Yesterday my review of drag-and-drop data analysis tool QueryTree App kicked off a surprising amount of reaction across Twitter, including some interesting insights into the role of spreadsheets in newsrooms. I’ve collected them together below.
Do you have students or classes who want to do something investigative but lack support or ideas?
Next week students in Birmingham, Portsmouth and Strathclyde will be starting new investigations focused on education and the arts. Their focus will be local, but by exchanging notes the investigations should be quicker, easier, and potentially bigger.
They’ll be supported by new editors at Help Me Investigate Education who have put together the list of potential investigations, along with mentors from the media industry.
If that sounds like something useful – or you have an investigation you’d like them to help you with – contact me at email@example.com
PS: Further supporting this is a free resource on teaching collaborative journalism, and an accompanying pack for students.
I’ve just published a free ebook documenting a method of teaching collaborative journalism. Called ‘Stories and Streams’ the method, which was piloted last year, uses investigation teams and focuses on student-driven, peer-to-peer learning. Traditional lectures are not used.
You can download the free ebook from Leanpub.
You can read more about the background to the project here. A research report co-written with Jon Hickman and Jennifer Jones is published in a research report in ADM-HEA Networks Magazine. A fuller report will be included in a HEA publication on collaborative learning soon.
I’m also about to start a new class using the same method again, so if you have a class you’d like to get involved, let me know.
Another series of questions and answers from a student:
1) Do you think the hypothesis “If you don’t have a blog, you won’t get a job” (in journalism) is correct?
The third session of news:rewired looked at the opportunities for long-form digital journalism examining investigative reports published to e-readers, video documentaries as well as the revenue models.
Something has happened to self-publishing over the past few years. No longer the last resort for local historians and wannabe poets, it is now a sign of entrepreneurial spirit, an alternative to the limitations of attention-starved journalism, and a way of kicking against the pricks of mainstream publishing. Self-published books have almost tripled in number over the last five years, with a number of authors making the bestseller lists. More than one in ten ebooks bought by UK readers is now self-published.
This year I finally joined that group, as I made a long-planned move away from writing for traditional publishers towards publishing my own ebooks. In fact, I published three. So what’s the appeal? Continue reading
Jon Bounds is one of Birmingham’s most established and best-known bloggers. In this guest post, cross-posted from his own blog, he explains why he’s auctioning off that site, the reasons he started it in the first place, and the problems with the ‘hyperlocal question’.
I started Birmingham: It’s Not Shit back in the May of 2002, before there were really such things as blogs in the mainstream and the term ‘hyperlocal’ was not even a glint in an irritating theorist’s eye.
Pretty much everything that’s ever been on it, and definitely everything technical was written or created by me. I’ve had a couple of ‘columnists’ for short whiles and a couple of bits of ‘holiday cover’ but that’s all.
The site was flat, hand coded HTML until I learned of PHP and wrote a simple news updating section. Later I discovered that there wasn’t only a name for such things but software out there to do it more prettily and better.
And now it, or sites like it, are either the future of the media or a disappointment to those that thought they should be.
But, it didn’t start because the media was dying, it started because the media was crap: crap at explaining why people connected emotionally with a place that—when looked at objectively—was a bit shit. Crap at self awareness, crap at understanding real life. The media has changed a little, but mostly the contents have just shifted in transit. Continue reading