“How to Win the Internet” Reflection

Liz Heron gave excellent insight during her TEDx Talk as to how news is changing due to social media.

Heron’s main points were that the internet news cycle is now participatory, non-linear and has unpredictable voices, whereas it used to be more one-way communication, linear and defined by gatekeepers.

1. Participatory

The internet has allowed news to change from one-to-many to participatory. Before the internet, the news mostly came from one source who then broke the news to the public. Now, the news can come from almost anywhere and from anyone.

2. Non-linear

The old news cycle was extremely linear and controlled by gatekeepers. Due to the increasing use of the internet, the news is no longer linear, but instead involves more two-way communication. The audience now has more say and involvement with the news.

3. Unpredictable Voices

News no longer comes from one central source. Because of the availability of the internet and the wide participation, almost anyone can break news. Journalists are no longer the only ones with access to news stories. Average people from all over the world have the ability to tweet, post or share the news just as easily as journalists do.

Heron said the old news cycle was like an arch. Reporters heard the news, news outlets broke the news, the news would reach peak interest, and then it would eventually fade away. However, now, with the help of the internet, the news cycle is more like a never-ending cycle that everyone participates in.

 

Journalists can use social media to their benefit. Through social media, journalists can gather story ideas, opinions and insights, promote their work, report breaking news, and crowdsource.

A major downside the use of social media in newsgathering raises is from the credibility aspect. The internet if full of hoaxes and faulty information, so it is important for a journalist to fact-check their work and be sure of the credibility of their sources.

Although sometimes social media can be tricky, it really is an amazing technological advance in the journalism world. The internet allows the audience to participate and communicate more openly, which is really quite amazing.

 

Shattered Glass Reflection – Prompt 2

After watching the movie “Shattered Glass,” here are my thoughts and reflections on three things I learned from the movie:

1. If there is one fact that is suspicious or faulty, there are probably more.

Check every fact! So many eyes were on Glass’ work, yet so many incorrect, fabricated facts were overlooked. When Michael Kelly was questioned about the airplane bottles found in the hotel room, he should have fact-checked the article more thoroughly instead of believing the lies Glass told him. If Kelly had taken the time to check the article entirely, he may have noticed the holes in the story.

2. Pictures are proof.

Although photographs were not as easily accessible and widely used when Glass was reporting, in today’s times, it is extremely important to include photographs in articles. Photos are proof! As the secretary mentioned near the end of the movie, the entire scandal could have been avoided if Glass was required to include photographs with his articles. As I mentioned before, it was a different time period for journalists, but with modern technology there is no excuse to not include a picture as proof.

3. Friendliness can go a long way.

I am not defending Glass in any way. I think what he did was absolutely wrong and lying to that many people is disgusting. However, I did take note of the way Glass treated his coworkers. Glass had a respectable reputation, he was well-liked by the entire office staff and he seemed innocent. If if weren’t for his reputation and popularity, the staff would have probably raises more suspicion, but since Glass had established trust and friendships with his coworkers, no questions were raised. Although in this situation it is completely taken advantage of, friendliness really can go a long way!

The broad repercussions of fabricating stories comes down on reporters and the name of the company who stands behind them. If a reporter fabricates a story, they put their entire company at risk. Fabrication can ruin any good name or reputation of a newspaper or magazine, and it also reflects poorly on journalism as a whole by making journalists less credible.

Spotlight Character Review

After watching the movie “Spotlight,” it was difficult to decide who my favorite character was. Mike Rezendes and Robby Robinson were two of my favorites, but my final pick was Sacha Pfeiffer.

I was drawn to Pfeiffer because of her determination, but also because of her technique. Pfeiffer was the true definition of a journalist. She gained the trust of her sources, knew the facts, had knowledge of the system, and worked diligently and effortlessly for the sake of the story.

The first instance when Pfeiffer caught my attention was when she and Robby Robinson met with Eric MacLeish. Pfeiffer was very knowledgeable of the cases and was set out to get what she came for. She was very determined throughout the movie, a quality that is important for a journalist. Without her determination, as well as the others, the story definitely would have not emerged from the Spotlight team, and it may not have ever emerged period.

Pfeiffer also showed excellent interview techniques. When meeting with potential sources or victims, she was always very straightforward while being sensitive at the same time. In one instance, she said something along the lines of, “Words are very important.” Pfeiffer knew she had to be sensitive and respectful given the magnitude of the damage she was reporting on, but at the same time she knew she had to have words and actual accounts in order for the story to become anything. Pfeiffer gained her sources trust and proved to her sources that she really cared about what they had to say and had the desire to listen to their stories.

Another technique that stood out to me was how Pfeiffer always asked direct questions. She never assumed anything before reporting; she always had the facts straight. When talking with her sources, she would constantly ask the same questions over again to be sure she had the facts straight and that she was not twisting any words. She was very direct and straightforward with her sources. For example, when she went directly to a priests’ home and knocked on the door, when he admitted doing such awful crimes, she made sure that he was actually admitting to them. Pfeiffer did an excellent job while recording and reporting information from her sources.

Overall, although there were many great characters in the movie, Sacha Pfeiffer stood out to me the most and was definitely one of my favorite characters. I would love to actually hear from the real Sacha Pfeiffer and her thoughts of the movie compared to the actual events.