Archive for the ‘Net Culture.’ Category

May 1, 2010

The new rage so it seems, live blogging has truely taken off. But what is it?

We all know about Twitter, 140 characters, say what you can fit style micro blog. But a live blog is a more up to date, up to the minute account of an event, whether it be a press conference, a sporting event or even just a television show. It is everywhere, and everyone seems to want to be involved in keeping people bang up to date in what’s gping on.

Shane Hegarty from the Irish Times wrote an article about his experience of Ryan Tubridy’s first Late Late Show via live blog. He says:

‘It sounds a bit pathetic, but there was no better way to watch the first Late Late Show of the season than through Twitter. It was like watching the Late Late with a large crowd of people, but, instead of being drowned out by the din, each had an equal voice. Even as you watched, with the telly flickering and the netbook or phone balancing on your belly, and your eyes doing a Marty Feldman so as to watch both at the same time, it was clear that Twitter added something special. It brought honesty, gut reactions, a lot of intelligence and some great jokes.’

In Hegarty’s opinion, there is room for live blogging, as he seems to think that it enhances an experience, in this case, the first of Tubridy’s Late Late Shows! I would agree with this, as I have followed a few live blogs myself, such as DCUfm and the College Views following of the DCU Students Union elections, and have found them to be very helpful. If the future is with live blogging, then I am in favour of it.



Watch your back.
April 28, 2010

With the internet now the fastest growing platform for technology, spreading your views is the easiest it could ever be. Although most people wouldn’t consider the legal implications of their ramblings on their blogs, there some that could be considered.

In the 2009 Defamation Act, a wide area of issues related to defamation were addresses, but one of the main issues was internet journalism. Online journalism has taken off more than anyone could have expected in the last five to ten years, but where does that leave the journalist or blogger? Do the same defamation rules apply to online journalism too? It has been widely said that Irish law does not deal adequately with with the pressing issue of online journalism defamation.

The problems that arise from this is that unlike traditional journalism, there are no gatekeepers, no legal sweepers that comb through copy to identify red herrings. This is the first main issue.

The average Joe Soap on the street wouldn’t have the indepth knowlege of the defamation act, they wouldn’t know the ins and outs, the privelleges associated with reporting certain things. Mr Soap could go home, turn on his computer and write a completely fabricated satirical blog about a well known politician, that said politician had squandered thousands of euros of tax payers money on fancy cars and luxurious holidays.

Does Mr Soap have any sources? No. Does Mr Soap have the backing of a profitable newspaper? No. Should Mr Soap be brought before a court on a defamation charge? Yes.

A defamatory statement is ‘a statement that tends to injure a person’s reputation in the eyes of reasonable members of society’. Mr Soap had injured the reputation of the politician to anyone who had read his blog. That is defamation.

TJ McIntyre, a UCD lecturer, wrote an article in the Sunday Times about the issue of the defamation act in online journalism. He said:

‘Amateur publishers can be surprised to find their comments (however casual or off-the-cuff) being held to the same rules as the printed or spoken words of the traditional media. But, of course, bloggers don’t have the legal and financial back-up that other types of media enjoy.’

In other words, bloggers and online contributors should be careful. Just because it’s online doesn’t mean that it is a totally free platform for freedom of words. He also wrote about how Ireland is behind the times when it comes to online defamation:

‘Since 1996, the United States has given internet providers a defence in respect of material written by users. So have many EU countries, which went further than European law requires. Ireland, however, exposes internet intermediaries to a much greater business risk of being held liable for material they did not produce.’

In order to protect internet users from defaming someone, there would need to be more awareness of the issue. Ordinary people would never think of the problem of defamation when sitting down to do a blog, and that’s where the problem lies.


Defamation Act 2009:

Sunday Times article:


Tweet tweet.
April 24, 2010

Twitter. The one word that seems to dominate at the minute.

To be honest, I never could get my head around it, I’m probably still a bit confused to be honest. I do have a twitter account. I have 21 followers. Not a whole lot to be honest.

At first I was sceptical about the whole thing. 140 characters to write your feeling and thought, for me that just isn’t enough! I still don’t understand why people put the hash symbol before certain words (I actually can’t find the hash key on my keyboard…) and I don’t understand why people put an @ before peoples names. But other people understand, and that’s good enough for me.

Everyone who is anyone has a twitter, from RTE News, BBC News to our own College View, and DCUfm. But why?

Its appeal is that it is the most up-to-date way of relaying information. No wonder that it’s become the fastest way of breaking news. If you are in search of a story, make sure you ‘follow’ the right people, such as RTE News, and away you go. There are of course some downsides, as the more people you follow, the more tweets that crowd up your home page. I’ve been told that it’s possible to get something called Tweetdeck that manages your tweet intake, but I guess I’m not that fancy yet.

Twitter has revolutionised how we break news and sport, giving up to the minute accounts. Twitter is the future… Until something faster comes along!

Update: While Twitter has its merits, it also has its downsides. The news of the sad passing of broadcaster Gerry Ryan was largely broken through Twitter. Do you agree with this? Some of his family hadn’t even been contacted. Is this fair?


The beginning of the end?
March 27, 2010

There is a huge shift happening in terms of how journalism is practiced, it has become more interactive and there is alot of emphasis on online journalism. I haven’t quite decided whether I like the idea of it or not. I use the internet every day for a few hours, and during that time I like to access my news. As I mentioned in my previous post, I religiously check the Independent’s website and also RTE and Sky News. I wouldn’t pay for my news online. That it probably why I rarely check the Irish Times website, as it is partly done on subscription.

For people of my generation, the transition between journalism and the internet is a natural one as we have been rared on technology. The internet, mobile phones, mp3 players. I can’t really remember a time when one of those was not in my life. Although it is a natural progression, I don’t know if it is a good one. In the online journalism world, money is made through advertisement, not sales. What will happen to the humble newspaper? In a December 2009 article on the Guardians website, journalist Roy Greenslade tries to find why newspaper sales have declined.

ABC figures 2000-2009.

‘The editorial content is all wrong, with too many columnists, too much feature material, and not enough hard news. The editorial staffs are too small (and too sober). There is too much to read, which puts off readers. Print can’t compete with 24-hour news on television and radio. In the past decade, the overwhelming majority of journalists believe the internet is to blame, plus the growing availability of information through mobile phones. That, at least, makes sense.’
The main reason that I feel newspaper sales have declined [apart from the demon internet!] is because of the sheer amount of information and news out there. As Greenslade said ‘Print can’t compete with 24-hour news on television and radio.’ Radio and television are immediate resources, they can relay news in minutes, where newspapers can go out of date very quickly and easily. Although I love a newspaper, I love the feel and the smell of it,  I like to be able to physically hold it, but I cannot see how it can possibly compete with online journalism and with television and radio.
So is it the begininng of the end? Greenslade says ‘There is life in print – but it is ebbing away slowly without any hint of recovery.’ I hope this isn’t the case.

February 24, 2010

When I usually look at online news, I tend to look at the same 3 websites.

Sky News, RTE News and the Independent.

I like them. They’re easy to read, and easy to understand. All three offer a wide variety of news stories, from local and national, sport and showbiz to world news and ‘strange’ news. I’ve been visiting them for years now, and after checking my Facebook page and my e-mail account, they are my next port of call. I don’t know if it’s habit, but I enjoy their layouts, their writing and their appearence, and that’s what keeps me going back to them. They’re in my comfort zone.

I suppose the point of this blog is to get out of that zone. I’d like to look for news in different places, maybe some more foreign websites, or some smaller and lesser known about ones.

To begin, I’ve gone big. I’ve picked the New York Times.

My immediate concern is the layout. It’s very scattered and instantly confuses my eye. I don’t know where to look, let alone where to start! The different types of news are listed down the sides and when you click on one, for example ‘world’, it brings you to a new page. The stories are listed, and this page is easier to follow.

All in all, I’m not sure about the New York  Times website, it’s a little disorderly and not easy to follow like my usual news outlets.