"Show don't Tell"

Monday, September 26, 2011

Getting the perfect photo to complement any story is vital, but photographers need to know their constitutional rights.

When in a public place, photographers have the right to photograph anything in plain view. When on private property, the property owner sets the rules.

Police officers cannot confiscate or demand to view photographs without a warrant. They can also not delete photographs under any circumstance.

If a photographer is stopped by a police officer, always act polite and calm. The photographer needs to ask the officer for the reasons behind being detained.

Photos, just like written stories, give new knowledge to their audiences. They also provide a check on the government.

The First Amendment guarantees photographers the rights to shoot whatever they find useful, as long as they don't break any other laws, such as trespassing, while doing so.

Photographs can do something articles can't. Photos physically show the situation, and evoke strong emotions. The rights of these people need to be protected because they are doing their community a great service.

Photo Credit: Maddie Boswell


Facebook - The New Advertising Giant?

It seems that every few months Facebook comes out with 'new and improved' changes that seem to infuriate the masses. Facebook has incorporated games, chats, and now even updated status feeds that people have tended to revolt against initially. But, in the end, everyone moves on with their lives and learns to accept the new features without a second glance.

This is one of the biggest benefits for advertising firms and Facebook as over the years, they have worked to incorporate an all important trait that most people tend to ignore; the sponsorships that Facebook provides. It is hard to think that these and many other advertising revenues have helped to boost the social networking site to a $1 Billion profit for the year.

It is staggering to think of such large revenues for a social site that many of us use on a daily basis and don't give a second thought to 'adds', but the additional revenue is getting the attention of another advertising giant; Google.

Google has been trying to compete for the top-spot in the advertising frenzy that is linked to social media, but it doesn't seem as though they are going to be able to keep up as Facebook works to keep posting annually increases of 20 percent or more.

The biggest drawback to all of this? When will it be enough and when will we see our favorite media site turned into nothing more then pop-ups and flashing adds as they keep working towards more money?


Freelance Journalism

In todays journalism world there is starting to be more freelanced writers. What exactly is a freelance journalist/writer? Wisegeek gives a good definition: A freelancer is a non-fiction writer who contracts their services to different media sectors.

A lot of freelance journalists write about specific topics like business, entertainment, and many other fields. Some write about numerous topics. That is one of the best parts about being a freelance writer. You are allowed to pick what you want to write about and what interests you. Another good part of freelancing is there is always an audience for whatever you choose to write about whether its about marine biology or guitar amplifiers.

In an article by Matthew Stibbe, he writes about the skills you need as a freelance journalist. One of the biggest things a freelance writer can do is read and write. Another is having curiosity. Being curious can help you discover new topics to write about. One of the most important skill a they must have is being able to market themselves. Freelancing is a business it's self. These journalists must be able to sell their product to a media or marketing firm.

There are a number of downsides to freelancing. One of the biggest is money. When doing freelance work it is sometimes very hard to find a steady job that will bring steady cash flow. Along with that there are a lot of times freelancers will go without getting paid for their work.

Another downside to freelancing is isolation. Because there journalist are writing by yourself they have no team or no one to assist them.

Freelancing is important to the journalism field because we are starting to see more and more of it. Freelance journalists may very well change the way journalism is done in the future.


Where is the Money?

In 2011 the revenues from online advertising overtook print advertising. This shift signifies that more companies are placing their faith in the future of the internet, yet for the newspaper industry most of their revenue still comes in from print advertisements. But according to an article on Reuters, 46 percent of Americans get their news online at least three times a week versus 40 percent in print.

Where are the online advertising dollars for newspapers?

According to that same article most online ad spending is in search advertising, little of which finances news. Even though newspaper advertising has dropped 46 percent in the past four years, it is still more than seven times the revenue of online advertising for newspapers. Thus the print newspaper is the financial backbone that allows the newspapers to expand and explore online options.

According to a new study by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Project for Excellence in Journalism, in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, readers are willing to pay for a print newspaper but not the online equivalent. 23 percent of respondents to a survey conducted for the above study say they would pay, but no more than $5 a month. A month of receiving the Seattle Times, for example, costs $22.40 a month. Only 5% of people who currently get their news online pay for the content.

According to the Reuters article, three dozen newspapers have moved to an online pay model. Of those newspapers, only one percent of readers opted to pay for the service.

This leaves a dark shadow hovering over newspapers. If the printed news no longer becomes profitable, can they find a way to survive online? Or will the world resort to dependance upon citizen journalists who blog and tweet about the news?

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.


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