As the Associated Press learned this week to its chagrin, we all have newswires at our disposal now.
One of the things the NYC police have been trying to do to keep a lid on the protests is corral and/or exclude journalists from certain areas — and in many cases even arrest them — and then argue that only “registered” journalists are allowed to move freely (in an Orwellian move, the New York police restricted them to what they called “Free Speech Zones”).
New York’s attempts to regulate the practice of journalism seem as antiquated
Real-time news via Twitter and Flickr and other services, when combined with curation tools like Storify (which was developed by former Associated Press foreign correspondent Burt Herman) can produce a powerful form of journalism that equals — or even exceeds — what traditional sources can provide. Are there errors and omissions and other flaws in this kind of real-time reporting by non-journalists? Of course there are. But they tend to get corrected just as quickly as they would in the mainstream media, if not faster.
So what are mainstream media entities doing to compete? Are they just telling their journalists not to post to social media networks, as AP and others have done — or are they trying to take advantage of these tools? The BBC has an entire news-desk set up to process and fact-check reports that come in via Twitter and YouTube and other networks, a process that applies traditional journalistic processes to these new information sources. That’s a smart approach, and one that other media outlets could learn from.
It’s funny that NYC police is just doing the same thing as Arab rulers: limiting or suppressing freedom of journalism but their efforts are just inefficient as the latter with today’s everyone becoming a journalist movement