Sunday, 21 April 2013

My 'interesting reads' roundup (weekly)

  • Disruption is an apellation that's flung around a great deal. Music is a disrupted industry... media is a disrupted industry... But handles get in the way of actually stopping and understanding what that means. Newspapers are in a state of disruption - the dictionary defninition is To throw into confusion or disorder or To impede progress.  Disruption is not a bad thing - confusion and disorder can be catalysts to change - but that second definition 'impeding progress' is happening way too much. Tied inextricably to fear of change, disruption within print media is one of the biggest impediments we face. This, from HBR, breaks down disruption into 5 stages, and applies them to something straightfoward - Twitter. (who would have called Twitter straightforward five years ago?!). I recognise all of these stages; the trick is to get past them " Too often however, our response is to ignore and forget change, to fake our way through it, to pretend an engagement and a mastery we do not have. And that's bad. That means we are not getting better at change, but steadily worse. We are denying disruption, instead of adapting to it."

    tags: culture+change disruption management

  • Mathew Ingram reflects the pros and cons of newsgathering a live event on social media. "there were plenty of fake news reports to go around on Monday, from reports of suspicious vehicles to the arrest of alleged perpetrators — just as there were during superstorm Sandy and the school shootings in Connecticut. But does that invalidate Twitter as a news source? And should the service try harder to filter out bad information and highlight verified news reports? I think the answer to both of these questions is the same: No."

    tags: journalism

  • Ken Doctor tackles the delicate subject of Content Marketing and asks why so few newspaper organisations are investigating whether it offers revenue opportunities for them. "As news companies rediscover the power of their own content, there is new revenue to be gained. How much, not whether to seek it, will be the major question."

    tags: innovation disruption journalism

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

Sunday, 14 April 2013

My 'interesting reads' roundup (weekly)

  • Weirdly, I was talking to someone about scale, innovation and why markets need start ups and big companies,  and then read this piece on Medium on the same theme... " in the gilded age of Instagram and Summly acqui-hires we have simultaneously demonized big companies and glamorized start-ups to the point where the innovation challenges and opportunities in both environments are wildly mis-represented. Start-ups are indeed the lifeblood of our innovation economy but we also need some of our best and brightest to take on the leadership challenge of innovation within larger companies"
  • Yes, yes, yes. When will employers, training schools and the NCTJ recognise that fact? Answers on a postcard please... "Candidates should describe their success conceptualizing and building news apps, data visualizations, and interactive graphics. If you are a visual storyteller, someone who sees the narrative in numbers, and thinks in code, this is your opportunity to make a mark. Expect your journalism skills to be as important as your programming skills.  This editorial position will ask you to tell stories differently and inspire others to do the same. The work will require advanced experience with HTML5, CSS, JavaScript (jQuery); an understanding of responsive design and proficiency with interaction design and user interfaces; familiarity with mining and manipulating data and Web scraping. Light Ruby or Python helpful. Basic requirements: College degree Minimum of 2 years programming experience Advanced command of HTML5, CSS, JavaScript (including jQuery) Light Ruby or Python for data mining, Web scraping Comfort with data analysis Understanding of responsive design Familiarity with Final Cut Pro and Adobe InDesign"
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Why is the person you're quoting a 'spokesman'?

I try not to start posts off with "when I was a young reporter..." but, well, here goes: 
When I was a young reporter the word 'spokesman/woman' didn't really appear in local papers. 
It was part of my weeklies paper training that you included the names of whichever person was speaking on behalf of an organisation, rather than using the 'spokesman' title, and using that anonymous identifier was frowned upon. 
Generally, it would get sent back by a sub with a request  order to add the name.

Anyway, it struck me, this week, as I leafed through my paper, that doesn't seem to be the case any more, and I wanted to do something about it.  
It wasn't a dig at press officers or media managers, it wasn't a point-proving exercise, it certainly wasn't a campaign. 
But I think if someone is representing, especially from a public body, they should be named - after all, they are in TV or radio news broadcasts, when they stand up and do their thing. 
I also think it's good journalism to name the people you quote. 
But somewhere along the way we've stopped doing that with the people representing companies and organisations.
I know subs are in short supply these days but training isn't lacking - has 'spokesman' become the norm because there are just so many of them now?

So, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, I got to wondering: When did we stop naming spokespeople in our articles? And why do we think readers don't need to know the name of the messenger?  
And then I asked Twitter for some thoughts. 
There were quite a lot of responses, from hacks, ex-hacks and people working in PR, so they're collected in the Storify below. If you've got some thoughts to add to the debate, for or against, I'd love to hear from you. 

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Sunday, 7 April 2013

My 'interesting reads' roundup (weekly)

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

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Tindle Newspapers: Hyperlocal successes may not pay the mortgage

UPDATED: This is a really old post (from 2010 in fact). I accidentally republished it today while going through the back end of my blog to find posts on local news reporting,  to research something for a conference. Quite how I managed to plagerise myself I don't know. So, if this sounds like I'm repeating myself, I really am. Sorry.

Sir Ray Tindle was speaking at the Local Heroes conference last week and, from Twitter, I detected a lot of love in the air for what he was saying, but it was only when going through my rss reader today that I got the full gist of what he was saying.
His take on the future of newspapers is fairly optimistic; he doesn't believe the gloom, and he has some basis for making that bold claim: Tindle Newspapers - which totals 230 titles - has weathered the recession with its journalistic workforce intact.
But the line from his talk that really caught my eye was when he cited the Tenby Observer as an example of hyperlocal publishing. That was my first paper, and unless things are very different now, I would say the adulation should be a little tempered.