Tag Archives: International

National Geographic is embracing user-generated content with photo and music sharing

In an interview with Beet TV, the senior VP, for online content and development at National Geographic, Rob Covey, said that user generated content plays a central role in the publication’s multimedia coverage.

Opportunity for business journalists to visit Bangladesh

A global consultancy firm is offering the opportunity for senior business journalists and editors to travel to Dhaka to advise Bangladeshi business journalists.

Tahmina Shafique from BMB Mott MacDonald told Journalism.co.uk that they “would essentially want these experts to share their expertise and also provide input to our plan of improving the business sections.”

IFC BICF, who are working with BMB Mott MacDonald, will cover the costs of airfare and accommodation. The workshops and discussion sessions will be tailored to the expertise of the visiting journalists.

The event is part of the ‘Stakeholders Engagement Program’, which aims ‘to build government and non-government stakeholder awareness and advocacy capacity on investment climate issues and the need for reforms for sustainable private sector development in Bangladesh.’

The firms are working with the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce (DCCI) to host a series of events from October 30 – November 3 with the goal of making the country ‘a solid investment location, and establish partnering possibilities with local and foreign investors.’

Business journalists who are interested in the opportunity and would like more information should contact Tahmina Shafique as soon as possible, by emailing tahmina at mottmacbd dot com.

Your chance to vote in the American election without citizenship

We could hardly resist putting this pretty map up here, and the motive behind its design makes it even better. The reason is arrived in our inboxes today is because the Economist is inviting the world to vote in the American presidential election in its Global Electoral College (GEC) – we can dream that it would have an impact, at least.

Now, this isn’t some kind of ‘let’s influence the silly Americans’ à la the Guardian’s G2 2004, but a rather nice re-drawing of the electoral map. In the new version 195 of the world’s countries get a say in the outcome of the next presidential election.

“America’s presidential campaign has fascinated people around the world, the Economist.com’s editor, Daniel Franklin said In the release accompanying the map. “Maddeningly, though, only Americans get to vote. But what if the entire world had a say?”

Although based on the American system, it aims to put pay to the significance of the swing vote (‘there are few countries whose votes in the GEC are a foregone conclusion’). The vote closes November 2 2008 when the results will be announced live in New York.

Online, users can look at the world map to see how each of candidates is doing on a global, and country-by-country basis, and find links to the Economist’s election analysis. Right now it’s looking pretty good for Obama. For starters he has 94 per cent of votes in India, 88 per cent of votes in Britain, and 86 per cent support him in China.

It gets more complicated than this, so visit the website for more details.

Online Journalism Scandinavia: Waiting for the CAR to arrive

Earlier in the week we blogged that the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Lillehammer (GIJC) had received a little criticism for being a bit 1.0 in its coverage.  But if its partcipants made limited use of the social web to report live from the event, the Computer Assisted Reporting (CAR) contingent was out in force and here’s what they had to say.

Paul Myers, a BBC specialist in internet research, and web trainer, told Journalism.co.uk how slow CAR is in the UK.  “People pick up on the flashy stuff like Google maps, but not CAR,” Myers said.

“This is quite typical in my experience – lots of resistance when I started training journalists in using the internet at BBC in the early 90s. It has been uphill struggle to convince people to use the web,” he told us.

In an opening session, the director of computer-assisted reporting at ProPublica, Jennifer LaFleur, urged people not to be deterred by how complicated it sounds.  “Computer assisted reporting (CAR) is doing stories based on data analysis, but it’s really just working with public records,” she said.

“Don’t get intimidated by the statistics, maths or excel and access focus: these are just the tools we use to report with.”

Along with database editor Helena Bengtsson, from Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT, LaFleur highlighted several recent successful news stories that had been unearthed by using CAR.

One, an investigation into the voting patterns of Swedish EU-parliamentarians, showed that several of the most high-profile parlimentarians abstained in 50 per cent or more of cases, causing political outcry.

But, maybe journalists should leave the more high powered CAR to the IT people? No, was the blunt answer to that audience question. CAR should be par for the course, said LaFleur. “90 per cent of stories we presented here were done with Access and Excel. I am a journalist doing journalism,” she said.

“You have to interview the data as you interview a person,’ added Helena Bengtsson. “When I do a query on data… I’m asking the data as a journalist.

“There is a lot of information in the data that IT-people wouldn’t have discovered. We’re journos first, data-specialists second,” Bengtsson said.

GCIJ Lillehammer also ran classes on RSS, scraping the web, being an online ‘bloodhound’ and effective web searching.

“There are two reasons for that: we have the training expertise and see major need for training in web research and computer assisted reporting”,  Haakon Hagsbö, from SKUP (a Norwegian foundation for investigative journalism) and one of the organisers of GIJC  Lillehammer, told Journalism.co.uk.

“It has certainly been very popular at earlier conferences. People don’t know what they don’t know until they attend the training. It’s a real eyeopener, but they soon find that it’s not rocket science, as these are simple yet powerful tools. We see more and more examples of colleagues from all over the world who meet online and use the web for research.

In reponse to Isaac Mao’s comment that there had been a low take-up of live social media reporting from the conference, Haugsbö said: “We have streamed everything live online, but other than that I don’t have a good answer to this.”

AP: Malaysian authorities arrest top blogger after anti-government comments

Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin, who writes for website Malaysia Today, was seized under the Internal Security Act for allegedly posting about the ‘misdeeds’ of government leaders.

Access to Raja’s website had previously been cut off by internet service providers under a government ruling.

RSF: Russia’s public prosecutor calls for investigation into opposition website owner’s death

Russia’s public prosecutor Alexander Bastrykin has asked for an ‘objective and thorough’ investigation into the death of Magomed Yevloyev, the owner of the Ingush news website Ingushetiya.ru.

Yevloyev was shot dead last month while being held by interior ministry officials.