Author Archives: nicolaskb

The risks of self-publishing

Last week, following deadly events on the Kurdish-Turkish border, a ‘spontaneous’ demonstration occurred in front of the American embassy in Brussels. Blogger and freelance journalist Mehmet Köksal was on the scene when some Grey Wolves (a jingoistic youth organisation) recognised him and tried to lynch him. He escaped, severely beaten.

No English-speaking media reported it except for some hard-line Armenian sites.

On Monday, Köksal wrote his last post. He quits blogging, “victim of [his] blog’s success” and intimidation. Without downplaying his long-lasting courage and works, one cannot but notice he ceases publication to protect himself and his family.

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All quiet on the western front? Not quite.

German regional publisher WAZ just launched its new flagship website, Der Westen. New features include geotagging, blogs and keyword filtering, monitored from a futuristic-looking newsroom. Martin Stabe has the details.

The concept, writes Der Spiegel, is to let users choose the centre of their world, their perspective on news. Der Westen then provides content around it.

The FAZ today has an interview of blogger-turned-editor-in-chief Katharina Borchert. Numerous online ventures have been playing on regional papers’ turf, from local advertisers flocking to AdSense to local radios breaking news more rapidly, she says. To compete, paper brands must regain their offline roles as community leaders by enhancing the news hole with social features, Facebook-style. Continue reading

The 2009 journalist: some ideas from Paris

One of France’s main journalism schools, the Centre de Formation des Journalistes, has just launched a revamped new media curriculum, where all students are now required to specialize in new media on top of their traditional skills.

The program was 2.0’d from the start, back in June, when Philippe Couve brought together the crème de la crème of the French blogosphere to outline what the 2009 journalist should look like. Continue reading