Archived entries for Social Media

We do not work for free

The journalists we are getting use to aceppt precarious jobs. Many hours and hard work for little pay and conditions that do not value our knowledge either our experience.

The lattest has been one company that paid € 0.75 per text of 800 characters (not even spaces, as usual asked). A price that is not only insufficient but is clearly an insult.

800 characters are not double what you’ve been reading.

But the job also demand for knowledge of search engine optimization, internet writing, writing and structure. More over the author may be penalized if the text did not like or was not creative enough. He was not going to get paid if he did not write – and be approved “lucky” 10 editors who passed the selection – about 400 texts. 300 euros for it, likely to be rejected.

A colleague from Seville, Azahara Cano, “was selected” and she said no. She first reported on Linkedin and then on Twitter. The Press Association of Madrid (APM) supported her using the hashtag #gratisnotrabajo. And like them, many, many colleagues who have turned the slogan into a cry of dignity.

We, as BCN Media Lab, also endorse and support.

We support her and many journalists who suffer unacceptable, humiliating work conditions.

So many freelancing and false selfemployed workers, the weakest parts in the chain, who they get much less than what they were paid a while ago with the excuse of the crisis. And no chance to reply or complain. Or those who are required to work for free to keep his job or be indefinitely delayed payment.

All are situated on the verge of labor and social degradation.

It’s enough.

Journalists are necessary in a democratic society because a free and independent journalism is a guarantee of transparency.
And we deserve More respect.

Stop job offers that do not recognize our work and our craft.
Stop to take advantage of the need of people.

We also # gratisnotrabajo.

Video recording of the first BCNMediaLab meetup

Today: Journalists and social networking

Today we’ll host the first BCNMediaLab event, Journalists and social networking.

In case you’re outside Barcelona, or you can’t attend the event, you can follow it from our streaming service, as well as from Twitter, with the hashtag #bcnmedialab and from our own account.

See you this evening!

Guidelines and social media policies for news organizations

The Web 2.0 and social media have multiplied the possibilities for journalists and media, but also arise new questions about how journalist should use them.

The media have been going out to the questions posed to them in day to day with the publication of the first guidelines including this new situations. But most of them, are slow to understand and adopt new applications of social media.

Recently was published an update of the guidelines of the BBC, updating those published in 2005. And, as recognized, technology surpasses them and forces them to adapt to new situations.
There are several issues affecting the relationship between media and the existence of social networks and user generated content (UGC). The use of pictures and other UGC has its own chapter on the BBC guidelines.

Personal use: What the BBC, the Washington Post and New York Times says

Another issue is about journalist personal use of social media. The first difficulty is to distinguish when is a personal or corporate account when there is only one (is determining when they have been implemented?). We know recent cases of Octavia Nassar on CNN or Mike Wise on WaPo.

Other case still open, Rick Sanchez, who was fired from CNN and has a Twitter account with tens of thousands of followers. Who should own the account now on?

For the BBC ” Blogs, microblogs and other personal websites which do not identify the author as a BBC employee, do not discuss the BBC and are purely personal would fall outside this guidance”. However, when they do, there is kind of a flexible stage:

– New and existing blogs, microblogs and other personal websites which do identify the author as a BBC employee should be discussed with your line manager to ensure that due impartiality and confidentiality is maintained.

These are the limits placed

The most restrictive so far has been the Washington Post guidelines. According to them, journalists even in their personal accounts represent their employer. Nothing said in these accounts should go against the Post “news judgement”. Even one of his editors decided to close his Twitter account because he thought his personal views might be confused with those of his newspaper.

The New York Times also positioned on the issue, without being restrictive, but reminding  editors that the information being published online is publicly available and can be “magnified” in seconds.

Looking for balance and common sense

How it looks is a topic with many faces and is not easy to determine the criteria, specially when Internet and Web 2.0 landscape is evolving so quickly.

It is valuable the reflection of a ethics professor Stephen J. A. Ward of the University of Wisconsin. In his opinion, should be a balance between encouraging the use and participation of journalists in the social networks and maintain the standards of impartiality and independence of the media and its journalists. As he recalls, it is not to limit or restrict anyone or rules should be written to “fix a problem.” This is to ensure that it contributes to a more democratic and responsible journalism.

According to Ward, on one side, the rules should be flexible to promote the use of new media, and on the other, rules must be compatible and to respond to basic principles of journalism, as independence, freedom, responsibility, etc.. ..

Other published guidelines on the use of social networks by journalists:

Los Angeles Times

We will discuss this topic next thursday. See you on Thursday 21st at 19.30. Please, sign in here.

BCNMedialab has born

The BCNMedialab, a group of journalists that gathers regularly to debate around the media and communications sector, has just born. We think it´s time to open up the debate, add new ideas and seek solutions to the challenges journalism is facing.

We realized about the need to create a meeting point for journalists and those involved in communication, without companies or institutions behind. We want to reflect on the problems, challenges and development paths of our profession and we invite all of you who share similar interests and concerns.

Our starting point is a set of ideas about journalism that we have put together for discussion and can be summarized in one: Journalism should reinvent itself.

First meeting

We are glad to invite you to the first event on Thursday 21st October at 19.30in the Barcelona Bar 37 grados. We thought it was good to start the meetings of BCNMediaLab talking about an issue that is happening right now in many newsrooms: How should journalists work in online social networks? Do they act on their own behalf or on behalf of their employer? We have invited three people who we think can help steer a debate that we want to turn into an open conversation for all attendees.

After the debate we can have a beer together at 37 Grados and get to know each other. See you on Thursday 21st at 19.30. Please, sign in here.

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