Monthly Archives: August 2008

What are your most useful online tools? (Something for the Weekend #12)

I’ve looked at a number of tools in this series, often very new with potential applications for journalism that haven’t been realised. This time I want to turn the spotlight onto tools that you’re using every day, which may not be flashy, but which do a simple job very well – for example:

  • in managing or filtering information,
  • identifying leads, ideas and contacts,
  • producing news itself,
  • distributing it,
  • or allowing users to get involved.

What have been the most useful online tools you’ve used?

Which mobile internet services do Flemish newspapers offer?

Dorien Aerts takes a look at Flemish newspapers’ mobile efforts.

What kind of mobile internet services do newspapers in Flanders offer? Since the launch of the iPhone in Belgium a few weeks ago, the mobile internet has become a hot topic. It has ‘a face’ since then, and more and more people want to try it out. Here’s what’s being done…

  • De Standaard (publisher: Corelio)

One of Belgium’s quality papers, De Standaard has offered a mobile website to its readers since the 16th of June via

The service contains all kinds of news, from sports and politics to celebrity updates. Apart from that, the mobile website offers the weather forecast and up to date traffic information. Continue reading

Interview: Gary Knight on ‘dispatches’ magazine online

front cover of current issue of dispatches - 'dispatches in america'

dispatches is a new current affairs quarterly with a companion website, featuring original content as well as extracts from the magazine.

Virtual Intern Natalie Chillington put forward a few questions to editor and art director Gary Knight about the online side to dispatches. Continue reading

1000 posts – but which are the best ones?

The other day I realised that this blog had passed the milestone of 1000 posts without me noticing. This seems as good a time as any to look back and pick out the 1% that are worth highlighting.

You’ll notice that the (coincidental) redesign of the blog has an ‘OJB Highlights’ area in which I’ve picked the posts which – from my memory at least – have proved particularly popular or comment-worthy, or at least those I’ve spent most time on.

But that’s just my opinion. I’d love to know if you think I’ve overlooked any posts that should be included.

Why investigative journalism needs to get networked

I’ve written a piece in the latest Press Gazette about the need to “take down the walls, stop mystifying investigative journalism and include readers in the process, starting now.” Sadly, they’ve pigeonholed it as being about “blog investigations”. Never mind: you can read it here.

Did The Guardian miss a viral opportunity with their Ultimate Summer Pop Quiz?

summer pop quiz

Last Friday the Guardian published it’s ‘Ultimate Summer Pop Quiz’ – a typically original take on the pop quiz format with a gloriously, insanely difficult set of over 100 questions such as “The opening lines of which post-punk song were inspired by the above passage from Notes From the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky?”

Having only managed 31 answers (and 24 guesses) over the weekend, I took to the web on Monday to see who else was doing it – and if it was on the web so I could send it to friends. Continue reading

How successful bloggers become bureaucratized too

Making Online NewsI’ve recently been reading ‘Making Online News‘ a book of ethnographic studies of online news production. Tucked towards the back of the book is a chapter called The Routines of Blogging by Wilson Lowrey and John Latta. It is one of the few studies I’ve read to look not at journalists, but at the work practices of bloggers – specifically, political bloggers.

And their findings support what I’ve increasingly suspected: “the more relevant bloggers become in terms of audience and influence, the more their production routines resemble those of professional journalists.” Continue reading

Get webpages emailed to you (Something for the Weekend #11)

There are a number of services that allow you to receive web pages by e-mail. These include Web2Mail;; and WebToMail

All you do is send an email to the address used by the service with the URL of the web page you want in the subject line. After a few minutes (they say) you receive the web page in HTML format in your email.

How is this useful? I can think of a number of ways: Continue reading