Wednesday, February 9, 2011

With protests raging in Egypt, journalists are trying to cover all the action. Since the protest began, journalists have been in the heart of the action. Lately that has become a dangerous place to be. Journalists have been injured, beaten, and some have disappeared. It's a hazard to be a journalist in Egypt right now.

This has also been true of other countries throughout the years. Squashing the media is an easy way for oppressive regimes to keep their power without the interference of outside forces.

But we're still hearing news from Egypt and about Egypt.

Journalists are staying in Egypt to get the story, so they can share with the world what's going on in the African nation. Sometimes journalism seems like a boring profession. You just sit at a desk and type up stories talking about the world. Journalism can be a very dangerous job sometimes. Protesters have beaten journalists and destroyed their equipment. But journalists are still staying Egypt and reporting on the protests.

Journalists are an important part of the global community. Without journalists, professional or pedestrian, we would miss a large part of what is going on in the country.

Photo Credit: Tkgd2007 via Creative Commons


Succeed or Not to Succeed?

The Daily, which is being launched for the iPad, could be an astonishing hit, a dramatic miss or something in between. But one thing is certain: the media world will be shaken.

Robert Murdoch, is introducing the first iPad-only news product, which is expected to be sold in subscriptions costing a merely 99 cents a week.

It is too early to tell how well The Daily will do, here are some key factors to determine its fate.

Why it could succeed

Wealth of content. The Daily is likely to be able to pull from the global, cross media resources such as the News Corp., Wall Street Journal, New York Post and Fox Television Network.

Powerful Promotion. With the News Corp. diversified media properties, The Daily will have millions of free marketing impressions around the world.

Big Pockets. News Corp. is wealthy and with $33 billion in sales and $5.7 billion in operating profit, The Daily is well positioned.

Why it could not succeed

It's not free. Do you want to pay to get the news?

Competition. The Daily will be competing with different ranges of news groups such as: Google News and any other news source in the media.

iPad. The audience is only targeted to those who have an iPad.

Challenge. There are many challenges in store for The Daily. Just like any other company has to go through, patience and more patience. It needs a critical number of readers and subscribers to keep going.

Robert Murdoch has a lot ahead of him. I wish him well in all his endeavors and hardships to come.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons


Commandments for Journalists

For beginners to journalism like me, getting the hang of things can be rather difficult. The Guardian editor Tim Radford shared his 25 Commandments for journalists, which I found to be very helpful and easy to use tips. Here are a few that I thought really helped me.

1. Life is complicated, but journalism cannot be complicated. Radford here explains that although events that occur and produce news may be complex and complicated, readers turn to newspapers and other sources in order to get an explanation that they can understand. Readers rely on newspapers to simplify and break down the importance of events.

2. Everytime you sit down at the keyboard, picture a little sign that says "Nobody has to read this crap." Readers are free to choose what it is they want to read. If a story does not grab their interest or is confusing, they will stop reading it. This should encourage writers to write with excitement that holds the reader's attention.

3. A story will only ever say one big thing. One of my problems when writing an article is deciding what I should write about as well as what angle of the story I should write about. Radford insists that just one idea should be discussed out of the story. However, sometimes it is possible to intertwine multiple ideas and make this the big idea, as long as you focus on how they are related.

While you may still be struggling with the whole journalism process, there are plenty of ways to improve. Many experienced journalists, such as Radford, are eager to provide up and coming journalists with tips and advice.

Check around online for tips, or even read through articles to help you improve. To start, check out Radford's commandments on the link above to get started perfecting your journalism skills.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons


Free Programs for Multimedia Journalists

In journalism today it is important to be able to be a multimedia journalist. There are free legal programs on the web that can help make a journalist's life a bit easier.

Some of the top programs are priced at hundreds of dollars, for example, Adobe After Effects and Final Cut Studio. I have listed a few legal programs that are free and can be downloaded from the web.

.01 MPEG Streamclip is a video trans-coder and compressor. It has the ability to manipulate the size of video files.

It can be used to compress HD footage from a camera, such as DSLR, into a smaller high quality file that Final Cut Pro can edit.

If you're working with a film shot in .mov files but you have one .avi file from another source MPEG Streamclip will convet it. It will also make sure all your video uses the same codecs.

.01MPEG Streamclip can be downloaded for free and is available for Mac or PC.

.02 GIMP Is an alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It does practically everything Adobe Photoshop can and is released under the GNU philosophy of free software ownership.

GIMP can resize, manipulate and layer photographs. It is a great tool to have to edit photos for blogs. It can also be used to create graphics and design logos.

The latest version of GIMP is 2.6 and can be downloaded here.

.03 Audacity edits audio and is extremely effective for editing speech. It has the ability to add professional filters to an audio file and allows for multi-layered editing.

Audacity can be used simply to turn a big .WAV file into a nice .mp3. It is more valuable to use to help edit podcasts or audio slideshows.

.03 Audacity is compatible for Windows, Mac and Linux. It is available for free under the GNU license.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons


Help Out, Rate Your News

News consumers today may be deceived more often than they'd like to admit. If you've taken a class on journalism or practiced thinking critically you know that just because an article calls itself news, doesn't mean the facts are solid.

Today we have a multitude of sources to select from and the Internet makes it easy to read others' commentary. Even if you don't recognize the glaring inaccuracies in a news story, chances are that some helpful reader will leave a comment pointing them out.

The ability to read a news story and critically analyze it for inaccuracies is called being "news literate." It is an important skill to have as media and journalism pop up in more and more places., a website representing an online network of people concerned with the accuracy of journalism, has developed a rating system for the news.
By visiting their website, and specifically this link, concerned citizens can actively review the accuracy of the article they have just read. There are also criteria and explanations available for what constitutes an accurate, unbiased news article.

The website has also, quite smartly, offered four varying levels of commitment for reviewers. Depending on how much time you're willing to devote and how much you know, you can answer three, five, 10, or 18 questions geared toward accuracy.
The website's pages are full of links geared toward judging your news, including one called "Think Like A Journalist." If you're concerned with the accuracy of the news you're reading (and we all should be), take a minute to browse through some of these links. You'll want to add the site to your bookmarks.

Photo courtesy of redbarrenx,, via Creative Commons.


  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009

Back to TOP