TechNewsTT - Civil Registry Discussion

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Cross-posting from previous discussion forum for posterity:

Christine Bush – 2 months ago



Thank you for your application. I appreciate this comment in particular: “We are deeply commited (sic) to the development of all local media, inclusive of traditional media and hope to broaden Civil’s reach among local newsrooms. The only sensible way to do that seemed to be to understand and engage with Civil itself.”

On your web site, I notice that you post press releases. I am curious about your thoughts regarding the recent Civil Council decision regarding Blockchain Trailblazers as it relates tot his practice.



1 month ago

Yes, I agree with Christine_Bush that your commitment to developing local media is an important one and your joining Civil makes sense. I also wish to bring your attention to the problems related to posting press releases as it conflicts with the Civil Constitution and leaves you at risk for being challenged. One clear example is the Samsung press release regarding the release of their A series phones. This piece basically reads like an advertisement and is not curated journalism.

I’ve just found the Discourse forum and noted these comments.
I acknowledge the problematic nature of mixing journalism with press release content. It’s something I’m wrestling with, but perhaps it might help to explain why it exists at all.
Trinidad and Tobago is a mix of sophisticated uptake of technology with consumer focused fascination with its shiny newness.
I curate releases from a quite large pool for publication which I believe would legitimately be of interest to readers from a wide range of technology interests, and yes, that sometimes includes releases (which I do trim excess promotional assertions from) for products that are announced for release in the country.
As with many other newsrooms on Civil, I am balancing audience interests with the pursuit of value added journalism with incredibly limited resources and doing so the context of the audience of a developing Caribbean nation.
I do clearly designate such material as press release transcripts, by zoning them into their own category and space and by adding PR to the URL. I do not publish all the releases I get, not even close, but there are some that are of interest to device users, who are among my target audience.
I welcome discussion and guidance from the professional journalists on Civil in forging a more effective relationship between the journalism I am committed to producing and, let’s call it what it is, eye candy designed to get viewers into the shop.
I might further note that these releases are routinely carried in traditional media outlets in T&T with no indication whatever of their provenance as press releases.
But that isn’t the only kind of release that I carry. Many are official statements, announcements and position declarations that are often archived nowhere else for reference, not even on the websites of the originating sources.
On at least three occasions since the founding of TechNewsTT, the site’s posting of a statement from a telecommunications provider or the local telecommunications authority is the only source of the original document available online.
That doesn’t make the situation right or even better, but I hope it provides context regarding the appetite of the audience and state of play for technology reporting in my country.