For some reason there are two versions of this post on the site – please check the more up to date version here.
As many readers of this blog will have received a Kindle for Christmas I thought I should share my list of the free ebooks that I recommend stocking up on.
Online journalism and multimedia ebooks
Starting with more general books, Mark Briggs‘s book Journalism 2.0 (PDF*) is now 4 years old but still provides a good overview of online journalism to have by your side. Mindy McAdams‘s 42-page Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency (PDF) adds some more on that front, and Adam Westbrook‘s Ideas on Digital Storytelling and Publishing (PDF) provides a larger focus on narrative, editing and other elements.
After the first version of this post, MA Online Journalism student Franzi Baehrle suggested this free book on DSLR Cinematography, as well as Adam Westbrook on multimedia production (PDF). And Guy Degen recommends the free ebook on news and documentary filmmaking from ImageJunkies.com.
The Participatory Documentary Cookbook [PDF] is another free resource on using social media in documentaries.
The Traffic Factories is an ebook that explores how a number of prominent US news organisations use metrics, and Chartbeat’s role in that. You can download it in mobi, PDF or epub format here.
A few months ago I was asked what sort of mobile phone I would recommend for a journalism student. Knowing how tight student budgets are, and that any choice should have as much of an eye on the future as on the present, I recommended getting an Android phone.
The reasoning went like this: iPhones are great at certain things, and currently benefit from a wider range of applications than other mobile phones. But the contracts are expensive, the battery life poor, and Apple’s closed system problematic, for reasons I’ll expand on in a moment. Continue reading
Nokia have unveiled the N97 and Robert Scoble makes a compelling case for its superiority over the iPhone. Curiously, many of his points mirror ones I had prepared in a blog post comparing the iPhone to the N95, giving me the perfect excuse to finally publish it.
The iPhone is overrated. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Yes, it’s got great usability, but for a journalist it just doesn’t compete. And here are 10 reasons why:
- A crappy camera. 2 megapixels is terrible – the N95 has 5. Not to mention auto-focus, flash, etc. etc.
- No video camera. Inexcusable in the YouTube age. Yes there are workarounds but…
- You have to jailbreak the iPhone to use streaming services like Qik. Installing Qik (or Bambuser, or Shozu) on the N95 is pretty straightforward. The fact you have to jailbreak the iPhone at all says a lot about Apple’s attitude. Nokia’s Symbian operating system is open (if not open source yet).
- You can’t save webpages. Once again, you can on the N95.
- No alternative browser. Opera Mini is great on the N95.
- Battery power. You can at least have a spare battery for the N95.
- No recording of audio. You can on an N95, and email it to Posterous for instant podcast.
- Walled garden for apps. Apps on the N95? Get them anywhere, without the worry that Nokia will lock them out in the future.
- Fiddly keyboard. Particularly difficult when there are…
- No external keyboards. You can buy a number of cute bluetooth keyboards for the N95 which make it possible to type updates and blog posts very quickly.
Virtual intern Natalie Chillington rounds up last week’s online journalism-related news
- Google will announce a new metrics tool to measure web site audience, to rival current power players Nielsen and ComScore.
- Lots of debate over whether Google is making us stupid