Social media ‘filter bubbles’ – where users only see news sympathetic with their own views – have been blamed for pretty much everything considered ‘wrong’ with politics, from obscuring Trump’s popularity and encouraging political polarisation to the ‘fake news’ epidemic. New publishing startup Echo Chamber Club offers to burst readers’ filter bubbles and challenge their views — and it’s doing so well that it is already planning to expand. Andrew Brightwell interviews its founder, Alice Thwaite.
The Echo Chamber Club, founded in June 2016, sets out to “help ‘liberal and progressive metropolitans’ understand different points of view for themselves.” It publishes weekly emails, each covering a subject in the news, but offering a perspective directly opposed to the liberal consensus.
Since starting in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, it has challenged liberal perceptions on Russia’s support of the Assad regime in Syria, inflation policy, Western military intervention, and the EU referendum. Continue reading →
For my latest journalism experiment I have bravely entered the world of podcasting with zero broadcasting experience under my belt.
The result was literally days of record, delete, record, edit, delete and then: “That was perfect! But… you forgot to press the record button.”
I did manage to work through the frustration and actually start to enjoy discovering what you can do with a mic, a recorder and the free audio editing software Audacity.
I love the amount of creativity that audio allows you: you’ve got the tone, pitch, speed, sound effects, and the actual words you use, all at your disposal. It really allows you the freedom to present a story in a unique voice.
Anyway, here are 5 lessons I learned the hard way, so you don’t have to. Continue reading →
After a short summer break, our Hyperlocal Voices series returns. In this issue we visit the tiny island South Atlantic island of Saint Helena. Perhaps best known for being the home of an exiled Napoleon, it is frequently described as one of the world’s most isolated islands. At just 10 x 5 miles, and with a population of 4,255 people, Simon Pipe’s St Helena Online, offered Damian Radcliffe an insight into a very different type of hyperlocal site. Continue reading →
Yessi Bello continues the Hyperlocal Voices series with an interview with JesmondLocal‘s Ian Wylie, who decided to dabble in local journalism after taking voluntary redundancy from a national newspaper. Still viewed as a “pro-bono”, ” good thing to do” Jesmond Local has now become an integral part of the Jesmond Community.
1)Who were the people behind the blog, and what where their backgrounds?
After 15 years working for The Guardian as a reporter, features writer and finally section editor, I took voluntary redundancy in 2009, and began thinking about what I would do with the next chapter of my career. I’d been involved mostly in national newspaper and magazine journalism, so local journalism was something I hadn’t dabbled in before.
The concept of “hyperlocal” fascinated me as an area for me to explore and an opportunity for me also to “give something back”. I discovered that Newcastle University lecturer David Baines had a research interest in the subject. We met to discuss and he suggested I offer some of his students the chance to launch a hyperlocal website, which we did almost exactly a year ago. Continue reading →