Yajiao’s Blog

Recently, the most popular figure discussed by Chinese netizens is not a celebrity or political officials, but a vagrant. With the cult following of netizens, this vagrant drew attention from the media as well.

A photo of a homeless man taken by an amateur photographer when trying his new camera was posted on the Internet. Because of his good looks and sharp dress sense, Chinese netizens call him as Brother Sharp. A growing number of Internet users become his fans and keep tracking the latest news of the unidentified man.

According to the photo, he is wearing a rag-tag but well co-ordinated overcoat on top of a leather jacket. The match of his clothes even similar as the latest Dolce & Gabbana collection The expression showing in his eyes is described as ‘deep and penetrating’ by his fans. With a cigarette between his fingers, the confident position of his walking is like a model. He also wears women’s clothes sometimes, which has emphasised his status as a fashion icon. He was compared with popular Asian actors like Takeshi Kaneshiro or the Oscar-nominated Ken Watanabe. Several netizens have dubbed Brother Sharp as the “most handsome underdog of this century”.

He is one of the most talked about personalities in Chinese cyberspace today. Chinese netizens started the “human flesh search ”, and found that he is usually wandering in the streets of Ningbo, Zhejiang province. In the online posts, Internet users write about his cool attitude while asking for money from passersby on the streets. The news coverage of him is full of Chinese commercial websites and social networking websites. The discussion of Brother Sharp has even spread to other Asian countries like Korea and Japan, who say they find it hard to believe that such a handsome man could be homeless. The Independent in the UK also reported this unique vagrant.

Because of the popularity online, he also attracts the attention from the society. However, a worker at the Ningbo homeless center said his colleagues contacted Brother Sharp several times and tried to help him, but had been refused. Homeless people are vulnerable. Actually, Brother Sharp may by mentally disturbed, the person who first posted Brother Sharp’s photographs mentioned and asked netizens to stop trying to chase him. Some journalists tried to interview him, he was scared and could not speak fluently.

With the help of netizens and the attention of media, these homeless people receive more assistance from the public. Brother Sharp was sent to the mental hospital for treatment. His family that lost contact with him for over 10 years found him from the media report. Finally, today, with the accompany of journalists and some of his family members, Brother Sharp back to his hometown. According to the report, to welcome his back, his home village is like celebrating a festival.

Based on my experience and observation, I found that Chinese netizens are very interesting, kind-hearted and justice. They are playing an increasingly important role in shaping media coverage. Many social problems are firstly raised from the Internet, then reported by the journalists and become a public concern.

The issue of Google in China continues in the following months.

In February, The New York Times reported that the online attacks towards Google were from 2 China schools, but not from the Chinese government. The investigation said that the purpose of these attacks is stealing trade secrets and computer codes and capturing e-mail of Chinese human rights activists. One elite Chinese University called Shanghai Jiaotong University is involved. Its computer science program is one of the top institutions in China. The other one is a vocational computer school in Shandong Province. It is said this school was established with military support, but the school did not admit it.

In March, based on the recent report from Bloomberg, the US government suggested Google to take “China’s Internet censorship to the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an unfair barrier to trade”. However, the censorship in China applies to all Internet companies, and it is less of a trade issue that violate WTO rules.

However, Bloomberg also reported that Google China is recruiting new engineers, managers and sales staff. It seems that now Google China is returning to normal.

Since the early of 2010, Google threatened pullout of China, the debate about Google’s business, and Chinese Internet censorship from different perspectives has never stopped.

In January, according to Google, a representative said that because of the hacker attacks, the world’s largest search-engine company considered quit Chinese market. Meanwhile, Google will not censor its search results in China any more. This news firstly raised discussions and conjectures on the Internet among Chinese netizens.

Why Google leaves?

There are various reasons analysed by either netizens or professionals for Google’ decision. Apart from the cyber attack and censorship, some also suggested that Google has not dominated Chinese market. Though China owns the largest amount of Internet users in the world, Google’s revenue in China is relatively small. Compared with Google’s competitor Baidu takes up 63.9% of Chinese search market, Google only has 31.3% market share.

In addition, the pullout of Google reflects clash of cultures and values. The previous founding chief executive of Google China, Kai-Fu Lee, said that one of the weaknesses western Internet companies failed in China is they did not understand China and Chinese. In September, 2009, Kai-Fu Lee left Google for his own Chinese Internet investment company.

Moreover, some argues Google’s issue is not only about business, but also related with politics. Referred to Google’s unwillingness to submit to censorship, some people pointed out that Google came to China in 2006 when China had a much stricter regulation than it has now. The Obama administration ties closely with Google. The speech of Internet freedom made by Hillary Clinton also made the Google issue even more political.

Chinese Internet users are divided on the Google issue. On the one hand, some expressed their support for Google, about 30 Chinese students even sent bouquets to the company’s headquarters in Beijing. On the other hand, Chinese people and Chinese media argued that the business of Google should not be related with political issue. Clearly, Chinese people have called for a more open and free Internet, but now foreign company still need to operate under Chinese laws.

Chinese students put flowers at Google’s head office to say goodbye.

Employees from Google China published the photo of their office to “commemorate” Google.

The expanded market for news online and the technological improvement have created new trends for journalism, especially for web journalism.

In the start of 2010, there are several media-related events has become public concerns. Apple launched its latest multimedia device iPad on 27,January. iPad offers different newspapers online applications to its user. It changes the story for newspaper-subsidized e-readers. On the one hand,some argue that newspaper and magazine publishers already having a crisis with iPad. The key question is how could the print industries get be paid. On the other hand, iPad is regarded as a good opportunity to save newspaper. Newspaper publishers can attract more online audiences and enhance their usefulness to advertisers. demonstrated its application for the iPad, which provides a digital display of story text, photos and videos. Martin Nisenholtz, the company’s head of digital operations, said the app “captures the essence and experience of reading a newspaper.” In addition,New York Times  Condé Nast is preparing for the iPad since quite a while, it plans to promote some magazines. The advantages of iPad is to change the traditional newspaper business model, cutting delivery and production costs substantially. It could help create a way for media companies to change the consumer attitudes of the up till now free digital era.

Twitters has become a new tool for journalism as well.MediaOnTwitter is a sortable database of journalists that includes the journalists’ names, Twitter usernames, beats they cover, media outlets they work for and the countries in which they live. Users can submit a new contact for consideration by using a web form. Journalism.co.uk reported that The Daily Telegraph was using Twitterfall in its newsroom to monitor breaking news events. There are more suggestions about how to use twitter efficiently on the page of The Journalist’s Guide to Twitter.

In the following, there is a list of sources where you could find more about web journalism.

Guardian’s Media and Internet sections

MediaWeek

Online Journalism Blog

100 best blogs for journalism students

Journalism Technology

10,000 Words

Cyber Journalist.Net

Log

Posted on: 04/05/2009

With the application of the internet and Web 2.0, multimedia and online journalism has become a new type of journalism. Through this year’s study about this module, I learned about the characters, tools and current situations of multimedia and online journalism.

Compared with traditional journalism, multimedia journalism has its own advantages. First, it could report the breaking news immediately. The process of traditional journalism to find, edit and report a news story to the public needs a long time. By contrast, multimedia journalism could report the news by Twitter in the first time. In addition, they could update the development continuously. Because of the time and space limitations, it is impossible for newspapers to report the whole story. However, multimedia journalism could report the latest information by Twitter or blog minute by minute.

Furthermore, multimedia journalism could provide more choices for readers to understand the news story by different media forms. Readers could access to the related video and audio interviews. At the same time, multimedia offers a interactive platform for readers to exchange ideas and leave comments.

The increasingly significant role of multimedia journalism has changed the structure of journalism. Being professional in the 21st century, journalists should have the ability to work for alternative press and the internet. At the same time, they should be able to write in opinion-driven formats especially for blog.

A large amount of traditional media has already figured out how to do journalism online. They operate the news website and allow journalists to write blog for supporting website. Meanwhile, the website will set up certain page for citizen journalism to contribute. “iReport” is a page where ordinary could upload their photos and videos of news stories in CNN news website.

Another point should be noticed is the “citizen journalism”. An large amount of people set up their own blog, where individuals could post any material they gathered with their interpretation of the news story. Citizen journalists are able to collect the first hand materials and publish them online. They could make video and audio interviews and upload them to their blogs as well. However, are they journalists?

Though the use of blog has dramatic influence on news, it still cannot be regarded as professional journalists. Most bloggers do not report news on their own, while they usually write comment based on the news produced by professional journalists.

Overall, I thing there is a tendency of multimedia journalism. Nevertheless, the professional defination and occupation of multimedia journalism are still experimenting.

With the development of Web 2.0, there are many tools and services could be used by online journalists. In our online journalism course, we tried some web tools. 

YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. People could broadcast themselves to the whole world and develop their own audience. Meanwhile, if you are interested with other videos, you can communicate with users about shared interests. YouTube provides chances for expressing yourselves through video. Further more, it is also a social networking tool to meet new people and be part of a community.

It is an open platform for ordinary people and journalists student to upload their own video and share it with friends. Also, many bloggers insert YouTube video into their blog in order to give readers more background. 

I have my own YouTube account and uploaded all my project videos. My friends could watch them and leave commets. Meanwhile, I usually watch the top videos from YouTube and sometimes share it on my blog. 

 

Twitter

It is a service that allow people to post short updates (max 140 characters) about what they are doing. People could follow each other’s status. 

I kept using Twitter for a while. At first, I think it is just a simple tool to tell others what are you doing, which is quite boring and meaningless. 

However, after I read a guide of how to use twitter, I learned some tips about how to take advantage of Twitter in a journalistic way. Twitter could be used for news gathering. The more people you follow on, the more chances you may get the useful content.  Breaking news are always reported by witnesses through Twitter firstly. Twitter was used in the Sichuan earthquake in China and the terrorist in Mumbai. The Labour Party and conservatives both have their own Twitter accounts. In addition, we could use Twits Like Me to fine people who have similar interests. Tweetscan is for searching key words. Twitterlocal could help you to find twitter in your local area.

 

RSS feeds

RSS stand for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. It is used by news websites, weblogs and podcasting. It provides web content, summaries of web content, and with the links of the full version. My group blog is a music blog. We added the RSS feed of Yahoo Music News to our blog. Readers could know the latest news and click for more information if they are interested. They don’t need to visit the Yahoo Website, but could know music news when reading our blog. 

 

Google Reader

Google reader is a Google’s web-based feed reader to keep up with blogs and news.

As a journalism student, Google Reader is a useful tool to receive the latest news. A front page that lets you see new items at a glance . Users could add different category of news according to their interests in subscriptions.  For example, I added news related to China, London, Media and Film. Every time when I log in my Reader account, the information from my subscriptions will be showed first. Meanwhile, users could keep track with their own blog in order to read the new comments.

Users could choose to read  between list view (story with title) or expanded view (story with details) for item viewing. As you view items in your reading list, they will be automatically marked as read as you scroll down.

In addition, items in Google Reader can be shared with other Web users. Items the user marked as shared were automatically visible to their Google Talkcontacts. It is a DIY media platform as well.

However, one disadvantage of Google Reader may be that it is too professional for ordinary people. Different from journalists, public just want to know breaking news. In this case, the information from Google Reader is overwhelmed,  and will make users feel confused to get their interested news directly.

 

Google News

Though every daily newspaper has its website, Google News is a tool which could collect the latest news from world’s major news outlets. 

For journalism students, Google news is a reliable and user-friendly news source. It provides a wide range of news from over 4,500 news organizations. It is easy to compare the different angles and wiring styles of different news organizations in the same news story. The email alerts function will help you to keep track of the development related to your interested topics. At the same time, Google News is set up in different categories, such as Top stories, World, Business, Sports, and Entertainment, etc. According to users’ job and interests, they could access to the certain news stories which are particular important for them. Users could type the keyword to search news. 

The topic of our video is about the Facebook on compus. Matt and I are in the same group. 

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking community among young people. Facebook is a wide topic, it could be discussed in many different aspects. We decided to focus on the use of facebook on compus. Is it a good communicate platform or young people’s face-to-face communicate skills will be influenced? Are they addicted to the Facebook and check it  during class time? What is tutor’s opinion?

The first step of our project is to interview students and tutors. Before that, we prepare a list of couple questions. We also come up with news questions according to the answers. Matt and I exchange the role of interviewer and film maker in different interviews. Therefore, both of us could have the chance to know how to ask questions and how to use the video machine. 

Edit is the next step after the interview. We have to cut 20 minutes footage to 5 minutes, which is not a easy task. Matt did the first edit. Some useless answers and repeated sentensens were cut. The draft structure came up and footages were separated into different question categories.  Then, in the second time, I edited in more details and made the transform between each questions more fluent.  

In the introduction part, we added the voiceover to introduce the development of Facebook. However, it was difficult to match the length of voice with images. The voiceover was recorded several times. Part of music about Facebook were at the beginning and ending. 

In the editing part, we not only review footage edit, but also learn some new skills about sound edit. 

This is a group project, working together is very important. I am glad that each of us experience different jobs and try our best to finish it. Apart from group meeting, we exchange ideas through Facebook. 

After finished it, I uploaded it to my YouTube account and share it on Facebook. 

As an online video project, my friends could watch it and leave comment. Furthermore, it is like a DIY video project. The topic, structure, interview, sound and edit were all made by ourselves. 

This project gives me the opportunity to work as a multimedia journalist. Interview skills, editing skills and working together skills are all essential.