Recently in Journalism Category
November 24, 2013
Rather than embed each speaker's testimony in a single video, however, it breaks them up into many short fragments which play automatically as a reader scrolls, distributing them evenly throughout the article. Multimedia at its most interruptive.
I strongly disagree with many of their assessments, if only because they seem to think that the textual elements of such features should be separate from - and consumed separately to - the video and graphical elements. I'm in favour of weaving them together as one narrative.
November 19, 2013
Fast Company takes a look at how The Guardian produced their multimedia NSA story:
Sure, they could whip up a 5,000-word explainer and hit "publish" (as others have done and will undoubtedly continue to do) but today's digital news ecosystem calls for something more immersive and engaging. To achieve that, they would need to blend a written narrative with interactive elements and video clips and package it all in an eye-catchingly beautiful layout. Like the New York Times's Snow Fall and Pitchfork's interactive feature on Daft Punk, NSA Files Decoded needed to feel like an experience rather than a news article.
Lots of nice, crunchy technical detail in there for the production-minded.
November 18, 2013
Finishing the day's blogging on a sad note:
So it appeared that Lim (or someone working for him) had obtained control of OJR.org -- presumably just by buying the domain once it had expired, although we don't know that -- and created as close of a facsimile of the old site as he could, with a lot of the old content. Then he'd added one new fresh "article" on November 12 that promoted his product -- and hoped that no one would notice.
Yes, the Online Journalism Review - one of the earliest sites to deal seriously with the digital transition, has been replaced by a spammy site promoting a startup, because its current stewards didn't get the domain name renewed.
People in this business need to get a whole world more serious about protecting their archives. Those who forget history...
Greenwich Council has finally come clean and admitted its weekly newspaper, Greenwich Time, is signed off by leader Chris Roberts... "to ensure political neutrality and to protect the borough's reputation".
Council-run newspapers and magazines are not journalism, they're propaganda. They will not fill the gap left by failing local publisher business models. This is why the hyperlocal movement -- for all its struggles and false starts -- is so important.
November 14, 2013
Cory Doctorow explores the disaster that YouTube's switch to Google+ commenting has been:
The promise of G+ in the beginning was that making people use their real names would incentivize them to behave themselves. It's abundantly clear now that there are more than enough people who are willing to be jerks under their real names. In the meantime, people who have good reason not to post under their own names -- vulnerable people, whistleblowers, others -- are now fully on display to those sociopaths who are only too happy to press the attack with or without anonymity.
In short: the idea that people will behave better if they're not anonymous doesn't hold true for everyone - and by doing away with anonymity, you actually disenfranchise those who could benefit from it positively.
Kevin Anderson on newspaper community failing to learn from outside sources.
A somewhat sweary (and thus NSFW in many places) response to G+ commenting from a YouTube user:
The third intake of Interactive Journalism MA students at City University have got the keys to the class blog, and are up and running:
Here's saying hello from we 3rd gen interhacktives! Since 2011, this site has chronicled the journeys of City University's exemplar digital-journos in training, and our class has some big ideas for the coming year. We'll be producing new content (almost) every day, with Fridays reserved for interviews with professionals at the industry's cutting edge.
I'll be watching what they write carefully - but hey, I'm one of their lecturers. I have to.
But anyone interested in the cutting edge of online journalism might find it worth their time to subscribe...
November 13, 2013
Twitter drives a tenth of the traffic that Facebook does to news sites. So why are journalists so obsessed with Twitter?
Well, there's a good reason:
The reason, I think, is that Twitter is simply more useful for our jobs. For better or worse, it's where news breaks today. It's also where a lot of real-time reporting happens.
And a bad one:
The fact that so many journalists are on Twitter has made Twitter incredibly professionally valuable to journalists. Tweeting your articles ensures they're seen -- and discussed, and retweeted -- within a community that includes not just your friends and peers, but the people who might hire you someday.
There's also one he doesn't mention: Facebook is harder to use than Twitter. To get maximum return from it journalistically, you have to cultivate a subscriber community, understand how the algorithm-that-replaced-Edgerank works, and be prepared to maintain a community so that your posts keep appearing in news feeds. Twitter looks broadcast-y enough that journalists can get their heads around it easily.
Still, missed opportunity...
Custom timelines are an entirely new type of timeline -- one that you create. You name it, and choose the Tweets you want to add to it, either by hand or programmatically using the API (more on that below). This means that when the conversation around an event or topic takes off on Twitter, you have the opportunity to create a timeline that surfaces what you believe to be the most noteworthy, relevant Tweets.
Looks almost like a shot across the bow of Storify. If you're using it to curate Tweets and nothing but, you can now do it natively within Twitter - and do so without replying on a third party. That said, Storify has much more power than that, as a genuine multi-platform curational tool.
Neville has created a good example of it in use.
It's the end of the line for the site that helped define the discussion around online publishing for years. paidContent is dead:
But in a recent survey of paidContent readers, over 75 percent of them told us that they wanted to see more coverage of emerging technology. That's a natural fit with everything Gigaom stands for, and we therefore decided that honoring the same paidContent commitment to quality under the Gigaom umbrella was the best way to explore the future of emerging media startups, business models, and technologies for our media industry readers.
Tom Krazit clarifies the thinking in a comment:
I meant more coverage of emerging technology in the media world: social media, startups, new publishing platforms like Medium, ereaders and web video devices.
It had been obvious for a while - since Robert Andrews left, perhaps, that paidContent was moving in a different, more analytical direction. Those cores media staff in the new media channel are a really insightful bunch of writers, but I'm still sad to see such an influential site pass away.
November 12, 2013
I meant to link this last week, but it got lost in the manifold tabs lurking in my browser... The Guardian did a really nice multimedia feature on what the NSA/Snowdon business actually mean to us as people.
What I like about this multimedia feature is that it keeps a coherent narrative and guides you through the reading experience, unlike so many of its other post-Snowfall kin. Clever use of integrated multimedia shouldn't preclude - or obscure - good storytelling. The running narrative still needs to be clear, and I think they managed it pretty well here.
(As an aside: it's astonishing that it's taken us this long to start creating genuine multimedia - stories that use multiple forms of media well - rather than just sticking up a crappy YouTube video, and calling it job done...)
The news world is going mobile-first, fast:
Forget mobile-first, what about mobile only? More than one in five people in the UK who accessed news publications online in September did so only via mobile devices.
And in some publications it looks even more dramatic:
Many of the top 20 news websites in the UK by visitor numbers have far higher proportion of readers accessing exclusively via mobiles and tablets. Both the Mirror and the Evening Standard had 42 percent of their visitors accessing via mobile only.
I've been working with some publishers who see very distinct and clear patterns of shifting consumption trends - not completely to mobile, but to periods of the day (and the weekend especially) - that's making them rethink their entire content creation workflow.
New devices, new times of day = new opportunities.
• Also worth reading: Benedict Evans's deck on how Mobile is Eating the World
Yes, I know this blog isn't mobile optimised yet. I'm going to tie that in with shifting to WordPress as soon as I can. Hopefully, it'll be a lovely New Year present for my readers...
November 8, 2013
Are we still struggling to get journalists to add links to their stories, to do the most basic elements of digital production, in 2013? Really? What would happen if a journalist consistently turned in half-finished copy for tomorrow's newspaper?
Yes, we are still struggling. And you can't even to begin to consider your newsroom culture digital-first until this sort of half-hearted approach is eliminated.
I keep hearing feedback that certain publishers think they're 80% or more through their digital transition. I'm rather afraid that they're deluding themselves...