Reporting on the "ReportingOn" concept

I’ve been reading Ryan Sholin, who blogs about journalism, for a few weeks now. I always enjoy his posts, but I found one item on a list of New Year’s resolutions particularly interesting.

The third resolution (“Graduate.”) includes creating a proposal for a Web site concept aimed at journalists, specifically beat writers, to discuss what they are reporting on; thus the name “ReportingOn.” To the right is a screenshot of the page, where anyone can submit feedback.

I think this a great concept to help better connect journalists — and readers — to improve the flow of ideas. One concern on the Facebook group wall (which is like a test site of the idea), is being scooped. Ryan replies: “Keep it broad. You might be working on a story about alternative energy, but there’s no need to say which type or which company is building it. Imagine a site where one click shows you a list of everyone ‘reporting on’ alternative energy…”

I’m a competitive being, as most journalists are, but the purpose of our profession is to inform. If you don’t want to be scooped, don’t give away the scoop. We must continue to adapt how we do our job to better inform readers and this site would be a great way to help do so.

I can’t wait to see the final site and join.

“ReportingOn will be a way to improve local news by giving reporters access to people they don’t talk to often enough: each other. This isn’t Facebook for journalists or Twitter for reporters or your own private Digg; this is the place to talk to the expert in the next cubicle, which happens to be three towns over — or across a continent.” –

Related links:
Web site
Facebook group

Ryan’s posts regarding ReportingOn:
Resolutions » Invisible Inkling
(Jan. 1, 2008)
ReportingOn: An ever so slightly more detailed explanation » Invisible Inkling
(Oct. 24, 2007)
I don’t care what journalists are reading; I care what they’re writing » In atvisible Inkling
(Aug. 15, 2007)

Weigh in: Journalists and readers, would you participate? What are some pros and cons?

Update, Feb. 9 at 1:01 a.m.: Ryan posted an update with a mockup.

Non-wired journalists and non-wired cameras

Interesting links:

Howard Owens’ media blog – 2008 objectives for today’s non-wired journalist
This is a good list for all journalists. The comment section is an interesting read as well. I’ve been working on a top 10 list of my own that relates to journalism students because too many of them do not understand they need more than a journalism degree and basically reporter skills.

“I suspect there are still too many non-wired journalists in most US newsrooms. Either out of fear, indifference or hubris, too many reporters and editors resist using the Internet for anything beyond the occasional Google search (and heaven forbid they ever click a search result link to Wikipedia) and a daily dose of Romenesko (and heaven forbid if you call him what he is, a blogger).” – from Howard Owens challenge post

The Boston Globe – Newton school newspaper gets the scoop on hidden cameras
A high school paper doing good journalism is always a nice read.

UPDATE, Dec. 31 at 1:04 A.M.: Howard Owens’ challenge has been reverberating across the journo-blogosphere the past few days. At almost every turn, there’s mention of it.

As a general comment, for student journalists wanting an “inside” at the community they hope to soon join, read the blogs written by journalists! I’ve been reading and clicking through to all kinds of knowledge treasure troves on the Web and learning a great deal from the nuggets (and sometimes tomes) that are posted on these sites.

I will continue to add these blogs to my favorite links area, so always be sure to check that area frequently.

Weigh in: How connected are you? Do you read blogs? Blogs about journalism? What are your favorite journalism sites and blogs?

Poynting out one’s online identity

Mallary Jean Tenore wrote a great article on Poynter Online called “Journalists Develop, Dismiss Digital Identities,” which offers several perspectives on the topic from journalism professionals, young and old. Click the link or image (linked from Poynter) to read the article.

I thought the timing was great because in the past few months I have been more actively working to shape my online identity. For instance, I became very aware of the concept of the “digital legacy” after attending an ethics session by Poynter’s Kelly McBride at UM, during which she discussed this topic in reference to journalists and people named in articles. Paul Conley‘s remarks as part of a resume-writing panel at the national ACP/CMA in Washington, D.C. also spurred me to reevaluate my presence on the Web.

“A digital identity is your presence on the Web — the sites and accounts you register for and create that help determine who you are and what you do online,” Mallory Jean Tenore explains in the the article.

Though my online identity is something I am proud of, I wanted to even better represent myself and demonstrate my Web-savyy. Some ways I have molded it are through buying my domain name using GoDaddy, creating this blog, posting comments on other blogs and creating a LinkedIn page.

Bottom line: Anyone going to journalism or in journalism should be very aware of their online identity and be proactive in establishing and shaping his/her online identity.

Weigh in: What do you think about having an online identity? Do you do anything to shape it?

Talking dirty diapers

Today I finished reading Journalism 2.0: How to Survive and Thrive by Mark Briggs. I also began voraciously consuming his past blog posts. I’ve made it as far back as September 2007 as of now and, in the process, have opened many of the links provided.

I created a J-Lab user account and commented on multiple postings, but one post in particular spurred a longer thought. Here is my response to “A 12-step program for journalists,” from Oct. 1, 2007:

Mark, I agree. Journalism definitely needs better well-placed humor and humanity. Reporters and editors still need to take subjects seriously when warranted, but if news organizations want to attract younger audiences (a community to which I belong), they need to understand why people watch Jon Stewart.

Many young adults are growingly cynical when it comes to the news and politics, so the Daily Show and the Colbert Report take an angle they can identify with and find entertaining. Those programs succeed with humor, sarcasm, parody, irreverence and such. They question authority and highlight absurdities. They remove the “filter.” In all, they are fulfilling a journalistic role, all the while providing an enjoyable watching experience for the viewer.

“Infotainment” is something we as journalists need to avoid, but that doesn’t mean news should be drier than a fresh diaper. Let’s not be afraid to soil ourselves from time to time, as long as we keep our reputations clean.

Please feel free to weigh in to the discussion by commenting below.

Sidebar: I’ve also been digging into Poynter‘s Web site and surfing for other journalism pages online. Basically, I’m trying to give myself a self-taught, Internet-based intersession course during winter break. Stay tuned…