As I mentioned in my Why Journalism? blog post, I have aspired to enter the world of sports journalism for some time. I have a keen interest in almost all sports and a passion for journalism, so it seems like the perfect career move.
Unfortunately, as I have studied journalism and gained a greater wealth of knowledge around the subject, I realised that sports journalism is absent from almost all of the histories of journalism in the UK. As I delved deeper I found research into sports journalism is largely absent from what is often termed ‘journalism studies’.
The developing journey of my knowledge of journalism law took another step recently when I began to learn more about the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. I’m pretty sure most people, as I have, have heard of the term copyright before, or have seen this logo before:
But I never knew exactly what it means and I certainly didn’t think of the vast amount of ways that this can influence journalists.
It has only been recently, since delving deeper in to the world of journalism, that I have started to seriously consider the legal aspects of journalism and the serious implications that this can sometimes have. The words defamation, libel and slander were ones that I had seen several times and heard on the news, but I have never fully understood the terms and what they mean. In basic form the law of defamation allows individuals, companies or firms (‘claimants’) to sue for damage to their reputation caused by material that is published and which makes defamatory comments about them (BBC Academy 2014).
Recently I was informed about a website called Storify that was a way to curate news stories and publish them online for others to view. Storify gives users the opportunity to scour the internet to aid content curation in reporting on news stories.
When Renée Zelwegger stepped out with a new look recently, the media exploded. There were thousands of articles, blog posts and tweets about Renée Zellweger’s changing looks and this made me question how the media reports on celebrities and celebrity culture. When put in a very basic scientific way, scientists say we humans are hard-wired to be fascinated with celebrity, and that our brains receive chemical stimuli that is pleasurable when we see familiar faces, This generates a huge industry for magazines, newspapers and journalists to delve into and produce content for the consumer.
Blogs, social networks and globalisation of technology has meant that people can now generate their own content and report on their own community to be broadcast to the world.
The rise of user generated content (UGC) presents many opportunities and threats to news organisations. It gives the chance for ordinary citizens to bypass the mainstream media and news outlets and communicate directly with others. This has led many journalists claiming that the rise of citizen journalism means amateurism is triumphing over professional journalists. I know that I for one will search sites like twitter for citizen reports when a breaking news story occurs, as they are often there a lot quicker than the news organisations.
I am a frequent user of Twitter, Facebook and Vine, as well as dabbling in various other forms of microblogging sites. However it was only recently that I began to ask myself why I used these sites and if I actually gained anything through the hours a week that I spend on them.
Before discussing the implications and effects of microblogging it is essential to understand what microblogging actually is. As with most terms these days there are many definitions of the phrase McFedries (2007) says that microblogging is ‘about posting updates, ideas or simply quick notifications. Whilst the Merriam-Webster online dictionary states that it is ‘blogging done with severe space or size constraints typically by posting frequent brief messages about personal activities’.
So why do people microblog? What is the point? What do people gain from it?