In which Ivor Shapiro, an old-dog reporter who just happens to be J-Source's ethics editor, explains how he learned, first-hand, that the new tricks of real-time reporting can be perilous.
In which Ivor Shapiro, an old-dog reporter who just happens to be J-Source's ethics editor, explains how he learned, first-hand, that the new tricks of real-time reporting can be perilous. As a penance for the journalist's first sin of not verifying before publishing, he assigned himself the task of writing out what happened — in Tweet style.
Ouch! Made mistake, I think, in my first (maybe last) attempt 2 post news in real-time, like we're supposed 2 these days.
Am not Twitter fan, tho do get it's vital part of news. Don't tweet but try 2 follow. So hard to screen out noise & think abt wot reading.
Really am not luddite. Am on record: this could be journalism's golden age! bit.ly/jboomers But worry abt potential loss of verification.
OK, here's the story.
Friday May 28th, led workshop #caj2010 ethics panel draft on retweeting & verification. bit.ly/bLf3r2 – 2 days later, my face red.
Saturday pm, attending CAJ panel on future of newspapers. John Stackhouse, others speaking. #caj liveblog bit.ly/c8NzNg
GlobeandMail EIC Stackhouse goes first. "Rethinking the daily newspaper in magazine terms." In fall will relaunch as "magazine-quality daily paper."
Stackhouse: printed Globe aimed at digital readers, will become journal of insight not of record.
Or so my notes say. Not taping. Sure what I heard, though.
Caught up in real-time news enthusiasm – big announcement! Others r liveblogging! Get this up fast!
Upload post for J-Source. Mean to hit "Pending" to edit. Hit "Accept" instead – post published, with auto Twitter feed. bit.ly/cZUPvh
Headline – "Stackhouse: Globe and Mail will relaunch as daily magazine" – too hasty? A bit overstated? Go to edit – rats: already posted!
Should I correct? But not sure post wrong. In fact, I think it's right. Pretty sure. But is "pretty sure" sure enough?
Check notes again. Post seems accurate, headline a fair hook. Wish had tape to check his words.
Not listening to speakers now. Could ask Stackhouse to confirm. Maybe check CPAC video after. Mmm, my post being retweeted.
Oh man, my device's batteries have died. No internet now even if I want to correct it.
Session ends, ask people in room. Some uncertain wot JS said or wot meant. Others confirm it. And, like, "wow, u posted fast." Yay!
Thought would catch Stackhouse on way out to ask confirmation. Got distracted. He's left for airport.
Worried abt "daily magazine" phrase. Then think: "if wrong, will get corrected soon enough." Wait – that me thinking or crowd sourcing?
Matter crowded out of old-dog brain by engrossing, emotional session about covering Haiti. caj.ca/?p=652 @jsource: must get video!
Rushing to 6-hour marathon of Brahms chamber music on rue Sainte-Catherine. mysp.ac/aVoOMN Beats sitting thru awards gala, by mile.
Clarinet James Campbell in Brahms quintet – sublime. New piece to me: recommend a good recording, anyone?
At bedtime worry returns – recheck live-blog & twitter feeds. Seem to support my notes but not headline.
Won’t be history's first headline to stretch a point. Off to bed. Plan walk to Botanical Gardens in morning. Hope sun shines.
Rhododendrons amazing! Can't get "daily magazine" out of mind. If he said these words, why didn't bloggers pick them up?
Dinner with three friends, all journalists, two heard Stackhouse. They think post fair & accurate; & so fast! Yay again!
Friend checks iPhone: Stackhouse hasn't commented, so it must be right. "Daily mag" not in quotes, so OK, they say.
Or maybe he just didn't see it? Bet there's lots of noise every day on his 'Berry's Twitter feed.
Back to my room, at 11:42, write 2 Stackhouse pointing out post. He replies at once: sez post not accurate.
JS: "we're taking some inspiration from magazines, learning from the success of the ones your mention, as well as newspapers in southern…
…europe and south america." JS cont: "'magazine-style paper' is inaccurate and saying we'll relaunch as a daily magazine is way, way off."
I ask wot inaccurate & wot difference between "journal of insight" & magazine. No reply but very late now. Even EICs sleep.
Me, don't know diff bet newspaper and magazine. Economist describes itself as newspaper. I think of Globe's Focus section as magazine.
Not arguing the facts – in heart think post hasty. Shd have stuck to what he said, checked his meaning, and made clear I was interpreting.
Like I teach my students to do. No more yay: oy, vey.
Like I have written (bit.ly/bE65PY – chapter 7) quality journalism is discovered, verified, interpreted, edited, uncensored.
Repeat, verified. Oy, vey squared.
Maybe I was focused on posting the story while JS still explaining – not listening carefully cos already mentally writing.
'Course, that's reporting now. Hope others better than I. How 2 listen interpret verify explain & still get story out 1st in real time?
Bottom line, "Tweet, but verify?" bit.ly/8YM8u6
Me, no excuse: was sloppy. Sorry, John and J-Source readers. Correction here: bit.ly/cfqXPZ
Look forward to seeing Globe relaunch, "magazine" or not. J-Source will follow this story.
Ivor Shapiro, an associate professor at Ryerson University's School of Journalism, swears he will never again publish a news story in any medium and at any length without first checking what he thinks he heard. Then again, why should you believe him?
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