The internet has opened up all sorts of creative possibilities for journalists – and artists. The following is just a selection of examples of both – but which is journalism, and which is art?
I come upon examples of bad practice in publishing government data on a regular basis, but the Universal Jobmatch tool is an example so bad I just had to write about it. In fact, it’s worse than the old-fashioned data service that preceded it.
That older service was the Office for National Statistics’ labour market service NOMIS, which published data on Jobcentre vacancies and claimants until late 2012, when Jobcentre Plus was given responsibility for publishing the data using their Universal Jobmatch tool.
Despite a number of concerns, more than a year on, Universal Jobmatch‘s reports section has ignored at least half of the public data principles first drafted by the Government’s Public Sector Transparency Board in 2010, and published in 2012. Continue reading
For at least four years now, all my online journalism assessments have involved a ‘strategy’ element, including a suggestion that students use analytics to demonstrate an understanding of their audience, and that they can experiment with search engine optimisation and social media optimisation.
This year I’m going further with one undergraduate class. I’m making social media analytics compulsory.
There are dozens of free tools out there to monitor your social media accounts. Here are just a few I’m recommending: Continue reading
I’ve been told to tweet this tomorrow: ‘Really excited to be heading down to @BRITAwards tonight with [sponsors names here]‘. No, no, no.
— Tim Walker (@ThatTimWalker) February 18, 2014
Last week’s reports on a PR company’s demand to journalists that they post tweets in exchange for accreditation missed one important factor: the Advertising Standards Authority.
The arrangement – involving a PR agency handling Mastercard‘s sponsorship of the Brit Awards – was revealed when Telegraph reporter Tim Walker sent an email to Press Gazette. They reported:
“Before providing two journalists from the Telegraph with accreditation to attend the event House PR has asked them to agree to a number of requests about the coverage they will give it.
“They have even gone as far as to draft Twitter messages which they would like the journalists to send out – and asked that they include a mention of the marketing campaign #PricelessSurprises and @MasterCardUK.”
Do such messages fall foul of the ASA’s guidelines on “marketing communications” on Twitter?
The ASA’s press officer Matt Wilson said that they don’t have a precedent, but told me:
“If entry to the Brit awards was conditional on the journalist tweeting on behalf of Mastercard, we’d likely view that as a ‘reciprocal arrangement’ (i.e. the journalist receiving a benefit they wouldn’t have otherwise). Continue reading
After just seven minutes of the match with Arsenal, Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer was already a hero: he had just saved a penalty from Mesut Ozil.
But Reddit user Vikistormborn was curious about what the commentator described as their “long” history, and started searching for details on Ozil’s childhood. And after finding this image on a Telegraph story, he
or she decided to have a little fun…
The latest in the series of Frequently Asked Questions comes from a UK student, who has questions about big data.
How can data journalists make sense of such quantities of data and filter out what’s meaningful?
In the same way they always have. Journalists’ role has always been to make choices about which information to prioritise, what extra information they need, and what information to include in the story they communicate. Continue reading
The latest in the series of Frequently Asked Questions comes from a UK student, who has questions about hyperlocal blogging.
In the long term, how sustainable is a hyperlocal site economically?
It depends on the business model, the wider market, and the individuals involved in the business. Continue reading
I’m delivering a course in scraping in Utrecht in the Netherlands on April 2. The booking page with more details about location etc is here – a broad breakdown below:
- Scraping for journalism: ideas and examples
- Scraping basics: finding structure in HTML and URLs; what’s possible with programming
- Simple scraping jobs: how to write a basic scraper in 5 minutes
- Scraping tools: Outwit Hub and Import.io
- How to scrape dozens of public webpages
- Scraping databases with empty searches
- How to understand scrapers on Scraperwiki: Scraping PDFs, lists of URLs, and databases with specific searches
Its been a while since I posted a post answering Frequently Asked Questions. This one comes from a student in Holland, whose thesis revolves around the idea that ‘Blogging adds little to journalism‘
What’s the difference between blogging and traditional journalism?
I’ve answered this and similar questions in a previous FAQ on journalism vs blogging.
What are the pros and cons of blogging compared to other forms of journalism?
That post and other older FAQs probably give some further answers, but a short answer is: blogging provides an extra space to invite people into your journalism and provide opportunities for them to contribute additional information, suggested avenues of inquiry, etc.
It helps build the relationship between journalist and source in a way that standard formats don’t always provide. Continue reading