【征人】杭外校友会(HFLSAA)主席换届啦!

老马按:

一转眼,距离老马创立校友会,已经三年过去了。零八年五月创办时在美国,那年夏天回杭州找了很多人见面商讨,到冬天回了香港,在求职压力下将重任转交他人,于零九年二月卸任。整个过程中的感受有两点:1. 杭外人到哪里都是热情而优秀的;2. 校友会的存在绝对是有必要的。

如今AA换届在即,它还是有许多不成熟的地方,需要更多的校友投入时间和精力,让它变的更专业、提供更多的服务,也更有平台的价值。零九年的时候我写过一点自己觉得AA主席需要的特质,这里也附一下,觉得它们并没有过时:)

以我自己这段时间的经历与观察,我觉得他/她需要具备这样的能力与特质:

1. Value: 毕业于杭外,熟悉杭外文化,认同AA存在的价值

2. Leadership: 有领导社团的经历及相应的组织管理能力

3. Communication skills: 善于沟通,乐于与人交往(对象不仅仅是跨十多届的校友,还有杭外领导甚至省教育厅领导,其他中学的校友会组织人员,等等)

4. Commitment: 在任期内能有较多的时间与精力投放在AA上

5. Creativity(鉴于AA基本不存在一个现有的可模仿的对象)

————————

AA主席职位公开招聘

职责:

1. 组建新的主席团团队

2. 负责校友会的总体运行,制定总体计划,领导计划的实施和调整。

职位要求:

1. 参选者须为杭外校友

2. 有足够的成熟度和对决策的判断力

3. 在社团或者其他活动中有管理职位经验,有工作经验更佳

4. 性格坚韧积极,敢于迎接挑战

5. 肯投入,能担当,可以至少每周有14小时用于处理校友会事务

申请方法:

在7月17日前,请发送简历至HFLSAA@gmail.com,邮件中注明姓名以及杭外入学和毕业年份(入学年份\毕业年份)

选拔方法及结果公示:

主席的选拔将通过面试进行,面试将公开向所有校友,链接与面试官名单将在稍后时间公布。

面试结果将在确定后公示7天,7天后面试结果自动生效,主席入职。

主席团团队预注册

主席团将由主席负责组建,如果你希望加入主席团,可以先预先注册,注册方法为发送简历或者以往参与活动简介至HFLSAA@gmail.com,邮件标题请注明【主席团团队预注册】

Internet Resources for Doing Business Journalism in China

This is a post about my presentation at Financial Media Institute 2011, held by Hong Kong Baptist University’s journalism school last month. You may find the slides and my talking points below.

Imagine you just got an assignment from your editor on a business story. However you found the internet is down. You are disconnected from the internet. What would you do?

The students in the Financial Media Institute 2011 has obviously never really thought of this question – they suggested different ways including calling for help, going out of the house, etc. But getting connected is the ultimate solution.

That makes sense, and here is the point: internet resource is already part of the daily work of journalists and editors. The question is how to be better equipped, so that reporters can get the stories done more efficiently and vividly. Some steps are FYI. Remember that technology updates just too fast that this post might be outdate just 30 days later.

1. FIND DATA

It is always too late to find the relevant data when you need it. So keep the important databases in your bookmark, and review them from now and then. To get you started with some of the most-used databases and directories in HK and China, try these (thanks to Irene Jay Liu for introducing some of them to me):

-          Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department is a one-stop shop for government statistics on economic indicators, demographics, health, labor, and many other areas.

-          Hong Kong Exchange: Warehouse of information for companies listed in Hong Kong, including interim and annual reports, and required disclosures such as acquisitions of more than 15 per cent of a company, change of senior executives.

-          Webb-site: An independent website that tracks HK company disclosures, news and other events. A good place to start, but it is always good practice to check back with the original source.

2. FIND PEOPLE

Hong Kong enjoys the advantage of required information transparency, while China is more lacking behind with unpublicized data in most the sectors. However, even with HK’s public data, it is always suggested to double check the data before you use them in your story. And it is never a good idea to directly citing press release or any government reports, because you never know how the interpretations are made, and if any dark side of the story is faked or disguised.

So after you find more about the company that you are reporting, the next step is to figure out who are the power brokers. Here are some databases to start with:

-          Renlifang: a search engine to explore relationships in China, which automatically summarizes the Web for entities (such as people, locations and organizations) with a modest web presence. It has fancy visualization, but Microsoft also clearly knows its limitations, as said on its website:

The prototype currently only contains information extracted from 1 billion Chinese public Web pages, therefore it is possible that some information for people with a substantial Web presence is still missing in our index;

Some names and relationships could be incorrect, and the information may not be update-to-date;

Name disambiguation is still largely unsolved. Some people with popular/common names may find that their information has been mixed with other people of the same name;

Some of the summarization features are currently only available for people. We are currently working on these for other entities.

-          WhoRunsHK: an interactive project of the South China Morning Post that maps the connections among the most influential people and organisations in Hong Kong. You may check out this video how SCMP used this database to write up the story on Stanley Ho’s family saga. This project is not actively updated after Jan 2011, but still worth exploring.

-          GlobalExperts: this is where you can get someone to comment, a free online resource of opinion leaders who provide quick reactions and accurate analysis to journalists worldwide on complex political, social and religious issues and crises.

3. TELL BETTER STORIES

Now that assume you get the story already. What is the next? You may of course turn that into one 300-word quick business story, or one 8000-word feature story on all the dirty details. But what if your reader only have 10 minutes, and how can you present your key information that is easy to digest, and even attract another 10-min attention? Visualization is an easy way to start, and there are tons of free tools available.

-          Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate. As introduced by Google, “students, journalists, policy makers and everyone else can play with the tool to create visualizations of public data, link to them, or embed them in their own webpages”.

-          ManyEyes lets you upload data and visualize it using a wide variety of interesting displays: maps, word trees, tag clouds, tree maps, bubble charts, matrix charts, network diagrams, etc. Here you can check out the China-related data visualization.

-          Tableau Public (Windows only): Another free data visualization tool that help you create interactive visualizations and embed it in your website or share it. Here is an example story: China leads the world in renewable energy investment: They provide clear tutorial on how to use.

FINALLY: SHARPEN YOUR SKILLS

Non-stop self-education is the key in this information-overloaded, technology-savvy world. There are all sorts of self-learning sites, while IJNet is one of the best of them. And you should always stay with the community by being connected on social media, so that you will at least realize that you are out: once you realize that, don’t panic, just shout, get help and share ideas, finally you’ll come up with some great stories.

个体的时代——评何威《网众传播》

北京师范大学艺术与传媒学院教师何威发来新书《网众传播》样稿,应该是国内出版物中为数不多的以社会化媒体及其使用中为主要研究对象,并且有相对均衡比例的中外案例比较的学术著作。

社会化媒体在此书中的地位非常之高。在评论之前,首先应该厘清一下此书中使用的新概念——“网众”。根据何威的解释,“网众”是“网络化用户”组成的群体而“网众传播”则是指由网众发起和参与,由社会性媒体(social media)中介的传播模式、现象与行为(P20)。

作为身处传统报业内部、工作却以社会化媒体为重心的小众,笔者尤其感兴趣的是何威如何分析社会化媒体对于大众媒体的影响。

对于大众媒体与社会化媒体的区别,何威有一个精彩的比喻。他说,如果说,大众媒体的经营模式有点像是“音乐会”,社会性媒体就更像是“嘉年华”。(P114)

他认为,社会化媒体的所有者基本“隐身幕后,很少现身于信息生产、发布、流通、接收的过程中”,其实却不然,因为他低估了社会性媒体所有者可以发挥的“类大众”影响。这种影响力可以发挥在其产品发展的各个阶段,并且直接决定了这一场“嘉年华”的风格。例如新浪微博在发起阶段的产品策略之一是拉拢各大媒体的记者、编辑,曾经有媒体报道说当时新浪所有工作人员都有指标要完成。这一产品策略直接导致了如今新浪微博与其他各家微博非常不同的特色,即时事评论多、社会讨论多、媒体跟进多。

网众环境对于媒体从业者本身有怎样的影响呢?何威至少提到了两点。其一是从网众传播与大众传播的互动性出发的论述:

大众媒体的从业者在现实社会中同时也是网络化用户,而且由于其工作需要和职业素养,常常比其他用户表现的得更为积极和活跃。他/她们也参与网众传播:既把因从事大众传播之工作而获取但最终无法通过大众媒体传播的信息,采用网众传播的方式加以传播;另一方面,将其从网众传播领域内获取的信息,作为其大众传播工作的重要信息来源。很多“网络事件”或“网络舆论”就是因为大众媒体的报道之后才引发更广泛的社会关注的。(P24)

其二是一个穿插在论述中的案例引起笔者的注意:

某报纸记者因报道上市公司关联交易内幕而被当地公安局发起全国网上通缉,有关此事的信息在微博上被数十万人转发和评论,最终公安局撤销了通缉并公开道歉。(P129)

从这样的论述以及案例可以看到,总体来讲,网众环境带来给媒体从业者带来的积极效果为主,尤其是在信息的传播和生产环节,更可以进一步的保护自己。而由于许多的媒体同行已经在许多的网众环境中建立了威信和社群,产生了良好的互动与提携,更是有益于整个行业的发展。进一步说,当一些非常有影响力的传媒人(例如《凤凰周刊》的邓飞)在这样的平台上有意的发挥其影响力的时候,他/她能接触到的人将远多于他/她凭借刊物可以接触的读者,也可以产生许多传统媒体平台无法达成的成就。

面对信息爆炸,何威这样问道:

相比权威不容置疑、个人选择匮乏、信息更为同质、交互成本更高的时代,难道一个有着纷繁信息、更多选择,并提供了挑战权威、人际交互、信息过滤的有力工具的时代,反而让个人变得更加无所适从、更加不知道自己需要什么吗?如果有人认为,自己确实更无所适从,更不知道需要什么了,那么究竟是人们身处的信息环境、使用的媒介技术出了问题,还是作为行为主体的“我”尚不具备足够的能力素质来担当责任,做出选择?(P108)

对于这样的提问,作为一个媒体工作者,应当有的反思是:传统媒体可以怎样扮演更好的角色,去帮助信息消费者,解决这个信息过滤的问题?汤森路透的数据总编、国际记者网的撰稿人蔡翔祁先生便经常思考这个问题,而他个人所提出的解决方案便是,要将整个新闻生产过程“结构化”、“数据化”,从而使得读者面对的不再是零散的信息、每一天的碎片,而是可以从任何一点数据进入,开始探索所有与之相关的信息,进而获得信息价值最大化。但要做到这些,前提便是媒体本身可以提供良好的、操作简易的程序,一方面帮助信息生产者提炼出所有有价值的信息数据(例如人物、地点、学校、公司、财务数据,等等),一方面也帮助读者发掘。

对于未来?何威是这样说的:

仅以新闻生产为例。从事信息搜集、过滤、编辑、整合的专业性、组织化的新闻生产者一定还会存在,但却未必像现在一样,局限于大的媒体机构,如数百上千家报社、通讯社,数十上百家电视台、广播台。新闻生产者可能更加细分化、专门化、分散化,或许更像是数以万计、规模不大甚至孤军作战的“报道组”、“记者团”,针对某地域、某专业甚至某主题,做范围狭小但深入的报道与评论。而当公众广泛关注的大事件发生,则有更多不同领域的“小组”前去报道。当然,普通网络化用户不以营利为目的的传播行为普遍存在,并与上述专业信息生产者的报道互为补充。(P152)

其实无论模式如何演变,关键的还是模式背后的资金来源——只有运作良好的商业模式才能够保证模式的可持续化。可惜全书很少从商业的角度来看待整个问题,从而忽略了一些笔者认为值得关注的产品。例如spot.us,一个通过网站连接个人/机构投资者与写稿人的产品,通过众包(crowdsourcing)加上微支付(micropayment)的方式来投资单独的新闻稿,便是少数几个已知的成功的案例。这种众投资(crowdfunding)的模式最小化了地域的限制,最大化的利用了何威所言的网众,更是扭转了长期以来的广告主宰媒体收入的商业模式,是一种不可忽视的创新。另一方面,外国资本对于中国的社会化媒体的兴趣,在近期的Economist的文章中写的很明白。而这些资本的注入将如何影响这些“所有者”的走向,以及最终导致终端用户的使用习惯。

何威认为:

如果说大众媒体所传播信息的影响力和公信力,取决于这一媒体多年来为自己塑造的品牌(brand);那么社会性媒体所传播信息的影响力和公信力,则主要来自发起和参与的网络化用户所积累的社会资本(social capital)和信任(trust)。(P116)

其实,换一个角度来看,只不过是在网众环境下,将原来只属于大众传媒的机构性品牌,通过社会资本和信任的纽带,转化成了个人的品牌而已。机不可失,时不再来,这个充满变化的当口,正是弄潮儿们大显身手的好时候,媒体人们应当在这两年内尽快在网众中建立其个人影响力。这是一个属于个体的时代——现在下海,为时未晚。

《网众传播:一种关于数字媒体、网络化用户和中国社会的新范式》月底将由清华大学出版社正式出版。

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