Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

August 02 2010

08:00

The New Online Journalists #8: Ed Walker

As part of an ongoing series on recent graduates who have gone into online journalism, online communities editor Ed Walker talks about what got him the job, what it involves, and what skills he feels online journalists need today.

I graduated from the University of Central Lancashire School of Journalism in 2007 with a BA (Hons) first-class in Journalism. I specialised in online journalism in my final year and was taught by the digital yoda that is Andy Dickinson.

As part of my degree I was taught how to do HTML/CSS, built websites from scratch, shot video, chopped up audio, used RSS feeds for newsgathering, wrote stories, blogged using Wordpress, used content management systems and all that lovely stuff.

During the course it was obvious that you needed real experience – not just Microsoft Word-submitted stories to a lecturer – to get on in the industry. I started writing for my student paper, Pluto, as soon as I arrived – it was then in a monthly magazine format – and was part of the team that turned it into a fortnightly newspaper.

In 2005 we took the paper online for the first time with Pluto Online and I moved up to Assistant Editor before winning the election to become editor for a year.

We had some good splashes, with two stories going national, and we picked up two awards at the Press Gazette Student Journalism Awards 2008: the Scoop of the Year for an undercover investigation into an essay writing company run by a UCLan student; and one of our reporters picked up Student Reporter of the Year.

Experience

While studying I also did shifts for the Lancashire Evening Post as a reporter and got involved in the Johnston Press “Newsroom of the Future” project – shooting lots of video and audio for the website. I also had a really enjoyable placement and shifts with The Scotsman when Stewart Kirkpatrick, now of the Caledonian Mercury, was editor. This taught me a lot about how a national and regional operated in the same newsroom (standing me in good stead for my current role at Media Wales).

I also went to India for two and a half months to work for a publishing company, Explocity, on their range of magazines as a reporter and sub editor. Based in Bangalore, this was an eye-opening experience.

Finding a tough job market in the summer of 2008 I sold out and took a comms job at the university, but this involved managing the Students’ Union website and taught me a lot about content management, managing social media and databases/content management systems.

In January 2009 I started up a local news and community site for Preston, Blog Preston. This was partly to keep up some journalism experience and also to fill a void that was left by the Preston Citizen shutting down.

I used Wordpress, built up contacts and stories started coming in. Local people found it a useful resource and we had great feedback and traffic figures. It’s still going now, I oversee some very talented student journalists at UCLan: Andy Halls, Joseph Stashko, Daniel Bentley and David Stubbings – who produce content and manage the site.

The Online Communities Editor role

As Online Communities Editor with Media Wales I took on the project of starting a community website for Cardiff (http://yourcardiff.walesonline.co.uk) under the main WalesOnline (http://www.walesonline.co.uk) site.

The Cardiff section on the WalesOnline site just saw content pumped through from the papers, so my role was to get under the skin of Cardiff, focus on community and council stories and attract guest bloggers to the site. I also manage the social media presences for yourCardiff and WalesOnline.

In the multimedia age I also write regularly for the South Wales Echo, and work on increasing reader interaction with stories in the paper and working on collaborative journalism projects like getting readers to submit their parking hotspots around the city. I can go from editing a Google map, to shooting video, to writing the splash, to editing a guest blog post all in the space of a few hours during any given day.

I like regional journalism. I like getting out into the community and reporting on stories that matter to them, so I’d definitely like to stay in regional journalism and move upwards.

Ideally I’d like to get involved in improving the quality of local newspaper websites, helping them connect with online communities and also getting better integration with the papers. There’s so much more that could be done and it’s an exciting time to be a journalist.

July 26 2010

15:39

Podcast: CNN mobile journalism event at the Frontline Club

Journalists came together at the Frontline Club last week to discuss mobile journalism today and in the future.

The panel debate covered most of the ongoing issues surrounding mobile journalism, from the role a device plays in the image of a journalist to the debate over how such content should be used by ‘professional’ video journalists. Journalism.co.uk caught up with the panel (Louis Gump, CNN; Andy Dickinson University of Central Lancashire; Alex Wood, Not on the Wires; and Jonathan Hewett, City University) at the end of the debate to talk more.



Note: Due to technical problems during recording some audio is reduced quality.Similar Posts:



July 23 2010

13:28

‘There’s a killer app on your phone. It’s called a phone’: Journalists talk mobile at CNN event

Journalists from across all media platforms came together at the Frontline Club last night to discuss the impact of mobile on the newsroom and the wider media world.

“Mobile is as different to online as television is to radio,” CNN’s vice-president of mobile Louis Gump told the Frontline audience.

In the beginning people took someone who was sitting in the radio studio and put a camera on it. Then realised they didn’t have to do it that way. I think that’s what happening now.

He told Journalism.co.uk that the near future of mobile content needs to look at original content, rather than just using it as a new platform for existing material.

The biggest change I think will happen at CNN over the next two years is we are going to start creating content just for mobile devices. Right now most of what you see on a mobile from CNN you can also find on other platforms, but we will have more original programming.

The panel debate covered most of the ongoing issues surrounding mobile journalism, from the role a device plays in the image of a journalist to the debate over how such content should be used by ‘professional’ video journalists. Andy Dickinson, course leader of BA Digital Journalism Production at University of Central Lancashire, said it was a “mistake” to expect large news organisations to adopt the same production processes as smaller outlets.

I think it is a mistake to always be talking about what’s happening outside mainstream media, it won’t work for us. We can’t do it because of our agenda and personal and professional things get in the way of that. Now and then our big spotlight will land on it. But citizen journalism is not there to replace, it’s there to amplify.

Gump agreed, saying that the rise of citizen journalism “increases the value” of professional journalists, by “filling in the gaps”, but would not be a replacement: “We are still telling the hard news, [citizen journalism] enriches the overall offering”. Alex Wood, freelance mobile journalist and co-founder of Not on the Wires, added that mobiles were simply another platform to leverage the story. But he said in his own work, such as when he organised mass coverage of the G20 summit by mobile phones, the journalistic talent still had to shine through.

I always try to keep the integrity of the story and still worked very hard to make it journalistic. People tend to obsess about technology being one thing after another. Why not use your mobile phone to do your vox pops. There’s nothing wrong with you then putting that into a more traditional package. It’s another tool in the ever expanding toolkit that journalists have now. We can still take things from broadcast, for example framing a good shot and having good audio. Let’s go back to the basics but use them in the new technology.

He added that as a journalist using user generated content, old rules of fact-checking must still apply.

People can manipulate technology very easily and its still a worry. Journalists still need to pick up the phone and speak to the person if they have submitted media. We should always keep to those standards.

Jonathan Hewett, director of the newspaper journalism course at City University, agreed: “We are not going to chuck out the old stuff and forget the valuable lessons”. Prompting Dickinson to respond: “There’s a killer app on your phone that will allow you to check if something is right. It’s called your phone.”

Hewett said mobile has created opportunities for newspapers who do not have the visual reputation of a broadcaster, but more needs to be done.

Newspapers have been slower to catch up with more innovative stuff, but they are getting to realise mobile reporting is one way where a newspaper website can be different. It isn’t too fussed about quality of footage (…) We are still at early stage with mobiles full stop. We need to keep throwing spaghetti at the wall.

Wood commented near the end of the panel debate that he wanted to see more innovation from iPad apps, which he claimed had so far been “disappointing”, telling Journalism.co.uk to expect to see some exciting stuff from him in the near future.

CNN also announced the launch of a new international iPhone app featuring their iReport platform at the event. See our report here, and catch up with tweets from the event with the #cnnfrontline hashtag.Similar Posts:



July 21 2010

06:20

The New Online Journalists #5: Nigel Barlow

As part of an ongoing series on recent graduates who have gone into online journalism, founder of Inside The M60 Nigel Barlow talks about what led him to launch his own news site, and where it might go next.

At the age of 43 I took the momentous decision to come out of finance and business and train to become a journalist starting a 3 year course at UCLAN.

I think I quickly realised that journalism was undergoing a massive change both in technology and in business and I quickly got into the conversation in my first year using blogging and then Twitter as well as attending as many journalism conferences in the flesh as possible.

For me the tools of new media, blogs, easy to use video, Twitter, RSS feeds etc. were a necessary tool for anyone wanting to break into journalism.

But more than that, it was changing the fundamentals of the economics of publishing and making me think that the route for me would be to go down the low cost route of setting up a niche site.

I have to say that apart from a few individuals on the UCLAN course (Andy [Dickinson] obviously) there was little encouragement to go down the route I have taken. The traditional paths into journalism were the ones that were being paraded and the use of new media, I have to say, was bolted on to courses rather than being the norm.

Very few of my fellow students blogged except when they had to for course work and Twitter was not used to any great extent.

When I graduated, the idea probably hadn’t still formed for Inside the M60 but my six months working at Innovation Manchester setting up their social media network opened my eyes to a lot of what was going on in Manchester which simply was not being reported (besides making loads of contacts).

I’d met Louise [Bolotin] through Twitter and then Social Media Cafe and coming back together from a journalism conference we decided that there was too much talking about journalism’s future and not enough action. We found that we had both been thinking about a news site for Manchester, maybe in slightly different ways.

I started to talk to a number of people in Manchester and in the industry about it and here we are today: still with a lot to do but excitingly building up a great brand in the city and ruffling the traditionalists’ feathers.

As to how it develops in the future: the project is already changing direction. I want to move away from the “hyperlocal” tag which seems to have so many connotations and instead, with the right amount of resource, I want to make Inside The M60 the news site for Manchester which will be sustainable as a low cost provider.

This may be pie in the sky at the moment but I’m ambitious

January 01 2010

10:58
Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl