The latest frequently asked questions post comes in response to a PhD student looking at data journalism and gatekeeping. Here are the questions and my answers:
How do you think the role of journalists has changed during the 21st century, especially with the data explosion and the rise of misinformation and disinformation?
Journalists and news organisations have both been forced to adapt by the increased competition, and the changing nature of the world that we report on (i.e. the fact that it is more data-driven).
Many publishers tell me they want to give their journalists data skills because they feel that they need to ‘up their game’ in order to compete with new entrants to the sector, and to create distinctive content in an environment where celebrities, politicians, sportspeople etc. all publish direct to audiences rather than via media. Continue reading →
The report asked website and app users to rate 7 news websites against 5 criteria. The Daily Mail comes out with the lowest proportion of respondents rating it highly for ‘impartiality and unbiased‘, ‘Offers range of opinions‘, and ‘Importance‘.
This is particularly surprising given that two of the other websites are social networks. 28% rated Facebook and Twitter highly on impartiality, compared to 26% for the Daily Mail. Continue reading →
The future of journalism, according to The Guardian’s ‘3 Little Pigs’ film, is “open journalism”. Users are becoming part of every element of news production. The newsroom no longer has walls.
If that is going to happen then journalists need to huff, and puff, and blow down three particular houses of our own: our preconceptions around the sources that we use online; around why people contribute to the news process; and about how we protect our sources. Continue reading →
Note: for those coming from Poynter’s summary of part of this post, the phrase ‘don’t have to be trained’ has an ambiguity that could be misunderstood. I’ve expanded on the relevant section to clarify.
Another set of answers to another set of questions (FAQs). These are posed by a UK university student:
How would you define the blogosphere?
The blogosphere is, technically, all blogs – but those don’t often have much connection to each other. I think it’s better to talk of many ‘blogospheres’ around different topics, e.g. the political blogosphere and so on. Continue reading →
Here’s the latest in my attempt to answer questions publicly so that I can lazily point people to the answers when they ask them again. These are from a Norwegian student at London Metropolitan University:
Do you consider yourself a journalist? Why?
Yes, when I produce journalism. That is: finding newsworthy information and communicating it to others. I find G Stuart Adam’s definition best here – sadly no longer online but copied below: Continue reading →
Only 18% of people questioned trusted “personal blogs”, while 39% trusted radio or magazines and 46% print newspapers.
I get this sort of stat thrown at me every time I speak to rooms full of journalists. It’s a meaningless stat, reflecting nothing. You trust what you’ve learned to trust, whether that’s one paper over another, one broadcaster over another, or one blog over another. I don’t trust “newspapers” – I trust one or two. I don’t trust “blogs”, I trust the ones I’ve communicated with.
And that’s where individual blogs have an advantage: they can have a personal conversation with the reader. The author can enter into discussion, add corrections and links. Their trust is built on a relationship, not on a brand.
More interesting in this research are the 3 sources which come out as more trusted than mainstream media: Emails from people we know (how many of us feel we ‘know’ a particular blogger?); consumer reviews (a staple of blogs); and, curiously, portals/search engines (links). And why do people trust these more than ‘radio’ or ‘newspapers’?