The Big Issue
Update: The first link of this article is to an Adam Radwanski column on new police powers under the Public Works Protection Act. Subsequent reports reveal the police had overstated their powers under the Act, someting Mr. Radwanski addresses in his next column. There's more info in this related news story.
To get an inside track, the G8/20 Toronto Community Mobilization website is a hub for activities ranging from bike block actions to radical street parties. Rabble.ca has a G8/20 ‘one stop shop’ of alt media coverage, and has published a guide to independent journalists covering the event, including what to do when CSIS comes calling. The Toronto Media Co-op, a division of Dominion News, is reporting on the People's Summit, while OpenFile offers coverage from a local perspective. The G20 Alt Media Centre is already abuzz with reports, tweets, photos and video from the streets. There are also individual activists like Krystalline Kraus and Stefan Christoff blogging and tweeting from ground zero, and a lively online debate about the relationship of the bank bombers to social movements. Journalists who want to dig further into the banquet of issues on offer will find a virtual library of resources at the G8 Information Centre provided by the University of Toronto and Munk School of Global Affairs.
A joint op-ed calls on journalists to report refusals and delays as news, and editors to turn down proffered pap. In recent weeks, enterprising journalists have dug up some great examples of info control, reporting on heavily scripted message streams on Afghanistan, including crafted quotes for returning aid workers.
For your viewing pleasure, examples of the now-infamous Message Event Proposals are posted here. Anna Maria Tremonti's 'request count' is still ticking – to date, The Current has bagged six interviews with federal politicians, and 43 refusals. When the Tyee's reporter was barred from an event, he made it a story.
Back in 2007, Sharda Vaidyanath predicted an upside to a worsening relationship, leading to more enterprising reporting.
So far, though, the government response is clear: "Let them eat lakes!"
But when it comes to day-to-day business of journalism, does digital get any respect? News organizations (and the advertisers that support them) are still looking for ways to make money off the web. Some are toying with paywalls, although reporters don't like the idea of restricted access to their words. Iconic magazines like Esquire are experimenting with augmented reality and electronic ink, while newspapers like The Globe and Mail are trying out radical solutions. Most are pouring money into websites and online innovation or looking for new ways to fund their operations. Journalists, meanwhile, are trying to figure out their own role in an increasingly multi-platform world. Amidst all the speculation of the state of the industry, business carries on as usual. Will journalists loose sight of journalism itself?
To tweet or not to tweet? The Canadian Association of
Journalists has issued draft guidelines
for responsible tweeting. Verification and accuracy
have become one of the top issues in the journalistic use of social media,
according to this backgrounder
to social media. The CAJ also led a lively discussion about the do's and don'ts of social media.
What would Marshall McLuhan say about Twitter? In his absence, a group of Korean number-crunchers have completed a study replete with impressive graphs and an intriguing question: is Twitter a social network or a news medium? In a separate February experiment, five journalists locked themselves up in a farmhouse with only social media to inform them about the outside world. Their conclusion: "You are who you follow."
If that’s the case, why not follow J-Source? Today our tweets are a little older and wiser.
On May 28 the Canadian Association of Journalists opens its national conference amid trying times. The Winter 2010 issue of Media Magazine – the CAJ’s house journal – contains a candid look at how the organization became strapped for cash, including the fall-out of ‘the Stevie Cameron affair.’ In addition to critical financial woes, the CAJ recently seemed out of step over the Supreme Court source protection ruling, declaring defeat where others, like Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, saw victory. When president Mary Agnes Welch published an open letter stating the organization was in crisis, J-Source readers weighed in on what the CAJ should do.
Obviously, people care enough to have an opinion. Over the years, the CAJ has provided quality training, networking and advocacy for its members, in addition to publishing Media Magazine and developing a Code of Ethics. Special educational events like January’s Innovate News conference help journalists stay ahead of the curve. The upcoming Montreal conference will include a full roster of seminars, on topics such as collective action for safety training and story-telling for broadcast.
Whether or not CAJ can maintain its relevancy – and solvency – in the years to come remains in the hands of its members. As Welch put it in her letter: “The CAJ is only as strong as you make it.”
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This is very interesting. But perhaps you've overstated the case. Truth is indeed a defense...23 hours 50 min ago
Peter Worthington would have known that there is a venerable tradition of journalists writing...5 days 17 hours ago
I like this. It's very important to see the closeness of public relations and journalism....5 days 21 hours ago