Tag Archives: technology editor

Charles Arthur: There’s room for both the Davids and the Goliaths

The Guardian’s technology editor shares his thoughts on the current process vs product; blogger vs MSM discussions, sparked by a critical NYTimes’ piece about technology blogs.

Charles Arthur describes his own epiphany, made when he stepped back to ask himself why he disagreed with Jeff Jarvis’ view. While it offends him ‘in some visceral fashion to think of publishing stuff that I really believe isn’t correct,’ there’s room for different players to make different rules for themselves and live alongside each other, he says.

Full post at this link…

#DataJourn part 1: a new conversation (please re-tweet)

Had it not been published at the end of the workday on a Friday, Journalism.co.uk would have made a bit more of a song-and-dance of this story, but as a result it instead it got reduced to a quick blog post. In short: OU academic Tony Hirst produced a rather lovely map, on the suggestion (taunt?) of the Guardian’s technology editor, Charles Arthur, and the result? A brand new politics story for the Guardian on MPs’ expenses.

Computer-assisted reporting (CAR) is nothing new, but innovations such as the Guardian’s launch of Open Platform, are leading to new relationships and conversations between data/stats experts, programmers and developers, (including the rarer breed of information architects), designers, and journalists – bringing with them new opportunities, but also new questions. Some that immediately spring to mind:

  • How do both parties (data and interactive gurus and the journalists) benefit?
  • Who should get credit for new news stories produced, and how should developers be rewarded?
  • Will newsrooms invest in training journalists to understand and present data better?
  • What problems are presented by non-journalists playing with data, if any?
  • What other questions should we be asking?

The hashtag #datajourn seems a good one with which to kickstart this discussion on Twitter (Using #CAR, for example, could lead to confusion…).

So, to get us started, two offerings coming your way in #datajourn part 2 and 3.

Please add your thoughts below the posts, and get in touch with judith@journalism.co.uk (@jtownend on Twitter) with your own ideas and suggestions for ways Journalism.co.uk can report, participate in, and debate the use of CAR and data tools for good quality and ethical journalism.

Craig McGill: Pitch by Twitter, says Guardian’s Charles Arthur

Craig McGill discusses the Guardian’s technology editor, Charles Arthur, request that PRs pitch only by Twitter, via a public ‘@’ if they are not able to direct message him (you have to be mutually following each other to do that). Arthur has removed his email details from Gorkana in an attempt to reduce the clutter in his inbox.

Full post at this link…

DNA09: Twitter – a few more questions for the panel

A couple of crowd-sourced questions were taken by the Twitter panel, but some were missed. We’ll post them here and hope the panelists will answer them via Twitter or in the comments below.

  • Noodlepie: @jamierussell be interested to know if the panel are looking at ways to increase “retweetness”. Very big traffic driver, no? #dna09 #dna140
  • gemmanewby: #dna140 do you think it possible to make an entire news programme using only twitter and first person tweets as your source?
  • ernstpoulsen: Question: What’s the difference between the conversation on twitter and facebook’s status-updates? #dna140 dna#09
  • hatmandu: #DNA140 The question should be: “why *can’t* you tell the news in 140 characters?”

Journalism.co.uk’s very own @lauraoliver was on a panel led by Wired UK’s associate editor @benhammersley at Digital News Affairs 2009. The others were Jeff Jarvis, blogger at BuzzMachine (@jeffjarvis); Robin Hamman, senior social media consultant at Headshift (@cybersoc); Darren Waters, technology editor at BBC News website (@darrenwaters); Bert Brouwers, editor-in-chief of Sp!ts (@brewbart); Katharina Borchert, editor-in-chief of Der Westen and MD of WAZ media (@lyssaslounge).

DNA09: Twittering – is it possible to tell the news in 140 characters or fewer?

Journalism.co.uk’s very own @lauraoliver is joining a panel led by Wired.com associate editor @benhammersley at Digital News Affairs 2009. The others are Jeff Jarvis, blogger at BuzzMachine (@jeffjarvis); Robin Hamman, senior social media consultant at Headshift (@cybersoc); Darren Waters, technology editor at BBC News website (@darrenwaters); Bert Brouwers, editor-in-chief of Sp!ts (@brewbart); Katharina Borchert, editor-in-chief of Der Westen and MD of WAZ media (@lyssaslounge).

Watch live video from johncthompson’s channel on Justin.tv

Tag your tweets for this session #dna140 and follow here when it kicks off at 13.30 (Brussels time):

Charles Arthur: New to journalism? Learn to code

“All sorts of fields of journalism – basically, any where you’re going to have to keep on top of a lot of data that will be updated, regularly or not – will benefit from being able to analyse and dig into that data, and present it in interesting ways,” says the Guardian’s technology editor.

Full story at this link…

Grauniad.co.uk v Torygraph.co.uk: Round 374

We’ve been following the various Telegraph/Guardian online interactions this week:

Yesterday, Roy Greenslade published an anonymous email from a Telegraph hack, who wrote that he/she was more than a little bit fed up.  The gist of the email was that all this multimedia-ised hub-it-up lark is to the detriment of a good, healthy working life and quality journalism.

Greenslade cautiously said he was printing the letter but that he didn’t necessarily agree with its sentiment.

Over at CounterValues, Telegraph assistant editor Justin Williams was quick to pooh pooh it. And now Greenslade has put up his response to the letter – a more negative stance this time: ‘the past is another country, think positive,’ he tells his ’emailing friend’.

Meanwhile, in another post, Williams took a swipe at the Guardian’s system of buying sponsored links and keywords. He reckons their buying is well in excess of the Telegraph’s and the Times’.

In the comments below the post, Charles Arthur, the Guardian’s technology editor, asks how many subsidised paper subscriptions the Telegraph has: ‘Is [buying sponsored links and keywords] a worse or better investment than subsidising paper subscriptions, do you think?’, he writes.

Charles Arthur is a keen Twitterer and I’ve just located Justin Williams on Twitter; all that Tweeting in agreement can be a bit boring: how about getting the discussion going in Twitterland? It’s a shame this didn’t get going earlier, with it being (unofficial?) ‘speak like a pirate day’ – that would make it fun.

Can’t wait for next week’s ABCes…

Online Journalism Scandinavia: Berlingske Tidende – using crime maps for journalism

As the UK government announces plans for crime maps for offences in England and Wales, Kristine Lowe reports for Journalism.co.uk on how Danish paper Berlingske Tidende is using its own map as a source of news and a public service.

“Crime mapping is getting government push behind it, even if police are resisting,” wrote the Guardian’s technology editor Charles Arthur this week, as the government announced plans to publish local interactive crime maps for every area in England and Wales by Christmas.

In Denmark the national daily Berlingske Tidende is already pioneering the use of crime maps as part of the newsgathering process.

With the help of its readers, the paper has created an interactive crime map detailing how well the police responds to calls from the public.

“We have just had a major police reform here in Denmark and decided to investigate how this has worked. The politicians promised more police on the streets and more money to solve crime. We thought the best way to check the reality of these promises was to get our readers to tell us about their experiences,” Christian Jensen, editor-in-chief of Berlingske, told Journalism.co.uk.

The reader reports are placed on a Google map of the country and, since its launch in May, 70 crimes have been reported and plotted.

One of the crimes reported to the map related to the alleged murder of Danish woman Pia Rönnei.

Despite available patrols in the area, the police force did not send officers to investigate calls from neighbours, who reported screams and loud bangs from an apartment that Rönnei was in – something it has been forced to apologise for after the publicity the story received.

“In classic journalism, it is the journalists who find the stories. In our new media reality, it can just as well be the readers who alert us to issues they are concerned about,” said Jensen.

The newspaper has had two full-time reporters devoted to the project, and used an online journalist, photographer and production company (for live pictures) in stories they have devoted additional space to.

“We encourage people to get in touch with stories both in our paper edition and online, as we see a substantial increase in web traffic when we draw attention to the project in the paper edition,” Jensen explained.

Every single crime report on the map generates the same amount of web traffic as breaking news, he added.

The project has been so successful that the newspaper is preparing to launch another project in the same vein. In the next few days Berlingske will unveil a database on immigration politics, where readers can tell their own stories and read and comment on each others’ accounts of their experiences with immigration authorities.

But the biggest challenge for the paper has been verification:

“That is what makes this complicated. Our journalists read through all the reports to check their credibility, but we do not have the resources to verify every single detail. That has made it even more important to clarify from the outset that we are only reporting what the readers have told us.”