Today, the ebook formally known as Be a Better Blogger published to Amazon, Google, and Smashwords ebook stores. Title—drum roll, please—Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers.
As explained in post “Bye, Bye, Be a Better Blogger“, I launched a 28-day crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money to spend two months researching and writing the book. But the campaign lost money and wasted valuable time. You can always get more money, but time is a commodity never regained.[Read more]
As I write, 1.7 million people have signed a Change.org petition to: “Open investigation into judging decisions of Women’s Figure Skating and demand rejudgement at the Sochi Olympics”. The signatories and the news media’s response to them is classic example of “Mob Journalism”, a term first used on this blog in April 2010.
I coined Mob Journalism, or thought so four years ago, to define a populist response that is a social media byproduct. Services like Change.org, Facebook, Twitter, and others with online reach, enable the mob (referring to the masses not the mafia) to have a much louder voice. That’s quickly, too, unlike letter-writing campaigns used by protesters of earlier eras. Rapid response benefits societies, as explained in June 2009 analysis “Iran and the Internet Democracy“. The news media’s response is another matter.[Read more]
Later, Apple refutes the conjecture with simple explanation: website maintenance. But BGR keeps the link-bait “mysteriously” headline and “unexplained” lede, while placing an “update” at the story’s end. Many, if not most, people won’t read far enough to see Apple’s response. So the amended story spreads misinformation.
This is excellent example of the kind of egregious news reporting that prompted me to start working on forthcoming book Be a Better Blogger. BGR can claim responsible reporting because Apple’s response is included. But, I say, that’s not enough. Wire services update stories consistently, often publishing subsequent versions with more accurate information. That’s a good standard to adopt.
This exceptional report appeared in my social shares last week, and I only had chance to read it today. Particularly looking at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, I agree: U.S. news coverage is biased and irresponsible. As a journalist, I’m ashamed.
If you want your writing to impact, be present. Past tense weakens the narrative and deadens the emotional connection with readers.
Present tense is a weapon, which use raises body counts. Over at the BetaNews, some commenters consistently accuse me of being an overly-emotional writer. I cock my head and laugh, because just the opposite is true. Ambivalence is my feeling about 95 percent of stories, if not more. But accusations persist that I am a killer. For sure—of past tense.[Read more]