Tag Archives: blogging

Social Media and Journalism: My journey

Social media seems to be an ever-growing force within journalism. Using Twitter to reinforce current news stories has been an interesting venture. The 140 character limit is like a challenge to produce the best headline, with articles you think will be of interest to the most people who follow you. Often, I would seek out strange and shocking stories, for example, ‘5 year-old dangerously imitates a superhero and SURVIVES’. Anecdotes which use shock-factor are ones that I think are most interesting and will gain more attention.

It works both ways, whilst I have grown to enjoy browsing through news to find something I want to tweet about; Twitter also provides countless avenues for journalism. Following news publications like BBCBreaking allows you to obtain the latest updates on a story you may be following. For example; the constant updates of the Libyan crisis kept the public informed. This is where social media is at its most useful.

Tweet tweet

This blog has been another way in which to expand my journalistic work. I have carried it on from my Web Communications unit last year, although I maintained it throughout the summer as I enjoyed blogging about my experiences and reviewing things. Before it was used for this unit, I mostly enjoyed reviewing music and films, preparing myself for my career choice in music journalism.

Blogs that I have completed for this unit have allowed me to express what I have learnt in my own writing style- which I take pleasure in. It almost acts to trigger the memory and is a portfolio of my work, which I am in fact quite proud of. I feel that blogging is your own personal touch on current affairs and aspects of journalism. However, be careful with what you type, remember media ethics apply in online communications- refer back to my post  Media Law: for you bloggers.

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Media law: for you bloggers

 

Get to grips with the basics

Media law, also known as Entertainment law, is a subject that  every aspiring journalist should be clued-up about. Although, you may not realise journalists face some pretty heavy penalties for a slip on the keyboard. Media ethics deal with the likes of television broadcasting, film, music, publishing, advertising, internet and new media. I am particularly interested in rules I will have to abide by, in regards to blogging. Many bloggers are unaware that they need to comply with any kind of regulations, but we aren’t immune from the punishments of breaking media laws. Fact is, publishing a blog exposes the blogger to legal risk, as anyone can file a lawsuit regardless of merit.

  • Defamation is defined as a false remark or statement that adversely affects the character or reputation of another. Libel and Slander are the forms in which defamation can take place. Libel involve defamation through publishing. Whereas, Slander is spoken defamation of character. Reporters and bloggers cannot publish anything they want, rumour, inuendo and gossip should generally be avoided. The dangers of crossing the line could lead to injuring ones reputation and exposing them to disgrace, shame or hatred.
  • Contempt of court; the 1981 act ensures that journalists do not publish any details of an ongoing court case that may reflect any bias. The individual charged allows only have certain information publicised about them, in order to protect them until they have faced a fair trial.
  • Privacy and human rights goes hand-in-hand with contempt of court, in the sense that privacy must be respected. There may often be sensitive stories within the media, that members involved (for example, family or close friends) would not like to be in the media spotlight. Therefore, the privacy law protects the publics right to privacy. In regards to children under the age of 18, their details must be protected unless they have permission from a parent or guardian.
  • Intellectual property rights in accordance with journalism refer mostly to copyrighting. An article you may write can be replicated or an idea if copyright laws are not acquired. Freelance journalists often suffer, because they may pitch an idea to a magazine and incorporate it without your commission. Dan Roberts had this issue, however found out from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) governor James Thompson  that “It’s only when the work is in writing that copyright automatically protects it.” There are ways around it as Thompson recommends.

Do not, by any means be intimidated by these laws. Remember we live in the day of freedom of speech, so just skim over these as an act of caution and get blogging!

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