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Changes in the next BCNMediaLab

Sadly, Vicent Partal will not be able to talk at the next BCNMediaLab. But in his place we’ll have the chance to listen the story of Pilar Riaño and Christian de Angelis, two experienced journalists who previously worked for Expansión, that in March of 2010 launched Modaes, an economic news website focused on the fashion and retail markets. In its few months of existence Modaes has already become a reference in its market.

A next generation of journalist

Next Generation Journalist: Nick Williams from Adam Westbrook on Vimeo.

Do you belong to this next generation? Come and join us at the second meeting BCNMediaLab: Journalists & entrepeneurs

December 21st: Journalists & entrepeneurs

Journalists Entrepeneurs Finally, it’s time for the second BCNMediaLab meeting. It will be on Tuesday, December 21st, at 19.30h in the bar 37 Grados in Barcelona.

Journalists & entrepeneurs: In the next BCNMediaLab we want to discuss an option that is increasingly popular among journalists: to become entrepeneurs. Journalists are building online micro news sites, social networks, independent audiovisual production companies, PR and communication agencies… Fortunately, there is a growing number of examples. What kind of knowledge and resources are necessary? Which ideas are more likely to succeed? and to fail? Is it a viable option for anybody, or only for a few?

We have invited four journalists-entrepeneurs to answer this and other questions, and to tell us their own experiences.

After the debate, do not leave so fast and join us for a Christmas beer in 37 Grados. Please, sign up here. See you on Tuesday 21st at 19.30.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on this blog as we will collect some ideas about this topic.

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.

Journalism has to reinvent itself

The BCNMediaLab is born with these ideas in mind. They are just starting point we wanted to share.

  • Journalism is not dead, and it will never die.
  • It’s not about creating new journalism, but rethinking the basis of journalism itself. It’s about rebuilding.
  • Self criticism is necessary to recover credibility.
  • Journalism needs to regain its social function, its civic duty.
  • Technological change has disrupted the chain of production and its added value. Business models change, but the profession itself changes too.
  • Technology is a means to an end. It can be a great tool for better journalism, but, in order to explore it, research, creativity and will are needed.
  • Journalism doesn’t exclusively belong anymore to its institutions and companies.
  • We are concerned about how traditional journalism companies struggle to find profitable business models. We want to help explore new paths.
  • For quality journalism to exist, journalists need appropriate legal and labour conditions.
  • We don’t know how journalism will be in the future, because we’re the ones that will reinvent it.

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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