Andy Carvin

About
Senior strategist at NPR. Real-time informational DJ and occasional journalist, but not a social media guru.

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acarvin153 karma

You, too, can have your own NPR name. Take your middle initial and insert it somewhere in your first name, and for your last name, use the smallest town you've ever visited, preferably internationally.

Here's mine:

For NPR News, I'm *Wandy Pakbeng*.

acarvin50 karma

First of all, because my Twitter acct began as a personal one. My very first tweet was about eating pita and hummus - not exactly breaking news. Over the years, the account began to include more and more news-related tweets - and my followers seemed to like the mix. Also, I think it's healthy to remind people that I'm not a bot - I'm just another guy on Twitter, hanging out with everyone else, trying to figure out what's going on in the world.

acarvin43 karma

The most import thing to do is look for context. Is there something visible in the background that can be IDed, like a building or other landmark? If people are speaking, what kind of accents do they have? If there are weapons involved, what kinds are they? Does the timestamp of the video match the weather forecast, or the location of the sun and shadows? Etc, etc. Fortunately, I have a lot of Twitter followers who love this type of detective work.

acarvin23 karma

There still aren't many fakes out there. But there are tons of videos taken out of context - one claiming to be Syria when it's actually Libya; a government claiming atrocities by rebels when it was actually the other way around, or vice versa. But you still occasionally see videos, like faked executions, but they're greatly outnumbered by the real deal, unfortunately.

acarvin19 karma

Two words: Khamis Gaddafi. Now this guy wasn't funny at all - he was Muammar Gaddafi's youngest son, and the leader of a brutal military brigade. Some time around March 2011, several sources, including usually reliable ones, reported he had been severely burnt and possibly killed. A few weeks later, there were reports of him dying again. And again. And again. This has gone on for almost two years now, around a dozen times. And mind you, this isn't just random tweeps claiming he's dead - news orgs have done it too. To this day, I still wonder if it was an elaborate plan on his part so he could escape and sit on a beach with Keyser Soze or whatever.

acarvin19 karma

That doesn't hurt, either. I actually had a number of tweeps who donated to local shelters or adopted pets when my family tried to save that cat last fall.

acarvin18 karma

I was an undergrad and grad student at Northwestern. I have a BS in rhetoric - no joke - and an MA in communications policy. I have no training as a journalist, apart from a music mag I edited in college, mainly to get free concert tix. :-)

After that, I got a fellowship to work at the Corp for Public Broadcasting, where I investigated how education would have to change as the Internet became more ubiquitous (this was 1994). I worked there for a few more years, creating grant programs focusing on civic uses of the Internet and community media, then went to edit a website focused on bridging the digital divide. It became one of the first nonprofit social networks, and I got to travel the world, focusing on Internet policy issues. That gave me the chance to meet a lot of bloggers, including in Tunisia, which helped me get started on all of this two years ago. Finally, I was recruited by NPR in 2006 to figure out how they could work better with online communities to improve their journalism. I've been doing that ever since.

acarvin16 karma

Thanks for the questions. I'll answer them in separate replies in case the threads go in different directions.

1: I know some people who have been very successful at this. I also know others who have been kidnapped in Syria and are still missing. Going on your own is an extreme risk, especially if you lack experience or local language/cultural skills. And freelancers in general don't often have the same organizational muscle - ie an entire news org - to back them up if they get caught in a dangerous situation.

acarvin14 karma

  1. Filters, filters, filters. Create twitter lists of accounts that are most important to you. Trim out ones that aren't. Find people online who are good curators and see what they're reading/watching/etc - ones in time zones ahead of you can help you catch up in the morning. And create Twitter searches whenever you need them.

acarvin13 karma

Lemme think about it.