During this year’s mayoral elections one of my MA Online Journalism students, Sam Gould, adopted an Instagram-first publishing strategy during the lead up to the vote, and on the day of the count. The results were impressive, taking in profiles, interviews, explainers, and live coverage. But equally interesting for anyone considering a mobile-first approach to elections this year was the workflow, so I thought I’d share some of the key points here. Continue reading
Health and safety guidance for journalists typically focuses on traditional issues like working in dangerous locations, or using desktop computers. Few resources tackle the issues raised by frequent use of mobile devices for work. One exception is a new ebook on Instagram by one of my students, Robyn Bateman. In this extract, Robyn outlines the potential side effects of frequent mobile phone use and techniques to combat that.
I’m interested in Instagram, but I’m also interested in the potential health implications for mobile journalists or, indeed, anyone regularly using a mobile phone to create content out in the field. Including Instagrammers.
I suffer terribly from this. Bought on by bad posture and enhanced by a lot of computer and mobile phone use, I get everything from a numb hand and arm, to tension in my jaw, knotted shoulders, dizzy and tired spells.
So I did some research — and the good news is our mobile phones aren’t to blame: we are. We don’t have to ditch smartphones for personal or professional use (or both), we just have to change the way we use them. Continue reading
Another month, another set of new feature launches: this time the longform blogging platform Medium announcing ‘Series‘, a “new type of story”, then days later Facebook announcing its ‘Messenger Day‘ feature.
What all have in common is the almost unquestioned use of a horizontal storytelling mode: a move from scroll-based navigation to navigating through a swipe or a tap.
What does that mean for journalism and storytelling? I think it’s about time we asked. Continue reading
You might be mistaken for thinking Instagram’s new “multiple photos and videos in one post” feature is just the same as Instagram’s Stories feature, which they introduced in August. But there is one difference which is key for journalists and publishers: these posts are permanent.
Although Instagram haven’t referred to the new updates as a slideshow or gallery, that is perhaps the simplest way to describe the new feature: users can swipe from left to right to move between pictures, and/or videos. Continue reading
Rounding up the best posts of the year is a good habit to get into, but one that I’ve failed to acquire. In 2014 – the ten year anniversary of this site – I rounded up the year’s best performing posts, which does give you a flavour of what was happening that year — but I forgot to repeat it for 2015.
Here, then, are some reflections on the 10 pieces which did best in 2016 (there were 100 posts across the year), plus the older posts which keep on giving, and a comparison of some pieces which did far better on Medium than on OJB. Continue reading
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