Monthly Archives: September 2012

Model for a 21st Century Newsroom – the sequel (free ebook)

Model for the 21st Century Newsroom Redux ebook

Some time ago the BBC College of Journalism asked me to revisit the Model for a 21st Century Newsroom series that I wrote in 2007, and see how newsrooms and news processes had changed – and continue to change – since then.

The results are gathered in a free mini ebook: Model for the 21st Century Newsroom: Redux.

It provides a detailed overview of how emerging practices such as liveblogging and explainers have now become formalised and embedded in news production, while the focus has started to shift from the ‘speed’ part of the news process to ‘depth’, with increasing attention being paid to APIs, content management, context and analysis.

This is contextualised with data on changing news and information consumption practices, and rounded up with seven recommendations to journalists and editors.

I hope it’s useful for journalism educators, students and editors – if you’re using it in your classroom or newsroom let me know.

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Data Journalism Handbook now in Russian

The Data Journalism Handbook, a free ebook with contributions from dozens of data journalism folk (including me), is now available in Russian.

The translation was “produced and published by the Russian International News & Information Agency (RIA Novosti) with support from the European Journalism Centre”, according to an EJC press release.

Q&A: 5 questions about the pros and cons of data journalism (Cross-post)

The following Q&A is cross-posted from a post on the Media And Digital Enterprise project of the School of Journalism, Media and Communication at the University of Central Lancashire.

Why do journalists need to learn data skills?

For two key reasons: firstly because information is more widely available, and data skills are one of the few remaining ways for journalists to establish their value in that environment.

And secondly, because data is becoming a very important source of both news and the business case for media organisations. Continue reading

A reading list for studying online journalism

As a new semester nears, I thought I would anticipate the ‘What should I read?’ enquiries by sharing an aggregated reading list from the classes I teach at both Birmingham City University and City University London. Here are 10 key topics with varying numbers of books for each – I’d very much welcome other suggestions:

  1. Working in networks: Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks; Richard Millington, The Proven Path (PDF)
  2. Content strategy: John Battelle, The Search; Bill Tancer, Click; David Kirkpatrick, The Facebook Effect
  3. Platforms: Mark Luckie: The Digital Journalist’s Handbook
  4. Live and mobile journalism: Mark Briggs, Journalism Next; Dan Gillmor, Mediactive
  5. Multimedia: Janet Kolodzy, Convergence Journalism and Practicing Convergence Journalism; Atton & Hamilton, Alternative Journalism; Wilma de Jong, Creative Documentary
  6. UGC, social media and community management: Axel Bruns, Gatewatching; Andrew Lih, Wikipedia Revolution; Jeff Jarvis, What Would Google Do?
  7. Data journalism: Bradshaw and Rohumaa, The Online Journalism Handbook; Andrew Dilnot, The Tiger That Isn’t; Darrell Huff, How to Lie With Statistics; Dona Wong, The Wall Street Guide to Information Graphics; Nathan Yau, Visualize This; Paul Bradshaw, Scraping for Journalists
  8. Law, ethics and online journalism: Friend and Singer, Online Journalism Ethics; Lawrence Lessig, Code; O’Hara and Shadbolt, Spy in the Coffee Machine; Curran, Fenton & Freedman, Misunderstanding the Internet
  9. Experimentation: Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody (ch10: Failure for Free); Michalko, Thinkertoys chapter 9; Ian Bogost, Newsgames; Matt Mason, The Pirate’s Dilemma (ch5: Boundaries)
  10. Enterprise: Ken Doctor, Newsonomics; Simon Waldman, Creative Disruption; David Weinberger, Everything is Miscellaneous

You might also find previous posts useful:

“Genuinely digital content for the first time” – the BBC under Entwistle

For those who missed it, from George Entwistle’s speech to BBC staff this week, a taste of the corporation’s priorities under the new DG:

“It’s the quest for this – genuinely new forms of digital content – that represents the next profound moment of change we need to prepare for if we’re to deserve a new charter.

“As we increasingly make use of a distribution model – the internet – principally characterised by its return path, its capacity for interaction, its hunger for more and more information about the habits and preferences of individual users, then we need to be ready to create content which exploits this new environment – content which shifts the height of our ambition from live output to living output.

“We need to be ready to produce and create genuinely digital content for the first time. And we need to understand better what it will mean to assemble, edit and present such content in a digital setting where social recommendation and other forms of curation will play a much more influential role.”

Stories and Streams: teaching collaborative journalism with peer to peer learning

In January 2012 I was facing an old problem: as I prepared to teach a new undergraduate online journalism class, I wanted to find a way to encourage students to connect with wider networks in the area they were reporting on.

Networks have always been important to journalists, but in a networked age they are more important than ever. The days of starting your contacts book with names and numbers from formal organisations listed in the local phonebook are gone. Now those are instantly available online – but more importantly, there are informal groups and expert individuals accessible too. And they’re publishing for each other.

Because of this, and because of reduced resources, the news industry is increasingly working with these networks to pursue, produce and distribute stories, from Paul Lewis’s investigative work at The Guardian to Neal Mann’s field reporting for Sky, the Farmers’ Weekly team’s coverage of foot and mouth, and Andy Carvin’s coverage of the Arab Spring at NPR.

How could I get students to do this? By rewriting the class entirely.

Continue reading

Data journalism training – places available

If you want to learn some basic or intermediate data journalism skills I’m running two single-day courses next week, with places still available.

The first is Introduction to data journalism: taming the numbers on Tuesday September 11.

The second is Intermediate data journalism: take data to the next level on Thursday September 13.

They’re being run with Journalism.co.uk and you can book places on either course through their site. If you book on both days you save £50.