Category Archives: blogs

7 buttons you should be using in the WordPress edit view

Wordpress Formatting Menu with selectedText

If you’re writing blog posts there are a number of formatting options you should be using regularly to make your article easier to read for users, and easier to understand for search engines (and therefore search engine optimisation). Here’ s a rundown of the 7 most important ones. Continue reading

Hyperlocal Voices: Paul Smith, HU17.net

http://humbernews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/hu17.pngThe latest in our Hyperlocal Voices series features the work of Paul Smith at HU17.net.

Over the past five years Paul has built an online presence which enjoys 140k visitors a month, as well as a weekly printing offering which has been running for some years. Continue reading

Notes on setting up a regional newspaper datablog

Behind the Numbers - Birmingham's regional datablog

I’ve been working recently with the Birmingham Mail to launch Behind The Numbersa new datablog project with Birmingham City University supported by Help Me Investigate. I’m told that it is probably the UK’s first regional newspaper datablog, although whether that’s a meaningful claim is debatable*.

The first story generated by the project – what is the worst time to be seen at A&E – was published in the newspaper a week ago. But it’s what happens next that’s going to be interesting. Continue reading

Does your class want to collaborate on an investigation?

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 paul@helpmeinvestigate.com

PS: Further supporting this is a free resource on teaching collaborative journalism, and an accompanying pack for students.

Free ebook on teaching collaborative journalism and peer-to-peer learning

Stories and Streams free ebook on teaching collaborative journalism with peer to peer learning

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.