Monthly Archives: January 2005

Improving your searching – and using good reference sites

Two great articles from Chris Sherman – the first is a good overview of reference websites, the second his New Year’s search resolutions, including stopping using the Google toolbar (and instead using Firefox’s excellent search plugins) and seeking multiple ‘opinions’ (search results). With the latter point he points out two great sites: Thumbshots’s ranking tool allows you to compare sites’ ranking across search engines (more about this here), and Jux2 runs a search simultaneously on three engines, showing common results.

PS: For a good overview of more specialised search engines, see this page.

Losing trust in journalism

Special report in today’s Media Guardian about what non-journalists think about journalism, the upshot being pretty negative. Responses include an op-piece from John Lloyd – sample quote:

“The charges … include a belief that standards of veracity and even simple comprehension are lacking; that factual reporting has given way to tendentiousness within reportage itself; that the demands of complex issues are deliberately ignored, far beyond the demands of constricted space or time; that stories of crisis, failure, scandal and personal hatred are the norm; that official or corporate narratives better packaged and more insistently pressed than ever now slip unexamined into news reporting. Because of these practices, trust can no longer be placed in reporting; and as a result of that, both the institutions of democracy and the observation of human rights can suffer.”

Text messages aid disaster recovery

Fascinating article. Here’s a sample quote:

“Sanjaya Senanayake works for Sri Lankan television. The blogging world, though, might know him better by his online name, Morquendi.

“He was one of the first on the scene after the tsunami destroyed much of the Sri Lankan coast. Cell phone signals were weak. Land lines were unreliable.

“So Mr Senanayake started sending out text messages. The messages were not just the latest news they were also an on-the-ground assessment of “who needs what and where”.

“Blogging friends in India took Mr Senanayake’s text messages and posted them on a weblog called Dogs without Borders.”

UK press: “Views v news to set agenda “

“The issue of journalistic accountability will dominate the newspaper industry after a year of format and ownership changes, the editor of the Guardian said yesterday.

“Alan Rusbridger said the Independent’s conversion to a “viewspaper” posed pivotal questions about the future of newspaper journalism. “If you have got news organisations saying ‘we are putting news behind views’, this is a fundamental statement about what newspapers are for and what journalism is for … It is radically new, it is not what serious broadsheet journalism was about.””

UK press: "Views v news to set agenda "

“The issue of journalistic accountability will dominate the newspaper industry after a year of format and ownership changes, the editor of the Guardian said yesterday.

“Alan Rusbridger said the Independent’s conversion to a “viewspaper” posed pivotal questions about the future of newspaper journalism. “If you have got news organisations saying ‘we are putting news behind views’, this is a fundamental statement about what newspapers are for and what journalism is for … It is radically new, it is not what serious broadsheet journalism was about.””