Tag Archives: ebook

My next ebook: the Data Journalism Heist

Data Journalism Heist data journalism ebook

In the next couple of months I will begin publishing my next ebook: Data Journalism Heist.

Data Journalism Heist is designed to be a relatively short introduction to data journalism skills, demonstrating basic techniques for finding data, spotting possible stories and turning them around to a deadline.

Based on a workshop, the emphasis is on building confidence through speed and brevity, rather than headline-grabbing spectacular investigations or difficult datasets (I’m hoping to write a separate ebook on the latter at some point).

If you’re interested in finding out about the book, please sign up on the book’s Leanpub page.

Meanwhile, I’m looking for translators for Scraping for Journalists – get in touch if you’re interested.

Free ebook: Citizen Video – training and engaging citizens in video journalism

Videographer Franzi Baehrle has published an ebook documenting lessons in delivering video training to non-journalists.

The ebook was part of her final project for the MA Online Journalism at Birmingham City University, and based on her experiences of working with communities online and offline in Birmingham, with the Guardian Media Group’s n0tice project, the Birmingham Mail’s digital team, and independently.

I forgot to blog about it at the time it was published last Autumn, but better late than never: it’s an excellent piece of work, and well worth reading.

Free ebook on teaching collaborative journalism and peer-to-peer learning

Stories and Streams free ebook on teaching collaborative journalism with peer to peer learning

I’ve just published a free ebook documenting a method of teaching collaborative journalism. Called ‘Stories and Streams’ the method, which was piloted last year, uses investigation teams and focuses on student-driven, peer-to-peer learning. Traditional lectures are not used.

You can download the free ebook from Leanpub.

You can read more about the background to the project here. A research report co-written with Jon Hickman and Jennifer Jones is published in a research report in ADM-HEA Networks Magazine. A fuller report will be included in a HEA publication on collaborative learning soon.

I’m also about to start a new class using the same method again, so if you have a class you’d like to get involved, let me know.

Model for a 21st Century Newsroom – the sequel (free ebook)

Model for the 21st Century Newsroom Redux ebook

Some time ago the BBC College of Journalism asked me to revisit the Model for a 21st Century Newsroom series that I wrote in 2007, and see how newsrooms and news processes had changed – and continue to change – since then.

The results are gathered in a free mini ebook: Model for the 21st Century Newsroom: Redux.

It provides a detailed overview of how emerging practices such as liveblogging and explainers have now become formalised and embedded in news production, while the focus has started to shift from the ‘speed’ part of the news process to ‘depth’, with increasing attention being paid to APIs, content management, context and analysis.

This is contextualised with data on changing news and information consumption practices, and rounded up with seven recommendations to journalists and editors.

I hope it’s useful for journalism educators, students and editors – if you’re using it in your classroom or newsroom let me know.

Data Journalism Handbook now in Russian

The Data Journalism Handbook, a free ebook with contributions from dozens of data journalism folk (including me), is now available in Russian.

The translation was “produced and published by the Russian International News & Information Agency (RIA Novosti) with support from the European Journalism Centre”, according to an EJC press release.

Scraping for Journalists – ebook out now

My ebook Scraping for Journalists: How to grab data from hundreds of sources, put it in a form you can interrogate – and still hit deadlines is now live.

You can buy it from Leanpub here. Leanpub allows you to publish in installments, so you get an alert every time new content is added and update your version. This means I can adapt and improve the book based on feedback from the people who use it. In other words, it’s agile publishing, which makes for a better book. (Also, I can publish at a Codecademy-like weekly pace which suits learning particularly well.)

There’s a Facebook page and a support blog for the book for commenting too.

Meanwhile, here’s a presentation I did at News:Rewired last week which covers some of the ground from the book:

My first ebook: Scraping For Journalists (and programming too)

Next week I will start publishing my first ebook: Scraping for Journalists.

Although I’ve written about scraping before on the blog, this book is designed to take the reader step by step through a series of tasks (a chapter each) which build a gradual understanding of the principles and techniques for tackling scraping problems. Everything has a direct application for journalism, and each principle is related to their application in scraping for newsgathering.

For example: the first scraper requires no programming knowledge, and is working within 5 minutes of reading.

I’m using Leanpub for this ebook, because it allows you to publish in installments and update the book for users – which suits a book like this perfectly, as I’ll be publishing chapters week by week, Codecademy-style.

If you want to be alerted when the book is ready register on the book’s Leanpub page.

Review: Yahoo! Pipes tutorial ebook

Pipes Tutorial ebook

I’ve been writing about Yahoo! Pipes for some time, and am consistently surprised that there aren’t more books on the tool. Pipes Tutorial – an ebook currently priced at $14.95 – is clearly aiming to address that gap.

The book has a simple structure: it is, in a nutshell, a tour around the various ‘modules’ that you combine to make a pipe.

Some of these will pull information from elsewhere – RSS feeds, CSV spreadsheets, Flickr, Google Base, Yahoo! Local and Yahoo! Search, or entire webpages.

Some allow the user to input something themselves – for example, a search phrase, or a number to limit the type of results given.

And others do things with all the above – combining them, splitting them, filtering, converting, translating, counting, truncating, and so on.

When combined, this makes for some powerful possibilities – unfortunately, its one-dimensional structure means that this book doesn’t show enough of them.

Modules in isolation

While the book offers a good introduction into the functionality of the various parts of Yahoo! Pipes, it rarely demonstrates how those can be combined. Typically, tutorial books will take you through a project that utilises the power of the tools covered, but Pipes Tutorial lacks this vital element. Sometimes modules will be combined in the book but this is mainly done because that is the only way to show how a single module works, rather than for any broader pedagogical objective.

At other times a module is explained in isolation and it is not explained how the results might actually be used. The Fetch Page module, for example – which is extremely useful for scraping content from a webpage – is explained without reference to how to publish the results, only a passing mention that the reader will have to use ‘other modules’ to assign data to types, and that Regex will be needed to clean it up.

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