Posts Tagged ‘Links

02
Jul
09

Links for today | Links para hoje

The key guidelines for a hyperlocal site are reportedly as such:

1. Skilled staff is imperative- a functioning site requires the input of both content and technological minds. Contributors need to be dedicated to the cause and integrated within the larger organisation.

You can copyright a news story, but you can’t copyright the news. “The news” just means “things that happen in the world.” What would it mean, in practice, to make it illegal to paraphrase a copyrighted news story? Summing up, for example, political events, or a sports controversy, or even a fashion trend, could be interpreted as paraphrasing copyrighted material. So let’s ban talking about anything. And banning links will help us make our references even more obscure, by making it impossible for anyone to refer to source materials! Good idea, Posner. This gross oversimplification makes you look none too freedom-loving!

A small blog article about two months ago proved to be one of the most successful in the five years I’ve been blogging. It listed a dozen or so free applications available on the internet to help multimedia journalists create great pieces.

Well a revision is well overdue; there’s a few of the old ones, which I’ve really enjoyed using, plus many new ones. As always this isn’t a comprehensive list, but these are ones which, to have in your arsenal, give you great potential as a multimedia journalist.

The University of Virginia prepared Jason Motlagh very well for his career has a free-lance foreign correspondent.

When he applied to take a journalism elective course, he was rejected because he wasn’t an English major. When he applied for a job as food columnist at the school paper, he was also rejected.

But Motlagh persisted, and eventually won a spot on the school paper as travel columnist. His specialty: Travel to fascinating world spots on very low budgets.

Voila. Today Motlagh has five years of free-lance foreign  correspondence under his belt and, in many respects, he is the prototype for the journalist of the future: a free-lancing, multimedia correspondent who knows how to market his work and live on a tight budget.

For those of you unfamiliar with the theory of linking and how it works, it’s a fairly simple concept.  Take me linking the word “TechCrunch” above.  I chose to link to the actual story Ms. Schonfeld wrote, so now when this post is published he will receive a notice called a “trackback” that allows him to know that I referenced his article in my post.  This will also be used by search engines to see how relevant his post is and how much credence they should give it.  The more links a site or story receives, the more importance a search engine puts on it, and the more chance of people searching on the appropriate terms will see it.

Essentially, links are the life’s blood of blogging.

John Hartigan is full of shit. Bloggers have gone to jail for their work, and to protect their sources, in North Korea, Iran, Egypt, the list of countries persecuting bloggers grows longer by the week. And the CEO of Australia’s biggest news corporation doesn’t know this?

The jailing of bloggers for speaking too much truth is obviously not the kind of news that John Hartigan, a Rupert Murdoch CEO, is interested in. How could he not know about those jailing and prosecutions.

Continue a ler ‘Links for today | Links para hoje’

29
Jun
09

Links for today | Links para hoje

Today I witnessed the ultimate death of my newspapers.
The money hungry whores who pay themselves vastly inflated salaries to run this company have signed the death warrant and now it is just a matter of time before the advertisers carry out their wishes.
In their infinite wisdom, my so-called bosses decided to reduce pagination over summer in order to cut costs. So far so sensible. It is a season where newspapers are always likely to make a loss. I expected to lose a few editorial pages as part of this drop in size and was actually looking forward to taking the foot off the gas a little and having a bit of fun.
The plans for my new editions landed on my desk this morning and to be honest I felt like walking out there and then.
Instead of a few back of the book pages being dropped, the fucktards in charge have fundamentally destroyed the layout of my papers.

Here is what an insanely great Web product looks like to the average user right now and through the next 3 years:

  • 30 seconds: “I get it.”
  • 3 minutes: “I’ve used it and still get it, and it has not annoyed me yet.”
  • 3 days: “I find this really useful or fun.”
  • 3 weeks: “I am raving about this to other people.”
  • 3 months: “I couldn’t imagine not having this, and I’m boring my friends telling them about it.”
  • 3 years: “How weird to see this on Oprah.”

One of the common responses to such entreaties is exemplified in this comment, which includes this plea: “I understand the need to bolster one’s skill set. But what happened to the days when we actually, you know, worried about reporting rather than slavishly trying to master every piece of technology?”

If only that was the real problem.

Stop thinking of your Web site as the online newspaper. It is it’s own, an entity with more power to engage and retain your readers than any medium in history. By the time I’ve visited your site a second time, it should already know what stories I like to read and it should be serving those up to me — without my asking. Make what I want not easy to find, but impossible to miss. The internet can do that, you know.

This question keeps getting asked in various ways: “What if you just stopped printing the newspaper and went online-only? How many people would you need, what would your costs be, and could you earn enough revenue to make a profit?”

It’s not necessarily the right question, because there’s still life left in print. An online-print hybrid, with one or two days a week of printed distribution tied to a strong digital publishing operation, is probably a much better solution than online-only.

Print journalism today, and by that I mean daily newspapers, stands at a bloody crossroads. Those who practice it must come to grips with realities, such as all the whys behind the decline in readership, thus circulation, and not continue to espouse their personal agendas, or show favoritism to their ideological pals. (And by all means, they ought to stop slobbering over their Man in the White House. Enough already!)

Yes, it’s a crackpot theory, I realize, that the prime function of journalism is to inform the public impartially, without fear or favor. Color me naive. Casting that delusion aside, journalism suffers today from chronic, life-threatening credibility gaps amidst plummeting daily circulations. Result: Cutbacks, suspended publication, bankruptcy for some. Some wags might say fine, good riddance, but the loss of daily newspapers plainly sucks. It leaves a hole in the ether of how and where we get our news, however mangled or tainted.

Continue a ler ‘Links for today | Links para hoje’

25
Jun
09

3 somewhat related posts | 3 posts mais ou menos relacionados

Twitter, news, Iran, citizen journalism and how journalists fit in the news process, all in three posts that reflect the new news logic.

Twitter, notícias, Irão, jornalismo do cidadão e como os jornalistas se encaixam no processo informativo, em três posts que reflectem a nova lógica noticiosa.

Twitter is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter if you have 100 followers or 10,000, you can break news. That’s because all tweets are recorded and indexed at search.twitter.com. If someone types the right keyword(s), they can find your tweet.

Breaking Tweets prides itself on giving many different types of Twitterers credit for breaking news, whether it be someone in Honduras with a dozen followers recording the first “earthquake” tweet or a news organization providing the first details of a major story.

But how do you know a tweet’s legitimate?

In the absence of an abundance of professional reporters, amateurs have stepped up. One of the most watched and discussed videos to come out of the tragedy, and one which is emblamatic of the role of citizen journalism in reporting from Iran, is that of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan, a young Iranian woman who was walking near the scene of clashes between pro-government militias and demonstrators when she was shot. The video has prompted international outcry and the girl’s death has since come to represent the tragedy of the conflict, a “symbol of the anti-government movement,” according to the New York Times. It was taken, not by a reporter with a camera, but by a bystander on a mobile phone, and posted on Facebook and YouTube after the man sent the 40-second clip to a friend who then forwarded to friends and news sites in Europe and the US.

At a discussion on Twitter’s impact on media and journalism, Colgan claimed that journalism has “never been healthier” with Twitter a powerful reporting tool. “It enables you to gather and distribute information very quickly and make it common property of the nation and the world,” he said.

He added, that by allowing journalists to express themselves personally and professionally on Twitter, can “humanise” the writer and make them more accountable. He said:  ”As professionals, our job is to try and be objective. It makes journalists accountable. You’re not just doing your job in public you’re doing a whole lot of other things in public. I think it’s a positive thing for journalism.”

But he stressed that tips sourced from Twitter still need to be checked as it is a new form of source. “The dynamic has changed to how people report on the web whether it be by Tweet or longer blog post or by aggregating a whole lot of opinion. When it comes to reporting on the web, verifying information still remains paramount,” Colgan said.

See how neatly we are directed right back to the top? Other thing: back in the presentation i gave at a convention in Guimarães, i said that journalists are becoming news traffic controllers, and media outlets are becoming more and more aggregators than generators of information, being one of the final steps of the news cycle. Now and then i don’t feel so lonely in the world.

Viram a maneira catita como somos reenviados para o início? Outra coisa: na apresentação que fiz na convenção em Guimarães, disse que os jornalistas tornaram-se controladores de tráfego informativo, e que as empresas de media são cada vez mais agregadores do que geradores de informação, sendo uma das etapas finais do ciclo de informação. De vez em quando não me sinto assim tão sozinho.

Continue a ler ’3 somewhat related posts | 3 posts mais ou menos relacionados’

23
Jun
09

Links for today | Links para hoje

http://www.puremango.co.uk/journalism.png

The evolution of Online Journalism

In a world of infinite information, it would seem that providing context is more relevant than ever. Investigative journalism, the detective agency of the people, has acted as a “watchdog” presence, independent of government and big business, since its inception. Literary journalism, often bundled with terms like “long form” and “feature,” has meant sociological understanding and on-the-ground experience of the human condition in all its varying colors.

The Center for the Edge has unveiled its most significant report to date: “The Shift Index” which suggests the current recession is masking long-term competitive challenges for U.S. businesses. Among the key findings, U.S. companies’ return on assets (ROA) have progressively dropped 75 percent from their 1965 level despite rising labor productivity. Even the highest-performing companies are struggling to maintain their ROA rates and increasingly losing market leadership positions.The index is the result of a nearly year-long effort applying a combination of established and original analytical approaches to four decades of data, some of it pre-existing and some created for the first time. More than a dozen data sources were engaged, four surveys were developed and deployed, and five proprietary methodologies were created to compile 26 metrics into three indices representing 15 industries.

Desperate for online advertising, newspapers have learned to aggressively optimize their content for Google. The result: more traffic. Junky traffic.

Readers tend to spend gobs and gobs of time on newspaper sites. Indeed, their level of engagement has been print journalism’s strongest asset online, but that’s changing: According to data from Nielsen Online, readers are spending less time on top newspaper websites, including six minutes less per month at Washingtonpost.com, one minute less per month at USAToday.com and a minute and a half less per month at NYTimes.com.

In the debate on the future of journalism, bloggers say, “We have a better economic model. The future is digital, and we are the future, so whatever we do is right.” Traditional journalists, mourning a passing world, say, “We defined how journalism works, and everyone should adhere to that model, even if it won’t work economically.” This is a gross simplification of the arguments flying back and forth. But sadly, it is a dialogue of the deaf. Neither party seems to want to listen or learn from the other.

The anger at CNN may have been collateral damage of Twitterers’ frustration due to having only limited impact over the events in Iran. But the effect was impressive: Within a couple of hours, #cnnfail became one of the top trending topics on Twitter, CNN was faced with a major image backlash, and you could follow the development live on Twitter. Twitter effectively acted as “media watchdog,” as Mashable commented. Citizen journalism outperformed professional journalism — in real-time. When Ahmadinejad shut down all mobile services and social networks, only a few Iranian Twitterers, with just the trusted authority of a genuine voice, were able to stay connected to the rest of the world and report on the frightening events in Iran. Synchronicity, real-time reporting, should have been CNN’s bastion but it didn’t get any of this. Twitter did.

Scooping the News evaluated the following five newspaper Web sites on their design/navigation, accessible archives, reader presence, in-depth reporting and evidence of continuous updates. Each newspaper received a score ranging from 1 to 4 based on changes in its Web site from five years ago to present (1 = no change, 2 = limited innovation, 3 = good innovation and 4 = significant innovation). The total of those scores provides an innovation composite score.

Continue a ler ‘Links for today | Links para hoje’

18
Jun
09

Links for today | Links para hoje

5. The symbiosis of mainstream media and Twitter

I have written numerous times about the symbiosis of mainstream media and social media– each feeds on the other. I also used this metaphor as a central element of my Future of Media Strategic Framework below.

Future_of_Media_Strategic_Framework.jpg

This is and should be exactly the relationship between mainstream media and Twitter. Absolutely, Twitter largely feeds off established media channels. In fact it is rapidly becoming one of the most important ways for people to assess which mainstream media stories they choose to read. Twitterers select what’s most interesting, and then often comment on it, creating real-time conversations out of a static media piece.

However mainstream media is feeding off Twitter too. As Twitter grows its user base it is becoming not just a source of breaking news, but also a deep and broad indicator of sentiment and social change. News stories are not all about cataclysmic events, but also about how we are changing as a society. Journalists who do not look to Twitter as an early indicator or potential source of stories are missing a great opportunity to tap the zeitgeist.

Some Workarounds

The above list may seem depressingly long, but never fear! There are ways to fake flexibility and nimbly try new things. Although I can’t speak from experience, I’m going to throw a few ideas out there — take ‘em or leave ‘em.

  • Start Small — Since the dawn of time, people have found ways to lessen the blow when dealing with large scale projects: developers make prototypes, web applications have closed betas, and cavemen probably made miniature wheels before trying full-sized ones. Not everything needs to be launched full-featured and full-scale up front. Pick a small group of people to try the new internal project first, or set up a smaller portion of the feature set, or just use default settings instead of spending hours tweaking to perfection. Doing these things will give you time to work out kinks, get feedback, and figure out how/if the new service might be used before you spin your wheels.
  • Many journalists — whether they choose to admit it or not — are scared of trying to make a living in a world where anyone can report.

    It’s true that the Web, smartphones, social media, blogs, etc are making it easy for everyone to report and share their stories, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a need for professional journalists. In fact, I’d argue that citizen journalism, while helping to cover the world better, only highlights the need for professional journalists.

    Over the past few days, I’ve extolled the virtues of social media in covering the unrest in Iran. True, without social media, this story might not be told properly, but there still has been a large need for professional reporters.

    The launch of a cross-party select committee’s investigation into the future of newspapers in the UK today was overshadowed by the ominous prediction that half of the nation’s local and regional papers will be lost within the next five years.

    The predictions are based on research conducted by the media analysts, Enders Media.  Its founder, Claire Enders, voiced her concerns in front of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee this morning:

    “We are expecting that up to half of all the 1,300 titles will close in the next five years.”

    In the beginning, I thought that all a newspaper had to do to save itself was to embrace multimedia and video.  However, after being a proponent of this approach for over three years, I began to see that this was also not working. Newspapers were still dying and it seemed there wasn’t a heck of a lot anyone could do about it.

    Newspapers were becoming obsolete because of the medium on which they are printed:

    • Newspapers take a lot of capital to create. Think: printing presses, ink, trucks, man-power.
    • Newspapers do not allow for comments, hyperlinks, video, or real-time updates. It’s a one-way conversation.
    • Newspapers are out of date the minute they are delivered.

    By all measures, the newspaper is inferior to the instant delivery of news over the Internet and mobile phones because the news is trapped in the inferior medium of PAPER.

    NPR has an interesting piece on a small ad agency in New York that has opened its doors to those in the profession who are looking for work. The job seekers get a place to research job opportunities and a place to network. The ad agency gets more sounding boards for new ideas and, occasionally, more new ideas from the job seekers.

    Seems like a model some newsrooms, with plenty of extra desk space these days, should entertain.

    The Web is a lot different than a print edition. When you are holding a newspaper in your hands, that’s the only source of information you have accessible to you at that moment. When you are on the Web, you are always just one click away from more, and sometimes better, information.

    Of course, we always want the stories we produce to be the best available, but we shouldn’t be afraid to give our readers a broader perspective by linking out to others, even when we consider them competitors.

    Earlier today, I read a blog post by Ryan Sholin, the director of news innovation at Publish2, a company that creates tools to help journalists to use links as a basic part of their reporting process.

    Sholin quotes Chris Amico, the interactive editor for the PBS Online NewsHour, saying: “Humility is healthy. The more we get out of this mind set that we are the sole producers of useful content, the better off we’ll be in the long run.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    12
    Jun
    09

    Links for the weekend | Links para o fim de semana

    We’ve designed building43 to bring together thought leaders in a variety of disciplines and organizations, from entrepreneurs to those responsible for the latest technologies. They will share knowledge, experiences and advice on how you can use these cool new tools and apps to make your business more successful.

    But building43’s foundation and future is its community — people like you who contribute valuable content, through  video, blog posts, podcasts, Friendfeed comments, Tweets or by simply dropping us an email to tell us about the latest or next great thing.

    If you’re a journalist, a huge part of your job is to filter all the information relevant to your community or your beat and pass along the important parts to your readers. Think about all the press releases you get by fax or e-mail, all the phone calls, voicemail, and messages that land on your desk, and think about how you act as a filter for that flood of information. Do the same thing with the Web.

    Bring your readers the best links related to your story, and they will thank you. How? By treating you like a first-class citizen of the Internet, and coming back to your news site, which is no longer a dead end backwater in the river of news, but a point of connection where they can find other interesting streams.

    Engagement — one of three legs needed to support successful social media projects. (The others are inclusion and aggregation.) What does this mean for journalists, for news organizations?

    Paul Gillin, a social media consultant and former technology journalist, says journalists have to play “to people’s particular interests” if we hope to engage the public.

    Scott Porad, the CTO of the company behind FailBlog.org and I Can Has Cheezburger?, highlights what hinders innovation at news organizations – and every other big company – in a recent blog post that actually made no mention of the news industry.

    Some people view the world with rose-colored glasses. Mine are journo-colored, I guess.

    So I immediately identified with Porad’s post, titled Corporate/Startup, and the contrast between working at corporate news organizations (which I did for 15 years) with working at a startup (which I’ve been doing for seven months now).

    The discussion centered on the difference between the type of person that chooses to work at corporate jobs vs. those that are drawn to startup companies. Porad concludes that the balance between time spent doing vs. planning is the most significant determining factor. And I completely agree.

    Continue a ler ‘Links for the weekend | Links para o fim de semana’

    08
    Jun
    09

    Links for today | Links para hoje

    Renee Barnes is a radio journalist in Australia; she also teaches online journalism there. In her blog News Frontier, she recently asked readers to rank eight skills, or skill sets, for new journalists:

    1. Evidence of blogging and interaction with a wide range of blogs
    2. An understanding and active use of social media (Twitter, RSS, social bookmarking etc.)
    3. The ability to tell an engaging story using still images and audio (audio slideshow)
    4. Ability to shoot, edit and tell stories using video
    5. Basic ability to create interactive story elements using Adobe Flash
    6. Ability edit audio and produce podcasts
    7. Ability to file from the field breaking news
    8. Ability to moderate online discussion

    Actually, Barnes said “online journalists,” but I think that means ALL journalists.

    Mark Glaser, Executive editor of PBS MediaShift, sent out 10 great tweets over the weekend, from his hospital bed, about ways to save newspapers. Here they are…

    “My 10 step plan for local newspapers to survive and thrive in the digital age (without pay walls)…

    1. Do custom small print runs targeted to neighborhoods and interests. Not daily.
    2. Become support for local writers, reporters and bloggers; help market them, sell their ads; decentralize operation
    3. Replace circ, printing, print production staff with tech, SEO, community managers

    I am completely biased in this post because of my own studies in journalism. That said:

    Newspapers are downsizing. Jobs are being cut. The journalism field is in the midst of a re-invention. Despite the landscape and view people may hold when they think of today’s journalism, enrollment in journalism school has INCREASED!

    Recently on the Mizzou Mafia’s list serv (we do exist), an alum wrote about her frustration when a prospective freshman asked her about a career in journalism. She just felt like she couldn’t encourage the girl to go into a field that she felt was losing hope.

    However, when my High School Senior, Class of 2009 cousin asked me about it the other weekend, I was thrilled. I still encourage perspective students and recent grads to continue in the field of journalism. To provide evidence as to why and to help spread hope in the journalism field, I write this letter:

    Dear May 2009 Graduate,

    Here are 40 reasons to still study journalism: (…)

    Xark’s Dan Conover, evidently a newspaperman, writes in “The newspaper suicide pact” about the mountain of bullshit that has entered the discussion about the future of newspaper business-models. This is some of the clearest, most interesting, best-referenced criticism of the newspaper industry’s thrash-and-FUD I’ve read:

    Newspapers that are turning to paywall plans today are gambling on a risky revenue stream that even the experts aren’t predicting will provide a replacement to their lost advertising revenues (their biggest financial problem is the rapid decline in advertising rates, not the slow decline in print circulation). It’s a “well, we’ve got to do SOMETHING” solution, not a logical, do-the-math solution. And since since most media companies are owned by shareholders, the resulting loss of confidence could be catastrophic.(…)

    They don’t get it. They don’t want to get it. And in many cases, they’re literally paid not to get it.

    So here’s the real punchline: Advertising ends up having nothing to do with media. They become decoupled. Audience no longer yields advertising. Hell, advertising isn’t advertising. It’s relationships. Media only get in the way. There’s the corner we’re painted into, the chaos scenario, perhaps the doomsday scenario for media.

    The newspaper industry’s fundamental problem, Moody’s Vice President and Senior Analyst John Puchalla writes in the report, is that is spending far too much on producing and delivering a printed paper than on creating its content and selling the product.

    Moody’s calls it a “structural disconnect” with just 14% of cash operating costs, on average, devoted to content creation, while about 70% of costs are devoted to printing, distribution and corporate functions. The remaining 16% of costs are related to advertising sales — another example of devoting too few resources to the principal revenue driver.

    “This disconnect is a legacy of the industry’s vertical integration beyond content creation and into the production and distribution of newspapers,” Puchalla said.

    The high fixed costs — combined with high debt among many newspaper companies — is squeezing cash flow as revenue declines.


    Continue a ler ‘Links for today | Links para hoje’




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