Tag Archives: Professor

How Westminster students covered last week’s Journalism in Crisis conference

I got a peek behind the stage curtain last week, at the University of Westminster / British Journalism Review Journalism in Crisis conference (May 19/20). Geoffrey Davies, head of the Journalism and Mass Communications department, gave me a mini-guided tour of the equipment borrowed for the event – it allowed the live-streaming of the conference throughout; a real bonus for those at home or in the office.

Jump to video list here (includes: Mark Thompson / Nick Davies / Paul Lashmar / Boris Johnson and a host of academics and journalists from around the world)

The Journalism.co.uk beat means that we cover a fair few industry and academic conferences, and so we get to compare the technology efforts of the hosts themselves. While Twitter conversation didn’t flow as much as at some events (not necessarily a negative thing – see some discussion on that point at this link) the students’ own coverage certainly made use of their multimedia skills. I contacted a few of the students and lecturers afterwards to find out a few more specifics, and how they felt it went.

“We streamed to the web via a system we borrowed from NewTek Europe, but might purchase, called Tricaster. It’s a useful piece of equipment that is a television studio in a box,” explained Rob Benfield, a senior lecturer at the University, who produced the students’ coverage.

“In this case it allowed us to add graphics and captions downstream of a vision-mixer. It also stores all the material we shot in its copious memory and allowed us to store and stream student work, messages and advertising material of various sorts without resorting to other sources.

“Some of our third year undergraduates quickly mastered the technology which proved to be largely intuitive. We streamed for two solid days without interruption.”

Conference participants might also have seen students extremely diligently grabbing each speaker to ask them some questions on camera  (making Journalism.co.uk’s cornering of people a little bit more competitive). The videos are linked at the end of this post.

Marianne Bouchart, a second year at the University, blogged and tweeted (via @WestminComment) along with postgraduate student, Alberto Furlan.

“We all were delighted to get involved in such an important event,” Bourchart told Journalism.co.uk afterwards. “It was an incredible opportunity for us to practice our journalistic skills and gave to most of us a first taste of working in journalism. I couldn’t dream of anything better than to interview BBC director general Mark Thompson.

“We worked very hard on this project and we are all very happy it went on that well. My experience as an editor managing a team of journalists to cover the event was fantastic. We encountered a few scary moments, some panic attacks, but handled the whole thing quite brilliantly in the end – for inexperienced journalists. I can’t wait to be working with this team again.”

A sample of the Westminster students’ coverage:

If you missed the Journalism.co.uk own coverage, here’s a round-up:

Videos from the Westminster University students at this link. Interviewees included:

  • Paul Lashmar, Is investigative journalism in the UK dying or can a ‘Fifth Estate’ model revitalise it? An examination of whether the American subscription and donation models such as Pro Publica, Spot.US and Truthout are the way
  • Haiyan Wang, Investigative journalism and political power in China —A case study of three major newspapers’ investigative reporting over Chenzhou corruption between April 2006 and November 2008
  • Maria Edström, The workplace and education of journalists – myths and facts
  • Shan Wu, Can East Asia produce its own “Al-Jazeera”? Unravelling the challenges that face channel NewsAsia as a global media contra-flow
  • Yael .M. de Haan, Media under Fire: criticism and response in The Netherlands, 1987-2007
  • Esra Arsan, Hopelessly devoted? Turkish journalism students’ perception of the profession
  • Professor James Curran, ‘Journalism in Crisis,’ Goldsmiths College
  • Marina Ghersetti, Swedish journalists’ views on news values
  • Igor Vobic, Multimedia news of Slovenian print media organisations: Multimedia on news Websites of delo and žurnal media
  • Anya Luscombe, The future of radio journalism: the continued optimism in BBC Radio News
  • Tamara Witschge,The tyranny of technology? Examining the role of new media in news journalism
  • Juliette De Maeyer, Journalism practices in an online environment
  • Colette Brin, Journalism’s paradigm shifts: a model for understanding long-term change
  • Dimitra Dimitrakopoulou, Crisis equals crisis: How did the panic spread by the Greek media accelerate the economy crisis in the country?
  • Matthew Fraser, Why business journalism failed to see the coming economic crisis
  • Michael Bromley, Citizen journalism: ‘citizen’ or ‘journalism’ – or both?
  • Vincent Campbell, ‘Citizen Journalism’: A crisis in journalism studies?
  • Martin Nkosi Ndlela, The impact of technology on Norwegian print journalism
  • James S McLean, The future of journalism: Rethinking the basics
  • Mathieu Simonson, The Belgian governmental crisis through the eye of political blogging
  • Nick Davies, freelance journalist and author of Flat Earth News
  • Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
  • Jonathan Coad, partner at Swan Turton solicitors
  • Mark Thompson, BBC director-general
  • Hacks beat Flacks to knockout in Pall Mall debate

    Normally it is very sedate – the Pall Mall world of the Gentlemans’ Clubs. On Monday night it was a bare knuckle fight to the finish as the hacks took on the flacks in a Media Society/CIPR debate at the Foreign Press Association on whether this union was a marriage that would ever work. The Hacks won, for a change, persuading some of the 80 strong audience, mainly PRs, to change their mind between the beginning and the end of the session.

    Both sides have been reeling since the runaway success of Nick Davies’ book ‘Flat Earth News’ and its unearthing of acres of ‘churnalism’ – PR disguised as journalism – in the press. The Hacks were ably represented by three Terracotta Tigers: Rosie Millard of the Sunday Times, Roy Greenslade of City University and the Guardian, and Maggie Brown, the distinguished media writer. Up against them Peter Luff MP, once and still a PR man, and Jo Tanner whose PR skills helped elect the Boris Johnson as Mayor of London last year.

    The whole match was taking place in a rather significant setting. It was here in January 2004 on the stairs of the Foreign Press Association that Alastair Campbell announced his ‘victory’ over the BBC after his PR ‘triumph’ on the Hutton report.

    Sue Macgregor, late of the BBC now of national treasure status, refereed the whole shooting match. Millard played the men from the start accusing Flacks of ‘getting in the way of the truth’ week after week after week in her Sunday Times work. She reserved her especial ire for the PR machine of Buckingham Palace, ‘a venal institution’ whose spinners ‘bamboozled the public’ on Royalty.

    Peter Luff, only lightly mired in the recent MPs’ expenses scandal was having no truck with the journalist as saint. “Which journalist ever got the sack for getting it wrong?” he asked. On that current PR Disaster, Jon Stonborough, the former ‘spinner’ for Speaker Michael Martin was in the audience and was called upon to advise him. He was less than warm in his praise and less than generous in a forecast of career longevity for the embattled ‘Gorbals Mick’! [Ed – John submitted this piece this morning, timely given Martin’s announcement today that he will step down]

    Hacks and Flacks agreed that they were all ‘truth’ tellers and that there was an inverse relationship between the number of PRs now employed and the number of journalists unemployed. That was not a healthy sign.

    Greenslade, the sage of the internet and soi-disant conscience of British journalism, was equally punchy, producing a roll call of journos killed in the last two years.

    He then very effectively contrasted this with a blank sheet showing the number of PRs killed in action. The opposition was put firmly on the back foot by this low punch.

    Jo Tanner pledged, as they all did, to always tell the truth (however they defined it) and delighted in recalling the story of how she had exposed Baroness Jay as not the product of an ‘ordinary grammar’ as she claimed on television but a prize product of Blackheath Girls School. Good journalism for a PR.

    Maggie Brown revealed a trick of her trade – a simple device to get round the PRs who controlled access to celebrities and powerful people in the media and elsewhere. She simply ignored them and went round their backs. She cited the example of Jay Hunt, the controller of BBC One whose PR blocked her access. Maggie simply interviewed her proud Professor father instead!

    It was left to a super hack Phil Harding, former Today editor and Controller of BBC editorial policy to point out the idea of a marriage between the two was a pure chimera: “We do different jobs.” We do and did. Not a marriage more a friendship of distrust.

    After their defeat – smiling as always – it was simply left to the Flacks to buy the drinks for the Hacks…

    What would a UK-based ProPublica look like?

    In today’s MediaGuardian, City University of New York (CUNY) journalism professor Jeff Jarvis writes that that foundations will not take over newspapers, à la Scott Trust / Guardian relationship. He told Journalism.co.uk: “It is an empty hope for white knights to save news from inevitable change and business reality. But he says: “We’ll see foundation and public support able to fund a decent number of investigations.”

    Yesterday, Journalism.co.uk published comments from New York University (NYU) professor, Jay Rosen, and ProPublica’s managing editor, Stephen Engelberg, as well as from Jarvis in a feature looking at the sustainability of ‘lump sum’ funded journalism – they all said that the point was not to look at ‘one solution’ but at a hybrid of funding opportunities (an issue picked up by Julie Starr here.)

    US-based ProPublica, funded by the Sandler Foundation, for example, employs full-time journalists to conduct investigations which are then supplied to other media bodies. Journalism.co.uk raised the point with some of the NYJournalism interviewees (fuller features forthcoming) that similar foundation funding is a bit trickier to come by in the UK: just what would a UK version of ProPublica look like and could it be funded?

    Would the equivalent of ProPublica work over here? Or, for that matter, something in the mould of Spot.Us, New America Media, the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, or the Center for Public Integrity?

    Last week the Guardian’s Stephen Moss mentioned Paul Bradshaw’s new project, HelpMeInvestigate.com in his giant G2 feature on the troubled regional newspaper industry. It’s a proposal not quite on the scale of ProPublica, which has an annual operating budget of $10 million, and it’s seen success so far, making it to third stage of the (American) Knight News Challenge 2009 and it awaits news of further progress.

    How about existing organisations in the UK? There’s the Centre for Investigative Journalism with its annual summer school, but it doesn’t run and supply investigations in the way ProPublica does. There’s MySociety which can help journalists with stories, but is not designed as a primarily journalistic venture.

    Author of Flat Earth News, Nick Davies, has previously told the Press Gazette (which has just announced its last issue) about his idea of models of ‘mini-media’.

    “It may be that we are looking at funding mini-media or a foundation that will give money to groups of journalists if they can pass the quality threshold,” Davies said at an National Union of Journalists (NUJ) event in January, as Press Gazette reported.

    “The greatest question in journalism today is what will be our ‘third source’ of funding,” Davies told Journalism.co.uk last week.

    “If advertising and circulation can no longer pay for our editorial operation, we have to find this third source.

    “I suspect that place by place and case by case, the answer to the question will be different, a matter of wrapping up whatever package of cash is possible, using donations or grants or sponsorship or micropayments from foundations, rich individuals, local councils, businesses, NGOs, universities – anybody who can understand that the collapse of newspapers is not just about journalists losing their jobs but about everybody losing an essential source of information.

    “And in an ideal world, central government would lead the way by setting up a New Media Fund to provide seed money to help these non-profit mini-media to establish themselves and to find their particular third source.”

    So could a third source-funded model work? And what shape would it take? It’s a question Journalism.co.uk will continue to ask. Please share your thoughts below.

    MST response to Press Complaints Commission letter: “Suggestion of bad faith is entirely unjustified,” says Salz

    Anthony Salz, who is chair of the Independent Press Review Group and also on the Board of the Media Standards Trust, has replied to a letter from the chair of the Press Complaints Commission, Sir Christopher Meyer, (February 19, 2009), which made criticisms of the MST review calling for reform of UK press regulation, published on February 9, 2009.

    Wednesday 11th March

    Dear Sir Christopher,

    Thank you for your letter of 19 February.

    We will, of course, take it into account in the second stage of the review. In the meantime I feel I should reply to some particular assertions you make about the report.

    1 Bad Faith

    You suggest that the review is not being undertaken in good faith because we did not ask you to contribute to what you describe as a strident report. This suggestion of bad faith is entirely unjustified. I also strongly object to your personalised attack on the Director of the Media Standards Trust (MST).

    The MST is an independent registered charity. It operates much like any other think tank and receives funding by donations from Foundations and individuals. This has included grants from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Nuffield Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. It was set up to foster high standards in news on behalf of the public.

    We state clearly in the report that it represents Part 1 of a two-stage review. The first part is an analysis of the current system of self-regulation (including, apart from the PCC, the legal cases, issues concerning user-generated content, the Motorman investigation, the challenge to achieve consistency of regulation and governance of regulators). This is based on publicly available information and on the findings of a recent YouGov poll that the MST commissioned.

    No-one was formally consulted in the first stage. The analysis in Part 1 was always intended to start a debate and provide a basis from which we could consult widely. Consultation with the PCC alone in advance would have been inappropriate. We felt it important that Part 1 should not be influenced by a key body with a particular interest. The PCC has shown that it is, of course, well placed to obtain media coverage for its reply.

    All members of the Review Group feel that there is a need for change and that the report facilitates a debate. We are keen that the PCC, those who have been involved with it and its stakeholders are part of that debate.

    2 PCC Statistics

    You claim that the report “fundamentally misinterpret[s] the PCC’s statistics”. Your letter cites one statistic in support of this claim – that less than 1 in 250 complaints is upheld in adjudication. This statistic is not in fact in the report, though it was mentioned by Sir David Bell on air. It derived from your 2007 Annual Report. Page 25 states that the PCC adjudicated in 32 cases of which 16 were upheld against newspapers, from a total of 4,340 complaints (equating to 1 upheld adjudication for every 271 complaints).

    As your letter illustrates, the PCC’s figures and terminology are somewhat difficult to follow. The explanation in your letter is helpful, as is the recent addition to your website “the Facts behind the Figures”. Both show why readers of your published materials have had a hard time understanding what is going on. However you explain your terminology, 32 adjudications from 4,340 complaints is to me a small number of adjudications.

    Our report acknowledges that you dispute the value of using adjudications as a measure (on page 28). We feel, nevertheless, that the number of adjudications is important – since it is the only public sanction the PCC has. Others have also argued for their importance. Professor Greenslade last year, for example, told the House of Lords Select Committee that “The failing of the PCC is the failing to adjudicate often enough”. Without adjudication, he went on to say, “newspapers escape censure and punishment too often when they actually at the final hour do some kind of deal to get themselves out of a mess, when they breach the rules as it were”.

    3 Inaccuracy

    You stated on air, and repeat in your letter, that the report has many inaccuracies. In addition to the 1:250 point above, you cite only the statement that the ASA was modelled on the PCC. You are right: it was in fact modelled on the Press Council, the predecessor to the PCC (Richard Shannon, A Press Free and Responsible, p.13). The substance of the point still stands but we will, of course, correct the reference.

    4 2007 Select Committee

    In your letter you criticise the report for failing to mention the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, 2007. You suggest that this Select Committee makes the PCC accountable. The CMS Select Committee has led important examinations of aspects of self-regulation although it is not constituted to hold the PCC to account. Select Committees are held at irregular intervals and the Committee ‘chooses its own subjects of inquiry’ (from its website). The 2007 Select Committee, for example, focused closely on the issues raised by the harassment of Kate Middleton, Clive Goodman’s conviction, and Operation Motorman.

    Reference to the 2007 Select Committee report might have been useful. It expressed concern about the ‘complacency of the industry’s reaction to evidence presented by the Information Commissioner showing that large numbers of journalists had had dealings with a private investigator known to have obtained personal data by illegal means’ (p.3). It went on to say ‘we are severely critical of the journalists’ employers for making little or no real effort to investigate the detail of their employees’ transactions. If the industry is not prepared to act unless a breach of the law is already shown to have occurred, then the whole justification for self-regulation is seriously undermined’ (p.3).

    It said that the current form of press self-regulation offered more protection than relying exclusively on the law. This is important and should indeed be a purpose of self-regulation. It noted (as we do in our report) that the Press Complaints Commission ‘has evolved’, and said that it had ‘become a more open body which provides a better service to complainants’. However, it also made clear that ‘This Report is not a broad look at whether the system of self-regulation as currently operated by the industry is the best way to curb unjustified practices and punish those who publish material obtained in such ways. To reach a properly informed view on such a complex subject would require more time and more evidence’ (p.5).

    The same Select Committee concluded its Summary by saying that ‘The system for regulation of the press raises serious and complex issues which may merit a broader investigation than we have been able to undertake here. We believe that this is a subject which… deserves careful examination in the future’ (p.4).

    These statements, taken together, both acknowledge positive changes in the PCC and support the case for a broader review of press self-regulation.

    5 Some Substantive Questions

    You say the PCC must give priority to the forthcoming hearing of the Select Committee. After this, I would be interested to meet with you and your colleagues to hear the PCC’s views on some of the substantive questions that are raised about future press regulation. For example:
    •    Is it sufficient that the PCC’s constitution essentially sets it up only as a complaints-handling body?
    •    Would it not be preferable to avoid having working editors on the Press Complaints Commission (as distinct from those who have worked in journalism)?
    •    Would the position of the PCC as a regulator be assisted if it could be given greater powers to ‘enforce’ its decisions for the benefit of a complainant, making it more ‘competitive’ with the legal route?
    •    Would you consider that there should ideally be some structure for independent appeal against a decision made by the PCC?
    •    How might the PCC change in order to meet growing expectations of public accountability (expectations that are fed by the press)?
    •    Why should the PCC not be covered by the Freedom of Information Act (assuming that it would be possible to protect the privacy of complainants who wanted it)?
    •    Is there any reason why the PCC should not make its sources of revenue transparent?

    We have been clear that our first report is a starting point for debate. Though I welcome your response, I do not accept your characterisation of our report.

    I look forward to a discussion in the coming months of the issues raised about the future shape of press regulation.

    Yours sincerely,
    Anthony Salz

    Comment: Treasury committee shoots the media messenger over UK banking crisis

    Yesterday saw representatives from the UK’s financial journalism industry give evidence to a House of Commons Treasury Committee inquiry into the banking crisis.

    So what conclusions were drawn about the media’s ‘role’ in the crisis?

    A fairly resounding ‘it wasn’t our fault’ from the journalists gathered (Financial Times editor Lionel Barber, BBC business editor Robert Peston, Daily Mail city editor Alex Brummer, Sky News’ Jeff Randall and the Guardian’s Simon Jenkins):

    • The UK’s banks and economy, in particular Northern Rock, were headed for a crash anyhow and no amount of warning/doomsaying from the media would have changed this. No one – neither the media nor those in charge of the financial institutions were expecting the force of what was going to happen to the economy

    While Simon Jenkins said in retrospect he ‘wouldn’t have done it or had it done differently’, some of yesterday’s session echoed Robert Peston’s comments to UCLAN’s Journalism Leaders Forum, when the BBC journalist said there were some lessons to learn from the media’s handling of the situation:

    • Alex Brummer said a lot of the reporting of the financial breakdown was handled by young, inexperienced journalists staffing finance desks, most of whom weren’t around in the last crisis. If you’ve only seen boom times it was even easier to take the press releases/briefings from businesses and financial orgs at face value and not question them, he said.
    • Business journalists are in competition with the richest organisations in the world, added Brummer, and city editors did not push hard enough to get negative stories about the economy higher up the news agenda during the boom period.
    • Jeff Randall agreed with Peston’s UCLAN comments, saying that it could be argued the public had been allowed to live in economic optimism for too long, fuelled by the media.
    • According to Lionel Barber, there’s no point hiding stories of the recession behind ‘happy talk’.
    • On the BBC’s coverage, Robert Peston said each of the stories about the banking crisis were published in the public interest; though Brummer said the public had been very ill-served by the media’s coverage of the economy and more must be done to deepen economic understanding.

    An informative discussion with some of the leading journalists in the UK field, yet why had they been summoned in the first place?

    Prompted via a Twitter chat with NYU professor Jay Rosen, shouldn’t we be asking who is saying the media is to blame for the banking crisis in the first place?

    One question from the committee to Peston struck me as particularly misplaced in this respect, as he was asked what he thought about being a market force in his own right. In his own words, Peston is just a journalist reporting on the facts and information he receives.

    Yes – there are lessons to be learned from looking at whether media coverage of the banking crisis indirectly added to public anxiety about the situation or contributed indirectly to already falling share prices.

    But as Lionel Barber pointed out yesterday, it was never the media’s intention to break the banks, but simply to report on the situation. Peston’s stories, the man himself said, were verified reports from close contacts and sources and built on as much information as he could gather.

    At the UCLAN event, Peston said the ‘primary responsibility for the global economic and banking crisis does not lie with the media’ – but why is the media having to defend itself. In a feisty exchange, Barber posed a similar question to the committee: why didn’t the government bail out Lehman Bros – this failure could be seen as escalating the crisis just as much as any media role.

    It was joked that the only five journalists to have spotted the crisis ahead of time were sitting in the committee room – evidence that there were dissenting voices in a sea of stories about never-ending house price rises.

    Evidence that this was an exercise in shooting the messenger

    Rebekah Wade’s first public speech in full

    If the Wordle and other coverage isn’t enough, here’s the Hugh Cudlipp speech by the editor of the Sun, Rebekah Wade, in full [note: may have differed very slightly in actual delivery]:

    The challenging future of national and regional newspapers is now the staple diet of media commentators.

    If you have been reading the press writing about the press you’d all be forgiven for questioning your choice of career.

    I’m not denying we’re in a tough place – we are.

    But I don’t want to use this speech to make grand statements on the future of our industry.

    I want to talk to you about journalism.

    Continue reading

    A tribute to a brave Guyanese newspaper editor

    John Mair, television producer and associate senior lecturer in journalism at Coventry University, shares his thoughts on David De Caires, the Guyanese newspaper editor who died last November. A memorial service was held in the UK on Friday.

    David De Caires was a Great Guyanese. His death – last November 1 – robbed Guyana of a brave and noble editor and publisher. The Stabroek News lit the beacon of press freedom, since followed by the likes of the Kaieteur News.

    Last Friday in London, his second home, his life was celebrated by his family and the great and good of the UK diaspora in a memorial service. The group that the late President Hoyte once disparingly called ‘The Putagee Mafia’ were out in force.

    An overcast London winter’s day. The spiritual headquarters of the Jesuits in Britain, the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Farm Street, Mayfair. This is the home of High Catholicism where sinners come to repent. Decaires, despite his Catholic education at the British Catholic Public School Stonyhurst, later became an agnostic. One hundred plus were gathered to celebrate his life and achievements and to pray for his soul.

    The faces in the congregation were predominantly white. The Decaires family, including widow Doreen, daughter Isabel and her partner Michael Atherton the former England Cricket captain. It was a gathering redolent of a bygone age in what was known as ‘BG’. Two former British High Commissioners-Edward Glover and Stephen Hiscocks, plus Guyana’s long-serving (and soon retiring?) High Commissioner to London Laleshwar Singh among the congregration. Professor Clem Seecharan there too, to pay tribute to a fellow restless mind, the Rev Ivelaw Bowman, Canon of Southward Cathedral, to salute a fellow Guyanese.

    The tributes paid were warm. Atherton in his deep Lancashire burr, Nick King in pukka English: an old friend telling tales out of Stonyhurst about the ‘Dec’s’ life-long love affair with the turf and betting. It cost him dearly. As a teenager, he refused  to apologise to a Bishop for hurrying a cricket innings so that he could hear the result of the Epsom Derby. He lost his first eleven cricket place at Stonyhurst as a result. He took up tennis instead.

    That boy of principle became the man of principle three decades later when it came to setting up the Stabroek News and battling the PNC and later the PPP governments over press freedom.

    David was a resolute life time fighter for that, defending it against attacks whichever direction they came from. Some think his final battle two years ago with the Jagdeo regime over the withdrawal of ads for the paper may have weakened his already damaged heart and led to his final demise.

    David would have enjoyed his memorial service. Warm words, Miles Davis reverberating through the huge church, friends old and new meeting and ‘gaffing’ as they say in Guyana plus a dash of high Catholicism. Not a bad epitaph or memorial to have for a life of such great significance for Guyana.

    CUNY: Innovative web video journalism panel

    City University of New York (CUNY) is hosting a panel on innovative web journalism, which we are going to attempt to stream below. It kicks off at 6pm (EST). It can now be viewed by following this link here.

    Participating in the discussion of video storytelling online are:

    Travis Fox, Emmy-award winning video journalist from The Washington Post

    Rachel Sterne, founder and CEO of GroundReport, a citizen journalism platform at GroundReport.com

    Benjamin Wagner, vice president of MTV News

    Daniel Greenberg, director of production at WNET

    Thanks to CUNY professor Sandeep Junnarkar for the link to the live coverage.

    Blog08: Journalism versus hearth blogging

    Not your average panel with Tim Overdiek, deputy editor in chief at NOS news; Clo Willaerts, marketing manager for Sanoma Magazines Belgium; Paul Bradshaw from the Online Journalism Blog; and Piet Bakker, professor at the Hogeschool Utrecht.

    The journalism/blogging panel aims to answer questions gathered via de Nieuwe Reporter, one of the largest Dutch journalism blogs.

    Tim Overdiek from NOS News shares that over a hundred NOS colleagues from a total of 400 have contributed to weblogs.nos.nl. Only forty employees are active bloggers but a hundred contributions in the form of either comments or blog posts is a certainly good number.

    He remarks that professional journalists often don’t see bloggers as collaborators but as a form of contribution, as something they can use. There is no direct participation. The participating journalism that Dan Gillmor refers to is not happening in the Netherlands, according to Overdiek.

    We’re currently moving beyond blogs, and the practice of blogging has gone beyond the medium of the blog and has partly and moved to Twitter for example. There is a whole world to gain for bloggers and also for organisations to actively set out to get people blogging.

    It is interesting to note that during one of the previous sessions Tim Overdiek sent out a tweet to remind himself to create a 101 Teletekst Twitterfeed asap.

    Teletekst is the Dutch equivalent of the BBC Ceefax and the 101 page is the standard page for news headlines. It is interesting to see how one of the most popular ways to keep up with the news is going to be syndicated on Twitter in the near future. The NOS is focusing on embracing the new social media and sees syndicating existing content on different platforms as the next step.

    The question that was selected from the Nieuwe Reporter was a rather odd choice since there was a lot of discussion about the relevance and phrasing of the question in the comments (in Dutch). Unfortunately the question also eventually drived the discussion nowhere:

    Imagine there would be a stock exchange for newspapers, broadcasters, magazines, weblogs, and other media. Which stocks would you buy when taking the next five years in account?

    Tim Overdiek: Buy stocks in NOS, we have great outlets, we have different platforms such as mobile TV, blogging and Twitter. The NOS media department is pretty tech savvy. However, he advises not to bet on just one company because there are too many interesting things going on in different places.

    Piet Bakker would buy stocks in magazines because the problem with blogging and internet is that to monetize it is quite difficult.

    Paul Bradshaw would also buy stocks in magazines because all of the advertising on the internet pretty much goes to Google. Offline and online advertising are not on the same level yet and on top of that magazines have a lot of muscle. Bradshaw thinks that they will buy out successful blogs. Newspapers are also trying to be more like magazines which shows the bright future of magazines but they don’t see it quite yet.

    Journalists should work with bloggers on a level playing field. He [Bradshaw] mentions the example of a newspaper that recently recruited 40 bloggers but it’s not a top down relationship with one main editor that makes all the decisions. He sees this as a good way forward because journalists and bloggers should treat each other like citizens.

    This post originally appeared on Anne Helmond’s blog.