Posts Tagged ‘review

07
Mai
09

i: A newspaper is born – the website | Nasceu um Jornal – o website

ilogo

Today is the beginning a new era in the portuguese news industry. i is out on the stands and the web, and it already has defined a unique personality, becoming a true game changer right from the start. This is a first glance review to their website and their online features.

Hoje é o início de uma nova era na indústria informativa portuguesa. O i está nas bancas e na web, e já tem definida uma personalidade única, assumindo-se desde início como uma verdadeira mudança. Esta é uma análise à primeira vista ao seu website e trabalho no online.

Cover & Article | Capa & Artigo

Home & Article | Início & Artigo

What is immediately striking when you open i‘s website is its cleanliness: three content columns under a  header, dominating the top of the page with a slideshow  for the major news stories ; there is no clutter, no text beyond tiles (finally somebody got it), video right in the middle of the page, that doesn’t get to fill the whole width of the screen. The left yellow sidebar shows the main website features, middle column is for content and on the right the usual “most read/commmented” boards, special assignments, and live sport results. At the bottom, three content columns: Country, World, Sports. Can’t get any simpler than that. The newsroom and the newspaper are divided into four sections: Zoom, Radar, More and Sports. The website reflects this oranization.

Each article seems to have at least one picture whenever possible and it has the usual vote, send and print features. It also has a social bookmarking tool that allows you to send the story to Google Bookmarks, Technorati, and (the schock!) Facebook, MySpace, Flickr(!?) and almighty Twitter. Social networking seems to be quite a deal for the project since they designated a few reporters to handle Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts. In a Twitter conversation i had with the man in charge for social networking he put the concept in one word: they want to build an “icommunity”.

Users are invited to participate in the life of the newsroom, sharing their news in a feature called iReporter. You send content using your user profile, and share it under “news story” or film, restaurant, music (etc) reviews, up to 1500 char. You can also post pictures and video right away. All articles must comply to i’s editorial rules.

The website also has a few blogs, i really didn’t explore them, but they all seem to be invited by the editors.

Another thing that i’m curious about is how they will interact with the rest of the companies of the group. They own a few regional newspapers and radios, and i wonder how national and local will work together (if ever). The website has a page for them, but for now, it’s just the logos.

Video seems to be an important bet for i. They look technically great, though the TV like narrative is still present (not a surprise, the presentation video was made by a TV journalist), but it looks good. Shareable, embeddable (except for wordpress.com, a platform problem), easy to load, what  else could you ask? I’ll be waiting for more video work.

Overall, the i website is one step into the future, in design -it looks gourgeous-, philosophy, organization. It is not made for shovelware, and it would be a real shame if they fell into that. There are other details i have to explore in time, like linking, comment moderation, social networks interaction, etc. But they’re off to a good start online.

O que imediatamente salta à vista quando entramos no site do i é a limpeza: três colunas de conteúdos sob um cabeçalho a dominar o topo da página com um slideshow para as notícias mais importantes; não está tudo atravancado, nenhum texto para além dos títulos (até que enfim que alguém percebeu isso), video mesmo no centro da página, que nem chega a ocupar toda a largura do monitor. A barra amarela de lado tem as rubricas principais do site, a coluna do meio é para o conteúdo informativo, e à direita os normais quadros de “mais lidos/comentados”, temas especiais, e resultados desportivos ao vivo. Ao fundo, três colunas de conteúdo: Portugal, Mundo,Desporto. Mais simples não há. A redacção e o jornal estão divididos em quatro secções: Zoom, Radar, Mais e Desporto, e isso nota-se no site.

Cada artigo parece ter pelo menos uma foto sempre que possível e tem as ferramentas normais de votação, enviar e imprimir. Existe também uma ferramenta de bookmarking social que permite enviar a notícia para os Google Bookmarks, Technorati, e (o choque!) Facebook, MySpace, Flickr(!?) e o todo-poderoso Twitter. As redes sociais parecem ser um ponto muito importante para o projecto, já que designaram alguns jornalistas para gerir as contas do Twitter, Facebook e Youtube. Numa conversa via Twitter com o homem responsável pelas redes sociais, ele pôs o conceito numa palavra: eles querem construir uma “icomunidade”.

Os utilizadores estão convidados a participar na vida da redacção, partilhando as suas notícias numa rubrica chamada iRepórter. Podem enviar conteúdos através do seu perfil de utilizador, e partilhá-lo como notícia, ou crítica a filmes, restaurantes, música etc, até 1500 caracteres. Podem também colocar fotos e video na hora. Todos os artigos têm que cumprir com as regras editoriais do i. Vamos ver como funciona. O site também tem alguns blogs, ainda não os explorei, mas parecem ser todos convidados pela editoria.

Outra coisa que me deixou curioso é a forma como vão interagir com as outras empresas do grupo. Eles têm alguns rádios e jornais regionais, e gostava de saber como o nacional e o local irão trabalhar juntos (se é que vão). O site tem uma página para eles, mas para já, são apenas os logos.

O video parce ser uma parte importante para o i. Eles tecnicamente parecem ser muito bons, apesar da narrativa TV estar ainda presente (não é surpresa se virmos que o video de apresentação é feito por umn jornalista de TV), mas parece bem. Partilhável, “embutível” (excepto no wordpress.com, mas isso é problema da plataforma), fácil de carregar, que mais podemos pedir? Vou ficar à espera de mais trabalhos video.

No geral, o site do i é um passo para o futuro, no design – é bonito- , filosofia, organização, Não está talhado para despejar conteúdo do papel e espero que não caiam nisso. Há outros detalhes que é preciso explorar com tempo, como a economia de links, moderação de comentários, a interacção com as redes sociais, etc. Mas o início online parece promissor.

iTV

iTV

Continue a ler ‘i: A newspaper is born – the website | Nasceu um Jornal – o website’

29
Set
08

Reviewing a review on a review

Carlos Saucedo (the fellow on the video above) wrote a review on  Newstrust.net ,  and while doing so, he referred to me as a “representative from NewsTrust.net”, relying on my own post reviewing that website. And though he was innacurate, i think he raises a few good questions.

But first of all, let me clarify a thing or two: i’m not a “representative from NewsTrust.net”. The text Carlos refers to, is my own review for JournalismEnterprise.com, a project created by Paul Bradshaw. I don’t know where Carlos Saucedo got the idea i was representing NewsTrust, since we can read at the top of the post “Review: Newstrust.net – Another JE review“. But it probably slipped his attention.

But what Carlos does well is to question the principles of websites like Spinspotter.com and Newstrust.net and the ethics of journalism. His point is: why should some website proclaim that it has the best unbiased juornalism, if things should already be that way? That was the question i did when i reviewed the website. My findings? Those projects rely in the power of the crowd to pick the best articles out of the news cloud, which may not be always right, but it’s far more democratic than leaving that choice to a small bunch of people. Added to the crowd factor, i verified that the “people in charge of NewsTrust are experienced, reputable professionals, which gives extra credibility to the project.” They have journalism backgrounds, and a past of civic engagement. NewsTrust is the marriage between those two sides, to provide the best news chosen by the people, for the people. Do i think it’s an interesting idea? Yes i do. Do i believe it’s perfect? Not at all, but it’s good, and it is also a good example of how things work now in news distribution: we no longer rely in just one brand, but we also follow the recommendations of others, we go to one website to find views and news from different sources. The fragments all glued together by ourselves and the crowd, to build our own news reality, instead of the monolithic model that ran for decades.

He also questions ethics: “Has the field of journalsim changed so much that no one can be trusted anymore?  I guess we are all to assume that journalism and ethics in the same sentence is an oxymoron.” He’s being naive, of course. Or he never saw Fox or any other TV station, radio, newspaper, website pursuing a biased perspective. No, that wouldn’t happen in the United States. Journalism is powerful, because it shapes people’s perception of reality, and that is what rules people’s actions, or inertia, for that matter. Journalism is not always ethical. I’m sorry to say that out loud because it can break a few hearts, but that’s the truth. Most journalists try to do things right  though (i hope not to be the naive one now). And it has never been so powerful, because we can know in seconds about something that happened across the world, and there has never been such a great load of information. Should we leave the choice of the important news to the crowd? Well, what makes news is something that will affect the largest number of people. If the crowd doesn’t know what is important for them, who will? And if the crowd can choose from the noise, why won’t they? Maybe there aren’t many people with the proper training to be journalists. But even the “respected news organizations that have prefessional experience in journalism” must be questioned by the amateurs, because they are the destination, but no longer the end of the line of the news cycle, because now the amateurs can ask, comment, give their input back.

Unlike Carlos, I have journalistic experience. Not as much as i wanted to, but enough to recognize that this is all grey area. Carlos admits: “I have no professional or student experience in journalism whatsoever!”. And he is not the paradigm of impartiality: “As the ardent activist I was on campus, I plan to continue my enthusiasm for change into the field of journalism.  The lack of diversity in American newsrooms is a call for drastic change.” So he has his own agenda. And for what i’ve seen, Carlos has little knowledge of how things work nowadays. But now i’m just being biased.

I admire enthusiastic young journalists who believe that this job is fitted to induce a change for better in the world. Carlos is one of those, and i am too, apart from the fact i’m not as young as he is. The role of journalism is to present facts so that people can exercise their rights: the right to vote in their favorite candidate, the right to demonstrate against or for public decisions, the right to be aloof.

What i liked about the post Carlos wrote is that he is willing to pose the questions that bother him, and makes them public for the common good: “Are we so idle nowadays that we need a site to tell us what is bias and what isn’t in news?” Well, Carlos, sometimes we do, but i like the  question, because it’s thought-provocative . I wish the best for him, and i hope he keeps enthusiastic about journalism and the power it has to improve things, but i’ll leave one piece of advice: get the facts straight before publishing them, or you’ll be paying journalism a poor effort.

Alexandre Gamela, who appears to be a representative from NewsTrust.net, wrote in a blog that the online site provides “quality news feeds, news literacy tools and a trust network to help citizens make informed decisions about democracy.”
Well, isn’t that what the press is for?  Has the field of journalsim changed so much that no one can be trusted anymore?  I guess we are all to assume that journalism and ethics in the same sentence is an oxymoron.
Are we so idle nowadays that we need a site to tell us what is bias and what isn’t in news?
You would think that respected news organizations that have prefessional experience in journalism, would have the capacity to produce unbiased, high-quality reporting and not be questioned by amateurs.

Links:

01
Fev
08

Review: NewsTrust.net

Mais uma crítica JE | Another JE review

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

By Alexandre Gamela

 

What do they say it is?

NewsTrust.net helps people find good journalism online.

Our non-profit, non-partisan project provides quality news feeds, news literacy tools and a trust network to help citizens make informed decisions about democracy.

The free NewsTrust.net website features daily feeds of quality news and opinions, which are carefully rated by our members, using our unique review tools. We rate the news based on quality, not just popularity. NewsTrust reviewers evaluate each article against core journalistic principles such as fairness, evidence, sourcing and context.”

What do I say it is?

It is a social news website. NewsTrust gathers news feeds that are evaluated and ranked by its users, to establish the credibility of those sources. It features blogs, magazines, tvs, radios, all of them scrutinized by regular readers, that assess if Is this good journalism?”

A sort of Michelin guide for news media.

What’s great about it?

Users get the chance to review their news sources, and compare their quality. They input their analysis through a very complete form: it includes rating parameters like trust, fairness, sources and context; there’s also a space to cross reference the news stories with other sources, and users can even leave their suggestions to improve articles, as long they support their ideas with facts.

One of their goals is to fight civic apathy, and making people question what they are being fed to is a good way to do that. The moral principles of NewsTrust are high, and they present themselves as a part of the solution for resolving media/users trust issues.

People in charge of NewsTrust are experienced, reputable professionals, which gives extra credibility to the project.

What could be better?

Not much, but it’s very USA oriented, and that may not be even a downside. It’s still a beta version, though bugs were not found. It all seems transparent and rather simple, really.

How is it going to make money?

In their own words: “Founded in 2005 and based in Mill Valley, California, NewsTrust is a non-profit, non-partisan project funded through grants and private donations and sponsored by The Global Center, an educational foundation based in Manhattan. So far, we have received support from foundations such as the Sunshine Foundation, Ayrshire, Mitch Kapor and Tides Foundations, as well as private donors such as Craig Newmark (Craigslist) and Doug Carlston (Public Radio International). We’re also discussing multi-year funding with several major foundations – as well as partnerships with national news providers. Though we are nonprofit and initially funded through donations, we plan to run the venture as a sustainable business, and to generate revenue in the online market to support this project. Revenue streams include advertising, memberships, licensing and ecommerce.”

Should I pay it any attention?

NewsTrust is a solid project that works both ways: users challenge the quality of journalism being made, and news companies and journalists have a reference to improve and become more trustworthy. It asks both for better readers and better news.

14
Jan
08

Online: Journalism Enterprise

Abre hoje | Online Today

 

O que é que eles dizem que é?“Journalism Enterprise.com vai analisar websites que tentam fazer negócio com o jornalismo na época dos novos media. Pensem nisto como um TechCrunch para projectos jornalísticos.Porque é que estou a fazer isto?Porque o jornalismo está a mudar, não só como profissão e nos processos, mas como indústria.Perceber como o jornalismo- especialmente o bom jornalismo- vai sobreviver num mundo de conteúdos gratuitos é provavelmente uma das maiores e difíceis questões do momento.Há tantas experiências feitas por tantas pessoas em tantas áreas – desde jornalistas por conta própria a grandes organizações noticiosas a testar projectos novos, desde amadores apaixonados pela sua área a organizações sem fins lucrativos que vêem o potencial da web, e desde pequenos projectos na internet a grandes empreendimentos nos novos media, que pensei ser necessário um blog que acompanhasse todos estes projectos e que fornecesse um espaço para debate.”

O que é que eu digo que é?

Um blog que analisa projectos de jornalismo na internet.

O que é que tem de bom?

É um espaço aberto à reflexão sobre vários projectos que independentemente da sua dimensão, podem trazer algo de novo à prática do jornalismo, ou na evolução dos novos media. Ou simplesmente serve para assinalar projectos que muita gente não conhece, tudo no mesmo espaço.

A crítica é construtiva.

O que é que podia ser melhor?

Ainda está no início, por isso as correcções estão a ser feitas. Os colaboradores podiam ganhar um salário de 5 dígitos.

Como é que vai fazer dinheiro?

Tem AdSense. O lucro é para manutenção.

Devo ligar-lhe alguma?

Claro! Se quiserem saber o que se vai fazendo de novo no Jornalismo na web este é o vosso blog.

What do they say it is?

“Journalism Enterprise.com will review websites that are attempting to make money from journalism in the new media age. Consider it a TechCrunch of journalism startups.Why am I doing this? Because journalism is changing, not only as a job and a process, but as an industry. How journalism – particularly good journalism – is going to survive in a world of free content is perhaps one of the biggest and most difficult questions of the moment.There are so many experiments by so many people in so many fields – from journalists going it alone to large news organisations trying new projects, from amateurs who feel passionately about their field to non-profit organisations who see the potential of the web, and from internet startups to established new media players, I thought we needed a blog to keep track of it all and provide a place for debating the issues involved.”

What do I say it is?

A blog dedicated to analyze internet journalism projects.

What’s great about it?

It’s a space open to reflection over several new projects, that regardless their dimension, may bring something new to journalism practice, or to the new media evolution. Or, just to mark new projects that are unknown to the public, all in one site.

Constructive reviews.

What could be better?

It’s still at the beginning, so corrections are still being made. Collaborators could earn a five digit salary.

How is it going to make money?

AdSense is there. Profit for maintenance only.

Should I pay it any attention?

Sure! If you want to know what’s happening on web journalism this is your blog.

 

Paul Bradshaw explica isto melhor | Paul Bradshaw explains it better

08
Jan
08

JE Review- Sweeble.com

Mais uma das minhas reviews para o Journalism Enterprise

Another one of my Journalism Enterprise reviews

Rating: ★★★☆☆

What do they say it is?

Sweeble.com
was born out of the bottom of a bottle of wine at the dog end of a bad day in the newsroom.

It was the end result of hundreds of people’s stories rejected because they didn’t quite fit editorial standards – because they were too small, too personal, too one-sided or a story we’d already done and didn’t fancy doing again.

The news we tell each other as individuals, the stories we want to share, are rarely the ones we see in our newspapers, or on our TVs or hear on our radios. It shouldn’t be like that on the web too. The web needs an open space for news where anyone can tell everyone what’s going on around them, in their own bit of the world.

[…] Sweeble is the future of news on the net. It’s a future that will be built by its users. You decide what is news, you rate the writers, you choose what stories you see when you log on. That first eureka moment of designing sweeble’s editor-free concept was the start, from that we’ve built this cleverer-than-it-looks platform to let you run the asylum. Enjoy.”

What do I say it is?

Sweeble is a UK based website, in which all content is generated by users. The main idea is to allow people to present their news stories in an editor free environment, without restraints on subject or approach. In fact, the goal is to provide a space for personal approaches to off-mainstream stories. It’s more of a personal/individual project rather than a corporate effort. Hard-core Citizen Journalism.

What’s great about it?

You can post a text, with or without pics, and/or video. The page structure is quite simple and they tell you all you need to know in their tips and FAQ’s, from how to post to a quick guide about how to write your story, which you don’t see often. This shows that who’s running the place knows the job and aspires to have quality content.

You can personalize your account, so you can have your preferred subjects on your Sweeble’s homepage, and the idea of an ad section is good to create a community, but that part doesn’t seem to have much activity yet. But what caught my eye was the stark simplicity of the website.

What could be better?

Video is a strong argument for Sweeble, but there are some limitations: you can upload it to Sweeble, but not place it from YouTube, for example. Since you have to upload it, your video must be up to 50mb, which may not suffice to hold a longer interview or a home edited report (not really a problem now, but as users get more evolved in their storytelling this may happen). One annoying thing is that you can’t send the stories to a friend by email, nor embed the videos someplace else, though I managed to get them with VodPod. This happens due to the simple programming of the website, which handles well most features, but needs to be reviewed to allow Sweeble to grow (it’s still beta, I know). Another feature that could come up in the future is (audio)slideshows, but this is just a suggestion.

The user homepage options also suffer from the simple programming: few choices and radio buttons won’t do in the future.

One thing that annoyed me is the amount of times they emphasize legal implications over content, and how systematically they shake off any sort of responsibility. I know they must protect the website from any sort of legal liability, but it sounds too defensive. One short, clear disclamer would do.

How is it going to make money?

Google AdSense is there, along with smaller ads, and more publicity may come if they target the right companies: audio and video gear retailers or companies, mobile phone manufacturers, all that work with the semi-pro fringe. The citizen journalist is an expanding market niche.

Should I pay it any attention?

For sure. Sweeble is a good model for citizen journalism, that needs more promoting and live outside their own website – this means that they must, for instance, find some sort of synergy with other independent news projects, and reach the public. And, why not, promote basic journalism courses among their users. The aim is free, personal, quality stories, and I believe that they can go further than their original inebriated born of frustration idea, and build a true citizen news website. It all depends on what sort of effort they are willing to apply to truly make a difference.

19
Dez
07

Journalism Enterprise Review: Thisismereporting.com

Mais uma das minhas reviews para o JournalismEnterprise | Another one of my JournalismEnterprise reviews

What do they say it is?

Thisismereporting.com was set up to combat all of the one sided journalism we are currently exposed to. You never hear the real story from real people, you never hear about anything good, you never see reports about ordinary people and their day to day lives.So here it is, show us your world.”

What do I say it is?

A place for video footage that may be considered as newsworthy. Most cases, it’s just a collection of extreme situations that were caught on tape by common citizens.

What’s great about it?

Not much, they just follow an equation to which all videos must agree: videos and citizens plus event equals news. Not really, though. But the main idea is great, turning common citizens into ENGs (Electronic News Gatherers, aka video reporters).

What could be better?

The design could be a whole lot better and that camera on the logo is totally wrong, it should be a cell phone. There is no context for most of the videos. This isn’t journalism, it’s voyeurism. The videos can´t be easily embedded, so the website’s purpose stays within it’s bounds, and dies there. And so does the intention of reporting anything, because the drama is there, but not the plot, so they fail completely. Besides, citizen videos that are used in breaking news reports go all to the big media outlets, not here.

How is it going to make money?

Is it? Ok, they have some ads, and it doesn’t look like they’re spending a lot of money, but survival is going to be hard in my opinion, unless they change something. Or maybe they’re just hoping to be absorbed by a major news corp.

Should I pay it any attention?

Yes, if you want to see some dramatic footage and be happy with just that.

http://journalismenterprise.com/thisismereportingcom/

06
Dez
07

Journalism Enterprise

Journalism Enterprise é um novo blog dedicado à crítica de sites ligados ao jornalismo online, com a participação de bloggers e jornalistas de diferentes cantos do mundo, sob a orientação de Paul Bradshaw. Eu também participo, e a minha primeira contribuição é com uma avaliação ao fora.tv.

Para já, ainda está numa fase beta, mas deixem as vossas ideias e sugestões.

Journalism Enterprise is a new blog dedicated to the reviewing of websites connected to the online journalism, that counts with the participation of bloggers and journalists from the four corners of the world, under the guidance of Paul Bradshaw. I’m part of it too, and my first review is to fora.tv.

For now is still a beta version, but leave your comments and suggestions.

FORA.tv - The world is thinking




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