Journalism

As Canada's first crowdfunded local journalist, Joey has thoughts on the practice and future of journalism

Don't Open that Email! Journalism and Click-Tracking

The US Government's Environmental Protection Agency is fighting an Associated Press journalist, and its getting ugly. One of the EPA's attacks on the journalist is his email opening history: "The Environmental Protection Agency is all over Michael Biesecker, a reporter for the Associated Press. His reading habits, for instance. 'We are able to see who opens our emails,' says an EPA official, referring to press-release blasts sent out by the agency. 'Michael very rarely opens a positive story about [EPA Administrator] Scott Pruitt. He only opens stories where he tries to create problems.'" A good reminder for journalists that we're being tracked. Each time we click a press release to read more, a good example being...

The Risk of Being Known for Knowing

It's an interesting dilemma I've encountered as a subject-focused journalist over the years: in order to get information, I have to earn a reputation as someone in the know. However, being known for being too much in the know results in sources assuming your aware of information, and those sources drying up. Much as I was previously known for my knowledge of Canadian higher education; I'm now known for knowing Hamilton. In both instances, I strictly maintained only unofficial source networks; I despise the common practice of Access Journalism which grants those in power favourable coverage in exchange for those in power serving as anonymous sources. The Good of Being Known for Knowing Prior to becoming a professional journalist, I...

Legacy Media in Trouble - On The Left This Time

The race for Mayor of St. Louis is interesting, there is no incumbent, and like most large metropolitan areas the public is demanding action on a wide-range of issues. It has one dominant daily newspapers the St. Louis Post-Dispatch which faces many of the same struggles large newspapers do these days. One of those challenges is public trust and relevance. One of the Democratic primary contenders for Mayor declined to sit down with the newspaper's editorial board, instead issuing a scathing open letter against the newspaper which closed: But what the editorial board and certain other reporters have done is nothing short of thinly veiled racism and preference for the status quo past. Something this city has had enough of....

I Don't Take Free Work - Journalism is Valuable

I do not take free journalism from others, it's contrary to my personal belief in the value of a person's labour. Many “new” “journalism” outlets are based upon a model of publishing the free work of others, aggregation of others original content, clickbait, and worst – exploitation of young people that label as “interns”. ThePublicRecord.ca is presently just myself writing for this reason. I liberally link out when a Hamiltonian blogs about an issue of interest, and regularly link to content in the two student publications at Mohawk College and McMaster University. I license all my original work using an open culture Creative Commons License - the Attribution ShareAlike license. Why CC-BY-SA? I wish to be credited for my work,...

The End Days for Student Newspapers? Or An Opportunity to Expand?

The University of Waterloo student newspaper is facing the challenge of students deciding they want their money back. The student newspaper fee is opt-out, meaning students can request refunds. The Waterloo Region Record reports: The University of Waterloo's student newspaper has been handing over cash to hundreds of students this week — part of a growing number of undergrads demanding refunds for their student fees. It's the latest from the so-called "opt-in" movement on campus, and comes after the president of the Waterloo student federation sent an email to all undergrads telling them how they could get their $4.35 fee back from the Imprint newspaper. ... That's left Imprint staff scrambling in the last few days as hundreds have...

Photo-Journalism is an Important Means of Conveying Information

Another thoughts on journalism post Photo-journalism is an endangered form of effectively communicating information. It's a very important form, and the decline of which will lead to a further decline in journalism as a whole. Photojournalism is one of the reasons I still enjoy reading my local print newspaper The Hamilton Spectator. They even have a great photo blog. I did some photo journalism for a few years early in my journalism career. For The Silhouette, I enjoyed being a photo volunteer because it gave me a chance to contribute without blurring the lines of my contracts elsewhere. I even managed to take a few photos professionally for Maclean's print edition. Whenever I wrote a print feature, I would submit...

The Camera May Be Pointed at The Politicians, But it is Really Pointed at Me

The video camera I bring into public meetings isn't about the politicians, it's about me. Let me explain, before you dismiss me as a narcissist. The camera holds me to account, it makes my journalism better - not only because I can look at the tape and make sure I'm accurately capturing a meeting, but because others can too. I've been asked many times, what's the greatest challenge to my work trying to be part of the solution to the collapse of local journalism: Being Alone. I'm alone in so many ways. I'm a one-man newsroom and media company - I don't have an editor. That's a big one, and something I wish upon no other journalist. The reality is...