Recent posts in my Journalism Category
January 17, 2013
December 7, 2012
At news:rewired, Dave Wyllie of BreakingNews.com talked about the duty of care the service had to the citizen eye-witness sources it uses. Here are my notes
December 6, 2012
Bobbie Johnson’s discussion of long-form journalism start-up Matter was the talk I was most looking forward to at news:rewired today. He didn’t disappoint. Here are my notes from the session.
At news:rewired today I spoke as part of a panel talking about the importance of “user experience” for digital publishers. Here is the essay version of the talk.
December 4, 2012
I’ve confirmed a line-up of four different training courses that I’m teaching or taking part in early next year. All are open for booking now, and they cover a range of topics from blogging to digital journalism to the fundamentals of UX to the nitty-gritty of responsive IA.
July 25, 2012
I recently appeared at an event entitled “Is social media destroying journalism?”. Here is the essay version of what I said on the night. Featuring a certain B-movie favourite...
July 4, 2012
On Monday night I spoke at the inaugural meeting of Hacks/Hackers Canterbury. Here is an essay version of my talk.
July 3, 2012
Nicola Hughes, aka @DataMinerUK, was talking at the first meeting of the Canterbury Hacks/Hackers group, giving her ten top tips for working with journalists and “proper” programmers if you were just starting down the road of being a datajournalist. Three things struck me as particularly important, and applicable to a wider circle of activity.
June 21, 2012
June 6, 2012
May 23, 2012
Three very different things I’ve spotted this week have illustrated a nagging thought in my mind that if you are purely focused on publishing web pages into the desktop environment, you’ve probably taken your eye off the ball.
May 15, 2012
I always like to play around with new toys, and so as soon as the Google Currents production system was released to the public, I set about making an edition for myself - and discovered that it is a system for publishers, not journalists or individual authors.
April 26, 2012
I have, it seems, acquired something of a reputation for going apoplectic whenever somebody asks if blogging is journalism. So I thought I’d just write a little FAQ for everybody so I can be completely clear on where I stand on this “issue” which has been going on for over ten years.
March 30, 2012
I thought I’d fallen asleep and been transported back into 1997 today when I saw a tweet from Media Bistro asking “Are bloggers #journalists?” After from issuing a caps lock ranting frenzy on Twitter, I thought I’d try and pull something positive from the experience, so I tried to find the first time anybody asked “Are bloggers journalists?” on the internet.
February 24, 2012
February 15, 2012
I tweeted today that “Twitter did/did not break news” is the new “bloggers vs journalists” - a tired old trope that gets periodically trotted out. It was this dreary ReadWriteWeb piece about the origins of news of Whitney Houston’s death that provoked it. News breaks for the user where they first find it - and that isn’t a broadcast network anymore, it is a real-time peer-to-peer one.
February 14, 2012
As part of news:rewired earlier this month, there were workshop sessions on skills like SEO and datajournalism. Leading one of the sessions was Nicola Hughes, aka DataMinerUK, teaching people how to use social media for search. Here are my notes from a session that raised interesting issues of ethics and security for investigative journalists using social media.
January 27, 2012
January 26, 2012
Last night I went to the Community Managers meet-up in London. Markham Nolan was talking about how Storyful sources social media content from accidental citizen journalists.
January 19, 2012
Headlines today have suggested that the murder rate has gone up by 5%, or that knifepoint robbery has gone up by 10% in England and Wales. The figures also show that crime overall has dropped by 4%. Reporting crime statistics is a data journalism minefield however, and last year I attended a fascinating set of talks on the subject.
January 10, 2012
An Oregon judge has inadvertently sparked a wider debate about the nature of journalism, as Cleland Thom reported for the Press Gazette. I think a public set of principles is one key way for publishers to set themselves aside from the general hubbub of the internet.
January 9, 2012
Everybody loves a social media story with a happy ending - by which I don’t mean that PR stunt about that other Martin guy. Here are two that have caught my eye over the last few days, involving a student trying to get an internship, and the Muscatine Journal in Iowa.
December 9, 2011
I’m hosting December’s “Carnival of journalism” on the Guardian Developer blog, so it would be a bit remiss not to join in myself. As neither a hack nor a hacker, I thought I'd take the liberty of answering both variations of the question...
November 29, 2011
November 26, 2011
I’ve only joined in the Carnival of journalism once this year, back in March, when I wrote “News innovation isn't just about writing code, it is about how we use that code to tell stories.” I'll be much more involved in December though, as I’m helping to host it on the Guardian’s Developer blog.
November 9, 2011
There are a limited number of letters in the alphabet, and so, with the suggestion that journalists should be using “NT” to demonstrate a neutral point of view when retweeting, I thought we should just go ahead and define the entire alphabet of inept journalistic use of Twitter etiquette all in one go.
October 20, 2011
Journalism archaeology of the internet - Wendy Grossman on copyright, Scientology, and a world without search at Hacks/Hackers London
I wasn’t able to make last night’s Hacks/Hackers London, which is a shame, as it is always a great night, I’ve always enjoyed seeing Heather Brooke speak, and it would have been brilliant to catch up with the BBC’s George Wright who I used to work alongside in Bush House many moons ago. George has published his slides about the BBC’s R&D department. Seeing all the tweets reminded me that, for one reason or another, I never got round to posting my notes from last month’s Hacks/Hackers. So here they are...
September 2, 2011
This is an essay version of a talk given at last week’s Hacks/Hackers meet-up in London. I presented eight things that I believe news organisations need to stop doing, start doing, or do better, in order to cope with the way that digital has transformed the news cycle.
August 24, 2011
I’ll be speaking tonight at the London Hacks/Hackers meeting, and one of the points I’ll be making is that the digital publishing revolution is a perpetual revolution, one that requires constant learning. That section of my talk is partly fuelled by how angry I was made yesterday by a piece in the Press Gazette, which suggested that editors do not value digital media skills.
August 12, 2011
It is easy to think of “data journalism” as being about automatic computer analysis of large datasets, but good data journalism has story-telling at the centre. Over the coming days, weeks, and months there is a lot of data journalism to be done about the riots and looting in the UK. It is an opportunity for long-form data journalism, and the responsibility of the media to use this data in a way that helps us understand the riots, not in a way that prolongs their negative impact.
August 3, 2011
August 2, 2011
I’ve said on many occasions that I am genuinely baffled how so many news organisations seem to think they can grow an active community on their website, without investing in any community management. At the Guardian we have several people in a role called “community co-ordinator” who fulfill this remit. One of them, Laura Oliver, spoke at the last London Hacks/Hackers meet-up. Here are my notes on four of the key points that Laura made in her talk.
June 30, 2011
A Storify looking at the timeline of edits on Toby Young’s blog about Johann Hari yesterday, and what they tell us about “stealth edits” and article metadata
June 28, 2011
“Just to clarify, as a mere amateur blogger, I never make direct quotes up or deliberately misattribute them”
Pride comes before a fall. In the wake of the Johann Hari affair, I boasted that as an amateur blogger I never misattribute quotes. Only, four hours later, to be notified that I had done just that the previous day...
June 26, 2011
Steve Buttry on what the reaction to Gene Weingarten’s column tells us about the Washington Post’s brand
I don’t very often post to this blog just to write “Yeah! What he said”. But this is basically just that...
June 14, 2011
June 8, 2011
The “Texas mass grave” that wasn’t demonstrates that the rush to get a story on air before it has been fully verified isn’t just something that happens when news is being broken on social media.
June 6, 2011
Whilst I was taking a break from actively blogging I was still taking notes at the events I was attending, so I thought this week I’d whizz through some of the things I went to in April and May. One of the speakers at April’s London IA event was Michael Blastland. It was the second opportunity I’ve had this year to see him speak, having attended a panel session he spoke at about reporting crime statistics. For London IA, his theme was “designing for doubt”.
June 2, 2011
A link was doing the rounds today to a thought-provoking blog post by Donald Mahoney about journalism in a “post-content farm” world. Unfortunately, the thoughts it mostly provoked in me were: “You’ve missed the point”.
May 30, 2011
The final session at news:rewired on Friday was a panel discussing the medium of live blogging, expertly hosted by Marcus Warren from the Telegraph, and featuring my colleague Guardian Blog’s Editor Matt Wells, Anna Doble of Channel 4, and Paul Gallagher of the Manchester Evening News. It was a really good session, with some good natured rivalry between the Telegraph and Guardian on display, and it really felt like the conversation has moved on from “What is live blogging and should we be doing it?” to “How can we use this new uniquely digital media to its best advantage and develop it further”.
May 29, 2011
On Saturday I spent the day in the Guardian’s offices as a guest at the Knight-Mozilla News Innovation Jam. As a preamble to the actual brain-storming and designing, there were talks from Guardian journalist Paul Lewis, interactive technologist Alastair Dant, and the BBC’s Jonathan Austin. Here are my notes.
May 28, 2011
I spent a really good day at news:rewired yesterday. With one track dedicated to data journalism, and another to social media, it was no surprise that I found plenty of things of interest. Here are my notes on some of the things that stood out for me.
May 27, 2011
I recently appeared as part of a panel session at FutureEverything talking about data journalism. I’ve already blogged the four points I was planning to make. Here are my notes from the talks given by those I was sharing the stage with: Chris Taggart, David Higgerson and Paul Bradshaw
May 20, 2011
I spent much of today at the BBC Social Media Summit, and thought it worth putting together a few quick notes on the things that stood out for me.
May 12, 2011
April 12, 2011
For a while on this blog I had a Venn diagram in the top right-hand corner, which was there to remind me that I was supposed to be writing about stuff in the intersection between IA, digital media and journalism. That is where the professional communities that I belong to collide. So, it was uncomfortable to be sitting in Denver at the IA Summit last week, listening to one of my group of peers laughing loudly at the output of the other.
April 6, 2011
April 5, 2011
Guardian Readers’ Editor Chris Elliott recently gave a lunchtime talk to assorted staff about a trip to Egypt, where he was talking to local journalists about journalistic ethics and press regulation. As well as The Guardian’s reporting having an effect in Cairo via Twitter, we were reporting what was being posted from there - and there was a good debate after Chris spoke about the verification standards that you could put to information collected this way, and how it should then presented to our audience via live blogging and other means.
March 31, 2011
Nick Petrie on the Wannabe Hacks blog recently asked why news organisations were only getting to grips with the concept of online community now in 2011. In the course of his post, he said: “What I wonder is - why didn't a newspaper invent Facebook or Twitter?”. He’s not the first to wonder that, but personally, I’m unconvinced that this isn’t akin to asking why the Great Western Railway didn’t invent the automobile.
This is the last of three blog posts inspired by attending Paul Bradshaw’s inaugural lecture at City University. So far I’ve published my notes about what he said on news organisations and online communities, and on the problem of ego in journalism. Today I wanted to look at what I think was the most interesting aspect of Paul’s talk. It was the most passionately I’ve seen someone frame the arguments around net neutrality and issues of ISP regulation directly with regard to the tools and practice of journalism.
March 30, 2011
“Do we want to be Journalists with a capital J and bathe in the glory of our guild, or do we want to support journalism?”. This was one of the more provocative passages of Paul Bradshaw’s inaugural lecture at City University. Yesterday I posted my notes on what he said about news organisations and communities, and in this blog post I want to look at some structural problems he identified with journalism as a profession.
March 29, 2011
Paul Bradshaw on investing time and effort to attract "the right kind" of contributors to a news site
It is a couple of weeks ago now that I attended Paul Bradshaw’s inaugural lecture at City University, entitled “Is ice cream strawberry?”. Paul has made a multi-part essay version of the talk available on his blog, and you can view the slides on SlideShare. Over the next couple of blog posts on currybetdotnet there are a couple of points he made that I’d like to dwell on, and the first is about users and community.
March 23, 2011
In just over a fornight’s time I’ll be opening the Polish IA Summit, with a keynote presentation entitled “Come as you are”. It is a reference to the Nirvana track, as an anecdote about the band from my days working in a record shop is one of the elements setting up the talk. It is also a look back at the key things I’ve learned through 13 years of working with websites and digital products, and watching and being part of the disciplines of information architecture and user experience design evolving into the established job roles that they are today. As part of the build-up I’ve been interviewed by Artur Kurasińsk
March 17, 2011
Over the last couple of days I’ve been blogging my notes from a panel about the reporting of crime statistics I attended at the “Data and news sourcing” event co-sponsored by the Media Standards Trust and the BBC College of Journalism. So far I’ve published posts looking at what was said by Michael Blastland, Andrew Trotter and Dominic Casciani. The final talk on the crime panel was from Telegraph data reporter Conrad Quilty-Harper, and here are my notes from the session.
March 16, 2011
Yesterday I blogged some notes from a session at the “Data and news sourcing” event which had a focus on the reporting of crime statistics. Statistician and self-confessed “semi-detached journalist” Michael Blastland opened the panel, and he was followed by Chief Constable Andrew Trotter who described accurate reporting as “A hopeless quest”. Today's post features my notes of BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani discussing crime statistics
March 15, 2011
March 14, 2011
The Guardian has a large presence over at SXSW at the moment, indeed I’ve seen it tweeted that if the BBC had sent a team as big, the Daily Mail would have an aneurism. One of the things that appeals to us is that the event features three areas where the paper has very strong coverage: music, film and technology. Rather than only sending journalists, this year we’ve also sent some of our technical development team.
March 11, 2011
Yesterday I posted my notes from Paul Lewis talking at a panel event discussing issues with crowd-sourcing journalism. It was part of an afternoon entitled “Data and news sourcing” jointly organised by the Media Standards Trust and the BBC College of Journalism, and hosted by the Royal Statistical Society. Also appearing on the panel were Paul Bradshaw and Turi Munthe. Here are my notes on their opening talks.