Investigative Photojournalism at Its Best

Sourcing content is a hard thing to do these days. In fact, most writers that publish content for the web so go with a link sourcing and call it a day.

But, what happens when a photo so vividly depicts an incredible story and the photograph (or who took it) becomes the story?

Brands Telling Their Own Stories: Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center and 9/11

Doctors at ground zero  Google Images

We live in a world where news doesn't break. It just happens and we, as consumers, hear about it, read about it, see it happening, live because of social media. As a result, the traditional news avenues for brands aren't what they used to be.

Today, brands have to self-publish. They must tell their own story because newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations just don't have the time to tell stories like they used to. news is short, punchy and informative these days. Yes, magazines and long form journalism is still kicking to a certain degree, but news outlets are the only one telling good stories.

The Future of Newspaper Content Delivery

The folks over at the Nieman Journalism lab do a great job covering the media space and all the innovation coming out of it.

The New York Times is one of those news organizations that are trying to not only keep the content fresh, but also the way that the content is delivered to users. In this video, the "Breakfast Table 2.0" is introduced.

Pretty cool stuff and potentially, the future of the journalism and content delivery space.

Mashable's "HOW TO: Get Journalists to Tell Your Story" Forgets One MAJOR Step

I worked as a reporter for the Boston Globe for about five years. I covered a variety of subjects, dealt with a ton of PR people and have a keen sense of what is news and what isn't. Add in my 15 years in PR and, needless to say, the journalism business is a business that I know in and out.

So while I'm buzzing through my RSS reader, I came across Mashable's story about "HOW TO: Get Journalists to Tell Your Story" and immediately thought to myself, holy crap, they are missing one critical element to media relations:

It's about the relationships, stupid.

Does the NH Union Leader Have the Right to Ban Gay Marriage Announcements?


The New Hampshire Union Leader refused to print a wedding announcement of a gay couple and as a result, stirred the angry pot of readers and subscribers.

To justify their decision, publisher Joe McQuaid wrote that the paper is not “anti-gay," but is opposed to a gay marriage law, according to the Boston Globe.

“While the law sanctions gay marriage, it neither demands that churches perform them or that our First Amendment right to choose what we print be suspended," McQuaid told the Globe. “We continue our longstanding policy of printing letters to the editor from New Hampshire citizens, whether or not they agree with us."

If you read the comments, you will see there are two camps on this issue.

The first camp is the gay community supporters who say that the paper is dead wrong and that there should be some legal action taken.

The other camp is the anti-gay community that applauds the move by the paper.

Then there is the camp I'm in — the camp that's ok with both stance.

You see, the gay-lifestyle isn't something that registers with me. I'm not bothered by it. It's really a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. If you're gay, cool. If you're not, fine. It honestly doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things whether or not you like chicks or dudes. It really doesn't.

But, from the newspapers standpoint, they have ever right to publish what they want. It's their paper and as you know, each paper has a political stance. While they cover the "issues" there's always a hidden agenda or role that the publishers want the paper to play in the community. Often times, that role consists of a political view. Why do you think papers come out publicly to support candidates?

I feel that the paper should print the notice, but that's because of my stance on the gay lifestyle in general. But, that's just my no-frills, no-drama political views (I'd rather talk about real issues that impact my life when it comes to political jousting).

This is an argument that will keep spinning round and round, and not come to an end. The publisher will refuse to publish such notices and the commenters will continue their fiery debate.

Where do you stand on the issue?

Article first published as Does the NH Union Leader Have the Right to Ban Gay Marriage Announcements? on Technorati.

Blurring the Lines Between Business Reporting and Blogging

The Boston Globe's Business Update blog had a post today referencing a Huffington Post piece that plugged a survey about Twitter — specifically, a survey that ranked the most active business people on the micro-blogging service.

The survey, compiled by NetProspex, a Waltham sales and marketing database firm, outlined the top tweeting business cities and how active business people in those active cities were on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

The results are interesting, yet begs to ask three questions:

  1. Might the results indicate where true influence lies on the social web as it relates to business topics;
  2. Does one of the leading newspapers in the world truly consider news about Twitter to be actual news; or
  3. Is this story a ploy to drive page views, content sharing, etc. because of the popularity of Twitter and continued hype around the service?

On one hand, it is interesting to know where social-business influence may reside online, which the results sort of elude to. However, being active doesn't mean you have influence, of course.

On the other hand, it's strange to see a traditional newspaper cover a topic and medium (social media) that continues to play a role in its demise as a breaking news source.

Of course, both of these points may lead one to be of the opinion that the story was covered simple to boost page rank, impact overall site traffic, etc., which, of course, helps with advertising revenue.

Then again, the Globe just reported the results and didn't conduct the survey. And with the gray of what's journalism and what's blogging being pretty vast these days, what's the say the same criticism can be made of HuffPo?

Regardless, it's a tough call as to where the lines of journalism, blogging, page rank juice and plain old PR fluff reside in this case.

What do you think?

Article first published as Blurring the Lines Between Business Reporting and Blogging on Technorati.

#140Conf: Effect of the Real-Time Web on News Gathering

140conf.jpgAt the #140Conf yesterday, there was a panel that discussed the effect of the real-time web on news gathering, featuring:

It was an interesting conversation because as a former journalist, I can understand their point of view, which was basically that social media has changed news gathering forever and media outlets are working diligently to keep up with what's happening now.

Consumers expect to get news as it happens and they will be forever part of the news cycle. 

As Jeff Cutler put it in his portion of the conference (Deadlines Don't Wait - Social Media Journalism), consumers aren't citizen journalists (unless you have the background and training as one), but rather are citizen reporters. We report the news as we see it, e.g. pictures, videos, tweets, etc. 

The trend of using citizens to gather news content is going to continue and increase, according to the panelists. 

It'll be interesting to see how news organizations embrace consumers' eagerness to be part of the news cycle and if they can formerly develop business models that one, generate actual revenue as a result and two, keep consumers engaged and willing to keep reporting.

What do you think?

Article first published as #140Conf: Effect of the Real-Time Web on News Gathering on Technorati.

Google News Changes Reflect Consumer Content Personalization Needs

Last week, Google announced that they were relaunching Google News in a better format with enhanced customization, discovery and sharing. The redesign was the biggest change since the launch in beta in 2002.

The feedback was good, but some folks wanted parts of the old Google News back.

Journalism in the Year 2025

The year is 2025. There is no pubic relations, no advertising and no marketing. In fact, there's no media in the traditional sense.

All that's left after the social media nuclear cloud cleared, are virtual newsrooms connected by civilians that are paid per search rank and residual content like videos, pictures, Tweets and status updates.

What the Vocus Acquisition of HARO Means for PR Pros

Mashable is reporting that Vocus, a developer of software for the public relations industry, will acquire Help a Reporter Out (HARO), the wildly popular service that connects journalists with sources.

HARO, which started out as a Facebook group, quickly surged to be a fantastic resource for both PR professionals and journalists. The service caught on quickly because it is free for both journalists and PR types, whereas the leader in the space, Profnet, is subscription based.