You’ve Got Some Issues My Friend

Verifying Online Video

I recently read a short article on the Online Journalism Blog called Verifying Video and Other Information-Crowdsourcing  site Bellingcat now open.

The article talks about how a site called Bellingcat, once accesible only to those who donated to the site, is now open to the entire world wide web. The website is ran by conflict blogger Eliot Higgins and has several articles and videos on how to verify information that journalist may find online.

Take for example, a journalist finds a video of bombs being dropped out of the back of a helicopter and wants to find out where the video is from. Higgins has articles on how to Geolocate video by using what you can see, such as aerial shots of a town or landscape.

This is important to future journalists because of the amount of information that is on the internet during this technological age of media. Journalist can use Higgins’ methods to verify where video was shot and also items that might be in the video. Below is a video posted on youtube that shows how he uses his methods to verify information on these internet videos.

Instead of reading through all of his methods, this video shows a crash course on how he has verified information using them in the past. It’s very interesting to see the master of verifying video in action himself.

So, if you have some video you found online that you want to verify for a news story, check out Bellingcat for ways to do so.


Hackers Gonna Hack

Another article I read was from PBS Newshour called The roots of “Anonymous,” the infamous online hacking community.

I found this article to be rather interesting because of a couple of hacks that have gained national attention in the past few weeks. One being the crisis in Ferguson, where Anonymous hacked the police department and released the name of an officer saying he was who shot Michael Brown, when in fact he was not the man at all. The other was the recent leak of photos of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence (most of which the actress was nude in).

I feel like hacking is very important to future journalists because if Anonymous or any hackers for that matter can attack city governments and celebrities, they can easily get their hands on information that journalists have or information on journalists themselves.

Let’s say you’re working on a story that is very controversial, and you say something that offends a lot of people, and a few of which are hackers. What’s stopping them from leaking information about you like your address, phone number, spouse or kids names?

Take the Ferguson story for example, KSDK Channel 5 showed the officer’s house who shot Michael Brown on live TV shortly after his name was released. This caused outrage throughout the city of St. Louis and some people wanted the KSDK executives personal info released. Now as far as i know, that never happened, but you could see how it could potentially get out.

Class This Week

I’ve got a lot of experience when it comes to shooting and editing, but when it comes to writing stories for newscast, I’m still a bit wet behind the ears.

Shooting and editing our practice packages was a breeze for me, but I struggled a little bit writing the script for the story. Going into next week I hope to improve on script writing and just writing for news in general. That’s a big part of a newscast and if you write a crappy script or tease, your newscast will most likely follow suit.

One thing I learned about that was interesting and exciting for me was stand ups in a package. I love working behind the scenes, but have always had a natural ability to be in front of the camera and look like I know what I’m doing.


My Moral Compass

What is a moral compass?

To me it’s the steps throughout your entire life that have shaped the way your morals are at this exact moment. Whether it’s the actions of your peers that have affected you, or the lessons from your parents. My moral compass was mostly shaped by not only my parents, but most of my extended family.

I was brought up to tell the truth even if there might be negative repercussions . Part of this comes from the way of life in the bootheel of Missouri where I grew up. If you break something, tell somebody what happened, don’t lie to them about what happened because then if they do find out the truth, they’ll never trust you again. This really applies in my morals today as I want to be a trustworthy member of society and don’t want to keep information to myself that might be harmful to others.

Think about it this way. One of your friends is driving another friends car and wrecks it, then tells the friend someone hit them. Then the friend who wrecked the car tells you they were drunk and ran into a tree in their driveway. Wouldn’t you be compelled to tell the owner of the car the truth? I know I would in a heartbeat because that information could affect our friendship. I know, your saying “yeah but if you snitch, that’s going to affect your friendship with the friend at fault!” Let’s be honest, if that friend would lie to one person, they would damn sure lie to me. I don’t need them around.

There is one thing that came recently in my life that has changed my moral compass though, my wife. We had a few moral disagreements when we started dating, and after 3 1/2 years together we’ve each opened our moral ways to except some of the others ideas.

I believe that your moral compass is constantly changing throughout different periods of your life. I’m sure mine will change a bit again once I have kids, since I’m still kind of a kid myself now. So no matter where your compass leads you, just know that direction could change at anytime. 

Citizen Journalist

Recently in our seminar class, we spoke about the standards between citizen journalists and professionals. Do they both set themselves to the same standards? I think not. Most citizen journalists, in my opinion, are in it for the social media publicity and not to actually make a difference in the world, but we did talk about one citizen journalist who I think wants to make legitimate difference. 

Josh Fox shot a documentary in 2010 called “GASLAND” after he was offered money for the natural gas drilling rights on his property. Josh goes around the country talking to property owners who did give up the rights to their land and the repercussions that came with it. All in all the process for natural gas drilling called “hydraulic fracturing,” seems to be more harmful to the environment than most oil companies will admit. One man was able to light his tap water on fire due to the amount of natural gas in the ground water! Sure seems like a bad idea to me.

I think what Josh did was a great example of citizen journalism that actually made a difference and impacted the public. If more citizen journalists held themselves to his standards then maybe someday they would get a shot at being considered somewhat credible.