Monthly Archives: August 2014

Hyperlocal Voices: Geraldine Durrant, East Grinstead Online

For the latest in our series of Hyperlocal Voices Damian Radcliffe heads back home to Sussex. Geraldine Durrant,  Editor of East Grinstead Online, explains how the site – ‘an idea whose time had come’ – serves the popular market town.

Launched just four months ago, East Grinstead Online is already generating substantial traffic, and publishes multiple stories every day. Here’s their story…

East Grinstead Online 

1.  Who were the people behind the blog?

I have been a journalist all my working life, and many years ago was news editor of the local paid-for paper.

I moved on as Group Feature Writer for the Croydon Advertiser group and subsequently set up a freelance agency with a photographer colleague which supplied features to newspapers and magazines around the world.

I am mainly retired, although I still do the PR for East Grinstead Town Council and write regularly for the Catholic press.

And I am the somewhat accidental author of four children’s books, the first three of which have been adapted for a stage production which has been touring  the UK this year. Continue reading

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FAQ: Do you need new ethics for computational journalism?

This latest post in the FAQ series answers questions posed by a student in Belgium regarding ethics and data journalism.

Q: Do ethical issues in the practice of computational journalism differ from those of “traditional” journalism?

No, I don’t think they do particularly – any more than ethics in journalism differ from ethics in life in general. However, as in journalism versus life, there are areas which attract more attention because they are the places we find the most conflict between different ethical demands.

For example, the tension between public interest and an individual’s right to privacy is a general ethical issue in journalism but which has particular salience in data journalism, when you’re dealing with data which names individuals.

I wrote about this in a book chapter which I’ve published in parts on the blog. Continue reading

Transfer rumours, robot journalism and The Guardian: when it makes sense to put a poll BEFORE the article

Football transfer rumours  Daley Blind to Manchester United    Football   theguardian.com

Nice work by The Guardian (above) in their online reporting on transfer rumours: readers of each report are presented with a vote on whether they think the rumour is likely to be true before they get to read the full article.

It’s a good example of putting interactivity – and distribution – front and centre when the headline has already done most of the editorial work. Continue reading

So Google scans email for dodgy images – should we be worried about scanning for sensitive documents?

Gmail logo

You could be forgiven for not having heard of John Henry Skillern. The 41 year old is facing charges of possession and promotion of child pornography after Google detected images of child abuse on his Gmail account.

Because of his case we now know that Google “proactively scours hundreds of millions of email accounts” for certain images. The technology has raised some privacy concerns which have been largely brushed aside because, well, it’s child pornography.

Sky’s technology correspondent Tom Cheshire, for example, doesn’t think it is an invasion of our privacy for “technical and moral reasons”. But should journalists be worried about the wider applications of the technology, and the precedent being set?

Continue reading