Entries from January 2009 ↓

A good cause… And a chance to meet

I was working my way through Twitter when I discovered a worldwide event where Twitter users around the world are raising money for an organization that digs wells for third-world communities. I thought it was a wonderful idea AND Columbia, Missouri has never had a tweet-up. You know, a face-to-face meeting when Twitter users meet in person.

So I jumped at the chance. So far we have a location and a few people willing to donate some stuff. We may not be able to raise a ton of money, but I think it’s cool to have a reason to meet up and help an organization. Who knows what will happen. I’ve put an RSVP widget to the right hand side of my blog — so if anyone wants to attend, let me know!

If you got the RJIContacts Emails

Yesterday (January 23) there was an email snafu that ended up sending dozens of emails into the inboxes of hundreds of connected people in the technology and journalism world. I wanted to share an email that’s going out about it so help clarify what happened (since so many people have asked).

I found this note sent out to the Mizzou Mafia Yahoo Group from Hannah Jackson who works at RJI:

If you are on the list that received emails today from the Reynolds Journalism Institute….

We sincerely apologize for the email dilemma that occurred today (January 23). We have fixed the problem now. It was the result of a code error and was not a virus. Any reply emails including automatic replies resulted in a “reply all” to the entire listserv. Sorry for the inconvenience this caused you. We hope that people won’t hit “reply” or “reply all” to the original emails, because this may prolong the problem. If you would like to contact us, please email us directly at rjionline@missouri.edu.

Because the research and activities of RJI are important to journalism and our nation’s democracy, we look forward to sharing news of our progress. Again, we apologize for this unfortunate problem.


Pam Johnson
Executive Director
Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

Contact Carole Christie with any questions at 573.882.8251 or rjionline@missouri.edu

The online inauguration

I have watched every possible inauguration in my life — but I am certain today’s inauguration of Barack Obama will be different. In the past, most people watched a new president come into office on television. Today there will be many, many different ways to watch the ceremony online.

KOMU.com (my home away from home) is streaming it live. All of the networks and 24-hour cable stations will offer live streams of the ceremony. But there will be many other options. Obama’s inaugural committee sent out an email offering a link to watch the ceremony. Hulu.com, Ustream.tv, and Mogulus.com have streams live on the front of their sites. The most interesting option to me is how Ustream now offers live video streams onto your iPhone! I applied for access to the new iTunes application and gave it a try a little while ago. There appears to be streams of the inauguration from the Associated Press and CNN.

I haven’t tried the chat function yet but it will be interesting to see what people have to say during the event. I wonder if iPhone users will have more productive conversations than on standard chat rooms. I’d love to hear of any other creative ways you are watching the inauguration.

UPDATE: Many of my Facebook friends say they plan to watch CNN’s live stream of the inauguration it is offering on Facebook. I’ll have to check that out. (okay — it was great)

Mashable is asking everyone to vote for the spot with the best way to watch the innauguration online. I ended up enjoying a combination of Twitter, the iPhone stream on Ustream and the CNN/Facebook combo. Check out the amazing numbers the website is posting about that website partnership.

ANOTHER UPDATE: There are a number of wonderful photo collections developing online:
Washington Post Flickr Collection
NPR’s Andy Carvin is collecting listener photos as they email them in.

Poynter is keeping track of headlines and webpages

Twitter Breaking News Again

A plane down in the Hudson River. Who has the first photo? A member of Twitter, Janis Krums, uploaded his picture onto Twitpic. Amazing. So amazing that MSNBC and CNN had the photo on the air almost immediately. So amazing that Twitpic crashed and others started sharing the photo onto Flickr. This is fascinating to watch.

CNN interviewed Krums only 30 minutes or so after he posted this photo.

Here’s a collection of great links (I’ll update as I go):

Yahoo News Photo Collection
Flickr Photos from: kidraerae
Flickr Photos from: grego!
BBC article about the role Twitter played in the coverage of the accident

Janis Krums wrote this blog about his Twitter fame.

Here’s the picture on the front page of the LA Times.

More changes in the air

I just got word from a former student who works for Gannett broadcast newsroom that the entire company plans to furlough each employee for a week to save money. The CEO, Craig Dubow, says he will take the one week of unpaid vacation all the way down to the hourly workers. USA Today employees were also informed in a memo that there will be no pay raises this year.

My only hope is this means the company will not have to make a more drastic change like laying even more workers off. 

I’ve searched the best I can and here are some of the discussions about this announcement:

New York Times article
Reuters (on Yahoo News)
Unofficial Gannett Blog
E&P Pub
Editor & Publisher
Des Moines Register

This comes while the Reynolds Journalism Institute plans to hold a one day talkfest about getting journalists back on the street. There will be a good crowd participating here in Columbia, MO while another 100 people plan to take part in an Adobe Connect room. We hope to spend the day brainstorming on how we can build a journalism incubator here at RJI (The RJI Collaboratory) and find ways to help journalists remain journalists. (That means being able to cover news AND eat food with a roof over his or her head).

UPDATE: After talking to one of my former students who is an on-air reporter, his/her station was told anyone with service contracts (mainly broadcast reporters and producers) are exempt from the furlough. Photographers and other newsroom positions will be required to take part in the furlough. There is already a growing tension between reporters and photographers.

A former Gannett employee now blogs about the company and is posting as much as he can gather. Here is his link to the FAQ Gannett gave to employees.