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SPJDigitalMediaHandbookV3

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By the members of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Digital Media Committee
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Contents (Click on the headline to jump to that chapter)
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Sharing news has never been easier
: A word
about user
-
generated content
By H
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14
Q. As
a former news
director, how do you view user
-
submitted photo and video content?
A
: Using user-submitted content is always something that I would be hesitant about in the sense that you just don’t know where it’s coming from. Well, you might know where it’s coming from, but you might not have a handle on how you got it. Did you get it because somebody had just simply gone out and shot video or recorded sound and did nothing else but just send it to you? Or was there some kind of editing in the pre-stages before you got it? Well, if that’s the case
, then now you don’t really know just what you ended up with. So that’s always a problem. You also don’t know necessarily how reliable the person is. Again, is it just Joe Citizen trying to be a good guy? Or is it somebody trying to get his name out there to get attention for himself? So on and so forth. So I have a lot of questions about it. Now, having said all the downsides, now the upside is you can get people involved. You can get some very interesting shots, stills, video
, perhaps some kind of (Zapruder)-
type film
that nobody else would possibly have. So you never want to dismiss it out of hand, but you ju
st have to be very careful about it. So that’s my big thing, be careful about it. Try to figure out where it came from. At the same time, embrace the possibilities that it does present.
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journalist who is watching this and they want to know how will their content make the cut. Instead of being just user-
submitted content,
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onto the air or makes it onto the Web site
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uld you evaluate a user
-
submitted content that would make the cut tha
t would go beyond just the u
ser
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-ing certain things, then the best is going to be used and yours may be pushed down in terms of that unique quality. So, I think it all has to do with the story. With the interest in the story and certainly with your unique offering. Are you the first on the scene? Are you like the guy that T
wittered the first photo of the plane in the Hudson? Everybody saw that. And it was because it was unique and timely and it was of a very perishable nature, in the sense that that scene, nobody else could get because the plane was sinking. So that was a terrific shot. It all goes back to, again, what else is there? What’s the story? What’s the interest l
evel? And what did you provide?
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Create an interactive timeline using Dipity
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