Monthly Archives: May 2016

5 ways to find useful Snapchat accounts to follow as a journalist

Snapchat book cover

This post is an extract from the book Snapchat for Journalists

Finding Snapchat accounts to follow is harder than it needs to be. There are some directories, such as Snapcodes, but these rely on user submissions. The iPhone app GhostCodes also ‘curates’ lists of accounts by category, but also relies on users giving their own usernames.

You can find some articles highlighting interesting accounts to follow on Snapchat. One useful search phrase to use for finding those is this:

Here are 4 useful techniques for tracking them down.

Method 1: The advanced search

The most obvious approach is to look for some articles highlighting interesting accounts to follow on Snapchat. You can narrow this a little by using search operators like allintitle: (which restricts results to those where the words are in the page title).

One useful search phrase to use with this is: Continue reading

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How to embed a vertical video from YouTube or Vimeo

In my series of posts on Snapchat for journalists I mentioned that you can embed vertical video so that it doesn’t have those annoying black bars either side. Here’s how.

OK, so YouTube may not support vertical video as a format on desktop (it does on the mobile app) but you can embed a vertical video hosted on YouTube so that it is presented as a vertical format on your own webpage.

This is particularly useful if you’ve created a video using the Snapchat app, or merely filmed on your phone without remembering to rotate it, and want to use it on a normal site. Continue reading

We are proposing to hand away property details at the very point journalists need them most

offshore property private eye

Late last year, as the government indicated it was prepared to water down the Freedom of Information Act, industry publication Press Gazette launched a petition. It was one of a range of factors which led to a promise to leave the Act alone.

This year we face a similar threat. But the industry press is silent. Press Gazette say nothing. Hold The Front Page is empty of reference.

What am I talking about? The Land Registry.

The government is holding a consultation on moving Land Registry operations to the private sector, and with one week left the industry press needs to wake up. Continue reading

How the Old Trafford bomb scare was reported on Snapchat: live stories vs Dream Team

On Sunday the 75,000-capacity Old Trafford stadium was evacuated 20 minutes before the last game of the season kicked off. I found out on Snapchat: it was, if you like, my ‘Hudson River moment‘.

But what was striking was just how little space Snapchat itself devoted to the event. So I took screenshots of the ‘snaps’ and am publishing them below for the record. Continue reading

Snapchat for journalists (part 4): sharing and measuring your story

In the previous parts of this series I covered different types of stories, tools, and thinking about narrative. In this extract from the ebook Snapchat for Journalists I cover the practicalities of storing, sharing and measuring your Snapchat stories.

Snapchat book cover

You can read more in the ebook (also available in the Kindle Store)

Sharing your Snapchat Story

Each snap in a story only lasts for 24 hours, so it’s worth making sure you share them as early as possible, and regularly before they have finished.

You cannot share a link to your Snapchat story: people need to be following you on Snapchat and checking it for notifications. Whenever you add a new snap to your story, they will receive a subtle notification within Snapchat.

To share it you have a number of options: Continue reading

Snapchat for journalists (part 3): narrative

In the first and second parts in this series I covered different types of stories and the different tools in Snapchat. In this extract from the ebook Snapchat for Journalists I cover narrative techniques in Snapchat, including the importance of variety and thinking about beginnings, middles and endings.

Snapchat book cover

You can find more tips and examples in this ebook (also available in the Kindle Store)

Snapchat Stories: variety is key

The best stories tend to mix both images and video, have more than one person, and employ a range of different techniques.

Just as you wouldn’t write a news story which employed a quote-quote-quote structure (you might instead choose fact-quote-background), stories are more engaging when you switch from one type of content to another.

One technique, for example, is to use a still image with a caption to introduce a speaker, before moving on to a video clip of that speaker. Continue reading