Tag Archives: UGC

FAQ: Is UGC more helpful or harmful to journalism?

The latest set of questions in the semi-regular FAQ section on this blog are about UGC, and come from a student at Liverpool John Moores. Here they are…

Is UGC more helpful or harmful to journalism?

Helpful, of course! Journalism has always relied on information and media (photos, video, audio) from readers/the audience and sources. The difference is that we now have access to a much larger amount of that information. Continue reading


FAQ: How the use of UGC and verification has changed in journalism

The latest in my series of FAQ posts comes from a current MA Online Journalism student, who is writing an article for a German publication.

How has the use of user-generated content from social media changed over the last years in the UK?

The use of UGC from social media has changed enormously in the UK in the last decade. Obviously many of the platforms didn’t even exist a decade ago, so we’ve moved from quoting emails to taking screenshots, to a situation now where it’s common to embed live social media content which users can interact with from the article itself – whether that’s to share, like, follow, or respond. Continue reading

A potted history of the last 6 years? How the Online Journalism Handbook changed between 2011 and 2017

A few weeks ago the second edition of the Online Journalism Handbook was published. Two years in the making, it was more than just an update of the first edition — it was an almost complete rewrite (and 50% longer). The changes since that first edition in 2011 highlight just how the industry has changed in those six years — here are just a few of the things that I noticed when I looked back…

Blogging: “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine”

In the first edition of the Online Journalism Handbook a whole chapter was devoted to blogging. In the new edition the chapter is gone. Does that mean that blogging is dead? No. It means that ‘blogging’ is now so ubiquitous it has become almost invisible. Continue reading


The death knock doesn’t scale

One of the most dreaded assignments in journalism has always been the death knock: the job of knocking on the door of someone affected by tragedy.

In the pre-Internet era, the death knock would typically fall to someone at the local newspaper; and, perhaps, reporters from a news agency or two would also come knocking. In some cases, journalists from the nationals, broadcasters and magazines would arrive too.

It was rarely pretty. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t justified.

Now the nature of the death knock has changed. In web parlance, it has scaled. And the problem is: it doesn’t scale well. Continue reading


How the Old Trafford bomb scare was reported on Snapchat: live stories vs Dream Team

On Sunday the 75,000-capacity Old Trafford stadium was evacuated 20 minutes before the last game of the season kicked off. I found out on Snapchat: it was, if you like, my ‘Hudson River moment‘.

But what was striking was just how little space Snapchat itself devoted to the event. So I took screenshots of the ‘snaps’ and am publishing them below for the record. Continue reading