Making Video From the White House


White House photographers joke that you can’t take a good picture of President Obama without Arun Chaudhary, the first official white house videographer, being somewhere in the frame.
Produced by Ben Werschku


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NPR’s Andy Carvin, tweeting the Middle East

By Paul Farhi, Tuesday, April 12, 7:24 PM

Hold on a second, says Andy Carvin mid-conversation, swiveling to his laptop. He taps away for a few seconds, as quiet as a squirrel. And then he’s back.

Carvin does this 20, 25, 30 times — it’s easy to lose count — an hour. It’s practically second nature now. Often, he doesn’t even interrupt what he’s saying; the typing and the talking happen simultaneously.

Carvin is tweeting, relentlessly. Seven days a week, often up to 16 hours a day. He once went 20 hours straight, pumping out more than 1,400 brief messages on his Twitter account, @acarvin. That’s his guess, at least. It’s easy to lose count.

Since December, Carvin, a social-media strategist at NPR in Washington, has become a one-man Twitter news bureau, chronicling fast-moving developments throughout the Middle East. By grabbing bits and pieces from Facebook, YouTube and the wider Internet and mixing them with a stunning array of eyewitness sources, Carvin has constructed a vivid and constantly evolving mosaic of the region’s convulsions.

At a given moment, Carvin may be tweeting links to fresh video from Libyan rebels, photos of street protests in Bahrain or the highlights of a NATO news conference. His followers, in turn, point him to more material — on-the-ground accounts of the government crackdown in Yemen, breaking reports from Tahrir Square, the latest from Jordan or Syria.

The result is a dizzying, nonstop ride across the geopolitical landscape, 140 characters at a time: Read more at


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Huffington Post blogger sues AOL for $105 million

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — A longtime Huffington Post blogger has filed a lawsuit against the site, its two co-founders and new owner AOL, seeking $105 million on behalf of himself and 9,000 other unpaid bloggers.

The suit is being led by Jonathan Tasini, a journalist and union organizer, who filed the complaint Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Tasini is seeking class-action status for the case.

Tasini says Arianna Huffington personally invited him to blog for the Huffington Post in 2005, shortly after the site launched. He subsequently wrote 216 unpaid posts for the site, though he stopped blogging after AOL (AOL) agreed to buy it on February 7.

AOL’s $315 million Huffington Post purchase served as the catalyst for the lawsuit. Tasini says HuffPo’s 9,000 unpaid bloggers deserve a large cut of the windfall.

“The value added by the content provided by [the unpaid bloggers] to’s price was at least $105 million, none of which was shared,” the legal complaint says. READ MORE at

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Ink-stained students

Georgetown University’s Hoya newspaper is a microcosm of campus journalism
FROM Washington Post Magazine, Sunday, April 10, 2011

The students who are putting out the Hoya this night are, in many ways, very much like the preternaturally hardworking, hands-on college journalists of a generation ago. But unlike their counterparts of yore, the Hoya staffers are part of a highly tech-savvy breed that is easily adapting to the seismic shifts that are convulsing the professional newspaper industry.

The Hoya is a microcosm of campus journalism nationally in other ways, too. Like most student newspapers, it has not seen the same drop in readership experienced by most professional papers. Indeed, although hard data are scanty, a national survey of 600 students conducted between Jan. 31 and Feb. 11 by Alloy Media and Marketing and research firm Hall & Partners found that a full 85 percent of students had read the print edition of their campus paper in the past month. Seventy-two percent had read the paper online.  Read more at:


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Photoshop, journalism, and forensics: Why skepticism may be the best filter for photojournalism

Santiago Lyon and Hany Farid, an expert in the emerging field of digital forensics, were in town last week for a talk at MIT about photojournalism in the age of Photoshop. What the two men share is an interest in establishing systems to ferret out manipulated photos, with Lyon focused on policy while Farid looks to math.  Their differing approaches make sense: Lyon oversees about 300 photographers, and Farid is a computer science professor at Dartmouth.

While they spend a fair amount of their time trying to find ways to combat photo manipulation, they say their bigger concern is our cultural acceptance of that manipulation and the resulting erosion of trust in photojournalism. But here’s the good news: Skepticism being alive and well is not entirely a bad thing.  Read more at:

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Five myths about the future of journalism

By Tom Rosenstiel
Thursday, April , 10:06 AM

There are few things journalists like to discuss more than, well, themselves and the long-term prospects for their industry. How long will print newspapers survive? Are news aggregation sites the future? Or are online paywalls — such as the one the New York Times just launched — the way to go? As media organizations plot their future, it’s worth discarding some misconceptions about what it will take to keep the press from becoming yesterday’s news.



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“WikiLeaks on Steroids” – and it’s Legal!

Prospecting for Precious News Nuggets

Untitled from Jamie McIntyre on Vimeo.

One big advantage the Philip Merill College of Journalism has over other J-schools around the country is its proximity to the National Archives annex, just a short jog down Adelphi Road from the University of Maryland’s College Park campus.

And one of the real gems of the Maryland journalism program is Associate Professor Ira Chinoy’s “Mining the National Archives” class (JOUR 774), which is being offered again this summer, from May 31, to July 7, 2011.

Imagine WikiLeaks on steroids.  The U.S. National Archives is home to millions of original documents, photos, videos, maps, and other historical artifacts, that are the keys to unlocking historical secrets, and fascinating truths, that are just waiting to be told.  And only a tiny fraction of the Archives vast holdings are on line.

I took Professor Chinoy’s class in 2009, and although I had tapped into the Archives from time to time in my 35 years as a Washington reporter, I found the class a real eye-opener.   Once you know the secrets to rummaging around in the nation’s attic, the possibilities are endless for new important discoveries that can not only change our understanding of history, but today’s events in new, better context.

It was among the best classes I took as a Master’s student at the University of Maryland, and I highly recommend it to anyone who believes journalism’s core mission is to uncover facts, and use them to increase understanding of our world.

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