23 thoughts on “Happy New Year to All of Our Rowdy Friends

    1. Dennis Lang says:

      Wow! I wonder if Professor Mrja shows this to all her first-year students. Wait, is Journalism still being taught in higher education? Staff writers here at the Crowd are making the transition. Some stunning virtues of the digital age but have we also lost something of great value never to be recovered?
      Great find PM!

  1. Joe Loveland says:

    Happy New Year, and many thanks, to all our participants, particularly frequent fliers such as PM, Mike Kennedy, Dennis Lang, Erik, Festus, Betram Jr., john sherman, Newt, Mrs. Fay, minnesotan, Jim Leinfelder, 108, Curtis, Michael Benidt, Kelly, dailytri, expatriate, momkat, stariavre, Charilie Quimbly, markmwhite, kay smith, A Son Of Mississippi, Daughter Number Three, Rev. Paul McKay, Gary Petis, Phoenix Woman, John Gaterud, Mike Thomas, and many many others.

    I have never met a single one of yous, but, through the miracle of technology, I’ve been able to e-annoy you. Thanks for joining in the conversation, and tell more of your friends and enemies about us.

  2. Ellen Mrja says:

    Joe: Hear, hear!

    If you all didn’t take a peek at the two videos above, I recommend them. And yes, Dennis, I am going to show the SO YOU WANT TO BE A JOURNALIST video in my “digital journalism” class tomorrow. Thanks, PM. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/lunch-break-so-you-want-to-be-a-journalist/2012/01/03/gIQArKUVYP_blog.html

    As Dennis’ other video would put it, it was groovy. http://objflicks.com/TakeMeBackToTheSixties.htm Classic. Thanks.

    1. Ellen–If you’re still following along, can you describe the differences between teaching “digital journalism” and “traditonal” journalism? Seriously, such a vital profession. How are todays’ students being prepared for it? Thanks.

  3. Ellen Mrja says:

    PurQl: Thanks for the comment and I can only answer the way I teach the course. Journalism is all about the story: good reporting, fact checking, writing, editing. Traditionally, we taught journalism for print media only (newspapers and magazines), and of course we had radio and t.v. reporting.
    With digital online media, the world of journalism has opened up in so many other ways. You still focus on the story, always, but can deliver it in interactively, archived, with audio or video, linked to other websites for deeper explanation, with or without social interaction, crowd-sourcing..on and on.
    The LasVegasSun.com won the Pulitzer in 2009 for a series on construction worker deaths – one per every six weeks – during the boom on the strip. I’ll link to it here so you can poke around at the photo gallery (very powerful), the interacitve of where the deaths occurred, audio, video and, of course, the story content itself.
    The main thing I can do in one class is to introduce students how to produce and consume news in a new way (what would be the best way?), learn to write properly for online news consumption, how to add “small” audio, video, photo, maps projects. It might interest you that the first thing I have students do online is to set up their own blogs; most have never done that. (Nor have most opened Twitter accounts, so I have them do that, as well – both only for professional purposes. Facebook they know all about..ha ha.)
    Anyway here’s that link to the LasVegasSun story package. Enjoy:

    1. Thank you Ellen. Has the new technology changed the responsiblity of journalists, and the aspiration I always thought to investigate and report the “truth”? For instance, I’m not overly familiar with the case, but felt an organization like Wiki-Leaks was providing a public service, and while I understand there a millions of bloggers, it seems also true that some of that online “reporting” is insightful and not available in the mainstream media. Yet, I think Wiki-Leaks is now buried in litigation, Do these online journalists expose themselves more readily to legal retaliation, or they more protected by the 1st Amendment by by not being attached to an institution like CBS or the Washington Post?

  4. Ellen Mrja says:

    Really great question to ponder..is it to a journalist’s benefit not to be attached to a mainstream news outlet?
    The First Amendment protects online news and print news equally; that was a wise decision the U.S. Supreme Court actually got right – imho – Reno v. ACLU.
    And whenever you do not have to answer to advertisers (as mainstream outlets do) you have more freedom; bloggers can be horrid to outstanding. We can’t rely upon them solely for news or information.
    One nice development has been the increased of investigative reporting by non-profit organizations. Take a look at this page which echos your sentiments about the importance of a free press: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/67175.html
    As for WikiLeaks, it was a “clearing house” of sensitive and classified information in the hundreds of thousands that did not get the support of the mainstream media, did it? European journalists were surprised that the U.S. media was so tame/lame when it came to following up on what WikiLeaks had delivered. The best reporting has actually come from The Guardian and Der Spiegel – and the New York Times in this country. Long answer! Thanks for the discussion!

    1. Dennis Lang says:

      Intriguing discussion. For instance, some months ago Mr. Lambert wrote that reporters had information that Hecker and Petters were operating fraudulent practices, yet their editors suppressed the stories, at least in part for commercial reasons. Could these reporters in the public interest surrepticiously provided their evidence to an independent blogger for internet dispersal. Then would the blogger expose himself to potential defamation suits by publishing the material?

  5. Ellen Mrja says:

    Sure the reporters could..as long as their publishers didn’t find out. The blogger who publishes would be exposing himself to a defamation suit but people are always threatening law suits and never filing anyway.

    1. PM says:

      any defamation suit fails if the accusations are true, correct?

      given the opportunity for discovery, it really isn’t surprising that such suits are seldom filed

      1. ellen says:

        I agree with you, PM. It would rest on the public figure plaintiff to prove actual malice on the part of the journalist – that he or she knew what he or she was writing was false or was recklessly disregarding its truth or falsity. And the burden of proof lies in the plaintiff, not the press.

    2. Dennis Lang says:

      Hmm…In the instance of journalist having good reason to suspect fraud, as in the case of Petters perhaps, if his editors won’t touch the story, what is the moral responsibilty of the the journalist to expose what he believes to be true?

      1. Ellen Mrja says:

        Well if your editor and publisher nix the story , I guess you can quit your job (Is this morality? ) or feed your family.

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