Surface Pro 3 Keyboard
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I write Affirmative Headlines

This morning, I responded to a Betanews commenter who asks: “I’m curious though about one thing and have been for a time. Does a Editor or someone else choose your titles or do you?” He responded to my story “I’m Microsoft All-In“, writing: “I personally have found my groove with ‘All-in Apple. for many years.

He asks a good question, and I answer at length, which I share below (and not in block quotes for readability reasons): [Read more]

Video of Event
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Is that Video Legitimate or Propaganda?

In the era of misinformation, Amnesty International—rather than a major news organization—provides tools for ensuring accuracy in the media. Launched today, Citizen Evidence Lab is an outstanding resource for journalists, or anyone else, for assessing whether videos are real or fake. Amnesty’s agenda is straightforward: “To assist human rights researchers to systematically assess citizen videos that depict potential human rights violations”. However, benefits for news gathering cannot be overstated.

Hat-tip goes to Nieman Journalism Lab for posting about the tools, which include a step-by-step how-to guide that “integrates best practices of citizen video authentication and brings the myriad of required verification steps into one, linear format”, according to Amnesty. There are lots of useful tools here, and I strongly encourage review of these how-to ones, many of which predate today’s launch. That makes me wonder how much is really new versus packaged as a new resource. Regardless, Amnesty serves a cornucopia of valuables for anyone actually willing to do the work of validating videos. I worry too few news gatherers will make the effort.[Read more]

Japanese Drummers
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Aggregation Beats the Wrong Drum

BGR used to give great scoops. Now, too often, it scoops up posts from other sites and poops them out. Can you say “aggregation”, dudes? Case in point is today’s post: “Beats acquisition called Apple’s ‘best idea since the iPad’“. The “best idea” belongs to Marcus Wholsen, writing for Wired.

So what? BGR blogger Zach Epstein has to recap Wired’s opinion piece about the rumored Apple-Beats merger rather than write his own? Not that there isn’t already too much punditry about an acquisition that hasn’t taken place and might never will. [Read more]

Wicked Witch of the West
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Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead

I must express my surprise at all the journalist tributes today for Katie Cotton, who suddenly left Apple. One post offers little praise. Over at Valleywag, Sam Biddle calls her the “queen of evil PR“. To me, she is Apple’s wicked witch of public relations. Did someone drop a house on Cotton, because the departure seems so sudden?

Putting context around the praise, “what no one will admit is that we were all afraid of her”, Sam writes. “Even at the end of Cotton’s reign, journalists are still in such a state of terror and awe they don’t dare speak openly about her reign of silence and smokescreen”.[Read more]

Simon Ostrovsky back story
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Now THIS is Journalism!

No words can describe how much I like VICE News. The videos are immersive and in your face. The stories are punchy, and in your face. Whether text or film, the reporting style provokes. How often do you read “shit” in news copy, for example?

In story “Tea Partiers Are Now Harassing High School Kids on Cinco de Mayo” Alice Speri writes: “That predictably led to a bunch of local conservatives losing their shit, with some parents suing the school for First Amendment infringement”. I love it! [Read more]