Monthly Archives: September 2007

How to be a journalism student

A colleague of mine once wrote a hugely entertaining blog post entitled ‘How to go to uni‘. As the new term begins, here’s my supplement: How to be a journalism student. (Note: there is now a wiki if you want to add extra tips/corrections/clarifications). 


  1. Read the news. Amazingly, some journalism students don’t read newspapers. I don’t know why they want to write news, but chances are they won’t if they don’t read it. And yes, that means newspapers, in print or online. For the most part newspapers dictate the news agenda that broadcast news and magazines then follow. But yes, watch television news and listen to radio news as well, and read magazines. And do all of this often, and do it critically. Continue reading

A student from the Philippines writes… (Q&A)

Following hot on the heels of the email from a Brazilian online journalism student comes one from Carol Bernanda of Quezon City in the Philippines. Once again, here are the questions and my answers:

Q. What is your description of blog journalism/what is blog journalism?

Blog journalism is journalism that is published using a blog. Nothing more, nothing less.

Q. What are the peculiarities and unique distinctions of blog journalism?

Blogs are only a platform, so really any type of journalism can be published on it – including audio and video. But the blog format has brought its own cultural histories, and so blogs tend to be more reflective, opinionated, and analytical. Links are integral to the form, and a good blogger is expected to link to their sources in a manner that makes blog journalism more transparent than traditional journalism. That said, the blog format is still evolving – we are seeing more original reporting, and more analysis.

Q. Is it the same as online journalism? How is it different/similar?

Online journalism is journalism on the internet, so again it’s only a platform. You could call blog journalism a subset of online journalism. All blog journalism is online journalism but not all online journalism is blog journalism.

Q. Do you prefer blogging to writing for a publication?

Yes, in that I prefer being my own boss. But writing for a publication is good in different ways – the restrictions can make you more creative and improve the quality. A lot is said about the unlimited space of the web, but there is something to be said for word limits too.

Q. Can you recommend me samples of sites of blog journalism?Look at my blogroll in the right hand column. And my bloglines subscriptions at

Q. What are the tips/advice that you can suggest to aspiring blog journalists?

See – I’m preparing a lengthier version for a book chapter.

Preston: Owners are to blame for press decline, not the net

Here’s the second report I wrote for Press Gazette from the Future of Newspapers conference last week. The version which appeared in Press Gazette is here; the original is below:  

Former Guardian editor Peter Preston has said that owners who are “giving up the ghost” must take some responsibility for the decline of newspapers. Continue reading

Future of Newspapers: Thursday roundup

The following was written for Press Gazette last week – in between the last presentation on Thursday and a drinks evening. The edited (and probably better) version that appeared in print is here. The original draft which led with Jane Singer’s paper is below: 

The future of news is more free newspapers, more ‘viewspapers’ – and less money, according to a leading academic. Continue reading

Wikis and real-time maps: now there’s an idea for local newspapers

Local newspapers looking for ideas to bring readers to their websites could do a lot worse than look at The Wiki City project. This aims to apply wiki technology to the mapmaking process, with the project ultimately permitting “anyone to upload content to a map and utilize Semantic Web principles to cross search multiple layers of information.” Continue reading

Text comments? They’re so last year

TMZ and the New York Times are the latest news organisations to dip a toe in the world of multimedia commenting.

The NYT recently posted a video ‘letter to the editor’, while the blog is letting readers post audio comments, with video comments in the pipeline. They join the San Francisco Chronicle, who earlier in the year started podcasting voice messages from readers. Continue reading

A Brazilian online journalism student writes… (Q&A)

Brazilian online journalism student Gabriela Zago has emailed me a number of questions about wikis and OJ. Here are my responses (the links are mine):

Q. How did you came up with the idea of writing an article about wiki journalism in a wiki format? Has the text received any more changes and contributions after the version presented at the Future of Newspapers Conference [PDF]?

A: Last year Shane Richmond wrote a post on his blog in reaction to another post by Bambi Francisco. I wrote a post asking ‘are wikis the new blogs’ which was then written up into an article for Press Gazette. When the conference called for papers I thought it would be an interesting issue to explore further. I suppose this is an example of iterative journalism in action. Posting it as a wiki was an obvious way to experiment with the format (I also created a Wikipedia entry for ‘wiki journalism’). Neither have had any changes since the conference. Continue reading

Two reminders

While my post on the 21st century newsroom gathers pingbacks, I’d like to re-publicise the following: