Author Archives: Paul Bradshaw

Games and journalism – free event this Thursday

Scott Dodson

Scott Dodson, aka @GameBiz, will be speaking at the event

This Thursday I’ll be speaking at a free event on the opportunities for using game dynamics in journalism: Gamification Augmentation.

The event, taking place in Birmingham, features a refreshing range of experts from sectors using gamification techniques, including Stephen Priestnall, Nick Webber and Scott Dodson.

You can register for a place here.

 

11 charts that illustrate how you can use Twittercounter to check your impact on social media as a journalist

twittercounter

Last year I decided to require my students to submit analytics as part of all their online journalism work. One of the tools that I recommended was Twittercounter.

The free version of Twittercounter does something very simple: it shows you a chart comparing two of three metrics: your followers, your volume of tweets, or the number of people you are following.

It’s not completely accurate, but its simplicity does something very important: it focuses your attention on whether your use of social media has any impact, on one metric at least: the size of your audience.

Of course followers is only one metric – I’ll write in a future post about other metrics and other ways of measuring those – but the ease with which Twittercounter works makes it as good a place as any for aspiring students to begin exploring the importance of measurement in modern journalism.

By way of example, here are 11 charts which show how a simple tool like Twittercounter can illustrate what you’re going right as a journalist – and where you can improve. Continue reading

Bad data PR: how the NSPCC sunk to a new low in data churnalism

One of the oldest forms of data churnalism is the dodgy poll. Typically used by holiday firms to invent the saddest day of the year, or by property websites to find the happiest places to live you can sometimes excuse journalists for playing along. It’s only a bit of fun, right?

But when the dodgy poll is done with children and relates to porn and sexually explicit videos, you’d expect journalists to exercise a little scepticism.

Unfortunately, when the NSPCC sent out a press release saying that one in ten 12-13 year olds are worried that they are addicted to porn and 12% have participated in sexually explicit videos, dozens of journalists appear to have simply played along – despite there being no report and little explanation of where the figures came from.

Articles on the NSPCC dodgy poll

Dozens of news websites repeated the NSPCC’s claims about porn addiction in children

Only Vice magazine decided to ask questions of the stats. And this is what they found: Continue reading

How to liveblog a TV debate: lessons from #leadersdebate 

frontpages

Newspaper front pages the morning after the leaders debate. Most newspapers also liveblogged the debate on their websites.

 

Last night saw the leaders of 7 political parties in the UK debate live on TV. But part and parcel of such a debate these days is the ‘second screen’ journalism of liveblogging. In this post I look at how different news organisations approached their own liveblogs, and what you can take from that if you plan to liveblog a debate in the future (for example this one). Continue reading

FAQ: Crowdsourcing, social media and investigative journalism

Another set of answers in response to questions from a student, as part of the FAQ series. This time, all about crowdsourcing and social media and their impact on investigative journalism.

1. Is ‘crowdsourcing’ good or bad for investigative journalism? Why?

Like most innovations facilitated by the internet, I’d say crowdsourcing offers both new opportunities and new challenges to journalists, including investigative journalists. Continue reading

YouTube advice from Anna Gardner, Lily Pebbles and Hannah Witton (and tips playlist)

youtubers Hannah Witton, Lilly Pebbles, Anna Gardner

YouTubers: L-R: Anna Gardner, Lily Pebbles and Hannah Witton

The highlight of this week’s Rethink Media conference in Birmingham was undoubtedly the panel on YouTube, chaired by Hannah Witton with Anna Gardner and Lily Pebbles.

It was very much in the YouTube genre: a breezy and chatty affair which managed to sneak in mentions of MCNs and CPMs alongside references to the importance of being unique and personal.

Keep doing it – for years

Dedication and persistence was very much a recurring piece of advice from all three panelists. “There is no magic formula, just be consistent,” said Lily Pebbles. “Don’t take your foot off the pedal.” Continue reading

Now a police force is using Buzzfeed to publicise odd FOI requests

Two years ago the newspaper group Local World received a lot of attention over their decision to allow local councillors, police forces and others publish directly on their site.

And one year ago Torbay Police hailed the “historic moment” as they published their own story to the local news website, a moment which the Chartered Institute of Journalists condemned as “wholly unacceptable” and Dominic Ponsford critiqued in some detail.

But why bother going through the local press when you can publish on Buzzfeed? Continue reading