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August 19 2010

16:11

NPR’s audience, hour-by-hour, platform by platform

NPR has looked at the behaviour of its audiences across all platforms, charting how content is consumed hour-by-hour over the course of an average week.

Radio remains NPR’s strongest distribution platform, with an audience of around 2,500,000 average quarter hour listeners on weekday mornings at 7:00am. Peaks in broadcast figures follow commuter times, with another high of around 2,000,000 at 5:00pm. Online audiences peak in the early afternoon with around 75,000 average unique visitors at 2:00pm, falling off gradually over the course of the rest of the day. Note the dual axes for comparing radio and online audiences.

Metrics for mobile show that NPR readers favour the iPhone over Android, iPad or mobile web, and peak earlier in the day than the online browser figures, with a little more than 8,000 unique visits at around 8:00am.

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August 11 2010

15:16

Houston broadcaster trying to do things that ‘only the web can do’

According to a post from Lost Remote, Houston’s Tribune Broadcasting was reported to be planning a pilot change to the format of some of its local newscasts, taking presenters off-screen in order to apparently produce a more modern programme which follows the structure of online news.

This has prompted some concerns over on ReadWriteWeb, where writer Adrianne Jeffries questions the logic behind the proposed “Newsfix” format.

It’s sort of like consuming news and information on the Web, except without the interactiveness that is sort of, well, central to consuming news and information on the Web (…) The newscast will include a segment for user-generated video. But is that enough to engage Web-savvy viewers, who are used to – at the least – being able to comment on news stories? It’s the things that only the Web can do that make getting news from it such a pleasure.

See the full post here…Similar Posts:



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14:56

August 10 2010

15:35

‘I was so exhausted I almost walked away’: Nick Robinson talks about the election

BBC political editor Nick Robinson has admitted he was close to “walking away” from Downing Street before announcing David Cameron as the new Prime Minister because of exhaustion.

Speaking in an interview with BBC College of Journalism, Robinson shares some of the challenges he faced covering the election.

At the end of the five days there was just the sense of total exhaustion. I had planned really to go to bed after staying up for 24 hours on air after polling day closed and suddenly discovered I couldn’t because of all the ups and downs (…)

When it finally came to Gordon Brown leaving Downing Street I remember being so cold and so tired that I actually said to Laura Kuenssberg, ‘you do it’ and she looked at me as if I was completely mad. I was so exhausted that I briefly thought of walking away. But it was a great story to do.

Robinson also discusses how he dealt with surprising exit polls live on air and how he wants to encourage more debate via his blog but first needs to tackle “abusive” comments.

See the full interview here…Similar Posts:



August 06 2010

16:18

Journalism.co.uk forays into podcasting: follow here

Journalism.co.uk has made its first few steps into the world of podcasting in recent weeks and wants to know how we can use audio in the best way for you.

As well as filing radio features and interviews from events we attend, Journalism.co.uk will also bring you a weekly news-round up of the top stories we think you should know about – our latest one can be found here.

You can already sign up to receive all Journalism.co.uk podcasts by RSS feed or subscribe to our iTunes podcast account.

Feel free to leave comments below on what audio activity you want to see from us in the future, or use the #jdotaudio hashtag, or email multimedia reporter Rachel [rachel@journalism.co.uk] with your comments.Similar Posts:



August 02 2010

15:53

Afghanistan government criticised for closing down TV station

Press freedom groups have condemned a decision by the Afghan government to close down privately-owned TV station Emroz.

According to a BBC report, the government closed down the station which is owned by MP Najibulla Kabuli for allegedly fueling religious tensions.

The Committee to Protect Journalists urged the government to put the station back on air while Reporters Without Borders added that the move breaks media law.

The government must not under any circumstances violate the media law, which gives the media commission sole decision-making authority when a media commits an offence. We call on the government to rescind these decisions and never interfere in the content of Afghan TV stations again.

See the RWB full post here…Similar Posts:



July 26 2010

09:28

BBC must remain editorially independent, says culture secretary

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the BBC must remain editorially independent to continue producing “world class news”.

Speaking in an interview with Andrew Marr yesterday, Hunt also indicated some change was needed to the licence fee:

We’ll be having discussions over the future of the licence fee, the next licence fee settlement next year, in which I’ll be talking to Mark and the BBC management in a lot of detail. And I do want the BBC to demonstrate that when it comes to their management pay, they’re on the same planet as everyone else because of the economic inheritance that we’re facing. Government ministers are having to be careful with every single penny of taxpayers’ money and the BBC does need to show that it’s careful with every penny of licence fee payers’ money as well.

But he added that the government support the idea of a similar stream of revenue continuing:

Well what we’ve said very clearly is that we accept the principle of the licence fee, which is the idea if you like of a household tax to fund public service broadcasting that is ring-fenced, and we think that one of the reasons we have some of the best TV and broadcasting in the world in this country is because we have these different streams of income including the licence fee, including subscription income and including advertising. Now the way we collect it may have to be rethought because technology is changing, a lot of people are watching TV on their PCs. We’re not going to introduce a PC licence fee and that is something that I do need to have discussions with the BBC to see what their ideas are.

Marr also asked Hunt for a response to the news that Express Newspapers owner Richard Desmond had purchased Channel Five. Hunt said the news was “encouraging”:

Well what people need to remember about that is that the regulations over what broadcasters can do are much stricter than over people who run newspapers and magazines. And it was a Conservative government that founded Channel Five in 1997. Indeed Conservative governments have actually been responsible for most of the big changes in broadcasting. We founded ITV and Four and did the Sky and satellite and cable revolution as well. But what I think is encouraging is that one of the first things that Richard Desmond said was that he was committed to Five’s future as a public service broadcaster.

See the full programme here…Similar Posts:



July 22 2010

10:11

Journalism students’ Skype election coverage project available online

A live election webcast created by a cross-university team of journalism students is now available to view online.

Using Skype and Livestream, students from University of Buckingham, Kingston University and University of Westminster collaborated on the project to run live outside broadcasts and live output as well as interviews and packages from the studio, remaining on air continuously from 10:00pm to 6:00am.

The output has been edited into a series of segments which can be watched at this link.

Twenty students also covered the counts at a range of constituencies in Winchester, Eastleigh (Chris Huhne’s seat); Southampton (two constituencies); Isle of Wight; Devizes; Bethnal Green; Twickenham (Vince Cable’s seat); Battersea; Whitney (David Cameron’s seat); and Aylesbury.

The webcast attracted an audience of 1,500 users.

Additional coverage of the project by Journalism.co.uk can be found at this link.Similar Posts:



July 16 2010

10:27

First local TV stations planned by Hunt to be licensed by 2012

The government outlined its plans for structural reform this week, including a timetable for media reform from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMA).

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for DCMS, writes in the report that he hopes to “roll back media regulation” in order to “encourage investment and create the conditions for sustainable growth”.

Plans for local media include a relaxation of the rules governing cross-media ownership by November this year and for the first of Hunt’s local TV stations to be licensed by summer 2012, with a target of creating 10 to 20 new stations by the end of parliament.

Actions laid out in the plans include changes to the media regulatory regime by reforming Ofcom and deregulating the broadcasting sector. Measures to scale back Ofcom’s duties are planned as part of a Public Bodies Reform Bill and Communications Bill, with the legislative process set to begin by November 2012.

Hunt also plans to agree the terms of a new licence fee settlement between July 2011 and April 2012.

He said these plans aim to give the public an idea of the programme to follow, but that much “broader ambitions” will be set out in the autumn in a spending review.

See the plans here…Similar Posts:



June 30 2010

10:29

Radio 5 Live’s Big Mexican Wave digital project

England fans might be desperately trying to sell on their World Cup tickets, but there’s still time to join a Mexican wave in support for the remaining teams playing in South Africa.

BBC’s Radio 5 Live is building an online Mexican Wave, as its special Twitter account advertises:

Join the mother of all Mexican Waves with BBC Radio 5 Live for 2010 World Cup! Dizzee Rascal, Miley Cyrus & Richard Hammond are in, are you?

To be included, users upload need to upload a photo as described at this link. This generates a Mexican Wave video containing the user’s photo, and photos of Radio 5 live and Radio 1 presenters and celebrities; the user will also be included in the 5 Live Mexican Wave.

The latest news? @bigmexicanwave says the former morning doyen of Radio 2 might be making an appearance too:

There’s a rumour we’ve got the godfather of radio, Mr @terry_wogan to do a #bigmexwave. Watch this space!

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07:54

June 15 2010

08:17

ITV Blogs: Why ITV stepped back from Cumbria shootings coverage

A thoughtful post from ITV’s crime correspondent Keir Simmons on why the broadcaster took the decision last week to reduce its coverage of the aftermath of the shootings in Cumbria two weeks ago:

Yesterday morning our editor Deborah Turness decided that the point had been reached when we should step back from covering the story in Cumbria on the national news. She asked that we now only report on the funerals with a short update – a picture of the person who lost their life and a couple of images of the funeral.

A good explanation of balancing a need for news with sensitivity – and a great example of how a journalist can use a blog to explain these company-wide decisions to viewers.

Full post at this link…

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June 14 2010

11:47
09:02

Index on Censorship: Iran’s Green Movement will be reborn in ’small media’

Mahmood Enayat, a doctoral student at the Oxford Internet Institute and director of Iran, BBC World Service Trust, has an excellent post on reporting Iran, a year on from the presidential election protests.

Small media is key, he argues. “The green movement and its supporters inside and outside Iran need to go beyond the common perception and prescribed use of the internet (like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook) and come up with new and innovative solutions,” he says.

[Opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi] himself has encouraged the green movement to embrace “small media”, which relies on offline social networks for further distribution of information. He is reminding the Green Movement of the lessons learned from the 1979 and Constitution Revolutions as both used small media to mobilise support and achieve their aims.

Full post at this link…

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June 11 2010

14:36

Broadcast election editors go head-to-head at Media Society event

It is the 100 metres of the TV Factual Olympics. General election night. The three main news broadcasters – BBC, ITN and Sky News – vie to get results to the nation first. A month on, the election editors of Sky News and the BBC appeared at last night’s Media Society event in London entitled ‘Who won the TV election?

The BBC won the greater share of the audience on 6 May. They always do. But John McAndrew, editor of the Sky News offering was there to claim journalistic credit for being not just first but clearest on screen. His was deliberately not a heavily studio anchored show: “We knew what the BBC would do and we aimed off for that,” McAndrew said. He had surprising support from one member of the audience – the BBC’s former political correspondent Nicholas Jones. Jones had switched over early. Sky News, McAndrew said, went with plenty of straight news and little comment.

The David Dimbleby programme on the BBC was at the other end of the spectrum. There were virtual reality graphics aplenty from Jeremy Vine and scores of outside broadcasts. Craig Oliver, their editor, was at last night’s event to defend their coverage, or at least try to. He had a near impossible job when it came to the now notorious ‘ship of fools‘, a BBC barge moored in the Thames full of celebrities giving their take on the election. Not many of those at the event felt that Joan Collins or Bruce Forsyth ‘added to the sum total of human knowledge’, as one audience member succinctly put it. Another pointed out that the £70,000 allegedly spent on the boat (the only cost figure mentioned on a night when all were coy about what they spent) was money wasted.

Oliver was on surer ground defending the BBC position of not calling any result until the Returning Officer had. ITN seems to jump the gun almost as a matter of principle. Oliver, who edited the ITN election programme in 2005 before defecting, was dismissive of presenter Alastair Stewart’s recent tirade in the Press Gazette claiming that the BBC ‘had missed the story’. His absence from the discussion said it all according to Oliver.

Channel 4’s ‘Alternative Election Night’ – featuring comedians like Jimmy Carr and David Mitchell – was a deliberately offpiste offering but it worked, beating ITN in the ratings. Deputy head of news and current affairs Kevin Sutcliffe was there to explain the thinking behind the format and reveal that it would be used again. Their satirical approach attracted a young demographic and twice the audience he expected, Sutcliffe said, adding that he was impressed with the (unintentionally) satirical quality of the BBC coverage.

Attracting the most audience comment last night was the stunningly accurate exit poll shared by the broadcasters and put out on the stroke of ten. It got the result right to within one seat. Some felt it destroyed the drama and made the remainder of the coverage predictable, suggesting a return to separate polls. Sue Inglish, the BBC’s head of political programmes and a moving force behind the poll, was on hand to explain and defend. The sheer size and cost of the 125,000 sample poll made it impossible to do more than once. But Oliver, in a mild mea culpa, said the BBC studio gurus had been wrong to downplay the surprising exit poll results for the first hour after they were broadcast.

The event had the air of an inquest, but not a particularly rancourous one – and the majority of criticism was reserved for the absent ITN. There was mostly praise for the British broadcasters for whom a 100-metre dash became a five day marathon. If the reaction in the BBC Council Chamber last night is anything to go, they had an audience satisfied with the results.

John Mair is events director of the Media Society.This event was jointly organised by the Media Society and the BBC College of Journalism

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June 10 2010

08:50

Audio: Jeremy Bowen on the BBC; Boris Johnson on Paxman’s salary

From last night’s ceremony at the University of Westminster, at which BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen was presented with the British Journalism Review’s Charles Wheeler Award for achievements in broadcast journalism.

Bowen said the BBC’s loss of self-confidence and introspection was not justified, and the corporation should be proud of its global and national status. Referring to the BBC Trust’s ruling that he was inaccurate in his reports on Israel, he said he believed he was accused “wrongly”.

Boris Johnson, mayor of London, then spoke (or boomed) on the shifting power game between politics and media; and managed a quick jibe on the BBC’s lack of accountability when it comes to its journalists’ own salaries. Johnson asked Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman how much he earns 14 times, but he didn’t get an answer. The short speech in full is an entertaining listen.

Most of Bowen’s and all of Johnson’s speech is recorded in the clip below:

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June 01 2010

15:38

Public service broadcasting symposium to discuss digital future

Places are still available for a one-day symposium on the Future of Public Service Broadcasting, on Thursday June 10th 2010. The event is the result of the Public Service Broadcasting Forum project, which has debated public service broadcasting issues to coincide with the public consultation period for the BBC’s Strategy Review.

The symposium is organised by openDemocracy, hosted by City University London’s Department of Journalism, and chaired by Steve Hewlett, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Media Show.

The aim of the day:

The symposium embraces the current consultation on the BBC’s Strategy Review in asking a broader question: what is the future for pluralism in the supply of public service content in the UK?

The schedule includes: The role of the licence-funded BBC and the significance of the Strategy Review with Caroline Thomson (chief operating officer, BBC), Professor Steven Barnett, Mark Oliver (Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates), Professor Richard Collins; How to identify, supply and fund the PSB needs the BBC cannot fulfil with Jonathan Thompson (Director of strategy, Ofcom), Geraint Talfan Davies (former controller of BBC Wales), Blair Jenkins (former head of news, BBC Scotland), Helen Shaw (Athena Media); and The public service media content that merits support in the digital future, and how it can be funded with Tim Gardam (Ofcom board member), Tony Curzon Price (openDemocracy), Claire Enders (Enders Analysis), and Jeremy Dear (NUJ).

Tickets can booked at http://psbf.eventbrite.com for £25 (including coffee/lunch) / £15 for students. Any enquiries should be sent to the PSBF’s moderator, Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal via daniel.macarthur-seal [at] opendemocracy.net.

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May 28 2010

13:10

Life after graduation: ‘Enthusiasm is really the key’

This time last year I was set to embark upon the biggest obstacle of my young adult life, the daunting but exciting prospect of trying to start a career in a already overflowing industry with thousands of competitors jostling just to ‘get in’. Yet I’m proof that it can be done, and all it takes is a little self belief and application.

Back in October 2009, only a few months after finishing my course at Coventry University, I was fortunate enough to have been offered a role within the UK’s number one sporting channel, Sky Sports News. This was a dream environment for me to work, as a large amount of student life was lost watching this potentially degree destroying channel.

I was later informed by my boss that over 250 applicants had applied for my Ingest Operator role, a junior position which means I am responsible for live and tape feeds being recorded onto a server to then be played on air, usually as soon as possible, meaning communication with producers, editors and reporters is an essential part of the job. I’m a small but indispensable cog in the wheel of TV News.

My advice for those looking to work in any form of media, whether that be broadcast, online or print, is that enthusiasm is king! Guest speakers at the university’s Coventry Conversation series would often say tell us if we wanted it bad enough, we would get it. That statement could not be any truer.

With the ever increasing number of new media platforms, opportunities for entrepreneurial students are many and varied. There are so many new ways to build a unique portfolio to impress potential employers.

My journey started by charming the producer of a local radio station to give me some work experience. This was a long haul placement which turned into a paid part time job from June until October, when I joined Sky Sports News. The radio station placement gave me valuable basic editing and production experience. Being multi-skilled is vital in today’s newsroom. You can expect to be competing with far too many multi-skilled candidates not to take this seriously.

I undertook other work experience writing for a non-league football website, which gave me a niche to build a portfolio around. Soon I found my work on the BBC local sport web pages.

I also took it upon myself to take a voluntary position as a press secretary for a non league football club, Corinthian-Casuals. This gave me real life match reporting experience, which also got my name in both national and local newspapers.

Finding a niche is an excellent way of standing out from the crowd, and can give you an expertise others may find useful in their companies or websites.

As a journalism or media student, not having a blog to hone your writing skills is unforgivable, and not using applications such as Twitter and Audio Boo to promote your work is a missed opportunity.

Creating opportunities is essential. A few weeks ago I got in contact with Julian March, producer of SkyNews.com, via Twitter and asked if there was any way I could get involved with the election night coverage. He responded within minutes by emailing me internally. He put me in contact with the right people and I ended up on the Sky 100 team on election night, collecting results from the key 100 marginals and getting them on air and on screen as soon as possible.

Enthusiasm is really the key; you can be brilliant at something in this industry but you won’t get anywhere if you aren’t prepared to put in the time and effort. There are just too many other people out there who are.

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May 20 2010

09:08

Committee to Protect Journalists: Bahrain government freezes Al Jazeera operations ‘indefinitely’

The Bahraini government has ‘indefinitely’ suspended Al Jazeera’s English and Arabic channels from reporting in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports.

On Tuesday, Bahrain’s Ministry of Culture and Information decided to “temporarily freeze the activities of the Bahrain bureau of the Qatari satellite news channel Al Jazeera for having violated professional norms and for failing to observe laws and procedures regulating journalism, printing and publishing,” according to the official Bahrain News Agency.

The ministry’s decision comes just one day after Al Jazeera aired a program about poverty in Bahrain.

Al Jazeera was previously banned from 2002-7.

Full post at this link…

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May 19 2010

09:16

Beehive City: Alan Rusbriger vs John Witherow on BBC Radio 4

This afternoon tune into BBC Radio 4’s Media Show at 1.30 pm to hear Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger go head to head with John Witherow, editor of the Sunday Times.

In the meantime, Dan Sabbagh of the Beehive City blog has a preview from the pre-record, peppered with a little of his own (unverified) insider knowledge:

John Witherow said that the editorial budget of The Times and The Sunday Times is about £100 million, and it is this budget that is being cut by 10 per cent. (Those who have worked with the figures tell me that splits £60 million for The Times and £40 million for The Sunday Times, but I can’t verify that)

Alan Rusbridger said that The Guardian does about £40 million annually from its digital business, and the current growth rate in revenues is 100 per cent. (But I also know from separate conversations that of that £40 million, or rather £38 million, about £10 million comes from its dating and other non-Guardian newspaper websites).

Full post at this link…

[Press Gazette also has a report]

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May 07 2010

11:55

#ge2010: Election Night review – a night of TV drama starting in Northern Ireland

Broadcast journalism lecturer at Coventry University John Mair reviews last night’s election coverage from the BBC from his post in the broadcaster’s Northern Ireland election newsroom:

Lunchtime Friday and still no clear answer. The British people have spoken but in a divided way. The politicians are wriggling to get advantage or cling on to power (you decide). The most exciting election campaign of modern times has been followed by the most exciting night of election drama of modern times.

Nowhere was the drama greater than here in Northern Ireland where I was working on election night – the other election, often ignored by those ‘across the water’. First casualty, Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson whose 31-year stint as MP for East Belfast ended in stunning defeat by a woman of the centre – Naomi Long of the Alliance Party. Robinson has had an annus horibbulis having to face television investigations announcing his wife’s affair and, after that, his own land dealings came under scrutiny. Last night was his nadir. He rushed to the count at Newtonards Leisure Centre, spoke briefly to the local media and was then ushered out. Now he has gone to ground to lick his wounds and fend off predators.

The Robinson moment was magic telly: milked by the local outputs, but less so by the networks. They wanted more of Lady Sylvia Hermon, who defected from the Unionists when they joined with the UK Conservatives. The Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) were seen off in what should have been their heartland North Antrim by Ian Paisley Jnr – brands are as important in politics as anywhere else. He and father – who preceded him in the seat for 40 years – showed their contempt for the TUV by singing the national anthem before his victory speech. Worse for ‘moderate’ Unionism, Sir Reg Empey lost out in South Antrim to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The planned Tory beachhead in Northern Ireland became a washout. It was a media confection.

The BBC Northern Ireland Election programme ran for seven-plus hours using all the 18 counts at eight locations as their prime material. Down-the-line interviews galore at the outside broadcasts based on deep local knowledge. The local commercial station – Ulster Television – did not even make it to the starting line. No election news between 10:30pm and 09.30am. That did not go unnoted by fellow hacks.

The BBC’s ‘Dimbleby programme’ had a magnificent set on its side and some pretty special Jeremy Vine virtual reality graphics too – my favourites being the Downing Street staircase or the House of Commons with real faces smiling and nodding. Modern Television journalism is about entertainment and keeping it simple. Nowhere more so than in the use of electronic graphics. All of that plus live reporting from many of the big beasts of telly journalism. It’s fascinating to see how many of them still used the basic journalistic skills, like Kirsty Wark doorstepping/walking besides and interviewing Nick Clegg on the hoof on the way to his count.

It’s difficult from inside my bubble to know how the drama played out in the nations. It certainly kept us rapt in this television control room. You could not have written the script. But the 2010 General Election story has not yet reached its final chapter. Plenty more drama to come…

Read John Mair’s report from the BBC’s TV ‘hub’ in Belfast on the build-up to election night.

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