BBC releases blogging guidelines for employees

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has released a guideline for its employees who maintain weblogs or websites. The guidelines, which can be downloaded as a Word document here but I’ve also reprinted it below, are noteworthy in that the BBC accepts that employees who blog “discuss their BBC work in ways that benefit the BBC.”

Employee blogs, for the most part, benefit the organization they work for and companies would do well to embrace blogging as one way to communicate with the public they are serving.

The BBC went as far as stating in the guidelines: “You are allowed to update your personal blog from a BBC computer at work, under the BBC’s Acceptable Use Policy.”

I’ve never encountered problems at work with my blogging. I sought my editors’ permission before I started this blog and consult with them when I’m unsure of the propriety of a blog post. Blogging helps me work on my writing skills and Sun.Star benefits (I hope) from the improvement in my skills. I also get to experiment with scripts, programs and even firmware and get feedback from readers. What I learn from my experiments I write about in the special section that I edit and the weekly column that I write.

Continue reading →

Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace conference: personal notes

Last week’s conference organized by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (Seapa) in cooperation with the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) with the support of the Berkman Center Center for Internet and Society offered me a chance to meet bloggers and journalists from all over Asia.

With Sheila Coronel
Time flew so fast for the conference–an indication that I found it very interesting–that I found myself back at the airport in what appeared to be merely a day after stepping out of it.

I met Portnoy, a blogger from Taiwan, who asked for advice in choosing which Lucky Me instant cup noodle to bring back to his girlfriend. I picked my favorites: La Paz Batchoy and Palabok. He couldn’t have found a more knowledgeable conference delegate as instant noodles and sandwiches are common blogging and writing food for me–these are efficient to eat and the simplest to prepare especially if you’�re chasing a tight deadline.

Continue reading →

Conference notes: podcasting, CMS, and don’t open Google Reader in the conference room

I’m learning a lot both in the sessions and off-session talks with participants of the Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace conference here at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Center.

I had a long talk with Bryan Nunez, technology manager of Witness, a website that uses video to expose human rights abuses. Bryan is a geek and an open source enthusiast. We got to talk about open source content management systems, an area that fascinates me: Mambo, Joomla, Drupal, Civic Space, Props, Cofax and even Campsite. I told him about the Xinha Here extension for Firefox and how this makes developing CMS easier because you no longer have to work on integrating a what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editor for your system. Bryan, here’s the link to the developer of the extension. Here’s a link to my post on it.
With Bobby Timonera
Bryan and I also talked about Sun.Star Cebu’s citizen journalists project. He was interested in how Sun.Star was running the site. I also got to meet Bobby Timonera (in photo) of Mindanews, Alecks Pabico said Ma’am Carol Arguillas was scheduled to arrive later yesterday.

Conference participants were treated to a dinner in a restaurant at the Manila Bay by Sen. Juan Flavier. On the way back to the hotel, I was seated in the bus with Steven Gan, editor-in-chief of MalaysiaKini, how cool is that.

Continue reading →

Search engine optimization for journalists

“This Boring Headline is Written for Google,” that’s the headline of a New York Times article on how news organizations are starting to practice search engine optimization in the writing of headlines.

The article says that news organizations increasingly see the need to optimize their site for search engine crawlers as search engine traffic accounts for at least 30 percent of news website traffic.

Continue reading →

The glass cannot be half-full

Either there is press freedom or not, according to Sun.Stars pooled editorial.

The editorial points out the danger of making police the evaluators of media.

Why do cops make poor evaluators? They dont know the craft and its nuances. Their mind-set is that of victims, whipped frequently by media for lapses and offenses.

The paper (disclosure: I work for Sun.Star Cebu) says “The Government cannot claim to be free and democratic when it gags media by threats of takeover or shutdown.”

Proclamation 1017 declaring a state of emergency in the country has been described as a harmless weapon that should not instill fear among the law-abiding.

We disagree. It is a lethal weapon in the hands of those who exceed or abuse the power–out of ignorance, spite, or meanness.

Read the full article here.

A call for solidarity

For a few years now, the global media community has named the Philippines among the most dangerous places for journalists. In the past two years, our country has been second only to Iraq in the number of media killings. Philippine journalists have fought hard to roll back the tide of violence. Today, however, the Philippine press faces its strongest challenge.

In declaring a “state of national emergency,” President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made media among her main targets. She and senior aides warned of government takeover of media facilities considered friendly to the political opposition.

Read the entire statement at the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines website.

MediaShift goes live

Update your blogrolls and RSS feed readers, PBS MediaShift is now live. The blog is run by journalist Mark Glaser, who previously wrote a column for Online Journalism Review of the USC Annenberg School of Communication. He also writes the OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association.

MediaShift “is a weblog that will track how digital media technologies and techniques such as weblogs, RSS, podcasting, citizen journalism, wikis, news aggregators and video repositories are changing our world. It will tell stories of how the shifting media landscape is changing the way we get our news and information, while also providing a place for public participation and feedback.”

Socialists and winos: the year in media errors and corrections

Regret The Error has published its annual roundup of top media errors and corrections. Its top correction of the year went to Denver Daily News’ apology for calling New Jersey ‘Jew Jersey.’

The typo of the year went to Reuters for reporting the recall of 94,400 pounds of ground beef panties.

First runner-up is Dallas Morning News for this correction:

Norma Adams-Wade’s June 15 column incorrectly called Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk a socialist. She is a socialite.

Second runner up was the Liverpool Daily News for the replacement of WNO (Welsh National Opera) with winos, because of an error in the use of a spell checker.

In pope-related errors, the Daily Press in Virginia had to apologize for quoting then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as saying during Pope John Paul II’s funeral: “Today we bury his remains in the earth as a seed of immorality.”

Check out the full listing of top media errors and corrections by clicking this link.

Media doesn’t, media don’t

I changed the title of the post immediately preceding this from “Why mainstream media doesn’t get it” to “Why mainstream media don’t get it.” The word media, according to the Columbia Journalism Review’s (CJR) language corner, is plural.

CJR, however, concedes that examples of the use of the word as singular are “practically infinite” and that those holding out for “media” as a plural will be overrun someday. CJR says the word media already has a “useful” singular form medium. If you check news sites, however, you’d see usage of media both as singular and plural.

I distinctly remember being told in the newsroom that media should be used as a plural but sleepiness and three glasses of wine made me push the publish button before a second line-reading of the post. Bad idea. As you can see from the URL of the article and the trackbacks sent to sites I referred to in the post, the word I used was doesn’t and not don’t.