Tag Archives: Politics

BBC Free: Help us persuade the BBC to open their RSS feeds up

The internet blows my mind. Ryan Carson opened my eyes to the power of it a few months ago. We can sit down and create a blog or web application and have it instantly accessible to the world. That’s unique, and it’s exciting.

We’re asking the BBC to join us in this creativity. Today, we’re launching BBC Free – it’s a campaign to convince the BBC to offer full article RSS feeds.

Current short bbc feeds

Currently, their feeds are just a single line or two and this hurts your RSS experience, and it also hinders creativity in online news. RSS feeds are machine readable and a ton of great startups base their news products off that content. By making the feed “full article”, we can be far more creative with how we improve your online news experience.

We’re not asking the BBC to create an amazing news API like The Guardian. The BBC doesn’t run adverts, any users of RSS will appreciate this change, and people who don’t use RSS won’t know anything has changed.

We’re imploring you, internets, to help us with our campaign. Full details are at our site http://bbcfree.net – the twitter hash tag is #bbcfree and you can follow the campaign at @bbcfree.

— Peter Clark, CEO of Broadersheet.

Retweet this.

I smell a government rat in my news

As traditional media outlets close down, the relative importance of non-market players becomes more important.

Governments around the world were quick to see the opportunities for their news agencies. From Xinhua (China) to ITAR-TASS (Russia), from AFP (half of its budget comes from state subscriptions) to Voice of America, governments are trying to shape the world’s public opinion.

The coverage of Gaza by Al Jazeera is a case in point. They produced quality journalism no other outlet could dream of. Now, viewers should keep in mind that money for such newsgathering comes straight from the pocket of the Emir of Qatar. Believe me, I’m sure Al Jazeera’s journalists keep that in mind too.

To help you measure the amount of government-funded journalism, I built this little app, I smell a government rat in my news. Just type in any query and you’ll see the share of articles produced with state funds. Continue reading

Obama’s way around mainstream media

She was trying to make sure media (literally) used the “right” image of Barack Obama during the campaign. Jodi Williams was one of the many young brains behind Barack Obama’s media campaign.

Jodi Williams, who was part of Barack Obama's press team in the presidental campaign. (Photo: Bente Kalsnes)

I met her at the Digital News Affairs conference in Brussels to talk about the digital changes in campaigning and dealing with the media. She had no doubt that all the new digital tools made it easier for political candidates to communicate independently from mainstream media, on their own platforms. Continue reading

Council elections mashup – help improve it

I’ve very quickly created a Yahoo! Pipes mashup for today’s council and London mayor elections in the UK. All it does at the moment is

  • take the RSS feed for Tweetscan searches for ‘election’, ‘voted’, ‘voting’, ‘vote’, ‘Ken Livingstone‘ and ‘Boris Johnson‘,
  • gets rid of duplicate results,
  • and spits out a feed.
  • UPDATE: Now it also takes feeds from Google News and Technorati searches for local election and the two london candidates
  • It also filters out anything with ‘Zimbabwe’ in it, as reports on those elections were coming through.

I’d like to invite you to clone the mashup and make improvements. Or you can just suggest them here.

Some things I’d like to do are: add images; geo information and mapping; other feeds; filtering based on user input (e.g. location).

Meanwhile, here’s how the two mayoral candidates are faring on Twitter mentions according to a search on Twist:

Boris vs Ken