Journalism courses often expect students to spend a large part of their final year or semester producing an independent project. Here, for those about to embark on such a project online, or putting together a proposal for one, I list some common pitfalls to watch out for… Continue reading
Most research on news consumption annoys me. Most research on news consumption – like Pew’s State of the News Media – relies on surveys of people self-reporting how they consume news. But surveys can only answer the questions that they ask. And as any journalist with a decent bullshit detector should know: the problem is people misremember, people forget, and people lie.
The most interesting news consumption research uses ethnography: this involves watching people and measuring what they actually do – not what they say they do. To this end AP’s 2008 report A New Model for News is still one of the most insightful pieces of research into news consumption you’ll ever read – because it picks out details like the role that email and desktop widgets play, or the reasons why people check the news in the first place (they’re bored at work, for example).
Now six years on two Dutch researchers have published a paper summarising various pieces of ethnographic and interview-based consumption research (£) over the last decade – providing some genuine insights into just how varied news ‘consumption’ actually is.
Irene Costera Meijer and Tim Groot Kormelink‘s focus is not on what medium people use, or when they use it, but rather on how engaged people are with the news.
To do this they have identified 16 different news consumption practices which they give the following very specific names:
Below is my attempt to summarise those activities, why they’re important for journalists and publishers, and the key issues they raise for the way that we publish. Continue reading
Back in June I took part in a panel at the UK Conference of Science Journalists conference, discussing tools for reporters alongside BBC Trending’s Mukul Devichand and Digital Science’s community manager Laura Wheeler.
The conference website has just published audio of the session, including chair Daniel Clery’s tips and recommendations. You can listen to the clip below.
This year’s series of The Great British Bake Off has a social media-savvy spin-off: An Extra Slice.
It’s a mix of interviews, punditry and contributions from audience members and viewers. But the programme makers have a curious approach to copyright law which users of Twitter and Instagram may be ‘agreeing’ to without knowing about it. Continue reading
For the latest in our series of Hyperlocal Voices Damian Radcliffe heads back home to Sussex. Geraldine Durrant, Editor of East Grinstead Online, explains how the site – ‘an idea whose time had come’ – serves the popular market town.
Launched just four months ago, East Grinstead Online is already generating substantial traffic, and publishes multiple stories every day. Here’s their story…
1. Who were the people behind the blog?
I have been a journalist all my working life, and many years ago was news editor of the local paid-for paper.
I moved on as Group Feature Writer for the Croydon Advertiser group and subsequently set up a freelance agency with a photographer colleague which supplied features to newspapers and magazines around the world.
I am mainly retired, although I still do the PR for East Grinstead Town Council and write regularly for the Catholic press.
This latest post in the FAQ series answers questions posed by a student in Belgium regarding ethics and data journalism.
Q: Do ethical issues in the practice of computational journalism differ from those of “traditional” journalism?
No, I don’t think they do particularly – any more than ethics in journalism differ from ethics in life in general. However, as in journalism versus life, there are areas which attract more attention because they are the places we find the most conflict between different ethical demands.
For example, the tension between public interest and an individual’s right to privacy is a general ethical issue in journalism but which has particular salience in data journalism, when you’re dealing with data which names individuals.
The crowdsourcing site Bellingcat – whose posts were previously only visible to donors – is now completely open. Continue reading