a market substitute for the product you're taking from? If so your ruling may not be favorable.

Yahoo rep says: How much can you take? Say of a video of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton debating? I've heard you can take 30 seconds but not 31?

Lawyer: There's a lot of urban myths out there. I've heard you can take nine notes of music, 15 seconds of audio. There are no hard and fast rules.

One judge's fair use is another judges's infringement.

Good link for copyright info:

Can you take pictures off Facebook under Fair Use? For the purposes of illustrataing a news story ... I think you have a very strong case for taking a photo from Facebook for an important breaking news story.

Can a paper take a photo from another paper and run it?
The more news worthy it is, the stronger it is on the Fair Use factor, and the weaker it is on the fourth factor, which is that you are creating a substitute for that product.

Can you tell the story without the photo? Do you need to have it?

I don't know that you've got a strong fair use case there.

See other reports from Journalism in a 24/7 world: Decision-Making for the Online Editor A Knight Digital Media Center presentation:

Report for Day 1
Report for Day 2
Monday (Day 2) Wrap Up
Report for Day 3
Go to the Knight Center site here for more info


Mark said...

You had me at "Britney."

Michelle said...


Rita said...

I'm slow...still trying to absorb the 'newsroom of tomorrow' as described in the American Journalist Review.

Mark said...

You've got plenty of company. The newsrooms of yesterday and today haven't absorbed it either.

Rita said...

A big day down!

Time for a Triple-M!

Val said...

that's "Dandelife", for when you go looking for it again...