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#Tip of the day for journalists: How to avoid errors on social media when covering election

November 6th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

On Poynter Mallary Jean Tenore has produced a list of six mistakes journalists should try to avoid making when covering the election, with pointers on how to try and protect themselves against them. These include not being fooled by fake accounts or images, and also not “misinterpreting social media sentiment”.

Here is the full list.

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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Journalists’ election campaign bus attacked in Haiti

A bus carrying journalists who were reporting on the Haiti election campaign was attacked by gunmen on Monday night according to reports in the US.

Based on a report from the Associated Press, the Washington Post says the bus was carrying seven Haitian journalists to a campaign stop by candidate Jacques Edouard Alexis. The driver was killed and one journalist was injured in the attack.

Haitian National Television reporter Richardson Jordan told The Associated Press that the driver, an off-duty police officer with the prisons department, tried to rush past men armed with pistols, machetes and a homemade gun.

Jordan said the men opened fire and killed the driver with a shot to the head. The bus flipped, injuring one of the journalists, and the bandits rushed in to take money and a laptop computer.

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Journalism students’ Skype election coverage project available online

July 22nd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Training

A live election webcast created by a cross-university team of journalism students is now available to view online.

Using Skype and Livestream, students from University of Buckingham, Kingston University and University of Westminster collaborated on the project to run live outside broadcasts and live output as well as interviews and packages from the studio, remaining on air continuously from 10:00pm to 6:00am.

The output has been edited into a series of segments which can be watched at this link.

Twenty students also covered the counts at a range of constituencies in Winchester, Eastleigh (Chris Huhne’s seat); Southampton (two constituencies); Isle of Wight; Devizes; Bethnal Green; Twickenham (Vince Cable’s seat); Battersea; Whitney (David Cameron’s seat); and Aylesbury.

The webcast attracted an audience of 1,500 users.

Additional coverage of the project by Journalism.co.uk can be found at this link.

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Currybet.net: Will social media’s influence on political engagement continue post-election?

The Guardian’s Martin Belam has produced a great summary of the panel debate at the launch of Nic Newman’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) paper on social media and the election, on his site currybet.net.

The research document, titled ‘UK Election 2010, mainstream media and the role of the internet’, outlines the significant role social media, in particular Twitter, played in informing the public during the election process.

One of the big questions which emerged from the panel debate was whether this social media engagement would continue now the election is over:

People need something to be engaged with. It remains to be seen whether the major parties will continue with digital campaigning, or whether, rather like leaflets, we will see a lot of them at election time and not much in between.

Outlining the main findings, Newman reportedly told the audience that Twitter became a “political newswire” as well as having a direct impact on the behaviour of politicians.

Reports Belam:

The best of the social media – jokes, spoof posters, reaction on Twitter – was reflected and amplified by the mainstream media. This ultimately influenced the behaviour of the politicians. David Cameron, for example, toned down his habit of citing anecdotal stories of people he met after it was spoofed online.

(…) William Hague announcing he was about to go back into negotiations with the Liberal Democrats via Twitter suggesting the service was beginning to be used as ‘a political newswire’.

See Martin Belam’s full post here…

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Broadcasters agree terms for election debates – with some caveats

March 3rd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

BBC, ITV and Sky have reach an agreement on how the televised Prime Ministerial debates during the election campaign will be run.

The three programmes will feature a “pre-determined theme” for half of their airtime, says a release from the BBC, and the debates will be broadcast live in mid-evening weekday slots. Members of the audience will be allowed to ask questions and viewers will be invited to submit questions in advance by email.

The full BBC release is at this link…

But at a Journalism.co.uk-supported event last night on the role of new media in the election, BBC Today programme presenter and chair of the event Evan Davis explained some additional rules for the audience:

  • no clapping will be allowed
  • there will be no cutaways back to individual audience members after they have asked a question

Speaking on BBC Radio 5Live this morning, a BBC producer involved with setting up the debates said after audience questions had been taken the focus would be on the candidates interacting with one another. This would not involve interjections from the audience, he quickly told the interviewing presenter.

The full rules for the debates will be available online via each broadcaster’s website, says the release, but they haven’t been published just yet.

The planned restrictions led some in last night’s audience to question the value of the debates. But BBC political editor Nick Robinson, who was speaking as part of the panel, was quick to respond:

“If we cannot be excited after 5-and-a-half decades about seeing the PM and politicians debate the issues, what more do you want?

There’s a cynicism about the rules here that is over the top. There are things you won’t get, but there are things you will get because they’ve ruled out the bear pit. They’ve ruled out the heckling and shouting. To get three guys to agree with this they had to set some rules. Would I trade what we have [PMQs] for four hours of our leaders debating on national TV you bet I would.

More to follow on last night’s event from Journalism.co.uk…

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