Week 1 Blog – Assigned Readings

18 Jan

Thibodaux – alt024@ufl.edu

The underlying theme between all of the articles provided for this week’s reading assignments was the concept of curating and aggregating news and information.  In the ever-changing world of journalism and news gathering, the idea of aggregating news together from multiple sources onto one specific news outlet is gaining in popularity.  Gone are the days of waking up and uncovering yesterday’s news over coffee.  People want news and information instantaneously.  People are impatient and they live in the now.  It is our job as journalists to find new and innovative ways to keep up with the fast-paced industry of news gathering, and to deliver accurate news in a timely fashion.

According to Josh Sternberg from Mashable.com, Newsflick.net owner Sayid Ali describes the concept of curation as “gather(ing) all these fragmented pieces of information to one location, allowing people to get access to more specialized content.”  This is similar to the concept of aggregating news.  The job of a journalistic curator or aggregator is to search various news outlets and organizations for the most important or relevant news articles, and then compile them in one specific place.  The challenge here, however, is to avoid plagiarism or under-crediting the original news sources.  In order to avoid this, hyperlinks can be added to connect readers to the original story.  Additionally, it is never hurts to continually attribute any information to the original source.  This is a sure way to avoid any confusion as to where the information is coming from. 

Although the aggregation of news stories is a great way for people to receive all available information about any topic, there are still ethical issues attached.  One prime example is the current dispute between The Miami Herald and Huffpost Miami.  These two media outlets have the same goal, which is to provide the public with timely and accurate information.  The difference is that the Herald pays reporters to go out and gather the information and then write a story, while Huffpost aggregates information on its website from several sources.  The Herald has on more than one occasion accused Huffpost of not giving enough attribution to stories taken from them.  Huffpost counteracts, however, that they provide plenty of links to original stories, along with additional links to stories and information on the same topic.  Additional disputes can be found elsewhere, including overseas and in particular the UK.  This method of reporting the news is still being explored, so problems are inevitable. 

I believe that as more technology is invented and updated to keep with the flow of information, the concept of aggregating news will become increasingly relevant.  According to Steven Rosenbaum, a Digital Lifestyle Survey conducted by Magnify.net reported that 57.4 percent of surveyors never turn their phones off, and 50.3 percent admitted that “when I’m offline, I am anxious that I’ve missed something.”  Additionally, one-third of the surveyors said that they check their email in the middle of the night.  While this only speaks for the participants of the survey, I believe that this is an accurate depiction of where our society stands in relation to technology.  In my own personal life, I use applications on my phone on a daily basis that aggregate content specific to my interests, including Saints News by ZenMobi and ScoreCenter by ESPN.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: