30 November 2007

Community Website Faces Libel Case

American libel laws could come in for a shake-up as a woman has launched a suit against a community news website.

The complainant is suing a citizen media website based in Vermont regarding a comment posted by someone she worked for at the local emergency medical services, reports the Brattleboro Reformer.

According to her attorney, the plaintiff has launched the lawsuit against both her former boss and the owners of iBrattleboro.com for "intentional infliction of emotional distress".

Lawyer Margot Stone stated that the posted comment "was heartbreaking" for her client.

She added: "It was not truthful. It meets all the qualifications for defamation.

"He said those terrible things, he meant them and he never retracted them - nor did the Internet site retract or apologise."

The website owners, Chris Grotke and Lise LePage, refused to respond to the specific case but in a general statement Grotke said: "Our policy is pretty clear that if anyone has any problem with anything put up there, they can contact us and we'll take it down.

"In general, people have to stand by what they write. We can't be the police for everybody in town. All we do is provide the platform for this communication."

Stone asserted that Grotke and LePage are likely to use as their defence the fact that comments are not screened or moderated prior to publication, but noted: "I'm not sure that will be enough to avoid some degree of liability."

The Reformer suggests that their liability could depend upon a developing area of American libel law concerning whether citizen media sites should be held as accountable as their professional counterparts.

At present the Federal Communications Decency Act (CDA) states that no provider of interactive online services should be treated as the speaker of information provided by someone else, but some judges believe this clause needs to be altered.

New media attorney Eric Sinrod told the Reformer that websites which are very actively involved in providing content as well as hosting it may find themselves coming close to losing their immunity under the CDA.

LePage and Grotke have posted a comment about the case on their website: "We believe the suit to be without merit and will be taking appropriate legal action.

"Thanks all, for your support recently and over the last four years. We look forward to telling you more as soon as we're legally able."

Further details on this story can be found at the Citizen Media Law Project.


29 November 2007

Agency Trains Sights On ‘Photo Thieves’

Picture agency Splash is deploying facial-recognition technology in its bid to track down websites which use its products without paying.

The company says it can now accurately trace online usage of its many celebrity snaps and will use the new technology in legal cases against any bloggers who stand accused of stealing images.

Facial-recognition applications are growing in popularity, with Reuters recently launching an image archive search programme using Viewdle software. (See October 1 2007.)

Further details on the Splash story can be found at holdthefrontpage.co.uk.


Finnish Site Embraces UGC

A citizen media website in Finland is using articles and photos submitted by readers to provide content for its hyperlocal weekly print editions.

Vartti.fi claims that its affiliated print issues comprise approximately 20% of user-generated content which has been uploaded to its website, reports Journalism.co.uk.

Launched last month, the pro-am journalism website managed by Sanoma Digital has upped its profile with the publication of one of the first photographs from the recent school shooting in Tuusula.

The picture was submitted to Vartti by a citizen journalist who received an undisclosed sum.

“With the Jokela High School shooting we had one of the first pictures in Finland [from the scene] which was taken on a mobile phone, we then sold it on to publications in Norway and Sweden,” said Janne Kaijarvi, Vartti’s editor-in-chief.

Kaijarvi added that the website is still in the experimental stage: “By the end of next year the site might be totally different from what it is like now as we develop more and more user-generated content.”


28 November 2007

Top 9 Xmas Gifts For OJs

Digital reporter Noah Barron has unveiled his top Christmas gift ideas for the dedicated online journalist in your life.

The Online Journalism Review staffer gives Apple’s iPhone pride of place at the top of the tree this Yuletide due to its “ooh-ahh factor”, despite reservations about its hefty price-tag.

Runner-up spot in Barron’s “Top 9 Gifts for Online Journalists” goes to the Kindle wireless reader from Amazon, a controversial choice with the hacks no doubt but Barron reckons the electronic paper gadget is one to watch with the potential to revolutionise the way we read our news and blogs.

Also making the wish-list is the Olympus Evolt E-330 digital camera for quality images in a hurry, the TomTom Go 720 for finding your way about town and the Bamboo Fun PC drawing tablet so bloggers can add some personalised art to their pages.

Barron says of his top choice: “The Apple iPhone is the number-one gift for online journalists in 2007.

“The ability to live-update blogs with text and pictures effortlessly and from anywhere is indispensable.

“Yes, the iPhone is way overpriced, has a wimpy HD, a totalitarian service plan and bogus coverage, but it is so dang cool that this list would be hopelessly remiss if it wasn’t at the top.”


27 November 2007

Nationals Reveal User Locations

The Daily Mail has revealed its website has the greatest proportion of non-UK users compared to other nationals which publish their figures.

Press Gazette reports that some 72% of unique users on Mail Online are from outside the UK, which represents a total of 9.68 million people.

The Mail is one of five national newspapers currently releasing digital readership data through the electronic media arm of the Audit Bureau of Circulations and for the first time this month they have all included a breakdown of the geographic location of visitors.

The new data shows that the Guardian and Telegraph see about 60% of their overall traffic come from abroad while the Times generates about 63% from users outside the UK.

In addition, the reports reveal that the website with the greatest proportion of domestic visitors is the Sun.


Politics Easy As ABC For Facebook

Facebook and ABC News have teamed up to encourage political debate between voters and news reporters.

The formal partnership between the US broadcaster and the social networking site will enable Facebook members to follow the latest reports on next year’s presidential election and take part in a range of polls.

But the most exciting part of the project for voters will no doubt be the debates where members can post their thoughts directly to political journalists from ABC News.

ABC news president David Westin told the New York Times (NYT): “There are debates going on at all times within Facebook, this allows us to participate in those debates, both by providing information and by learning from the users.”

The NYT reports that the collaboration provides Facebook with an “authoritative source” and allows ABC to distribute its political content to a potential audience of 56 million active users.


26 November 2007

Readers’ Photos Boost Fire Coverage

Pictures sent in by readers of a massive warehouse blaze in London enhanced a local newspaper’s coverage of the incident.

Panoramic photos of thick black smoke billowing across the capital’s skyline as well as close-up video footage of angry flames pouring from the Olympics site warehouse were submitted by dozens of readers to the East London Advertiser.

Editor Malcolm Starbrook told Press Gazette: “Within minutes of the fire starting we had a reader arrive at the office offering to download a video on his mobile.

“As fast as we received new images we posted them on line and that encouraged more readers to submit their images.

“The quality and standard of the submitted pictures was outstanding.”

In addition to the impressive web coverage, the East London Advertiser reverse-published stills sent in by users in a special newspaper report two days later.


Wash Post Uses Web To Entice Readers

An executive at the Washington Post recently outlined the newspaper’s strategy of attracting younger readers to its print edition through the web.

Executive editor Leonard Downie said the Post duplicates the style and content of the newspaper on its affiliated website in the hope that users become accustomed to it and decide to try the full printed version.

Downie also revealed that the Post’s web audience is actually growing faster than its print readership is shrinking, with online turnover now bringing in 15% of total revenue.

The editor was speaking to a visiting committee from the House of Lords which is investigating issues of media ownership.

Details from the group’s US meetings have just been published and include notes from an interview with Rupert Murdoch where he asserted his intention to make each of his publications “platform neutral”.

Murdoch also said that newspaper editors need to be aware of what news is popular with the younger web audiences.

“To illustrate this he explained that Yahoo is the most read news site and if you analyse what news stories are read most on Yahoo it is always ‘soft’ news stories,” states the report.

Murdoch also took the opportunity of the meeting to brand the UK as “anti-success” and claimed the only reason Sky News is not more like Fox News is because “nobody at Sky listens to me”.

The report contains notes from meetings with other senior figures in the US media, such as Paul Slavin from ABC News and Paul Friedman from CBS news, and can be found on the Parliament website.


23 November 2007

Herald Scores With Web-first Strategy

The Plymouth Herald enjoyed a huge boost to its online traffic when it broke the story of Argyle’s manager leaving to join Leicester City.

Breaking news stories ran on the daily newspaper’s website throughout yesterday to keep Plymouth Argyle fans updated on the latest happenings with club boss Ian Holloway.

The tactics paid dividends as the site received over ten times more traffic than it usually averages for a front-page story, reports Press Gazette.

Herald staff scored again with their special evening print edition providing in-depth analysis on Holloway’s departure.

“We've seen this before - if you put stories online first, the next day’s circulation will be up,” said Neil Shaw, web editor at the newspaper.

He added: “If you get the stories online, it doesn’t mean that people don’t buy the paper the next day because they’ve already seen the news.”

The dedicated web team at the Herald have also used readers’ comments posted online to provide content for the evening print edition.

“It’s something we do more and more often - the comments are a good way to build a circle of interest,” noted Shaw.

“We print the story online, people will comment on the story, we print those comments in the paper and then they go and buy the paper - so we actually find that interest and will increase circulation the next day.”


22 November 2007

Drudge: Net Will Cover Real News

The founder of one of the world’s leading independent news sites has warned that the internet will cover the “real” stories if major news groups pass up the chance.

Matt Drudge said small websites like his Drudge Report will continue to publish the “underground” news that the corporations shrink away from.

Speaking to Sky in his first interview for four years, the pioneer behind the influential site also asserted that the web is likely to have a big impact on the forthcoming US presidential elections.

“If we are faced with corporations who don’t want to report real news the internet will play a very valuable role in the underground, catching real stories that are being spiked,” said Drudge.

In addition, he responded to accusations of his site peddling rumour and scandal by saying: “That’s a 1990s discussion - we’re now in a totally new era where information is information and you just really have to set your own threshold in what you believe.

“Just because you get it from an established source doesn’t mean it’s true.”

The Drudge Report achieved global notoriety when it broke the Monica Lewinsky story to the public during the Clinton era.

21 November 2007

Tweet - To Who?

New media entrepreneur Steve Outing reckons news sites should turn to Twitter when it comes to reporting breaking news stories.

Outing asserts that the micro-blogging service provides the perfect place for journalists to submit quick updates - known as tweets - by mobile phone when they are in the middle of a major news event on their patch.

The blogger suggests in his Poynter Online column that editors should set up a dedicated Twitter feed alongside a breaking-news blog to ensure readers get the latest happenings.

Outing writes: “With reporters filing short bits from their cell phones, you’ll be able to offer your audience new information even faster than you could with a breaking-news blog.

“Feed this to your site and to subscribed cell phone alerts. Urge your readers to ‘follow’ your breaking-news Twitter stream from their own Twitter accounts.”

He adds that editors should ensure they place “a cautionary warning that this is raw news coverage from your reporters and early reports could be unverified” and “make an effort to tweet updated information if an earlier report proves wrong”.

Outing concludes: “Important news is getting out ever faster and I’ll contend that it’s important to keep up, lest you be beaten by your Twittering competitors.”

Set up last year, Twitter is a free micro-blogging and social networking site which enables users to keep each other informed via texts, instant messages and email.

It has quickly become a hub for reporters from around the world who use the site to glean story tips and share news.

Waxing lyrical on the joy of tweets is media consultant Marshall Kirkpatrick in his latest blog post.

Labels: , ,

20 November 2007

Video Service For Footie Fans

Soccer is taking over Saturdays on a Midlands website with a new video round-up service.

Fans of clubs including Aston Villa, West Brom and Wolves can keep up to date with all the latest football action online with the Express & Star’s Sporting Star Live feature.

The once-weekly service comprises video reports of team line-ups, half-time scores and full-time results and also gives users the chance to air their views during the games.

Editor Adrian Faber told holdthefrontpage.co.uk: “Sporting Star Live is a key part of delivering an entertaining, informative, up-to-the-minute service on our website.”


Times’ Travellers Have Their Say

Bloggers in transit are now able to phone in their copy for the travel pages of the Times Online.

The website is using voice-to-text technology on its Your World pages so that globe-trotting users can call in their content, reports Journalism.co.uk.

SpinVox software then turns the message into text that can be moderated before publication on the site.

“The voice post is evocative of a golden age of foreign journalism when correspondents filed their stories by telephone from the far reaches of the globe,” said Zach Leonard, Times Media’s digital publisher.

He added: “The development also reinforces our commitment to user-generated content and we hope it will make users feel even more closely connected to Times Media’s print and digital brands.”

Visitors to Your World can choose geographical locations from Antarctica to Antigua to access an abundance of travel guides submitted by users.


19 November 2007

Yorkshire Blogger Scoops Global Prize

Digital reporter Adrian Sudbury has received an international award for his personal health blog.

After being diagnosed with an extremely rare form of leukaemia last year, the Sheffield-based journalist decided to chronicle his experiences under the moniker of Baldy’s Blog.

And he has now beaten bloggers from around the world to take the title of best medical/health issues blog at this year’s international Weblog Awards.

Sudbury, who had taken up a digital reporter position at the Huddersfield Examiner just before falling ill, wasn’t able to collect his award in person at the Las Vegas ceremony but celebrated with a bottle of bubbly in Yorkshire.

He writes on his blog: “What a result and thank you so much to everyone who voted for me.

“Can I just say how interesting it’s been too reading some of the other blogs in my category.

“If any of their authors are reading this I’m just a journalist working in Huddersfield but living in Sheffield in the UK.

“It’s been quite an experience dipping into the world of big-time blogging. There is some really impressive stuff in our category. I wish you all continued success.”

Further details on this story can also be found at Press Gazette.


Interaction Is Key At LEP

The editor of the Lancashire Evening Post says the paper’s main task for 2008 is to make the most of its growing online community.

Simon Reynolds told media site How-Do that the Johnston Press publication has vastly enhanced its reader participation since strengthening its digital content and converging its print and online operations.

“Getting regularly over 1,000 online responses to key local footballing issues is something that’s stimulating and exciting when compared to the half dozen or so written responses such issues may have elicited just a few years ago,” he said.

Reynolds added that his main focus for next year will be looking at how to “manage the large and rapidly growing amount of participation and interaction we’re getting from the community.

“I want to join it all together in a more manageable way. You turn the tap on with the public but you’ve got to manage the subsequent flow.”

The editor also sounded an optimistic note about the future, asserting that print media groups will navigate their way through the digital transformation “and succeed before and better than most other sectors”.

He concluded: “Despite what people say about print being under threat, in reality TV and radio are facing a greater threat than newspapers.”


15 November 2007

NUJ Approves First Full-Time Blogger

A university student has become the first full-time freelance blogger to be admitted to the NUJ.

The membership application from Conrad Quilty-Harper was approved at a freelance branch meeting this week, reports Journalism.co.uk.

Quilty-Harper, who writes a tech blog for engadget, has included correspondence regarding his application on his personal blog.


And The Beat Goes On

Hot on the heels of Assignment Zero comes Jay Rosen’s latest project which aims to marry beat reporting with social networking.

Beatblogging.org is a NewAssignment.Net initiative and is being launched by Rosen along with 12 participating news groups.

The dozen disciples are beat reporters from newspapers, TV stations and websites based in the US and each will follow their own experimental path to see how setting up a network connecting their various contacts could improve reporting.

Among the journalists taking part is an education reporter from the Dallas Morning News, a science reporter from the Houston Chronicle and a neighbourhood correspondent at the Patriot-News in Pennsylvania.

Writing on his PressThink blog, Rosen explains: “This is a simple project testing a single idea - maybe a beat reporter could do a way better job if there was a ‘live’ social network connected to the beat, made up of people who know the territory the beat covers and want the reporting on that beat to be better.

“Each reporter is going into this in their own fashion - they run it. They fund it. They venture into it independently but simultaneously with others trying similar combinations.”

Rosen’s crowdsourcing project Assignment Zero in collaboration with Wired.com drew to a close earlier this year and his verdict on its outcome can be found on his blog.


Yoosk Gets Youth On Board

Media students have been gaining online experience by working on an innovative citizen journalism project.

Journalism.co.uk reports that the group from the City University helped out at Yoosk.com, a website which prides itself on helping readers get answers straight from the horse’s mouth.

Students were tasked with taking the most popular questions submitted by users on a given news topic and putting these to the relevant people - known as the players.

So for example, a story about media coverage of the Madeline McCann case had a cast of five players, including Steve Bennedik and Simon Bucks from Sky and a spokesperson from a missing persons’ charity.

Visitors can submit their own questions as well as vote on ones from others, with Yoosk pledging to put any questions with over 100 votes to the players.

“This project will give City students real experience in web-based journalism,” noted Neil Thurman, senior lecturer at the London university.

“Our link-up with Yoosk.com will give them the opportunity to learn key skills in online publishing, not only by working with an innovative new journalism site, but through meaningful interaction with Yoosk.com’s growing audience.”


12 November 2007

Union Makes Uploading Agreement

NUJ representatives at a newspaper in Yorkshire have reached an agreement concerning the uploading of news content to the affiliated website.

Press Gazette reports that the chapel at The Press in York has agreed to a new arrangement whereby reporters will only be responsible for uploading material when the dedicated website team is out of the newsroom and during shift times.

Union members at the newspaper had previously organised a boycott of online content after the Newsquest-owned title had unveiled plans to train journalists and sub editors in uploading content.

"In other Newsquest centres subs are expected to upload the entire day's newspaper on to the website," said Sam Southgate, father of the chapel at The Press.

He added: "We had nine editorial redundancies last year and we are already pushed for staff.

"While we always stressed that we are keen to learn new skills which are useful to us as journalists and individuals, it shouldn't be a significant increase in workload without any benefits."

Midlands Group Launches Online Notices

The Midlands News Association (MNA) has become the latest publishing group to launch an interactive notices service.

According to holdthefrontpage.co.uk, the MNA has joined with Legacy.com to enable readers to place death notices and obituaries on its affiliated newspaper websites.

The Express & Star and Shropshire Star websites now feature the facility, which allows users from anywhere in the world to upload pictures and tributes on pages dedicated to the memory of loved ones.

"With our online traffic continuing to grow, we wanted to provide our web users with a fully interactive death notice service," said David Ratcliffe, new media manager at the MNA.

He added: "While our core audience is local to the MNA print titles' regions, our sites attract thousands of visitors from across the UK and around the world.

"We wanted to find the right service to allow this wide audience to pay tribute to loved ones."

Several publishing groups already offer interactive notices services, including Johnston Press and MEN Media.

News Sites Attract 65% Of Users

Nearly two in three internet users across Europe access news websites at least once a month, according to a new survey.

Research from the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) reveals that growing numbers of people are using online resources and this increase is particularly driven by the rise in so-called silver surfers and female users.

The Mediascope Europe study provides a fascinating glimpse into the public's online habits and shows that news websites are the most commonly visited with 65% of all users checking the headlines at least every four weeks.

Second in the chart of top websites are local information centres, which are visited by 52% of users and in third place are travel sites with 51% of surfers checking in at least once a month.

In addition, the survey finds that 28% of internet users are reading newspapers less frequently as they turn to the web for their current affairs information.

The report states: "The internet is rapidly becoming a hub for all media with internet users increasingly consuming media such as magazines, newspapers, radio and TV digitally.

"As a result of more traditional media being consumed online we expect this media consumption gap to continue widening."

Further details on the study can be found at the EIAA.


NS Chief: Trust Is Key

The head of the Newspaper Society has asserted that local newspapers can transfer brand value when moving into new media.

David Newell stated that reports show regional titles to be the most trusted section of the UK media and claimed that this trust is carried forward when newspapers expand into the digital market.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Newell said "trust has a commercial value" and remains the core rationale for regional newspaper groups whether they are working in print or online.

The organisation's director also noted that the advent of websites has not changed the role of local news groups as it is still their duty to connect people within their community.

He added: "Life is so local for everyone, even in the multimedia age."

Newell was speaking on Read All About It, which formed part of BBC radio's season of programmes on the British newspaper industry.

Further details on the series, which continues this week, can be found on the BBC Radio 4 website.

09 November 2007

Newspapers Debut Online Figures In USA

Many of America’s biggest newspapers have published combined online readership data and print circulation figures for the first time.

Hundreds of major titles produced joint print and online readership totals and also published information separately about their digital and print audiences as part of the Audience-FAX initiative.

For example, the Boston Globe revealed that its combined readership stood at 2.3 million, which includes people living in the home market area who read both the online and print versions.

The newspaper also reported an average of 4.2 million unique visitors per month, which comprises users located anywhere in the world.

According to the New York Times, America’s newspaper industry is hoping that the publication of digital and non-digital readership numbers will influence advertisers who have so far appeared fairly resistant to the allure of a young professional online audience.

Stephen P Hills, president of the Washington Post, remarked: “Audience-FAX is a major initiative to engage with advertisers on issues critical to their media-buying decisions.

“By combining the most trusted names in audience measurement, Audience-FAX provides data that measure the newspaper audience across multimedia platforms, allowing advertisers to make a comparable analysis across media buys for the first time in a comprehensive report.”

The integrated project is managed jointly by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), Scarborough Research and the Newspaper Association of America.

Further details about Audience-Fax can be found at the Maryland Daily Record and ABC.


08 November 2007

Website of the Year Title Up For Grabs

East Anglian journalists who think their newspaper website has got the right stuff should make a start on their applications for a regional award.

Submissions are now being sought for the EDF Energy East of England Media Awards 2007, and among the top categories is the title of Website of the Year.

The competition, organised in association with holdthefrontpage.co.uk, is free to enter and has both cash prizes and trophies on offer to the winners.

Claire Byrd, regional media manager for the utility group, commented: “There have been some very big stories in the patch in the past 12 months and it will be interesting to see how the different media tackled them, as well as a chance to see how they made the most of more run-of-the-mill tales.

“It is a great opportunity for local talent to be recognised and I hope that all branches of print and broadcast media will seize the moment and give the judges a tough time in choosing the winners.”

Among the other awards to be handed out at the January ceremony will be the prize for Daily Newspaper of the Year and for the top community campaign.

The deadline for submissions is December 7th and further details can be found here.


07 November 2007

Guardian Opens Online Archives

The Guardian and Observer newspapers have made part of their extensive archives available online.

Reports on world-changing events from past centuries can now be seen at the click of a mouse after the two publications launched the first phase of the digitisation of their archives.

Journalists, professional historians and ordinary readers can delve the collection to dig up coverage of some of history’s turning points, from the Battle of Waterloo to the assassination of President Kennedy.

Phase one sees Guardian stories from 1821 to 1975 available to view along with articles from the Observer dated between 1900 and 1975.

Later editions will be added online next year and will include early issues of the Observer dating from the eighteenth-century.

“The archive will offer historical coverage to both consumers and academics of the most important events recorded during 212 years of publishing history,” according to a statement from the Guardian News and Media (GNM).

Meanwhile, GNM head of syndication and rights Gerard Baines said: “The launch of the archive will revolutionise the way in which users are able to access our historic content, whether for academic research or personal interest.”

Visitors to guardian.co.uk/archive can browse the collection for free but there are charges to view articles and full issues.

Throughout November users can receive a 50% discount on the price of passes, which are available for 24 hours, three days or one month.

More details on this story can be found at Guardian Unlimited.

06 November 2007

'Go-getting Attitude' In Wales

A Welsh newspaper is looking to attract new readers by publishing its stories on Facebook.

The Wrexham Evening Leader has both a profile and group page on the social networking site and puts its news and sports headlines and summaries directly onto the website to entice users.

Editor-in-chief Barrie Jones told holdthefrontpage.co.uk: “We constantly want to be proactive in attracting readers to our website.

“Sitting back and expecting them to come to us is not an option - we need to go and get them.

“Hopefully once they’ve visited they’ll be impressed with what we offer online and come back again.”

The newspaper’s Facebook profile page also enables users to submit comments and participate in online polls.

Previously, the Evening Leader was launched with its own page on MySpace.


Readers Create A Splash in Liverpool

Liverpool’s Daily Post has led with its first reader-generated front page since launching a crowdsourcing project.

The Trinity Mirror publication splashed on safety issues at a budget airline after inviting readers to submit any information on the subject, reports Press Gazette.

Following the appeal on its website’s Make the News section, several aviation experts contacted reporters with advice on sources that provide an insight into the company’s safety problems.

“Without this source of information, we wouldn’t have been among the first to break the safety licence story, while the flight figures would have remained hidden away on the internet,” commented Mark Thomas, editor at the Daily Post.

He added that the front-page story “was proof that, if asked, people who traditionally wouldn’t offer information are happy to get involved”.

The newspaper and its affiliated website are also appealing for information on a number of other issues, including roadworks and life on the frontline for soldiers.

Thomas said: “The response has been excellent and will lead to some very strong stories in coming weeks.

“New story ideas continue to go on to Make The News, which is promoted in the main paper as well, and we intend to extend it online by providing readers with guides on how to get information themselves, by means such as using the Freedom of Information Act and attending council meetings.”

Crowdsourcing is a relatively new concept to UK newspapers but has proved a successful investigative reporting tool for significant numbers of news sites in the US.

For example, Florida’s News-Press was given an honourable mention at this year’s Knight Batten Innovations in Journalism Awards for its user-assisted investigation into high utility connection charges for new homes.

More details on this story can be found at Wired and the awards website.

Labels: ,

05 November 2007

Multimedia Tells Multicultural Story

A local newspaper has enabled immigrants to tell their own stories as part of a recent video project on its website.

The Plymouth Herald promoted October’s Respect Festival, which celebrates multiculturalism, through both traditional reporting methods and by making a series of short interview films with people who have settled in the city from abroad.

“In an effort to explore the growing racial and ethnic diversity of the city we have video interviewed some people who reflect this global character,” states the Herald.

Among the ‘talking heads’ is an Iranian journalist, a council employee from Zimbabwe and a university lecturer who moved to the UK from India.


02 November 2007

Video Added To PA Course

The Press Association (PA) has increased the multimedia content of its foundation course in journalism with the addition of a video training module.

From January next year, the programme will include 35 hours of training in video interview techniques as well as lessons in shooting and editing film packages.

Paul Jones, the PA’s head of foundation course training, told Journalism.co.uk: “The strength of the course has always been that we teach trainees in a very practical way how to get the best stories.

“These skills transfer very easily across media and it is with this in mind that we have added video journalism to our course.”

PA has already added an online reporting module to its foundation course scheme.


01 November 2007

Radio Show Examines Local Web News

A new BBC radio programme is to investigate how regional newspapers are changing in the wake of the digital revolution.

Read All About It is a two-part feature which will discuss whether the internet and multimedia reporting styles are changing the relationship between the local press and its readers.

The Radio 4 programme includes interviews with editors from a number of regional titles and also comprises a visit to a newsroom in Manchester to look at developments in the working lives of journalists.

Forming part of the station’s series of programmes on Britain’s Newspaper Industry, Read All About It will be broadcast on Thursday November 8th and 15th at 8pm.

Greenslade Quits Union Over Digital Debate

Media commentator Roy Greenslade has revealed he is quitting the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) due to its approach to the digital revolution.

The former Daily Mirror editor wrote in his Guardian blog that he is opposed to the core aims of the union, including its stance on protecting jobs.

“I cannot, in conscience, go on supporting this crucial plank of NUJ policy when it is so obvious that online media outlets will require fewer staff,” stated Greenslade, who is a professor of journalism at London’s City University.

“We are surely moving towards a situation in which relatively small ‘core’ staffs will process material from freelances and/or citizen journalists, bloggers, whatever.”

He added that “the union, as with the print unions of old, cannot possibly adapt to meet the revolutionary demands of a new technology”.

Greenslade concluded: “Holding these views, which are completely divergent from the union's current policies, means that I should resign from the NUJ.

“The brave new world opened up by the internet makes protectionist organised labour on the lines of the NUJ outdated.”

However, Greenslade asserted that he is opposed to newspaper owners using enhancements in technology as an excuse to lay off staff and maintain high profit margins.

As a veteran of the profession in England, Greenslade has also held high-ranking positions at the Sunday Mirror, Sunday Times and the Sun during his 42 years as a paid-up member of the NUJ.

Reactions to Greenslade’s announcement can be found in the comments section on his blog and at journalism.co.uk .

Subscribe to JP Digital Digest by Email Add to Technorati Favorites