When a journalist gets their first job, or switches role to a new area or specialism, they need to quickly work out where to find useful leads. This often involves the use of feeds, email alerts, and social networks. In this post I’m going to explain a range of search techniques for finding useful sources across a range of platforms. Continue reading
As the UK worked through the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union, Tom Steinberg found himself frustrated. “I am actively searching through Facebook for people celebrating the Brexit leave victory,” he wrote. But to no avail. He called on his friends in the technology industry to act on this ‘echo-chamber problem’.
A day later someone else I know – a former journalist now working in the tech sector – expressed the same frustrations — on Facebook, naturally. It seems we have a problem.
At the time of writing Steinberg’s tweet has been retweeted almost 4,000 times. Clearly there is a desire for connection – and yet…
Why are they making the demand of social media companies — and not news organisations? Continue reading
You can see the future coming.
- Original sharing on Facebook has seen a “double-digit decline“; the company is paying media companies and celebrities for live video to compensate for it, and has relaxed its rules about branded content.
- Twitter – which already has an active audience problem – buys the rights to Thursday night football. Continue reading
I recently hosted a podcast discussion at Birmingham City University for my MA Online Journalism students on ‘platform publishing‘: in other words, journalism on platforms other than traditional websites.
My guests discussed their experiences of publishing for email, SnapChat, Tumblr, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They were: Continue reading
Nice work by The Guardian (above) in their online reporting on transfer rumours: readers of each report are presented with a vote on whether they think the rumour is likely to be true before they get to read the full article.
It’s a good example of putting interactivity – and distribution – front and centre when the headline has already done most of the editorial work. Continue reading
In a previous post, we saw that some regional newspapers do a lot better than others in terms of their Twitter click-through rate. Johnston Press titles, The Northampton Chronicle and Echo, The Scotsman and The Lancashire Evening Post tended to perform the best out of the 10 newspapers that we looked at in this regard.
The Online Journalism Blog talked to Mark Woodward, head of websites at Johnston Press, about the findings and about how Johnston Press sees Twitter as a whole.
How Johnston Press adapted to Twitter
The need to adapt to the evolving digital landscape is very important for regional newspapers as they attempt to reduce the well documented decline in readership.
A large part of this adaptation is concerned with the growth of social media and the ways that this can be used to drive traffic to a news site.
Out of all the papers analysed in the original post, the Johnston Press titles seemed to be doing this best.
All this week I am publishing examples of legal dilemmas that a journalism student might face (Read my previous post on students being publishers, and the responsibilities that come with that for the background). I can’t promise a ‘right answer’ at the end of the week – but I hope you can comment on what a student publisher might do – and why. Here’s the fourth – probably the most complex of the lot:
Case 4: your Facebook page starts getting some nasty comments
You run a Facebook page for a university society group, publishing news about what the group is doing, links to relevant events, and how-tos.
One week, while you are on holiday, a series of hateful comments appear on the site, all from different accounts.
- One is a joke by Member A about Jews which many commenters think is sick.
- In response, Member B says that all Muslims should be beaten up on sight;
- A further comment by Member C adds “homosexuals” to the list for the same treatment;
- And for good measure Member D says “Polacks” should be beaten up too – although you know the commenter personally and think the term was used in a tongue-in-cheek fashion (given the timestamp you suspect she was under the influence).
A few days later Member E messages you directly to tell you about those messages, and ask that two commenters be kicked off the page.
To complicate things further, it isn’t the first time that Member E has asked you to kick people off the page – they have been arguing both privately and publicly on the page that a number of openly gay people are trying to ‘hijack’ the group and openly gay members should not be allowed to join it.
- What are the legal issues here – and what tests need to be met for them to be an issue?
- What defence could you mount?
- How likely is it that legal action would result?
- Would you publish – and why?
Is the Daily Mail less impartial than social media? That’s the takeaway from one of the charts (shown above) in Ofcom’s latest Communications Market Report.
The report asked website and app users to rate 7 news websites against 5 criteria. The Daily Mail comes out with the lowest proportion of respondents rating it highly for ‘impartiality and unbiased‘, ‘Offers range of opinions‘, and ‘Importance‘.
This is particularly surprising given that two of the other websites are social networks. 28% rated Facebook and Twitter highly on impartiality, compared to 26% for the Daily Mail. Continue reading
With news last week of the New York Times and Washington Post being hacked recently, The Muckraker‘s Lyra McKee looks at internet security.
“They were able to hack into the computer and remotely access my Facebook account, printing out a transcript of a private conversation. Then they told me who I’d been talking to over the past week and who was on my contacts list. They’d hacked into my phone. When they first told me they could hack into computers and phones, I didn’t believe them. So they showed me.”
I was sitting at the kitchen table of one of Northern Ireland’s few investigative journalists. He was shaken.
In thirty years of reporting, Colin (not his real name) has seen things that would leave the average person traumatized. A confidante of IRA terrorists, he has shaken hands with assassins and invited them into his home for a chat over a cup of tea – as he had done with me that night.
A few weeks previous, during one visit from a source, the subject of hacking had come up. Continue reading
In a world where an extraordinary amount of people own smartphones, it’s easier than ever to connect instantaneously with those affected by significant news events wherever you happen to be based. But what tools can help reporters find those affected?
Simple searches on Twitter or Facebook may present too many ‘junk leads’ to wade through. Tools like TweetDeck are better, but what if you were able to find social media users more quickly through geolocation? Surely that would be a much more efficient method?
There are numerous websites out there that offer this functionality.