"What I learned is that virtually all of us are vulnerable to electronic eavesdropping and are easy hack targets. Most of us have adopted the credo "security by obscurity," but all it takes is a person or persons with enough patience and know-how to pierce anyone's privacy - and, if they choose, to wreak havoc on your finances and destroy your reputation."
A fairly rare occurrence but when it goes wrong, it goes wrong "The BBC and a regional newspaper illustrated a court case of a man pleading to rape and firearms charges with a photograph of the wrong man after it was supplied to them by the local police force. "
For six years,Veronika Larsson used social media to get into political discussions, books, respected newspapers and casual chitchat. Except she doesn't exist.
This is a great read, not just about how guarded media should be when dealing with online personas, but also of how a journalist painstakingly unearthed the real people behind the fakery.
I wish I'd been quick thinking enough to write this post - it's spot-on. You can teach law, and how to shoot video on a mobile, and even how to behave on social media - but someone who knows how to think on their feet? That is journalism gold.
"There’s another skill emerging which was maybe always essential, but is now as important as accuracy: Quick thinking. Anyone can be a journalist now – or, to save an argument, share news online like a journalist – but the successful ones will be the ones who think quickly.
Maybe that was always the case, especially in newsrooms with multiple editions in days gone by. But now a journalist doesn’t need to just write quickly, they need to source quickly, sift quickly, verify quickly and, most importantly, capture the evidence quickly."
" “It’s more than being slow. It remains hard to find people who understand digital and who have run newsrooms.”"
Jim Brady on why there are few editors with digital backgrounds heading up US newspapers.
The unmodded 3rd party comments defence has long been established in the online world of news publishing. It does mean that comment threads can sometimes be shocking places marked 'here be dragons' - but the idea of pre-moderating views is something no typically-staffed newsroom could or would consider. Hence Trinity Mirror's Facebook login approach, Most people tend to think before they post, when their actual FB identity is attached (although that has slashed the number of comments posted on the Daily Post site, for example).
Anyway, this ruling by the European Court of Human Rights should give us pause for thought... "The judgment in the case Delfi AS v Estonia suggests that online portals are fully responsible for comments posted under stories, in apparent contradiction of the principle that portals are “mere conduits” for comment and cannot be held liable.
Further, the unanimous ruling suggests that if a commercial site allows anonymous comments, it is both “practical” and “reasonable” to hold the site responsible for content of the comments."
Amid the jokey angst and photos of teens falling downstairs is a very serious point about crediting sources, and the fine line between curation and plagiarism.
"Last week I wrote an article about a new trend involving people tweeting photos of themselves and others falling down stairs. Roughly two hours later, BuzzFeed posted essentially the same article with a few new photos and some dad jokes. So I’m going to screengrab their entire article and steal it back. Aggregate their aggregation; aggrega-ception.
But don’t worry, I’ll hide the citation to their piece somewhere below to give them the appropriate amount of credit."
This is a pragmatic and interesting post from George Brock, who won my over with his opening line about disruption being 'no fun if your livelihood or beloved newspaper is being destroyed'. Some commentators sound as though they relish the pained thrashings of the Press industry as it struggles to find a new way to exist; others can sound as though blind faith and love of the job will find a way. Also, this: "Journalists worrying about "paradigm shifts", "network effects" and "post counts’ can often forget that, in many parts of the world, adapting journalism to disruption is not the big issue. Keeping reporters and cameramen alive and out of jail remains a priority for many news organisations. In 2012, 70 journalists were killed worldwide in direct relation to their work, making it one of the worst years since records began to be kept. The imprisonment of journalists reached a record high in the same year, with 232 individuals behind bars because of their work. In many places, journalists confront risks, obstruction and threats that are a feature of any society not accustomed to press freedom."