“If you’ve been told a journalist is supposed to be objective, forget that. Human beings are subjective. Being fair, being a real honest broker of information means that you can correct your own natural biases. You have to think of how a person is going to look at the portrait of themselves that you’re giving a reader, or a viewer, or a listener. Will they recognize themselves or not?”—Sam Freedman, in the Centennial Film for Columbia J-School. Worth a watch!
How Wikipedia plans to become an accepted citation source on academic papers… and to recruit professors to write and editor articles in their fields of specialty. Check out my new @fastcompany article.
Click through to read John Koblin’s piece on the new role editors have had to take on as magazines develop into multi-platform brands. Highlights below.
Some aren’t worried.
Everyone at Condé Nast is supportive of the most important thing — editorial freedom and independence — and, at the same time, I know that financial health is essential and so is getting our work to new readers through new technologies. Still, I don’t much love the talk of ‘brand’ and ‘brand managers’ — I prefer ‘the magazine’ and ‘editors.’ Harold Ross used to talk about The New Yorker as a cause and that’s what it is for me and for all of my colleagues.
-David Remnick, Editor, The New Yorker
Some are a bit worried.
Journalism, photography, design, creative thinking, editing and packaging, they’re what drive it all; they require a great deal of care, thought and attention, and I don’t hear a lot about them these days. What I hear is ‘That’s great for the brand.’ No, that is the brand!
-Jim Nelson, Editor-in-Chief, GQ
The consensus: This isn’t a bad problem to have.
Even though it can be annoying to hear magazines talked about as brands — because magazines themselves are fantastic creatures and brands sounds a little more homogenized — they are brands. I’m just a big believer in a good editor to understand his or her reader and their needs better than anyone. I like the future of a magazine industry that puts editors in charge of directing their brands in partnership with publishers. Would any of us really want a world that those decisions are being completely made by people who are not relating to our readers?
Cindy Leive, Editor-in-Chief, Glamour
FJP: I’d like to pull a different question out of this debate, one related to a comment Nelson made when interviewed. He argued that editorial work suffers on account of the meetings that distract from it.
Meantime, magazine making? It’s become an assumption that that’s the easy part of your day; you’ve got that covered. But it has never been easy, and the day you take your focus off it is the day the magazine becomes less interesting. So yeah, I worry about ADD, about being spread too thin, absolutely. And sometimes I think we’re pushed to do too much with too little. And I’m concerned about stress levels, for quality-of-life and quality-of-job reasons but also because, crucially, you need mental space for creativity and excellence.
Mental space for creativity and excellence. I’m instantly reminded of a Digiday piece I read yesterday, on whether privacy or collaboration better fosters creativity. It referenced an earlier NY Times opinion on the same topic, in which Susan Cain wrote,
Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption.
Now this isn’t completely related to the editor-turned-brand-manager dilemma, but it is some interesting food for thought. I think Nelson’s point about needing mental space for creativity and excellence warrants a lot of attention. That allotting time for non-editorial endeavors is crucial for the financial health of a publication is indisputable. But I do wonder what steps publications are taking to nurture the creative health of their content. —Jihii
This how-to features advice from a panel of experts on the key considerations, questions and tools journalists should have in mind when carrying out verification of content that surfaces via social media, be it a news tip, an image, a piece of audio or video.
The process covers three main stages: monitoring of social networks and the online community before news breaks, checking the content when it comes into play and subsequently reporting that content once verified.
ALSO: My guide to using social media verification to track journalist arrests at Occupy Wall Street is available here - and I also list five or six other critical resources and guides that tackle this question.
“But for younger voters, especially first-time voters, many are proud of Zay Yar Thaw, one of the four pioneers of Hip-Hop music in Myanmar, who won a seat for NLD.”—
Myanmar voters celebrated in the streets while netizens on Facebook are expressing their elation over the by-election results which saw an unprecedented landslide victory for the opposition.
The world rejoiced over the victory of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi but for many young voters in Myanmar, another reason for celebration is the election victory of one of the country’s hip-hop music pioneers.