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March 29 2013

13:30

December 07 2011

19:20

Your 2011 holiday gift guide, brought to you by the news

Santa running down the street in Algers, France

If you want to save journalism, you might turn to journalism this year for all your Christmas shopping.

This weekend at NewsFoo, an O’Reilly “un-conference” for about 170 journalists and tech disrupters, the tech writer Mónica Guzmán posed a question: “Can’t we [news organizations] sell anything besides articles?” Yes, it turns out, and there are numerous examples of them trying it.

A couple of months ago Guzmán was talking to an entrepreneur in Seattle who had just sold his latest startup to Google. “We got to talking about journalism, and I’m always fascinated to listen to people who come from an innovative mindset, but not a news mindset, look at news. What he said, basically, is I don’t see how news is really going to innovate and move forward unless they can get past this idea that what they sell is just content.”

News organizations have one big advantage in business: They know their audience.

“We have a huge leg up when it comes to organizing information communities,” she said. “[News outlets] build those communities that can be really specific and really well defined.” (NewsFoo is generally off the record, but Guzmán talked with me after her session.)

Here are a few examples of all the ways news companies are selling non-news products to consumers. Some might look better wrapped up under the tree than others, but if you feel like supporting the news, maybe there’s room on your credit card for one or two of them.

Merchandise!

For the oenophile in your life, buy a gift subscription to the New York Times Wine Club. Six rare wines (four red, two white) for $90 per shipment, or $180 for the most exquisite Reserve Club varietals. Each bottle is paired with tasting notes and an NYT recipe. Europeans can sample Telegraph Wines, “one of the UK’s most respected wine merchants.” A case of six bottles of Prosecco goes for £54 and includes two complimentary Champagne flutes.

Spaceballs: The Flamethrower

The Telegraph doesn’t stop at wine. There’s a Telegraph Garden Shop, Motoring Shop, a travel shop for holiday cottages. You can buy earrings, duvet covers, snow boots, and clothes hangers. “They are the leading retailer of clothes hangers in the U.K.,” said Jeff Jarvis in an April 2010 Editor & Publisher story. The newspaper raked in a quarter of its profit in 2009 from selling things, he said.

The Onion cheaply repurposes tons of its own content into coffee-table books and framed prints. NPR, almost true to stereotype, sells “green gifts,” “gifts for gardeners,” and “gift for tea lovers.” None of those items have NPR branding, just the kind of things a typical NPR listener might like to buy. (And shoppers know their purchase helps support the news.)

The überaggregator Boing Boing sells stuff as weird as that which it aggregates, e.g., rubber finger tentacles, a remote-controlled flying shark, a bacon-scented air freshener. That site outsources the e-commerce software and payment processing.

Specialty iPhone apps

Santa's Hideout screen shot

There are plenty of smartphone and iPad apps that try to generate revenue for news organizations, but it’s less common for there to be an app that doesn’t have anything to do with the outlet’s journalism. Just today we wrote about Condé Nast’s new Santa app, which helps parents assemble and share lists of what their kids want for Christmas.

This summer Hearst Corp. launched its App Lab, a sort of digital R&D unit for the ad agencies who work with Hearst. It was Hearst that developed Manilla, a financial management product for consumers, earlier this year.

Events

In September, the web-only Texas Tribune launched the Texas Tribune Festival, a first annual symposium that brought together politicians, wonks, lobbyists, and others from the universe of Texas politics. (I interviewed editor Evan Smith about it this summer.) Tickets cost $125, but the real money comes from corporate sponsorships. In 2010, before the festival existed, the Tribune raised about $600,000 in event sponsorship, Smith told me. The Tribune festival was modeled on the New Yorker Festival, which also sells tickets and big-name sponsorships. Forbes follows a similar model for its CEO conferences around the world, but those tickets are a lot pricier.

Digital marketing services

Rubber finger tentacles

435 Digital is a Chicago consulting firm that does web design, SEO, and social media — actually, it’s a division of Tribune Co., but you would never know that from looking at its home page. The group is made up of the people who gave us Colonel Tribune and the ChicagoNow blog network.

GannettLocal, too, offers marketing services for local businesses that advertise in Gannett-owned papers. Condé Nast sells its in-house creative talent to advertisers, competing with the very agencies whose work fills the pages of its magazines.

Using reporters’ smarts

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, as I wrote this summer, packages its reporters’ in-house expertise about particular topics as paid webinars that cost as much as $96 apiece.

The premium content, the merch, the events, the consulting, the apps — they are all specialty products for niche audiences. Whether all of the offerings are making money is for another story.

“Last-minute shopping?” by Louise LeGresley used under a Creative Commons license.

October 06 2011

09:19

LIVE: Session 1B – Enhancing community engagement

Building up an audience is only half the battle, after that you have to keep them engaged. This session will offer practical advice from those working with online communities on a daily basis, including how to use comments to bridge the gap between journalist and audience, and how to use new media tools to encourage involvement in the editorial process.

With Laura Oliver, community coordinator, news, the Guardian; Kate Day, social media and engagement editor, the Telegraph; and Cathy Ma, head of social media, IPC Media.

May 27 2011

11:58

LIVE: Session 2A – Developing the data story

We have Matt Caines and Ben Whitelaw from Wannabe Hacks liveblogging for us at news:rewired all day. You can follow session 2A ‘Developing the data story’, below.

Session 2A features: Professor Paul Bradshaw, visiting professor, City University and founder, helpmeinvestigate.com; Alastair Dant, lead interactive technologist, the Guardian; Federica Cocco, editor, OWNI.eu; Conrad Quilty-Harper, data reporter, the Telegraph. Moderated by  Simon Rogers; editor, Guardian datablog and datastore.

Click on the link below to access the liveblog:

August 16 2010

09:40

#followjourn: @rogerhighfield – Roger Highfield/editor

#followjourn: Roger Highfield

Who? Roger Highfield, editor of New Scientist and former Telegraph science editor.

Where? On the New Scientist site, as well as Roger’s personal site, Boffin, which has an archive of his articles for New Scientist and others. He continues to write for the Telegraph and those articles can be found collected at this link.

Contact? @rogerhighfield

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to laura at journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.Similar Posts:



August 12 2010

14:41

Jobs round-up: Mobile moves and digital appointments at Guardian and Telegraph

It seems there’s a certain amount of musical chairs going on this summer in the digital departments of the UK’s news organisations.

paidContent:UK reports that Torsten de Riese, Guardian News & Media’s mobile business manager for the past seven months, is departing for a digital director role at CNBC.

Meanwhile, Telegraph Media Group head of mobile, Maani Safa, has left the publisher. According to NMA, Safa’s replacement is Mark Challinor.

The Guardian has also announced a series of moves amongst its multimedia and digital teams: in September head of audio Matt Wells will become blogs editor; while current news editor Stuart Millar will become web news editor, responsible for live and breaking news coverage on the website.

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August 02 2010

14:24

How News Organizations Should Prepare for Data Dumps

Soon every news organization will have its own "bunker" -- a darkened room where a hand-picked group of reporters hole up with a disk/memory stick/laptop of freshly opened data, some stale pizza and lots of coffee.

Last year the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph secreted half a dozen reporters in a room for nine days with about 4 million records of politicians' expenses. They were hidden away even from the paper's own employees. Now we learn that reporters from the Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel did the same with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks somewhere in the Guardian's offices in King's Cross, London.

There is a wonderful irony that open data can generate such secrecy. Of course the purpose of this secrecy is to find -- and protect -- scoops buried in the data. From the perspective of many news organizations, these scoops are the main benefit of data dumps. Certainly the Daily Telegraph benefitted hugely from the scoops it dug out of the MPs' expenses data. Weeks of front pages on the print paper, national uproar, multiple resignations, court cases and much soul searching about the state of parliamentary politics.

The Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel have not been able to stretch the WikiLeaks Afghan logs over multiple weeks, but they did dominate the news for awhile, and stories will almost certainly continue to emerge.

These massive data releases are not going to go away. In fact, they're likely to accelerate. The U.S. and U.K. governments are currently competing to see who can release more data sets. WikiLeaks will no doubt distribute more raw information, and WikiLeaks will spawn similar stateless news organizations. Therefore news organizations need to work out how best to deal with them, both to maximize the benefits to them and their readers, and to ensure they don't do evil, as Google might say.

5 Questions

Here are just five (of many) questions news orgs should ask themselves when they get their next data dump:

1. How do we harness public intelligence to generate a long tail of stories? Though the Telegraph succeeded in unearthing dozens of stories from the Parliamentary expenses data, the handful of reporters in the bunker could never trawl through each of the millions of receipts contained on the computer disks. It was The Guardian that first worked out how to deal with this; it not only made the receipts available online but provided tools to search through them and tag them (see Investigate your MP's expenses). This way it could harness the shared intelligence -- and curiosity -- of hundreds, if not thousands, more volunteer watchdogs, each of whom might be looking for a different story from the expenses data. As a result, the Guardian generated many more stories and helped nurture a community of citizen scrutineers

2. How do we make it personal? Massive quantities of data can be structured to be made directly relevant to whoever is looking at it. With crime data you can, for example, enable people to type in their postcode and see what crimes have happened in their neighborhood (e.g. San Francisco crimespotting). For MPs' expenses, people could look up their own MP and scour his/her receipts. The Afghan logs were different in this respect, but OWNI, Slate.fr and Le Monde Diplomatique put together an app that allows you to navigate the logs by country, by military activity, and by casualties (see here). The key is to develop a front end that allows people to make the data immediately relevant to them.

3. How can use the data to increase trust? The expenses files, the Afghan logs, the COINs database (a massive database of U.K. government spending released last month) are all original documents that can be tagged, referenced and linked to. They enable journalists not only to refer back to the original source material, but to show an unbroken narrative flow from original source to final article. This cements the credibility of the journalism and gives the reader the opportunity to explore the context within the original source material. Plus, if published in linked data, the published article can be directly linked to the original data reference.

4. How do we best -- and quickly -- filter the data (and work out what, and what not, to publish)? Those that are best able to filter this data using human and machine methods are those who are most likely to benefit from it. Right now only a very small number of news organizations appear to be developing these skills, notably the Guardian, the New York Times, and the BBC. The skills, and algorithms, they develop will give them a competitive advantage when dealing with future data releases (read, for example, Simon Rogers on how the Guardian handled the 92,201 rows of data and how Alastair Dant dealt with visualizing IED events at FlowingData). These skills will also help them work out what not to publish, such as data that could put people in danger.

5. How can we ensure future whistleblowers bring their data to us? It's impossible to predict where a whistleblower will take their information. John Wick, who brokered the MPs expenses disk to the Telegraph, went first to the Express, one of the U.K.'s least well resourced and least prepared national papers. But it is likely that the organizations that become known for handling big data sets will have more whistleblowers coming to them. Julian Assange went to the Guardian partly because the journalist Nick Davies sought him out in Brussels (from Clint Hendler in CJR) but Assange must also have been convinced the Guardian would be able to deal with the data.

The influence of the war logs continues to spin across the globe, particularly following the Afghan president's comments. But it is not the first -- and certainly won't be the last -- big data dump. Better that news organizations prepare themselves now.

July 22 2010

07:00

The New Online Journalists #6: Conrad Quilty-Harper

As part of an ongoing series on recent graduates who have gone into online journalism, The Telegraph’s new Data Mapping Reporter Conrad Quilty-Harper talks about what got him the job, what it involves, and what skills he feels online journalists need today.

I got my job thanks to Twitter. Chris Brauer, head of online journalism at City University, was impressed by my tweets and my experience, and referred me to the Telegraph when they said they were looking for people to help build the UK Political database.

I spent six weeks working on the database, at first manually creating candidate entries, and later mocking up design elements and cleaning the data using Freebase Gridworks, Excel and Dabble DB. At the time the Telegraph was advertising for a “data juggler” role, and I interviewed for the job and was offered it.

My job involves three elements:

  • Working with reporters to add visualisations to stories based on numbers,
  • Covering the “open data” beat as a reporter, and
  • Creating original stories with visualisations based on data from FOI and other sources.

For my job I need to know how to select and scrape good data, clean it, pick out the stories and visualise it. (P.S. you may have noticed that I’m a “data is singular” kinda guy).

The “data” niche is greatly exciting to me. Feeding into this is the #opendata movement, the new Government’s plan to release more data and the understanding that data driven journalism as practised in the United States has to come here. There’s clearly a hunger for more data driven stories, a point well illustrated by a recent letter to the FT.

The mindset you need to have as an online journalist today is to become familiar with and proficient at using tools that make you better at your job. You have to be an early adopter. Get on the latest online service, get the latest gadget and get it before your colleagues and competitors. Find the value in those tools, integrate it into your work and go and find another tool.

When I blogged for Engadget our team had built an automated picture watermarker for liveblogging. I played with it for a few hours and made a new script that downloaded the pictures from a card, applied the watermark, uploaded the pictures and ejected the SD card. Engadget continues to try out new tools that enable them to do their job faster and better. There are endless innovations being churned out every day from the world of technology. Make time to play with them and make them work for you.

If you know of anyone else who should be featured in this series, let me know in the comments.

July 16 2010

13:16

#followjourn: @heidiblake – news reporter

#followjourn: Heidi Blake

Who? News reporter for the Daily Telegraph

Where? Blake joined the Telegraph in 2009, before which she had stints with the Press Association and the Yorkshire Post. Her Telegraph articles are collected at this a link. In 2007 Blake was named Journalist of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards. Her contributions to University of York student website Nouse are collected at this link.

Contact? @heidiblake

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to laura at journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.Similar Posts:



May 04 2010

15:14

UK General Election 2010 – Interactive Maps and Swingometers

Tony Hirst takes a look at how different news websites are using interactivity to present different possibilities in the UK election. This post is cross-posted from the OUseful.Info blog:

So it seems like the General Election has been a Good Thing for the news media’s interactive developer teams… Here’s a quick round up of some of the interactives I’ve found…

First up, the BBC’s interactive election seat calculator:

BBC election interactive

This lets you set the percentage vote polled by each party and it will try to predict the outcome…

The Guardian swingometer lets you play with swing from any two of the three big parties to the third:

Guardian swingometer

The Daily Telegraph swingometer lets you look at swing between any two parties…

Telegraph election map

The Economist also lets you explore pairwise swings

Economist - election map

The Times doesn’t really let you do much at all… and I wonder �" is Ladbrokes in there as product placement?!

Time election interactive

Sky doesn’t go in for modeling or prediction, it’s more of just a constituency browser

Sky Election Map

The Sun probably has Tiffany, 23…

From elsewhere, this swingometer from the Charts & numbers �" UK Election 2010 blog lets you model swings between the various parties

Swingometer

As to what swing is? It’s defined in this Parliamentary briefing doc [PDF]

April 20 2010

15:30

Telegraph’s new election database (in beta)

I’m having a play with the Telegraph’s new database feature, currently in beta. The basic search allows you to find basic information about your candidates, eg. their educational background (private / state school etc.), as well as the background stats on the constituency itself.

If your candidate is an MP, you also get a link to the Telegraph’s expenses file on them, and their parliamentary allowances page. Check out Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Phil Woolas, for example.

Like Paul Bradshaw points out on the OnlineJournalismBlog, the really nice feature is the ‘advanced search’ option.

With this, you can narrow down your search to very specific criteria – by type of school, age or the category of candidate they are.

It is in beta though, and a lot of information is still missing. Until all the information is complete (e.g every school for each candidate is accurate and complete) you couldn’t begin to make proper analyses of social backgrounds etc.

There’s a how-to guide at this link.

The swingometer feature is fun too (though perhaps needs clearer explanation on the main page – a pop out box, perhaps?):

“[F]ind which seats will change for a given swing. Choose from Labour v Conservative swing, Labour v Liberal Democrat, or Liberal Democrat v Conservative, and push the swingometer up to 20 per cent either way to see which constituencies change hands.”

On constituency search you can see where parties have picked their battlegrounds, which can be further narrowed by retiring or defending MP. So, for example, I can search all Labour target battlegrounds, where they are defending seats. There’s a swing feature here to:

[S]earch by swing required for a change of MP from the 2005 results. This can be organised by party using the drop-down bar and slider – so it is possible to show all the seats that would fall to the Conservatives given a 10 per cent swing from Labour, for instance.

Like Paul Bradshaw says, it’s a shame that there’s no API available or ‘mashable’ data on tap, but definitely a very nice looking tool – which I need some more time to play around with.

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08:56

Telegraph launches powerful election database

The Telegraph have finally launched – in beta – the election database I’ve been waiting for since the expenses scandal broke. And it’s rather lovely.

Starting with the obvious part (skip to the next section for the really interesting bit): the database allows you to search by postcode, candidate or constituency, or to navigate by zooming, moving and clicking on a political map of the UK.

Searches take you to a page on an individual candidate or a constituency. For the former you get a biography, details on their profession and education (for instance, private or state, oxbridge, redbrick or neither), as well as email, website and Twitter page. Not only is there a link to their place in the Telegraph’s ‘Expenses Files’ – but also a link to their allowances page on Parliament.uk.

Constituency pages feature a raft of stats, the names of candidates (not many at the moment), and the swing needed to change control.

At the moment both have ‘Related stories’ but these are only related in the loosest sense for the moment. And there is a link to the election map and swingometer that The Telegraph built previously.

Advanced search

All of which is nice but not earth-shattering. Where the database really comes into its own is with the Advanced Search feature.

This is so powerful that the main issue may turn out to be usability. I’m not sure myself of everything it can do at the moment but apart from the fundamentals of actually finding a candidate, this allows you to filter all the candidates in the database based on everything from what type of education they had, to their age, gender, profession, county and role (i.e. contesting, defending, standing for the first time or again). The Swingometer filter also appears to let you filter based on who wins as a result of predicted swings (not just Lab-Con but Con-Lib and Lab-Lib)

The site is still rough around the edges – it appears that the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Grieve went to “Lyc‚àö¬©e Fran‚àö√üais Charles de Gaulle” and ’Oxbridge University’, while the link to his website is missing a ‘http://’ and so doesn’t work.

Data geeks will be disappointed that the data doesn’t appear to be mashable, and there obviously isn’t an API. The Telegraph’s Marcus Warren tells me that they are looking at mashups for after the election, but for the moment are focusing on researching candidates.

That seems a sensible move. The MPs’ expenses scandal may turn out not just to be the biggest story of the last decade, but the foundation of a political database to rival any other news organisation. The Telegraph have a real strength here and it’s good to see them building on it.

March 24 2010

09:36

Heather Brooke: ‘Transparency keeps those in power honest’

In case you missed reading an extract of Heather Brooke’s new book, ‘The Silent State’, in the Mail on Sunday, here’s a link…

A second excerpt will be published next Sunday. Last weekend’s extract focused on expenses.

An early reporting experience in America taught her ” that transparency keeps those in power honest: more than any regulator, any bureaucracy or set of rules,” she writes.

On being scooped, she says:

The Telegraph did a phenomenal job presenting the data, and I don’t begrudge them anything, even if they did take away my scoop.

Brooke collected the judge’s award at last night’s British Press Awards for her campaigning over MPs’ expenses.

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February 05 2010

09:11

Telegraph.co.uk: ‘The last gentleman printer of Fleet Street’

A pick that’s not at all related to online media, but a reminder of how things were. This is the Telegraph’s obituary to George Darker, head printer of the Sunday Times for 22 years. He has died aged 98.

With a full head of white hair and invariably dressed in an immaculate white shirt, sleeves rolled up to the elbow, he stood out from the rest of his inky profession like a beacon. From June onwards, he was never seen without one of his prize roses in his buttonhole. His gentlemanliness and inexplicable air of serenity set him apart at a time when the composing rooms of most national newspapers pulsated with industrial strife as well as the natural tension of meeting deadlines.

Full story at this link…

(via Gentlemen Ranters)

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February 01 2010

11:11

What does John Terry’s case mean for superinjuntions?

The superinjunction obtained by England Captain John Terry was overturned on Friday – and the case raises some interesting issues (cross posted from John Terry: another nail in the superinjunction coffin):

  • Ecen when the superinjunction was in force, you could find out about the story on Twitter and Google – both even promoted the fact of Terry’s affair – via the Twitter trends list and the real-time Google search box.
  • No one got the difference between an injunction and a superinjunction - the former banned reporting of Terry’s alleged affair, the latter banned revealing there was an injunction. They weren’t necessarily both overturned, but there was a widespread assumption you could say what you liked about Terry once the superinjunction was overturned. This wasn’t necessarily the case …
  • The Mail and Telegraph seemed to flout the superinjunction – as did the Press Gazette which decided if wasn’t bound as it hadn’t seen a copy. This seemed risky behaviour legally – which makes me wonder if the papers were looking for a weak case to try to discredit superinjunctions.
  • This superinjunction should never have been granted. What was the original judge thinking?

Google and Twitter ignored the superinjunction

Tweets from while the superinjunction was in force

Tweets from while the superinjunction was in force

The superinjunction was overturned at about 1pm or 2pm on Friday. Needless to say, the papers had a field day over the weekend.

But if you wanted to find out the story on Friday, it was relatively simple to do so. I typed John Terry’s name into Google on Friday at about 11.15am – long before the injunction was lifted – and saw the screenshot, above.

Google’s real-time  search box revealed tweets about John Terry and Wayne Bridge (and there were some giving full details of the affair – including the stuff that didn’t come out until Sunday). Later on Friday, Google pulled the real-time search box – whether this was algorithmic or for legal reasons, I don’t know. But if, spurred on by the clues Google was offering, you typed both Terry and Bridge into Google or Twitter search, and it was simple to find the full story.

And by Friday lunchtime, both John Terry and Wayne Bridge were trending topics on Twitter, raising the profile of the issue. If you clicked on either to see what was being tweeted, you’d have found out about the affair instantly.

Shortly after, a judge ruled there were no grounds for the injunction, super or otherwise.

Guardian links to Twitter search for John Terry

As an aside, I noticed that the Guardian, in its coverage of the superinjunction, even included a link in one of its pieces to a Twitter search on John Terry.

They’ve removed it now (well, I can’t find it anyway and probably for the best. You should either have the balls to run the full story or not. I don’t think publishing a link to a twitter search is a reasonable half way house.)

Confusion still reigned

Once news that the super injunction had been lifted, no one knew (or perhaps cared) where they legally stood on Friday afternoon (as I’ve pointed out before about blogs and reporting restrictions).

It was reported that the superinjunction was lifted – but not whether there was a separate injunction relating to the facts of the case (ie could you report that JT had obtained an injunction, but not say why?).

Despite this, everyone went ahead and shouted about it all over the internet. If there was a separate injunction, it was finished.

You can see the confusion in the comments on this Guardian story from Friday afternoon

Seastorm: I’ve no interest in gossiping about EBJT, but I am a little confused….is the paper concerned now allowed to go ahead and publish the allegations?

Busfield (replying to seastorm): The judgement means that we can now report that there was an injunction. The judge then says that the newspaper concerned will have to make its own assessment of the risks involved in publishing whatever the allegations may be, which will involve considerations of the laws relating to privacy and defamation.

Gooner UK (replying to seastorm): Nope, the removal of the superinjunction means that newspapers are allowed to publish the fact that an injunction is in place, and name the parties involved, but they are still not allowed to publish the subject matter itself.

The injunction still stands, it’s just that we now know an injunction is in place. A superinjunction is so damaging because it means we (the public) are deliberately kept in the dark as to the very existence of an injunction.

And bear in mind that an injunction is in theory an act of last resort anyway. A superinjunction adds another level to that, which can be very dangerous in terms of press freedom.

Busfield (replying to Gooner UK): my understanding, and I am not a lawyer but I have spent much of the day talking to one, is that both the super and the injunction have gone. It is up to the paper concerned to decide whether it can publish its story without breaking the laws of defamation and relating to privacy.

The background: two papers ignore the injunction

It’s also interesting that two newspapers decide to ignore, or sail very close to the wind with regards to, the superinjunction – ie they ran stories that appeared to be in breach of it.

Mail reports injunction’s existence

As the Press Gazette reported on Friday morning (ie before the superinjunction was lifted):

A new “super-injunction” has been used by a Premier League footballer to stop national newspapers reporting his alleged marital infidelity.

The Daily Mail identifies the man only as a married England international.

The Daily Mail today reports, in apparent defiance of the order: “So draconian is Mr Justice Tugendhat’s order that even its existence is supposed to be a secret.”

(It’s interesting that the Press Gazette felt able to run the story about the existence of the superinjnction stating “Press Gazette has not been served with the injunction.” – I would have thought that this was also sailing close to the wind. It knew there was a super injunction, and I’m surprised its lawyers didn’t make an attempt to find out the full details.)

The Mail’s piece had a couple of nods and winks to Terry’s role:

A married England international footballer was granted a sweeping injunction to prevent publication of his affair with the girlfriend of a team-mate … It could be anyone from the captain of the top team in the land …”

What, like the captain of England and Chelsea, you mean?

As does the Telegraph

On top of this, the Telegraph had run a piece, too, according to the Guardian:

Yesterday [Thursday] The Daily Telegraph technically breached the “super” part of the superinjunction by reporting that the courts were hiding the identity of a footballer and allegations about his private life. (This piece appeared in print but is no longer online).

Maybe since the Trafigura injunction, newspapers have been looking for a way to kill off superinjunctions. If they wanted a weak super injunction to pick on as a way to discredit them, this seemed a prime example.

Whatever their reasons, nothing seems likely to happen to the Mail and the Telegraph for breaching or nearly breaching this one – unlike in the Trafigura case, it seems unlikely John Terry is going to successfully sue anyone over this issue.

Conclusion

The Mail sums it up well:

In a scathing ruling, the judge made it clear he suspected Terry was more afraid of losing the commercial deals than anything else.

He said the footballer appeared to have brought his High Court action in a desperate move to protect his earnings – rather than the woman with whom he had been conducting his affair.

(And given this, it’s hard to see how the superinjunction was ever granted.)

There are legitimate reasons for injunctions and even superinjunctions.

But judges need to think very carefully before granting them. And the British courts and the right to privacy should not be used to protect the commercial interests of the “father of the year”.

January 04 2010

15:51

#newsrw: Kate Day, Telegraph.co.uk: ‘The more engaged you are with a community, the less confrontational things become’

In the latest of our speaker Q&As ahead of news:rewired on January 14, Kate Day, communities editor at the Telegraph, shares her thoughts about online journalism. Here’s an extract:

How do you deal with blogger backlash, or online confrontations? Or are they rare?

Online communities can undoubtedly turn hostile, particularly around more confrontational subjects, and it can be tricky when you’re in the middle of it. In general, the more engaged you are with a community, the more you listen and view everything you do as part of a conversation, the less confrontational things become.

What advice would you give to a student wishing to pursue a similar career path to yours?

Dive in and start talking to people via social media and blogs. One of the best things about the internet is how easy it makes it to share ideas and learn from other people. Many corners of the web have a very collaborative culture if you start listening. At the same time it’s important not to dismiss the lessons of traditional journalism. Learn as much as you can from editors and senior journalists but also look all over the internet for interesting new ways to apply your skills.

Full post at this link…

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December 11 2009

13:49

The Telegraph’s Christmas Calendar – a social media-led competition

[And following on from our last post on how not to treat online communities when it comes to photographs...]

A photography competition and a charity calendar using the images – standard fare for a newspaper appeal?

The Telegraph has just announced the winners of its charity calendar competition sponsored by Photobox – but it seems this competition had a social media twist.

The winners were voted for by readers and users of Telegraph.co.uk and the competition itself was only promoted via social media, not in the paper or elsewhere on Telegraph.co.uk, communities editor Kate Day told Journalism.co.uk.

The calendar has grown out of a series of weekly competitions run on the Telegraph’s culture blog asking users to send in their photos on a different weekly theme.

“Readers vote for the theme each week which involves the audience from the beginning of each week. Flickr and Facebook groups provide space to discuss the format of the competition on an ongoing basis so that we can resolve problems such as spam in the Flickr group together,” explains Day.

“Comments from readers also prompted me to arrange specific Terms and Conditions for the competition and to set up an email subscription so that they don’t miss weekly announcements.”

But running a competition and a participatory online event in this way has brought wider benefits, she says:

“Inviting participants to join in via social media has enabled the competition to spread across the internet as a kind of giant, ongoing conversation. It’s also reached an audience who love photography but may not usually read the Telegraph. It’s very exciting that a project that has been led by the audience so directly is part of this year’s Christmas Appeal. I hope that the calendar demonstrates that this kind of collaboration can produce very high quality content that can strengthen the rest of what we do as journalists.”

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December 04 2009

13:49

Readers can alert Telegraph to breaking stories with new version of iPhone app

The Telegraph has launched a new version of its iPhone app, with new sharing features, an offline facility, and a function to alert the Telegraph to a breaking news story.

“By clicking on the ‘Report’ button, users can upload a photo and give a brief eyewitness account of breaking news,” the Telegraph reported yesterday.

“This new, improved app provides a really rich, multimedia news experience,” said Maani Safa, head of mobile at Telegraph Media Group. “We’ve made the software as easy to use as possible, and there are lots of features that readers will love.”

Its first iPhone app was launched earlier this year and it has also developed a variety of apps for BlackBerry and Google Android.

The Telegraph has also launched a citizen journalism competition to coincide with the new launch: readers are encouraged to send in ‘newsworthy’ words or images for a chance to see their item published on Telegraph.co.uk and win iTunes vouchers.

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November 25 2009

11:40

Heather Brooke and Telegraph named in PSA Awards

Reporting on the MPs’ expenses scandal was recognised yesterday with awards for both the Telegraph and investigative journalist Heather Brooke.

Brooke took the ‘Influencing the Political Agenda’ prize at the Political Studies Association (PSA) Awards for her ‘tireless and inspiring’ campaign to uncover details of MPs’ expenses.

The Daily Telegraph was named as best political publication of the year for its investigation into MPs’ expenses; while the BBC’s Newsnight and business editor Robert Peston also received prizes.

The full list of PSA Awards winners is available at this link.

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