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Tool of the week for journalists: freeDive, to create a searchable database

Tool of the week: freeDive

What is it? A wizard to turn a Google spreadsheet into a searchable, embeddable interactive

How is it of use to journalists? This is a fantastic tool from the Knight Digital Media Center, based at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

freeDive is a wizard that allows you to take a Google spreadsheet, turn it into an interactive database, embed it into a news story and let readers to explore the data.

A word of warning: the embed code created is mainly JavaScript which some platforms restrict.

WordPress users can download a plugin such as Artiss Code Embed which works with WordPress security settings, allowing you to embed JavaScript.

The tool generates a simple embed code and also has an option to allow you to download the HTML, upload it onto your server and use an iframe.

Here is one we made earlier. This searchable database shows the ABC-audited web traffic figures for regional news groups.

[iframe src="http://www.journalism.co.uk/uploads/abcembedtest.html" height="650px"]

 

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Knight Center: What the Waco Tribune-Herald has learned from its premium content model

January 20th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Newspapers, Online Journalism

Four months ago, the Waco Tribune-Herald launched a premium content payment model, keeping breaking news, obituaries and other sections free but introducing levies on more in-depth work.

Knight Digital Media Center blogger Michele McLellan has posted an interview with Tribune-Herald editor Carlos Sanchez, and although he can’t divulge the numbers it sheds some light on how communities may respond to such a model.

Q. How do you decide what content is for online subscribers only?

Our strategy from the beginning was to keep things as simple as possible. Generally, if it’s a wire story that is available at other websites, it’s free; if it is something locally produced, it’s behind a pay wall.

There are broad exceptions: staff written blogs, breaking news and, most important, obituaries (are free). Our thinking behind the blogs was that our reporters could offer more of a social media feel, with links to content behind the pay wall. Ideally, it would replicate the kind of banter that we hear every day in a newsroom in which the story behind the story becomes just as fascinating as the story itself.

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OJR: Journalism’s problem isn’t the internet or advertising, it’s attitude

January 5th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

What’s the biggest problem facing the journalism industry? The online explosion of content and competition, jobs cuts, the advertising crisis? According to the Online Journalism Review’s Robert Niles it’s none of these – but instead the attitude of some journalists.

There are too many journalists, he says in this post discussing the Knight Digital Media Center News Entrepreneur Boot Camp in May, who are “wallowing in a culture of failure” and he urges more to step off of the familiar pathway in journalism.

You won’t be the first journalist to do this. That means that others are available to help show you the way. But you’ll need to start listening to these new voices, and tune out the pessimism, frustration and even scolding you might hear from the colleagues you leave behind.

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iPhone 4 a ‘serviceable web video camera in breaking news situations’

Len De Groot, from the Knight Digital Media Center, has a useful first-hand account of using the iPhone 4 for reporting news.

Having taken his new iPhone out with him at lunch to put its tools to the test, he agreed it would prove a valuable tool for reporters.

Suddenly, the iPhone can be a serviceable web video camera in breaking news situations or unplanned interviews. It allows you to shoot and edit video, add lower thirds and titles and upload directly to the web.

It will not replace professionals and professional equipment, however. It fits into “the best camera is the one you have on you” category.

In his post he discusses his experiences of audio quality, uploading a full HD video to quicktime and then getting the clips onto youtube and vimeo as viewing platforms.

See the full post here…

Related reading on Journalism.co.uk: iPhone 4 developments herald a mobile future for news

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Knight Digital Media Center: Mobile news ‘is not internet lite’

April 21st, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

The Knight Digital Media Center’s News Leadership 3.0 blog has a post rounding up the best advice from a recent conference on mobile news. Top tips from newsrooms and editors already developing mobile strategies and applications include:

  • Remember content AND convenience;
  • Don’t treat mobile news as a ‘lite’ version of your website;
  • Don’t just cater for high-end handsets – think about how text messaging can be used.

Full story at this link…

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Robert Niles: ‘Communities are key in building websites’ advertiser support’

Robert Niles looks at the monetary benefits of an online community over on the Knight Digital Media Center’s OJR blog: “If a website’s editorial mission focuses on building community, as I’ve argued, so should its advertising sales strategy focus on community as well. Don’t fall into the trap of selling potential advertisers nothing more than numbers; don’t neglect to sell them on the opportunity to support the community that you are building.”

Full story at this link…

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ReJurno: ‘The New Metros’ – local journalism or ‘nichification on steroids?’

Jane Stevens on the bleak future for local news – she reckons newspapers could face shut-down with just one or two days notice. So, ‘what’s to take the place of that one large metro news organization?’ she asks. “Many small ones. Mini-metros. Nichification on steroids,” she begins… Full story… (also picked up at the Knight Digital Media Center blog).

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Online Journalism Review closes, “good night and good luck”

June 16th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Online Journalism

Online Journalism Review has closed its doors after a decade of covering developments in new media publishing.

The website, run by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication, aimed to “help mid-career journalists make a successful transition from other media to online reporting and production”, and now intends to continue to do so via the Knight Digital Media Center and its blogs.

OJR author Robert Nile has now left the University of Southern California but continue to write about new media and journalism at his new website SensibleTalk.com.

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