#alex veeneman


Net Worked | July 21st, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
The Twin Cities’ spirit

Garrison Keillor’s quote, “Be well, do good work and keep in touch,” provides a lesson for journalists. (Photo: Trishhhh/Flickr)

It’s a somewhat overcast afternoon as I look out of the window in the small office of my apartment in Minneapolis, where I’m ending my first full week as a Minnesotan. In the distance is the city skyline, a view that echoes the apartment in Seattle where the fictitious psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane lived.

A week or so ago, I made the over 400 mile move from Chicago to the Twin Cities for greener pastures. Continue reading


Net Worked | July 2nd, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Fred Rogers’ journalism lesson

When we try to decide what we want to do for a living as a career, a lot of questions come to mind. What are we passionate about? What piques our interest? Is there a profession that calls to us to help us do the most good?

On the weekend where we ponder what it means to be citizens of the United States, I stumbled upon this quote from the writer and public television personality, Fred Rogers. Continue reading


Net Worked | June 26th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
WSJ: Putting their money where the byline is

The Wall Street Journal has pledged to remove the gender gap in their newsroom. They should keep their word. (Photo: Neon Tommy/Flickr)

Last year, when SPJ convened in New Orleans for the annual Excellence in Journalism conference, my colleague, Elle Toussi (who co-chairs SPJ’s International Community) and I co-wrote a resolution with the help of chapters and colleagues nationwide calling for women in journalism to be supported, and for resources to be made available to help them thrive in the industry. Continue reading


Net Worked | June 11th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
The pros of verifying

Twitter has become important for disseminating information, but you need to make sure its accurate before publishing. (Photo: Pixabay)

Last Thursday, the UK held a general election which saw a hung parliament. It also saw negotiations begin on a minority government between Prime Minister Theresa May and the Conservatives, and the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland.

But as the news of the election results came down, so did a statistic on youth voter turnout – which indicated that 72 percent of voters between 18 and 24 voted. Continue reading


Net Worked | April 18th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Ethics by algorithm

Facebook needs to be more open about its work to help journalism thrive. (Photo: Pixabay)

Facebook’s annual F8 conference began today in San Jose, California. F8 is a two-day conference designed to examine and look ahead to new features for developers and other parties who want to use the social network as part of their work.

The business of journalism and the business of social media have been synonymous. As I wrote on this blog last month, content is king, and with benefits also came questions, notably that of the algorithm, and how it judges the content that users see. Continue reading


Net Worked | April 17th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Let’s talk about ethics

We should talk about ethics, not just on the days of Ethics Week, but every day. (Photo: SPJ)

Next Monday (April 24th) begins Ethics Week, an annual event here at SPJ that looks at the role of ethics in journalism, why the Society’s own Code of Ethics is important – and to explore its four key principles – seek truth and report it, minimize harm, and be accountable and transparent.

This year’s observance of Ethics Week comes at an interesting time for journalism – a time where the digital age is challenging the industry and trust between journalists and the public continues to decline. Continue reading


Net Worked | March 28th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
The social balance

Social media platforms are in a delicate balance when it comes to platforms and engaging users. (Photo: Visual Content/Flickr via Creative Commons)

In the world of social media, content is king, and for journalists, social media has allowed for new ways to not just inform audiences, but also to engage them – creating new dimensions in the relationship between consumer and news organization.

Yet, while there are benefits for journalists and news organizations in this relationship with social media, there also are questions as to the right balance – informing users versus attracting them. Continue reading


Net Worked | March 21st, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Ethics and authenticity

At NPR’s headquarters in Washington, two sets of keyboards, both connected to microphones, appear before a musician. He sits down and performs three tracks from his album – a performance that is as intimate as it gets, a performance that is powerful and can showcase talent.

His name is Sampha – a singer, songwriter and producer from south London who has come to DC for a Tiny Desk concert, part of the All Songs Considered series, and as it provided some very good background music as I made research calls today, it also made me think. Continue reading


First Draft | March 15th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
A guide to the FOIA

The Freedom of Information Act, passed by Congress in 1966, is an essential part of the public’s right to know about their government. (Photo: Kevin McCoy/Wikimedia Commons)

This week is Sunshine Week. Sunshine Week is a week held annually reminding us of the importance of the public’s right to know. At the core of this is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which was signed into law in 1966.

Because of the nature of my work, I have to be selective in the FOIA requests that I file with the US government. Continue reading


Net Worked | March 5th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Women are the future

“The future of media looks like this.”

That is how a tweet from Josiah Ryan, a senior producer for CNN in New York, began when discussing the recent front page cover story on the network from The Hollywood Reporter.

Featuring the network’s chief executive, Jeff Zucker, and other journalists and personalities, including Jake Tapper, Anthony Bourdain, Casey Neistat and W. Kamau Bell, the story focused on the future of the network in the digital age.

The future of media looks like this. Continue reading