Look Before You Tweet

http://on.mash.to/T8I3Ir

This lady is NUTS. It’s people like her that give journalists like me a bad name.

Seriously, some people shouldn’t be able to call themselves reporters.

I demand background checks.

Aside: clearly, some people don’t realize that people can see EVERYTHING you tweet if your account is unlocked. So moral of this story is if you be dumb on Twitter, people will mock you.

What happened here?

Okay. I was re-watching the series premiere of The Newsroom, (totally worth it, by the way) and I decided that even though this is a journalism blog, I can post other stuff too.

And I also decided that after 19 years of political silence, I’m entitled to a Sorkin-esque rant. Just one. So after “The Newsroom” and the debates, I have something to say.

This is your disclaimer – I’m about to go all “politics-y” on you. And if you’re easily offended, stop reading RIGHT NOW. Because the ranting begins right here, right meow. (I know what said.)

Okay. First off:

America. What the hell. You’re losing it. You hate anyone who isn’t the same “party” as you and you beat your chests and shout about how awesome America is. Well, I love living here. I have more freedom here than I probably would anywhere else. But we’re not always right. We don’t always do things in the right way. Here are some proofs.

One – the tea partiers. Who let these psychos in? How dare you state that women are less than you? Or blacks? You frighten me. And who the hell thought it was a good idea to let you into the government? To give you any power at all over the rest of us?

Two – I don’t care what party you are, but seriously, what the hell is wrong with you that you’re so convinced that everyone who doesn’t side with you is wrong? Have you lost all sense of cooperation? All sense of “both sides now”? These things are important in regular life, are they not important when running a country?

Am I lucky to live here? Absolutely. Am I proud of our nation and what we’ve done and where we are and what the rest of the world thinks of us? Absolutely not. Am I proud to identify with the leaders of our country and what they do and how they interact with the world? Usually no.

Am I proud of my fellow Americans and how we conduct ourselves on the world stage? Again, usually no.

Were we once awesome? Were we once a beacon of warmth and strength and helpfulness? Yes. But that’s not who we are anymore. People from other countries look at us and laugh.

Can we get back there? Absolutely. If we stop acting like small children and start putting others’ interests above our own. If we focus on working together instead of fighting. If we compromise instead of demand all-or-nothing. We can get there if we try.

Problem is, trying takes work. And most Americans really don’t want to do work.

What makes a journalist?

http://bit.ly/Wnwkg2

That’s a valid question. I report news for a living (seriously, I get paid for being on STN’s directors board!) and I follow the journalist’s code of ethics. I think that makes me a journalist.

At the same time, there are a million bloggers like me out there “reporting” news. Does that make them journalists? I’m not yet out of school. Am I a “citizen journalist”? And why do so many professional journos hate that term? Citizen journalists can help out, they can teach us new things that maybe we never thought of before.

Maybe they’re not professional, but who’s to say they’re wrong?

So it’s not just me…!

http://bit.ly/PVnUr5

So there’s an art to gathering news from other places? This seems a little common sense to me though…

1. Organise the chaos

Otherwise you’re just grasping at straws for something you may or may not find.

2. Create Twitter lists

This seems repetitive…
3. Create Facebook lists

Come on, really?

4. Set up searches in TweetDeck

When you can find things, you can report on them.

5. Use Twitter’s advanced search

Again, it’s easier to report on things when you find them.

6. Set up RSS feeds around keywords or sources

Okay, I’m getting tired of repeating things.

7. Use Google advanced operators to search other social media

Again, search. Easy.

8. Use contacts to find contacts

Just like in the real world, right?

9. Nurture contacts

Prove to them that you want to help them out.

10. Consider private v public lists

You keep sources confidential, don’t you?

11. Keep your lists

Just like you wouldn’t throw out a business card.

12. Question the information shared by your sources

They might be lying to you. Always look for someone else to say the same thing.

13. Verify your sources

You need two confirms before you report. Otherwise you’re reporting false info, and that’s bad.

14. Pick up the phone

No duh. How else are you going to get a confirmation?
Yay, see, easy.