Tag Archives: blogging

7 ideas for things to do over the summer while preparing to start a journalism course

rolls of yarn

Knitting yarn optional. image by Rachel

As the summer begins, I’ve been recommending some things that my incoming students might do in preparation for their MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism or MA in Data Journalism. I thought I’d share my advice here for anyone else starting a journalism course this Autumn… (oh, and these are just ideas — you don’t have to do all of these!)

1. Consume a *wide* range of journalism

When teaching journalism you notice quickly that the students who produce the most polished pieces of journalism are the ones who consume the most journalism. The more journalism that you read, watch, listen and use, the more journalistic conventions, techniques and tricks you absorb, and more instinctively reproduce. Continue reading

A potted history of the last 6 years? How the Online Journalism Handbook changed between 2011 and 2017

A few weeks ago the second edition of the Online Journalism Handbook was published. Two years in the making, it was more than just an update of the first edition — it was an almost complete rewrite (and 50% longer). The changes since that first edition in 2011 highlight just how the industry has changed in those six years — here are just a few of the things that I noticed when I looked back…

Blogging: “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine”

In the first edition of the Online Journalism Handbook a whole chapter was devoted to blogging. In the new edition the chapter is gone. Does that mean that blogging is dead? No. It means that ‘blogging’ is now so ubiquitous it has become almost invisible. Continue reading

FAQ: What does blogging add to journalism?

Its been a while since I posted a post answering Frequently Asked Questions. This one comes from a student in Holland, whose thesis revolves around the idea that ‘Blogging adds little to journalism

What’s the difference between blogging and traditional journalism?

I’ve answered this and similar questions in a previous FAQ on journalism vs blogging.

What are the pros and cons of blogging compared to other forms of journalism?

That post and other older FAQs probably give some further answers, but a short answer is: blogging provides an extra space to invite people into your journalism and provide opportunities for them to contribute additional information, suggested avenues of inquiry, etc.

It helps build the relationship between journalist and source in a way that standard formats don’t always provide. Continue reading

John Rentoul, Media Oops Number 1 : You cannot close the door once a blog post has bolted

John Rentoul of the Independent has the blog with the longest running single-blog meme in the known world. “Questions to which the answer is no” is now up to number 411 (“Will Barclays carry out its threat to leave UK?“),

I can’t compete with that, so I thought I’d start a list of Media Oops-es, i.e., cockups. This is all in the interest of media transparency, you understand. Shooting from the hip is just as big a problem for blogging journalists as it is for rednecks and Harriet Harman – though I suspect her invective was planned.

(Update: since this is about educating student journalists, I thought I would cross-post to the Online Journalism Blog in addition to the Wardman Wire).

The first one comes via Justin McKeating, who’s doing something slightly similar, though I suspect we’ll be tracking different bits of media silliness.

Rentoul came up with a slightly unflattering comparison:

A friend draws my attention to a resemblance I had not noticed.

Ed Miliband, he says, reminds him of Watto, the hovering, scuzzy garage owner on Tatooine who enslaves little boys in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, my favourite film of the six.

Miliband spoke in his speech to Labour conference of his being compared to “Wallace out of Wallace and Gromit” – although he department from the text issued, “I can see the resemblance”, to say: “I gather some people can see the resemblance.”

But I thought he looked more like Gromit – the dog who is cleverer than his master who expresses himself mainly by his eyebrows.

If he’d just left it there none of us would have made a fuss. But he thought better of it and deleted the piece. As Justin says:

It looks like the mighty John Rentoul thought better of comparing Ed Miliband to the Watto character from The Phantom Menace and pulled the post without comment. You now get a ‘page not found’ error when you click on the link. Particularly piquant was when Rentoul noted Watto is ‘scuzzy’ and ‘enslaves little boys’. And he deleted his tweet advertising his insightful blog post (we know it was there because somebody replied to it). What a shame, denying future students of journalism this exemplary example of the craft.

Who am I to deny an education to students of journalism? I love computer networks with memories; and also search engines with caches.


For the record, here’s the Milliman, who Rentoul (and everybody else) has previously compared to a panda:


The best bit is that the next Rentoul blog post was all about “tasteless metaphors“.

Pot. Kettle. White and black.

(Update: since this is about educating student journalists, I thought I would cross-post to the Online Journalism Blog).

Obama’s way around mainstream media

She was trying to make sure media (literally) used the “right” image of Barack Obama during the campaign. Jodi Williams was one of the many young brains behind Barack Obama’s media campaign.

Jodi Williams, who was part of Barack Obama's press team in the presidental campaign. (Photo: Bente Kalsnes)

I met her at the Digital News Affairs conference in Brussels to talk about the digital changes in campaigning and dealing with the media. She had no doubt that all the new digital tools made it easier for political candidates to communicate independently from mainstream media, on their own platforms. Continue reading

Model for the 21st century newsroom pt.6: new journalists for new information flows

new journalists for new information

new journalists for new information

Information is changing. The news industry was born in a time of information scarcity – and any understanding of the laws of supply and demand will tell you that that made information valuable.

But the past 30 years have seen that the erosion of that scarcity. Not only have the barriers to publishing,  broadcast and distribution been lowered by desktop publishing, satellite and digital technologies, and the web – but a booming PR industry has grown up to provide these news organisations with ‘cheap’ news.

Information is changing. Increasingly, we are not seeking information out – instead, it finds us. The scarcity is not in information, but in our time to wade through it, make meaning of it, and act on it.

Information is changing, and so journalists must too. In the previous parts of this series I’ve looked at how the news process could change in a multiplatform environment; how to involve the former audience; what can now happen after a story is published; journalists and readers as distributors; and new media business models. In this part I want to look at personnel – and how we might move from a generic, hierarchy of ‘reporters’, ‘subs’ and ‘editors’ to a more horizontal structure of roles based on information types. Continue reading

5 stages of a blogger’s life

Hope you enjoy this. Concept by Paul Bradshaw, drawings by the wonderful Alex Hughes:

1st stage of blogging: play

1st stage of blogging: play

2nd stage of blogging: feedback

2nd stage of blogging: feedback

3rd stage of blogging: community

3rd stage of blogging: community

4th stage of blogging: fame

4th stage of blogging: fame

5th stage of blogging: exhaustion/death

5th stage of blogging: exhaustion/death

Here are some Twitter avatar-size versions too: