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Tool of the week for journalists – Trendsmap, for tracking conversations in your area

Tool of the week: Trendsmap

What is it? A tool that maps Twitter trends in real-time.

How is it of use to journalists? Reporters can follow trends based on a subject or location.

The map option (as shown in the below Trendsmap of Brighton) allows you to see what people are talking about in a particular area in real-time, making it a handy tool for local reporters.

The list view of keywords and hashtags (shown below) is also a good way of finding sources in an area and connecting with those people.

There are limitations, however. Mapping relies on tweets being geolocated and as the majority of people choose not to share their location, it greatly reduces the number of tweets picked up by the tool.

Trendsmap also has custom trends pages, such as this one for Formula One. Journalists writing about specific subjects such as sport may find these pages useful.

As well as acting as a tool to hunt for stories and trends, journalists can also use it to help them when sharing their stories via social media. For example, adding a relevant hashtag to a tweet can increase its reach as more people find it and share it.

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Government launches ‘virtual media centre’ for 2012 London Olympics

October 25th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Events, PR

The government has launched the first few web-pages which will in time form its online media centre for the 2012 Games, giving the press a “single point of access for all government-related news stories”.

Content offered on the pages will include background information, logistics information and an image library. In a press release, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has responsibility for the Games, said:

With London 2012 set to be the biggest media event in history, the UK Government is doing all it can to ensure the world’s media have everything they need.

Delivering an outstanding Olympic Games is not just about building world class facilities and infrastructure; it’s also about making sure the media can bring the sporting, cultural and human interest stories to homes across the world as quickly as possible.

These pages, plus the Government Olympic Communication Media Centre next year, will play crucial parts in making this Games the easiest to access for the media and their audiences. Between now and the start of the Games we will continue to work with media partners to ensure we’re doing all we can to meet their needs.”

The pages went live yesterday (24 October) and journalists can now sign-up and subscribe to the news alerts at www.culture.gov.uk/2012newsroom.

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Media accreditation process open for Paralympic Games

September 22nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Local media, Newspapers

The Newspaper Society issued a reminder this morning that media accreditation has now opened for the Paralympic Games. The first stage of the process, called Press by Number, opened earlier this month and media organisations have until 28 November to complete a document to indicate how many people they would to request accreditation for.

There are more details and documentation at the British Paralympic Association website. Successful media organisations will be contacted early next year to progress their applications to the second stage.

The NS adds that it is currently working with regional and local newspapers and the British Olympic Association (BOA) to put in place a regional press pool for the Olympic Games, which runs a separate accreditation process.

The Olympic Games process has come in for some criticism in recent weeks after it emerged many local London papers have not yet been approved despite certain aspects of the games taking place on their patch.

The NS reports that the minister for sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson said he would write to the BOA about the matter after being questioned by MPs, but said it was “massively oversubscribed”.

He added: “There will be a level of public interest that I do not think we have remotely started to get our minds around. Spots will be tight, but I will absolutely do all that I can.

“There is a possible second channel for non-accredited media, and considerable provision is being made for those who cannot get formally accredited. The mayor of London has done an enormous amount to help that take place.”

Under the pooling system titles would be able to share material on the Games.

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Reuters: Athletes can tweet at 2012 as long as not in manner of journalists

According to Reuters, athletes due to perform at the 2012 Olympics in London, have been told they can blog and tweet about their experiences of competing in the games, as long as it is “not done for commercial purposes”.

The decision comes from the International Olympic Committee, Reuters reports, which was said to actively encourage and supports athletes “to take part in ‘social media’ and to post, blog and tweet their experiences”.

Bloggers and tweeters must, however, restrict themselves to “first-person, diary-type formats”, must not report on events in the manner of journalists and must ensure their posts do not contain “vulgar or obscene words or images”.

According to the report, broadcasting of video and audio taken inside the venues remains banned but athletes may post videos taken outside the venues.

The IOC gets much of its revenue from the sale of television and online media rights and is therefore highly protective of their intellectual property in that regard.

Related content:

Figures suggest falling cost of media centre for Olympics

Times named sports newspaper of the year

University professor aims to create citizen social media network to cover Olympics

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Media release: BBC gets Queen’s Award for sports graphics system

April 21st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Awards, Broadcasting, Editors' pick

The BBC reports its Research & Development department received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise today for its TV sports graphics system Piero.

By laying graphics over the TV pictures, Piero gives sports presenters and pundits another way to view and analyse crucial incidents in the games, and explain them more effectively to the audience.

According to the broadcaster the Piero system was initially created by BBC R&D and has since been developed and licensed internationally by Red Bee Media, with the award being jointly awarded to both organisations.

Piero works by creating a virtual stadium, which is synchronised to the “real” pictures coming from the TV cameras. Pictures of real players are transposed into the virtual stadium, where it is possible to view and analyse the game from different angles in animated sequences.

In-game incidents, such as offsides and forward passes can be assessed by pundits from the best angle – even if the play has not been captured at this angle.

The system can also render graphics such as distance markings so that they appear tied to the pitch.

The BBC press release can be seen here…

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Sport goes hyperlocal with a web streamed cricket match

An Easter Monday cricket match on a village green in rural England is to be web streamed as a possible world first.

Social media consultant John Popham came up with the idea to film the match in Wray, the first wifi hotspot village in Lancashire, after being inspire by two tweets, he explains on his website.

There were two tweets which really inspired this. The first was from Dan Slee expressing his hopes for keeping up with a local village cricket team via twitter, the other was from Chris Conder (@cyberdoyle) as she tested the 30Mbps symmetrical internet connection her village now has access to, courtesy of Lancaster University.

“I started this off as a demonstration to show what can be done cheaply and easily,” Popham told Journalism.co.uk.

But despite plans to use technology such as Livestream‘s free web streaming service to broadcast the match, the idea has now gathered pace.

With the help of a retweet from Stephen Fry it has now attracted attention and Birmingham-based Aquila TV has offered to take over the filming and web streaming, which will be embeddable so can be displayed on the Wray village website and by anyone else interested in broadcasting the match.

Popham explained he is trying to demonstrate the importance of strong and reliable broadband and upload connections in rural areas and explained “there are hardly any other rural areas where this would be possible apart from Wray”.

The attention has also resulted in interest from across the pond.

“I’ve been contacted by Americans over the moon to be able to watch cricket on a village green,” Popham said.

Is Wray’s cricket web stream the first of its kind, or do you know of another wired village transmitting to the world? Tell us in the comments area.

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Sports journalists in Ghana deny taking money from government during world cup

November 10th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Press freedom and ethics

A group of sports journalists in Ghana have denied allegations that they received money from the Ghana Football Association or Ministry of Youth and Sports during the World Cup earlier this year.

According to a report by Citifmonline, the ministry has said it spent $50,000 on media relations during the competition, which was given to the Ghana FA and distributed to journalists.

Full story on Ghanain news site Citifmonline at this link…

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NCTJ award offers students chance to cover Championship play-offs

August 26th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Awards, Training

The National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) is offering sports journalism trainees the opportunity to report on this season’s football play-off finals as part of a new arrangement with the Football League.

The sporting body is sponsoring a new award for the best performing candidates in the NCTJ’s sport journalism exam. The winner of the award will cover the Championship play-offs, while second and third place will report from the League One and League Two play-offs respectively.

The winners for the 2009-10 exam will be announced next month. Candidates for the forthcoming academic year will have the chance to report from the 2011/12 season play-offs.

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‘We will not be held to ransom’, Bournemouth Echo warns Southampton FC

Bournemouth Echo sports editor Neil Meldrum says the paper “will not be held to ransom” by Southampton Football Club, which recently announced plans to ban press photographers and syndicate the club’s own photographs of the team’s home matches.

Mr Cortese [executive chairman] clearly thinks his club will make a buck or two by syndicating pictures taken by their own man. I’ve got news for you, Nicola: You won’t.

If newspapers hate one thing, it is the greed of people like you and we press people tend to stick together in defiance of arrogance.

Yes, the Echo has let its readers down today by not printing pictures of last night’s match.

But we will not be held to ransom by the likes of Nicola Cortese.

Full post on the Bournemouth Echo blog at this link…

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NYTimes.com: Brazilian journalists want goal-line reporting

July 1st, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

In soccer-mad Brazil, radio and television reporters stand behind the goals and along the sideline during matches. Technically, they are restricted to interviewing players before matches, at half-time and after the final whistle. But sometimes they get a few comments after goals are scored or when players receive red-card ejections. Once, they were even known to follow Pelé into the shower.

The New York Times looks at the frustrations of the Brazilian journalists covering the World Cup as they are restricted to media areas in the stadia for Brazil’s games and have to watch non-Brazil matches on a television screen in the media centre away from the ground.

There are security and exclusivity issues here, of course, but are Brazilian readers and viewers losing the access and immediacy they have become accustomed to in football journalism?

Full story from the New York Times at this link…

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