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#Tip of the day for journalists – making audio slideshows

October 11th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Multimedia, Top tips for journalists

Image by j_baer on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Digital and online journalism lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire Andy Dickinson yesterday blogged about how journalists can use Slideshare and Windows Movie Maker to produce audio slideshows. Dickinson outlines, for example, how to combine a presentation file with an audio file (via platforms like AudioBoo or SoundCloud) to produce an audio slideshow in Slideshare.

See the full post here.

On this topic, Journalism.co.uk’s latest tool of the week was Story Wheel, which enables users to create audio slideshows.

Also, our podcast last week, which looked at visual storytelling, included some pointers on producing audio slideshows from Peter Sale, a multimedia producer at the Guardian, where he said they tend to use SoundSlides or in some cases Final Cut Pro.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link.

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Questions on use of social media during London riot coverage

Over on his blog, Andy Dickinson, who teaches digital and online journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, reflects on a question he posed via Twitter last night, while monitoring activity on the platform in relation to the violence taking place in London and beyond.

He said his question was prompted by Tweets from journalists outside London stating that nothing was happening on their patch. But other Twitter users were quick to cast doubt on his statement.

His blog post details the points made, but one of their points was that the value of what a journalist reports is not always about news but the provision of information. That, as a trusted source, journalists could let the online community know whether or not there was substance in rumours circulating on sites such as Twitter, that violence was building elsewhere.

Ultimately Dickinson “held up his hands” (via a hashtag), and his subsequent blog post today (9 August), reflecting on the issue, and some elements of the argument he still stands by, gives some food for thought about the use of social media by journalists in these sorts of situations.

Despite protestations of its importance ‘no news’ statements like that would never make the front page or head of a bulletin.  As Neil Macdonald pointed out that they where [sic] more information than news. Journalism as a source of information – very valid.

A few tweets did quote authoritative voices – police etc. That was better. Some proper information in there. Many did not.

Online video journalist Adam Westbrook also offers his thoughts in this blog post, on what he calls the “messy” situation for the media using social media/user generated content. He got caught up in the so-called “mess” when retweeting video footage which was originally linked to the wrong location.

On the plus side, I do think real-time web’s ability to self correct is extraordinary. My blunderous retweet was corrected within five minutes. If you don’t mind taking stern words from other users, it’s a rock solid facet to the platform.

However, Twitter being used by journalists, who (hopefully!) question sources and try to verify, is one thing. But non-journalists aren’t necessarily as skeptical of information. A rumour to a journalist could be read as fact by someone else, especially people who are scared.

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Andy Dickinson: Ethics, online and journalism

March 3rd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

On Monday Andy Dickinson posted his ‘deliberately challenging’ lecture on ethics, online and journalism, which he gave to his third year journalism students a few weeks ago, up on his blog. Within it there are some interesting questions raised about the ethics of online journalism in light of recent examples.

It’s journalists who get to decide what journalism is. And because large media organisations have lots of journalists, they are the ones who exert most influence in defining it’s norms. They are the ones who play the biggest part on defining the practice, and the moral and ethical constraints.

So it isn’t the web changes things. It has neither the power (or, collectively, the will or desire) to do that. It’s the journalists reaction to it that shapes journalism.

So, as a journalist:

  • Is using information from WikiLeaks any different than using information from ‘hacked’ mobile phones?
  • Is pretending to be someone you are not on Facebook or a chatroom any different than pretending to be a constituent of Vince Cable?
  • Is saying something outrageous on Twitter worse because you are journalist just like it is because you are a civil servant?
  • Does it matter what party you voted for in the election or what your political beliefs are if you are journalist?

The full post on the lecture is at this link.

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Podcast: CNN mobile journalism event at the Frontline Club

July 26th, 2010 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Mobile, Podcast

Journalists came together at the Frontline Club last week to discuss mobile journalism today and in the future.

The panel debate covered most of the ongoing issues surrounding mobile journalism, from the role a device plays in the image of a journalist to the debate over how such content should be used by ‘professional’ video journalists. Journalism.co.uk caught up with the panel (Louis Gump, CNN; Andy Dickinson University of Central Lancashire; Alex Wood, Not on the Wires; and Jonathan Hewett, City University) at the end of the debate to talk more.

Note: Due to technical problems during recording some audio is reduced quality.

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‘There’s a killer app on your phone. It’s called a phone’: Journalists talk mobile at CNN event

July 23rd, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Business, Events, Mobile, Online Journalism

Journalists from across all media platforms came together at the Frontline Club last night to discuss the impact of mobile on the newsroom and the wider media world.

“Mobile is as different to online as television is to radio,” CNN’s vice-president of mobile Louis Gump told the Frontline audience.

In the beginning people took someone who was sitting in the radio studio and put a camera on it. Then realised they didn’t have to do it that way. I think that’s what happening now.

He told Journalism.co.uk that the near future of mobile content needs to look at original content, rather than just using it as a new platform for existing material.

The biggest change I think will happen at CNN over the next two years is we are going to start creating content just for mobile devices. Right now most of what you see on a mobile from CNN you can also find on other platforms, but we will have more original programming.

The panel debate covered most of the ongoing issues surrounding mobile journalism, from the role a device plays in the image of a journalist to the debate over how such content should be used by ‘professional’ video journalists. Andy Dickinson, course leader of BA Digital Journalism Production at University of Central Lancashire, said it was a “mistake” to expect large news organisations to adopt the same production processes as smaller outlets.

I think it is a mistake to always be talking about what’s happening outside mainstream media, it won’t work for us. We can’t do it because of our agenda and personal and professional things get in the way of that. Now and then our big spotlight will land on it. But citizen journalism is not there to replace, it’s there to amplify.

Gump agreed, saying that the rise of citizen journalism “increases the value” of professional journalists, by “filling in the gaps”, but would not be a replacement: “We are still telling the hard news, [citizen journalism] enriches the overall offering”. Alex Wood, freelance mobile journalist and co-founder of Not on the Wires, added that mobiles were simply another platform to leverage the story. But he said in his own work, such as when he organised mass coverage of the G20 summit by mobile phones, the journalistic talent still had to shine through.

I always try to keep the integrity of the story and still worked very hard to make it journalistic. People tend to obsess about technology being one thing after another. Why not use your mobile phone to do your vox pops. There’s nothing wrong with you then putting that into a more traditional package. It’s another tool in the ever expanding toolkit that journalists have now. We can still take things from broadcast, for example framing a good shot and having good audio. Let’s go back to the basics but use them in the new technology.

He added that as a journalist using user generated content, old rules of fact-checking must still apply.

People can manipulate technology very easily and its still a worry. Journalists still need to pick up the phone and speak to the person if they have submitted media. We should always keep to those standards.

Jonathan Hewett, director of the newspaper journalism course at City University, agreed: “We are not going to chuck out the old stuff and forget the valuable lessons”. Prompting Dickinson to respond: “There’s a killer app on your phone that will allow you to check if something is right. It’s called your phone.”

Hewett said mobile has created opportunities for newspapers who do not have the visual reputation of a broadcaster, but more needs to be done.

Newspapers have been slower to catch up with more innovative stuff, but they are getting to realise mobile reporting is one way where a newspaper website can be different. It isn’t too fussed about quality of footage (…) We are still at early stage with mobiles full stop. We need to keep throwing spaghetti at the wall.

Wood commented near the end of the panel debate that he wanted to see more innovation from iPad apps, which he claimed had so far been “disappointing”, telling Journalism.co.uk to expect to see some exciting stuff from him in the near future.

CNN also announced the launch of a new international iPhone app featuring their iReport platform at the event. See our report here, and catch up with tweets from the event with the #cnnfrontline hashtag.

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Tricks and tips for journalism and editorial job hunting online – an update

April 29th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Jobs, Journalism

Journalism lecturer Andy Dickinson (@digidickinson) has now updated his recent SlideShare and blog post on how to find editorial jobs online, which we featured on this blog last week, to include a more detailed transcript of his talk.

His blog post this week contains lots of handy tips for the dedicated journalism jobseeker, so if you are in the market for a new job, check it out.

Meanwhile, here at Journalism.co.uk, we have produced a new page explaining how to get the most out of our own jobs board, including six step-by-step videos taking you through the jobseeker registration process and various alert systems. Here are the benefits, all of which are free:

  • ability to save jobs you have searched for and liked for later;
  • ability to upload and store your CV;
  • ability to apply online and save your applications for future re-use/modification;
  • ability to register a personal statement so that our can advertisers can find you using our CV match service;
  • ability to receive job opportunities by daily email;
  • ability to create customised RSS feeds based on your own search criteria.

I would urge you to take a few minutes to sign up, even if you are not necessarily looking to make a move now. You never know what opportunity might coming knocking on your door.

Finally, if you are on the other side of the fence and looking to recruit editorial staff, please read why you should advertise your vacancies on Journalism.co.uk here, and register to post your jobs here.

Recruitment advertising helps fund our free content, so if you like what we do this is one great way to support us!

Useful reading:

Job application tips

How to prepare a killer CV

How to prepare for that crucial interview

How to make the most out of work experience

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Andy Dickinson: a guide to digital journalism job hunting

April 22nd, 2010 | 7 Comments | Posted by in Jobs, Training

Online journalism lecturer Andy Dickinson (@digidickinson) recently gave a lecture to his broadcast students advising on ways to find jobs online and promote themselves digitally.

His presentation appears in this slideshare:

Here’s another tip for creating a customised jobs feed using Journalism.co.uk’s jobs board search facility.

In the top left-hand column on most of the pages on Journalism.co.uk, you will see a panel headed “Job of the week”. About half-way down there is a dropdown menu that allows you to search by job type. For this example, select “editorial assistants and trainees” and click “go”.

On the subsequent search results page, you will see at the top of the central column an advanced search form. This allows you to make a more detailed search based on sectors, categories, salary and location. You will also see an option under format to “return search results as RSS feed”. Select that and also tick “editorial assistants and trainees” under the “categories” section.

Click the search button and, voila, you will be presented with a customised RSS feed containing only editorial assistant and trainee vacancies.

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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – a new plug-in for WordPress commenting

August 24th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Blogging: Andy Dickinson has created a plugin for WordPress that allows readers to comment on individual paragraphs of blog posts. Download it at this link. Tipster: Laura Oliver.

To submit a tip to Journalism.co.uk, use this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Let the expenses data war commence: Telegraph begins its document drip feed

Andy Dickinson from the Department of Journalism at UCLAN sums up today’s announcement in this tweet: ‘Telegraph to drip-publish MP expenses online’.

[Update #1: Editor of Telegraph.co.uk, Marcus Warren, responded like this: 'Drip-publish? The whole cabinet at once....that's a minor flood, I think']

Yes, let the data war commence. The Guardian yesterday released its ‘major crowdsourcing tool’ as reported by Journalism.co.uk at this link. As described by one of its developers, Simon Willison, on his own blog, the Guardian is ‘crowdsourcing the analysis of the 700,000+ scanned [official] MP expenses documents’. It’s the Guardian’s ‘first live Django-powered application’. It’s also the first time the news site has hosted something on Amazon EC2, he says. Within 90 minutes of launch, 1700 users had ‘audited’ its data, reported the editor of Guardian.co.uk, Janine Gibson.

The Telegraph was keeping mum, save a few teasing tweets from Telegraph.co.uk editor Marcus Warren. A version of its ‘uncensored’ data was coming, but they would not say what and how much.

Now we know a bit more. As well as printing its data in a print supplement with Saturday’s newspaper they will gradually release the information online. As yet, copies of claim forms have been published using Issuu software, underneath each cabinet member’s name. See David Miliband’s 2005-6 expenses here, for example. From the Telegraph’s announcement:

  • Complete records of expense claims made by every Cabinet minister have been published by The Telegraph for the first time.”
  • “In the coming weeks the expense claims of every MP, searchable by name and constituency, will be published on this website.”
  • “There will be weekly releases region by region and a full schedule will be published on Tuesday.”
  • “Tomorrow [Saturday], the Daily Telegraph will publish a comprehensive 68-page supplement setting out a summary of the claims of every sitting MP.”

Details of what’s included but not included in the official data at this link.  “Sensitive information, such as precise home addresses, phone numbers and bank account details, has been removed from the files by the Telegraph’s expenses investigation team,” the Telegraph reports.

So who is winning in the data wars? Here’s what Paul Bradshaw had to say earlier this morning:

“We may see more stories, we may see interesting mashups, and this will give The Guardian an edge over the newspaper that bought the unredacted data – The Telegraph. When – or if – they release their data online, you can only hope the two sets of data will be easy to merge.”

Update #2: Finally, Martin Belam’s post on open and closed journalism (published Thursday 18th) ended like this:

“I think the Telegraph’s bunkered attitude to their scoop, and their insistence that they alone determined what was ‘in the public interest’ from the documents is a marked contrast to the approach taken by The Guardian. The Telegraph are physically publishing a selection of their data on Saturday, but there is, as yet, no sign of it being made online in machine readable format.

“Both are news organisations passionately committed to what they do, and both have a strategy that they believe will deliver their digital future. As I say, I have a massive admiration for the scoop that The Telegraph pulled off, and I’m a strong believer in media plurality. As we endlessly debate ‘the future of news™’ I think both approaches have a role to play in our media landscape. I don’t expect this to be the last time we end up debating the pros and cons of the ‘closed’ and ‘open’ approaches to data driven journalism.”

It has provoked an interesting comment from Ian Douglas, the Telegraph’s head of digital production.

“I think you’re missing the fundamental difference in source material. No publisher would have released the completely unredacted scans for crowdsourced investigation, there was far too much on there that could never be considered as being in the public interest and could be damaging to private individuals (contact details of people who work for the MPs, for example, or suppliers). The Guardian, good as their project is, is working solely with government-approved information.”

“Perhaps you’ll change your mind when you see the cabinet expenses in full on the Telegraph website today [Friday], and other resources to come.”

Related Journalism.co.uk links:

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JEEcamp: Audio from the event

May 11th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Journalism

Journalism.co.uk attended the journalism and enterprise unconference, JEEcamp, last Friday.

Reports on the day will follow, including:

Kyle Macrae, founder of Scoopt, on why entrepreunership is the only option for journalists now

James Hatts from London-SE1.co.uk on community and hyperlocal news publishing

There’s already been some great videos, pictures and posts from the event – see Michael Haddon’s round-up, Martin Belam’s posts and John Welsh’s blog to name but a few – but some additional (rough) audio from Sue Greenwood’s presentation on self-publishing platform Sweeble and two panel discussions are below.

Sue Greenwood:

Panel 1 featuring: (to come)

Journalism.co.uk’s own John Thompson (@johncthompson)

Jon Bounds, Birmingham: It’s Not Shit (@bounder)

Sue Heseltine from Birmingham City University

Chaired by Joanna Geary, web development journalist, business, Times Online (@timesjoanna)

Panel 2 featuring:

Dave Harte, economic development manager, Digital Birmingham

Jo Wadsworth, web editor, Brighton Argus (@jowadsworth)

Robin Hamman, Headshift (@cybersoc)

Andy Dickinson, journalism lecturer at UCLAN, (@digidickinson)

Robin Morley, assistant editor new media, BBC English Regions

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