links for 2010-06-01

 by Martin Belam, 1 June 2010
  • "On Saturday morning I was part of the initiated, part of the few, part of the exclusive ‘Times App’ users. Because I’d paid the tenner. On Sunday morning I was unceremoniously dumped outside, left to stare, nose pressed against the window. And highly, highly unimpressed. I thought I was buying access to a daily news app. Not a Monday-to-Saturday app. Whilst News Corporation might think they’re two different brands, they’re not — not to me. All I wanted and all I expected was some sodding news". I've written before about how, if you are outside of the industry, the Mon-Sat/Sunday split doesn't make sense in the digital world.
  • "It’s a great day to be a Web developer, because non-desktop platforms like the iPhone OS open up greater possibilities for us to express our creativity and entrepreneurial savvy, while allowing us to adhere to modern Web standards. All of the tools you need to create great a Web experience on the platform that’s currently dominating the mobile space are out there. It’s up to you to make the most of them!". Great overview of resources, although as ever, I'd argue that the iPhone is the platform that is currently dominating *media discussion* of the mobile space, which isn't quite the same thing.
  • "I appreciate one definition of 'balance' is showing all extremes of propaganda - where any exists - on both sides of a political and humanitarian issue, but the BBC's lack of a heavy caveat regarding this footage and its provenance meant it even fell down on that idea". The key issue here for me is that, regardless of the example, the 24 hour news imperative to have rolling 'action' footage often gives isolated clips prominence in a story that the actual content may not merit
  • "My suggestion was aimed at the news websites that don’t have the resources (or cultural imperative) to do a good job with controlling user comments, and where trolls run wild and the level of discussion is, for the most part, lame. That would describe many newspaper websites. They have a problem in need of solutions". Makes the valuable point that one-size definitely does not fit all budgets or cultures.
  • I think I've seen this movie before. Whilst our regulators dither about Project Kangaroo / Hyperlocal Video / Subsidised news consortia / Project Canvas, global media companies outside of our island-shaped legal constraints get on with developing consumer services and propositions.
  • "Students should have a basic understanding of how HTML and CSS work, and how they work together. When some journalists challenge me on this, I point out that in my undergraduate print journalism program back in the Dark Ages (before the Web), every single student was required to pass an editing course in which we learned to draw page layouts, spec headlines, crop photos, and use design tools such as a pica stick and a proportion wheel. Presentation has ALWAYS been an important part of journalism — and today’s presentation uses HTML and CSS."

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