Ye old images library c*ck-up strikes again. Daily Tech seems to think Sony CEO is Chemical Ali, not Kaz Hirai:

Neil Walker

Online forums: get your quotes while they’re hot. Fairfax used anonymous online forum quotes from Aviation website PPRuNe “Professional Pilots Rumour Network” in a story about the death of aerobatic pilot Tom Moon in NSW, then unidentified, on 20 January.

Forum members criticised the use of the quotes, posted just 10 minutes before publication. HarleyD said, “The lack of respect and deference for those who are feeling a sense personal loss and choose to confer with colleagues on an aviation forum is considered to be intrusive and, we might add, that references to these anonymous sources without verification shows a clear lack of ‘journalistic integrity’.”

Others acknowledged the site is publicly accessible and content therefore available for reproduction. Trojan1981 said, “This is a public forum and is fair game for overworked Journos in drastically understaffed news organisations.”

Importantly, PPRuNe contains this clearly visible disclaimer at the bottom of each page:

As these are anonymous forums the origins of the contributions may be opposite to what may be apparent. In fact the press may use it, or the unscrupulous, or sciolists*, to elicit certain reactions.

*”sciolist”… Noun, archaic. “a person who pretends to be knowledgeable and well informed”.

Subsequently on the thread, a forum member requested journalists ask before publishing quotes. An aviation journalist calling themselves “Walrus” told Crikey:

As a rule, the posters here frame their messages in language that they know other aviators will understand, and don’t expect them to end up in an article written by someone who hasn’t the first clue what they mean, or the context in which they were written. In the [Fairfax] case, the extracted quotes really did no harm, but we aren’t about to assist the general media with their work when they represent us so poorly.

When the pilot’s identity became known, the story was replaced with an updated version not containing the forum quotes on all but the New Zealand stuff.co.nz site. — Eleri Harris

Journalists say the darndest things. Overheard in the Newsroom delivers the best overheard comments and conversations in any newsroom. Check out these golden nuggets:

“Maybe we should follow PETA’s line of thinking and rename newspapers ink kittens. No one would close a kitten.”

Reporter, in reply to query about copy: “I like to keep some deliberate ambiguity in my work.”

“I mean, I know we use black when referring to a criminal the cops are looking for, but in a feature story, it just doesn’t seem right!” Reporter to copy editor, discussing whether to use black or African-American. — Overheard in the Newsroom

What journalism owes to Charles Ponzi. Journalists, though, might be interested in the deeper role that Charles Ponzi’s 1920 fraud plays in the story of the modern American press. It was the object of the first investigation to be honored for public service by a then-new system of literary and journalism awards called the Pulitzer Prizes. — Poynter Online

Newspapers may seek philanthropy to support news-gathering. Could newspapers and local broadcasters begin seeking philanthropic support from the civic foundations and private donors that are starting to bankroll news non-profits? It appears entirely likely. With for-profit media watching their news-gathering resources dwindle, some editors say they’re open to the idea of seeking help from donors. — Online Journalism Review

Herald redundancies “on hold”. Odd turn of events this afternoon at Glasgow’s Herald & Times group. Some 40 staff who had applied for, and been accepted for, voluntary redundancy by the group — owned by Newsquest/Gannett — have been told they may not now be leaving. A memo from editor-in-chief Donald Martin said the voluntary redundancy process was “on hold”. Supposedly successful applicants are now being required to apply for jobs few of them are unlikely to want. — Roy Greenslade, The Guardian.

Publisher rethinks the daily: it’s free and printed and has blogs all over. Amid the din of naysayers who insist that newspapers are on the verge of death, a new company wants to start dozens of new ones — with a twist. The Printed Blog, a Chicago start-up, plans to reprint blog posts on regular paper, surrounded by local ads, and distribute the publications free in big cities. — New York Times

Photographer who snapped iconic Lee Harvey Oswald image dies. Photographer Bill Winfrey has died in an East Texas hospital at age 75. Winfrey’s photo of a handcuffed Oswald raising his fist as he was led out of a Dallas police elevator ran around the world. Historians say the photo was illustrative of Oswald’s defiant attitude during his 45 hours in custody. — Editor and Publisher

Disney shuts down Wondertime. The bad news just keeps on coming for the print publishing business with word that Disney Publishing Worldwide has closed Wondertime, its fledging parenting magazine. Disney cited the challenged economic climate in its decision. — Mediaweek

Peter Fray

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