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April 20 2012

06:31

BBC regional sites to consider including links to hyperlocal blogs

Old BBC North identImage from MHP The Ident Zone - click to see in context

The BBC’s social media lead for the English Regions Robin Morley has invited requests from “reputable hyperlocal websites” who want links to their stories included in the BBC’s regional news websites.

Andy Mabbett writes that:

“Interested hyperlocal bloggers (in England only, for now, as that’s the extent of Robin’s remit) are therefore invited to submit details of their blog, with links to a couple of their recent news stories, including original content (no churnalism, please) in a comment below, for consideration by Robin. I must emphasise that, while he’s kindly agreed to consider including such links, no promises have been made. The emphasis is on news stories, not lobbying or party-political pieces.”

In a follow-up comment Morley added:

“We link to a variety of external sources in various different ways from our local sites – so expanding the pool is definitely something we’re keen to explore.”

The comments on the post are worth reading too. Will Perrin says of a previous meeting with the Controller Regions in Birmingham David Holdsworth that he “was clear that they should have been linking to [the Bourneville Village blog's coverage of the Cadbury takeover], as well as/instead of the Express and Star.”

If you know of a hyperlocal blog which should be getting credit from regional BBC news websites, post in the comments on Andy’s post or email Robin at robin.morley[at]bbc.co.uk

06:31

BBC regional sites to consider including links to hyperlocal blogs

Old BBC North identImage from MHP The Ident Zone - click to see in context

The BBC’s social media lead for the English Regions Robin Morley has invited requests from “reputable hyperlocal websites” who want links to their stories included in the BBC’s regional news websites.

Andy Mabbett writes that:

“Interested hyperlocal bloggers (in England only, for now, as that’s the extent of Robin’s remit) are therefore invited to submit details of their blog, with links to a couple of their recent news stories, including original content (no churnalism, please) in a comment below, for consideration by Robin. I must emphasise that, while he’s kindly agreed to consider including such links, no promises have been made. The emphasis is on news stories, not lobbying or party-political pieces.”

In a follow-up comment Morley added:

“We link to a variety of external sources in various different ways from our local sites – so expanding the pool is definitely something we’re keen to explore.”

The comments on the post are worth reading too. Will Perrin says of a previous meeting with the Controller Regions in Birmingham David Holdsworth that he “was clear that they should have been linking to [the Bourneville Village blog's coverage of the Cadbury takeover], as well as/instead of the Express and Star.”

If you know of a hyperlocal blog which should be getting credit from regional BBC news websites, post in the comments on Andy’s post or email Robin at robin.morley[at]bbc.co.uk

August 20 2010

10:13

The difficult reality of open council data and journalism

Andy Mabbett has an interesting post on his pigsonthewing blog about the difficulties surrounding open data for councils and subsequent media interpretations and reports.

Giving an example of grant funding and council spending, where conditions may involve money being spent on certain forms of advertising, he adds that often this is misinterpreted by some members of the press, unaware of the attached conditions or other related spending on important projects involved. As a result, the headlines focus on what appears to be unusual spending.

As a supporter of the principles of open public data, he says a solution needs to be found.

What can council’s do to prevent this scenario? Annotate every spend item in their published data? Surely impractical. List such items separately? I don’t know (and don’t get me wrong, I’m an open-data advocate; and this is a relatively minor matter, which shouldn’t stop such data from being published), but do I hope somebody has an answer.

See his full post here…Similar Posts:



March 11 2010

08:00

The BBC and linking part 2: a call to become curators of context

A highlight of my recent visit with MA Online Journalism students to the BBC’s user generated content hub was the opportunity to ask this question posed by Andy Mabbett via Twitter: ‘Why don’t you link back to people if they send a picture in?’ (audio embedded above and here).

The UGC Hub’s head, Matthew Eltringham, gave this response:

“We credit their picture … we absolutely embrace the principle of linking on and through. I think the question would be – if Andy sends in a picture because he happened to witness a particular event, how relevant is the rest of his content to the audience. I think we’d have to take a view on that.”

It was a highlight because something clicked in my head at this point. You see, we’d spent some of the previous conversation talking about how the UGC hub verifies the reliability of user generated content, and it struck me that this view of the link as content could risk missing a key aspect of linking: context.

In an online environment one of the biggest signals in how we build a picture of the trustworthiness of someone or something is the links surrounding it. Who is that person friends with? What does this website link to? Who gathers here? What do they say? What else does this person do? What is their background, their interests, their beliefs?

All of this is invaluable context to us as users, not just the BBC.

While we increasingly talk about the role of publishers as curators of content [caveat], we should perhaps start thinking about how publishers are also curators of context.

Curators of context

And on this front, the corporation appears to have an enormous culture shift on its hands – a shift that it has been pushing in public for years, with varying degrees of success in different parts of the organisation.

BBC Radio, and many BBC TV programmes, for example, use users’ pictures and tweets and link and credit as a matter of course, while some parts of BBC News do link directly to research papers.

Yesterday I blogged about the frustration of Ben Goldacre at the refusal of parts of the BBC News website to deep link to scientific journal articles. In the comments to Ben’s post, ‘Gimpy’ says that the journalist quoted by Goldacre told him in “early 2008″ that linking was “something which must be reviewed”.

In May 2008 the BBC Trust said linking needed major improvements, and in October 2008 the Head of Multimedia said linking to external websites was a vital part of its future.

And this month, the corporation’s latest strategic review pledges:

“to “turn the site into a window on the web” by providing at least one external link on every page and doubling monthly ‘click-throughs’ to external sites: “making the best of what is available elsewhere online an integral part of the BBC’s offer to audiences”.”

Most recently, this week the BBC’s announcement of 25% cuts to its online spend motivated Erik Huggers to make this statement at a DTG conference:

“Why can’t we find a way to take all that traffic and help share it with other public service broadcasters and with other public bodies so that if our boat rises on the tide, everyone’s boat rises on the tide?

“Rather than trying to keep all that traffic inside the BBC’s domain we’re going to link out very aggressively and help other organisations pull their way up on the back of the investments that the BBC has made in this area.”

To be fair, unlike other media organisations, at least the BBC is talking about doing something about linking (and if you want to nag them, here’s their latest consultation).

But please, enough talk already. Auntie, give us the context.

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