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Media140: Pat Kane on using social media and journalism

May 20th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Social media and blogging

“Reading a newspaper on a street corner might be seen as banal. What’s becoming just as banal is producing news on that street corner,” Pat Kane, co-founder of the Sunday Herald and author of ‘The Play ethic’, said in his opener at today’s Media140 conference.

The growth of social media and online publishing is showing ‘just how quotidian and everyday the practice of journalism becomes in this everyday environment’, he added.

Speaking at the microblogging and journalism event, Kane said there are some key reasons/benefits for journalists using social media tools:

  • Beat reporting
  • Early warning system– communities decide what’s the news. “Twitter’s the canary in the coal mine – Overlap with trad journalism
  • Real-time content
  • Traceable sources/interviewees/leads – “How much better can journalism practice be in a civic space?” asked Kane. Social media can be ‘an enrichment of a classic journalistic process’.
  • Can you help? – asking readers for tips, feedback etc
  • As a promotional tool
  • An expertise archive – “Used to be called desk research, now it’s handheld device responsiveness.”

But asks Kane:

“How distributive and collaborative are journalists prepared to be?”

“To what extent might the Darwinian acid that new media is throwing onto organisations transform them?

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The Argus: Reading a newspaper can help reduce stress, says study

March 31st, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

A study by the University of Sussex has suggested that newspapers are a better way to reduce stress than listening to music or going for a walk.

Full story at this link…

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Facebook useful to local news? If it opened up the networks

January 10th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism, Online Journalism

The Guardian may be adopting strategies to make itself more Facebook-friendly but the lack of truly local geographical networks on the social networking site makes it more difficult for smaller papers to make great use of it.

The UK currently has 17 regional networks that users can become part of, here they are:

facebook grab

The regional networks, which unsurprisingly centre on larger towns and cities, offer reporters a great ‘in’ to the online community on their patch. A reporter working for the Manchester Evening News, for instance, or one of its smaller titles in the Greater Manchester area is at a distinct advantage over a reporter working on a paper in a smaller town:

facebook grab

Just a brief, cursory glance at the Manchester group throws up leads for several potential stories amongst its 500,000 plus members. The ‘See what’s popular’ feature and the discussion board make it a simple place to seed stories as well as one in which to ask for information and pick up leads. But where would you go if you lived in Burton on Trent?

Burton is a town in Staffordshire that – if you’ve defining it in terms of Facebook regions – is slap bang between Nottingham and West Midlands. Not much use then if you’re a reporter on the Burton Mail.

Burton has 103 groups related to it on Facebook – a lot of ground to cover for any hack – but like many other towns across the UK it has no network and Facebook doesn’t allow users to establish there own networks. Users have to make that request to the site:

facebook grab

If Facebook gave it’s users the ability to create these networks themselves it would solve a lot of headaches, but don’t expect that to happen in a hurry. So come on reporters on papers in Burton, Derby, Reading, Cardiff, Norwich and the like. Get a campaign going to get your town recognised as a network on Facebook. It can make the day job a hell of a lot simpler.

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