Tag Archives: tagging

How I use social bookmarking for journalism

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Delicious icon by Icon Shock

A few weeks back I wrote about my ‘network infrastructure’ – the combination of social networks, an RSS reader and social bookmarking that can underpin a person’s journalism work.

As I said there, the social bookmarking element is the one that people often fail to get, so I wanted to further illustrate how I use Delicious specifically, with a case study.

Here’s a post I wrote about how sentencing decisions were being covered around the UK riots. The ‘lead’ came through a social network, but if I was to write a post that was informed by more than what I could remember about sentencing, I needed some help.

Here’s where Delicious came in.

I looked to see what webpages I’d bookmarked on Delicious with the tag ‘courts’. This led me on to related tags like ‘courtreporting‘.

The results included:

  • An article by Heather Brooke giving her personal experience of not being able to record her own hearing.
  • A report on the launch of a new website by the Judiciary of Scotland, which I’d completely forgotten about. This also helped me avoid making the common mistake of tarring Scottish courts with the same brush as English ones.
  • Various useful resources for courts data.
  • Some context on the drop in court reporters at a regional level – but also some figures on the drop at a national level, which I hadn’t thought about.
  • A specialist academic who has been researching court reporting.

And all this in the space of 10 minutes or so.

If you look at the resulting post you can see how the first pars are informed by what was coming into my RSS reader and social networks, but after that it’s largely bookmark-informed (as well as some additional research, including speaking to people). The copious links provide an additional level of utility (I hope) which online journalism can do particularly well.

Excerpt from the article - most of these links came from my Delicious bookmarks

Excerpt from the article - most of these links came from my Delicious bookmarks

All about preparation

You can see how building this resource over time can allow you to provide context to a story quicker, and more deeply, than if you had resorted to a quick search on Google.

In addition, it highlights a problem with search: you will largely only find what you’re looking for. Bookmarking on Delicious means you can spot related stories, issues and sources that you might not have thought about – and more importantly, that others might have overlooked too.

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PCC gets SEO in new ruling on online corrections


Mirror URL which could land them in court

More from the PCC following yesterday’s Twitter ruling: new guidance on online corrections shows a surprising awareness of search engine optimisation techniques.

Among other points of the guidance are that:

  • “Care must be taken that the URL of an article does not contain information that has been the subject of successful complaint. If an article is amended, then steps should be taken to amend the URL, as necessary.
  • “Online corrections and apologies should be tagged when published to ensure that they are searchable.”

The guidance addresses a recurring problem with news reports which are corrected after subs see sense – but whose HTML and URL continue to display information which could land the publisher in court – for example that shown in the image above (from here) and below, from this post.(Thanks to Martin Belam for finding the main image) – if you can recall the others, let me know.

UPDATE: Thanks to Malcolm Coles for pointing me to some prime candidates at the end of this Robots.txt file

UPDATE 2: Here’s another one from Malcolm: even newspapers who change their URL can still be found out.

Daily Mail article - corrected text, but original HTML

Letter to Govt. pt3: Should councils publish newspapers? A response to the Media Committee

As part of a group response to  the government‘s inquiry into the future of local and regional media, Paul Bradshaw looks at the role of local authorities in regional journalism. Blog comments will be submitted to the inquiry as well as the blog posts.

So. The Committee for Culture, Media and Sport want responses on “The appropriateness and effectiveness of print and electronic publishing initiatives undertaken directly by public sector bodies at the local level”

The question of what public sector bodies should be allowed to publish, how that affects local journalism, the local economy, and local democracy, is one of the most difficult to resolve – not least because it involves so many interconnected elements.

The first problem is that any discussion runs the risk of conflating a number of separate but interlinked elements:

  • local councils and local democracy are not the same thing; 
  • local newspapers and local journalism are also two different things.

Whatever model emerges must recognise that papers are not the only places where public discussion takes place, and print journalists are not the only people holding power to account.

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The next step to the ‘semantic web’

There are billions of pages of unsorted and unclassified information online, which make up millions of terabytes of data with almost no organisation.  It is not necessarily true that some of this information is valuable whilst some is worthless, that’s just a judgement for who desires it.  At the moment, the most common way to access any information is through the hegemonic search engines which act as an entry point.

Yet, despite Google’s dominace of the market and culture, the methodology of search still isn’t satisfactory.  Leading technologists see the next stage of development coming, where computers will become capable of effectively analysing and understanding data rather than just presenting it to us.  Search engine optimisation will eventually be replaced by the ‘semantic web’.

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Kitemarks to save the news industry? Q&A with Andrew Currah

Reuters recently published a report entitled: ‘What’s Happening to Our News: An investigation into the likely impact of the digital revolution on the economics of news publishing in the UK‘. In it author Andrew Currah provides an overview of the situation facing UK publishers, and 3 broad suggestions as to ways forward – namely, kitemarks, public support, and digital literacy education.

The kitemark idea seems to have stirred up the most fuss. In the first of a series of email exchanges I asked Currah how he saw this making any difference to consumption of newspapers, and how it could work in practice. This is his response:

Yes, the kitemark idea has triggered quite a response… Unfortunately, as the discussion online suggests, the term has implied to many a top-down, centralised system of certification which would lead to some form of
‘apartheid’ between bloggers and journalists. Continue reading

Social bookmarking for journalists

This was originally published in Press Gazette as Del.icio.us social bookmarking explained and Need some background info? Just follow the electronic trail.

How journalists can use web bookmarking services to manage, find and publish documents.

Every newspaper has a library, and most journalists have kept some sort of cuttings file for reference. But what if you could search that cuttings file like you search Google? What if you could find similar articles and documents? What if you could let your readers see your raw material?

That’s what online bookmarking – or ‘social bookmarking‘ – tools allow you to do. And they have enormous potential for journalists.

There are a number of social bookmarking services. Del.icio.us is best known and most widely used and supported. For this reason this article will focus mostly on Del.icio.us. Continue reading