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#Tip of the day for journalists: Collaboration tools for reporters

November 21st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

On the MediaShift website Jenny Xie has compiled a list of “websites, apps and software” which journalists can use to collaborate on projects, such as liveblogging tools and other digital storytelling platforms.

See the full post here.

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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Follow Talk Journalism conference discussion on ‘future of online journalism in India’

July 16th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Journalism

A conference taking place in Jaipur today, Talk Journalism, will shortly hear from a panel of journalists about the ‘evolution of collaborative journalism in the social media era and the future of online journalism in India’.

The remaining panel, due to start at around 10.30am will include Heather Timmons from the New York Times’s New Delhi Bureau, Sachin Kalbag, executive editor of Mid Day and independent journalist Ayaz Memon.

Follow the livestream below:

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Nieman: Zeega, ‘like Storify for multimedia’

The Nieman Journalism Lab has a post on Zeega, a storytelling web app that it describes as “like Storify for multimedia”. The people behind Zeega, which is not yet public, describe it as a whole different medium rather than simply new software.

Nieman describes the concept:

The still-in-alpha software feels like Storify for multimedia: As you travel across the web, use a simple bookmarklet to collect media fragments — a Flickr image, a YouTube video, a track from the Free Music Archive — and dump it into a project bin. You can share your project bin and invite others to collaborate on the story. The editor interface is simple: Select a few seconds from a video, cut it with a few seconds of another video, drop in a music track, and suddenly you have a little story. You can even prompt the user to call a number or send a text message, delivering a surprising bit of audio in return. The output is pure HTML5, no Flash.

The post also has details on the team behind Zeega and how this summer there were awarded a $420,000 Knight News Challenge grant.

Co-founder Jesse Shapins tells Nieman how he feels hacks should seek to collaborate with hackers and how journalists should develop a better understanding of the possibilities and limitations of specific technologies.

“I do think you should have a culture within journalism of creativity around interaction, around the ways in which code works, and what the code makes possible. That doesn’t mean making a journalist learn to write every single programming language that exists. If they’re able to have a rich understanding of the creative possibilities, they can creatively approach the projects that they create.”

There is more on how Zeega makes interactive storytelling simple here.

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#wef11: Why Der Spiegel and the Hindu used WikiLeaks as a source

In today’s session on WikiLeaks and whistleblowing at the World Editors Forum in Vienna, the panel included a number of news outlets which have chosen to publish WikiLeaks material, and some which hadn’t, who shared their thoughts on the platform and process. Some interesting opinions were discussed.

First up, N Ram, editor-in-chief of India’s the Hindu told the conference that his publication had a clear understanding with WikiLeaks and as a result the newspaper was able to offer a “series of worthwhile insights”.

It is an astonishing achievement for any journalistic venture, not to mention a not-for-profit that relies on volunteers. It shows the power of new technology but even more the power of ideas of justice and freedom including the idea that information wants to be free and you have to show very good cause if it is not to be free.

WikiLeaks has a role on the global media stage, as a reliable source, as an enabler. My contention is that there’s nothing nebulous about WikiLeaks or OpenLeaks as a source and we need to cut through the muddle. The muddle is not out there but in our mindsets as professional journalists who often work on the assumption that we have to follow clear standards for dealing with a source. This is a myth. Market practice takes in an astonishing range, from ethically sound rules to an anything goes approach e.g. paying sources, corrupting high value sources, stings purely for sensationalism.

He added that it is not just sources which have an agenda, as do news organisations.

There is no special reason to be suspicious of the agenda of WikiLeaks etc. You just have to apply good journalistic verification procedures and standards.

Another newspaper which partnered with WikiLeaks was Der Spiegel in Germany. Editor-in-chief Mathias Muller von Blumencron discussed the pressures of this form of work, saying there is a lot of credibility at risk if it emerged that such processes were not safe.

It seems in the digital age every step is traceable. Perhaps we all focus too much on technical aspect. In the end it all becomes a very human factor, which I think is more important than the technical aspect. It’s called credibility and trust. Does the audience feel the news organisation handled it in protective way?

He said the paper decided to deal with WikiLeaks last year, as it had the impression that “the material was so important that we had to find a way to publish it in a responsible way”.

We were also thinking it was valuable to work with partners in other parts of the world. Things change. sources change, We don’t know about the future, but what happened during the last month was not making us very happy [a likely reference to WikiLeaks' decision to publish the US embassy cables in full unredacted form].

It was interesting to then hear the viewpoint of Tom Kent, standards editor and deputy managing editor of the Associated Press, which did not publish the material and is, in his words, a “virgin” as far as working with WikiLeaks is concerned.

Leaked information becomes really valuable when combined with interviews and analysis and leak sites tend not to do a lot of this. If leaking does become a new way of reporting, leakers will face the same issues as news outlets. How do you know what stuff is real? It will be increasingly possible to forge what seem to be authentic documents, or thousands of documents, so they may eventually find their credibility at serious risk. I would not like us to get to a place where we ask for information and authorities say “it’s secret, just try to steal it”.

Looking forward to the next step for newspapers, N Ram said papers need to be bolder and collaborate with hackers, “in a legitimate sense”.

The most elegant way will be to have an open-door approach. This can be a very powerful way of enabling although not soliciting sensitive material relating to security. We all have to gear up, take this seriously, because if we don’t do it other newspapers will.

During this panel session OpenLeaks co-founder Daniel Domscheit-Berg said why he feels journalists must become more aggressive.

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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – free collaboration tools for journalists

Over on Journalism.co.uk’s event site for news:rewired, technology correspondent Sarah Marshall runs through ten free collaboration tools for journalists, to enable journalists to work with each other creatively. Tools on the list include online video editing platform Stroome, data social network BuzzData and sharing document platform DocumentCloud.

See the post in full here.

news:rewired – connected journalism takes place on 6 October at MSN HQ in London, where digital journalism experts will discuss the opportunities for collaboration in the newsroom and with the wider community.

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A social media documentary coming this spring

A new Canadian documentary film, due out this spring, uses social media to tell an alternative story about Vancouver’s Winter Olympics. It follows four individuals who “rallied” their community through social networking tools, to help empower the homeless and poor – who don’t necessarily fit into grand Olympic plans. The idea was to use mobile and online media to “provide a voice for those left behind”. (Hat-tip: Jon Slattery)

It draws on video blogging, photo-sharing and social networking to bring a “marginalised” community to the fore, “embracing leading-edge communication technologies, to empower, inspire, and break down the digital divide,” its producers say. The synopsis:

February 12, 2010.  Sixty thousand people have gathered in Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium to revel in the spectacle that is the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games. It marks the beginning of a two week party that will focus a global spotlight on this city of half a million and, organizers hope, finally put to rest seven years of  surrounding controversy. A few days earlier, a year long campaign which saw police issue hundred dollar jaywalking and spitting tickets to homeless people, had culminated in a successful sweep of the city’s impoverished Downtown Eastside to relocate undesirables to outlying communities.

When the story finally makes it to the mainstream news channels, it’s thanks to the diligence and combined power of a few concerned citizens, their video-streaming cellphones and the Internet. With Glowing Hearts will give audiences the chance to see the world through the eyes of four such citizens, as they rally their community around powerful new Social Media tools to show its true heart to the world. Based on the premise that the access to information is a human right, the film and accompanying website, will take audiences on a year long journey into the creation of an independent Olympic media center designed to guarantee that access  in a community whose voice is frequently ignored.

Here’s the site.

Here’s the trailer:

With Glowing Hearts from Andrew Lavigne on Vimeo.

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Ten things every journalist should know in 2010

January 4th, 2010 | 50 Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Online Journalism

This is an update on a post I wrote at the beginning of last year – Ten things every journalist should know in 2009. I still stand by all those points I made then so consider the following 10 to be an addendum.

1. How to monitor Twitter and other social media networks for breaking news or general conversations in your subject area using tools such as TweetDeck. Understand and use hashtags.

2. You are in control. Don’t become a slave to technology, make it your slave instead. You will need to develop strategies to cope with information overload – filter, filter, filter!

3. You are a curator. Like it or not, part of your role will eventually be to aggregate content (but not indiscriminately). You will need to gather, interpret and archive material from around the web using tools like Publish2, Delicious and StumbleUpon. As Publish2 puts it: “Help your readers get news from social media. More signal. Less noise.”

4. Your beat will be online and you will be the community builder. Creating communities and maintaining their attention will increasingly be down to the efforts of individual journalists; you may no longer be able to rely on your employer’s brand to attract reader loyalty in a fickle and rapidly changing online world (see 7).

5. Core journalistic skills are still crucial. You can acquire as many multimedia and programming skills as you want, but if you are unable to tell a story in an accurate and compelling way, no one will want to consume your content.

6. Journalism needs a business model. If you don’t understand business, especially the business you work for, then it’s time to wake up. The reality for most journalists is that they can no longer exist in a vacuum, as if what they do in their profession is somehow disconnected from the commercial enterprise that pays their wages (one side effect of journalists’ attempts to ‘professionalise’ themselves, according to Robert G Picard). That does not mean compromising journalistic integrity, or turning into solo entrepreneurs; rather it means gaining an understanding of the business they are in and playing a part in moving it forward.

As former Birmingham Post editor Marc Reeves said in his excellent speech to Warwick Business School last year: “You cannot be an editor in today’s media environment without also being a businessman. It might say editor on my business card, but really, I am in the business of making news profitable and budgets, targets and performance are as important to me as words and newsprint.”

OK, you may not be an editor yet but that is no excuse, and it is probably easier to innovate while you are still working on the coalface without managerial responsibilities. Plus, in some cases, your editor may be part of the problem.

7. You are your own brand – brand yourself online! I’m not talking bylines here – you need to build yourself an online persona, one that earns you a reputation of trustworthiness and one that allows you to build fruitful relationships with your readers and contacts. You can no longer necessarily rely on having a good reputation by proxy of association with your employer’s brand. And your reputation is no longer fleeting, as good as your last big story – there is an entire archive of your content building online that anyone can potentially access.

Obvious ways to do this: Twitter, Facebook, personal blogging, but you can also build a reputation by sharing what you are reading online using social bookmarking sites like Publish2 and delicious (see 3).

8. You need to collaborate! Mashable suggests seven ways news organisations could become more collaborative outside of their own organisations, but this could also mean working with other journalists in your own organisation on, for example, multimedia projects as MultimediaShooter suggests or hook up with other journalists from other publications as Adam Westbrook suggests to learn and share new ideas.

9. Stories do not have to end once they are published online. Don’t be afraid to revise and evolve a story or feature published online, but do it transparently – show the revisions. And don’t bury mistakes; the pressure to publish quickly can lead to mistakes but if you admit them honestly and openly you can only gain the respect of your readers.

10. Technology is unavoidable, but it is nothing to fear and anyone of any age can master the basics. If you do nothing else, set up a WordPress blog and experiment with different templates and plugins – I promise you will be amazed at what you can achieve and what you can learn in the process.

    Learn more practical advice on the future of journalism at our news:rewired event at City University in London on 14 January 2010.

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    MediaShift: “Collaboration the key to future of investigative journalism”

    April 7th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Events, Journalism

    Wonderfully comprehensive notes from MediaShift’s Mark Glaser, reporting on a panel about investigative journalism at the Logan Symposium at UC Berkley.

    “The panel was lively, and included a lot of optimism for the future of investigative journalism despite the business cratering for newspapers and their investigative journos,” he says.

    Check out his post for comments from host Lowell Bergman, and David Fanning of PBS Frontline, Esther Kaplan of the Nation Institute, Bill Keller of the NY Times, Chuck Lewis at American University, Robert Rosenthan of the Center for Investigative Reporting, and Buzz Woolley, chairman of the board and primary funder of Voice of San Diego.

    Full story at this link…

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