Monthly Archives: April 2008

Two places I’ll be in May and June

On the evening of Thursday May 29th I’ll be at ‘Power Your Business with Web 2.0’, on a discussion panel. That’s at the Technology Innovation Centre in Birmingham B4 7XG from 6pm till 10pm. Email or register online at

On Friday June 13th I’ll be in London at the Investigative Journalism Goes Global conference at Westminster University. The day will include the official launch of the second edition of the book Investigative Journalism, for which I’ve written a chapter on ‘Investigative Journalism and Blogs‘. I’ll be on a panel discussing “What is the point of investigative journalism in the online media world?”

RSS + social media = “Passive-Aggressive Newsgathering” (A model for the 21st century newsroom part 2 addendum)

Passive aggressive newsgathering

Just when I thought I’d put the 21st century newsroom to bed, along comes a further brainwave about conceptualising newsgathering in an online environment (the area I covered in part 2: Distributed Journalism). It seems to me that the first stage for any journalist or budding journalist lies along two paths: subscribing to a reliable collection of RSS feeds (and email alerts); and exploring a collection of networks. The first part is passive; the latter, more active. So I’ve called it, tongue-in-cheek, “Passive-Aggressive Newsgathering”. But if that sounds too Woody Allen for you, you could call it “Aggregating-Networking Newsgathering”.

Not quite as catchy, though, is it? Continue reading

Twitter Cartoon Day – the video, the cartoon

Alex Gamela, who by the way deserves most of the credit for the idea of Twitter Cartoon Day (see screengrabbed tweets below), put together this video about it:

He’s also started a poll for a further ‘Twitter Theme Day’ – I’m not sure if having it as a regular thing kind of undermines the spontaneous fun thing that made Friday so good, but you may disagree.

Meanwhile, below is a cartoon of sorts on the build up to the idea. Continue reading

Today is Twitter Cartoon Day – make it fun

Cartoon Twitter Day

Today is Twitter Cartoon Day. I’m going to be Dick Dastardly Dangermouse Esteban from The Cities of Gold Hong Kong Phooey Dick Dastardly. Brighten up the lives of your fellow Twitterers today by changing your avatar (picture) to a cartoon character.

And see how many pictures on your followers list change…

I you want to spread the word further, click on the image above for an image you can use as your Twitter wallpaper.

After all, it’s Friday!

Social bookmarking the Birmingham Post way

Sometimes I feel like my vision of the future is slowly coming true in front of my eyes. Yesterday I discovered that the Birmingham Post features writer Jo Ind has started incorporating social bookmarks into her articles. If you look at the bottom of this health article you’ll see the following line:

To learn more about Select Research and the body volume index, see Jo Ind’s suggested links or visit her blog.”

Jo Ind’s suggested links are on The tool is also being used by Radio 4’s iPM, as previously reported and Jemima Kiss integrates her feed into her Guardian blog as the PDA ‘Newsbucket’ (much as this blog and many others do as an albeit more prosaic “delicious feed”).

But phrasing the link as ‘suggested links’ (rather than ‘iPM Delicious’) and positioning it at the bottom of an article rather than as a sidebar widget is a better idea, and closer to what I was suggesting in the ‘What’ of my ‘Five Ws and a H that should come after every story’.

I’m currently preparing an article on social bookmarking for journalists. Does anyone know of any other examples of it being used in public by journalists?

Oh, and by the way: to learn more about delicious and social bookmarking, see my suggested links here and here. “do” the News Diamond

I had an email recently from the Editor of, David Moynihan, about the News Diamond in practice. I thought it was worth reprinting in full:

“You describe much of what I do for a living: I am the Editor of and work in a buzzing cross-platform environment that mirrors your theories. Now that the dust is starting to settle a bit more in digital publishing, publishers are really taking notice of websites and web staff in ways that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. Continue reading

BASIC principles of online journalism: I is for Interactivity

Part four of this five-part series looks at how interactivity forms the basis of true online journalism, and explores ways to think about interactivity in practice. This will form part of a forthcoming book on online journalism – comments very much invited.

In his 2001 book Online Journalism, Jim Hall argues that, in the age of the web, interactivity could be added to impartiality, objectivity and truth as a core value of journalism. It is that important.

Interactivity is central to how journalism has been changed by the arrival of the internet. Whereas the news industries of print, radio and TV placed control firmly in the hands of the publishers and journalists, online you try to control people at your peril.

It is important to remember that people use the web on devices – whether a computer, mobile phone or PDA – with cultural histories of usefulness or utility, very different to the cultural histories of television, radio or even print.

People go online to do something. Companies that help with that process tend to prosper online. Those that attempt to curtail users’ ability to do things with their content often find themselves on the end of a backlash.

News is, of course, a service. But up until now news organisations have been under the mistaken impression that it is a product. The web is reminding them otherwise.

What is interactivity?

Interactivity is not video, or ‘multimedia’; it is not flashy bells and whistles. At its core, it is about giving the user control. Continue reading

User generated content? Or great place for a prank? Sky gets photoshopped on Marathon day

Good to see final year journalism degree student Todd Nash has his hoax-spotting eyes on. He’s kicked off a new journalism blog with an overview of some pretty obvious photoshopping that managed to get past the people at Sky News:

“The best pranks are the ones where the victim has absolutely no idea what is happening and this is true here. Some photoshop happy forummers on the Football365 Forum began adapting marathon photos from Flickr, Google Images and anywhere else they could get their hands on them.

“They then sent them in to the unsuspecting Sky News team with spectacular results:

Tron on the Marathon

“How they didn’t see Tron amazes me. Continue reading