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Ethics

The plague of fake news is getting worse -- here's how to protect yourself

It's time for a new rule on the web: Double, no, triple check before you share. Especially if it seems too good to be true. Why? Look no further than Donald Trump's Twitter account. Trump claimed Sunday morning that "Twitter, Google and Facebook are burying the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton." Not only was there no proof of this, but it was pretty easy to disprove. The FBI email inquiry was at the top of Google News; FBI director James Comey's name was at the top of Facebook's "trending" box; and Twitter's "moments" section had a prominent story about the controversy. Nevertheless, Trump's wrong-headed "burying" claim was his most popular tweet of the day. About 25,000 accounts retweeted it and almost 50,000 "liked" it, helping the falsehood spread far and wide.

State of the News Media 2016

ImageEight years after the Great Recession sent the U.S. newspaper industry into a tailspin, the pressures facing America’s newsrooms have intensified to nothing less than a reorganization of the industry itself, one that impacts the experiences of even those news consumers unaware of the tectonic shifts taking place. In 2015, the newspaper sector had perhaps the worst year since the recession and its immediate aftermath. Average weekday newspaper circulation, print and digital combined, fell another 7% in 2015, the greatest decline since 2010. While digital circulation crept up slightly (2% for weekday), it accounts for only 22% of total circulation. And any digital subscription gains or traffic increases have still not translated into game-changing revenue solutions. In 2015, total advertising revenue among publicly traded companies declined nearly 8%, including losses not just in print, but digital as well.

Call for Entries: 2016 NJ-SPJ Journalism Awards contest is open

ImageThe 2016 NJ-SPJ Journalism Awards contest is open as of Jan. 4. Can I enter? We accept stories (and more!) by a journalist who lives or works in New Jersey or who reports about New Jersey or the region. We also welcome entries from people who live and work in New York City and Philadelphia, as long as the story affects New Jersey or New Jerseyans, or is about regional issues like transportation, the cleanliness of our beaches or the economic vitality of our region. We will accept entries on national and international issues if the authors live in New Jersey, or if the entry has a strong NJ angle or if the publication, video channel or website is primarily situated in New Jersey.

Small Stations Go Big During Breaking News

ImageWhen a gunman opened fire Oct. 1 in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., KVAL had only two reporters in the rural town. ABC affiliate KEZI had just one. The vast majority of staff and resources for the two Eugene stations, as well as others in the closest TV market (DMA No. 120), were 72 miles north. They sent staff to the hospital and blood bank in addition to the school, while reporters on their own had TVU backpacks and sent content back. The stations dealt with rumors and national media requests, not to mention the aftermath of a tragedy in their backyard, but they nonetheless produced wall-to-wall coverage. "One thing we do not have is a small-market attitude here," said JR Jackson, KVAL Eugene general manager. "We don't think of ourselves as a small-market team."

2015 Global Social Journalism Study

ImageNow in its fourth year, The Social Journalism Study, conducted by Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University, charts the changing ways journalists and media professionals use social media for their work and in their communication with PR professionals. This report gathers data from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Australia, which have been part of this study for three years. The study has included other countries in its lifespan but only those that have been included every year are compared here.