Tag Archives: glyn mottershead

Comment call: Are you teaching data journalism?

On Monday The Guardian published an article about data journalism and the future of journalism. As part of that I was asked what university courses taught data journalism. I could only think of Glyn Mottershead at Cardiff and – probably – Steve Hill at Southampton Solent.

So let me ask: are you involved in – or study on – a course that covers any aspect of data journalism? That might be statistics, computer assisted reporting, or mashing, or something else. Please comment – I’d really like to know what’s out there.

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The New Online Journalists #1: Hannah Waldram

As part of an ongoing series on recent graduates who have gone into online journalism, Guardian Beatblogger Hannah Waldram talks about her education and experience leading up to her job, and what it involves.

I graduated from the Centre for Journalism at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies with a diploma in newspaper journalism in June 2009. During the course, I followed developments in online journalism – spurred on by my tutor Glyn Mottershead – attended journalism and hyperlocal conferences across the UK, started a personal website to showcase my work (hrwaldram.co.uk), played around with new online tools and invested in some new tech (Flip cameras, netbooks), blogged a lot, as well as various bits of work experience including the technology desk at The Daily Telegraph and Media Guardian.

I also bought the domain name bournvillevillage.com and began brewing ideas for a hyperlocal website for my hometown area in Birmingham.

After completing the course and while sending off applications for trainee reporter jobs, I continued to set up Bournville Village. There’s a vibrant network of bloggers in Birmingham who gave me advice, support and ideas, and the blog launched just in time for some unusual gun shootings in the area.

Bournville is bursting with local news and history and is poorly covered by the regional press – so the blog was well-received by the community. It was also a great way for me to practise my skills as a journalist. Soon I was offered three jobs – two in traditional media and one in new media. I went for new media.

I started working as a social reporter for Podnosh and online editor of westmidlandsdance.com for Meshed Media – in these roles I learnt a lot about civic engagement, online communities and multimedia journalism.

I am now the Guardian Beatblogger in Cardiff. You can read more about the local project here and Local editor Sarah Hartley explains the role of a beatblogger here, I also recently published some tools I use on the job here.

I’ve since passed on bournvillevillage.com to Dave Harte who is a runner in Bournville and helped out from the outset. Under his editorship the site continues to thrive and unravel the hidden stories of the area.

When the lack of comments damages your news brand

If you want to skip the background, go to the next subheading

Last week the BBC Education website published a piece about a report into the use of technology by schoolchildren: “Tech addiction ‘harms learning'”:

“Technology addiction among young people is having a disruptive effect on their learning, researchers have warned,” the intro led, before describing the results of the study. No one other than the study authors was quoted.

But GP and Clinial Lecturer AnneMarie Cunningham, hearing of the report on Twitter, felt the headline and content of the article didn’t match up: “The headline suggests a causal relationship which a cross-sectional study could not establish, but the body of the text doesn’t really support any relationship between addiction and learning”, she wrote, and she started digging:

“It … was clear that none of the authors had an education background. The 2 main authors, Nadia and Andrew Kakabadse, have a blog showcasing their many interests but education doesn’t feature amongst them. They descibe themselves as “experts in top team and board consulting, training and development”.”

AnneMarie bought the report for $24.99 – the only way to read it – and started reading. This is what she found: Continue reading

10 Twitter users that every journalism student should follow?

UPDATE: From the comments: similar lists now available for Norway and Sweden.

I will soon begin teaching my annual module in Online Journalism and one of the first things I get the students to do is set up a Twitter account. It’s often a struggle to demonstrate the usefulness of Twitter, so this time around, in addition to following each other, I’m going to give them 10 people to start following from the off. This is the list I’ve come up with – would welcome your suggestions for others:

  1. @davelee – former journalism student and excellent blogger who landed a plum job at the BBC after graduating. Get the point?
  2. @channel4news – example of how a news organisation can use Twitter in a personal, conversational way, rather than simply republishing its RSS feed (see also: @r4news, @mashable) Continue reading