Reading Assignments Week 2

Clay Shirky on institutions vs. collaboration.
This is Shirky’s (NYU prof) TED talk you’ll need to watch this week.

15 Awesome interactive maps from the New York Times.
Great post from Mark Luckie to inspire your mapping adventure this week.

How to use Flickr to get creative with your photos.
More from the 10,000 Words blog.

A quick guide to interactive YouTube videos.
Are you catching a theme here? Luckie is an expert on these kinds of things. This blog, which he came up with independently, helped him land a job at The Washington Post. It really demonstrates what can happen when you use blogging as a launching pad for your writing if you treat it seriously.

Anonymous video of Neda Aghan-Soltan’s death wins Polk award.
We have seen the tremendous power of social media to help communicate again and again in the ongoing uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. However, the anonymous video shot of Aghan-Soltan’s death marked an important turning point for journalism.

From the Nieman Lab at Harvard:

We saw what may be a first in the journalism-prize world this week with the prestigious George Polk Awards, when the award in a new category, videography, went to an anonymously produced video of the death of a young Iranian woman, Neda Agha-Soltan, during protests last summer. The video went viral on the web, getting millions of views and helping spark worldwide support for the Iranian resistance movement.

Polk Awards curator John Darnton considered it a statement on the power of citizen journalism: “This award celebrates the fact that, in today’s world, a brave bystander with a cellphone camera can use video-sharing and social networking sites to deliver news,” he told The New York Times. NPR’s David Folkenflik still gave credit to professional journalists for verifying, curating and sifting through video like this and establishing its newsworthiness.

Former Wall Street Journal online reporter Jason Fry compared the Neda video to two other famous new videos shot by “ordinary citizens” — the Zapruder film and Rodney King video. The biggest difference in what the Neda videographer did, Fry argues, was not so much in the video’s shooting, but in its distribution: Both Zapruder and George Holliday needed gatekeepers to disseminate their videos, but Neda’s videographer needed none. That difference is a radical one, Fry says — it ”changes not just how news is found and made, but how it is shared and therefore defined.”

Product v. process journalism: The myth of perfection v. beta culture.
More blogging and Internet theory from Jeff Jarvis.