The latest frequently asked questions post focuses on questions from a Masters student interested in the effect of the rise of online news on journalism ethics.
Do you think that the ethical codes of journalism have changed in the transition from traditional journalism to digital?
I think the ethics of journalism have changed, yes, for a range of reasons, and in both negative and positive ways. For example, transparency has become much more highly valued as a journalistic value: journalists are expected to earn the trust of readers much more than was previously the case, and I would argue that is a positive development. Linking to sources, sharing methodologies, etc. forces journalists to hold themselves to higher standards.
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Nuzzel offers a short-cut to the most shared stories in your Twitter timeline – and is already popular with journalists. But while it’s best known for directing you to your friends’ most popular links, it has other uses. In a guest post for OJB, Andy Brightwell shows how you can use Nuzzel to burst your filter bubble, follow people in a particular location or industry, see the world from someone’s perspective, or create a niche newsletter.
Since Nuzzel added Twitter lists it’s been possible to curate ‘custom feeds’ from sets of tweeters. For journalists this means an opportunity to seek new perspectives on communities, places and politics through Twitter. Below I’ve outlined five different ways to use the feature — but first, a bit of background… Continue reading →
Here, then, are some reflections on the 10 pieces which did best in 2016 (there were 100 posts across the year), plus the older posts which keep on giving, and a comparison of some pieces which did far better on Medium than on OJB. Continue reading →
Journalism activities range from scoping out a field through to investigating for ‘scoops’
How do journalists find stories? How do we test whether a story is as good as it could be? How do we get better as journalists?
The image above is my attempt to answer these questions. It maps out the six activities that journalists undertake as part of their workflow, in order of value: from scoping a field or subject, through to relaying information to a wider audience, responding to or attending news events, seeking new information and experiences, and investigating. Continue reading →
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.
Something remarkable happened this year. Something I’ve been waiting for for a long time.
News reports on the web finally started to look more and more like… well, web-native articles.
Not print articles online, not broadcast journalism online, but online journalism, online. I’m talking about journalism which isn’t just text: whether that means linking and embedding or mixing text with images, video or audio.
So what changed in 2014? Here are three factors I’ve noticed growing in influence over the last 12 months. Continue reading →
Curation is a relatively new term in journalism, but the practice is as old as journalism itself. Every act of journalism is an act of curation: think of how a news report or feature selects and combines elements from a range of sources (first hand sources, background facts, first or second hand colour). Not only that: every act of publishing is, too: selecting and combining different types of content to ensure a news or content ‘mix’.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ in his talk to employees at the Washington Post said: “People will buy a package … they will not pay for a story.” Previously that package was limited to what your staff produced, and wire copy. But as more content becomes digitised, it is possible to combine more content from a wider variety of sources in a range of media – and on any one of a number of platforms.
Curation is nothing new – but it is becoming harder.
Choosing the tools
I’ve identified at least three distinct types of curation (you may think of more):
Curation as distribution or relay: this is curation at the platform level: think of Twitter accounts that relay the most useful links and tweets from elsewhere. Or Tumblr blogs that pass on the best images, video and quotes. Or UsVsTh3m.
Curation as aggregation or combination: seen in linkblogging and news roundups, or galleries, or news aggregators (even creating an algorithm or filter is a journalistic act of selection).
Curation as filter or distillation: this often comes in the form of the list: Buzzfeed is a master of these, distilling conversations from Reddit and complementing them with images.
There are also a number of ways in which the journalist adds value (again, you may think of more):
Through illustrating (as Buzzfeed, above, does with images to liven up highlights from a text discussion)
Through following up
As a journalist operating online, you are both reporter and publisher, able to curate content both at the article level and that of ‘publication’ – whether that’s a Twitter stream, a Tumblr blog, or a Flipboard magazine. Here are some suggestions for tools and techniques: Continue reading →