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#Tip of the day for journalists: Search for open government data

January 31st, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Data, Search, Top tips for journalists
magnifying glass Flickr Ivy Dawned

Image by Ivy Dawned on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Here’s a tip from Paul Bradshaw, academic and the journalist behind the Online Journalism Blog and Help Me Investigate:

 

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 16.33.12

He suggests using Google advanced operators to search .gov.uk sites with the word ‘open’ in the URL.

Want to take your online research to the next level? Take a look at this one-day course which teaches advanced online research skills.

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#Tip of the day for journalists: Use social media to resurface old content

January 28th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

social-poynter

Poynter has shared ideas on using Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest and other social networks to highlight old content.

gives five ways journalists can use social media to resurface old content, including using Facebook’s timeline to organise continuing coverage, as the Wall Street Journal did for tracking the Facebook IPO.

The five tips, with illustrations from news outlets, are at this link.

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 for journalists: Read Storyful’s new ebook on social newsgathering

January 25th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging
Image by IsaacMao on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Image by IsaacMao on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Social news agency Storyful has published an ebook on social newsgathering.

It has been edited by Claire Wardle and includes articles previously posted on the Storyful blog.

The ebook is in PDF format and is free, allowing you to learn things such as how to spot a fake or hoax image, how to verify content from social media, and how and why your should use Twitter’s own version of TweetDeck.

The Storyful blog has become one of our favourite tips sites, with practical advice shared by working journalists on how to get the most out of social newsgathering. Save this PDF to your tablet or phone and your next train journey will be an educational one.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link.

Hat tip: Mark Little

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#Tip of the day for journalists: Note the new way to embed a tweet

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

It now takes fewer clicks to embed a tweet on a news site or blog.

Twitter announced that it has improved its embedded tweets function on Tuesday (22 January), making “embedded tweets more engaging, useful and fast”.

Embedded tweets now load faster and appear more like they do on Twitter as they now display photos. Note that only photos displayed on Twitter will show as a full picture when embedded, Instagram pictures, for example, will show as a link.

To embed a tweet you now click on ‘more’ and then on ‘embed tweet’. Previously it required you to click on ‘expand’ and then ‘details’ before being given the embed option.

tweets

 

You can also do the same with the latest version of TweetDeck.

TweetDeck-new

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#Tip of the day for journalists: Check analytics to see what people are searching for

January 22nd, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Search, Top tips for journalists

magnifying glass Flickr Ivy Dawned

Do you ever check your site’s analytics to see what people are searching for?  Mindy McAdams has and provides an interesting explainer on her Teaching Online Journalism blog.

McAdams says that searches can help you write about what your audience is searching for.

If people are coming to your site because of a search, you should think about whether you might want to offer them more on that topic. I don’t mean you should add stuff that doesn’t match the mission or purpose of your blog — but think about whether it makes sense for you to beef up your content to satisfy those searchers.

Her post reminded me of this great example of how Homicide Watch reports from analytics.

The site’s founder Laura Amico checked what her readers had been searching for one afternoon in Google Analytics one afternoon and got a scoop.

She found that readers of Homicide Watch DC, a site she set up in September 2010 to report on murders in Washington DC, were looking for details of an unreported murder.

There’s more on that story here.

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 for journalists: Patch in a colleague to record your Skype call

January 21st, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Skype

Here is a solution for any journalist wanting to record a Skype interview when on a device that does not have a call recorder: phone a friend.

It is something my colleague Rachel McAthy and I found the need for last week.

If you do not have a call recorder but you know someone who has, you can patch that person in on a three-way call and they can record the call for you.

If you are the person recording the call, you will need to mute your Skype. This means you can carry on working while your computer is recording – and it ensures the sound of typing is not recorded (see mute button option in the screenshot below).

This three-way recording solution will also work for a phone interview. The interviewer can use Skype patch the person who has a call recorder, then, using pre-bought Skype credit, can call the interviewee by phone.

Skype-test

 

At Journalism.co.uk we use Call Recorder to record Skype calls ($19.95). It gives us broadcast-quality audio for our weekly podcast and allows us to record calls if we want to check quotes later.

We use Macs by there are call recorder options for PCs. Here are five options.

Related:

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 for journalists: Take a look at this list of Twitter tools

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Here is another list relating to the best of 2012 or predicting useful tools for next year.

The SiteVisibility blog has created a list of  the top Free Twitter Tools for 2013.

Perhaps the most useful tool in the list from a journalist’s point of view is Tweriod, which tells you the times of the day when the greatest number of your Twitter contacts are online.

For more on social media optimisation – or SMO – see this guide (published last year).

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 for journalists: Consider getting interviewees to press record

December 18th, 2012 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Top tips for journalists

Image by John.Karakatsanis on Flickr. Some rights reserved

If you have ever tried to find a way of recording a phonecall from your iPhone, you will know that there is no easy solution.

One way is to record the call to voicemail, an option that only allows for short recordings and does not enable you to ask for permission before hitting record. Another possibility is iPadio (for a guide see this link), but this makes the raw interview publicly accessible, gives a phoneline-quality recording, and again does not allow you to ask for permission before recording. The last time I tested there were no apps that solved the problem satisfactorily (do leave a comment below if you know of a solution or email me).

Update: See the comment from Mark from iPadio below

Here is a simple solution for getting a quality recording as tried and tested by US radio journalist Neal Augenstein, who we have reported on previously as he ditched other recording kit in favour of his iPad and iPhone.

In this post Augenstein explains that he now gets interviewees to record themselves on their own phone (while speaking to him from a second mobile phone or landline) and then asks them to email over the audio.

Interviewees could also record using QuickTime (file / ‘new audio recording’) on a Mac or Microsoft’s Sound Recorder.

Read Augenstein’s post to find out how interviewees can record on their phone and email you the file.

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 for journalists: Save this list of research databases

December 17th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Search, Top tips for journalists

US site for journalists Poynter has compiled a list of research sites you can use when working on an in-depth story.

The post explains that many academics are publishing their research online as “the world of scholarship is creeping toward greater openness”.

The post’s author John Wihbey states:

It’s also important to acknowledge that conventional web searches — just Googling it — won’t necessarily turn up the best research materials; search algorithms don’t always prominently highlight studies and reports that are seldom linked to or visited.

Wihbey recommends a number of sites, including Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search. Some sites are US specific. The full list is at this link.

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 for journalists: Watch Storyful’s Hangout on verifying Sandy footage

If you are interested in learning more about verification, particularly around how user-generated video footage of Hurricane Sandy was verified, there is a Google+ Hangout later today that you should watch.

Social news agency Storyful, which verifies images and videos shared on social media and sends them to news outlet clients, is hosting a Google+ Hangout at 4.30pm today (10 December).

The Storyful blog explains why it is taking place and who is participating.

One month on [from Sandy], Storyful is hosting a Live to Air Google Hangout to discuss what happened during Sandy, the continued challenges faced by journalists trying to verify content in real-time, and the possibilities offered by technology during a big news event.

The panel includes:

Adam Blenford, journalist, BBC (US Bureau)

Liz Heron, social media director, Wall Street Journal

Aine Kerr, politics editor, Storyful

Tom Phillips, international editor at MSN UK and runs http://istwitterwrong.tumblr.com

Craig Silverman, editor of Regret the Error on Poynter.com

Paul Watson, chief technical officer, Storyful

The discussion will be moderated by Dr Claire Wardle, director of news services at Storyful, and will be held in front of a live audience at Google HQ Dublin. Students from New York’s Columbia Journalism School and a number of Dublin journalism programmes will also be joining the Hangout.

Storyful has prepared a short video which gives you a sense of the verification process.

Link to the Hangout: plus.google.com/+Storyful

Catch up later: youtube.com/storyful

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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