Monthly Archives: May 2005

Examples of Flash journalism

[Keyword: ]. Thanks to Poynter for collecting a number of examples of Flash journalism around the story of “the Chilean armed forces’ worst peacetime disaster” when “Thirty-five young, inexperienced recruits died after they were sent to the mountain while a fierce snowstorm was beginning.”

Many of the examples are in Flash but you still get a good idea:

“The media had to figure out how to show the place, as Emol.com did (Spanish) with a satellite photo, or to explain the local political circumstances, as the New York Times did.

“[T]he medical effects of low temperatures … are well explained with a Flash animation, where you slide a bar on a thermometer and see what happens to the human body.”

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The future of mags in a virtual world

[Keyword: ]. Here’s a discussion piece from the OJR about magazines’ future with some interesting opinions. As usual in my editorial role I’ll pick out the best bit:

“Jay Rosen: People who hope that the fundamentals of journalism won’t change tend to attach those hopes to statements about unchanging media forms, like, ‘I’ve lived through the death of print three times already. Remember the paperless office?’ Whereas those who are hoping for change in journalism tend to get ‘attached’ to platform change as a kind of dynamo. I have no firm sense of what will happen with print, paper and ink. But I do think this: The strength of print is still that is scaled to the human body and what ‘works’ for it, or doesn’t. The body and its requirements do change, but far more slowly than technology –and journalism — do.

“Nina Link: We know from the Northwestern Magazine Reader Experience Study that people talk about magazines with some of the following words: ‘it’s my personal time out’; ‘I lose myself in the pleasure of reading it’; ‘it stimulates my thinking about things’; and ‘it makes me smarter.’ The physical attributes of a magazine are very much part of the experience of reading a magazine — the size, the portability, the quality of the graphics and the ease of use. I believe strongly in the future of the paper-based magazine. It’s been with us for more than 260 years. Paper-based magazines are a timely and timeless medium.”

Increase in ad spending fuels new online news sites

[Keyword: ]. That’s the upshot of this article from the American Journalism Review, which highlights a number of new companies venturing into online news – as well as recent trends in major news organisations buying into online operations like About.com and MarketWatch. The most useful point comes right at the end of the article, however, in these caveats:

“Jai Singh, editor in chief of CNET News, cautions that while it’s easier to get into Web publishing, serious challenges await new entrants to the field. “The real cost is that to do good journalism, you’ve got to pay good wages to good reporters and editors,” he says.

“Building a brand is not easy either, he says. “Can you be big enough to have the scale to compete with established news organizations? These things will have to be part of the business plan beyond the fact that the technology is cheaper and the ad market is strong,” he says.

“According to Nolan, the key to success isn’t simply getting your site up on the Web, it’s getting people to read it. “The barrier to entry in this new business isn’t getting published; anyone can do that. The barrier to entry is finding an audience,” she wrote on the blog Pressthink.

“The new sites will have to market themselves intensely, either formally or by word-of-blog; spend money to optimize their sites (so they appear higher in search engine results); and stay current on publishing technology while keeping content fresh and accurate so that visitors will return. Those that do succeed may help online journalism fulfill some of its early promise by bringing a wide variety of fresh, independent voices to the Web.”

In-house newspaper critiques

[Keyword: ]. Poynter provides links to in-house publications at the Wall Street Journal and New York Times that “offers an interesting behind-the-scenes look at The New York Times. Among the topics covered recently: redesign efforts at the newspaper, focusing on the new Travel section and Book Review; […] and a look at the Public Editor’s first year on the job.”

Sadly the links on the WSJ page all seem to be dead, but perhaps someone else can track them down…?

BBC launches online journalism bursary

[Keyword: ]. The Digital Bulletin reports that the BBC has launched a bursary in honour of its science and technology writer Ivan Noble, who died from a brain tumour this year. “The annual bursary will give a journalist, who has recently completed a journalism course or has less than two years’ journalistic experience, the chance to work on bbc.co.uk for six months. The recipient will also have a passion for science and technology.”

Emails as publications

[Keyword: ]. I’ve always been a big fan of the email newsletter as a medium, so it’s good to see that some listings-based emails are making money from advertising, according to The Guardian.

“Both newsletters are free to subscribers and while Urban Junkies is aimed at a mixed audience, Daily Candy is unashamedly female in its focus. Balfour believes that they will co-exist quite happily. But with the low entry costs, it will not be long before the market becomes even more crowded. Dazed & Confused and Vice, two of the last style mags left standing, have recently launched email services.”