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#Tip: Five steps to doing data journalism on a budget

June 4th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

High-end data journalism is a specialised discipline but the basics of telling stories with numbers are accessible to anyone with a passing interest in the news.

Over at portfolio platform Contently, Sam Petulla put together this handy guide to getting started in data journalism. You may not have a background in advanced statistics or be able to build interactives with a range of programming languages, but you can use data to make the news. The key is getting started.

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#Tip: Guidelines for interviewing victims of sexual and gender-based violence

June 3rd, 2014 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Sexual and gender-based violence has been getting a lot of press recently, for good reason.

The abhorrent crimes against women and girls committed by men in southern California and northern India have brought the topic to the fore but, according to a 2013 study from the World Health Organisation, one in three women worldwide will experience sexual or gender-based violence at some point in their lives. These are extreme cases of a widespread problem.

While reporting these crimes and addressing the socio-cultural background that can motivate the perpetrators is a vital role of the media, telling the story of the victims, both male and female, is just as important.

The recent #YesAllWomen hashtag has let many women tell their own stories. But when a victim of sexual or gender-based violence agrees to an interview, there are additional considerations a journalist must take into account – to respect the victim’s rights and aid their recovery.

Last year, the human rights non-profit Witness published guidelines for interviewing survivors of such crimes, including tips on approaching the interview, conducting the interview, and professional behaviour after the interview. They are well worth remembering.

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#Tip: Remember this advice for reporting on traumatic events

June 2nd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
Image by Steve Snodgrass on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Image by Steve Snodgrass on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Most journalists will have to cover a traumatic story at some point during their careers. It’s part of the job. Any form of emotional abuse or physical violence is likely to leave a scar in one form or another, for both reporters and those who experienced it directly.

Recognising that pain and adjusting how you approach the individuals involved will lead to better interviews, says Steve Buttry, who has more than 30 years experience as a reporter and editor.

In my reporting days, I talked to many grieving relatives, to survivors of rape, child abuse, genocide, domestic violence, disasters, war, refugee camps and terrorist attacks. I interviewed people about being molested as children and about molesting children. I interviewed them about abortions, addictions, firings, failures, discrimination, suicide and murder of loved ones, excommunication, sexual orientation and other personal and sometimes-secret matters. Some of those may not have met the medical definition of trauma, but all of them were difficult, personal topics that people don’t discuss readily or easily with strangers, especially strangers bearing notebooks, cameras or recording equipment.

Buttry has collected his advice on the subject in a recent blog post, going into detail about how to best interview those who have been through a lot, and how journalists can deal with any trauma they experience themselves.

A hat tip to @richardkendall for bringing this to our attention.

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#Tip: Check out Importio’s weekly webinars for key data skills

May 28th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Data, Top tips for journalists

numbersdata Flickr Dave Bleasdale

You can’t beat a step-by-step guide when you are stuck on how to carry out a particular task, and so for data journalists, Importio’s webinars, which are published on their blog and their YouTube channel once a week, may be a valuable resource to take a look at.

The webinars cover different stages of working with data using their tools, as well as others, such as visualisation platform Tableau.

Hat tip: @Journalismtls

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#Tip: Get more than just words from your interviews

May 20th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Despite the rise of big data as a source for stories, people are still at the centre of the stories that journalists write.

Interview technique is a skill to develop like any another, and according to Marvin Olasky, author and editor-in-chief of WORLD News Group, “the goal of an interview is not primarily to elicit words”.

In this article from WorldMag.com, Olasky goes into detail on the various types, stages and outcomes of an interview and how best to deal with each.

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#Tip: Remember these tools and tricks for great social videos

social

Video content has great potential to go viral – especially if it is funny, educational or inspiring in some way.

This post on The Next Web highlights some key ways to optimise video for mobile viewing and social sharing, plus a few apps and tools to help you do the job.

They include editing apps such as WeVideo, iMovie and FinalCutPro.

 

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#Tip: Remember these tips for video editing

May 14th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Video camera Flickr credit

TED Talks are among some of the most-watched videos on the web – Sir Ken Robinson’s lecture on his belief that mainstream education limits creativity has been viewed more than 23.5 million times.

So the team behind the TED Talks know a thing or two about producing video that people will want to watch.

In a recent TED blog post, film and video editor Kari Mulholland lists 10 tips for editing video, including advice on cuts, camera angles and how to keep the viewer’s attention.

 

 

 

 

 

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#Tip: Research-based pointers for telling news stories with video

By dominicotine on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By dominicotine on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism has – fittingly – created a video outlining the key findings of a study into video produced by news outlets. The video explains the key results, which could prove helpful for those trying to establish their own approach to video journalism, although the video adds that “these suggestions will not work for all newsrooms”.

Having said that though, it did identify “patterns of success”, and the video shares 10 key observations around how to produce effective video, including reference to collaboration, social media strategy around video content and pre-roll advertising advice.

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#Tip: 7 data visualisation tips for beginners

May 6th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
By Jorge Fran Ganillo on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By Jorge Fran Ganillo on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

The rise in the use of data in journalism has brought with it a need to be able to accurately portray that data in a way that is easy for readers to understand.

This can sometimes be a hurdle for small newsrooms or independent journalists who do not have a background in digital design but Ann K Emery an evaluation, data and visualisation consultant at Innovation Network has put together a useful list of tips for beginners in the field.

This post on her blog about the data visualisation design has advice on the process from beginning to end and is worth having a look at even if it is just to better understand the process a newsroom designer may go through.

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#Tip: Check out this advice for more effective Facebook posts

By owenwbrown on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By owenwbrown on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Everybody likes getting a ‘like’ on Facebook.

But if your posts are looking a bit lonely, take a look at these six tips from Newswhip to help you get better engagement on Facebook.

The article features examples from BBC World News and BuzzFeed, and includes advice on comments, scheduling and use of video.

You can join the Journalism.co.uk community on Facebook here.

 

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