Sunday, 25 November 2012

My Interesting Reads (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

My Interesting Reads (weekly)

  • "For some time now, newspaper people have been insisting, sometimes angrily, that we readers will soon have to pay for content (an assertion that had already appeared, in just that form, by 1996.) During that same period, freely available content grew ten-thousand-fold, while buyers didn’t. In fact, as Paul Graham has pointed out, “Consumers never really were paying for content, and publishers weren’t really selling it either…Almost every form of publishing has been organized as if the medium was what they were selling, and the content was irrelevant.”"
  • "Online earnings are falling despite booming audiences at leading UK news publisher Trinity Mirror, caught in a confluence of circumstances that prompt the big question — does content pay?"
  • Nice blog post from Storyful, which Includes some handy tips and diagrams for anyone upgrading to 'new' Tweetdeck... 
  • What is a social network? How is it defined, why do some succeed when others fail, and what make us use them? "The purpose of this  is to provide a conceptual, historical, and scholarly context for the articles in this collection. We define what constitutes a social network site, present one perspective on the historical development of SNSs, draw from personal interviews and public accounts of sites and their changes over time...We conclude with suggestions for future research."
  • elevision shows will have other types of media like text merged into them, and World Wide Web pages will begin to be temporal entities that tell a story. Another way of looking at this is that both your television and your computer will be running a similar super browser which will allow the same content to be viewed on both devices. Also, to say that the two converge it is not enough to say that you will be able to watch television on your computer-- that merely means that television content is a sub-set of computer content and is already possible today. For the two to truly converge the content that can be received by both devices should be the same"
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Making time for added value

Money UK British Pound Coins
 (Photo credit: hitthatswitch)

I have an intellectual crush on Robert Picard - he's one of the academics currently publishing about journalism, and particularly mainstream print media, who really is a must-read. 
I mostly follow his journal papers as he's an occasional blogger but, like Clay Shirky, it's always worth reading when he posts an update. 

His latest post, Many Journalists Can't Provide the Value-Added Journalism Needed Today, makes the point:

To survive, news organizations need to move away from information that is readily available elsewhere; they need to use journalists’ time to seek out the kinds of information less available and to spend time writing stories that put events into context, explain how and why they happened, and prepare the public for future developments.  These value-added journalism approaches are critical to the economic future of news organizations and journalists themselves.

Unfortunately, many journalists do not evidence the skills, critical analytical capacity, or inclination to carry out value-added journalism. News organizations have to start asking themselves whether it is because are hiring the wrong journalists or whether their company practices are inhibiting journalists’ abilities to do so.  

Added value journalism doesn't thrive when there's a requirement to write multiple page leads, plus hampers, photo captions and nibs every day. For writers, it's hard to find the time to develop your own skills and methods of story-telling.
Audience can add value, if we get them involved - through comment, image-sharing, document scrutiny or suggesting interview questions. Given the invitation, they'll come up with some good headline suggestions too (I particularly like the Northern Echo's use of this). 

I have an issue with this statement...
Unfortunately, many journalists do not evidence the skills, critical analytical capacity, or inclination to carry out value-added journalism. 
...because the evidence of the Daily Post newsroom trial demonstrates, ever day, that reporters do have the skills and inclination to add value. They may lack the time, but that's an entirely different thing and a failing of an organisation, not an individual. 

 But Picard is right to say journalists should add value themselves, whether through context, data interpretation or by creating compelling, competitive content, be that via text, images, visuals or curation. 

The landscape of newsrooms, especially regional newsrooms, has changed vastly. There are smaller teams but within those we need a wider range of skills, or entirely new skills. Added value for readers can also be career-enhancing for hacks. 

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Sunday, 4 November 2012

My Interesting Reads (weekly)

  • The @ComfortablySmug Sandy tweets were obviously fake, but journalists retweeting without checking the source or facts led to his deliberate misinformation being broadcast as fact on network TV. Salutary warning about the dangers of RT-ing, without checking what is being said.  "Tripathi, as an internet troll, was completely in character, and he had no responsibility to the public. But journalists do have that responsibility – and so, if Tripathi's silly tweets made it into the national press, it is the national press that is, at heart, to blame for not protecting journalistic standards as well as they should. It is a matter of a few minutes to call a spokesperson or check a live camera, and that is what journalists get paid to do. Producers or editors should not rush information to air or print until those calls have been made, and answered."
  • "Trying to trick his media followers, and their followers and readers in turn, with fake news. He reported, falsely, on a total blackout in Manhattan, on a flood on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and other things that didn't happen." See also and
  • Love this piece from the Atlantic, on sorting the fake and Photoshopped from the genuine eyewitness images of Hurricane Sandy. Some very handy pointers for journalists dealing with less apocalyptic stories in need of verification, too.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.