Tag Archives: Sky

Heathrow protests see more mobile/social media reporting

Press Gazette reports on a Sky reporter using “mobile and social media tools” to cover the Heathrow protest:

“In an experiment in applying consumer-level social media tools to newsgathering, Teddler used his Blackberry to send 140-character text-message updates to the microblogging site Twitter and emailed pictures taken using the phone’s camera to the photo-sharing site Flickr.”

The experiment seems to be part of a growing trend among news organisations away from relying on in-house systems, and using freely available tools like Twitter (Guardian, etc.), Google Maps (BBC Berkshire), Facebook (Mail & Guardian, Sky), YouTube (The Mirror, BBC’s Ben Hammersley, etc.) and even WordPress (various local paper blogs). As Julian March,Sky.com’s editor, says: “The attraction is that a reporter can update his story or his page directly from his mobile phone without having to go through the CMS or someone who has access to the CMS back at base.”

It’s also part of the new “iterative” journalism – a journalism that is always “work in progress”, that conversation-not-lecture that Dan Gillmor identified. Seems those ideas are finally taking shape.

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Sky News website crashes on relaunch day

Sky website April 19 2007 1.05pmIt had to happen. Relaunching on the day news organisations around the world reported on the Virginia Tech gunman’s video statements, Sky News’ video-heavy website couldn’t cope when workers hit their site in huge numbers at lunchtime.

The site was inaccessible for at least an hour before a stripped-down version of the homepage went live around 1pm. Even then, response times were snail-like.

Of course, crashes like this are not new: on September 11 news websites around the world crashed under the demand, and a number of blogs sprang up to distribute the information around the net, but Sky seems to be the only site to have struggled today.

Sky News’ serendipitous website relaunch

Sky News has relaunched its website on what may prove the biggest day for online video this year.

It’s no surprise to see the Virginia Tech gunman’s self-filmed video dominating the homepage, which has a strong focus on video generally, as well as adopting what are becoming conventional features in news websites: the ‘most read’ stories list; podcasts; and blogs.

The most interesting feature – and it’s not clear whether this will be repeated for other major stories – is that ‘Campus Shooting’ is actually one of the main navigation options, alongside more conventional categories ‘world news’, ‘UK news’, ‘business’ etc.

Journalism.co.uk has more on the relaunch, including some notable organisational changes:

“”In the past few months alone, a number of senior journalists have joined Sky News Online from Sky News,” a statement read. “Phil Wardman, Sky News’ head of home news, has been seconded for nine months to sky.com/news to head up online intake, and executive producer Julian March and news editor John Gripton are also bringing their experience to Sky News Online.

“Simon Bucks has been appointed associated editor to put Sky News Online at the forefront of audience participation, encouraging online users to collaborate further in areas such as voting, commenting charing views and contributing to stories. He will continue to solidify the integration of Sky News’ TV and online news services.

“BSkyB is currently trialling a user-generated content portal, SkyCast, with the aim of taking videos from viewers of Sky News and other channels for use on air.”

You can see what Sky News’ website looked like in 2005 at the Web Archive.

UPDATE: as of 12.35 the Sky News website is down, presumably from too many visitors during the UK lunchtime surge. If your glass is half empty, perhaps it wasn’t the best day to relaunch; if it’s half full, well, they got the best day to test the site they could have asked for.

Sky and social networking?

[Keyword: , , ]. Journalism.co.uk is reporting on plans by Sky for “a video-based social networking website with Google”:

“Asked if it will have a creative or news-based focus, Mr Wright said it could be a ‘combination of those things’. However, he added that the site would not follow either the MySpace or Bebo social network formulas – thus offering the possibility of something wholly unique.”

But possibly more interesting is the note that “Google also agreed to provide search and targeted search advertising, email, messenger and VoIP telephony.” While social networking is relatively new and difficult to get right, facilities such as these could make a difference to the user experience and, more importantly, advertisers.

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Paul Bradshaw lectures on the Journalism degree at UCE Birmingham media department. He writes a number of blogs including the Online Journalism Blog, Interactive PR and Web and New Media