Tag Archives: Jo Geary

10 women in technology you should be following (Ada Lovelace Day)

Thanks to a prompt from Jemima Kiss, I realised it’s Ada Lovelace day today. Thanks to Suw Charman-Anderson, I’ve signed a pledge to blog about a woman in technology I admire.

Well in that sentence alone I’ve already mentioned two.

I’ve already blogged about two other women in technology I admire: Jo Geary and danah boyd. So that makes 4.

How about another 6?

Aleks Krotoski, for instance, a games journalist and PhD student who has not one great Delicious feed, but two, which are both worth following. If more journalists were this well informed and transparent, more readers would be too.

Or Beth Kanter, a leader on how nonprofit organisations can use social media.

Or Alison Gow, Sarah Hartley, Angela Connor, or Amy Gahran, four more journalists using new technologies in innovative ways.

They happen to be female. I don’t think that matters. I hadn’t thought about it until now.

But I’m going to spend the next 20 minutes following links in the Twitter search for #adalovelace and a Technorati search for the same. Hope you can join me. Did you find anyone new?

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Should journalism degrees still prepare students for a news industry that doesn’t want them?

UPDATE (Aug 7 ’08): The Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates suggests employment opportunities and salaries are not affected.

J-schools are generally set up to prepare students for the mainstream news industry: print and broadcasting, with a growing focus on those industries’ online arms. There’s just one small problem. That industry isn’t exactly splashing out on job ads at the moment…

The LA Times is cutting 150 editorial jobs and reducing pages by 15%; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution cutting nearly 200 jobs; the Wall Street Journal cutting 50 jobs; Thomson Reuters axing 140 jobs; in the UK Newsquest is outsourcing prepress work to India, while also cutting jobs in York and Brighton; Reed Business Information, Trinity Mirror and IPC are all putting a freeze on recruitment, with Trinity Mirror also cancelling its graduate training scheme and cutting subbing jobs. In the past two months almost 4,000 jobs have vanished at US newspapers (Mark Potts has this breakdown of June’s 1000 US redundancies). In the past ten years the number of journalists in the US is said to have gone down by 25%.

Given these depressing stats I’ve been conducting a form of open ‘panel discussion’ format via Seesmic with a number of journalists and academics, asking whether journalism schools ought to revisit their assumptions about graduate destinations – and therefore what they teach. The main thread is below.

The responses are worth browsing through. Here’s my attempt at a digest: Continue reading

Launching an environmental news website – four weeks in

As you have probably worked out, this year’s Online Journalism students have been building up towards launching an environmental news website. This week the site went public, and I thought I’d take the opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned so far…

The Background

The site is the final year project of two final year journalism degree students – Azeem Ahmad and Rachael Wilson. The decision was made to launch an environmental site because of the increase of investment in this area from a number of news organisations, and also because of a local connection – more of which later.

Azeem is responsible for the more technical side of the site, which he has built from scratch using the open source content management software Joomla.

Azeem has been blogging his progress with the software, including the frightening experience of having the site hacked into by the creator of a theme Azeem installed.

Rachael has the responsibility for editorial, which means writing for the site herself, but more importantly managing 14 second year students on the Online Journalism module as they try to build a news site on a subject most have never written about. She’s also been blogging her experiences.

Week One: Choosing a name, assigning beats, making connections

After some cheesy brainstorming, the very literal name ‘Environmental News Online‘ was chosen for the site for the simple reasons of search engine optimisation and domain name availability. The abbreviation ‘ENO’ lent it more character. Continue reading