Copyright on the Internet

Next week, I have my French exam. So this weekend, I decided to start preparing the exam. I need to read some pages in a French book: ‘Journalisme en ligne’. And isn’t that convenient? Because if you understand French, you know that I’m reading a book about digital journalism.

More specifically, I need to read the part about copyright. As we all know, citizen journalism has expanded since the arrival of the internet. That’s good because now people can give their opinion. But the down side is, that most professional journalists have a hard time protecting their written content. Some people believe that everything’s possible on the Internet, and that the copyright rules don’t apply on Internet content. Well, think again, because it does.

At school, we had a course last year, named Legislation and ethics. In the course, we learned about copyright and about who can be held responsable for plagiarism. But, in the course, we never spoke about copyright on the Internet

I think it’s important that everybody who writes on Internet makes sure to never copy something without permission. first, it’s unethical, but it’s also a criminal offense. Although, the copyright rules on the Internet are much less strict, I think it’s important to know that you can’t copy content from another person.

While I was reading the part about copyright, I started to think about my own writings on this blog. I tried to remember if I had used content from another journalist or writer. The truth is, I don’t know. When I write the articles for this blog, I mostly write about my own opinion. But that opinion is based on things I read. So, then I was confused. And now, I don’t know if I have broke copywright rules or not. I’m guessing I didn’t, but I’m not sure.

I’ve become aware of the fact that most people think the Internet has no rules, but I think it’s important that people know that rules are everywhere, also on the Internet. You can copy content from another writer, and you can post it on the internet and you may not get punished, but it’s just unethical. Keep that in mind!

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‘Teaching Hospital’ voor journalistiek in de toekomst

Het Teaching Hospital is een leren-door-doenmodel dat overgenomen is uit de gezondheidszorg. De digital natives zullen de journalistiek het computertijdperk in helpen, denkt The Knight Foundation, en daarom bundelt de organisatie de krachten van zij die met technologie zijn opgegroeid en leidt het hen op. De organisatie stimuleert kwaliteitsjournalistiek en bevordert innovatie.

Eric Newton van The Knight Foundation vindt dat opleidingen drastisch moeten veranderen en dat daarbij drie elementen van het Teaching Hospital een rol moeten spelen.

First Aid
Net als bij de Teaching Hospitals in de gezondheidszorg, kent een Teaching Hospital voor de journalistiek een afdeling eerste hulp. De afdeling waar het werk moet worden aangepakt dat er ligt. Waar verslag moet worden gedaan van het nieuws dat zich aandoet. Handen uit de mouwen, aan het werk. Met of zonder leraar.
Clinics
Leerlingen krijgen gedurende korte of langere tijd intensieve begeleiding van experts uit de praktijk.
Labs
Er moet onderzocht worden, er moet geëxperimenteerd worden. Er moet een plek zijn waar dingen mogen mislukken. Nieuwe vormen, nieuwe technieken.

 

Newton erkent dat er weinig echte goede voorbeelden zijn, maar hij is er van overtuigd als dat lukt wanneer studenten, onderwijzenden, externe professionals en bedrijven de koppen bij elkaar steken. Dan wordt de journalistiek pas naar een betere toekomst geleid, maar doe het samen. Hij benadrukt dat de journalistiek van de toekomst niet meer over de journalist mag gaan, maar over de community.

Een filmpje met meer uitleg vind je hier.

Tips & tricks for online journalists, good or bad?

For new journalists who are entering the world of digital journalism, it’s not always easy to just start working with the new media. Therefor, journalism.co.uk has posted an article  about tips and tricks for newbies entering the field.

Tip 1 – Build your own brand

In the article, they say journalists have to build their own brand, by using social media for example. Peter Bale, vice president and general manager of CNN International Digital, says Twitter is by far the most important source of news now, and it’s about the individual.
But my question now: if journalists will start to build their own brand, will their news coverage still be independent and neutral? In my opinion, it’s very hard to post neutral news when you’re the only one writing and controlling it. When you post an article on your own blog, I believe it will always be coloured with the own thoughts of the journalist. There’s for example no editor in chief who can control the article.

Tip 2 – Be good storytellers, but understand the business

The article states that journalists, of course, need to be good storytellers. But they also have to understand the business and the economy they’re working in. And the journalists need to be able to work with the new technology and the new designs.

Tip 3 – Be a curator

Journalists can be a curator and offer their audience a wider look on the world.

I agree with this tip. Because of the internet and the use of digital journalism, it’s much easier to link to other articles, and so the audience will get more information. And hopefully the audience will learn more and will have a more open look on things.

Tip 4 – Interact with the community

The article here says that journalists often fail to keep contact with their audience online. I agree that it’s often true that online journalists don’t talk with their audience, but I understand it must be very difficult. If an article or a post gets a lot of response, it’s not simple to answer to the needs of the audience. And as I said before, the journalist needs to be carefull with what he says, because actually, he needs to stay neutral.

Tip 5 – Ask questions

Journalists need to be curious and ask questions all the time.

 

I think it’s a very good article, but I do have my doubts with some of the tips. All the tips are true, but I think the biggest problem with online journalism is that the journalists aren’t being controlled. And I think that will colour their content.

 

Kranten dalen, internet stijgt

Volgens een enquête van het Nederlandse TNS NIPO halen jongeren nieuws vooral van de televisie en het internet. 87% verneemt het nieuws via televisie, 65% via internet. Jongeren halen amper nog nieuws uit de kranten. Dat cijfer daalde van 59% naar 37%.

Kranten blijven maar lezers verliezen. Het lijkt alsof internet alles overneemt. Ik persoonlijk vind dat erg jammer. Vindt niemand het dan nog leuk om een papieren krant te lezen? Het gevoel van papier in je hand, het sukkelen met de bladzijden als je ze wil omdraaien,… Een papieren krant blijft toch iets unieks dat niet te vervangen valt? Internet is dit digitale tijdperk inderdaad heel normaal geworden. Maar moet alles dan vervangen worden door internet? Ik zou het heel erg jammer vinden als papieren kranten voorgoed zouden verdwijnen.

Op een website is alles ook anders. De artikels zijn korter en bondiger, de lay-out mist,… Ieder artikel heeft op internet een eigen pagina. Ik zou het missen dat kranten alles zo goed bij elkaar gepast krijgen en dat alles zo mooi aansluit bij elkaar. Beeld het je in: een reportage met een kaderstuk en een paar streamers met een aantal mooie foto’s perfect gepositioneerd… Zou het niet spijtig zijn als we dat allemaal enkel nog via internet te zien zouden krijgen?

6 Advantages Online Media Give to the Journalists

As a journalism student I have already had a few professional practices and I have chosen to develop my career mainly in the sphere of the online media. But what are my reasons? Here are some of the advantages which the online media give to the journalists.

1) The feedback is really important. The online media give the possibility for direct, very fast and various feedbacks. The readers of one article could be a good corrective and advisor. They show which are the most popular and loved topics, or the taboo ones, what more you need in your material, or what is needless. They can even give new ideas and topics to develop. This way of communication also shortens the distance between the author and the readers.

2) The unlimited space to develop the ideas and the topics. The online media give bigger possibility for creativity, better expression of thoughts and showing one’s different style without bothering for limitations.

3) The possibility to mix text, video and sound. Adding sound and video components to an article can make it richer and much more influential.

4) The possibility for fast editing. Being as correct as possible in the information which you offer to the audience is one of the most important things in the journalism. The online media allow you to correct your mistakes on time and to add more information to the article if you get new facts.

5) Adding hyperlinks to connected articles. It gives people who are not so familiar with a certain topic the chance to become better oriented in the respective subject and follow its development by reading some background materials etc.

6) It is not so hard to start and develop your own media. You do not need a big start-up capital and it is quite easy to popularise your media by the social networks. You just need a good strategy, fresh ideas and some courage.

The (mis)fortune of the NY Times’ pay wall

In March 2011 the American newspaper the New York Times decided to do something completely new in the media world. They started using a pay wall. No more free news for everyone. People could subscribe and then read the paper’s news. Due to economic reasons the paper was forced to do something. They we’re ‘giving’ their news away for free on their website and fewer and fewer people bought a printed newspaper. A pay wall was the solution and it seemed to work.

Now, a little more than two years later, writer Ryan Chittum states that “the Times’ digital subscription revenue soared past its digital ad revenue”. Digital subscriptions fetched 37,7 million dollars in the last quarter, while digital ads brought in just 32.9 million dollars. So most revenues now come from readers, not advertisers, that’s something that rarely happens.

The massive digital-subscriber growth of the first two years has slowed, which means the newspaper’s upcoming expansion of its digital subscription model will be decisive for their stabilization.

But not everything runs smoothly. Mathew Ingram, online media writer, says that “the problem is not getting better, but instead it’s getting worse”. Although the Times’ digital subscriptions have been  increasing, its overall revenue barely changed. As I mentioned before, both print and digital ad revenues are declining. What may surprise you is that digital ad sales fell even faster than print ad sales. Print lost 1.6 percent, digital 3.4. It’s hard to find the right advertisers, as big companies such as Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. take out large parts of marketer’s budgets.

The NY Times will have to make serious efforts to attract new advertisers. The fact that more and more people subscribe to digital newspapers is a good thing. Let’s hope the newspaper finds a way to manage the advertising issue.

Is ‘blogging’ digital journalism?

What is digital journalism?

I have an idea of what digital journalism is, but I can’t give a clear explanation or definition. And since this blog is about digital journalism, I thought I’d have a look at the World Wide Web. More specifically, I looked up “definition digital journalism” in Google, world’s most famous search engine. Of course, the first site that comes across is our famous Wikipedia.

According to Wikipedia, digital journalism is “journalism originating from the Internet. Technological innovations, which previously allowed the mass distribution of news and information to large audience is now giving that power to individuals. Digital journalism is creating a new media landscape for the 21st century, with low barriers to entry, computer networking technologies, and new writing genres such as blogs. Freed from the necessity of large investments in distribution and production equipment, individuals and grass-root organizations have pioneered various new journalistic styles and practices and generated new communicative forms such as YouTube and hyperlocal geographically-based websites.”

I believe this is a pretty good definition of what digital journalism is. And I want to talk about blogs. Because our blog is about digital journalism, and it appears that blogs are in fact digital journalism (which is a little bit confusing, but it’s true). I think blogs are a perfect way for individuals to say their say on the internet, so that everyone who wants to read and follow, can read and follow people who have the same interests. Writing a blog is a lot of work, especially if you want to have a great amount of followers and readers. For some, blogging has become a full-time job.

But, my question, is every blog digital journalism? You have fashion blogs, movie blogs, DIY blogs, garden blogs, … Do these blogs fall under the name ‘journalism’? Do they have a ‘journalistic’ value? Or do they just give us fun information?

Blogging is becoming/has become big business. But the problem is that not all blogs give good quality information. Some blogs are just about what people ate that day. So I am a bit sceptical about the fact that ‘blogs’ are a way of digital journalism. But then again, the definition on Wikipedia said so. And although Wikipedia isn’t always reliable, the majority of internet using world believes in Wikipedia. And who am I to doubt the Wikipedia definition, if I had to look up the definition myself, on Wikipedia?