Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hyperlocal News- Who Should Really Use It?

James Massara

With the Internet becoming the main source for "breaking news," a problem has formed as to what sources are accurate and able to be trusted. 

The majority of the U.S. population has access to the Internet in some form, and also has the ability to post and share information with a push of a button. There are benefits as well as many negatives.

Beating Them To The Chase

One of the largest negatives to the audience creating “news” is the large possibility of incorrect information spreading like wildfire before reliable news sources have the chance to report correctly on the matter.
One prime example of the general public spreading incorrect news is the news of movie star actor, Jackie Chan. In the summer of 2013 the movie star was said to have died according to multiple social media sources. Chan responded with a picture on Facebook with him holding a newspaper from that day to prove he was alive. This wasn’t the first time this happened to Chan. A Facebook group titled "Jackie Chan R.I.P 08/17/2011" appeared to announce the actor’s death of a heart attack two years earlier.

                                                             (Courtesy of Facebook)

This shows the possible danger of allowing the general public to become his or her own versions of “citizen journalists."

Knowing The Inside Scoop

In small town markets especially, where the newspaper in its non-Internet form will survive the longest in my opinion, citizen journalists can be a great asset to the professional publications, because they will be the first to know information thanks to the small town “he said she said” environment.

If the professional journalists of the local news source learn which community members are reliable on information, it is almost like having unpaid reporters in the community with their eyes and ears open 24/7.
The trouble in a small market is if the public finds out the sources that are talking to the press, then those sources tend to get shut out of the loop.

Hyperlocal News- Used By The Big Guys

Hyperlocal news sources can be a threat to professional news sources as well as an ally, but hyperlocal reporting benefits the local residents. Larger news sources like the BBC have started to use links to hyperlocal regional stations to incorporate their national news alongside local news in their coverage area. Stations are also starting to post the links to the original sources of their stories, which many times are written by local bloggers.

The Benefits

The true benefit of hyperlocal news sources is the ability to get the local population to read the news product, by making it feel more relatable to the reader. This is easier for the local professional sources because much of their product is already hyperlocal stories.

It would be more difficult for a source in Boston to begin a hyperlocal product because it would be very difficult to cover that large of a population on a small scale. Due to the typical small size of a hyperlocal sources personnel in office cover a city of that size would be near impossible without missing large sections of the city.

Leave It To The Little Guys

When it comes down to it, hyperlocal news reporting should be left to the smaller scaled market. There is less to try to cover and therefore less of a chance to misreport information in a story. 

Larger publications should build partnerships with the smaller publications so that they will be able to post links directly to the article. The most important factor in the situation will always be to have reliable sources when reporting on any scale.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Today's Changing Principles

Jordan Simmons

A sense of community and a separate category for being transparent are two new concepts that today’s journalists must be conscious of in their everyday reporting. Transparency already exists to justify credibility, yet today it is set in its own category.  Journalists must engage the community by making an ongoing effort to understand the needs that we seek to serve.

One of a journalist’s main responsibilities that cannot be overlooked is engaging the community. We have a task that operates 24-7, and that is to create the best mechanisms we see fit in order to allow members of our community to communicate with the media itself as well as one another. A part of being responsible for the media goes hand in hand with being responsible for the means of communication. 

Credibility of the media is something that is unfortunately dwindling in the eyes of many citizens. I hear people in my family critique today’s journalism and once heard someone say that “there will never be another Edward Murrow.” Although that comment is very drastic and uses the absolute term never, it is something that is at least in the process of being fixed. 

Being transparent now has its own category in the "New Guiding Principles for a New Era of Journalism" because it reminds journalists to show how the reporting was done and why people should believe it. We must explain our sources, our evidence, and we must explain why we made the choices that we made. If we make intellectual honesty and humility our guides, we will become much more efficient assets to the every day citizen’s trust in reporting.

Seeking the truth must never be taken easy. Seeking the truth should never end in today’s reporting because with today’s new waves of modernity and social change for equality it may be harder than ever to trust sources.

It is important to be courageous as a journalist and to challenge our sources repeatedly.  The word challenge should be stressed, because I believe seeking the truth is a constant challenge that us journalists must embrace and not overlook. 

In addition to seeking the truth, a major part of that is giving voice to the voiceless. We must persistently seek to document the unseen and carefully choose the stories that are for the betterment of the community. We must benefit the community. We must be accountable in what we choose to expose to the media and give them stories that they really need to hear. 

While these new concepts are extremely important for successful reporting in today’s society, our basic values have remained the same. The list of these principles in the 1990s would have included seeking the truth, acting independently and minimizing harm. 

Seeking truth is still the greatest value as it is a primary function of journalism. Where independence was once the main category, now we aim for transparency because it demands that the public see how the journalism of the future is produced and calls for openness that encourages constant conversation between journalists and the citizens, as well as the newsroom and the community.

Social News

Colin Roose


How do you get your news?

Readers, I have to level with you. Despite being a journalism major, I am unfortunately not an avid news-watcher. Not that I'm not interested in what's going on, but there's just too much stuff I have to do at Ohio University for me to devote extra time to find out what's happening on Capitol Hill, or get the weather forecast, or even to understand what's going on in a nearby city like Columbus.

But social media has come to save me from a stone-age lack of communication with the outside world. Just by liking CNN, or even a local news station on Facebook, the headlines pop up on my feed several times a day. This creates a news distribution much more efficient for me than sitting down in front of the TV every night at 6:30. 

It's no wonder, then, that news outlets are quickly discovering and adapting the Twitters and the Instagrams of the world to reach their audiences. A new type of medium deserves a different way of consumption. But since you can't take the social out of the media, news outlets have to learn a new way to relate to their audience.

Two-way communication

Perhaps the most important aspect of retaining an audience on a social media network is to relate to readers, and make them feel as though they are part of a dialogue. The days of dictation of world events are fast approaching their end. Because of this, on-air personalities on news stations are often required to have their own social media profiles specifically for sharing with an audience.

So how is this friendlier news persona achieved? The School of Journalism at UC Berkeley came up with a guidelines sheet with some rules of thumb. One suggestion of note is to find a happy medium with regularity of posts. Readers do not want a deluge of news with varying usefulness. Their recommendation is five to 10 times per day. Regular enough for people to know your station, but not so much that they get sick of it is the key.

And those posts don't have to just be news. People like to see that even the nightly news anchor lives a normal life just like them, so posting a picture of your Christmas tree, or a pet or a cake you just baked is also advisable. These kinds of posts help with the bonding aspect between the news outlet and its audience, and will help viewers to better trust the outlet for news.

Speaking from experience, my sister is a producer a news station in Kentucky and she made me be friends with both her and her public news profile. Go figure.

But the ethics still apply

It sounds like a great idea, doesn't it? By adding a more personal element to the dissemination of news, there can be a better communal understanding of the news. But this also blurs the lines between what is and isn't legitimate journalism.

As Stephen J.A. Ward from the PBS site Mediashift puts it, ethics are not "one size fits all." If these reporters can post about their daily lives on the same time that they report on serious issues, wouldn't that be mixing personal blogging with the real news?

Another result of the immediacy of social media is that those journalists who make these posts are expected to tell their viewership the second they hear something important. That still means that fact-checking is key, but it has to be done with lightning speed.

Live reporting events are made convenient with social media, but they also lend themselves to shoddy and inaccurate reporting, just because it's so easy to make a Twitter post. And all of the trust built up with those fun posts will come tumbling down if a journalist makes an error with the truth.

Welcome to the new age

Transparency is here to stay in journalism, and bond-building through social media is the first step. Be prepared to know your local news anchors on a first-name basis.

Ethics in the Digital Age

Hallie Rawlinson

Photo courtesy of

Not headed to a funeral

When it comes to developments in technology, the growth of crowdsourcing and increase in social media use, many of us have heard someone utter the words: "Journalism is dying." But how can a field that has embraced these new developments and utilized them much before any other fields be dying?

We are prepared to embrace the future of this digital age, as we already have. This also means that we must evaluate our ethical practices in order to effectively stick to our principles of truth, independence and doing the least harm possible.

I think that these naysayers could not be more wrong. I am thrilled about where journalism is and where it is headed. We are not planning the funeral for the practice of journalism, but rather making way for it to grow and thrive in ways that it has never before. We do not seek to "change" the way it is practiced but rather "develop" along with the changes that happen to technology and communication practices.  In the case of technology, our field has been one of the quickest to adopt the new digital age and use it to better communicate with our audience.

This video from the Poynter Institute shares some of the ways ethics develop with the evolution of journalism in a digital age.

Transparent, but not pliable

Many times, it seems that polled audiences are very wary of the media and the motives of journalists today. However, what they may not realize is how committed many journalists actually are to ethical practices.

Journalism is now more of a conversation than a speech and people are openly wondering about our motives. This is where transparency comes in. We can use the best combination of sound ethical decisions and allow the public to know that we are striving to deliver truth in the most effective and least harmful way possible.

The Poynter Institute is giving journalism students and professionals alike a way to sound off on the new ethical challenges we face and consider how to deal with those. Using Twitter and the hashtag, #poynterethics, the institute was able to get the conversation started.

Not only is it important that we all have this conversation, but I believe it says something that we are doing it right out in the open on Twitter. If that isn't transparency, I don't know what is.

Game plan

As journalists we need to embrace change and respond with growth. Each new class graduating from J-school is already in a completely different world than the one before it. Professionals need to make sure to instill the importance of fundamental ethical practices into their younger colleagues.

I believe it is also important for those older professionals to listen to the new generations and connect with our ideas. In a world that is changing so rapidly it's hard for even us twenty-somethings to keep up.

Stand out among the imposters

Cidnye Weimer

I tweet, I have a blog, I have a voice. Nowadays anyone can "report" the news and it is more important than ever to make sure the "real" journalists stand out.

So the news outlets start going digital. They add more content to their websites, they add more videos and they are tweeting more than ever! But is that enough? How can they stay ethical in this digital age and on social media?

In The New Ethics of Journalism written by McBride and Rosenthal they say that the new values for journalists are to: 1. Seek the truth and report it as fully as possible, 2. Be transparent and 3. Engage community. This is opposed to the 1990s, when the top three ethical values were to 1. Seek truth and report it as fully as possible, 2. Act independently, and 3. Minimize harm.

Although the original three are still as important as ever these new three will help journalists today stand out in this world of digital media and news imposters.

Seek The Truth
Now, with everything going digital, seeking the full and accurate truth can be a little harder because everyone is trying to get that first tweet out or that first online story. So you have to think, is it better to be the first one or is it better to wait a little longer and make sure your story is 100 percent accurate? If you tell the wrong story it will lose people's trust and faith in you.

Be Transparent
Going off of seeking the truth, if you do end up jumping the gun and being the first one to submit a story online or via social media, but it turns out to be wrong, you need to own up to your mistakes and retract your statement. Be open and honest and allow people to trust you. If they feel as if you are hiding something or if your opinion is clouding your judgement in the story they may just go somewhere else.

Engage Community
This is important now more than ever. The community, your audience, is all over the digital sphere watching every move. Every news article, every journalist, they are watching. So interact with them; make them feel as if they have a part of the story. Comments and likes now rule engagement between the news and the audience.

The Advancement of Journalism and Ethics to Preserve

Emily Mueting

As journalists, we are “stuck between two polar impulses: to cling to tradition so tightly we resist progress, on the one hand, and to throw away the most important values in journalism and charge blindly ahead thinking everything has changed on the other” (McBride, 1).

Many of the new forms of media are challenging what we have in the past established as ethical codes. Blogging, tweeting and apps are only a few of the newest forums of journalism. What used to be ruled by a few trained journalists, i.e. the newspapers, television stations and radio stations, are now just a portion of the journalism world as a whole.

Bloggers do not need to be trained journalists. Actually most of the time, they are average people who are not trained to be journalists. They do not take classes in law and ethics. They do not know how much journalists stress the importance of being fair, truthful, accountable and independent, etc., but that doesn’t mean they are not going to be unethical.

From the Left, a wordpress blog, posted a code of ethics that is designed specifically for the blogger. It is based off the Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics but was modified for the online blogging world.

The problem with this code of ethics is that many bloggers will continue to write whatever they want, without ever reading the code of ethics.

Twitter is filled with people of all walks of life, some intelligent, some not so much. Just last night, "trader" not "traitor" was trending throughout the U.S. thanks to a baseball draft and Jacoby Ellsbury, who apparently has taken up Wall Street or become an employee at Trader Joe’s (I am not sure which path has to do with his baseball trade).

All jokes aside, there are plenty of ignorant people on Twitter, and most of them are not trained journalists, yet they, by some standards, commit acts of journalism multiple times a day. If they are not being ethical in the tweets they send, are we lacking in the ethics we stress in journalism? 

And it goes both ways. Journalists who are trained and educated are making ethical mistakes on the web. Many times, tweets are retweeted without fact checking and verification. That is not part of the ethics of a journalist. Also, many times, journalists are antsy to tweet out the news so fast that they make mistakes in their reporting. According to the SPJ code of ethics, truth is a huge value to a journalists, yet over and over again, journalists report news that is false, all because they didn’t fact check or verify before hitting the button.

Journalism is rapidly advancing and changing, but hope is not lost. If we stress the importance of keeping our core codes of ethics strong, trained journalists will continue to be ethical reporters, and many of the non-trained journalists will either catch up and be ethical also or risk losing readership to the blogs and Twitters that have proven themselves honest, ethical and reliable.

Community is the goal

By Dylan Sams

In The New Ethics of Journalism, a book consisting of essays about journalism and how it's ethical codes have evolved since arriving into the 21st Century, Kelly McBride and Tim Rosenthal write, "the news has never belonged to journalists. It has always belonged to the public."

That may be one of the most important things to remember as a journalist. As much as we like to think about our work as ours, if journalism is to be simplified into one word it would called a service. It's a service to every person who consumes news: online, in the newspaper, in the latest magazine.

The community we serve, on a large scale

In the book, McBride and Rosenthal write about how three key ethical points have changed (or not). In a prior book, worked on in the 1990s, the top three ethical values were to: 1. Seek truth and report it as fully as possible, 2. Act independently, and 3. Minimize harm.

Brought into the present, the two writers say that those three are still very important, but they, save for seeking truth, have evolved into larger concepts. Now, the values are as follows: 1. Seek truth and report it as fully as possible, 2. Be transparent, and 3. Engage the community as an ends rather than a means.

The idea to seek truth is a fairly obvious one. Without truth, journalism doesn't exist, everything becomes fiction. That's very clear, and didn't change. The other two, being transparent and engaging community, are much larger ideas and can be difficult.

A large part of these two new ideas (which really aren't all that new) is tied to the fact that journalists are no longer the only ones creating content about the day's events. Anyone can do it. You're reading a blog, which is one of the reasons that is possible.

With that in mind, it becomes evident that we do have to take care of our work, and that comes with being transparent. By explaining how we came to work on different stories and developed them, it gives the public a clearer picture of what it is we set out to do with that story.

This idea ties in very nicely with serving community as well. By showing how everything works we bring the community into our stories. Journalism is now a forum because of social media sites like Twitter strictly because it gives a voice to people who may not have always had one.

In this way, it is easier to engage with the public, and it makes sense that journalists should do so. Not communicating would be an egregious error on our side. In the book, truth is the leading principle, but it is important to remember why it is we are being truthful — it isn't for ourselves, it's for the people in the community in which we live.

What makes you a journalist, anyway?

Perez Hilton (photo courtesy of

Catherine McKelvey

Yes, this man does exist,
and yes, he does consider himself a celebrity journalist. His name is Perez Hilton and he is most commonly known as a very popular, controversial and oftentimes criticized celebrity blogger.

He has a hugely popular blog, known as, and he is active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Every day, new stories appear on his blog, which has several different sections of interest (celebrity gossip, celebrity pets, celebrity fitness, athletes, the wives of athletes, and the list goes on and on.)  The stories range widely, covering topics such as music award shows, the latest who's who in Hollywood, and the latest, most talked about celebrity scandals.

Everything is extremely opinionated and bias is exhibited.  Even the celebrities who oftentimes appear on his website have accused Hilton of libel, claiming that his statements are widely untrue and blasphemous. Yet, the guy still has an enormous following on Twitter and Instagram, and his blog generates millions of hits per day.

If we, the public, know this guy is no journalist (at least not one with an ethical code), we know he prints false stories and we know he isn't the most reliable source, why do hoards of us type the name of his blog into our search bar day after day?  It's simple, really:  Sometimes, we just want to be entertained. 

What's the problem?

The problem is not simple, and it is not merely one thing or the other.  In fact, it might not even be so much of a problem.  Rather, it might be a conundrum.

The conundrum that is journalism today is becoming increasingly difficult, as the Internet has made news and information consumption extremely easy, accessible and convenient.  Collection websites even exist, making news consumption that much more accessible.

With the click or tap of a mouse, you can be reading your favorite and most preferred source for news before you've even washed your face, changed out of your pajamas or left the comfort of your warm bed. News is, most literally, at our fingertips, and it is constant at that.

Online news sources compete for the most views, and they are updated at what seems to be a continuous rate. It has become nearly impossible to decipher which pieces of information are credible and have been fact checked apart from those which posses little or no credibility whatsoever. 

So many outlets for news and information, hard or otherwise, exist and flourish amongst today's society. Some of the information in distribution has been written and verified by journalists, other information... not so much.  Independent parties have created their own publications, and bloggers much like Perez Hilton have become household names as far as the news they provide to the community is concerned.

Given this fact it is only sensible to think that truth, transparency and independence can become blurred and much more difficult to achieve (for journalists) and believe (for the public). How can we detect truth from lies?

So...what now? 

Well, if you ask me, I'd say we as journalists have a long and most difficult road ahead of us.  As the world of journalism transforms right before our eyes, all we can do is transform alongside it.  We must adapt, and we must put forth our best effort at adaption.

Now, we must strive to tell the truth to the best of our abilities, serve the community by all means possible, act independently and always strive to be transparent.  With time, these codes will become more and more difficult to achieve.

However, in a world so clouded with opinion based and plainly false journalism, those of us who seek the truth, first and foremost, and abide by our code of ethics will present honest news to the public.  Audiences will trust us in return. Credibility will be the key to success in this new and upcoming era of journalism.  

However, this does not mean we should abandon the ship that is our ethical code. We should still abide by our code of ethics, and always remember that we have values guiding our actions. This, my friends, is what will separate us from the rest. Together, let's prove this political cartoon wrong.  

Cartoon courtesy of John Francis Borra

Progressive journalism means becoming anticipatory defenders

Morgan Sigrist

With the technology boom clearly changing the way people obtain their news, journalism ethics must change and adapt as well.

Journalists have become anticipatory defenders as transparency has become the main tool in the journalist trade. Transparency and independence have remained a strong hold of ethics throughout the technological change, as audiences are finding new ways to become editors and commentators in their own right.

courtesy of

According to the article “New Guiding Principles for a New Era of Journalism” by Kelly McBride and Tom Rosenstiel, the role of the community has changed greatly. Before the introduction of the Internet, the audience was more of a silent bystander, and communication was limited to letters to the editor. The Internet has instead offered audiences an immediate and personal voice in the form of comment forums, blogs and Facebook.  With Internet access in connection to the news, the audience is now able to check facts in stories easier than ever before.

Technology has also changed the way news is presented, just as the role of journalists and advertisers have changed to attract audiences of greater proportions. Advertisers must find new ways to attract audiences to their publishing company, while writers must learn to entice readers with a single click.

Circulation is measured less and less by how many physical papers are delivered and instead by how many clicks their story gets on the company’s web page. The dynamic of audience member to writer becomes a bit more complicated as ideas such as independence become clouded.

Independence and neutrality as a writer become more difficult as editors push for stories that will attract a greater audience and therefore greater revenue. The business often loses sight of its purpose as the drive to survive in the tough economic and fast-changing times becomes greater than the need to produce underreported or unpopular stories.

Not all aspects of community are to be overlooked, as this new symbiotic relationship between the audience and the writers has been created. For example, writers have a more instantaneous response to their content and often get constructive feedback. Another positive aspect of this relationship is the sense of greater accountability that is placed on writers to create not just ethical but accurate news.

All of these ideas culminate to the stronghold of accuracy and our ability to be honest and fair reporters. It is our duty as journalists to provide the public not with just what we think they may like, but what they need to know. We must be seekers of truth for our readers and weed out lies.

As paranoid as it may sound, we must learn to question everything. What motivated a person to say or react this way? Where are they getting their information? By asking these questions and more before the article or segment hits the media stream, we are anticipating questions and thoughts our audience may have and answering their questions before they even thought of them.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The way to the real journalism

Ji Ren

The topic for this last blog is back to the one that I wrote for this class at the beginning of this semesterethics of journalism.

Coincidentally, I was showed a video about Chinese people blaming the western media for not reporting truths in my history class today. As a Chinese who is studying journalism in the U.S., the video actually makes me feel that I'm right in the middle.

To be honest, I have to say the video itself is kind of radical or it has bias. The news values and codes I've learned in this class are not only for the U.S. journalists but also for reporters from all over the world. 

Truth, the core value of journalism, is the only thing the public wants to know and journalists seek. But because human beings are emotional, it is hard for reporters or other media workers to not show their emotions or bias when presenting truths. 

In this video, obviously, the producer shows bias against the western media. Is it true that western media always lie? Of course not. However, on one hand, western news that Chinese people can reach is limited and not all Chinese can read English, so videos or news articles like this could probably mislead people who watch or read them. 

On the other hand, western people who can reach things like this could probably think Chinese media lie. I personally think that the more the news like this comes out, the worse the relationships between countries will be. This is one of the reasons that I hesitated whether to learn journalism or not. 

Although journalistic values and codes changes over time, the news itself changes too. Nowadays, the purposes of many news articles are to cater to the public or to follow the requests of government; in some cases, new organizations even try to cover up the truth in order to "cooperate" with the government. 

Currently, in China lacking of rights to free speech makes things like this happen often. Sometimes news organizations may be forced by the government to delete a piece of truthful news within 24 hours after it is released since the news is in a way "harmful" to the government.
Like the article about transparency of journalism in global media says, "'transparency' doesn't guarantee fair and accurate reporting," but as journalists, we still need to show transparency to the public since it is an important part of truth-seeking.

Besides transparency, there are still numerous difficulties for news workers to overcome on the way to  real journalism. The work we are doing is like a war, and the enemies we fight against are not only the government or greater powers but also ourselves.

In my opinion, the most important thing for a journalist to remember and to achieve is to always seek and report the truth to serve the public through transparency. Like this article says, "transparency is the answer to bad government and wrongdoing by corporations and news media...Let the 'sunshine' of transparency enter the public domain and watch these evil forces retreat."

We All Have Blogs, What's the Point?

Nick Rees

I have a blog. You most likely have a blog. We all have blogs. With all of those individual voices floating around the grand ole world wide web, what exactly is the point of journalism? If we can share whatever we wish with our desired audience, then why do individuals still worry themselves with reporting and the field of journalism as a whole?

Source: The Summa, a Wordpress blog
In the age of the blogger, the only things that separate paid journalists from those able to communicate their views over blogging formats like Wordpress or Blogger are the ethical standings a true journalist holds. In a recent article, Social Media Today further explores the importance of blogging and its importance to the technological age we inhabit.

As expected the ethical standings of one generation may not hold up in a more progressive generation. Fashion trends fade from parachute pants to skinny jeans, and the same remains true for ethical codes in the journalism field. With fear and awe we have zoomed into an era of non-existent privacy and easy access to personal information.

As the years have rolled past, people have become more comfortable sharing the most intimate details of their personal lives on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In this ethical minefield, journalists have had to reassess their core standings, but the following reflect the best of the old standards, with a dash of modernity. 

Truth Above All 

Source: IMDB
Unlucky for those of you without knowledge of the incredible film Moulin Rouge, but the term truth never fails to bring forth recollections of the bohemians’ dedication to truth, beauty and above all things love.

In many ways those three aspects apply to the field of journalism. No matter the era, truth will forever remain the core purpose behind a true journalist. The story isn’t worth reporting if the content is false, and the audience deserves the truth. No matter the cost down the line, many prominent journalists, including those involved with the Wikileaks scandal and those uncovering Watergate, understood that truth came before all else.

Truth is the testament by which a journalist or blogger guides himself. Without it, any published stories could be considered the ramblings of a bumbling fool.

Can you see through me?

I’m sure at this point, the term transparency has been shoved down the throat of every potential journalist to an extreme, but it’s necessity remains. In a world of background checks, hacking into one another’s Facebook and Twitter profiles and generally exposing liars, one must be able to see through the lies.

If there’s nothing to hide then why hide it?

In many aspects journalists protect their stories, leads, sources, etc., but might it be to the detriment of their story? The people of the digital age have been taught to question what they don’t fully comprehend. Be transparent!

Hook the Community

If a journalist hopes to intrigue anyone, he/she needs to find the niche or community most in need of this news. In an age of never-ending information, establishing a community hungry for the stories one churns out is crucial.

Create a community based on the above principles, but respect this community’s ethical code and react appropriately. If a stay-at-home mother can get her news from CNN or any national web syndicate, one must give her a reason to read the weekly newspaper delivered to her doorstep.


Finally, in this age of too many online contributors, one must consider some “guidelines” for what truly defines a journalist. This 2012 ruling, as reported in an article by Forbes, might serve as an interesting point of validation for those involved in the field.