National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has learned of plans to reduce frequency of the Birmingham Post and potentially cut eight weekly titles from the region.
In an industry facing fewer jobs and more journalism graduates, the concept of the entrepreneurial journalist (an idea freelancers will be familiar with) is growing in popularity.
Earlier in the year, Birmingham’s City University launched MAs in Online Journalism and Freelance Journalism with a strong focus on entrepreneurship and enterprise.
“We will be exploring new business models and I think that is the chief difference. We’re certainly not relying on the existing structures,” Online Journalism MA course leader Paul Bradshaw said in March.
“Ultimately the industry is crying out for this and there’s clearly a demand for it.”
So it was good to hear from Newcastle University‘s David Baines and Dr Ciara Kennedy at Friday’s Association of Journalism Education (AJE) conference about the institution’s plans to bring more of these skills into journalism training.
The university has already introduced business and entrepreneurial training to other disciplines using its Solvers programme – next year will see the same crossover with the journalism school.
The aim? To teach ‘a new world view, the benefits of an entrepreneurial life, knowledge of how to and the start-up process, networking skills’.
Speaking about the changes, Baines said elements of the traditional freelance journalist would be developed – for example, expanding journalists’ business skills, such as negotiating payment for work.
“To be self-employed is not necessarily the same as being enterprising,” he explained.
“Do journalists want to be a business? They want to be journalists. We’ve a long standing tradition of journalistic values being established against business values.”
The idea of entrepreneurship will be embedded in the curriculum with students expected to bring more than just starting points for their projects to the table, with ideas to develop them beyond the course.
One area that these skills will feed into – hyperlocal publishing and journalism, says Baines: “Hyperlocal – isn’t that a business model that a couple of our graduates could take on? They could take on local papers on their own terms and do it better than them.”
Birmingham City University’s School of Media will exhibit final projects from its media and communications students at an event this week – viewing on June 11 for media professionals; public view on June 12 – at Fazeley Street Studios in Birmingham.
The event will highlight the skills and abilities acquired by this year’s graduates during the three-year course.
Students will show their final year production projects from their specialist areas, which include television, radio, PR, journalism, photography, new media and music industries.
“I think this is a good opportunity to make ourselves known to the media industry and to meet potential professionals who are interested in our work,” says Mohammed Adnan (final year student on the media and communication degree).
For more information contact Fatima Laheria at email@example.com or telephone 07802 687349.
Plans for the BBC and ITV to share resources in a regional news partnership have hit an obstacle, with the parties unable to agree on where to trial the scheme.
According to this report, Manchester and Birmingham are both being mooted for the pilot, which could see the broadcasters share newsrooms, technology and video footage.
Nicky Getgood who blogs about the Birmingham district of Digbeth, at Digbeth is Good, has been a little riled of late, by some members of the mainstream media and their perception of bloggers. She cites a few particular examples and speaks up for the local blogger:
“I’m not mad (eccentric yes, mad no). I’m not a liar (too much Catholic guilt for that). Most importantly, I’m Not Stupid. I actually don’t think I’m that unusual in being Not Stupid. A lot of bloggers are Not Stupid enough to realise filling a blog with personal gripes, neighbourhood wars, scurrilous rumours and conjecture makes for a miserable read and isn’t going to get them or their blog very far.
“[Local bloggers] tell stories about our community from our own personal perspective, admittedly – I have never made any claim that Digbeth is Good is completely impartial – but by in large we keep things real. And as we go on telling local stories using our own, personalised voices people reading them get to know us, talk to us and hopefully, if we’re doing it right, trust us.”
Journalism.co.uk attended the journalism and enterprise unconference, JEEcamp, last Friday.
Reports on the day will follow, including:
Kyle Macrae, founder of Scoopt, on why entrepreunership is the only option for journalists now
James Hatts from London-SE1.co.uk on community and hyperlocal news publishing
There’s already been some great videos, pictures and posts from the event – see Michael Haddon’s round-up, Martin Belam’s posts and John Welsh’s blog to name but a few – but some additional (rough) audio from Sue Greenwood’s presentation on self-publishing platform Sweeble and two panel discussions are below.
Panel 1 featuring: (to come)
Journalism.co.uk’s own John Thompson (@johncthompson)
Jon Bounds, Birmingham: It’s Not Shit (@bounder)[audio:http://www.journalism.co.uk/sounds/jeepanel.mp3]
Sue Heseltine from Birmingham City University
Chaired by Joanna Geary, web development journalist, business, Times Online (@timesjoanna)
Panel 2 featuring:
Dave Harte, economic development manager, Digital Birmingham
Jo Wadsworth, web editor, Brighton Argus (@jowadsworth)
Robin Hamman, Headshift (@cybersoc)
Andy Dickinson, journalism lecturer at UCLAN, (@digidickinson)
Robin Morley, assistant editor new media, BBC English Regions[audio:http://www.journalism.co.uk/sounds/secondpanel.mp3]
A Flickr image of Birmingham’s city skyline was mistakenly used as a backdrop for a BBC news bulletin, the corporation has said, offering £75 usage fee to the photographer.
A series of major advertising deals have been signed this week, starting with the creation of a national online real estate ad network between 282 US newspapers and Zillow.com.
The agreement, Editor&Publisher reports, will see the papers and Zillow sharing each other’s advertising inventories and splitting revenue.
US newspapers, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, aggregators, and local TV news websites are among 40 outlets signed up to the network.
Under the partnership the media organisations will carry Politico content on the political sections of their websites and feature ads sold by Politico’s sales division. The outlets can also run their own ads alongside Politico content.
Meanwhile in the UK, Birmingham radio station BRMB has joined up with classified advertising site AdFlyer to create a website for motoring ads targeted at the west Midlands. Users can upload an ad for the first week free of charge, a release from AdFlyer said.
In addition to the launch of a new website, The Birmingham Mail is looking at developing and hosting a series of community-based education websites.
In interview with Journalism.co.uk, editor Steve Dyson said the newspaper was looking at a range of options for local community sites.
One of the options, he said, was to host sites for local educational institutions, where students would write the content.
“What we are planning further down the line is local community websites, again hosted by the Birmingham Mail, but they may well be sites in their own right,” he told Journalism.co.uk.
“We are looking at a variety of community sites, mainly around schools and media courses in schools, where they have asked if they can fill a local community website for us.
“We are talking to educational groups about it. There are about 15 schools around Birmingham that are developing media courses and as part of the courses they have to have websites which have to be updated daily by students. What we are talking to them about is hosting it for them.”
Dyson stressed that these sites were very much in the early planning stage but were being considered along the same lines as the series of community sites launched last year by the Teesside Gazette, another Trinity Mirror paper.