Posted by on Jun 18, 2013 in News | 1 comment

On Friday, June 7, the Poynter Institute held its third annual day of TEDx lectures. For those who’ve never attended, TEDx is the independently organized version of the TED talks, wildly popular lectures on technology, entertainment, and design. These talks often take a stimulating look at the future of the theme or topic the organizers choose to examine. As this series of talks took place at the renowned school of journalism, it took journalism – and often how the modern realities of social media affect it – as its theme. This was the second time I’d attended a TEDx talk, so some parts of it were familiar. As with all TED talks, the speakers were limited to no more than 18 minutes; there were no question-and-answer sessions; a small number of TED videos were shown to supplement those speaking in person; and regular breaks allowed for socializing, networking, and talking with the speakers. The organizers of every TEDx talk always do something that give it its own character, however, and this one was no exception. One of the Poynter Institute’s teachers played excellent piano during the breaks; food trucks came in to allow us to purchase our lunch; and other nice flourishes encouraged the active participation of attendees. In total, the schedule boasted 11 in-person speakers and three videos. We kicked off with Pat Aufderheide talking on a subject near and dear to my heart: fair use in journalism. The worst problem journalists have with fair use, according to Pat, is that they don’t know it well enough; most good journalists don’t know when they can use it, which leads to stress – and self-censorship. If journalists self-censor, they can’t do their jobs properly. Pat went over the three key questions for fair use: Is the work being used for a new purpose (transformative)? Are you using not too much and not too little of it to carry out your purpose (Goldilocks principle)? Are you following the acceptable practice in your field for fair use? The third point is critical, as fair use for a teacher may be different from fair use for, say, a musician – or, more...

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