This weekend’s FAQ comes from a journalism student who is writing her dissertation on the relevance of Twitter as a news source. As always I’m publishing my responses here in case anyone else has the same questions. Continue reading
Every December Nic Newman asks me and a bunch of other people for their thoughts on the year just passed, and the year to come. This year, it seems to me, has been particularly seminal, so I’m reproducing my responses here.
1. What surprised you in 2014?
How many news organisations finally began to write web-native copy: linking and embedding multimedia (often from YouTube, Flickr, Twitter or Vine).
The rise of visual journalism has been the most notable trend of 2014 for me, driven by the algorithms of Facebook and changes to Twitter, and the integration of SMO staff and best practice into news organisations. Continue reading
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.
More questions from a student as part of the ongoing FAQ series. This time it’s about the role of social media in ‘media freedom’, competition between social media and mainstream media, and credibility of citizen journalists…
1. What effects do you think social media, like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, have had on media freedom?
Given that media freedom is largely about the legal and political framework in which organisations operate, I’d say social media has had very little effect. An analogy would be asking what effect hammers have had on builders’ freedoms: it’s another tool which they can use, but whether they use it and how depends on what happens to them if they do. Continue reading
The latest in the series of Frequently Asked Questions comes from a UK student, who has questions about big data.
How can data journalists make sense of such quantities of data and filter out what’s meaningful?
In the same way they always have. Journalists’ role has always been to make choices about which information to prioritise, what extra information they need, and what information to include in the story they communicate. Continue reading
The latest in the series of Frequently Asked Questions comes from a UK student, who has questions about hyperlocal blogging.
In the long term, how sustainable is a hyperlocal site economically?
It depends on the business model, the wider market, and the individuals involved in the business. Continue reading