Posts By Robert Washburn

Latest Posts | By Robert Washburn

Twitter’s impact on media ethics

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This insightful article by Toronto Star columnist Antonia Zerbisias provides an interesting perspective on the ethics of Twitter use during the Russell Williams hearings in Belleville this past week.

While there are plenty of great comments, most noteworthy are the ones from Star reporter Joanna Smith at the end of the piece. It is exciting to think a journalist is bringing craftsmanship to writing 140 characters.
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Digital trends worth tracking, maybe

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For those who love lists, two trend-watchers provide a short list of digital waves to watch out for over the upcoming months. The Googleization of media is particularly interesting for journalists. The others are more business related.
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Geo-locating and journalism

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The notion of tracking people’s location using Foursquare is the latest trend and some journalists are attempting to use it, mainly for the “cool” factor. However, Jason Keith, of Social Fresh, provides some insight into how every day people are using this technology to find friends, make announcements, get suggestions and other simple uses.
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Lessons learned from crowdsourcing

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A recently released report by Pew Research and some timely comments from Al Tompkins, from Poynter Online result in a wonderful case study of the pitfalls of crowdsourcing and a list of great tips for anyone trying this approach.
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The Tea Makers R.I.P.

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The long-running CBC insiders blog, The Tea Makers, stopped publication recently raising.  speculation around its demise.

The anonymous blog was started during the 2005 CBC strike, but evolved into a popular commentary on all things related to inner workings of the corporation and the various broadcasting personalities.

Paul McGrath provides an excellent background and some speculation surrounding its closure.

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Role of social media in news laid bare during G20

An excellent analysis of the role of social media in news coverage is presented by Antonia
in the Toronto Star on July 11.

She aptly describes how Twitter became a news sources for untold numbers of people as journalists on the front lines used social media as an instant news wire, sending valuable, pertinent information streaming out to audiences.

She also notes the transformative nature of Twitter and other forms of social media by comparing more traditional forms of coverage to new ones.

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Canadian journalist arrested, possibly beaten

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Jesse Rosenfeld, a Canadian journalist reporting on the G20 for the Guardian newspaper, has been arrested and possibly beaten, his friends and father say.

Mr. Rosenfeld, a Canadian activist journalist based in Tel Aviv and Jaffa in Israel, was in Canada for the summer and on assignment from Britain’s Guardian to cover the G20.

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New hyperlocal news site launches in Eastern Ontario

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Prince Edward County, two hours east of Toronto on Lake Ontario, is the site of a new hyperlocal news project called, started by veteran journalist Sue Capon.

Working with her partner Amber Martin, a graphic designer, the pair have a storefront in Picton and publish solely online.

The enterprise is being well-received and provides a new dimension to coverage.

This is Capon’s description of the project in her own words.

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Old school journalism vs. new school on BBC radio

BBC radio Scotland airs an interesting program pitting an old hack journalist using traditional tools against a younger new media journalist loaded with technology.

The idea is to see which one gets the better, more credible story. The results are aired on the radio.

programme ‘Old Hack, New Tricks’ will air today  at 11:30am
and on
Sunday 27 June at 10:30am on BBC Radio Scotland.

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Alberta weeklies get federal funds

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Eight community newspapers in Alberta received federal funding to subsidize mailing costs and reduce subscription rates.

The Okotoks Western Wheel received more than $269,000, while others received between $10,000 to $40,000. The money comes from the Aid to Publishers program under the Canadian Periodical Fund. The fund provides assistance to magazines and non-daily newspapers.

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