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Calling journalists to blog on International Women’s Day (Monday 8 March)

On Monday 8 March, it’s International Women’s Day, a global day “celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future,” partnered by Thomson Reuters.

To mark the occasion, Sky News is having a day of female-led broadcasting. The broadcaster announced:
“From sunrise to midnight, the news channel will be presented and produced exclusively by women in support of the globally renowned day, which honours the economic, political and social achievements of women with hundreds of events around the world.”

Reuters will be liveblogging here:

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on media owners “to take steps to raise women’s profile in the news, both as professionals and as news topics,” ahead of its survey to be released in Bahrain on Monday.

“The situation is deplorable,” said Aidan White, IFJ general secretary. “Media organisations remain dominated by men the world over. Women must be given equal access to leadership. When that happens it will create a sea change in the news agenda and the way media professionals are treated.”

Here at (where the editorial staff is predominantly female anyway), we thought it might be fun to host some themed comment on our blog. If you (male or female!) have a relevant post you’re burning to write, please let us know and we can publish it here – or link to your site/blog. Please contact judith [at] or leave a comment below.

  • Which parts of the industry are particularly male-dominated? Does it matter?
  • Has online technology helped balance the gender-split?
  • What would you like to see change within the industry?
  • What are your observations of male-female divide in the workplace?
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‘Blood, Sweat and Media’ – BCU graduates exhibit final projects

June 9th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events

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 or telephone 07802 687349.

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‘Trust and integrity in the modern media’ – Chris Cramer’s speech to Nottingham Trent University

This is the full transcript of a speech given by Chris Cramer, global head of multimedia for Reuters’ news operations, at Nottingham Trent University last night.’s report on the address can be read at this link.

So I accepted this invitation shortly after I retired from CNN international – where I was managing director and where I’d been for 11 years or so.

I became a consultant for Reuters news in January and now, in the last few months, have become their first global editor for multimedia.

So, I’m talking to you today as a working journalist, broadcaster and manager for 43 years now and what I would like to talk about is ‘trust and integrity in the modern media’.

I also want to ask the question of you whether the media has maybe lost the message somewhere along the way?

More »

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AOP: Today’s television ‘may not be worth sitting still for’, says US author Clay Shirky

October 2nd, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events

Even children can’t concentrate on television anymore, says Clay Shirky, the US-based internet educator, consultant and author of ‘Here comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations’.

In his speech at yesterday’s AOP Digital Publishing summit Shirky told an anecdote about the four-year-old daughter of one of his friends watching a film: “[S]he jumps round behind the TV and [starts] rooting around in the wires, looking for the mouse.”

Today’s television ‘may not be worth sitting still for’, but the computer is for everything.

The problem for media professionals is that the industry still holds the perception that everyone sees publishing in the same way, he explained.

But, he said, citing the example of Flickr, material may be ‘in public but [it’s] not for the public. The cost of putting something out in public has fallen so low.’

“This is a reversal of the usual pattern,” he said. ‘Gather and share has been the usual pattern [of publishing] since time immemorial’, but now grouping comes first.

He split his talk into three categories: the sharing culture of Flickr; the collaborative nature of Wikipedia; and the collective action of internet groupings, citing the use of a Facebook group to force HSBC to reverse its decision on withdrawing students’ interest-free overdrafts.

These examples, he said, show the ‘the environment that’s coming’ and a need to re-think the model’.

“If you wait to hear what the business model is you will hear that your competitors have perfected it,” he said.

Shirky compared today’s media trends to London’s 17th-century gin craze: at first people didn’t know what to do with what they were consuming, but they then learnt how to share, collaborate and collect.

“The action is where people are going after the consumers. Not just consuming, but producing and sharing.”

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After the blogging storm

September 2nd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

The winds have slowed down to a tropical storm, but the Gustav blogging continues.

The mainstream media is reporting on the blogging phenomenon as well as the actual hurricane:  the Chicago Tribune looks at the decision-making power of blogs and FollowTheMedia comments that the hurricane may stop print, but not the web.

Meanwhile, over at Poynter, NPR’s Andy Carvin examines the role of social media in Gustav coverage.

As we posted yesterday, this was one for the Twitterers and they tweet on as people assess the damage. A quick twitter local search shows how the twitterers regard the media professionals…

Twitter comment

Pictures can be found easily on this Flickr search and over at they reflect that it wasn’t as bad as they feared. Meanwhile, to prepare for reportage of the next natural disaster, the Blog Herald offers its disaster blogging tips.

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Social Media Journalist: “The problem with most news organisations is a lack of editorial understanding of social media” Kevin Anderson, Guardian blogs editor talks to reporters across the globe working at the collision of journalism and social media about how they see it changing their industry. This week, Kevin Anderson,

image of Kevin Anderson

1) Who are you and what do you do?
Kevin Anderson, blogs editor at

My title is misnomer seeing as desk editors handle most of the commissioning.

My role is two-fold. I spot newsworthy items bubbling up in social media – blogs, social news sites, Twitter, etc – and report on that or pass it along to the appropriate site editor.

I also seed and develop strategies to promote Guardian content in those social networks. My current focus is what I call real-time innovation. I use emerging tools for editorial purposes and feed back lessons we learn into our editorial development process.

2) Which web or mobile-based social media tools do you use on a daily basis and why?
People ask me how I stay on top of it all, and I say that my network is my filter. I have Twhirl and IM on constantly, sitting in the background. New media professionals and contacts around the world pass me things I need to read or stories I need to follow up on through Skype, Twitter, IM and is a great one-stop site for buzz, especially for the US elections, which I’m following right now. NetNewsWire, Flock and Ecto are my blogging tools of choice.

The Flock browser is good in a number of ways. Its Flickr uploader is great – better than Flickr’s until recently. It also allows you to add sites to multiple accounts.

You can go from reading your RSS feeds to blogging instantly in Flock, as it pulls NetNewsWire functionality into the browser too.

For publishing, a combination of Ecto and any good blogging platform creates the best multimedia journalism tool that I’ve ever used.

I recently got a Nokia N82. With its stellar camera and integrated Flickr uploader it has a lot of promise , but it’s hampered by poor data plans in the UK.

The mobile carriers are focusing on USB-based data plans to link computers to the mobile web, which maybe a good start, but there are still too few good data plans for phones.

I end up relying on WiFi, which on the N82 is much better than on previous phones.

3) Of the thousands of social media tools available could you single one out as having the most potential for news either as a publishing or newsgathering tool?
I think in terms of editorial objectives and then find an applicable tool. In 12 years of doing online journalism, I’ve had to learn hundreds of desktop tools, content management systems and now a dizzying range of social media tools.

You have to be aware of them to work effectively. Knowing about the tools allows me to do something on deadline without worrying whether it can be developed on time.

However, the problem with most news organisations isn’t a lack of tools or technology but a cultural lack of editorial understanding of social media, internet media and internet culture.

Most news organisations continue to try to force their existing editorial strategies into the social media space instead of considering editorial strategies that are appropriate for the space.

Online video isn’t television on the internet, just as blogs are not about publishing a newspaper with comments.

I can use Twitter both as a newsgathering and promotional tool, or I can just use it to broadcast headlines at people.

Social media can increase loyalty from visitors to a site and increase the time they spend on the site, but it’s not about the tools but the way that journalists use them.

4) And the most overrated in your opinion?
I hate to sound like a broken record because others have said this before, but I really think Facebook is overrated for the majority of our audiences.

Traditional journalists who had never seen, much less used a social network before, hyped it because it was a revelation to them.

However, for those who had used social networks before, it was YASN – yet another social network – only shinier, with 20 per cent more Web 2.0 goodness.

I believe in freeing content and making it available where the audiences are, so it makes sense for content to be easily available to Facebook users and for news organisations to have a presence there.

News organisations can learn things from the success of Facebook, but they should also study the life cycle of social networks and learn not only from their successes but also from their failures.

Allowing like-minded readers or viewers to connect and interact using your content as a focus is a good social media strategy.

Hosting and taking an active role in the conversations around your content is also a good social media strategy.

Building a site or service that externalises community and keeps the ‘unwashed masses’ at a safe distance from journalists creates nasty overheads. It also means managing communities and brings nothing to your journalism and very little to your site visitors.

Why would Facebook users decide to move to InsertNewspaperHere-book?

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Media Guardian: Media industry’s unpaid 288m overtime bill

February 18th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

The TUC says media professionals work unpaid overtime worth nearly £300 million a year.

Writing int he Guardian, John Plunkett say if you are a journalist, PR, photographer or work in broadcasting, then you are 50 per cent more likely to work overtime for free.

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New website to support Arab journalists

September 24th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

A new site for media professionals in the Middle East and North Africa will be launched on October 12. will cover news, trends and events in the regions’ media in both Arabic and English and will help Arabic-speaking journalists tackle the problems they face in their work. Its editorial team will be based in Beirut.

For more information read this PDF.

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