Kickstarting Mini Balloon and Kite Mapping Kits for everyone

Jeff writes, "7 years after 'grassroots mapping' the BP spill when journalists were denied access, the open source community Public Lab is back with an even more accessible Do-It-Yourself way to take aerial photos: the Mini Balloon and Kite Mapping Kits." Read the rest

Melissa del Bosque, Ta-Nehisi Coates & co: "Cigarette cards" for muckraking journalists

Dave Maass writes, "In the 1890s, a tobacco company included collectors cards featuring 'American Editors' in its cigarette packs. In all, they were 49 white dudes and one woman, and the only diversity was in their beards and mustaches." Read the rest

TFW you're a White House reporter listening to Sean Spicer

Vice compiled this terrific compilation of White House reporters' reactions as they listen to Sean Spicer. If you don't laugh, you'll cry.

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Shoulder-mounted GoPro stops Iraqi sniper's bullet

Journalist Ammar Alwaely was filming with a colleague when a bullet tore through his shoulder-mounted GoPro, deflecting it from tearing through him. Contains plenty of NSFW swearing, which seems entirely appropriate. Read the rest

Timelapse of every New York Times cover since 1852

Similar to web page evolution, watch the New York Times' evolution from just text to images with every front page since 1852 in about one minute. Read the rest

How Kellyanne Conway stymies reporters

Carlos Maza has a great breakdown of how Kellyanne Conway is so adept at deflecting questions. It's basically a form of journalistic jiu-jitsu that exploits journalistic civility and pivots by using their own words against them. Read the rest

Reuters editor-in-chief instructs journalists on how to cover the new Administration

Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler is proud of the way his news organization is able to provide high-quality, fact-based journalism in oppressive places like Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia, "nations in which we sometimes encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists." Here's his list of dos and don'ts for staffers:

Do’s:

--Cover what matters in people’s lives and provide them the facts they need to make better decisions.

--Become ever-more resourceful: If one door to information closes, open another one.

--Give up on hand-outs and worry less about official access. They were never all that valuable anyway. Our coverage of Iran has been outstanding, and we have virtually no official access. What we have are sources.

--Get out into the country and learn more about how people live, what they think, what helps and hurts them, and how the government and its actions appear to them, not to us.

--Keep the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles close at hand, remembering that “the integrity, independence and freedom from bias of Reuters shall at all times be fully preserved.”

Don’ts:

--Never be intimidated, but:

--Don’t pick unnecessary fights or make the story about us. We may care about the inside baseball but the public generally doesn’t and might not be on our side even if it did.

--Don’t vent publicly about what might be understandable day-to-day frustration. In countless other countries, we keep our own counsel so we can do our reporting without being suspected of personal animus.

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Wear a same-color outfit as Australian TV presenter Amber Sherlock at your peril

Amber Sherlock, a television personality in Australia, was angry that a colleague, Julie Snook, wore clothes almost the same color as her own. On-camera, with the screen split and an increasingly alarmed and discomfited guest looking on—also wearing white!—she insisted Snook change her attire and did not commence the segment until she had done so. Read the rest

Blue feed, red feed: side-by-side comparisons of social media feeds by politics

One of the most compelling data visualization projects from this year was Wall Street Journal's Blue Feed, Red Feed, which lets readers see exactly how divergent social media feeds have become, depending on someone's media diet. By coincidence, I capped an example that puts Boing Boing in their blue feed column. Read the rest

Digital self-defense for journalists

The Opennews project has published a set of annotated links to digital operational security tutorials that are relevant to journalists looking to defend themselves against various kinds of attacks, covering two-factor authentication, password managers, phishing, first aid for malware infections, and related subjects. (via 4 Short Links) Read the rest

Amid a media blackout of the Standing Rock protests, law enforcement targets the rare journalists on the scene

Unicorn Riot is a media collective that formed in response to the lack of media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Tar Sands Blockade; their news comes direct from the front lines of some of the most significant and under-reported conflicts in the world, in the form of unedited livestreams from the conflict zone, and edited highlight reels after the fact. Read the rest

White Supremacy Euphemism Generator for journalists

Reading recent coverage of Donald Trump's friends on the far right, it struck me that even when people pander to the idea Western culture's wellbeing is inseparable from European ethnicity, they somehow avoid being called white nationalists or supremacists by journalists. Read the rest

The free-speech activist duty of journalists during the coming Trump years

Donald Trump promised to shut down the free press if elected (the fact that the laws he wants to "open up" don't exist makes him an ignoramus, but not a harmless one) and his first official post-election act was to block the press and then to call for politically motivated reprisals against his press critics. Read the rest

Police in Quebec are spying on journalists and Snowden calls that "a threat to democracy"

Last week, Patrick Lagacé -- a columnist for the Quebec paper La Presse -- revealed that the Montreal police had gotten a secret warrant to spy on his phone calls and text messages and collect the location data from his phone, seemingly in an attempt to discover which police officers were the source for stories in La Presse about police corruption (confusingly, Lagacé wasn't involved in these stories). Read the rest

Snowden to journalists: your best defense is legal limits on spying, not crypto

Edward Snowden videoconferenced with a journalism roundtable at Editors Lab participants at Süddeutsche Zeitung (home of the Panama Papers) about the effect of state surveillance on a free press. Read the rest

A journalist on lessons from his Theranos takedown

Nick Bilton's analysis of his Theranos exposé shows how bad actors like Elizabeth Holmes can misuse employees and government regulators, but he is especially critical of access journalism practiced in the business trades. It's a great read for anyone who writes as part of their job. Read the rest

Some questions for those who are cheering Gawker's demise

Gawker.com, the pioneering and controversial media blog, officially died yesterday. It was killed by billionaire Peter Thiel in his successful quest to bankrupt Gawker Media Group through a series of lawsuits he funded – most notably wrestler Hulk Hogan, who sued over the publication of a portion of his sex tape four years ago. Read the rest

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