Kevin Anderson has been working in the digital space for two decades, holding managerial roles at the BBC, the Guardian and Gannett. His online network is one of the foundations of a must-read daily email newsletter rounding up developments in the field. In a special guest post for OJB, Emily Lowes speaks to the freelance journalist and digital strategist about email newsletters and his advice for others looking to get started.
Kevin Anderson has been publishing a daily email newsletter on Nuzzel — an online service which offers news discovery and curation based on users’ interests — for over two years now. He says that Nuzzel newsletters “can help journalists build their profile and intentionally serve their audiences better”. Continue reading →
In a guest post for OJB Maria Crosas points out three main takeaways that newsrooms should consider when aiming for a complete chatbot experience.
Over the past year I’ve been frequently invited to share ideas around how bots can help newsrooms to deliver news, and advice on how to build an engaging chatbot experiences. And throughout these classes, I’ve also had challenging questions on how these technologies are pushing the boundaries of ethics, artificial intelligence and storytelling.
I’ve boiled down these experiences into 3 takeaways for newsrooms that want to begin the chatbot journey. Here they are…
David Neal (@walruswinks) is a producer and director who has been working in vertical video for years. In a special guest post he tells the story of the ongoing battle over the format, how video makers identified good practice, journalists overcame their dislike of vertical — and how in 2016 advertisers are now coming on board.
Since the dawn of the smartphone equipped with a video camera, and even before, people have been posting vertical video on the internet (see here for a retrospective look).
Initially the format was met with almost universal scorn: in 2012, Bento Box, creators of the Glove and Boots video blog, produced the opening salvo (shown below) in what has become a multimedia struggle over the future, or lack thereof, of vertical video, and from there the gunfight expanded.
A few days ago, my English colleague Paul Bradshaw wrote a piece “There’s no such thing as a ‘student journalist’” on his Online Journalism blog. He argues that there should be no distinction between journalists or students of journalism (presumably training to be employed as journalists after graduation) because they are both publishers of information and the students carry out the actions of journalists — they are effectively “doing” journalism — while they learn the skills, technologies and attitudes of the profession.
Students are experiencing first hand the culture of journalism, the experience of journalism and the social consequences of what they do. Paul writes:
There is no such thing as a ‘student journalist’.
Students of journalism no longer practise their work in the seclusion of a classroom. They do not write solely for lecturers, or even for each other.
Even if their course provides no opportunities to do any of these things, they will have Twitter accounts, or Facebook accounts.
All of which means that they are publishers.
I don’t disagree with this in principle. Certainly any journalism course worthy of the name would be requiring students to participate in what I like to call “live fire” news exercises. These are usually done under close supervision. However, writing a blog as part of coursework (and for many students it is an onerous requirement of their study, rather than something they enjoy or immediately see the benefits of) is not journalism. Blogging is not journalism and I thought that debate was settled years ago. Continue reading →
17 students at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York City came together to perform an experiment in 21st century journalism. I invited them to write about the results.
How much is journalism worth? Throughout the past semester, under the tutelage of our professor, Michael Shapiro, we have had endless discussions about how journalism is changing, what we can do to keep up, and how journalists can make a living when so much Internet content is free. To answer that simple question, we set up a website.
Instead of a paywall, we offered our 17 stories to the public for free. At the end of each story, there is a pay option. If the reader enjoys the story, we hope he or she will pay for it. How much? The reader decides.
Projectwordsworth.com was launched on May 9. By May 10, we had made over $1,200 and seen over 20,000 unique site visitors.
Some people donated $1. Others donated $50. Our experiment lasted one week. On May 16, we hoped to discover something new about how people consume and pay for stories. Do readers respond positively when you ask them to pay rather than force them? Do readers who pay for stories also share stories on social media? And last but not least, how much is a good story worth?
Please visit our site to learn more. Check out some stories. Share them. If you like them, pay for them. And if you want to hear about the results of our experiment, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy reading!
Jon Bounds is one of Birmingham’s most established and best-known bloggers. In this guest post, cross-posted from his own blog, he explains why he’s auctioning off that site, the reasons he started it in the first place, and the problems with the ‘hyperlocal question’.
I started Birmingham: It’s Not Shit back in the May of 2002, before there were really such things as blogs in the mainstream and the term ‘hyperlocal’ was not even a glint in an irritating theorist’s eye.
Pretty much everything that’s ever been on it, and definitely everything technical was written or created by me. I’ve had a couple of ‘columnists’ for short whiles and a couple of bits of ‘holiday cover’ but that’s all.
The site was flat, hand coded HTML until I learned of PHP and wrote a simple news updating section. Later I discovered that there wasn’t only a name for such things but software out there to do it more prettily and better.
But, it didn’t start because the media was dying, it started because the media was crap: crap at explaining why people connected emotionally with a place that—when looked at objectively—was a bit shit. Crap at self awareness, crap at understanding real life. The media has changed a little, but mostly the contents have just shifted in transit. Continue reading →
In a guest post for OJB, cross-posted from her blog, Franzi Baehrle reviews a new German TV show which operates across broadcast, web and mobile.
There’s a big experiment going on in German television. And I have to admit that I was slightly surprised that the rather conservative “Bayerischer Rundfunk” (BR, a public service broadcaster in Bavaria), would be the one to start it.
Blogger and journalist Richard Gutjahr was approached by BR to develop a format merging internet and TV. On Monday night the “Rundshow” was aired for the first time at 11pm German time, and will be running Mondays-Thursdays for the next four weeks. Continue reading →
In a guest post for OJB, cross-posted from Putney Debater, Michael Chanan explores his experiences of video blogging for the New Statesman and how it differs from conventional documentary.
Being written for presentation at ‘Marx at the Movies’, these notes address the topic from an angle which is rarely treated in film and video scholarship, that of the peculiar labour process and mode of production involved.
When I started video blogging on the New Statesman, I don’t know if either the NS or myself quite knew what to expect. The main reason for not knowing: it was December 2010, it was clear that something momentous going on, that the protest movement was building, and the idea I had, which the NS agreed to go with, was simple enough: to go out and film stuff that was happening from a sympathetic point of view, and thus, almost week by week, build up a kind of ongoing documentary record of the events. I was thinking in terms of Glauber Rocha’s formula for Cinema Novo in Brazil—to go and make films with a camera in the hand and an idea in the head. I also had the idea from the outset of bringing these blogs together sometime later into a single long documentary (which duly appeared as Chronicle of Protest). Continue reading →