Interview with journalist Lotte Sørensen from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Interview with journalist Lotte Sørensen from Copenhagen, Denmark. She is a freelancer journalist at Benjamin Media and Head of Copenhagen press group at Danish Red Cross youth. She considered herselve a driven and ambitiours journalist who enjoys working in the creative environment found in the magazine business, but also she have a love for fastpaced news production, especially online news. She has interests range from fashion, health, relationships, and gossip to third world issues, social exclusion and criminal reporting. Her specialities are narrative journalism, personal interviews for portraits or case stories criminal reporting online. She started Journalism in 2007 at Danmarks Journalisthøjskole and expected to finish it in 2011.

If you want to follow her twitter, it is lottesorensen1.

1 – Could you please tell me a little bit about your work experience? (Do you have blog, twitter, website I can check too? – Can I include those information on my article)

I my career started with six months at a Danish men’s magazine called M! – equivalent to FHM, where I did a variety of things, like interviewing models and celebrities, writing historical pieces etc. Then I worked for a year at the Danish tabloid newspaper B.T., where I mainly did crime reporting, both print and online. Now I’m a freelance journalist, and I mainly write for a women’s’ magazine called Woman. I’m about to start blogging for at health magazine, but the blog isn’t up and running yet, so unfortunately I can’t give you a link for that yet.

2 – How do you think social media is changing journalism and communication I general?

I think social media is making it easier to journalist. For instance, a while ago I was writing about the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, earlier this year. I needed a case, preferably someone from Denmark who was there, when it happened. I found a young woman travel blog, and then I had my case. Without social media it would have taken much longer for me to find someone, who was there at the time. I also think that social media is good for journalism, because it makes it easier for the reader to comment on the stories, that the media is posting ie on their facebook page. Journalists can use it for finding cases, getting tips on stories from the readers and get feedback on their products. In regards to communication in general, I think social media makes it easier to stay in touch with old friends – I have contact to friends, that I might have lost contact to, if it wasn’t for facebook. I also think that it makes it easier to find out about ie new job openings if you’re searching for a new job. The downside however is, that social media is slightly addictive and is very time consuming.

3 – Do you use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Blog for your work? How? How do you think those social network helps you doing your job? How can people trust information from the Internet? How people can trust their credibility.

I mainly use facebook, and mainly for finding cases, like the woman who experienced the earth quake in Christchurch. I mainly use it to track down the source, and then I arrange a normal interview over the phone or in person. I believe those sources to be just as credible as sources I find in different ways – I use the same amount of healthy scepsism, and I have no problem dropping a source, if he/she doesn’t seem credible. I mainly use the social media for the colorful parts of an article – emotions, experiences etc. I don’t use it to find facts. Linkedin, twitter and my new blog will mainly be used to brand myself in my business. So it’s more to make a name for myself for when I go job hunting, and not for my daily work.

4 – What are the job opportunities for journalists with social media? Do you think traditional jobs will disappear?

I don’t think traditional journalism jobs will disappear, but they will change a bit. For instance a journalist who has worked on a newspaper in years is used to just making one product – today he probably has to make a version for the web and bring a camera for interviews, where he in the past only would bring pen and paper. This is however just a new version of the traditional journalism job – I don’t think it will disappear altogether and be replaced by new social media jobs. There will be more jobs for journalists in social media – it takes a lot of resources’ to manage a media’s facebook page or twitter account. There will also be jobs, where the journalist needs to filter through follower’s comments to find a great story.

5 – What are your advices for journalists who are starting their career using social media?

I do advice new journalists to get comfortable using social media. Find inspiration among friends – do they share their work on facebook, or report from an event via twitter? It’s like most other things – it takes experience, and since journalism is still adapting to social media, everyone can be an expert. I think new journalists are extremely skilled, because they are more likely to have a knack for social media than their older colleagues.

6 – So many things changed for the last 10 years, after the Internet, what do you think will happen in 10 years or even longer time than that?

I think that we will continue to see a development – most medias are still trying to find out what to do with the social media. I think when you visit a news website in ten years, everyone will meet a different site, because the site registers what type of news you’re interested in, and customized the front page to your liking. Apart from that, I have no idea. I’ll just be playing it by ear.

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Passion for communication


 
According to blurtit.com website, passion “is the name of a very powerful emotion. It can be any emotion, like love, joy, anger, hatred, jealousy etc. It also refers to ardent love and boundless enthusiasm in any action or emotion. It is most clearly apparent when the mind, body and spirit work together to create, develop and express our feelings and ideas. Passion has an energy that’s observable and transferable and cannot be faked. It is a driving force that enables people to overcome difficulties when used in a positive manner but it can also cause tremendous devastation and destruction if left unbridled”.
 
Communication is defined by answers.com website, as: “The act of communicating; transmission. It is the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, writing, or behavior”.  Also, the same page gave the definition as “the art and technique of using words effectively to impart information or ideas. The field of study concerned with the transmission of information by various means, such as print or broadcasting. Any of various professions involved with the transmission of information, such as advertising, broadcasting, or journalism.”
 
Merriam-webster.com website gives almost the same information. “Communication is an act or instance of transmitting a verbal or written message. It is a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.”
 
According to “Fundamentals of Contemporary Business Communication,” by Scot Ober, we have verbal communication, which are forms of oral communication and written communication (email, Websites, letters, reports, newspapers, magazines, memorandums, contracts, sales literature, and bulletin-board notices) and non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication includes body movement, physical appearance, voice qualities, time, touch and space and territory.
 
Buzzle website explains that non-verbal communication involves physical ways of communication, like tone of the voice, touch, smell and body motion. On the same website, we also have the description ofvisual communication, which “is visual display of information, such as topography, photography, signs, symbols and designs. Television and video clips are the electronic form of visual communication.”
 
WikiHow website has an article explaining how people can communicate effectively. Accordingly, it is important to be articulate, listen actively, be vocally interesting, be clear, organized with clarified ideas, stay on topic and recognize people. Another important key will be body language, which includes consciously facial expression, communication eye to eye, carefully use of hand gestures, choose right time, place, without distractions while we communicate, and be thankful for people’s time and get their feedbacks.
 
The website about.com inventors show us that the first instance of communication was when “the Phoenicians developed an alphabet between 3500 BC to 2900 BC.” Why did they do that? They needed to create a system to advertise information. After that, we have cuneiform writing, the phonetic alphabet, creation of books, libraries, Heliographs (Mariana – did you mean hieroglyphs?), wooden printing presses, newspapers, the camera, telephone, the Xerox machine, television, cell phones, computers… so many inventions which help us to better communicate.
 
 
 
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Things I have learned taking the social network for journalist’s class.

It was a very productive semester. We did discuss a lot: Twitter, Facebook. LinkedIn, Blogging, Facebook business pages and Journalism.  Even though I’m a journalist, I didn’t have the habit to use Twitter or LinkedIn for work. I had a blog and facebook but used them just for fun and personal reasons. I didn’t use it for job. I also have to confess I don’t post articles that as often I should. Let’s list 10 things I have learned taking this class and why it was important.

01 – I learned how to make a Twitter account and what a Tweet is (a 140 character message). It was very important, because before this class, I knew Twitter existed, but I didn’t have the initiative for creating an account.

(Click on the graphic and it will get bigger – The Twitter instant speed meter).

02 – I learned how to use hash tags and using @ before people’s name. These are very important tools, because you can send messages to a person or specific group of people.

03 – I learned how to shorten a URL address. (http://lc4.in/www.miud.ushttp://rdz.me/,www.bit.ly). This was very useful, because when we have only 140 characters, we must optimize the information, leaving space for more thoughts; I found it really helpful.

04 – About blogging, I learned that it is important to post new articles often and also to give people feedback when they comment.

05 – I learned how to create a LinkedIn account. I had never used the site before, and it was very new to me. On LinkedIn, an important thing I have learned was how to use the  Answers tool; it was very informative getting responses from people who were on my profile.

06 – Also, on LinkedIn, I learned how to join groups; it’s a tool that can be very helpful. I learned a lot just being a member of a few groups. I receive emails telling what topics are in discussion.

07 – Very importantly, I learned what curation is. (To read about it, here is a link from my blog ). As a journalist, in my mind I knew how to write in that way, but I didn’t know I was conducting curation while doing so.

08 – I learned that Twitter and Facebook are important tools for breaking news. For example, I can say “Bin Laden is dead”.  It was very impressive how information spread quickly. I find deep thoughts to be critical. Generally, however, information on these sites tends to be superficial.

09 – How journalists can use social media. As I said at the beginning, even though I knew about social media, I didn’t use it all that much. After taking this class, I learned a lot about doing so, and I hope I can continue use all I have learned.

10 – Last, but not least,: I learned how to build a Facebook page and how it is an important instrument for journalists. It’s important because writers can use that page for professional purposes, and this doesn’t mix postings with the personal page. Also, it’s significant because, like other forms of social media, one can post information, pictures and videos in a timely manner. In addition, people can post comments, and we can give them feedback in a real time. (Good article about Facebook Pages – Vadim Lavrusik: How journalists can make use of Facebook Pages –)

When I started this class, I wasn’t sure about the use of social media for journalists. Of course, I knew social media was a very important tool for the journalist, but I still believed that a journalist could survive without those tools. Now, after one semester, I would say I have changed my mind. Even though we (and I say we, because I’m a member of the journalism profession) may not use it in our everyday jobs, it is a very important tool. While I still don’t believe I can find a job using LinkedIn, it seems to be a good tool for the work environment. I’m not saying it isn’t helpful for some people in finding a job, as that was an answer I found as being part of a journalism group. Journalists there say we can find paying opportunities, but most of the time we have to work for free. I think the future of the journalist is directly connected with social media.

I do think social media will be interconnected. People will continue post on their blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter. In time, all will be connected.

I’m not yet sure how this course will impact my personal future. I’m sure I learned much, and I do now feel the need to be more disciplined and check social media sites more often. Things like waking up and checking the news on Twitter, writing more often to my blog, checking the possibilities on LinkedIn, taking care of my Facebook business page, etc. I’m sure these are things I still need to work on, and improving myself in doing so. I need to use all these tools together.

New, higher price for LinkedIn IPO a sign of investor fervor. – article from Mercury News.com – Silicon Valley. 05/18/2011

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Social Media – powerful media!

After reading so many different sites, blogs, tweets, I have to admit that Social Media is very powerful, useful, fast and momentary. On the other hand make me think it isn’t deep and can spread lies very quickly and those can become truths. I’m saying that, because social media is fast. People read it today and forget about it tomorrow. People can read something today, and do not check anything about it tomorrow and take the first information as the truth. I feel kind of scary!  Also, because we are bombarded with a lot of information every day, which make me think about the momentary stage of the information. To me, the information is disposable.

I’m certainly agreed that Social Media was very effectively to spread information. I read on my classmate page that it was more that 5.000 of tweets per second on Twitter about Osama Bin Laden. I can’t even imagine what that number really represents. It represents a lot, I’m sure!

The article How the Social Web Reflected on Bin Laden’s Death  showed us that 31% found the news by Twitter and 20% by Facebook. The same article gave us 12.4 million of Tweets per hour.

I keep thinking that the information is never treated deeply rather superficially. Virtually every article I read talked about the same things: He died, will be the country is safe, etc. I haven’t seen a critical social, economic and political significance.

I like my classmates article (Leanna) – Shoot, Coward, you are Only Going to Kill a Man . There I could see some critical eyes.

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My response to blog articles I read about the coverage and death of Osama Bin Laden

I read so many articles in less than 48 hours. I read so many tweets and facebook comments. I also read few blogs from my classmates at wordpress page. Almost every thing I read was summarize in one sentence: Osama Bin Laden was killed last Sunday by U.S forces.  I variation from that sentence would be: are the country safe?; who was Osama Bin Laden, my kids asked me or his DNA was tested and they confirmed it was him.

Probably because I’m not American, in my opinion the coverage is totally sensationalist. I agree that it is big news and I agree that social media break the news, especially Twitter (first) and Facebook.. I got very impress with the article “How the social web reflected on Bin Laden’s Death , shared by my classmate Ama Simone Miller.

I even found and twitter (unfortunately in Portuguese – Reuters) about a guy who post on his Twitter that he thought that it was weird that he could hear an helicopter night time on top of his house, and later he also post on his twitter that he heard a very loud noise  (it was bomb). After posting on his twitter his impression about what he was hearing, he found out that Osama Bin Laden was killed. He was the first one to break the news. He didn’t know until president Obama made his speech.

I also listen few times president Obama speech on BCC website,  and I would like to post a few part from the end of his speech (Full text: Obama on Osama Bin Laden’s death – BCC )

“Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores. And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people. The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place. Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America. US President Barack Obama gives a statement confirming the death of Osama Bin Laden”.

“We are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to”. WHATEVER WE SET OUR MIND TO? I guess, I got troubled with President Obama speech because his speech represent to me authoritarianism as regards the power, as if the United States were above God (I have no religion). Represents to me, new colonialism, which dominates political and economic power.

That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place. Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America. I remember I read before, long time ago, about history, and I’m not going to be able to cited exactly what I read, but it was related with the fact that U.S sent arms to several Middle Eastern countries, many years ago because it was convenient for to country.  They trained people in Middle East and when it wasn’t more convenient, the partner turned enemy. I’m not defending Osama Bin Laden or any terrorist attack. I’m just thinking that the discussion about the death of Osama Bin Laden and their coverage should be more profound. It should be more political. It should be regarded as political and economic power. What I have read are only superficial information announcing his death. (a good example would be Michael Moore books, even if you like him or not, – Fahrenheit 9/11 -).

I also thought it was interesting an article I read by Bonnie Rochman “Mommy, who was bin Laden” How to talk to young children about terrorism.   On that article, she said “Osama was a bad guy who hated America. Bad guys, kids get. And her kids reply her: “what is a bad guy?”  (…) Her kids asked her “how many more people are left in bin Laden’s group? Are the people in his group going to kill more people? Are they going to kill us? Can we move to another country that’s not America?”.  She also said on her article “We teach our children that two wrongs don’t make a right but apparently sometimes they do: because al-Qaeda killed 2,974 people, is it right to assassinate its leader?”. And her 6-year-old said “Even if you get really mad, you don’t kill a person,” Shira, my 6-year-old, commented after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in January. But now I was adding a vengeful postscript, signaling that sometimes, killing is actually okay. It is very tough to be a child. So much doesn’t make sense. You don’t have to kill people if you’re mad,” Shira observed, referring to bin Laden’s decision to target bond traders and cooks and insurance representatives and janitors, not to mention moms and dads. “You just have to use your words.”

I understand that it is a big deal for the United States and the world that Osama Bin Laden was killed. He was a terrorist. He killed so many people but if we go to politics, many innocent people died too. One example would be Vietnam War, Golf War, Afghanistan War. I just think the coverage of Osama Bin Laden is too much sensationalist. In my opinion, what is behind all of those things are politics, economy and power.

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Who told me about Osama Bin Laden’s death.

I have been working and studying too much and I became alienated. That is not what we should expect for a journalist, but that it is the truth. I realize that Osama Bin Laden was killed by my social network assignment. I have to confess, at the beginning I thought that it was a joke and the first thing I did after read the first lines of my assignment was Google Osama Bin Laden, than I realized that it was truth.

Today, after almost 24h of that announcement, I decided to go back to my Twitter and I checked what was posted for the last 24h. Few things came to my mind. First of all, I decided to check what was posted before that announcement. In my opinion, ironically, little news got my attention. 1 – religion – Bento XVI proclaims blessed for Pope John Paul II in front of million faithful; a boy bomb, which was 12 years old, detonated explosives in a crowded market place in the province of Eastern Afghanistan; and last news of the funeral of a son and three grandchildren of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

I decided to go a little bit far and research the top list of breaking news on my Twitter.

1 – CNN Breaking News –  President Barack #Obama is expected to make a statement tentatively at 10:30 p.m. Subject unknown http://on.cnn.com/lOK7p

2 – TIME – #Osama bin Laden is dead, officials say; Obama to speak shortly | http://www.time.com/time/

3 – BCC World – Global News – Al-Qaeda leader Bin Laden ‘dead’ http://bbc.in/lxey16

4 – CNNI – CNN International  – Osama bin Laden is dead, sources say http://goo.gl/fb/9fXlW

5 – TIME – Again, #Osama dead; Obama speaking now | http://www.time.com/time/

6 – CNN Live – President Obama makes a statement on the death of Osama bin Laden. Live: http://on.cnn.com/cnndcl3

7 – CNN Breaking News – Osama bin Laden was killed by a “U.S. military asset,” according to a senior U.S. official #Osamabinladen http://on.cnn.com/lIVw45

9 – CNN Breaking News – Obama on Osama bin Laden’s death: “Justice has been done” #Osamabinladen http://on.cnn.com/lIVw45 (same like – different tweet title)

10 – CNN Breaking News – Obama to families of 9/11 victims: “We have never forgotten your loss” #Osamabinladen http://on.cnn.com/lIVw45 (same like – different tweet title)

11 – CNN Breaking News – Obama: Bin Laden was killed after a firefight, and forces took custody of his body #Osamabinladen http://on.cnn.com/lIVw45 (same like – different tweet title)

12 – CNN Breasking News – U.S. has taken custody of #Osama bin Laden’s body, Obama says http://on.cnn.com/lIVw45 (same like – different tweet title)

Checking all those information, I also went back in the time.  Sept 11, 2001, terror attacks by al-Qaida. I was a journalist student that time and by coincidence I was taking 3 classes related with TV. So, because of that, I spend 7a.m. to 12:30 pm watching the same images on TV. That day I had 3 different classes and all of my teachers spend their class watching TV, showing us how to cover and international news using a real example. I went back to that information, because today, I felt the say way: I was bombarded with the same information for almost 6 hours in 2001. It was the same images, the same news. Today, I checked my Twitter and I felt the same because for the last 24h, my Twitter has 90% of tweet related with Osama Bin Laden and news are: he is dead; his DNA was confirmed; it is U.S safer?; Osama’s history; how to talk to young children about terrorism. I just felt I went back to Sept 11, I felt bombarded with the same news over and over again.

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My comment on article – A Facebook story: A mother’s joy and a family’s sorrow

One of my assignments this week was to write a post on any topic related to social media and journalism. I decided to write about this article A Facebook story: A mother’s joy and a family’s sorrow.

This article talks about a woman named Shana Greatman Swers, who got pregnant and was married to Jeffrey Swers. They had a baby named Isaac Swers and the article said that even before Shana got pregnant she used to post on her facebook everything related with her life. “She loved writing about her husband, Jeff, her friends at work, and the prospect of having a baby. People who knew her followed every turn on the social network, starting when she wrote on March 10 that “Shana Greatman Swers and Jeff are thrilled to announce to the world that little baby Swers will be joining our family this September.”

In my opinion that is very private information and I would post everything on facebook like she did. I do know people who post on facebook everything like her, but I think some information should keep private. I also know many people who doesn’t have facebook acoount because of private issues.

“Isaac Lawrence Swers was born on Wednesday a little after 8:30 in the evening. He is 8 lbs 4 oz and 20.5 inches long. He has a full head of dark hair. He is, of course, perfect. Thanks for all the good thoughts you’ve sent our way for the past nine months. We feel truly blessed” from her facebook page and had 59 comments.

On the other hand, depend how many people are on her page. If she keeps only friends and family could be a good way to let them inform about all her pregnancy situation. I do have news from friends and cousins and their baby from Brazil and U.S. from facebook page. Maybe it is useful to inform people, share pictures, etc. I also have a friend who posted everything related with her marriage on facebook almost everyday. It was nice to know but on the other hand it was too much. It was too much personal information. But even though, I don’t use my facebook account to let people inform about personal stuff life with who I’m dating, what I will eat or what time I went to bed. I believe some information is too silly to post on facebook.

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