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MSN UK signs up with PressDisplay to add newspaper e-editions to site

September 3rd, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Newspapers

MSN UK will now feature its own version of PressDisplay.com, which provides an archive of digital editions of newspapers and magazines, according to a press release from earlier in the week.

PressDisplay, which is owned by newspaper distribution firm NewspaperDirect, features e-editions of titles including the Times, Guardian, Washington Post and the Australian.

MSN PressDisplayThe new feature on the web portal will be branded as MSN PressDisplay and will give users free access to the front page and two stories from any publication on the day of print. To access more stories and back issues, users will be required to register with PressDisplay and offered subscription offers, starting at 79p to buy a credit to view another article.

The service offers different packages for personal and corporate use including greater access to archived editions, for example, the £79.95 ‘Corporate Unlimited’ lets subscribers go back up to 60 days in the archive.

Titles can be searched by country, language or browsed alphabetically, and search preferences can be saved by individual users.

The service is compatible with iPhones, Blackberry and eReaders, the release said and also offers interactive features – such as the ability to comment on articles and share them via social networks or email.

“Together we have been able to deliver innovative features which give consumers access to a huge number of publications on the great NewspaperDirect interface. At a time when the survival of newspapers is being questioned we see this as a great outlet for newspaper content,” said Peter Bale, MSN executive producer, in the release.

MSN UK also recently launched its local news and information site MSN Local.

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Telegraph.co.uk: MSN discussing hyperlocal partnerships with local papers

Microsoft has been very chatty this week – see its long-awaited announcement of a search partnership with Yahoo.

On top of this and following the launch of the data-rich MSN Local, MSN executive producer Peter Bale told the Telegraph that the site was hoping to take feeds from local newspapers and map the content.

“Hyperlocal news online has never been more important and we think this is a really interesting growth area,” he said.

Payment for the feeds is a possibility or a linking/traffic driving arrangement could be made, he added.

Full post at this link…

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Microsoft’s Photosynth as a storytelling tool

Speaking at yesterday’s Association of Online Publisher’s (AOP) editorial technologies event, Microsoft executive producer Peter Bale extolled the virtues of Photosynth as a new visual storytelling tool.

The experimental, but publicly available tool, was used by CNN in its coverage of the Obama inauguration to thread 100s of photos together. These create a scenic panorama but can also be drilled into using additional feature Deep Zoom:

Screenshot of CNN's inauguration website

Within MSN its being used five or six times a week and the team are learning more about its capabilities with each use, Bale told Journalism.co.uk.

The product is being deployed commercially e.g for motoring sections to show car interiors in high detail. MSN also used PhotoSynth to display professional and user-contributed images during the recent heavy snowfall in the UK.

“What we’d like to do a lot more of is multiple crowd-contributed pictures where you can get several hundred or thousand people contributing a picture of a similar event, stitched together in a communal panorama,” he explained.

Photosynth works in combination with Microsoft’s alternative to Flash, Silverlight, which Bale says is ideally set up to enable map mash-ups and overlaying other content onto the threaded images.

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MTV UK’s relaunched news site live today

June 9th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Uncategorized

MTV UK has redesigned its news website to ramp up its multimedia offering.
More video content, blogs and podcasts have been introduced to the revamped site, which went live today.

“MTV News is evolving and adapting to suit our viewers’ needs giving them access to the content they want across multiple platforms,” says Lisa Stokoe, executive producer of MTV News, in a press release.

“The success of the news section on mtv.co.uk suggests our users are keen to read entertainment news online, and the refreshed news site ensures that MTV News will become a one-stop destination for all music, celebrity and entertainment news”.

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MSN mashes blogs and entertainment maps

May 13th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Uncategorized

MSN has created two new mapping tools using content from its blogging and entertainment channels.

The SpacesVision map displays updates from bloggers on the site’s Live Spaces platform in almost real-time.

It describes itself as the latest stage in the ‘vision map genre’ following established mapping services FlickrVision and TwitterVision.

Meanwhile the Celebrity Spotter tool mashes up a feed of events with a live map to pinpoint where celebrities will be in the UK over the next four weeks.

Peter Bale, executive producer of MSN.co.uk, said the two creations were ‘just the start’ of the site’s experiments with mash ups.

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Innovations in Journalism – Gnooze.com

April 14th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Journalism, Online Journalism

We give developers the opportunity to tell us journalists why we should sit up and pay attention to the sites and devices they are working on. Today, don;t take your journalism too seriously – it’s the daily internet comedic news program Gnooze.

gnooze.jpg

1) Who are you and what’s it all about?
I’m Marta Costello, host, writer and executive producer of the daily internet comedic news program, Gnooze. Myself and Brain Bartelt make up make up Amazing Cosbars Productions, a two-person team, jack-of-all-trades TV/film/internet circus act. Gnooze is our latest brainchild.

Gnooze is a three-ish minute, news of the day improv/scripted update told from all sides of the story.

2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?
As you know, the news model is changing. Seven years ago, I was part of an effort to “converge” a newsroom, to make the internet a third prong of dissemination for the media outfit. Now less than a decade later, the idea that one would have to actively converge a newsroom is completely defunct.

The internet is no longer an addendum to an established television or newspaper giant: it is a primary source of global information. We’re hopeful that Gnooze and other internet shows like it can be part of a return to the early days of journalism, reporting designed to share information, not just to get ratings.

3) Is this it, or is there more to come?
With any luck, there are many more to come.

4) Why are you doing this?
When we began in August 2007, the goal was mainly to get in the habit of daily production and build an audience that would hopefully carry over to future endeavors.

However, as our base has grown and our focus refined, it became apparent to me that perhaps we could be a force in changing the face of journalism today. I refuse to get caught up in the hype, the breathless reporting of non-news just because everyone else is leading with it.

5) What does it cost to use it?
Free!

6) How will you make it pay?
We’ve already had some interest from investors. However, we’d prefer to generate revenue from advertisers and sponsors.

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AP pushing 250 stories a week through its newly launched YouTube channel

March 12th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

The Associated Press is pushing up to 250 news videos through its YouTube channel every week, according to Beet.tv.

Though it launched little over a month ago the channel already has 1,671 videos, edited packages and raw footage of events, stored online for users to watch and drop into their own sites and blogs – although breaking news seems to be kept off the channel.

Kevin Roach, executive producer of AP Online Video, told Beet.tv: “Licensing content to these outlets is a way of protecting the value of AP’s news in an environment where it is easy for a user to post our content without permission or payment. Showcasing video clips on You Tube is in keeping with AP’s board-approved commercial strategy to protect our intellectual property and to help AP offset the costs of its global newsgathering operation. We’re monitoring our foray into social media closely.”

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Breaking news of the UK Earthquake online and off

February 28th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

News of an earthquake that struck the UK in the early hours of Wednesday morning caused a surge in traffic to Sky.com/news with more page impressions recorded on the site at 1am than 9am, the site’s executive producer Julian March writes on the Editors’ Blog.

A similar effect was experienced by the Nottingham Evening Post’s site, HoldtheFrontPage reports, after it posted news of the quake within 30 minutes.

The site saw 1,821 readers visit between 1am and 2am – increasing this to 6,000 by 9am, 20,000 page views and 60 comments on the story – though it’s a shame they appear to have only opened this feature from 6am.

Both great examples of why it’s crucial to break news online – whether a local or national title – and get ‘ownership’ of the story to keep drawing those viewers back.

The BBC’s online and radio coverage was hot on the heels of the incident, though the video below – courtesy of student journalism blogger Dave Lee – suggests their TV news had to play catch up.

(I like the idea of competitive news watching between channels)

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TMZ streams live celebrity video from streetcams

February 20th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Uncategorized

Celebrity website TMZ is streaming live video from a network of webcams at key celebrity hangouts in the US, according to a report by CNET news.

To create the 24-hour-surveillance-society-meets-celebrity-obsessed-culture venture, the webcams are not stationary, but are operated by crews sent out to different locations, whether these be top restaurants or hot dog stalls on a street corner.

“It’s fun and raw and fresh, and it fits the personality of our site,” says Harry Levin, executive producer of the site, in the article.

The cameras have already picked up Paris Hilton’s brother Barron being released on bail and were started during Britney Spears’ court appearances last October.

There’s nowhere left to hide.

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