Fresh Powder: One dress, two llamas, and lots of censorship

A weekly summary of journalistic tidbits
brought to you by  SNO.

This week, in Journalistic News:

  • “The Dress” is, apparently, relevant: According to Craig Silverman at Poynter, the infamous blue/black/white/gold that almost broke the internet this weekend is a significant reminder that we, as human beings, sometimes see things that aren’t actually there.  He argues we have become too complacent in our senses, and rarely stop to questions what we see or experience.  Journalist, especially, should be extra-aware of human’s unreliable senses; everyone knows about source bias when it comes to reporting, but it’s important that journalists are also skeptical of their own cognitive bias.
  • Scholastic journalism programs are still facing a great deal of censorship: According to the Student Press Law Center, high school students and teachers are still struggling with content censorship when it comes to publication.  A reported 25% of students and 17% of advisers have been censored in some way by school administrative staff.  Over half of the students surveyed in this particular study admitted that someone other than a student editor had control over their student publication, and a smaller- but significant- 7% of advisers have had their position threatened by school officials due to decisions their students had made regarding content in their publications.
  • Llamapalooza! You may think the llamas that dashed through traffic in Arizona last Thursday has nothing to do with journalism, but you would be wrong.  It actually served as a tangible example of how social media has evolved within the realm of news coverage.  As multiple major news outlets covered the story of the rouge llamas, it demonstrated that platforms like Twitter had not only become a necessary supplement for reporters, but as a way for them to set publishing agendas.  AP reports that during the Oscars, it was Twitter’s overwhelming discussion of Lady Gaga’s performance that drove their coverage of the event.  By following trending topics and keeping tabs on conversations surrounding any major event, news networks are finding they can deliver the news audiences want to hear about.
  • New podcast-like app provides real-time audio tours. Detour is a new audio app that delivers interesting information to listeners about historic areas of towns as they walk through them.  Currently only based in San Francisco, the app allows users to connect to stories in a much more intimate, real-time way than ever before.  The app uses your phone’s GPS to provide a self-updating audio-tour of the area you find yourself wandering through, giving you stories based on landmarks you’re near.  It’s basically a living podcast that will enhance your travel plans.
  • Great news for people with sites powered by WordPress (aka, all of you). Twitter now has an official WordPress plug-in, making it even easier to expand your audience with social media integration on your site.  Features include Twitter analytics, video embed, and even a “Tweet” button on the admin side of your site.

These things also happened this week: