Synesthesia Could Explain How Some People See ‘Auras’

See on Scoop.itSynaesthesia

Experience of ‘auras’ around people may be result of a neuropsychological condition called synesthesia.

See on www.spring.org.uk

Kwes – Ilp – mxdwn.com

See on Scoop.itSynaesthesia

Kwes – Ilp
mxdwn.com
Synesthesia is the simultaneous occurrence of multiple senses. In Kwes’s case, he hears color, a sub-group of synethesia called chromesthesia.

See on www.mxdwn.com

Can TV journalism survive the social media revolution?

Notes from BBC Two’s Royal Television Society’s lecture “#BreakingNews: Can TV Journalism Survive the Social Media Revolution?” with Lyse Doucet.

 

The breaking news stories now come to us, we now have instant access to news via social media. Where does the role of citizen journalism come into play? And how should journalists harness this?

There has been a revolution in the way that we tell stories. Citizen journalists and activists are all involved in sending their news and being the story themselves. For example, BB messenger was used to plan attacks because of its strict privacy. In seconds or minutes “network news” is breaking at the speed of life – with posts and reposts of information.

 

Where to broadcast journalists stand?

The battle to be first

There are now more journalists in different countries ready to report. With the tool of a smartphone, you can do everything a broadcast journalist does – tweet, post videos and photos and record audio. And if a journalist is’t doing it, then someone else with a phone will be.

The 1983 famine report by Michael Buerk sparked so much compassion that then lead to the creation of Live Aid.

Broadcast journalists cannot ignore the growing impact of social media, which in some places and in with some stories in hard to access countries is the only way to see what’s happening.
140 characters of excitement, fear and involvement – #iranelections became the only way to cover the event from the inside information of citizen journalists, with 200-2500 updates per minute.

Twitter and Facebook take you inside the heads and hearts of those making the news. We are no longer detached and we are part of a “global village.” However we don’t always get both sides and information is often fake or biased.

“If you don’t get on Twitter and Facebook then you’re not doing your job”

Some journalists refused to get on social media and the younger generation went straight to it when hearing about breaking news. African women activists were using social media and were followed by journalists, activists, organisations and those interested.

With the Pakistan floods, people used the hashtag #Pakfloods to report on the weather where they were and suddenly a personal news channel of tweets and retweets emerged. New insights into the mood of a nation appeared and it showed the BBC’s interest and involvement in the event. Social media lets you see what your rivals and audience are thinking and saying.

There is no question that the power of social media is an essential tool for journalists, and that there is a Facebook revolution.

 

The mistakes

There have been huge mistakes because of this constant influx of information. People have been pronounced dead several times when they weren’t, videos and photos have been faked and reported by media, and people are pretending to be other people – for example “a gay girl in Damascus” was actually a man from the USA.

The story about 19 year old Zainab who was detained and decapitated and tortured to death was then turned on its head because she later appeared on television alive and well.

How do we minimise the risk of error?

The UGC  – user generated content – brings us all points of view from all points in the world, and the BBC and other organisations are now creating UGC hubs where a team of producers are getting to the source of content, be it photos, videos or other. They use Google maps to match up locations and check the authenticity of sound. Has the video been edited? Has a photo been changed?
Every news room is establishing ground rules for their journalists to follow. Journalists are busier than before – and they have to be careful to separate their private and professional lives online. It is important to be aware of when to break a story and when not to – and about voicing your point of view.

Is it a matter of time before social media topples broadcast journalism?

Even though Facebook and Twitter may get there first, it has been monitored that when social media highs appear – tv viewing goes up at the same time. The authority, story telling and quality journalism are all still important and a trusted source we go back to. The story and the story teller still matter, we need the faces and the correspondents to give us a reality check and to reassure us. We always end up going back to the source that we trust.

Speed is only one part of the news – above all accuracy is the most important factor. Journalists are the people who have to get it right to survive- and social media has become the greatest confirmation of this need for modern media survival.

But this has not replaced the best way to clarify a complicated story, which is to be there yourself. Until you go to a country and experience the sights, sounds, smells and discover the real truth, the story is untold.

It’s not easy or safe and many are killed or kidnapped on the job – so for the times we can’t be in the field, social media is important to tell all sides. Social media is about democracy and bringing journalism into a wider space.

“You’re only as good as your next story”

With ever-growing scrutiny on ethics, and ever-changing technology there is a great challenge to be the best and be the first.
We have to be on the right side of history – trying to understand it and to get it right.

 

Future of the internet

In 20 years – we will turn idea into the most powerful information tool.

Where it’s heading next:

  • webscience – the semantic web
  • better understand what we want to see
  • more user generated content
  • looking to link data together to form a web of linked data
  • more refined search and questions
  • “access language” to find specific information
  • cloud of IP will surround individuals
  • even more dependant on it in the future

Web-free computers – Apple is pushing the boundaries.
Speech will become more important and mobile web will be the norm
the browser will disappear and apps will become more important, allowing us to do more without devices. It’s important we get a grip on it now and understand it to progress.

Corporations – Microsoft battling Google

browser vs. surfaces:

  • touchscreen and interactive
  • 3D graphics
  • cloud computing
  • immersive and visually appealing

There are obvious engineering challenges, as the web becomes one large computer.
Project Natal” is Microsoft’s latest innovative project to be released this year.

The web’s future is mobile. Your phone is your alter ego and an extension of who you are. The new rule is “mobile first.” In the future your car, what you eat, the clothes you wear will all be information connected to the web. A phone can be an augmentation of your environment without overcrowding and saturation. It will find better ways to communicate and anticipate content you may want to see.

Kenya, the new Silicon Valley

How do we connect the 3/4 that aren’t online?

Mobile learning is to deliver education in Africa. Communication via web streaming with millions of new users will happen. This will be driven the developing world in the future, and will be extremely important as a mobile phone is usually the closest an average African will come to having a computer.

At Cambridge University – “computing for the future of the planet

The web is an indispensible part of our civilisation. Computing and sustainability – how to harness or control our carbon footprint and as a result optimise energy. People will have personal energy meters, pulling together information. Networks and censors will pull together an “internet of things” and data sharing will happen between objects via censors.

The Future of Advertising

We will all eventually pay for the new web, and advertising will get smarter too. More pervasive advertising will appear – with talking screens like in sci-fi films.

However to make advertising better, will this compromise our privacy?
We should be allowed to decide the threshold, making the service better without global access to private lives. There are already privacy concerns over passwords and cookies, but who will control this information?
The Global Giants

Ten of thousands of companies have become 150 thousand companies contributing to 60% of traffic, and Google holds 10% of that. The big players are controlling most of the internet world – with the introduction of netbooks and ipads this has significantly impacted the network. What will be the impact of fewer and fewer companies controlling the internet?

Pessimistic:

  • expanding control regime
  • legally liable for what you do
  • survey and control
  • human rights debate

Optimistic:

  • unadulterated data
  • “raw data now”
  • web standards that hold its shape
  • open and free

With the move from web 1.0 to a new user generated web 2.0 – can the web remain free?
The battle for the soul of this invention continues…

Thoughts on the Relationship Between Journalistic and Academic Values

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Thoughts on the relationship between journalistic and academic values

By Olivia Broome

When Immanuel Kant summed up the values of the Enlightenment period in his essay What is Enlightenment? using the phrase “Sapere Aude” journalists have since followed this philosophy in order to spur on their work with truth, honesty, and curiosity. Daring to know, questioning reality, and using rational analysis to write are just a few of the ethics that bond journalism and academia together. According to Ward (2009) journalistic values were created in order for journalists to “conduct themselves in accord with the general ethical principles such as being truthful, keeping promises, avoiding harm and serving the public good.” Without academic values overlapping with journalism, the pursuit for the truth and knowledge when writing would be hindered by misinformation and lack of understanding. This essay will discuss why research, transparency, and clarity are three of the most important points to consider when writing as a journalist.

From the very beginning it is vital to gather evidence and rigorously research your chosen topic in order to create a meaningful, coherent piece of writing. Without thoughtful in-depth research, it is impossible to produce an unbiased piece of work. When reading an article in a newspaper or online, it is immediately clear as soon as you start reading whether research has been done or not. If work lacks research then it is usually padded out with opinion, making it subjective instead of objective. Recently with the switch to digital media, some journalists believe that the quality of academic research in journalism nowadays is quite low, making the articles useless or much weaker. Journalism that makes a difference in the world is measured by impact: “by the jailed people who are freed, by the criminals who are jailed, by new laws or policies that save lives or stop government waste.” Even though we may believe that publishing in academic journals is antiquated or over-complicated, it is what furthers the pursuit of knowledge and what counts the most when we are researching (Newton & Robertson, 2012). Furthermore, the use of quotes and ideas from intellectuals or philosophers when relevant to a subject can add life and voice to your words. Quotes show that not only have you researched work surrounding your topic, but that as a journalist you have that curiosity and interest to further your writing to produce more academic work. With journalism, time and effort must be taken when researching in order to appreciate the immense efforts of past journalists such as Karl Marx or Adam Smith. Voicing and accrediting other works not only adds colour and interest to writing, it may also open up new ideas and make the reader think about what is being said and want to read on. When reading written work, for example in an article or in a feature, quotes stand out and can be memorable. The quotes that can be added to your writing have the potential to make your writing memorable.

Research also has a lot to do with respect for the people who you use as sources in journalism. If research is rushed or if facts or names are wrong, then this leads to unprofessional writing and discredits not only your own work, but that of the people from whom you’ve taken ideas. In recent years with the domination of the internet as a researching tool, writers can source large amounts of information in a short amount of time. However because it is largely uncensored, it is up to “the author to ensure that all sources are authentic.” A prime example of misquotation due to lack of research appeared after the death of French composer Maurice Jarre when the Guardian used a quotation for his obituary “that the composer had never uttered.” It then appeared in other publications like the Independent and the Canberra Times as well as on multiple websites, “despite the fact that it had remained on Wikipedia for a mere 24 hours before being removed” (Traynor, 2009).

Transparency in all written work done by journalists is vital for the profession to remain dedicated to always delivering the truth to the public. Just as Jeremy Bentham said utilitarianism is “the greatest happiness of the greatest number,” (Mill & Bentham, 1987) journalists should always want to deliver the honest truth to the greatest number. There is a very important “social contract between journalism and society” that comes from the ethical duties of being a professional journalist and serving the society they live in (Ward, 2009). This is why when it comes to journalism plagiarism leads to enormous consequences. There have been in recent years a few cases of plagiarism among reporters which not only damages the reputations and credibility of the journalists involved, but that of all journalists. Again with the digital revolution and access to the internet, plagiarism has never been so easy, whether it is intentionally done or not. With writing there are three main types of plagiarism: information, writing and ideas, all of which can lead in extreme circumstances to libel (Rogers, 2012). If information from another reporter is used, passages from articles are copied or paraphrased, or if ideas are stolen from other people then transparency is destroyed.

Acknowledging sources and transparency is especially important in the field of journalism because of the fight to rid journalism of government censorship. The imprisonment and persecution of journalists during the French Revolution lead to the creation of the free press we know today. 19th Century France saw artists and editors imprisoned and prosecuted for “press crimes.” However many publications were passed “under government-imposed censorship.” It was not until the Charter came into existence in 1830 that the promise that censorship would never be reestablished was made (Anonymous, 2010). Because of the power of the press and those who fought to keep it uncensored, we now have a free press and should use transparency in order to maintain this status. Unreliable writing which doesn’t have transparency loses its value and impact, leading to society losing trust in journalism.

Clarity in writing is just as important for keeping the reader’s interest and trust. Misinformation can be produced just by forgetting to correct one letter, yet changing the whole sense of the word. With too many grammatical mistakes, writing cannot be taken seriously. It is vital for journalists to maintain a high standard of writing and not let any errors slip past otherwise they could lose their credibility. In extreme cases, an accidentally insulting headline or a changing a word in a quotation can lead to a whole publication losing respect and readership. This is why good English and simple yet clear writing is used in journalism, be it with articles, features or reports. Information that is well-written and easy to understand is what journalists aim to produce so that news can be understood by as many people as possible. This important academic standard ensures that a clear, concise message is passed to the widest audience, and so that news can be spread efficiently. When local newspapers first appeared in the United Kingdom, towns would collectively buy a newspaper and everyone would be able to find out what the news was from other parts of the country. If the writing hadn’t been clear and easy to understand, then news would never be read and understood. Clarity means that journalism can remain a profession for the masses, and nobody will be excluded from its reaches.

It is because of clear, transparent, well-researched journalism that society still has a free press supported by academic standards. Dickens, Marx and Paine are just a few examples of journalists and writers who have done remarkable things and written great journalism because of their intellect and academic values. The academic time and effort that has gone into all of the great literature and journalism that we know of has ensured that works such as Capital and Hard Times have withstood the test of time and revolutionised journalism. When put together, academic and journalistic values mean that journalists can serve the public and deliver the truth to the greatest number of people.

words: 1356

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