For some reason there are two versions of this post on the site – please check the more up to date version here.
As many readers of this blog will have received a Kindle for Christmas I thought I should share my list of the free ebooks that I recommend stocking up on.
Online journalism and multimedia ebooks
Starting with more general books, Mark Briggs‘s book Journalism 2.0 (PDF*) is now 4 years old but still provides a good overview of online journalism to have by your side. Mindy McAdams‘s 42-page Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency (PDF) adds some more on that front, and Adam Westbrook‘s Ideas on Digital Storytelling and Publishing (PDF) provides a larger focus on narrative, editing and other elements.
After the first version of this post, MA Online Journalism student Franzi Baehrle suggested this free book on DSLR Cinematography, as well as Adam Westbrook on multimedia production (PDF). And Guy Degen recommends the free ebook on news and documentary filmmaking from ImageJunkies.com.
The Participatory Documentary Cookbook [PDF] is another free resource on using social media in documentaries.
The Traffic Factories is an ebook that explores how a number of prominent US news organisations use metrics, and Chartbeat’s role in that. You can download it in mobi, PDF or epub format here.
The documentary includes CCTV footage of parents smothering their children, filmed covertly as part of Southall’s research into cot deaths. The footage is incredibly distressing – the Independent rightly describe it as “among the most shocking to be shown on TV”. Many tweeted that they were switching off the 100-minute broadcast – barely five minutes in – as a result.
The documentary is an excellent piece of work, and worth watching in full – but the CCTV footage raises an old ethical issue in a new context: is it justified?
The spread of CCTV and mobile phone footage, its accessibility and its release by police authorities and availability on YouTube, raises similar questions – whether it is footage of a woman throwing her baby on the floor, race attacks, or the death of a protestor.
What are the questions to ask when you are given such footage? What are the ethical issues to balance? And what about this specific example (the footage begins around 04’25)? I’d love to know what you think.
Here’s a well-produced (even in rough-cut form) documentary on Wikileaks by Swedish network SVT, published on YouTube in 4 parts. It covers quite a bit of the history of the organisation, the lessons it learned and the partnerships it made along the way – all of which provide valuable insights for any student of journalism as a practice or a cultural form, not to mention a more complex understanding than most coverage of the current situation provides. It really is essential viewing.