An open letter to an Editor
According to veteran journalist Deborah potter, the best journalists are life-long learners.They’re good at their craft but they never think they know it all. But, in Calcutta, some journalists think that they know everything and don't need any further training or workshop.They think that they are from the Mars. I'm sorry to say that you have the habit to use copy righted photographs straightaway from Google images. For example, you published a photographs of Mamata Banarjee (dated 3.12.2010) which was the violation of intellectual property right.We should have knowledge that online research is an art and we must do it properly.Small or mid sized newspapers or magazines who have not afford to buy news from news agencies and other sources should not use copy righted materials.
As professional online news researchers, we should always use extreme search engines and subscription based online archives rather than popular search engines like Google and others.In any from of journalism, plagiarism is not acceptable.Already, Radio and Television Digital News Association provides some guidelines regarding these Netty-gritties.They should know how to honour the intellectual property of others, including text,video and audio materials.Online journalists should also respect the dignity, privacy and invasion of privacy is acceptable when necessary in the public interest.
Theresa Collington Moore,the news researcher of CBS affiliated WTSP 10 TV,St.Petersburg,Florida, whom I consider my mentor.From my early days of journalism,I learnt a lot about news research from her works.She is my Guru Dronacharya,I follow her like Eklavya with out the painful one.I try to follow her style with my own interpretation.According to her,news researchers of local TV stations should have the ability to provide background checks of anything including background checks for the reporters in the field.They work side by side with the reporters but unlike reporters they work behind curtains.They don’t get enough credit for their work.But,as information junkies they enjoy every bit of it.They check and recheck every information and follow the journalism mantra,when your mother says she loves you check it out.News researchers believe that facts are more important than adjectives.I also consider Deborah Potter,President of NewsLab,a broadcast training and research center and a former network correspondent as my mentor.I was inspired and motivated by her works and learnt a lot from her about media ethics .But even now local TV stations in Calcutta don’t think that they need a newsroom researcher.But when regional news channels are competing each other,they should have create their own identity.A news researcher who is associated with a local TV station, helps reporters to develop their stories ,search stories-news items for producers.He or she s should maintain his or her own data bank,story bank.The concept of news researcher has changed in recent years because local TV stations now a days concentrate on hyper local news. I don't consider myself as a good reporter, but always wanted to be a good news researcher.
News Researchers don’t consider themselves as a knowledgeable person but they only know how to provide quick authentic information.They only use subscription based online archival materials.As a researcher for local TV station,you can not expect to get ready made information from net.I stop goggling years ago.When a major story breaks out you don’t have the time to search Google or other search engines.You should maintain your own archives. In India the internet penetration is 12.4% where as in America the penetration is 22.2% so we should learn from them how to use internet.
With best regards
Tags: News , Journalism
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