Monthly Archives: January 2009

10 Twitter users that every journalism student should follow?

UPDATE: From the comments: similar lists now available for Norway and Sweden.

I will soon begin teaching my annual module in Online Journalism and one of the first things I get the students to do is set up a Twitter account. It’s often a struggle to demonstrate the usefulness of Twitter, so this time around, in addition to following each other, I’m going to give them 10 people to start following from the off. This is the list I’ve come up with – would welcome your suggestions for others:

  1. @davelee – former journalism student and excellent blogger who landed a plum job at the BBC after graduating. Get the point?
  2. @channel4news – example of how a news organisation can use Twitter in a personal, conversational way, rather than simply republishing its RSS feed (see also: @r4news, @mashable) Continue reading
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Speaking at the Perugia International Journalism Festival 2009

The lineup for the Perugia International Journalism Festival 2009 has been announced. I’ll be speaking on the first of a series of panels devoted to ‘New Media – The Future of Journalism’. The topic is “Blogs and online communities: Where now for interactive journalism?”. The other members of the panel are Luca Conti, Ben Hammersley Antonio Sofi and Juan Varela.

The following day Paolo Ligouri, Marco Pratellesi, Charlie Beckett, Erik Ulken and Giuseppe Smorto will discuss “Networked journalism – permeable, interactve, 24/7, multi-platform, multi-dimensional – is here. The media is saved!” (if they have any time left after they finish reading out the title) Continue reading

How do you ‘follow’ 2500 people on Twitter?

OK, I’ve had enough. That’s it. I’ve had enough of people suggesting we should all have limits on the number of people followed on Twitter. The tweet that did it? Peter King, who suggested “Twitter should cap how many people you can follow at 10% of the # of people following you. Put a premium on the # you follow.” and “Twitter needs to be a place for leaders to lead. Otherwise we’ll cancel each other out.”

Yeah, that’s what we need: more leaders. And forcing people to broadcast to an audience before they can listen to anyone.

Many people have a ‘quality not quantity’ strategy with Twitter where they restrict themselves to following a certain number of Twitterers. But by using certain tools and adopting a certain mindset, I think you can have both quality and quantity. So here’s how I ‘follow’ 2,500 people on Twitter: Continue reading

‘Journalists: learn to code’ says Guardian’s Arthur

Charles Arthur of The Guardian makes his point pretty plain: “If I had one piece of advice to a journalist starting out now, it would be: learn to code”

“Let’s be clear that I’m not saying “code” as in “get deep into C++ or Java” … I mean it in the sense of having a nodding acquaintance with methods of programming, and perhaps a few languages, so that when something comes along where you’ll need, say, to transform data from one form to another, you can. Or where you need to make your own life easier by automating some process or other.

” … None of which is saying you shouldn’t be talking to your sources, and questioning what you’re told, and trying to find other means of finding stuff out from people. But nowadays, computers are a sort of primary source too. You’ve got to learn to interrogate them effectively – and quote them meaningfully – too.”

Amen to that.