Archive for January, 2012

New Journalism: Online Journalism

How we can defined the online journalisme?

When we speak of Online-journalism we find ourselves faced with a complex problem of definition: are we talking about of a new journalism, with features, players, rules, processes and new ethical charts? Or it is just a new tool for traditional media, which use these tools as distribution channel? Even more, it is a professional journalism, citizen journalism, or a mixture of both? 

We conducted a survey of Online- French media.

Initially the traditional media only translated their information online. Then they realized that their audience was not happy to be just a consumer of information and wanted to be positioned as citizen entitled to participate actively in the creation of public opinion, in order to assert the fundamental right to the freedom of speech. 

The major advantages of the Internet: responsiveness and citizen participation

Internet is thus converted to a carrier that provides information, follows the news, and most importantly it provides responsiveness and citizen participation.  That is why traditional media on the internet such as Le Monde, TSR, RSR include on their website a space for comments, blogs, and are linked to social network such as Facebook, Twitter, RSS.  In that way, they can respond quickly by providing scalable information, which are constantly enriched. 

Can we talk of citizen participation in the new online media? Listen to the conference of the founder of exciting online journal Medipart, Edwy Plenel.  Another good reference can be  the following interview of the journalists Gille Klein and Alain Joannès

Some journalists from traditional media have realized that this new technology has its place in the economic market of the media, labour, and creativity. Thus was born the Online Journalism. A citizen journalism and/or professional using this technology as main support for the dissemination of information and opinions. Since the beginning, professional journalism online has had hard time to be recognized as qualified journalism. But there are some examples

The Online-TV: Quality, thematic information and participation

There are different formulas in the creation of online TV: On the one hand, those made by professionals and found in traditional television channels, and the Internet. On the other hand, those broadcasted only on the WEB. Most of online TV are thematic and have a public target: @rrêt sur images: critical issues on the media, Terretv, reportages on environment, carrefourstv, reportages and news on multiculturalism, universciencetv, scientific, WEB TV Geneva, the news from Geneva, Télé, a citizen media: independent and participatory created by professionals and amateurs. Here WEB TV program: you will find the program of WEBTV by theme.

The Free TV is funded primarily by contributions from citizens. This is not the only media on the Internet that is financed primarily on citizen input. In fact this formula is largely found in any media disseminated primarily or solely on the Internet. This contribution is also seen as a commitment of citizens to freedom of speech, independence and support to quality journalism. In other words, you people, you defend the freedom of speech on the Internet, so you have to contribute financially too…

Online – Press: More and more

The website J’aime l’info is just a platform for donations for the online press, to appeal to citizens to participate with their economic contribution to the development of quality digital press. It is a database to find the major online newspapers. The platform is managed by the Union of the independent press information online (le Syndicat de la presse indépendante d’information en ligne)(Spiil).

The French press is the media which has more developed their concept of Online Media. Numerous newspapers, magazines, weekly have been created; information channels by young journalists such as, magazines for specific thematic such as equality between men and women, independent newspapers such as Rue89 or Médiapart, a news digital, independent and participatory.

The Online – Radio:

Find professional digital radio is a challenge. Most traditional radio stations are broadcasted on the air and on website. The radio broadcasted only on the Web are created and developed by amateurs who find in this medium a mixture of information and entertainment accessible and manageable. Radionomy is a platform collecting francophone web radios, and allows you to create your own for free, but only as an amateur radio.
Radio Euro District: The exception makes the rule. Web radio, which transcends borders and provides news content and quality entertainment in two languages: French and German. This radio is managed by a journalist with over 20 years experiences.

The difficult use of the freedom of choice:

We see an evolution of the media; they allow citizens and professional journalists to create their own media on the Internet. But it is difficult to choose among the different media, to know whether or not their content is reliable, if their realization is professional, or if they are credible sources. Finally, consumers have several choices, but what to choose? What can be trusted? This is the new challenge.

Do you know any web-quality media? Do you participate in an Online-media? Young journalists, do you be a journalist-Online. Tell us your experience!!

                                                                                                                                     Violeta Ferrer


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How the pictures you publish on Facebook can be used by advertising companies and journalists


At the moment I’m writing, more than 800 million people are registrated on Facebook around the world, uploading 250 million of photos per day. By doing so, they are actually feeding one of the biggest databases in the world, and the least we can say is that this database is far from being the one protecting the content of what is posted on it. Indeed, when reading the Facebook’s Terms of Service (what we usually don’t do), we see that Facebook is appropriating itself all the rights on anything that is uploaded on the website.

Following these regulations, some rumors started to spread, mostly by wall posts. Here is what the main message said : “Facebook had agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures without your permission”. Does it mean that a coffee company for example could use a picture of a person drinking coffee to promote its product without their consent ? Barry Schmitt, manager of policy communications at Facebook, explained in a post of July 2009 that it was not the case, and that the companies who did it were violating the website’s policy and were required to remove their ads.

Source : Guhmshoo’s webpage

I have to say that I see a few problems here. First, the fact that this information have been disclaimed in 2009 and the rumor is still flowing in the end of 2011 shows that Facebook’s data protection policy’s credibility has been low for a certain time. Then, not only Facebook dispossesses people from their rights on their materials, but they are also totally unable to prevent external companies to use their image. Even if those are requested to remove the illegal ads, the damage is done, and depending on what their image has been used for, these people’s life can be affected to a high level.

Source : Guhmshoo’s webpage

I have to admit that it is difficult (or impossible) for Facebook to prevent people’s image to be used if they do not manage their privacy settings in order to hide their content to the public. But what about those who limit the access to their profile to their list of contacts only ? Are their pictures 100% safely stocked ? Why is Facebook dispossessing people from the rights they have on their photos if they assure they care about their privacy and don’t pass these rights on to anyone else ? There are too many shadow zones here. In my opinion, if Facebook was a secret agent, not only it would be a double one, but its cover would be shattered pretty fast.


Nowadays, Facebook is the gold mine of pictures databases, because people themselves are providing it with their personal materials. As journalists, we are aware that messages, news, articles are always more powerful with a picture to illustrate it. The era of digital media, has made it much easier to access and transmit all sorts of photos of anyone, from anywhere and in any kind of situation. Therefore, isn’t it tempting, when a person doesn’t want to give you a photo, or let you take a shot, to just screen their Facebook profile, or their friends’, in order to get one ? Would it be legal ?

Source :

In Switzerland, the Press Council had to deal with such a case. At the end, they declared that “in a social network such as Facebook, the communication is usually used for exchanging images and information between private people – even if it is partly accessible to everyone – and is mostly none of the public’s concern. Not because they publish something on Facebook means that people agree to make it accessible to the public.”

The problem here is that such a decision is not legally binding. Indeed, the Swiss Press Council is a structure that enables disputes related to journalism to be solved out of a court. Because they tacitly accept to be subject to its rules, journalists usually respect them and comply with the decisions of the Press Council. But what happens when they don’t ?

Source :

At the end of November 2011, almost all the newspapers in the French speaking part of Switzerland published the picture of a teacher making a bad joke in front of the gate located at the entrance of the concentration camp of Auschwitz. In his mind, the aim of the shot was just to make his friends have a good laugh, but the consequence was that this man got fired of his job.

As journalists, we should think twice before using a picture taken from a private online page, because the consequences can be devastating. But as people, we should think even longer before posting it. Let’s protect ourselves from what Facebook is not able to.

Source : Dave Makes

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