One of the most dreaded assignments in journalism has always been the death knock: the job of knocking on the door of someone affected by tragedy.
In the pre-Internet era, the death knock would typically fall to someone at the local newspaper; and, perhaps, reporters from a news agency or two would also come knocking. In some cases, journalists from the nationals, broadcasters and magazines would arrive too.
Now the nature of the death knock has changed. In web parlance, it has scaled. And the problem is: it doesn’t scale well. Continue reading
Last week one of the students on my MA in Online Journalism was looking to find French people based in the city for a local angle on the presidential elections taking place in France. “Ah!” I thought. “That’s a job for a Facebook Graph search”. It’s the sort of situation that arises regularly in the newsroom — so here’s how to do it:
What is Facebook Graph search — and why is it useful for journalists?
Facebook Graph was launched in 2013 as a specific tool for finding people based on their interests. The ‘graph’ part refers to its ability to find people based on intersecting qualities: combinations of their likes, places of work, friends, and where they live and come from.
As part of a series of articles on the innovators tackling the filter bubble phenomenon, Andrew Brightwell interviews John Gable, founder and CEO of AllSides, a website that has devised its own way to present alternative perspectives on American news.
When a man who helped build the first successful web browser says there’s something wrong with the Internet, it probably pays to listen.
“The internet is broken.”
John Gable’s diagnosis has authority: he has more than 30 years in the tech business, including stints at Microsoft, AOL and as a product manager for Netscape Navigator.
Now he is founder and CEO of AllSides Inc, a news website with a distinct mission. Visit AllSides.com and it offers the news you’d expect on any US politics site, except that its lead stories include a choice of articles: one from the left, centre and right.
“The headlines are so radically different that even reading [them together] tells you more about that topic than reading one story all the way through.”
In a guest post for OJB, Livia Vieira rounds up some of the highlights of News:Rewired 2017, from best practices to deal with fake news and engagement with live videos, to newsroom automation, mobile data journalism and collaborative storytelling and groundbreaking initiatives in newsrooms.
1. Engagement and ethics in live social video
According to Alfred Joyner, head of video of IBT Media, 66% of the views on Facebook Live videos happen after they end, so it is important to re-package the content, giving it new meaning.
Alfred also emphasised that IBT trains its anchors and uses high quality equipment to ensure the quality of transmissions — although all speakers hit on the point that Facebook Live is not TV, and so does not need to have that ‘casted’ format. Continue reading
Radiolab’s recent podcast The Buried Bodies Case is a brilliant piece of storytelling. The producers’ newsgathering; the choices of elements and how they are arranged; the tight editing and use of silence — all these make for a masterclass in longform narrative that any journalism student would benefit from exploring.
But it’s not that which prompted me to blog about it.
The content of the podcast is perhaps the best exploration of journalist-source ethics I’ve heard, without it actually being about journalists.
Spoiler alert: if you want to enjoy the podcast without knowing where it goes, then stop here, listen to it, and then come back. Continue reading