New Belgian news site NewsMonkey

As said before, the printed press is in trouble. Partly because of the decline in advertising revenues. Advertisers are not interested anymore in funding printed press.

Newspapers and journalists need to find new ways to bring their news to the people. A new initiative in Belgium shows us how we can change our ways of news gathering.

NewsMonkey.be is a new project by Mick Van Loon, Wouter Verschelden and Patrick Van Waeyenberge, and supported by several Belgian journalists, who ‘lives to the rhythm of the web and social media‘. It’s a news site who hopes to survive by crowdfunding. The site looks for small shareholders. Starting from 50 euros, you can become a co-owner.

The site’s goal is to strengthen their bond between journalists and news readers. They have promised to keep their content free. Everyone who’s interested can access the content of the site.

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.

Digital Media and Ethics

How does a professional journalist use the new media, e.g. Facebook and Twitter, to research and publish and can they use texts or images published by social media users? I can see you think, you’d like to know it, don’t you? Well, I’ll tell you what I think.

But first I need to tell you the following:

There are tensions on two levels. The first level contains the difference between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ media; the traditional and the online media. There are also tensions between local and global journalism.
The question is: can we untangle these conflicts to set rules?

You need to take these things clear for yourself as well:
– Who is a journalist?
– What is journalism?
– Anonymity
– Speed, rumour and corrections
– Impartiality, conflicts of interest and partisan journalism
– Entrepreneurial not-for-profit journalism
– Reporters using social media
– Citizen journalists and using citizen content
The question is: Do we have to set standars for each subcategory?

The next topic we need to discuss is photos and videos. You can make them, but you can also manipulate them easily. Another way to fake the picture, is to add something or take something out before you take the photo are shoot the scene.
The question is: Can we trust images on the internet?

I think you already noticed: setting ethic rules isn’t an easy job. In the beginning of this post, I promised you to tell how a journalist should use the new media in my opinion, but I can’t. But… Can you?