Category Archives: online journalism

3 reasons why 2014 was the year news organisations finally ‘got’ web-native production

obama multimedia story

This Independent story includes two embedded YouTube videos and a Flickr photo gallery

Something remarkable happened this year. Something I’ve been waiting for for a long time.

News reports on the web finally started to look more and more like… well, web-native articles.

Not print articles online, not broadcast journalism online, but online journalism, online. I’m talking about journalism which isn’t just text: whether that means linking and embedding mixing text with images, video or audio.

So what changed in 2014? Here are three factors I’ve noticed growing in influence over the last 12 months. Continue reading

Podcast: Journalism outside the website, from WhatsApp to Email

I recently hosted a podcast discussion at Birmingham City University for my MA Online Journalism students on ‘platform publishing‘: in other words, journalism on platforms other than traditional websites.

My guests discussed their experiences of publishing for email, SnapChat, Tumblr, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They were: Continue reading

Protecting whistleblowers, anonymity – and Daniel Ellsberg. Day 2 of the Logan Symposium

In a guest post for the Online Journalism Blog, Natalie Leal reports on Day 2 of the Logan Symposium on secrecy, surveillance and censorship. You can find a post about Day 1 here.

The surprise of the Logan Symposium‘s second day was the appearance of Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked those documents in 1971. “Secrets are not kept so much by technical means but by people,” he said. Continue reading

Tip: If your blog comments have moved to Twitter, embed tweets at the end of your posts

What happens when people comment on your blog – but it’s not on your blog?

More often than not people now comment on a blog post by tweeting – essentially microblogging – their response.

Those comments can be valuable – but they’re lost to anyone reading the original post and, indeed, yourself, unless you can later find it through search.

In ye olde days of blogging, blogged responses could be automatically added to your comments section via pingbacks. But microblogged responses don’t qualify for pingbacks.

So why not add them manually: embed those tweets at the end of your article by pasting the link to the tweet. WordPress will automatically turn that link into an embedded tweet.

You can then subhead those embedded tweets as ‘Comments‘, or add an ‘UPDATE‘.

For two examples see the end of this post on Curation, aggregation and why news organisations can’t be ‘the next LinkedIn’. Or this post on capitalisation in UK headlines, updated with a response from Guardian Style:

“Don’t be afraid: keep them afraid” and other notes from the Logan Symposium on surveillance’s first day

Don't be afraid. But keep them afraid.

Seymour’s parting advice to young journalists: maintain a watchdog role and hold power to account

On Friday I was at the Logan Symposium on secrecy, surveillance and censorship, an event which, as is often the case with these things, managed to be inspiring, terrifying, and confusing in equal measure.

Notably, Director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism Gavin MacFadyen opened the day by talking about investigative journalists and hackers together.

It is common to hear attacks on journalists mentioned at these events, but rare to hear an old-fashioned hack like MacFadyen also talk about the “growing number of hackers being imprisoned”, while noting the commonalities of a desire for a free press, free speech, and “a free internet”. Continue reading

Help Me Investigate: rip it up and start again (but I’ll still help you investigate)

Help Me Investigate

I’m stopping Help Me Investigate, my collaborative investigation project. It’s time to rip it up and start again.

This year has seen the launch of a number of impressive crowdfunded and crowdsourced projects on platforms including Beacon and Contributoria – plus OpenCorporates Missions and the enormously impressive Bellingcat. Their rise, for me, confirms that there is no longer a need for the original mission that Help Me Investigate took on way back in 2009. Continue reading