Tag Archives: al jazeera

“If we don’t move with it then the low-brow side wins”: obstacles to gamification part 2: perceptions, standards and time

http://www.ipadio.com/embed/v1/embed-352x200.swf?phlogId=142401&phonecastId=4593835

Click on the player above to listen to full audio of Alex’s interview

In the second of two guest posts for OJB (read the first part here), Alex Iacovangelo interviews Al Jazeera’s Juliana Ruhfus (full audio above) on the reasons why gamification has not been more widely used in journalism.

What is a game? Why audiences like games, and editors don’t

The word ‘game’ attracts new types of audiences, especially when so many are gamers, but within the news business it can have the opposite effect internally, especially when pitching.

“It was the word ‘game’ that put people off,” says Juliana.

“I’ve tried explaining what gamification is as a process and once you actually break down the mechanics people really get it, but it is the word – because games aren’t seen as serious.

“People raise their eyebrows and I was very careful when I pitched it.”

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3 reasons why journalists are wary of gamification: an interview with Al Jazeera’s Juliana Ruhfus

http://pixabay.com/en/video-game-controller-controller-152852/

Al Jazeera’s gamified project’s symbol

http://www.ipadio.com/embed/v1/embed-352x200.swf?phlogId=142401&phonecastId=4593835

Click on the player above to listen to full audio of Alex’s interview

Al Jazeera’s Juliana Ruhfus was one of a team of reporters involved in creating an award-winning news game. In a two-part guest post for OJB, Alex Iacovangelo interviews Juliana (full audio above) in the context of wider issues with gamification that have prevented it being more widely used in journalism.

Why is gamification, one of the greatest forms of interaction available, so slow to be adopted by journalists at a time when engaging audiences is more important than ever?

One of the most recent examples of gamification in journalism is Al Jazeera‘s award-winning investigative news piece on illegal fishing in Africa, which they turned into a standalone educational game.

The story on illegal fishing focused on an injustice that needed to be exposed. But attracting and enlightening thousands of readers to injustices exposed in investigative pieces is a difficult challenge – especially when they are taking place so far from the audience’s home.

Juliana Ruhfus, Al Jazeera’s senior reporter, told us that:

“Quite a few people have reacted positively and I think the process of investigative journalism lends itself particularly well to be gamified because you have the process of evidence gathering, of collecting clues and discovery.

“The vast majority of people who’ve been on the interactive project that we’ve created are first time visitors to Al Jazeera, so it certainly seems that one thing we’ve managed to do is reach different audiences.”

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7 laws journalists now need to know – from database rights to hate speech

Law books image by Mr T in DC

Image by Mr T in DC

When you start publishing online you move from the well-thumbed areas of defamation and libel, contempt of court and privilege and privacy to a whole new world of laws and licences.

This is a place where laws you never knew existed can be applied to your work – while other ones can come in surprisingly useful. Here are the key ones:

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Secure technically doesn’t mean secure legally

The EFF have an interesting investigation into WSJ and Al-Jazeera ‘leaks’ sites and terms and conditions which suggest users’ anonymity is anything but protected:

“Despite promising anonymity, security and confidentiality, AJTU can “share personally identifiable information in response to a law enforcement agency’s request, or where we believe it is necessary.” SafeHouse’s terms of service reserve the right “to disclose any information about you to law enforcement authorities” without notice, then goes even further, reserving the right to disclose information to any “requesting third party,” not only to comply with the law but also to “protect the property or rights of Dow Jones or any affiliated companies” or to “safeguard the interests of others.” As one commentator put it bluntly, this is “insanely broad.” Neither SafeHouse or AJTU bother telling users how they determine when they’ll disclose information, or who’s in charge of the decision.”

Twitter promoted tweets – the AdWords for live news?

Al Jazeera sponsored Twitter tweet on Egypt
Remember all that fuss about newspapers bidding on Google Adwords to drive traffic to their site? Well here’s a Web 2.0 twist on the idea: Al Jazeera using sponsored tweets to raise awareness of their Egypt coverage.

Twitter itself has the background. Some notable differences to Adwords are that the promoted tweets can be replied to and retweeted just like any other Tweet.

Also, interestingly, “according to Riyaad Minty, head of social media at Al Jazeera English, the @AJEnglish team is operating their Promoted Tweets campaign just like a news desk.” That’s because the content is the advertising, rather than the advertising driving users to the content.

Some metrics to come out of this, according to Twitter (they’re linking to evidence here):

H/t Laura Oliver

Shift is happening – useful advice for young journalists

Financial crisis, digital revolution, crumbling media companies – these are shaky days for media and everyone involved in the field. How can journalism students make sense of it all?

I asked several of the speakers and participants at the Digital News Affairs conference in Brussels one question: What is the best piece of advice you will give to journalism students in the middle of this upheaval? Here is what they want you to focus on:

Ben Hammersley, editor, Wired Magazine: Everything comes down to being able to write well. Before you write well, forget Facebook, Twitter, etc. And you learn to write well by reading lots of good stuff and write a lot yourself. And find a good editor! Continue reading

Another Week in Online Journalism

Virtual intern Natalie Chillington rounds up last week’s online journalism-related news

Google

  • Lots of debate over whether Google is making us stupid

WordPress

  • Puffbox.com announces it will be sponsoring WordCamp UK in July,bringing together around 100 devotees of WordPress in Birmingham for aweekend of code and conversation. Continue reading