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#ijf11: Full coverage from the International Journalism Festival 2011

Image by International Journalism Festival on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Between Wednesday and Sunday last week the small Italian town of Perugia played host to the International Journalism Festival 2011 (#ijf11). I was there for some of it and I was lucky enough to see some fascinating panel sessions and workshops and meet some of the industry’s veterans, entrepreneurs and innovators.

This post is a round up of the news stories, blogs and audio I posted from the conference:

Blogs

Lessons in data journalism from the New York Times

The key term in open data? It’s ‘re-use’, says Jonathan Gray

‘Innovation is about about throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks’

Playing at engagement and verification with Citizenside

Be accessible, be realistic, Guido Fawkes advises small news outlets

Charles Lewis on the ‘interesting ecosystem’ of non-profit news

Are paywalls incompatible with community engagement?

News

ONA launches MJ Bear fellowships for early career digital journalists

Online video project for Indian women scoops journalism innovation prize

Horrocks outlines new global strategy for BBC

Audio

CJR online editor Justin Peters on the news frontier database

New York Times deputy graphics editor Matt Ericson on how his team works

Nigel Barlow from Inside the M60 on making money as a local news startup

Guardian data editor Simon Rogers and national editor Dan Roberts on the future of leaking and mainstream media

Peter Horrocks on the BBC and data journalism

Charles Lewis on the future of non-profit journalism in the US

Image by International Journalism Festival on Flickr. Some rights reserved

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#ijf11: Be accessible, be realistic, Guido Fawkes advises small news outlets

Accessibility and community are key to having an impact as a small online news outlet, political blogger Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes) told the International Journalism Festival this morning.

Some of my best stories come from my readers.

If I want to contact the Sunday Times investigations editor, I can maybe ring the switchboard but I probably won’t get through.

I have my phone number and email address on my site. Alright, you won’t get though to me directly, you’ll get an answerphone, but I will get back to you.

And there is the promise of a free T-shirt if I use your information.

Staines cited the recent example of an image of David and Samantha Cameron looking terrifically glum waiting for a Ryanair flight to Malaga.

The image was sent to Staines by a reader, and within an hour he had published it and sold international syndication rights, making enough money to fund the blog for a month.

The blog shared the money with the photographer, he hastened to add.

Another important factor is being realistic, he said, knowing what you can and can’t do.

The Guido Fawkes blog is a two-man operation, and “can’t spend a long time investigating a corporation across five continents”.

The way we approach it is much more tabloid, more hit and run, but we will keep coming back to a subject and wear at it to get results.

We’re not worried about getting scooped as long as we keep at the story.

He put that need for realism in sobering financial terms when he said that he had bid £10,000 – as much as he could – for the MPs expenses disk, but came up against the Telegraph, which bid £100,000.

Since its modest beginnings, started “on a whim” in 2004, the blog has landed “one politician is jail, a few fired, a few resigned”, Staines claimed. “Oh and a few special advisors, I forget about them”.

Not all of them perhaps, The Guido Fawkes blog was responsible for a story about William Hague sharing a room with a young special advisor, who resigned as the story spread like wild fire across the nationals.

Compared with larger, more established news organisations, Staines’ disregard for the need for double checking the facts was another advantage, he said.

Newspapers have to have double sourcing and verification, Whereas I’m more likely to take a flyer and a risk with the lawyers.

For that very reason, another important source of stories for Staines is political journalists who have had stories spiked by their editor for not standing up, but who want to get it out.

That’s great, when that happens, because I get all the credit and they get nothing.

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