Tag Archives: journalism

Ben’s free flights and journalism ethics

Bomb--Arvin61r58

Bomb clip art by Arvin61r58

Interviews are minefields for sources. And the resulting articles? Almost too fickle and frightening to contemplate. At least that’s the view taken by the subject of a Rolling Stone feature who I’ve been reading about lately.

Ben Schlappig’s reaction to major media attention shows the one-two punch of trepidation and surprise that only a savvy source can experience. He describes being cautious taking part in the reporting process for Ben Wofford’s piece, and expecting to emerge either more flattered than he expected or woefully disappointed at the portrayal. The maelstrom of coverage—most of it piggybacking on the RS coverage (see here, here, here, and here)—also got me thinking about journalism ethics.

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The Google for Media summit, Storify style

Google for Media title imposed over a photo

Journalists and all creative users of video, data, and technology: The Google for Media summit in NYC last week was pretty mind-blowing. From the Google Trends workshop alone, I had dozens of story ideas. And did you know Miley Cyrus crashed her fans’ Google hangouts?

If you’re interested in what we learned, check out this Storify summary. You may see a familiar face in the tweets!

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I can haz perspective?

Photo: Paul Reynolds

Photo: Paul Reynolds

As a writer and college instructor, I can easily sink into my own world. Yet this past week, I’ve had the chance to see that world from the other side.

The writing sphere usually involves lightly stalking my subjects, asking questions, rejoicing when they respond, then writing and revising. Rinse and repeat.

For teaching, the routine is mostly to come up with activities and explorations that hopefully lead to learning and/or thinking. Rinse. Repeat. The rest of the time I make up assignments and criteria, hope students follow said criteria, and then check assignments and find that they sometimes do and sometimes don’t follow it. The success of that last item determines whether my hair remains intact or not.

So my trip to the point-of-view equivalent of Australia started last week when I discovered a student has quoted me in an article about farmers markets. I loved the experience of sitting in the interviewee chair, and then seeing what the interviewer chose to use.  It’s like one of those lolcats  suddenly faced with her own reflection.

Zowee! I can haz perspective? Continue reading

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Affliction

I’m applying to a fellowship that wants journalists who make a difference. It wants those who, in the words penned by Peter Finley Dunne and evoked by many a Mike Wallace obituary, “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

This phrase pops up often in narrative journalism circles. For the first time I wondered: Does this mean that journalists should play the activist role?

The answer came partly from the program concept itself. The main draw of the fellowship is its affiliation with two highly-regarded news organizations known for painstaking fact checking — or admitting the lack thereof with painstaking thoroughness. (Oops — just gave away one of the organizations). Continue reading

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“Are you trying to decide…?”

-“Are you trying to decide between two workshops?”

-“I really appreciated what you said on the panel.”

-[At reception] “Do you mind if I just put my beer here?”

-[Reading name tag] “Hello, Tom.”

    …Four ways to start a conversation with a fellow conference-goer

-Throwbacks coming back: Unedited storytelling, knitting, fermentation

-Child adoption statistics: Where, who, and why around the U.S., a data journalism story

-My memoir about Science Olympiad and snow days in clickable essay form

      …Three story ideas I generated this weekend

    …Two fragments of a conversation

-“A Short List is made from your experience or research or daily life.
You read it out loud for about 60 seconds and then tell us at the
end what the list WAS. It’s a story, with the title at the end.”

      …One explanation Jay Allison gives of his concept

A list of Short Lists inspired by  NarrativeArc: Storytelling journalism goes digital

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Filed under Community of writers, Writing and technology