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July 19 2010

08:22

#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – multiple searches across social media

Research: Addict-o-matic - a great site for conducting multiple searches on one topic across a range of news and social networks. Tipster: Laura Oliver. To submit a tip to Journalism.co.uk, use this link - we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.


July 16 2010

10:08

Nieman Journalism Lab: How Ushahidi can be use by media organisations

Patrick Meier, Ushahidi’s director of crisis mapping and strategic partnerships, talks to Nieman Journalism about how the crowdsourced mapping technology can be used by media organisations in the video below.

There’s a full transcript of Meier’s comments on the Nieman site too. Ushahidi has previously been used as a crisis management tool with its initial launch used to track and monitor acts of violence and the humanitarian situation during post-election violence in Kenya.

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May 17 2010

10:55

FT.com gets go ahead for iPad app

We reported last week that the FT’s new app for iPad was on the brink of launch. Well, now it has got final Apple approval and the Hublot sponsored-app is available to download for free in the iTunes App store or via the iPad app store – although users will need to register or subscribe to one of its tiered options, for varying levels of access.

[Journalism.co.uk report ahead of launch at this link]

Here’s the FT’s own blurb, released today:

Key features of the app include the ability to:

  • Download the daily FT to your iPad for offline reading
  • Access content across all sections of FT.com, fully customisable so users can order key sections of the application interface – including World, Companies, Markets and more
  • View the FT’s award-winning high quality video content, including the latest updates on markets and interviews with high profile CEOs each morning. This is the first time the FT has offered video on one of its mobile products.
  • A dedicated Markets Data section, including macromaps highlighting markets across the world, with the option to also view regional indices and company information sheets
  • Full access to view personal investment portfolios
  • Read top ‘must read’ stories of the moment for the iPad edition, determined by the FT editorial team

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08:00

#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – investigative journalism resources

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has some useful links and resources on its Facebook wall. Find it at this link... Tipster: Judith Townend. To submit a tip to Journalism.co.uk, use this link - we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.


May 05 2010

09:41

#snprivacy: Journalists’ privacy plea to social networks

This post was written following months of mounting concern about the way new sharing and connection features are being implemented on the most popular social networks. If you agree with what we ask of social network developers, feel free to quote this blog, or tweet marking your messages #SNprivacy. Journalism.co.uk will be putting more questions about privacy policy to Facebook later this week. To have your say, please leave comments below, tweet @journalismnews, or email judith [at] journalism.co.uk.

Re: Privacy policy

Dear social networks,

You say you want to reflect real world relationships and connections. Well, in the real world there are connections and information that journalists don’t want made public, shared or given to third parties. Please help us protect our privacy, so vital to responsible journalistic work. It will help you avoid law suits and government inquiries, too.

We know that we need you to help us work more effectively as journalists, to share with others, and to make connections in ways impossible before your birth. But likewise social networks need users and their endorsement. Google’s head of public policy and government relations, Susan Pointer, recently said: “We live or die by the trust our users have in our services.”

Social networks also rely on bloggers and technology/media journalists to communicate new and changed tools accurately.

We realise there is some shoddy and inaccurate reporting around social networking, especially in some of the mainstream press, but there are also many writers who care about relaying information responsibly.

We believe changes to Facebook’s privacy settings are particularly worrying for journalists and bloggers, who have good reason for protecting their privacy and confidential sources.

As the US blogger and librarian Bobbi L. Newman reported, users now have to ‘opt out’ of auto-personalisation settings that allow their friends to share their content.

Furthermore, as developer Ka-Ping Yee exposed, privacy breaches were made in the original open API which allowed external access to Facebook users’ ‘event’ information. We are pleased to see Facebook has reacted to this and corrected the privacy error.

We believe Google Buzz was naive in setting up auto-connections between contacts in Gmail address books. The public availability of email addresses on Buzz, as reported by TechCrunch, was also of concern. We are pleased to see Google has amended these privacy errors.

Journalism.co.uk has recently revealed misleading information surrounding Address Book Importing (ABI), which we feel does not adequately explain how social networks are using – and keeping – users’ email address book information.

We argue that the default options should always be set so that the privacy of the user is respected. With friend friend finder tools, like Facebook’s, users should have to opt in to share email addresses and opt in to each one shared.

It’s an issue publicly highlighted by Google’s former chief privacy officer, Chris Kelly (currently running for office as attorney general in California):  he is calling on Facebook “to structure all its programs to allow Facebook users to give permission before their information is shared with third parties”.

We are worried by Twitter and Friendster’s lack of engagement with us on privacy and ABI issues.

Facebook, with which we did enter lengthy dialogue, has said it welcomes feedback. Nonetheless, we are concerned it continues to dismiss the issues thrown up by its friend suggestions and connection features, which are implemented with harvested email addresses.

In light of the privacy breaches and concerns outlined above, we ask six things of growing social networks.

1. Please conduct thorough user research before you implement new features

2. Please publicise new features before you launch them fully, allowing us time to change new or existing privacy settings as necessary

3. If you change privacy settings, please ask us to opt *in*, not opt *out*. Social networks should NEVER set the default option to share users’ information

4. Please provide clearer explanations about how data is shared and how connections are made

5. Please test your new features more thoroughly before launching

6. Please answer our emails or postings on your forums about privacy concerns and reports of privacy breaches – written as either users or journalists / bloggers

Note to bloggers: please feel free to reproduce this plea on your own blogs, with a link back to the original post.

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April 30 2010

08:29

Alan Rusbridger on his vision for a ‘mutualised newspaper’ (video)

Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, recently appeared on the Charlie Rose show, now available online.

Asked about free versus paid content and newspapers, Rusbridger talked about a future of collaboration rather than competition.

The collaborative possibilities of the web are the interesting ones, he said, citing how the Guardian invited external environmental websites to sit on its site.

Rusbridger, who has spoken out against pay walls in the past, talked about his vision of a “mutualised newspaper”.

“We have to get over this journalistic arrogance that journalists are the only people who are the figures of authority in the world,” he said. Using the example of theatre coverage, he said you didn’t need to get rid of the critics, but you could invite other members of the audience in.

“If you can open your site up, and allow other voices in, you get something that’s more engaged, more involved – and actually, I think, journalistically better.”

Full clip at this link…

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April 20 2010

08:36

#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – effective online video

Multimedia blogger Adam Westbrook has picked out three examples of great online video, over on his blog, where he explains why they work so well. Tipster: Judith Townend. To submit a tip to Journalism.co.uk, use this link - we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.


April 15 2010

16:28

April 13 2010

11:34

Paper.li launches Twitter newspapers

Paper.li, a new (but not officially affiliated) Twitter application, has launched in alpha.

It creates a ‘newspaper’ using links that have been shared by both the specified user and the people they follow – from the past 24 hours.

Paper.li calls the Twitter account the ‘editor-in-chief’ and the people being followed by the account the ‘contributors’.

It comes with a small disclaimer: “As we are in alpha, we may have to turn off any new creations on short notice to make sure we can correctly scale our systems.”

The user’s live stream is shown at the side of the page and the main page displays content around related subjects. Google ads are placed at the right hand side.

Here’s a section of what the @journalismnews’ page, or paper, looks like. I wasn’t sure what to expect given that we’re following quite a diverse mix of people, but it’s actually quite tailored to our patch, journalism and media, with a live #journalism stream as well. But as you scroll down, the links become less relevant, with a ‘Switzerland’ section at the bottom of our page.

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March 30 2010

14:05

SuperPower Nation: how the BBC translation experiment fared

We recently reported on an innovative departure from normal BBC broadcasting practice: a six hour live translation experiment called SuperPower Nation.

Various BBC International News channels broadcast from the event on 18 March 2010, where speakers of different languages tried to communicate without relying solely on English. It involved music and theatre, as well as face-to-face and online discussion.

While the SuperPower Nation ‘hub’ was in London, participants also gathered in cafes and centres around the world  – or took part from their own homes.

A live message board simultaneously translated the conversations into Arabic, Chinese, English, Indonesian, Persian, Portuguese and Spanish using Google translation software.

A breakdown of some of the conversations can be found at this link.

Now the BBC reports on how it did: it received 11,711 messages, from 2,078 locations around the world.

English, unsurprisingly, still led as the dominant language, with 5626 messages, followed by 2767 in Spanish and 1781 in Portugese.

Less popular were Arabic (208); Persian (146); Chinese (simplified) (126) and Indonesian: (31).

BBC World reporter Dave Lee, says that the event was “perhaps the toughest scrutiny” of Google’s translation software to date. He reported:

“This is the largest translation project I’ve ever worked with,” said Chewy Trewhella, new business development manager for Google.

(…)

The translations were far from perfect in places, but Mr Trewhella added: “It’s about trying to get the message across… [users] are happy with 80-90 per cent effectiveness.”

More information and links can be found here.

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March 26 2010

17:01

Questions for Times editor James Harding on paywalling content

The Times hosted a live Q&A this afternoon with editor James Harding about its new plans for paid content, details of which were announced today. While there were a few interesting comments in there (he’ll “hide under the desk” if it all goes wrong, he says) it felt like a lot of questions went unanswered and unpublished. For example, as Adam Tinworth pointed out on Twitter, no questions about linking were addressed.

I’ll do as @times_live recommends and email them in, but in the meantime, here are a few of my own, and some from our Twitter followers too.

Mine:

I once heard that pre-moderation of comments posted on Times Online costs a six figure sum (I wasn’t able to clarify over what time period). With a paywalled site, do you hope to reduce this cost? How will the staffing of your website change with the paywall?

What kind of market research did you do to establish the price point? What different kinds of models did you consider?

How different will the new sites be? Do you think people would have paid for the existing content on Times Online?

Can you share any details of the additional digital devices that will be included in the package?

Then because none of my questions were getting answered, I threw this in:

How much involvement did NI CEO Rupert Murdoch have with paywall plans? Last week his biographer Michael Wolff suggested that up until last year he hadn’t been on the internet ‘unaccompanied’; do you think execs are best placed to judge the willingness of people to pay?

And here are a few I thought of afterwards:

You joked that you’ll hide under the desk if it all goes wrong, but what’s the real risk? If you reverted to a free model later, do you think it would be easy to regain all the lost unique users? Or will they be lost forever?

Journalists are often recognised and given opportunities and leads because of their Google ranking. How have your journalists reacted? Are they worried about their professional profile lowering, with restricted access to their content? Will you stop journalists posting their own articles on their own blogs?

And from Twitter:

@substuff asks: “I wanted to ask what The Times would do to attract promiscuous browsers such as me – as I’d probably only subscribe to one site.”

@neilblake73 asks: “Why would anyone pay for news when you can get it 24hrs via the BBC, CNN, Sky, radio and online etc? What on earth would be so good we’d pay?

“Also, with Evening Standard, and Metro free (& possibly the Indy in future?), why are roles reversing, ie. free papers / paid for web?”

@HooklineBooks asks: “What if they [the Times] charge and no-one visits? Is there a plan B?”

@gregorhunter: “What’s stopping the rest of the blogosphere from mirroring TimesOnline’s articles and continuing as usual?”

@gpcrc: “Will this change how journalists interact with PRs (if all consumers will be building relationships with online journalists)?”

@sarah_booker: “Will the Times link through social bookmarks and RSS functions outside the paywall?

“Will Times journalists be able to tweet?”

@JunkkMale: “If paywall is to ‘preserve quality reporting’, may we be assured that future coverage will be factually accurate, indeed more so than now?”

If you’ve got others, please tweet them in, or leave in the comments below. I’ll email James Harding the link to this post now.

Also, for background, here’s the News International press release in full:

News International today announces that The Times and The Sunday Times will start charging for access to their digital journalism in June using a pricing model that is simple and affordable.

Both titles will launch new websites in early May, separating their digital presence for the first time and replacing the existing, combined site, Times Online. The two new sites will be available for a free trial period to registered customers.

From June, the new sites, www.thetimes.co.uk and www.thesundaytimes.co.uk, will be available for a charge of £1 for a day’s access or £2 for a week’s subscription. Payment will give customers access to both sites. The weekly subscription will also give access to the e- paper and certain new applications.

Access to the digital services will be included in the seven-day subscriptions of print customers to The Times and The Sunday Times.

Rebekah Brooks, chief executive, News International, said: “These new sites, and the apps that will enhance the experience, reflect the identity of our titles and deliver a terrific experience for readers. We expect to attract a growing base of loyal customers that are committed and engaged with our titles.

We are building on the excellence of our newspapers and offering digital access to our journalism at a price that everyone can afford.

“At a defining moment for journalism, this is a crucial step towards making the business of news an economically exciting proposition. We are proud of our journalism and unashamed to say that we believe it has value.

“This is just the start. The Times and The Sunday Times are the first of our four titles in the UK to move to this new approach. We will continue to develop our digital products and to invest and innovate for our customers.”

John Witherow, editor of The Sunday Times, said: “The launch of a dedicated Sunday Times website is a hugely significant moment for the paper.

It will enable us to showcase our strengths in areas such as news, sport, business, style, travel and culture and display the breadth of Britain’s biggest-selling quality newspaper.

“For the first time, readers will have access to all their favourite sections and writers. We will be introducing new digital features to enhance our coverage and encourage interactivity. Every day, readers will be able to talk to our writers and experts and view stunning photographs and graphics. Subscribers will be able to get this brand new site, plus the enhanced Times site, seven days of the week, all for the price of a cup of coffee.”

James Harding, editor of The Times, said: “The Times was founded to take advantage of new technology. Now, we are leading the way again. Our new website – with a strong, clean design – will have all the values of the printed paper and all the versatility of digital media. We want people to do more than just read it – to be part of it.

“We continue to invest in frontline journalism. We have more foreign correspondents than our rivals and continue to put reporters on new beats – last year we added an Ocean Correspondent and we just became the only British paper to have a Pentagon Correspondent. And we want to match that with investment in innovation.

“TheTimes.co.uk will make the most of moving images, dynamic infographics, interactive comment and personalised news feeds. The coming editions of The Times on phones, e- readers, tablets and mobile devices will tell the most important and interesting stories in the newest ways. Our aim is to keep delivering The Times, but better.”

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09:39

Celebrity journalism at the Frontline Club

The Frontline Club has speedily posted its video of last night’s celebrity and media panel, featuring Jane Bussman, author of ‘The Worst Date Ever’; Popbitch founder Camilla Wright; Heat magazine editor and broadcaster Sam Delaney and Sharon Hatt, celebrity liaison at the National Autistic Society.

The verdict, the Frontline Club reports, was that, “if anything, the dominance of ’slebs’ on public discourse and news media will only increase in the age of online social networking”.

Full post at this link…

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09:00

March 25 2010

15:18

Boston Globe launches midday video news update

The Boston Globe has launched a daily news video update. The 90-second broadcast is available on the paper’s homepage, Boston.com, between 11:45 and 1:45 pm EST. As reported here earlier this week, the Globe’s sister paper the New York Times has also launched a midday video news update, TimesCast.

Globe Today is more of a traditional news broadcast than TimesCast, which takes a behind-the-scenes approach, and is significantly shorter, weighing in at less than a quarter of the length of the Times’ feature.

The other significant difference is that Globe Today also appears on YouTube, making it embeddable, meaning I can embed it for you right here:


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09:00

March 23 2010

17:12

March 22 2010

10:32

Charlie Beckett: Do we have an information overload?

Charlie Beckett, director of think tank Polis, reports on last week’s Media CSR Forum and Polis event, In Media We Trust?

The debate questioned information overload, and how to manage media literacy – raising issues on which audience and panellists were divided. Beckett concludes:

[I] am more concerned about whether we have the curators to help shape these information flows and whether those people or organisations that do the filtering and connecting are informed by some kind of ethical value system. Data is not neutral. Information is beautiful but it is also political. Networks are powerful and so they also need to be transparent and acountable. Step forward the networked journalist, your digital public sphere needs you.

Full post at this link…

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March 19 2010

15:16

How the Young Turks thinks it will ‘destroy the old media’ (Audio)

Heard of the Young Turks? No? Well, according to its founder you will soon, because it’s going to demolish the mainstream media in America. In fact, it could win an online poll against Jesus, he said.

The ‘first live, daily webcast on the internet,’ the alternative show has had over 207 million views on YouTube. It charges $10 a month for its full content option; and takes $2.5 for every 1,000 views on YouTube.

During one of the liveliest parts of the day at yesterday’s Guardian Changing Media Summit, at the final keynote roundtable, Cenk Uygur said:

“Old media is a lot of trouble. It’s a question of what’s going to survive and what’s not going to survive. Are newspapers in America going to survive? Hell no, no way.”

Newspapers might have only ten per cent of the advertising revenue next year (down from around 50 per cent in the 1950s, Uygur said) but that was too much in his opinion: “It shouldn’t be anywhere near 10 per cent. As they say here in Britain that’s mental.”

Shaking off a heckler, Uygur said that his online talkshow’s content could easily compete: “NBC’s content is nowhere near as good as mine”.

But the best quote: “Our viewers are awesome; we call them the TYT army: we can never lose an online poll. We can do an online poll against Jesus and we will win.”

Listen to the audio here – and the panel and audience’s response:

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12:42

CMS 2010: Data is a business’ biggest asset, says head of Associated Northcliffe Digital

Richard Titus was shocked to discover that one of Associated Northcliffe Digital’s portfolio businesses was just throwing away its transaction data, when he first started as CEO.

They told him they wiped it each week:  ‘well, hard drives are expensive’.

Data is the asset, and a really big opportunity for businesses, he said at yesterday’s Guardian Changing Media Summit.

Audio at this link…

“It’s very hard to copy; it’s very hard to steal; it’s very hard to pirate and it has incredible large scarcity.

“Data with its scarcity is one of the most important assets most businesses have today. Most businesses give it away; don’t collect it; they wipe it off their hard drives.”

AND, the digital consumer division of DMGT, looks after Associated and Northcliffe digital media sites, as well as online classified sites such as Jobsite.co.uk, FindaProperty.com & Primelocation.com. A significant part of its business is in Eastern Europe, Titus said, where its classified sites are ‘market leaders’.

Its new hyperlocal network Local People was focussed around bringing community-oriented information to groups of 20-30,000 people.

Titus, who previously worked for the BBC, also emphasised the potential to make advertising money out of small and medium enterprises, he said.

Titus said that the “the thing that most matters in digital today is your relationship with the customer”.

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March 17 2010

09:01
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