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NESTA director ‘very pleased’ with number of applications to hyperlocal project

May 31st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Hyperlocal, Mobile

A hyperlocal initiative from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) has seen over 165 applications made for its pot of £500,000 in seed funding. Applicants face stiff competition as only 10 will receive the money and guidance from the charity and its partners.

The Destination Local project aims to stimulate the hyperlocal media sector with innovation in mobile and location technologies. As Journalism.co.uk reported last month the charity produced a 15,000 word report on its vision for the future of hyperlocal media in the UK. The report highlighted the penetration of GPS capable smartphones as a key innovation opportunity for hyperlocals.

NESTA say it is encouraged by the number of applications received for the project. Director of creative economy programmes Jon Kingsbury told Journalism.co.uk:

We are never really sure (of the the level of interest) when we have a call for funding but I’m really pleased with the number of applications. It demonstrates that there’s some demand and willingness in hyperlocal to be innovative and sustainable.

He said he is also pleased by the range of applications they have received:

What we are looking at is a broad mix of hyperlocal services. There is the provision of news and information but also other ways of benefiting communities with mobile and local technology such as local service provision.

One of the applicants, Simon Perry of VentnorBlog, says the competition has created a lot of interest among hyperlocals:

It has stimulated a lot of thought, people had to think a lot when putting their bids in. I know when we were going through ideas we went through various iterations before we decided on the one for our bid. I think it has really stimulated the market just by having the competition. It’s got people thinking ‘ok, what are we going to do with mobile?’

NESTA have produced a YouTube playlist of all the applicants’s pitches for the project and have produced a map showing where all these have come from:

[iframe src="https://www.google.com/fusiontables/embedviz?viz=MAP&q=select+col0+from+1r2Z9WBXoXuhB2cDCc2hcO3zGqUj2uubbUHMysOQ&h=false&lat=54.1045584605061&lng=-3.0414486500000066&z=6&t=1&l=col0" width="540" height="450"]

 

The Destination Local judging panel have until 28 June 28 to sift through the applications to select the 10 projects who will be eligible for the £50,0000 funding.

Source: Simon Perry via hyperlocal n0tice

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Pulse: Press Complaints Commission to investigate Daily Mail over GP pay claims

Pulse, the leading publication for the UK medical profession, has learnt that the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) is formally investigating a Daily Mail story that claimed GPs are earning as much as £380,000 a year.

“A spokesman for the commission told Pulse it had received ‘seven or eight’ complaints from doctors regarding the accuracy of the Mail’s front-page story on Tuesday.

“The story, based on figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from 22 PCTs, claimed to have ‘found one GP earning £380,000 a year and a number pocketing more than £300,000′ – although it admitted that ‘in some cases the figures include cash GPs have to pay out for staff salaries and rents’.”

The British Medical Association (BMA) said that General Practitioners Committe (GPC) chair, Dr Laurence Buckman, had written a formal letter of complaint to the Daily Mail editor, but had not yet complained to the PCC, Pulse reports.

A Daily Mail spokesperson defended its report, in response to complaints about accuracy.

Full story at this link…

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Todd Gitlin’s keynote JiC speech transcript: The four wolves who crept up to journalism’s door

Following our round-up of the Westminster students coverage of last week’s Journalism in Crisis conference, we’ll link to one final item:

Professor Todd Gitlin’s keynote speech, given via Skype, on the first day of the Westminster University / British Journalism Review Journalism in Crisis event (May 19):  ‘A Surfeit of Crises: Circulation, Revenue, Attention, Authority, and Deference’.

Gitlin, who is professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University, talked about how four wolves have arrived at the door of journalism ‘simultaneously, while a fifth has already been lurking for some time’. These were the wolves no-one was expecting, because everyone’s been crying wolf for so long. Gitlin spoke mainly in regards to American journalism because ‘it is what I know best’.

He used quotes and statistics from the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism ‘Changing Newsroom’ 2008 report, and also his own anecdotal evidence and academic references, to illustrate the predicament – which he feels is fair to call a number of ‘crises’ – that journalism faces.

Here are a few choice extracts:

  • The four wolves at the door, and the fifth one lurking: “One is the precipitous decline in the circulation of newspapers.  The second is the decline in advertising revenue, which, combined with the first, has badly damaged the profitability of newspapers. The third, contributing to the first, is the diffusion of attention.  The fourth is the more elusive crisis of authority. The fifth, a perennial – so much so as to be perhaps a condition more than a crisis – is journalism’s inability or unwillingness to penetrate the veil of obfuscation behind which power conducts its risky business.”
  • Circulation of newspapers: “Overall, newspaper circulation has dropped 13.5 per cent for the dailies and 17.3 per cent for the Sunday editions since 2001; almost 5 per cent just in 2008.  In what some are calling the Great Recession, advertising revenue is down – 23 per cent over the last two years – even as paper costs are up.  Nearly one out of every five journalists working for newspapers in 2001 is now gone.  Foreign bureaus have been shuttered – all those of the Boston Globe, for example, New England’s major paper.
  • “I have been speaking about newspapers’ recent decline, but to limit the discussion to the last decade or so both overstates the precipitous danger and understates the magnitude of a secular crisis—which is probably a protracted crisis in the way in which people know—or believe they know—the world.  In the US, newspaper circulation has been declining, per capita, at a constant rate since 1960. The young are not reading the papers.  While they say they ‘look’ at the papers online, it is not clear how much looking they do.”
  • “The newspaper was always a tool for simultaneity (you don’t so much read a paper as swim around in it, McLuhan was fond of saying) at least as much as a tool for cognitive sequence.  What if the sensibility that is now consolidating itself—with the Internet, mobile phones, GPS, Facebook and Twitter and so on – the media for the Daily Me, for point-to-point and many-to-many transmission—what if all this portends an irreversible sea-change in the very conditions of successful business?”
  • The Clamor for Attention: “Attention has been migrating from slower access to faster; from concentration to multitasking; from the textual to the visual and the auditory, and toward multi-media combinations.  Multitasking alters cognitive patterns.  Attention attenuates.  Advertisers have for decades talked about the need to ‘break through the clutter,’ the clutter consisting, amusingly, of everyone else’s attempts to break through the clutter.  Now, media and not just messages clutter.”
  • “Just under one-fifth of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 claim to look at a daily newspaper – which is not to say how much of it they read. The average American newspaper reader is 55 years old. Of course significant numbers of readers are accessing – which is not to say reading – newspapers online, but the amount of time they seem to spend there is bifurcated.  In roughly half of the top 30 newspaper sites, readership is steady or falling.  Still, ‘of the top 5 online newspapers -  ranked by unique users – [the] three [national papers] reported growth in the average time spent per person: NYTimes.com, USAToday.com, and the Wall Street Journal Online.’ One thing is clear:  Whatever the readership online, it is not profitable.”
  • “The question that remains, the question that makes serious journalists tremble in the U. S., is:  Who is going to pay for serious reporting?  For the sorts of investigations that went on last year, for example, into the background of the surprise Republican nominee for Vice President, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.”
  • Authority: “Journalism’s legitimacy crisis has two overlapping sources: ideological disaffection from right and left, and generalized distrust. Between them, they register something of a cultural sea change.  The authority of American journalism has, for a century or so, rested on its claim to objectivity and a popular belief that that claim is justified. These claims are weakening.”
  • Deference: “We have seen in recent years two devastating failures to report the world – devastating not simply in their abject professional failures but in that they made for frictionless glides into catastrophe.  The first was in the run-up to the Iraq war (…) More recently, we have the run-up to the financial crisis (…) Given these grave failures of journalism even when it was operating at greater strength not so long ago, one might say that rampant distrust is a reasonable and even a good thing.”
  • Resolutions: “The Project on Excellence’s conclusion is that ‘roughly half of the downturn in the last year was cyclical, that is, related to the economic downturn. But the cyclical problems are almost certain to worsen in 2009 and make managing the structural problems all the more difficult.’ Notice the reference to ‘managing the structural problems.’  They cannot be solved, they can only be managed.  The unavoidable likelihood, pending a bolt from the blue, is that the demand for journalism will continue to decline and that no business model can compensate for its declining marketability.  No meeting of newspaper people is complete these days without a call – some anguished, some confident – for a ‘new business model’ that would apply to the online ‘paper.’  The call has been issued over the course of years now.  It might be premature to say so, but one might suspect that it has not been found because there is none to be found.”
  • “What I do know is that journalism is too important to be left to those business interests. Leaving it to the myopic, inept, greedy, unlucky, and floundering managers of the nation’s newspapers to rescue journalism on their own would be like leaving it to the investment wizards at the American International Group (AIG), Citibank, and Goldman Sachs, to create a workable, just global credit system on the strength of their good will, their hard-earned knowledge, and their fidelity to the public good.”

Full transcript at this link…

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Qik could soon be live-streaming from iPhone

October 21st, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Online Journalism

As reported over at Lost Remote, Qik, the video broadcasting site, are very close to launching a nifty application to allow users stream straight from their iPhones.

This video discusses how the application will also make use of GPS to further improve user interaction.

As Lost Remote says, ‘the challenge, of course, is how to organize all these streams into useful and entertaining experiences.’

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WAN Amsterdam (audio): Mobile is not emerging: it’s here and we know how to monetise it, say speakers at Digital Revenue Goldmine

October 16th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Mobile, Online Journalism

A range of mobile experts at the WAN World Digital Publishing Conference gave a more optimistic picture than at the AOP summit earlier this month, where speakers, including ITV’s head of mobile, said that we are still waiting for the year of mobile.

But in Amsterdam, just a few weeks later, that sentiment was turned on its head. That next year will be the year of mobile is what people have said each year for five years, said Ilicco Elia, head of mobile for Reuters. No, ‘it’s here’, he told the assembled range of newspaper experts at the World Digital Publishing Conference 2008.

Where as Elia once was employed in ‘emerging media’ for Reuters, he now very much part of the mainstream product: “mobile has since emerged,” he said.

Elia certainly objected to one of Martha Stone’s slides during her presentation on online media, which said ‘mobile advertising to become a real business in a few years’. ‘My boss will shoot me, if he sees that’ he said. Elia’s been telling him that is already the case for a while; it is a real business.

While Elia stressed that he did not think “you should be going into mobile to make a lot of money immediately.” He said, “you can make more and more money slowly, slowly. Integrate into the rest of your products and it will come.”

His presentation touched on examples where Reuters have successfully monetized mobile: in the IBM ‘Stop Talking, Start Doing’ campaign (a slogan that should be applied to mobile, Elia said); by using Nokia phone cameras on for fast and effective reporting, and for widgets on iGoogle.

To think about search engine optimisation (SEO) is “a complete and utter given,” he said.
“You have to do it – SEO and SE marketing – and it is a cheap way to send people to your site,” he said.

The other mobile speakers sharing the stage, Jorma Härknönen, the senior vice president at MTV Media in Finland, responsible for internet and consumer businesses said were of similar opinion and Fredrik Oscarson, the founder and VP new business director for Mobiento, a Sweden based mobile marketing agency, were of similar opinion.

“Give it five years time, and I think people will choose to surf news on the mobile, because the mobile will have functionality [e.g GPS] that the internet doesn’t,” Fredrik Oscarson told Journalism.co.uk.

A short interview with Oscarson can be listened to here. He talks about mobile content for newspapers and different ways of advertising on mobile.

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BBC tracks shipping container in multimedia news experiment

September 9th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Multimedia

The BBC’s business and economics unit has embarked on a new multimedia editorial project aimed at improving the storytelling of economic news.

The Box initiative is an attempt to ‘come up with a way of telling the real story of what’s happening in the global economy in a tangible, challenging and ambitious way’ across multiple BBC platforms, Jeremy Hillman, editor of the business and economics unit, writes on the BBC Editors Blog.

The box of the title refers to a BBC-branded shipping container equipped with a GPS transmitter, which will have its international journey tracked, updated and mapped on its own webpage.

“The journey this container follows over the next few months will be a real one, and whilst we will control some aspects of the process for logistical reasons, the story it tells will be a truly representative one, painting a picture of what globalisation really means,” writes Hillman.

The container began its journey in Southampton yesterday.

Hillman adds: “Whilst we have paid a little for the branding of the box and some technical costs, the fact this is a working container means it will be earning its own keep!”

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Grants for New Voices projects and UCLAN lecturer Andy Dickinson

May 19th, 2008 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism

Hot on the heels of last week’s Knight News Challenge winners, two foundations have released details of journalism projects to receive funding.

New Voices – a project from the University of Maryland’s interactive journalism institute – has awarded funding of $17,000 each to 10 citizen media start-ups.

The recipients include: Cool State Online, a Californian project to set up micro bureaux covering news from the Asian and Latino communities; The Appalachian Independent, an online newspaper for the rural community in Maryland; and Family Life Behind Bars, a site where the families of prisoners can share information and experiences.

The progress of the winners (listed in full in a press release) can be viewed on the New Voices website.

Meanwhile, University of Central Lancashire journalism lecturer Andy Dickinson is to receive funding from journalism lab Sandbox for a project mapping the movements of local reporters in their communities.

Reporters from print, radio and TV would be equipped with GPS devices to monitor their movements on a normal working day, explains Dickinson in a blog post.

“The project would then attempt to develop a matrix that visually demonstrated when and where the news agendas of local communities and those of professional media organizations coincide, with a view to examining the range of elements that lead to this juxtaposition.

 

Conducted in this way the research can explore ‘randomness’, and ‘proximity’ to breaking news as a value that impacts news agendas (and says something about reseources too).”

Congratulations to Andy – we’re already looking forward to the results.

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Backpacker.com joins Web 2.0

April 29th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Magazines, Multimedia

Backpacker magazine has relaunched its website, which now contains new multimedia and GPS supported content.

The site features an interactive map containing more than 1200 GPS-supported hikes, expert blogs and on-the-scene video.

Screenshot of the Backpacker website

“Our primary focus was to create the ultimate outdoor adventure renaissance experience on the web” said editor Anthony Cerretani in a press release.

“We wanted users not only to get the most up-to-date information from the site, but also to be able to participate in the site’s evolution, utilising Web 2.0 applications to post trips, gear reviews, comments and more.”

The American site was rebuilt from the ‘bottom up’ responding to readers’ ideas for the new look.

The site will now update its content daily and make use of social media tools including RSS feeds, del.icio.us and Facebook.

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Innovations in Journalism – live geo-tagged video broadcast from Seero

April 21st, 2008 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Mobile

We give developers the opportunity to tell us journalists why we should sit up and pay attention to the sites and devices they are working on. Today, live video streamed over the web with extra geographical information mapped in real-time from Seero.

image of seero’s website

1) Who are you and what’s it all about?
Hello, I’m Justin Cutillo, co-founder of Seero. It’s a geo-broadcasting platform that fuses live and on-demand video with GPS mapping.

Our technology is a response to the convergence and proliferation of video and GPS features in the flourishing mobile device market.

2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?
Seero was built to reflect the core needs of video bloggers and online journalist. The platform incorporates tools for live mobile broadcasting with additional real-time GPS tracking and static location marking.

We also have a geo-information/advertising server. This system allows us to geo-tag specific information to enhance any broadcasts near that location.

For example, if an online journalist was covering a fire in London, we have the ability to upload facts specific to the building and geo-tag them to the exact location. The information is served based on its proximity to the location of the broadcast.

All you need for mobile broadcasting is a laptop and a mobile broadband card. You can add on an inexpensive GPS receiver for the real-time tracking feature or use an Ultra Mobile PC is you don’t want to carry around a full laptop.

3) Is this it, or is there more to come?
We are currently working on some major build items. We should be releasing an embeddable flash player that includes the live video player and the full map functionality within a month. We are also working on a module to add course tracking to previously recorded videos.

Our largest project is to build a mobile broadcasting application for Symbian mobile phones to enable journalist to broadcast live video and GPS right from their Nokia phones.

Beyond that we have a secretive project that could really redefine how people interact with live video on the internet.

4) Why are you doing this?
When it comes down to it we are technology buffs. We came up with the idea on a vacation to San Francisco more than two years ago while thinking of ways to virtually tour a city.

Combining live video and location info opens up new, exciting uses for online video.  Needless to say we are very enthusiastic about the prospects.

5) What does it cost to use it?
Besides the hardware cost, which may be very little if you already have a laptop, the service is completely free to all users.

6) How will you make it pay?
We currently envision three main channels of revenue. The first channel involves white label sites built on the Seero infrastructure for promotional as well as professional and government services.

The second channel is geo-advertising. We have a proprietary geo-advertising system that provides a simple and powerful solution for correlating advertising to site content.

Beyond those revenue streams we also see potential for our geo-advertising system as a stand-alone service.

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