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MSN UK study release: Quarter of respondents ‘overwhelmed by the volume of news each day’

MSN UK recently commissioned a survey of 2,000 people (carried out by OnePoll) which looks at audience behaviour in certain news situations, as part of its Best of Now marketing campaign.

The findings including looking at the sources people turn to for breaking news coverage. This found that the majority (40 per cent) of respondents (who were able to select more than one answer), chose online news sites as their source. This was followed by newspapers with 30 per cent and social media with 20 per cent of respondents.

The survey also asked what news sources were most trusted by respondents, which saw broadcast television and radio come top with 43 per cent, followed by online news sites with 19 per cent, newspapers with 15 per cent and magazines with 9.1 per cent. Social networks were named as most trusted by just under five per cent.

A quarter of respondents highlighted in the survey that they can be “overwhelmed by the volume of news each day and demand quality, not quantity”, according to a press release. And when it comes to time spent consuming news, with the survey finding that on average 10 years ago respondents felt they would spend around 10 minutes a day consuming news, compared to an average of 15 minutes today.

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#GEN2012 – Dos and don’ts of connected TV strategy for publishers

June 1st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Multimedia

Image by por brylle on Arte & Fotografia. Some rights reserved.

The connected TV audience “wants to be multitasked”, editors were told at the News World Summit in Paris today, as part of a session looking at four screen (and more) strategy.

Users do “not want to wait 12 hours” to discuss programming “at the water cooler”, head of digital strategy at France Televisions Bruno Patino said. Instead they want to do it “live on social networks”.

Patino called it “the social couch”, a “very rich and augmented TV experience.” which enables users to share their experience and not be “limited by same place or same time”.

So what should broadcasters be offering these audiences? Patino shared a list of dos and don’ts with delegates:

Don’t:

  • Don’t try to maintain the system closed – you won’t be master of the TV set anymore
  • Don’t try to limit the user experience
  • Don’t believe your content will rule the users’ experience

Do:

  • Always distribute – wherever you can. A new path is a new chance for your programme to be seen, don’t think exclusivity, think ubiquity
  • Engage the audience at every level including creation
  • Be xenophilic
  • Be pragmatic
  • Try, experiment
  • Talk about the whole universe
  • Try gamification
  • Promote connections
  • Test technologies
  • Put the user at the centre

Also speaking on the topic of four screen strategy, the BBC’s general manager of news and knowledge Phil Fearnley shared his own recommendations:

  • Work on standard and scalable solutions
  • Consider apps and browsers, not apps v browser
  • Simple design – quality content
  • The importance of live

At the BBC, he added, the importance of live is the “absolute focus”, as opposed to “trying to deliver all functionality” possible. That is “not going to work”, he said.

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Media release: BBC.com records 15m unique users across Europe in first quarter

May 22nd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism, Traffic

In a press release issued yesterday the BBC announced the latest traffic statistics for BBC.com, which was said to have recorded 15 million unique users across Europe in the first quarter of the year.

Figures relating to accessing BBC news on mobile devices were also reported, with visits of “around 8.5 million users” across the world visiting the BBC News websites and apps on mobiles or tablets “in an average month”.

See the full release.

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Norwich Evening News: An interview with departing head of BBC East Tim Bishop

April 16th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Journalism

Tim Bishop, head of region for BBC East, has spoken about his decision to leave the BBC for his new role as chief executive of the Forum Trust in Norwich.

Bishop, who will take up his new position in June, told Emma Knights at Norwich Evening News:

I feel as I leave the BBC it is in a really good place in lots of ways. Radio Norfolk has now got more local born and bred presenters than it has ever had and it is resolutely and robustly about Norfolk life.

People are very keen to knock the BBC but we would all really miss if it went. I still love it – I see its faults as well but there’s something about it.

A world without the BBC would be a lot poorer.

Bishop has been at the helm of BBC East for ten years. The broadcast region incorporates Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Bishop was previously editor of Radio Norfolk and later, editor of Look East.

The full interview can be found here.

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Al Jazeera to broadcast Syria documentary filmed entirely on iPhone

In an interesting development for mobile journalism, Al Jazeera is due to broadcast a documentary tomorrow night (Wednesday, 14 March) on Syria which has been filmed by a journalist using just an iPhone due to safety concerns.

According to a press release, the film, called ‘Syria: Songs of Defiance‘, “follows the journalist, who is not named to protect the people he spoke to, on a journey amongst the uprising in Syria”.

At the start of the documentary, the release adds, the correspondent for Al Jazeera will be heard saying:

I can’t tell you my name. I’ve spent many months secretly in Syria for Al Jazeera.

I cannot show my face and my voice is disguised to conceal my identity, because I don’t want to endanger my contacts in Syria.

Because carrying a camera would be risky, I took my cell phone with me as I moved around the country and captured images from the uprising that have so far remained unseen.

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Ten ways journalists can use SoundCloud

Audio platform SoundCloud has been around since 2007 but it is only this year that it has really taken off as a space for the spoken word as well as music.

Here are 10 ways it can be used by broadcast and digital journalists:

1. Record and share audio. You can do this from a computer or your smartphone or tablet. SoundCloud has apps for iPhone/iPad and Android but consider using one of the third-party iPhone apps that allow you to edit or trim before uploading directly to SoundCloud.

VC Audio Pro (£3.99) (a previous Journalism.co.uk app of the week) allows you to do a full multitrack edit before uploading to SoundCloud.

Try iRig Recorder (free for the basic app, £2.99 for the one with full functionality) and FiRe Studio (£2.99). Both allow you to trim and alter levels before uploading.

At Journalism.co.uk we’ve been uploading audio interviews and podcasts to our SoundCloud account, gathering over 2,800 followers and engaging with a new audience.

2. Search for sources. If you are looking for quotes or audio from a news event, search SoundCloud much in the way you would hunt down videos on YouTube. You will then be tasked with verifying the recordings, facing the same challenges as checking reports posted on Twitter and YouTube.

SoundCloud has an advanced search function which allows you to search the “spoken” category for a keyword. There is also an option of searching for content under a creative commons licence. Try searching for Japan earthquake, Arab Spring or Occupy Wall Street to see the type of content available.

3. Discoverability. As with other platforms, SoundCloud hosts content that goes viral and has an embed option so you can post it to your site. Take this interview with US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. It is a message to her South Arizona constituents, her first since being shot in the head in January. It’s clocked up over 21,000 plays, and demonstrates the benefits of SoundCloud’s commenting system.

4. Create maps. You’ll need to get some help from SoundCloud, but the team can create a bespoke map to allow you to crowdsource audio or plot recordings from in-house reporters. Ben Fawkes from Soundcloud told Journalism.co.uk how you do this, explaining that all you will need to do is define a location and define a hashtag and audio will then be automatically plotted. Take a look at this example of a map created with audio from Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival.

5. Use the new HTML5 player. If you embed SoundCloud audio in blog posts you should be aware of the new HTML5 player. The standard player is Flash meaning it won’t work on iPhones and iPads. Instead, when copying the embed code click on the “customise player” and toggle through the tags to the HTML5 option.

6. Consider a customised player. There are options to customise the player, including adding photos, such as this example used on the London Literature Festival site.

7. Invite user-generated audio content. Encourage your audience to submit audio into a drop box. You can embed the SoundCloud drop box widget on your site and ask readers to upload their own audio. Here’s an example of NPR adding a widget to encourage listeners to share their summer music memories.

Another option is to consider an embeddable record button on your site. At present this will require some developer assistance but SoundCloud is now working on making an easy option so sites can add a button and encourage user-generated audio content to be submitted directly. Here is an example of a record button being used on a musician’s site. This is a different option, of a mapped audio tour guide of Dorchester, Boston, where readers can submit audio via a record button on the site.

There’s also the option of gathering audio via phone calls, as Chatter.fm has done by using Twilio technology.

Another option for user-generated content (UGC) is to use SoundCloud’s importer tool to allow readers/listeners (or your reporters) to submit audio via email or smartphone.

8. Prepare to add SoundCloud sharing to your news organisation’s app. SoundCloud is working on an iOS and Android sharing kit, which will mean you can submit audio to SoundCloud via your own app. You could encourage readers or reporters to submit stories/field recordings to your app and have the audio uploaded to SoundCloud so that it’s shareable, streamable and has all the relevant meta data.

9. Record a phone interview using SoundCloud. There are easier ways but this is a good option for when you need to record an interview and are armed only with a mobile phone. Make a three-way phonecall by calling this number, dial your interviewee and the SoundCloud line will then record your account. You can then upload the audio publicly or privately.

10. Get your audio transcribed. Speaker Text is a transcription company that is integrated with SoundCloud. It takes 48-72 hours to be transcribed and costs 99 cents a minute.  It’s a way of making audio search engine optimised but you can also link to a certain sentence within the audio, for example referencing a quote or comment.

Related posts: News organisations are increasingly using SoundCloud, says founder

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#news2011: Russia Today on raising awareness through its FreeVideo platform

After the second day of sessions focused on business at the Global Editors Network news summit, including paywalls and paid-for app, it was fitting that during the third and final day of presentations we heard about projects offering content and platforms for free.

One such project came from Russia Today which outlined its FreeVideo platform, described as an “English language video agency”. The website, which should be of interest to journalists worldwide, provides free video footage that journalists can download, edit and reuse for their own projects and output.

Answering a question from the floor about the business model, Alexei Nikolov, managing director of Russia Today, said it was to “promote the channel” on a global scale.

The site includes “stock footage” as well as video covering specific news events. Xenia Fedorova, head of the department of promotion and development of media projects for the broadcaster, explained that all the footage comes with multilingual scripts and shotlists.

She added that the website has more than 9,000 news channels already registered and using footage “on a daily basis”.

I spoke to her more at the end of the session about the decision to go down the free distribution route, their attribution methods and to find out whether there are plans in the pipeline to monetise the platform.

There are of course other platforms out there offering video content to journalists, such as the UK-based Video News Agency and also in 2009 Al Jazeera opened up its footage under creative commons licensing.

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Ariel: BBC launches 2012 local reporter scheme

The BBC this week launched its 2012 Community Reporters scheme, according to an article by in-house magazine Ariel, which will see the trainees ultimately get the chance to pitch an idea to BBC London.

According to the report the 18 trainees include “a minicab driver from Brick Lane, an artist from Hackney and a Marylebone youth worker”.

The new recruits, who are actively involved in their communities and have no paid broadcasting experience or qualifications, will get six days of advice from experts across the BBC, including the College of Production, CoJo and journalists at BBC London.

They will then pitch their ideas to the BBC London editorial team, who will choose which ones to develop for broadcast in a week of production in December.

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New York Times: Arab Spring reshapes market for TV news

October 31st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick

The New York Times published an interesting article yesterday (30 October) on potential changes facing the Arab television news market, looking at the impact of both the Arab Spring and the impending influx of new providers, national and local.

As author Eric Pfanner writes, the area is “poised for a shot of new competition” with two 24-hour news channels in the pipeline: Alarab from media company Rotana, to be run in partnership with Bloomberg and Sky Arabia, to be launched by BSkyB in spring next year.

As well as this, following the uprisings across the Arab world, the industry may start to see more local media and new channels opening up, he adds.

One reason that news providers like Al Jazeera attracted such a large following was that they were beyond the control of authoritarian regimes in countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, where governments kept the local media on a tight leash.

Now that those regimes have fallen, the local news media are moving toward greater openness, and new channels providing news and commentary on current events have sprung up.

This could eventually undermine the audience for so-called pan-Arab channels beamed in from outside via satellite, analysts say.

Read more on how the Arab Spring is reshaping the market for TV news.

 

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Former Panorama reporter calls for ‘searching inquiry’ into Primark documentary

In an opinion piece in the Independent yesterday former chief correspondent of Panorama Tom Mangold called on the BBC to conduct a “searching inquiry into why its system of firewalls broke down”, in reference to last week’s finding of the BBC Trust’s editorial standards committee that certain footage within a Panorama documentary was “more likely that not”, not genuine.

The BBC was ordered to make an on-air apology after a Panorama documentary about retail outlet Primark was found to have breached editorial guidelines on accuracy and fairness. The ESC said it had examined a “substantial body of evidence”, including rushes tapes, emails to the programme team from the freelance journalist who obtained the footage and witness evidence, in relation to a specific piece of footage which appeared in the film.

Although it admitted it was not able to say beyond reasonable doubt, the committee concluded that it was more likely than not that the footage was not genuine.

Writing in the Independent Mangold claimed the delay in this admission has caused “an editorial catastrophe”.

It is only now, three years after the programme was broadcast, that the BBC Trust has forced Panorama to admit the error of its ways. In the meantime, the BBC’s arrogant refusal to admit it was wrong has resulted in an editorial catastrophe not only for Panorama, the flagship, but for all the corporation’s journalism.

I joined Panorama from Fleet Street, where none of us had entirely clean hands. We coloured our stories as much as we could and thought nothing of doing things our editors never wanted to hear about. But, whatever we did, we never lied, deceived or made stories up. It was the short cut to the dole. And if a story wasn’t good enough or couldn’t be made to work – then there was always another round the corner. I know what it means to have to deliver with a tiny budget, but I also know when to give up.

Read more here…

Related:

Panorama documentary found in serious breach of accuracy and fairness rules

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