Tag Archives: computer aided reporting

More about that social-media-for-news training next week

Being the sort of person who puts all their work online, I thought it might be useful to put the agenda for next week’s one-day training course up, along with useful hyperlinks. As always, contributions welcomed. Here’s what I’ll be covering: Continue reading

What are your most useful online tools? (Something for the Weekend #12)

I’ve looked at a number of tools in this series, often very new with potential applications for journalism that haven’t been realised. This time I want to turn the spotlight onto tools that you’re using every day, which may not be flashy, but which do a simple job very well – for example:

  • in managing or filtering information,
  • identifying leads, ideas and contacts,
  • producing news itself,
  • distributing it,
  • or allowing users to get involved.

What have been the most useful online tools you’ve used?

RSS readers: why have just one?

Recently my long love affair with Bloglines has been hitting the rocks. I’ve been seeing another RSS reader. Yes, it’s Google Reader.

It started on the bus to work. You see, the mobile version of Bloglines doesn’t do it for me. My ‘morning paper’, now, is to scroll through the headlines from the dozens of blogs I subscribe to – in Google Reader mobile. If it’s something I might want to return to later, I ‘star’ it. If the blog post supports it, I might even bookmark it on del.icio.us. Continue reading

Social bookmarking for journalists

This was originally published in Press Gazette as Del.icio.us social bookmarking explained and Need some background info? Just follow the electronic trail.

How journalists can use web bookmarking services to manage, find and publish documents.

Every newspaper has a library, and most journalists have kept some sort of cuttings file for reference. But what if you could search that cuttings file like you search Google? What if you could find similar articles and documents? What if you could let your readers see your raw material?

That’s what online bookmarking – or ‘social bookmarking‘ – tools allow you to do. And they have enormous potential for journalists.

There are a number of social bookmarking services. Del.icio.us is best known and most widely used and supported. For this reason this article will focus mostly on Del.icio.us. Continue reading

Something for the Weekend #4: scraping the web with iMacro

This week’s Something for the Weekend is a little different, as it’s a tool for newsgathering rather than publishing. But what a tool.

iMacro is a plugin for Firefox, with paid versions for Internet Explorer or standalone use.

There’s a lot of corporate/technical jargon on the website (“create solutions for web automation”), because, like some of the best web tools (e.g. Twitter), this can be used for so many things it’s hard to describe in a single sentence. But here are some of the headlines: Continue reading

Ten ways journalism has changed in the last ten years (Blogger’s Cut)

A few weeks ago I wrote an 800-word piece for UK Press Gazette on how journalism has changed in the past decade. My original draft was almost 1200 words – here then is the original ‘Blogger’s Cut’ for your delectation…

The past decade has seen more change in the craft of journalism than perhaps any other. Some of the changes have erupted into the mainstream; others have nibbled at the edges. Paul Bradshaw counts the ways…

From a lecture to a conversation

Perhaps the biggest and most widely publicised change in journalism has been the increasing involvement of – and expectation of involvement by – the readers/audience. Yes, readers had always written letters, and occasionally phoned in tips, but the last ten years have seen the relationship between publisher and reader turn into something else entirely.

You could say it started with the accessibility of email, coupled with the less passive nature of the internet in general, as readers, listeners and watchers became “users”. But the change really gained momentum with… Continue reading

BASIC principles of online journalism: A is for Adaptability

In the second part of this five-part series, I explore how adaptability has not only become a key quality for the journalist – but for the information they deal with on a daily basis too. This will form part of a forthcoming book on online journalism – comments very much invited.

The adaptable journalist

A key skill for any journalist in the new media age, whatever medium they’re working in, is adaptability. The age of the journalist who only writes text, or who only records video, or audio, is passing. Today, the newspaper and magazine, the television and the radio programme all have an accompanying website. And that website is, increasingly, filled with a whole range of media, which could include any of the following:

  • (Hyper)Text
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Still images
  • Audio slideshows
  • Animation
  • Flash interactivity
  • Database-driven elements
  • Blogs
  • Microblogging/Text/email alerts (Twitter)
  • Community elements – forums, wikis, social networking, polls, surveys
  • Live chats
  • Mapping
  • Mashups

This does not mean that the online journalist has to be an expert in all of these fields, but they should have media literacy in as many of these fields as possible: in other words, a good online journalist should be able to see a story and think:

  • ‘That story would have real impact on video’;
  • or: ‘A Flash interactive could explain this better than anything else’;
  • or ‘This story would benefit from me linking to the original reports and some blog commentary’;
  • or ‘Involving the community in this story would really engage, and hopefully bring out some great leads’. Continue reading