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Sky News’ @fieldproducer ranked most influential UK journalist on Twitter

November 7th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging

Sky News digital media editor Neal Mann, aka @fieldproducer (right), at Journalism.co.uk’s news:rewired conference in May. Image: Mousetrap Media

Sky News digital news editor Neal Mann (@fieldproducer), is the UK’s most influential journalist on Twitter, according to a new survey.

A study of more than 330,000 tweets by social media site Tweetminster and PR firm Portland found that Mann had retweeted and been mentioned 100,000 times between June and September, according to a Guardian report.

The Guardian’s media news site mediaguardian.co.uk (@mediaguardian) came second in the rankings, with Guardian News & Media editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger (@arusbridger), BBC presenter Andrew Neil (@afneil), and the Guardian’s main news feed (@guardiannews) making up the rest of the top five.

Channel 4 News economics editor Faisal Islam (@faisalislam) and presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy (@krishgm) are 11th and 12th respectively. FT digital media correspondent Tim Bradshaw (@tim) came in 19th, and the Independent’s foreign editor Archie Bland (@archiebland) was 20th.

Accounts belonging to the Guardian or Guardian writers took nine of the top 20 places.

Telegraph writers took four places between 20 and 30, with blogs editor Damian Thompson (@holysmoke) 25th, and 10 places in total.

Other notable entries include the Independent’s Johann Hari (@johannhari101), who has gone from being a prolific tweeter to rarely using the social network after facing allegations of plagiarism beginning in June.

Every account in the top 50 belongs to someone who writes for a major news outlet. (The total here is 51 as Jonathan Freedland (@j_freedland) works for both the BBC and the Guardian.)

The Guardian: 17

The Telegraph: 10

The BBC: 8

Channel 4 News: 5

The FT: 4

Sky News: 3

Indy: 3

The Times: 1

See the full top 50 on Guardian.co.uk.

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Telegraph: Review of reviews of new BlackBerry PlayBook

June 15th, 2011 | 4 Comments | Posted by in Handy tools and technology

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet went on sale in the UK today and B2B publishers will be watching take-up closely due to the popularity of BlackBerry phones with their readership.

The Telegraph has taken a look at a few of the reviews written since its launch in the US in April, most of which are critical of the new device.

With prices starting at £399 – the same as Apple’s iPad – the PlayBook has a smaller screen than the Apple device: a seven-inch screen, compared to the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen but the same processor and screen resolution and has more memory. It can also record HD video.

The device runs bespoke apps, Android apps and existing BlackBerry apps.

So, what do US reviewers make of the BlackBerry PlayBook?

“Right now, the BlackBerry PlayBook is a tablet that will come close to satisfying those users who gravitate toward the first word in its name: BlackBerry. Those who were more excited about the ‘play’ part would be well advised to look elsewhere, at least until Android compatibility joins the party. Then, well, anything could happen.”

The “herpes of tablets”, says CNN:

“One of the perks of being a tech journalist are all the new toys we get to try out – companies generally send us products for a week or two, and after trying them out they’re sent back to the company (it keeps us honest). Except for this PlayBook… every time we contact RIM asking where to send it back to we don’t get a response. It is the herpes of tablets – once you have it, you can’t get rid of it. And unlike herpes, even the person who gave it to you doesn’t want to see you again.”

The Telegraph’s full review of reviews is here.

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Five great examples of data journalism using Google Fusion Tables

Google Fusion Tables allows you to create data visualisations including maps, graphs and timelines. It is currently in beta but is already being used by many journalists, including some from key news sites leading the way in data journalism.

To find out how to get started in data journalism using Google Fusion Tables click here.

Below are screengrabs of the various visualisations but click through to the stories to interact and get a real feel for why they are great examples of data journalism.

1. The Guardian: WikiLeaks Iraq war logs – every death mapped
What? A map with the location of every death in Iraq plotted as a datapoint.
Why? Impact. You must click the screen grab to link to the full visualisation and get the full scale of the story.

2. The Guardian: WikiLeaks embassy cables
What? This is a nifty storyline visualisation showing the cables sent in the weeks around 9/11.
Why? It’s a fantastic way of understanding the chronology.

3. The Telegraph: AV referendum – What if a general election were held today under AV?
What? A visual picture of using the hypothetical scenario of the outcomes of the 2010 general election if it had been held under the alternative vote system.
Why? A clear picture by area of the main beneficiaries. See how many areas are yellow.

4. WNYC: Mapping the storm clean-up
What? A crowdsourced project which asked a radio station’s listeners to text in details of the progress of a snow clean-up.  The datapoints show which streets have been ploughed and which have not. There are three maps to show the progress of the snow ploughs over three days.
Why? As it uses crowsourced information. Remember this one next winter.

5. Texas Tribune: Census 2010 interactive map – Texas population by race, hispanic origin
What? The Texas Tribune is no stranger to Google Fusion Tables. This is map showing how many people of hispanic origin live in various counties in Texas.
Why? A nice use of an intensity map and a great use of census data.

You can find out much more about data journalism at news:rewired – noise to signal, an event held at Thomson Reuters, London on Friday 27 May.

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Telegraph: IPTV joint venture YouView delayed until next year

February 9th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick

YouView, the IPTV joint venture billed as the new Freeview, is to miss its July target launch date and will go live in early 2012 instead, the Telegraph has revealed.

YouView chief executive Richard Halton said it was important the development was “not rushed”. When it launches, the box will offer a seven-day TV catch-up service and other on-demand web TV services. Analysts are concerned that the delay means the product will already be obsolete by the time it is ready.

Screen Digest head of broadband Dan Cryan told the paper: “With more and more TV catch up services, such as the iPlayer, coming to the living room TV set using the browser, YouView risks becoming irrelevant.”

The initiative is a joint venture between the major terrestrial broadcasters, BT, TalkTalk and transmissions giant Arqiva.

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#followjourn: @hwallop/consumer affairs editor

April 21st, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Recommended journalists

#followjourn: Harry Wallop

Who? The Telegraph’s consumer affairs editor. Oxford graduate and former Investors Chronicle writer.

Where? Wallop writes for the Telegraph technology video section (he is one of two ‘gadget inspectors’) and has a blog in the paper’s online finance section. As consumer affairs editor he has a broad remit however, and covers “everything from food trends and utility bills to the property market and the latest toys”. His Telegraph profile and collected articles can be found at this link. He also has a LinkedIn page.

Contact? @hwallop

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to judith or laura at journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.

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April Fools’ Day: a round-up of media mischief

April 1st, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Multimedia, Newspapers, Online Journalism

The venerable old day of leg-pulling and pranking is upon us again, and British news institutions are doing their bit for the fun. Some better than others, it must be said. Here is a short round-up of some headline hilarity from the web.

The Guardian went big and bold with a mock-election campaign designed to show the rough and ready side of our beloved PM:

Brown aides had worried that his reputation for volatility might torpedo Labour’s hopes of re-election, but recent internal polls suggest that, on the contrary, stories of Brown’s testosterone-fuelled eruptions have been almost entirely responsible for a recent recovery in the party’s popularity.

While the traditionally rowdy readers of the Guardian were treated to this new bar-room-brawling Brown, the refined readers of the National Union of Journalist’s site woke up to the news that the bruiser and the posh boy, along with that other one Clegg, were all joining the NUJ executive council as part of a new “affinity programme”.

Through our new affinity scheme NUJ members will now be able to join the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democratic parties at a reduced rate. In fact, from now on they can also get membership of all three parties for the price of one, which we believe will appeal particularly to our members at the Guardian and elsewhere.

Harmony was prevailing elsewhere too on The Register’s site, with the equally unlikely news that highly improbable bedfellows Associated Newspapers and the Guardian Media Group would join forces to share a common editorial facility.

Using the latest technology, a single team will produce stories for both groups flagship titles, the Daily Mail and the Guardian, in a process that will be largely automated.

The Independent went with some highly unlikely technical advances to the Circle Line, claiming that London Underground was in talks with the boffins at CERN about using the 23km tunnel to house a new particle accelarator, similar to CERN’s Large Hardon Hadron Collider. Provided, of course, they can iron out the “geo-magnetic ‘kink’ in the circuitry at Edgware Road”.

It would mean that two beams of protons would be travelling in clockwise and counterclockwise directions at 99.999999 per cent of the speed of light, within feet of Circle line passengers stuck in perpetual immobility.

(Meanwhile the boffins were up to some riotous hilarity of their own over in Switzerland (in that charming science-humour sort of way…), declaring that high-energy collisions within the newly restarted LHC had unearthed a “paleoparticle”. In other words, “a hideous particle from the prehistory of the Universe”.)

Also on the science side, the Daily Mail, with news (and video) about the AA’s new rocketmen, able to fly out to the hard-shoulder at high velocity in your time of need. Unfortunately this corker has come down off the site already.

Rather than muck in with its own side-splitting falsity, BBC News ran with a bit of an also-ran in the form of a collection of true stories that really should be April Fools. Although, tucked away on the Radio 4 site is this deadpan gem about the possibility of William Shakespeare being half French, based on some pretty dubious analysis of his mother’s family tree:

It’s a lock of hair, it’s quite faded, which would mean it’s potentially a lock of hair from Mary Queen of Scots.

Lastly, as this is only just a taste of the press’ Herculean April Fools’ effort, the Telegraph, who claimed this morning that ferrets were to be used in the government’s plans to begin broadband to all:

The animals have been used by Virgin Media for over a year to help lay cables for its broadband service, the company has disclosed. The ferrets wear jackets fitted with a microchip which is able to analyse any breaks or damage in the underground network.

What the Telegraph’s story lacks ever so slightly in humour, it more than makes up for with this deftly mocked-up picture of a ferret on the job. Of laying cables, I mean.

Back to frowning at your desks until next year then folks.

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#followjourn: Rob Kelly/football reporter

March 19th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Recommended journalists

#followjourn: Rob Kelly

Who? Kelly is a football reporter at the Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph.

Where? You can find Kelly’s Telegraph articles collected in the paper’s online sports section here. He has a journalisted page here.

Contact? Kelly is not quite au fait on all things Twitter. From his Telegraph blurb:

He remains totally bewildered by Twitter, yet has an account. Follow me on it if you like, I could do with the friends.

Should you choose to, here is where – www.twitter.com/robkelly2

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to judith or laura at journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.

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#followjourn: Christopher Hope/Whitehall editor

February 12th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Recommended journalists

#followjourn: Christopher Hope

Who? Whitehall editor of the Daily Telegraph

What? Christopher Hope joined the Daily Telegraph in October 2003, and has since been their business correspondent, industry editor, home affairs correspondent, home affairs editor, and now Whitehall editor. He has also been published in the Guardian and the Sunday Telegraph.

Where? Read a selection of Hope’s articles at the Telegraph online.

Contact? Follow @ChristopherHope

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to judith or laura at journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.

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Anger over army equipment motivated MPs’ expenses leak

September 25th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism, Newspapers

Promoting its new book out today, the Telegraph discloses that a lack of army supplies for soliders fighting in Afghanistan motivated the whistleblower who leaked the unredacted MPs’ expenses data earlier this year.

The Telegraph will continue to protect the identity of its source, although it named another intermediary – former SAS major John Wick -  in May.

Today the Telegraph reports:

“Workers who processed the MPs’ claims included serving soldiers, who were moonlighting between tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan to earn extra cash for body armour and other vital equipment.

“The soldiers were furious when they saw what MPs, including the Prime Minister, were claiming for and their anger convinced one of their civilian colleagues that taxpayers had a right to know how their money was being spent.

“The mole who leaked the data has told his story for the first time, in the hope that it will shame the Government into finally supplying the right equipment for the thousands of soldiers risking their lives in Afghanistan.

(…)

“Five months after The Daily Telegraph broke the story of MPs’ expenses, the mole angrily denounced politicians who ‘still don’t get it’ and were still preoccupied with their own financial situation rather than the plight of troops.”

Full story at this link…

New book: ‘No Expenses Spared

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Sidewiki: some journalistic questions for Google

Sidewiki (noun): a browser sidebar that enables you to contribute and read helpful information alongside any web page (source: Google.com)

or…

Sidewiki (noun): an attempt by our online colonial masters to own all of the comments on our websites (source: Andrew Keen)

On this occasion Jeff Jarvis would not do what Google is doing: the CUNY journalism professor and WWGD? author is worried. He can see some potential dangers for the development of Sidewiki, launched by Google yesterday. His commenters share their thoughts too, in a split conversation between the BuzzMachine comments thread and the Sidewiki (you’ll have to take the plunge and install it if you want to see how that looks). Jarvis says:

“This goes contrary to Google’s other services – search, advertising, embeddable content and functionality – that help advantage the edge. This is Google trying to be the centre. Quite ungoogley, I’d say.”

Sidewiki has the potential to be great for freedom of speech but what about the nastier side? Publishers no longer have control of the look of part of their site. Google has tested the application at news organisations it says – testimonials here – but it’s still developing its technology, and asking for feedback.

Some initial thoughts, then. The main concerns for journalists and news organisations might include:

1) Will it lose money for news sites?

Andrew Keen, writing for the Telegraph, comments:

“Sidewiki is a brazen attempt to own the Internet. What Sidewiki would do is replace/supplement the Telegraph comments section on this page with a Google comments page. So all comments on the internet would, in theory, be owned by Google (which, presumably, they could sell advertisements around – thereby eating into my salary).”

2) What happens about libel?

Google publishes its programme policy here, at this link.

‘Keep it legal,’ it says (and it will report us to the ‘appropriate authorities’ if we don’t).

“If you believe that someone is violating these policies, use the ‘Report Abuse’ button within Sidewiki.  We’ll review your report and take action if appropriate.  Just because you disagree with certain material or find it to be inappropriate doesn’t mean we’ll remove it.  We understand that our users have many different points of view, and we take this into consideration when reviewing reports of abuse.  Although not all reports will result in removal, we do rely on our users to tell us about materials that may be violating our policies.”

Have fun with that Google!

Here are a few questions about the legal aspect from Jo Wadsworth, online editor at the Brighton Argus, for whom comment moderation is part of her job:

“How long does it takes to get abusive comments removed? Where’s moderation criteria? Can site switch it off? Can trolls be banned?”

Meanwhile, SEO consultant and blogger Malcolm Coles is having a play… This morning, he says, he was finding it hard to resist the temptation to be the first to sidewiki the home page of UK newspapers. But someone else got there first.

Please add your own thoughts and questions. In the Google Sidewiki – to your left, via Twitter (@journalismnews) or in the comments…

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