Citizen journalism

What is NEW Media?

What is New Media?

What is New Media?

We talk about the MSM ( Main Stream Media ) and the emergence of New Media quite often on this Blog but what exactly is this NEW Media?

What I think it is may be very different to what you think it is. When you hear about a New, exclusively online News organisation what image does that evoke for you?

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Media is more entertainment, less facts – Hillary Clinton

Hilary Clinton once famously declared that there was a “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” out there and coined a phrase at the same time. I’m not so sure it was vast.

Now she has decided to round on the media…again.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lamented the state of journalism on Wednesday, telling an audience at the University of Connecticut that journalism is now driven more by entertainment than fact based reporting.

Clinton, who has been the focus of national media attention since the early 1990s, told the 2,300-person audience that “journalism has changed quite a bit in a way that is not good for the country and not good for journalism.”

“A lot of serious news reporting has become more entertainment driven and more opinion-driven as opposed to factual,” she said. “People book onto the shows, political figures, commentators who will be controversial who will be provocative because it?s a good show. You might not learn anything but you might be entertained and I think that?s just become an unfortunate pattern that I wish could be broken.”

Clinton’s comments came as part of the question and answer portion to Wednesday?s event. University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst asked Clinton about how journalism has changed and whether journalists could help break gridlock that has halted work in Washington.

The former secretary of state went on to say that she feels there is a space for “explanatory journalism because there?s a lot going on in the world that needs explanation.”

The former first lady also had a tip for journalists: Do your homework.? Read more »

Journalists as politicians

With the alarming uptake of journalists moving to grab jobs as politicians, mostly for the Labour party it might be timely to re-visit an article from 2010 about this very same issue in Australia.

Sure it is from Australia and from four years ago but it makes for interesting reading nonetheless.

Peter Costello, now a civilian, has bagged the practice of journalists going into politics.

From Channel Nine’s 2010 election commentary panel, the former lawyer and Liberal treasurer (1996-2007) was remarking on the defeat of Labor’s Maxine McKew , a former ABC current affairs presenter/interviewer and?Bulletin?journalist, in the seat of Bennelong.

In his column for?The Sydney Morning Herald?on August 18 he wrote:

“Every so often a journalist chances their arm in real politics. Maxine McKew is one. Her underwhelming parliamentary career shows how much harder it is to do than it is to pontificate.”

Putting the possibility of partisan bias in Mr Costello’s dismissive remarks to one side, the issue of journalists crossing over into politics is worth thinking about.

Is it a good idea given the role of the Fourth Estate in a democracy?

Journalists are meant to be independent ‘pontificators’, objective observers of governance and a key part of the accountability process. They are not meant to cross over into party politics with all the vile distortions (spin doctoring) which accompany contemporary adversarial games.

Journalists, particularly political journalists like Maxine McKew, know about the viciousness of politics in Australia. They know about vested interest influence peddling through slush funding practices. They know about factionalism, tribalism, smear, character assassination and zealotry. They know about media management and focus group rhetorical and policy manipulations which pervert honest engagement with the electorate.

When a journalist decides to leave journalism for politics without a cleansing career change in the middle it does bring into question their ethics and leanings for their most recent work. It is much the same if a politician immediately becomes a lobbyist straight after bowing out of politics. It smells a bit whiffy and looks slightly dodgy.? Read more »

A reader emails about not being media

A reader emails:

Dear Cameron

Well it looks like Judge Charles Blackie has quite clearly judged ?Whale Oil Beef Hooked? not to be a news medium. It is interesting he makes reference to a Law Commission report. I was initially impressed when he referenced this Commission until I realised that this Commission has no legal authority but can only make recommendation to Parliament regarding areas of the law. The Commission has no more legal authority than any single individual person.

The Honourable Judge did not reference a report by Auckland University of Technology’s Journalism, Media and Democracy Centre which arguably has a greater understanding of the position and??role of NZ?s blogosphere. Report author and AUT communication studies lecturer Merja Myllylahti said more people were turning to New Zealand’s “blogosphere” for information. She is quoted as saying??”It is not surprising that citizen journalists and bloggers have started to take a more active role. The blogosphere is thriving right now because it provides an alternative to commercially focused media. The use of the word ?alternative? is significant.? Read more »

More influential and prominent

An AUT report into media suggests that blogs and online media are becoming more and more powerful and influential.

New Zealand blogs became more prominent and influential during 2013, finds the?JMAD New Zealand Media Ownership Report 2013. There are 280 ranked blogs, and the top political blogs record high visitor numbers. To be ranked, blogs must have a publicly accessible site meter that tracks visitor numbers.

While the financial ownership of New Zealand media has increased, and mainstream media become even more commercial, interest in public interest journalism is increasing.

?It is not surprising that citizen journalists and bloggers have started to take a more active role. The blogosphere is thriving right now because it provides an alternative to commercially focused media,? says?AUT?communication studies lecturer Merja Myllylahti, author of the report.

Myllylahti says controversial stories in 2013, like the Len Brown scandal (broken on the?Whale Oil Beef Hooked?blog), the Andrea Vance phone records issue and the passage of legislation expanding the powers of the GCSB, have also contributed to active blogging culture.

?Some recent government actions, like the expansion of GCSB powers, can be seen to threaten media freedom. Therefore it is good to see that the New Zealand media is looking for new ways to raise issues, and bloggers are gaining in prominence.?

The top ranked New Zealand blog,?Whale Oil Beef Hooked, has more than doubled its visitor numbers since September 2012 to 762,184 visitors per month, and the second ranked blog,?Kiwiblog, has 397,034 visitors per month. ? Read more »

What is journalism for?

The fourth post in my series taken from?Katharine Viner’s speech, she is teh deputy?editor of the Guardian and editor-in-chief of Guardian Australia.

It was an impressive display of perspicacity from a mainstream editor about online news and opinion. Some old-fashioned members of the judiciary would do well to read her thoughts about what is media and what is not…here is a clue, newspapers and TV and radio are just a small part of the world media environment.

But what is journalism for?

I guess it all depends on what you think journalism is for.

If you think it is for speaking truth to power, if you believe that the role of the journalist is as an outsider, then you will be in favour of the open web, open journalism, the free flow of engagement and challenge and debate with the people formerly known as the audience.

But if you think journalism is instead for brokering power, influencing power, keeping power, then you will want to close down the web as much as possible and keep debate to a minimum. More about your own interests, less about the public interest.? Read more »

So what is a journalist?

There is a very long (it isn’t TL;DR because I actually read it) article by ?The Guardian’s Deputy editor, Katharine Viner,?about modern online news gathering, journalism and the threats and challenges in the Age of the Open Web.

There are many, many pull-outs from the article and I will run them in a series over the next few weeks.

The first part is her discussion about what a journalist is…

“So what is a journalist?” is the question that’s being asked, in a classic example of the sort of self-examination that happens in a time of crisis.

Margaret Sullivan?says?in the New York Times that “a real journalist is one who understands, at a cellular level, and doesn’t shy away from, the adversarial relationship between government and press”. I like this definition because it’s about a state of mind, not a closed shop. Journalists need to be on the outside of all kinds of power – political, institutional, corporate. We are here to find things out which otherwise wouldn’t be known – and while journalistic experience and techniques are excellent qualifications for this, you don’t need a press card to do it.? Read more »