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Month: March 2009

links for 2009-03-30

Mapping My Twitter Network


I first saw this over on Kris’s blog, but my colleague Martin was kind enough to actually put my details into the mailana service. And what does it do? Well, it maps your Twitter network based, I think, on the degree of inter-messaging between the people on it. 
It’s tempting to read to much into this, but some trends do emerge. Just up and to the right of me is a tight core of online journalists and online journalism educators, who talk amongst themselves a lot. Mr & Mrs Charman-Anderson appear to talk to each other quite a lot. RBI folks all appear to be scattered around the periphery, with relatively weak inter-communication. Graham appears to a small hub in his own right. 
I saw these graphs used a lot back in my active Livejournal days, and I do think that they illustrate clearly just how much these services are, in fact, social networks, even if they don’t fit the Facebook-style model we associate with the term. 

links for 2009-03-24

Tony Collins Talks Investigative Journalism

Tony Collins @ Elevenses

I’m at our second Elevenses event at RBI. Tony Collins is talking about investigative journalism. Some key points to follow:

  • You have to build trust with contacts – and that can mean not running stories instially to build the relationship
  • It’s not a 9 to 5 job – contacts will often need to talk to you out of hours – and beware phone records that can expose your relationship
  • Keep close to the subs working on your story – don’t let them rewrite in a way that removes vital nuances.
  • Don’t overstate the case – and beware of coming over as the journalist stereotypes, as that can undermine your credibility in readers’ eyes
  • His blog is invaluable – the number of tip-offs he gets as a result exceeds his ability to cope with them
  • Forums can be an invaluable source of stories or information from them – and you can ask for information
  • Don’t be a repositary for secrets – we’re paid to write not to know things. Persuade them  – work with them – to get their permission to publish

Only a taster of course. I’m not giving away everything Tony had to say. 🙂