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Slideshare: research tips for journalists from @colinmeek

April 20th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Handy tools and technology, Search

Journalism.co.uk consulting editor Colin Meek (@colinmeek) found himself stranded recently in Oslo, Norway but was rescued thanks to some nifty footwork by Kristine Lowe and an online project from Norwegian news site VG.no entitled Hitchhikers Central.

Colin was in Oslo to give, among other things, an evening presentation to the Norwegian Online News Association (NONA). Colin, when he’s not advising on Journalism.co.uk’s editorial board, is an investigative journalist and trainer in advanced online research skills (his next one-day, open course is in London Tuesday 15 June 2010). Here are some of the tips he shared with our Norwegian colleagues:

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How Norwegian newspaper site is helping stranded travellers get home

As briefly noted on this blog earlier, Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang (known as VG), has put together a ‘Hitchhiker’s Central’ page on its site, for travellers stranded by the volcano ash cloud to arrange emergency overland transport.

Media journalist Kristine Lowe reports on her blog how she was able to use the service to help get Journalism.co.uk trainer Colin Meek home from an online course he was teaching in Oslo.

“What VG.no could offer in this situation was scale. With its close to 3 million unique users a week it offered people a brilliant connection point that few other sites could,” says Kristine. “It’s a great service to its readers and, I’m sure, a great click winner too.”

How Kristine set up Colin’s journey home:

[W]hen I found a friend who was willing to drive from Oslo to Dover and back to get him home, I was able to fill up the car in both directions, thereby covering the costs of the trip, by submitting a message to Hitchhiker’s Central. I did call around a few other travellers advertising for lift to London before submitting an ad myself, and several of those I talked to had already found lift from Oslo to London which suggests my experience was not unique.

Within minutes of placing an “ad” (a free message) on Hitchhiker’s central, the receptionist at a Rica hotel in Oslo called me to ask if I had room for a British businessman staying at the hotel (…) The last passenger on the trip to Dover (they arrived this morning) was a Norwegian student desperate to get back to the UK for his exams at Cardiff University. On the way back to Oslo, the car will bring a salesman, a singer and a conductor – all Norwegians who were stranded in London.

Without this arrangement via VG.no, overland costs were adding up to around £1000, Colin tells me. A Eurostar one-way fare was going to be around £250 and the one-way ferry crossing from Oslo to Copenhagen would have been 1950NoK (£215) minimum. “It would have taken me about three days – at least – with no guarantee that some of the legs would be available.”

So, VG.no’s collaborative site has been helpful, both in terms of cost and time for Colin. But, he adds, the 18-hour car journey was something of a personal challenge – he’s getting on the sleeper train back home to Scotland.


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Essential journalism links for students

June 30th, 2009 | 9 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism, Training

This list is doing the rounds under the headline 100 Best Blogs for Journalism Students… and we’re not on it. Nope, not even a smidgeon of link-love for poor old Journalism.co.uk there.

The BachelorsDegreeOnline site appears to be part of e-Learners.com, but it’s not clear who put the list together. Despite their omission of our content and their rather odd descriptions (e.g: Adrian Monck: ‘Adrian Monck writes this blog about how we inform ourselves and why we do it’), we admit it is a pretty comprehensive list; excellent people and organisations we feature on the site, our blog roll and Best of Blogs mix – including many UK-based ones. There were also ones we hadn’t come across before.

In true web 2.0 self-promotional style, here are our own links which any future list-compilers might like to consider as helpful links for journalism students:

And here are some blogs/sites also left off the list which immediately spring to mind as important reading for any (particularly UK-based) journalism students:

Organisations

  • Crikey.com: news from down under that’s not Murdoch, or Fairfax produced.
  • Press Review Blog (a Media Standards Trust project) – it’s a newbie, but already in the favourites.
  • StinkyJournalism: it’s passionate and has produced many high-profile stories

Individuals

  • CurryBet – Martin Belam’s links are canny, and provocative and break down the division between tech and journalism.
  • Malcolm Coles – for SEO tips and off-the-beaten track spottings.
  • Dave Lee – facilitating conversations journalists could never have had in the days before blogs.
  • Marc Vallee – photography freedom issues from the protest frontline.
  • FleetStreetBlues: an anonymous industry insider with jobs, witty titbits and a healthy dose of online cynicism.
  • Sarah Hartley previously as above, now with more online strategy thrown in.
  • Charles Arthur – for lively debate on PR strategy, among other things

Writing this has only brought home further the realisation that omissions are par for the course with list-compilation, but it does inspire us to do our own 101 essential links for global online journalists – trainees or otherwise. We’d also like to make our list inclusive of material that is useful for, but not necessarily about, journalists: MySociety for example.

Add suggestions below, via @journalismnews or drop judith at journalism.co.uk an email.

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Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – Who’s behind a website?

Research: Check out Colin Meek’s guide to finding out who’s behind websites, which shows you how to you use four tools to search behind the url. 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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Insite: Finding the people behind sites – an insite guide

From Insite, the journalism research site: a post about tracking site or domain owners. Colin Meek’s tactics could help save time by alerting you to linked content and commentary, and helping you trace a domain or site owner.

“Looking for strategies to find out about people behind sites? Dozens of ‘Whois’ lookup sites exist with many offering similar tools. Instead of simply listing the choices, this post looks at some of the best tools for the job, how they differ and how to use them to find nuggets of information about a target site and its owner.”

Full post at this link…

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[insite] – interview with semantic web expert Brooke Aker

December 15th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Handy tools and technology, Search

Over at our sister blog insite, the excellent Colin Meek has conducted the second interview in his series on the semantic web.

On the receiving end this time is Brooke Aker, founder of Acuity Software and Cipher Systems, who answers qs on semantic search, the failures of Web 2.0 and uses for Web 3.0.

More on the semantic web can be read in our feature ‘Web 3.0: what it means for journalists’.

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Slideshow on ‘Journalists and the Social Web’

October 28th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Online Journalism, Search

Following Colin Meek’s articles for Journalism.co.uk on how journalists can get the most out of the semantic web, below is Colin’s presentation from Saturday’s seminar in Oslo on using the social web:

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#socialweb: Web 3.0 – the social web (video)

October 25th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Online Journalism

We’re gathered here in Oslo this morning (25 October) with 20+ of Norwegian’s finest journalists to listen to addresses from investigative journalist and research skills trainer Colin Meek, Journalisten.no journalist and blogger Kristine Lowe. Colin will be talking about web 3.0 (the social web) and what it means for journalists). We’re streaming live, but you should be able to view this video later (gremlins permitting).

UPDATE: They turned the lights down so the audience could see the projection screen! Apologies for the poor quality of the video.

Watch live video from johncthompson’s channel on Justin.tv

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Insite: Interview with John Breslin, semantic web expert

October 24th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism, Search

Colin Meek interviews John Breslin, founder of the Semanticaly-Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC) project, about the semantic web, what it is and what it can do.

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Online Journalism Scandinavia: using the social web seminar – #socialweb

October 23rd, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events

It’s going to be a veritable Journalism.co.uk party in Oslo on Saturday: blog regular Kristine Lowe has organised a seminar on using the social web featuring our very own consulting editor and online research specialist Colin Meek, who also runs the Insite blog.

To kick off the coverage, read Colin’s feature on ‘Web 3.0: what it means for journalists’, which tackles what the semantic web is and why journalists should be paying attention to it.

Kristine will be talking about how she has used and benefitted from using ‘the social web’ as a journalist and blogger; while Colin’s talk will focus on the research opportunities and newsgathering potential of web 3.0 for journalists.

Kristine will be blogging the event and we’ll round up some of that content and Colin’s here for those of us not lucky enough to have made the trip.

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