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#Tip: Download these free ebooks on journalism

June 7th, 2013 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
By Wiertz Sebastien on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By Wiertz Sebastien on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Paul Bradshaw compiled a list of 20 free e-books (later updated to 37) and published them on his Online Journalism Blog. Topics such as online journalism and multimedia; computer-assisted reporting; community management; data and information; culture, copyright and code; investigative journalism; and design and programming are all included, making sure there’s something for everyone.

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Washington Post partners with US university to offer journalism scholarship to programmers

February 1st, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Training
Image by espensorvik on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Image by espensorvik on Flickr. Some rights reserved

The Washington Post and Northwestern University have teamed up to offer a scholarship opportunity to programmers at the university’s Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications.

The programme will allow programmers to earn a master’s degree in journalism before a paid internship at the newspaper.

Although the Knight Foundation has been supporting the programme since 2008, helping nine people to earn the degree and apply their knowledge in relevant jobs, the Washington Post is the first news industry partner to join the programme.

Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor for strategic projects at the Washington Post said in a release that programmers have the type of skill set and knowledge that can help to build “new tools and features that can benefit both readers and reporters”.

There is more information on the release.

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#Tip of the day for journalists: Try these online programming tutorials

November 5th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Image by espensorvik on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Want to try your hand and learn some computer programming? Journalists are often encouraged to learn some code – and here are 27 ways to learn online.

The Next Web has helpfully complied the 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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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – how to scrape web pages

March 23rd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Data, Top tips for journalists

Developer/journalist at ProPublica Dan Nguyen has a a series of tutorials on programming for journalists.

Here’s one to try: Go from knowing nothing to scraping web pages. In an hour. Hopefully.

Tipster: Sarah Marshall

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link– we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – getting to grips with programming

November 22nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

This how-to guide on Poynter offers plenty of guidance for journalists looking to better understand programming language “by breaking them up into front-end code, back-end code and data manipulation code”.

Author Katharine Jarmul also includes plenty of links to expert tutorials throughout her post.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Hacks and Hackers look at health, education and leisure

July 27th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Data, Events, Online Journalism

Online journalism expert Paul Bradshaw gives a detailed post on his experiences of a recent Hacks and Hackers day in Birmingham organised by Scraperwiki, experiences which he claims will “challenge the way you approach information as a journalist”.

Talking through the days events, Bradshaw observes how journalists had to adapt their traditional skills for finding stories.

Developers and journalists are continually asking each other for direction as the project develops: while the developers are shaping data into a format suitable for interpretation, the journalist might be gathering related data to layer on top of it or information that would illuminate or contextualise it.

This made for a lot of hard journalistic work – finding datasets, understanding them, and thinking of the stories within them, particularly with regard to how they connected with other sets of data and how they might be useful for users to interrogate themselves.

It struck me as a different skill to that normally practised by journalists – we were looking not for stories but for ‘nodes’: links between information such as local authority or area codes, school identifiers, and so on. Finding a story in data is relatively easy when compared to a project like this, and it did remind me more of the investigative process than the way a traditional newsroom works.

His team’s work led to the creation of a map pinpointing all 8,000 GP surgeries around the UK, which they then layered with additional data enabling them to view issues on a geographical measure.

See his full post here…

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I’m a journalist – should I learn programming?

Many reporters are starting to move on from the world of HTML or CSS coding and getting to grips with more technical programming knowledge.

But web development isn’t for everyone, so how do you know if it will be right for you? Using some trusty know-how and specially selected questions, digital journalist Mark Luckie has tried to help reporters answer that very question.

His flowchart, shown below, is hosted on his 10,000 words blog.

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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – programming ideas for journalists

May 24th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

The Open University’s Tony Hirst shares some programming ideas for journalists. In his post he says that programming doesn’t necessarily mean writing arcane computer code.
Tipster: Judith Townend.

To submit a tip to Journalism.co.uk, use this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Cindy’s Take on Tech: ‘The Journalist as Programmer’

May 21st, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

Cindy Royal, an assistant professor at Texas State University in San Marcos teaching web design and multimedia journalism, has shared details of her paper ‘The Journalist as Programmer: A Case Study of The New York Times Interactive News Technology Department’ in this blog post – her slideshow below, courtesy of slideshare, is well worth a look for anyone interested in how programming, news applications and data can fit into a newsroom set-up:

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Developers and journalists forging common ground

Back in April 2009 I listened as a group of bloggers at the G20 protests in London sent in reports using the new Audioboo iPhone application. The rules of the game are clearly changing fast, I thought.

The application allows users to record and upload high-quality sound files in an instant. In the same way that a photo of a plane floating in the Hudson river circumvented traditional channels and made its way around the world online, journalists (including Guardian staff) and bloggers on the ground were able to instantly upload reports on the unfolding activity with the immediacy and colour of front-line reports. I happened to be home ill that day and listened to the action with fascination. Then a contact from ABC News in the States contacted me via Twitter asking me if I knew any of the reporting bloggers and to pass on the direct number of the ABC newsroom. It was quick, energised and direct, and I was immediately hooked.

On the surface, the domain of the journalist and the developer seem poles apart. Journalists trace and shape stories, uncover information, and on a good day bring hidden truths to light. Developers build tools, marshal data and on a good day make the impossible possible. But a convergence is taking place that will ultimately rewrite the rulebook for both camps. Journalists have long been sifting and filtering forbidding mountains of data, looking for a story in the noise. Now they are going further, familiarising themselves with the tools to cohere and present this data, adapting to remain relevant in the new digital space. Developers in turn are doing far more than pushing data around. With rich social media tools and networks available to all, they are starting to report, telling stories with code and changing the way people in the online world relate, work and communicate. It’s a vast social experiment taking place in the production environment of the real world.

Back in March of this year, a small group of developers and journalists met in a pub in Islington to explore this overlap between coding and journalism in an intensely pragmatic fashion – the former teaching the latter the rudiments of web programming over a few beers. Ruby In The Pub was born.

A few days before, I overheard an online conversation between Joanna Geary of the Times and self-proclaimed ‘relapsed blogger’ James Ball. They were discussing the possibility of starting a regular event to get developers and journalists together. They touted Ruby as a possible language and with a speed typical of events incubated in social media circles the venue was sourced and the date decided.

As a Ruby developer (with the penchant for the odd beer) I immediately decided to attend and offer whatever support I could. The first event was warm and freestyle in nature, and the second drew a significantly larger group to the Shooting Star in Spitalfields, including the lead developer of the New York Times. One whole side of the pub was taken over by laptops and energised conversation. Due to the spotty wifi, I hardly managed any teaching at all, but became engaged in a wider discussion around journalism, the digital arena, and the changing media landscape.

Like that difficult third album, the next meet-up will probably define the future of this freestyle session. Ideas will gain traction, people will gravitate to familiar faces or pick up on projects that have been discussed. Karen Barber of Audioboo will be in attendance and has already taken up my offer of help on a project she has been kicking around for a while. We’ll get a drink, sit down, and start building it, responding to feedback from newbies and experienced hackers as we do so. Along the way, the communication channels between both sides will be strengthened and clarified and, what with all the activity on Twitter around the event, feelers of energy will spread out and spark up satellite meetings.

In fact, this has already happened. Paul Bradshaw, a journalist who teaches the MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham University, has already activated the wonderfully-named Ruby Tuesday up North and hopefully we’ll see a lot more. In a series of regular posts I will attempt to cover the process as it unfolds, as well as looking at the wider interface between word and code.

There’s no end to this journey, it’s a vibrant buzz of collaboration and exploration. Why not join us?

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