Tag Archives: Benjamin Cohen

Google+ is now open to all – but are journalists using it?

Google last night (Tuesday, 20 September) announced that its social network is now open to all.

The was much optimism about Google+ when it launched in June, particularly among some journalists who were quick to share invites and sign up, but who is now using the newest social network?

A quick straw poll on Twitter suggests many are nonplussed (see tweets below).

Technology journalists, including the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones and Channel 4 News’ Benjamin Cohen – an early advocate who predicted Google+ could be a Twitter killer – are among those posting with enthusiasm.

So are journalists using all the features available? Despite these 10 ways journalists can use Google+ it appears most are simply using Plus for sharing stories and for conversations around them but are getting quality comments and a high level of engagement.

Even if you do not feel inclined to post or try out new features such as hangouts (video calls) on your phone, it is worth journalists being aware of one new feature: improved search – something Google should be good at.  You can now search topics as well as people. With more than one billion items shared and posted on Google+ every day, according to the announcement, it is worth keeping Plus in mind as a newsgathering tool.

Channel 4 News: Benjamin Cohen’s life torn open by Wired

Benjamin Cohen, technology editor at Channel 4 News, has blogged about the experience of being sent the latest, personalised edition of Wired magazine.

Well, personalised for some. “Opinion formers” around the UK have been sent a copy of Wired, titled “Your life torn open”, with personal information about them splashed over the front cover. Cohen was shocked by the information that they printed – and it is shocking at first. But then it is all publically available through Facebook, Twitter, Companies House and the Land Registry.

What’s shocking though is seeing all of this printed in black and white (or yellow in this case). Everything was available from Facebook, Twitter, Company House and the Land Registry but it shows the information is so readily available. It also shows how powerful these resources can be for private detectives or government agents.

Read his post in full here…

Channel 4 tech journalist tells all about dotcom past

What does a technology correspondent do before he becomes a journalist?

Found an online network for the Jewish community? Launch a search engine for adult porn? Or both as Channel 4 News’ Benjamin Cohen did, starting out at the tender age of 16.

At 4pm (GMT) today on Radio 4, Cohen will discuss his dotcom past – including his stint as an unlikely porn baron and his sale of SoJewish to a newspaper, which he says wasted £1 million – in I Was a Teenage Dotcom Millionaire.

“In the programme he tracks down the investors who lost everything in his ventures and former employees to work out why things went so wrong,” says the blurb and there’s plenty more on Cohen’s whizzkid past – he was at one point higher than Prince William on the Sunday Times’ Rich List and also founded PinkNews.co.ukin this Sunday Times’ interview.

MediaGuardian: Channel 4 axing News at Noon and More4 News

Channel 4 is cutting its lunchtime news bulletin and More4 News ‘as part of a cost-cutting move that will place a number of journalism jobs under threat,’ the Guardian reports.

“Staff at ITN, which produces Channel 4’s news output, were told of the decision at lunchtime today. Channel 4 said the aim of the cuts was to protect the flagship 7pm bulletin, presented by Jon Snow.”

Full story at this link…

Benjamin Cohen, technology correspondent for Channel 4 News, tweeted:

“Grim staff meeting. News at Noon and More4 News cancelled. Wonder how it will be reflected on-screen tonight (…)”


“Tweet that Channel4 News at Noon and More4 News are axed spread like wildfire. Very tough story to cover I assume.”

Update: A spokesperson for ITN told Journalism.co.uk:

“We are immensely proud of the high quality programming produced for Channel 4. Whilst we are very disappointed that the financial challenges facing the channel have left them with no option but to reduce budgets, we’ve worked in partnership with Channel 4 to identify savings which will not jeopardise the quality and integrity of the flagship Channel 4 News bulletin. We look forward to continuing to provide the programme for many years to come.”

Channel 4 News video: Lionel Barber on news’ paid-for future

More from Lionel Barber on the future as paid-for, following his speech at an industry event last month in which the FT editor predicted almost all news organisations would charge for online content in the next 12 months.

In an interview with Channel 4 News’ Benjamin Cohen, Barber explains how the FT’s part-free/part-subscription model could be replicated by other news organsiations; and gives his views on the BBC’s recent video plans.

“I think there is an inexorable momentum behind charging for content (…) What I would say to the competition and to the rest of the world is that it’s getting late. If we move now we can assure ourselves of a prosperous future.”