My post on threat models for journalists is quite lengthy, so I thought I’d put the sample threat models from that in their own, separate post. Here they are – note that these are very simple, sketchy threat models and you would want to expand on these. But hopefully they provide a starting point.
If you’re a journalist in the 21st century you have two choices: you can choose to be paranoid, or you can choose to be delusional.
The paranoid journalist assumes that someone is out to get them. The delusional journalist assumes that no one is.
In this post I will explain why and how every journalist – whether you’re a music reporter or a political correspondent – can take a serious and informed look at their security and arrive at a reasonable evaluation of risks and safeguards.
Don’t panic. I promise that by the end of this piece you will be less anxious about security, and no longer paranoid. I also promise to use lots of lolcats. Continue reading
Last week the number of people who have bought my ebook Scraping for Journalists passed the 1,000 mark. That is, to me, incredible. A thousand journalists interested enough in scraping to buy a book? What happened?
When I first began writing the book I imagined there might be perhaps 100 people in the world who would be interested in buying it. It was such a niche subject I didn’t even consider pitching it to my normal publishers.
Now it’s so mainstream that the 1000th ‘book’ was actually 12: purchased by a university which wanted multiple copies for its students to borrow – one of a number of such institutions to approach me to do so. Continue reading
Yesterday Staffordshire County Council controversially published details of “The cost of “Freedom of Information” to local people“. The titling of that page gives some clue to its intent: FOI is a ‘cost’, and it’s you, local people, who pay.
But I think the list – despite its obvious agenda and related weaknesses – is actually rather brilliant.
Why? Because it shows just how flexible a tool FOI is, how widely it is used, and perhaps raises questions to be answered about why it has to be used in the first place.
The top ten requesters, for example, throws up not just news organisations but a politician, a parish council, and the right wing campaign group TaxPayers’ Alliance. Continue reading
“We want to build the next LinkedIn, the next Gilt [a US commerce site], the next Facebook,”
Platforms came up at the BBC ‘Revival of Local Journalism‘ event last week too. Why weren’t regional newspaper publishers doing more to become ‘platforms’ for their local communities? Continue reading
The site features a wealth of content including particularly wide-ranging resources on online and multiplatform publishing. The pieces on mobile video and audio, advanced research and verification are particularly recommended.
The announcement says the site will be freely available “for a trial period of at least 12 months”, although even if the paywall is later reinstated the College does have an equally useful YouTube channel.
The Spectator is advertising for interns, and the message is loud and clear on digital skills:
“Just do some of the following:-
Produce a two minute video with either our audio or your own explaining a topic you’ve read about on the Spectator’s website.
Prepare a sample 200-300 word blog offering something new on a topic of your choice for publishing on the Spectator’s Coffee House blog.
Choose a magazine article, and work out the best way to promote it on the website, Twitter, Facebook and beyond.
Suggest three ideas for potential stories.
Suggest two ways in which we could improve how the Spectator’s articles are promoted digitally.”
There is one option (number 4) for those who think they can avoid digital skills – but that is the exception to the rule. It’s also the exception to the preceding instruction that “All that matters in journalism is whether you can do it.”
What the list makes clear is: even to get a foot in the door, you must be able to do it digitally.