Every so often a journalism student sends me questions for an assignment. I publish the answers here in the FAQ series. The latest set comes from a student in Australia writing for Upstart magazine at La Trobe University, and focuses on the local press.
1. Is the reader not worth as much on the internet?
Readers have always been worth different amounts in different contexts. It’s not that the reader is ‘not worth as much on the internet’, but that most readers on most websites are worth less. Continue reading →
For 45 minutes every weekday night the BBC airs its current affairs program Newsnight. Today, however, the UK needs a little more than 45 minutes to get its head around ‘events‘.
And so, the day that the UK voted to leave the European Union, Newsnight is using Facebook Live to essentially run its own 24 hour TV channel. Beginning with Chris Cook as the UK woke to the result, through to Evan Davis as the day ends, it’s a sign of how a news programme can work around the limitations of broadcast. No fancy studio, no lights and make up: just a journalist and a webcam. Well worth watching.
Last month Basile Simon from BBC News Labs gave a talk at the CSV conference in Berlin: a two-day “community conference for data makers” (notes here). I invited Basile to publish his talk here in a special guest post.
At BBC News Labs, we’ve been pushing for more linked data in news for years now. We built a massive international news aggregator based on linked data, and spent years making it better… but it’s our production and live services who do the core of the job today.
We’re trying to stay relevant and to model our massive dataset of facts, quotes, news and articles. The answer to this may lie in structured journalism.
Starting in 2012, News Labs was founded to play with linked data. The original team, comprised of many data architects, strongly believed this was a revolution in the way we approached our journalism.
The media’s reaction to David Bowie‘s death from cancer early this morning demonstrates just how widely curation has become in journalism practice – and specifically, how it has become the web native version of the obituary. Below I’ve done a bit of curation of my own: 8 13 16 ways that different publications used curation to mark the death of a legend. If you have seen others, please let me know.
At the end of July this year the BBC ended a quiet experiment that had been going on for the last 18 months: a Head of Statistics role funded initially by the corporation’s innovation fund and then by election coverage money.
Anthony Reuben was the person occupying that role. A business reporter with almost two decades’ experience at the BBC, Reuters, Sky, the Money Channel and the FT, he was helping to design a new statistics course for the BBC College of Journalism when the need for a new role became clear.
“We got to the last slide, which was where to turn for more help. There were plenty of people outside the BBC, but nobody in it who had the time or skills to help with statistical questions. So we applied for a year’s funding from the Innovation Fund.”
What the head of statistics role involved
Once in the role Reuben would sit with the planning team and attend some of the daily news and planning meetings to anticipate big stories which might “set off alarm bells”. Continue reading →
The proposals include the creation of a Hyperlocal Forum which will work towards a number of objectives and shared areas of interest, with initial partners including Nesta and the Carnegie Trust.
The proposals for comment are to:
introduce an external linking system, currently being rolled out to all BBC website Local Live streams across the country, to hyperlocals and bloggers, and ensuring their content is showcased and credited on the BBC website
include hyperlocal providers in training and events as part of its media partnership work
invite hyperlocal bodies to be represented on the Local Journalism Working Group and other relevant panels
ensure all local BBC teams are aware of hyperlocals operating in their area
promote an updated register of hyperlocal sites, expected to be published at the end of the year
engage with partners from across the hyperlocal community and other external media to establish a Hyperlocal Forum to meet twice a year from November.
Some of this work is already being done (particularly Local Live), but the register suggests a more comprehensive approach and linking has long been a concern.
In a guest post for OJB, Damian Radcliffe argues that the need for policy makers to support hyperlocal publishers is stronger than ever – and explains just how that support can happen.
When I first started reporting on hyperlocal media in 2009 it was against a daily backdrop predicting the death of newspapers and clarion calls for public intervention to save this vital resource.
Since then, this hysteria has died down, although it’s clear that many of the structural challenges being faced by the local media sector have not gone away.
In January Press Gazette reported that there had been a net reduction of 181 UK local newspapers since 2005, including a further 11 lost this year, whilst a leaked memo from Trinity Mirror shed light on the commercial pressures many newspapers groups face and how this is influencing reporting on the ground.
Despite this, the UK’s industrious hyperlocal media sector continues to beaver away. Continue reading →