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Release: Charity publishes guide for journalists reporting on diabetes

September 26th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Training

Diabetes UK has released a new guide aimed at helping journalists in their reporting on diabetes.

According to a release, as well as offering information on diabetes, the guide “also looks at the role journalists can play in challenging misconceptions around the condition” and offers some reporting tips.

Download the guide at this link.

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Student summer blog: How students can get involved on citizen journalism platforms

September 12th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism, Training

Images by lirneasia on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Danny Roberts is a sports journalism student at Leeds Trinity University College and tweets from @DannyRoberts74.

We live in a very fast paced, evolving world. Technology becomes more advanced by the second and is ours to use to our advantage, especially as journalists. Gone are the days were you must spend years working to get a break that would see your work published. In today’s world you can have your story seen by thousands of people in just a few minutes.

Citizen journalism has fast become a huge player in the media world. As a student journalist, you should have a Twitter account, a Facebook account and a blog already, and if you are looking for somewhere to publish your work even further, there are many sites that carry citizen journalism reporting as well as applications that allow you to share pictures and stream video live.

One of the most famous events which demonstrated the importance of citizen journalism was the plane crash in the Hudson River in 2009. Only four minutes after this happened, a picture and the tweet “I just watched a plane crash into the hudson riv [sic] in manhattan” were published online. It would take news crews a lot longer to get to the scene, set-up and report on.

Entrepreneur, Adam Baker, came up with the idea for citizen journalism website Blottr.com, after seeing the 9/11 attacks unfold on TV. He believes that people should have a place to publish their work and show it off to thousands of people.

Ravin Sampat, editor of Blottr.com, said citizen journalists fall into many categories.

There are those that are at the scene (not journalists) of an event who can be labelled citizen reporters because they captured a photo or video, and can help journalists collaborate on a story. Then there are those individuals who like being part of the newsgathering process, i.e. amateur reporters, who play an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analysing, and collaborating on news. They play a vital role in the ongoing drama that is a breaking news situation.

Ravin then added that which he feels it is not fair to look for something specific in a citizen journalist, there are three important factors:

1. Facts and sticking to what you observe

2. Never altering multimedia content like photos and video to depict a different version of events

3. Avoiding hearsay

Blottr still likes to see traditional writing skills being put to use in its pieces but knows that not everybody on the site enjoys writing:

Quality of writing is very important especially if you want people to read your work. This rule applies to those working in the mainstream media as well and is no different for citizen journalists. Some citizen journalists don’t like writing but have a lot to contribute to a story using things like video and pictures captured.

Being part of a citizen journalism site gives students a platform to show off their talents to potential employers as well as gaining news writing experience. With sites like Blottr.com you can also collaborate with others to make the perfect, verified, story. It also allows people to share news without having to write and describe the scene and what happened:

Being a citizen journalism news site, you can understand we get different types of content on a daily basis, from protests in Chicago, to the growing conflict in Syria, to something as simple as people snapping photos of Olympic moments. Over the last year we’ve found that the content that picks up the most traction is the content that’s new, fresh, and photo and video heavy. When there is a breaking news story that we have first, we get lots of traction, and as the story develops, and the mainstream media outlets start getting more information, we get even more traction for having broken that story first.

The most views are usually on pictures and videos, however that doesn’t mean that writing or opinion is rejected as they all have their place. Sampat said that “amateur footage is unique in that it’s raw, unedited”, and in some cases can be more powerful on its own than as part of a news package. But he added that “depending on the topic, each type of content is unique it its own way”.

One platform that allows citizens to stream video live from a webcam or smartphone is Bambuser. This would allow student journalists to have another outlet for their work if they wanted to go into broadcast media in the future and are looking for experience. Then there is Flickr, that allows the sharing of photos, along with other platforms such as Instagram. They are examples of other useful outlets for students that want to get their multimedia work out there, and is ideal for people that want to primarily work as a photographer or broadcaster.

To conclude, citizen journalism is fast becoming an integral part of the media and reporting world. People use social networks every day without possibly realising that what they are posting can be seen and interpreted by millions of people. So if you have the news and just need a platform to share it there are clearly many ways to do so in today’s world.

Useful sites and apps for citizen journalists:

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Digital First Media’s first mobile community newsroom takes to the road

July 30th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism, Training

Digital First Media has launched the first of its new “mobile community media labs”, one of a number of community news projects to be launched by titles within the company.

Journalism.co.uk reported last month about the four new mobile labs, including “pop-up newsrooms”, to be introduced. They are being run by the San Jose Mercury News, the St Paul Pioneer Press, the York Daily Record and the New Haven Register.

The first, TCRover, was launched on Friday by St Paul Pioneer Press, described in a press release as “a modified Ford Transit Connect wrapped with TwinCities.com and Pioneer Press branding” and “outfitted with WiFi, a generator, awning, chairs and a pull-down projection screen”.

Digital First Media’s Steve Buttry said in the release:

The Twin Cities are the perfect location for a mobile community newsroom. This is a sprawling metro area with two hubs, dozens of widely varying suburban communities and several shared interests, such as the sports teams.

With the TCRover, the TwinCities.com staff will be able to engage people where they live and work.

Digital First Media travelling in the van will teach the community skills such as “how to blog, how to interact with our site, even how to do research on topics that interest them”, the release adds.

The adventures of the mobile community newsrooms can be followed on Twitter @TCRover.

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Student summer blog: Initial pointers for other journalists-in-training

July 25th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism, Training


Image by Wiertz Sébastien on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

This is the first of a number of features over the summer break looking at the challenges that trainee journalists face and the opportunities that may present themselves.

Danny Roberts is a sports journalism student at Leeds Trinity University College and tweets from @DannyRoberts74. In the post below and others to follow in the coming weeks he hopes to help people, through his own experiences and those of professionals, to further their study and get that little bit closer to becoming a successful journalist.

What is the most daunting thing for a student journalist? Being told that ‘it is a tough business’, ‘you may not make it’ and ‘you aren’t going to make much money’.

What I think you must do first is reject the notion that you are destined to fail. No matter what anyone tells you, if you are driven then you can get the opportunities you want and deserve. In a field that requires experience more than a degree level qualification you need to put yourself out there and experience the world. The next thing you should do is realise that you can work as a journalist now.

People train as journalists for many different reasons, many people are born into the trade with a full book of contacts, some have always wanted to write for the public, whereas others just want to follow celebrities around all day. It doesn’t matter what aspect of journalism you wish to work in, the knowledge you must have rarely differs.

The first thing I was taught about journalism was ‘read the news’. Whether you read the news online or buy a daily newspaper, it is important to know what is going on in the world around you. If you go into a job or placement interview in the future and they mention the news and you go silent, it isn’t a good first impression. It doesn’t matter if you don’t intend to go into news writing or not, being an avid reader of all things news helps you to further progress as a journalist.

Having a contact book is the next step on your way to success. It is never too early to start building relationships with people and companies from all walks of life, as you never know when you will need a quote or story from these contacts. This could be a ‘little black book’ or a huge pad, either way get them written down. You could use your phone to add these contacts to, but it is always a good idea to have a paper copy because phones can be so easily damaged or lost.

If you haven’t already, pick a specific aspect of journalism. Of course it may be good to be flexible and know a bit about each, but having a niche topic to write about will help your chances of becoming accepted and excelling as a journalist in your chosen field. To add to this idea, if you don’t have a specific field you should always remain open to different experiences and challenges as you never know what might take your fancy.

What else can you do? Start to hone your communication skills, learn to use the phone as well as email (they have to reply if you are speaking to them live), be open to rejections, read pieces by your favourite writers, don’t be afraid to ask questions, pitch ideas to editors, the list is endless.

Over the next few months, this blog will help to share experiences and offer advice and support to other trainee journalists.

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Data, Twitter, blogging and more: 20 short courses for journalists

July 18th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Training

Journalism.co.uk runs training courses for experienced journalists wanting to boost their skills.

Click the links for more information.

Out of thin air: How to find hundreds of new ideas every day (for freelancers)
Evening course, 26 July, led by Ellie Levenson, cost: £95 (+VAT)

Media law refresher
One-day course,: 3 September, led by David Banks, cost: £200 (+VAT)

Introduction to data journalism
One-day course, 11 September, led by: Paul Bradshaw, cost: £225 (+VAT)

Intermediate data journalism
One-day course, 13 September, led by: Paul Bradshaw, cost: £225 (+VAT)

Advanced online research skills
One-day course, 12 September, led by Colin Meek, cost: £200 (+VAT)

Liveblogging – details coming soon
Evening course, 12 September, led by Adam Tinworth, cost: £95 (+VAT)

Online sub-editing
One-day course, 17 September, led by Emmanuelle Smith and Jane Wild, cost: £200 (+VAT)

Online video journalism
One-day course, 19 September, led by Adam Westbrook, cost: £250 (+VAT)

SEO for journalists
One-day course, 20 September, led by: Adam Tinworth, cost: £200 (+VAT)

CV and interview clinic: Get that journalism job
One-day course, 21 September, led by Daniell Morrisey and Clare Davies, cost: £200 (+VAT)

Successful freelance journalism
One-day course, (Saturday) 22 September, led by Olivia Gordon and Johanna Payton, cost: £200 (+VAT)

Online media law
One-day course, 24 September, led by: David Banks, cost: £200 (+VAT)

Your social media toolbox
Evening course, date: 25 September, led by: Sue Llewellyn,  cost: £95 (+VAT)

Essential Twitter skills
Half-day course, 4 October, led by: Sue Llewellyn, cost: £125 (+VAT)

Advanced Twitter skills
Half-day course, 5 October, led by Sue Llewellyn, cost: £125 (+VAT)

Improve your blogging
Evening course, 10 October, led by Martin Belam, cost: £95 (+VAT)

Get published! How to write a (non-fiction) book proposal
One-day course , 12 October, led by Gill Hasson, cost: £200 (+VAT)

Adding a second string to the freelancer’s bow
Evening course, 17 October, led by Steve Bustin, cost: £95 (+VAT)

Data visualisations
One-day course,  7 November, led by Paul Bradshaw and Caroline Beavon, cost: £225 (+VAT)

Stiletto bootcamp: Writing for women’s magazines
Six-weeks online course, starting 1 October (flexible), led by Tiffany Wright, cost: £250

We believe in small group training courses. All courses have a maximum of 10 attendees.

We can also arrange in-house training.

Please email me using this link if you have any questions.

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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – training journalists in social media

On Poynter Mallary Jean Tenore runs through some tips for those working in journalism and social media training, from training style to the resources you make available to trainees.

Read the full post here.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link– we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Guardian considering ‘becoming involved’ in journalism training

April 10th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Training

The Guardian has confirmed it is in conversations with a number of universities “about the possibility of becoming involved with their journalism courses”.

The development was first reported by XCity magazine, City University London’s student newspaper, in its latest edition.

XCity understands that the annual course fee could be around £9,000.

In a statement today a Guardian spokesperson added:

No decisions have been made about the precise nature of the course, or even which partner in education would work best with us. It is therefore not possible to say when a course might start or to give any detail on how it might be run.

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New one-day training courses from Journalism.co.uk

March 29th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in About us, Training

Journalism.co.uk runs a range of training courses to help boost your skills in a particular area of journalism.

Here is a list of the training courses we are running this spring. We will be adding more soon.

Successful freelance journalism

  • Date: 2 May
  • Tutors: Olivia Gordon and Jo Payton

Do you want to know how to get off the ground as a freelance writer and build a successful business? Led by two experienced and in-demand journalists, this course on how to be a successful freelance journalist will help anyone thinking of working as a freelance journalist, as well as new freelancers, or those who are already working in the field but want a refresher to up their game.

Advanced online research skills

  • Date: 3 May
  • Tutor: Colin Meek

An intensive course covering quick tips for slicker working and a range of other investigative techniques and strategies for taking your desk research to the next level.

Online sub-editing

  • Date: 4 May
  • Tutors: Emmanuelle Smith and Jane Wild

Whether you’re a print sub-editor looking to update your skills and transfer them to the web, or looking for that first job in online journalism, you will benefit from this one-day course. As the media and the way in which readers consume it evolve, multi-skilled journalists who can produce great copy for the web are more in demand than ever.

An introduction to data journalism*

  • Date: 9 May or 28 May
  • Tutor: Kevin Anderson

As governments and institutions release more data, complex numbers have become an important part of many stories. Data journalism is now a skill that can set you apart in a competitive job market.

*This is the last time we will be offering this course led by Kevin Anderson due to his commitments – so take advantage of the final opportunity to learn from this former BBC and Guardian data journalist.

Intermediate data journalism

  • Date: 29 May
  • Tutor: Kevin Anderson

Now that you know the basics about data journalism, get ready to take your skills to the next level. You’ll leave the course with more confidence on how to tame data, make more powerful visualisations and build stronger cases from your investigative reporting.

Media law refresher

  • Date: 21 May
  • Tutor: David Banks

A one-day course offering an update on key aspects of media law that can affect anyone publishing in the UK.

It covers areas such as libel, contempt, reporting the courts, sexual offences, children, privacy and confidentiality and copyright.

The course includes updates on the legal areas being explored by the Leveson inquiry, such as Bribery Act, RIPA, Data Protection Act and Misuse of Computers Act.

Online media law

  • Date: 11 June
  • Tutor: David Banks

A course that focuses on the media law that particularly affects those working in new media.

The course covers libel, contempt, privacy and confidentiality, copyright, Data Protection Act and Misuse of Computers Act with special reference to cases affecting those working online.

Adding a second string to your bow

  • Date: 23 May (evening)
  • Tutor: Steve Bustin

Times are tough for freelance journalists, with increasing numbers of writers chasing a decreasing number of commissions, leaving many facing a reduced income.

This course examines ways to boost your income by developing a ‘second string to your bow’, developing and selling other services such as corporate copywriting, PR services and paid public speaking.

How to set up a hyperlocal news site

  • Date: 28 May
  • Tutor: Philip John

Want to get a head start in the exciting new world of hyperlocal journalism? This course will guide you through the process, from inception to sustainability. You’ll learn about using the right mix of technology, how to encourage contributions and marketing on a tiny budget, plus we’ll cover the unique set of issues facing hyperlocal sites.

To suggest a course or find out more email me using this link or call 01273 384291.

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Media release: New edition of McNae’s to launch at NCTJ seminar

February 22nd, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Legal, Training

The 21st edition of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists will be launched next month, at the NCTJ’s media law seminar.

According to a release from the NCTJ, the new edition of the media law book includes a further look at issues such as:

… new coverage of broadcast regulation; new material on privacy and the media, including injunctions and phone hacking; new guidance on journalists’ use of social media; and further coverage of online journalism issues.

The book is authored by Mark Hanna and Mike Dodd, the release adds, who “will present and discuss these changes with tutors at the seminar”.

Press Complaints Commission chairman Lord Hunt will give the keynote speech at the London-based media law seminar on 30 March. According to the NCTJ, he will be giving “his views on the Leveson inquiry and the future of press regulation”.

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Google to help Tunisian journalists pick up new skills

February 10th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Training

Google is to sponsor six Tunisian journalists to spend three months at a leading French newspaper, picking up digital news-gathering skills.

The internet giant has teamed up with liberal daily Le Monde, which will offer a newsroom placement to each of the journalists, covering daily news and the French presidential elections taking place in May.

Google’s William Echikson wrote on the company’s European public policy blog:

Our hope is that they then will return home with new skills that will serve to construct a new, free but responsible professional press in Tunisia.

At Google, we are aware of the need to work with publishers to smooth the transition not only from oppression to freedom, but from analogue to digital distribution. We are sponsoring a series of digital journalism prizes with Institut de Sciences Politiques, the International Press Institute in Vienna and the Global Editors Network in Paris.

Meanwhile, journalism academics at City University in London are heading to Tunisia next week to lead a series of workshops for Tunisian journalists on “reporting a democracy”.

The project is the first of its kind being organised by the Journalism Foundation, which was founded last December and is led by former Independent editor Simon Kelner.

City lecturer Roy Greenslade writes on his Guardian blog:

The courses are the first to be held in Tunisia since last January’s overthrow of Ben Ali’s authoritarian regime.

They will provide practical advice to journalists on coping with the realities of reporting in a free society. But the classes will be held amid an ongoing battle for media freedom.

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