Travis Fox, a video journalist for WashingtonPost.com, has filed great footage of coalition troops in Umm Qasr, Iraq, building a prisoner of war camp. For most of his stories, Fox uses a Sony PD150, a roughly $7,000, 12-pound digital video camera with a five-hour battery. The gear is less than half the weight and one-tenth the cost of equipment used by crews for large networks. (If you're interested in how washingtonpost.com does such great multimedia work online continually, read CyberJournalist.net's Q&A with Tom Kennedy, who oversees the operations.)
The U.S. military has banned the use of certain satellite phones -- Thuraya phones -- because they have built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) features. Reuters correspondent Matthew Green reported that military is concerned that using the phones to transmit stories from laptops could give away troop locations. ''They say it's for security, that the Iraqis can use it to triangulate the signal and fire missiles," he reported. One Chicago Tribune reporter had to borrow a Washington Post reporter's phone after his phone was confiscated, and USA TODAY reporters are relying on the military's satellite phones to transmit stories. USA TODAY has asked that the ban be reconsidered, the newspaper reported.
Jimmy Guterman, the editor known for running The Industry Standard's "Media Grok" and then briefly an attempt an independent successor, "Media Unspun," has begun a Weblog for the Online Journalism Review covering what media types are saying about coverage of the war in Iraq — called "Media on Media." "It's strictly inside baseball: This is coverage by a journalist of how journalists are covering other journalists," he says.
Online publishers have been fielding unprecedented demand from visitors for streaming video feeds related to the conflict in Iraq since it began about two weeks ago, Cnet reports. "The confluence of live war coverage and a bevy of new streaming video services online is thrusting Webcasting back into the limelight after years of failed efforts or false starts."
Now that the United States and Iraq are accusing each other of violating the Geneva Conventions in the handling of prisoners of war, journalists should familiarize themselves with the international humanitarian standards. The full texts are available online in many places, but they are long and complicated, particularly for journalists on deadline. So be sure to check out this fantastic online guide from the Society of Professional Journalists.
"Backpack journalists" who rely on lightweight laptops, satellite phones, inexpensive editing software and digital cameras are among those reporting on the Iraq war -- with more mobility than those toating heavy gear. Experts, though, worry that because they often work alone, they can fall prey to fatigue and fear and produce reports that lack context.
Here's a look at the IPT Suitcase, a briefcase-size satellite broadcasting system that some broadcast networks are using to transmit video and audio via satellite -- using standard Internet protocols and at speeds of up to 2 megabits per second--equivalent to an average DSL connection.
Knight-Ridder received a lot of criticism last year after it moved all of its sites to one Web publishing system and gave them a similar cookie-cutter look -- but one of the things the new system has enabled it to do well is share content across sites. A good example of this is its Iraq coverage. In particular, check out War Watch, a good blog edited by two SiliconValley.com staffers that can also be found on sites like philly.com and miami.com.
Every time there's a significant news event, the Internet gets a little stronger as a medium, Steve Outing writes in Editor & Publisher. And the bigger the event, the bigger the boost. Now with the U.S. war on Iraq in full swing, the Internet is (mostly) there as a mass medium capable of meeting high public demand with quality coverage delivered efficiently.
There is tremendous potential for news sites to use online infographics to enhance the presentation of information. How are some of the major news organizations creating infographics online? In a report for CyberJournalist.net, Nora Paul, the director of the University of Minnesota's Institute for New Media Studies, compares how news organizations were explaining the B-52 Bomber. (more…)