Directors' blog

Links, thoughts and updates from the directors of Dim Sum Digital.

Just published: Engaging Heritage, Engaging Communities

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We’ve just received a very crisp copy of Engaging Heritage, Engaging Communities which Julian has contributed a chapter to.

His chapter is titled Museums and the Symbolic Capital of Social Media Space and joins an expert list of contributions to a volume which forms part of the Heritage Matters series. It is a series of edited and single-authored volumes which addresses the whole range of issues that confront the cultural heritage sector facing the global challenges of the 21st century.

In their introduction to the book, editors Bryony Onciul, Michelle L Stefano and Stephanie Hawke explain that the book first started its journey in 2009 and followed on from a conference held in Newcastle.

The two-day conference sparked discussions on heritage, museums and community engagement that, over the years, have influenced and shaped this volume.

The book is available from this Friday (27th Jan).

Written by sarahhartley

January 21st, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Culture

Tagged with , , ,

Local news and the BBC’s local democracy reporting – an update

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For the first trip out of the office this year, I went along to the latest of the BBC’s ‘hyperlocal forum’ events today. It was the latest in the series of get togethers looking at how what’s being called a Local Democracy Reporting scheme, funded by the BBC licence fee, will operate across mainland UK.

A total of 150 reporters will be released into the world to report on decision making at top-tier councils in selected areas. Their reporting will be shared out (for free) to all participating news organisations in a move that’s intended to plug the democratic deficit that’s been left by local newspaper closures and constrictions.

The plans have evolved quite considerably since the event I attended last year – there’s even been ‘editorial trials’ in some areas – and the recruitment of the reporters is imminent (first half of this year).

If I go back to the earlier mentions of this scheme, there was some optimism that this would finally unleash a revenue source for those hard-working independents who have been plugging away reporting from their local authorities, often for no financial reward. But the way the scheme has been shaped is unlikely to deliver on that.

In order to effectively manage the contracts that will be needed to run the scheme, the BBC has divided the country into patches which reflect their own local news operations. Within those, they have then ‘bundled’ the local councils which need covering and assigned a suggested number of reporters to each of the contracts to be awarded.

As an example, in my home area, the North East, there will be money for 8 reporters (£34k per contract) across a huge geography of Tyneside, Wearside, Durham and Teesside.

Digging into the ‘bundle’ that covers my area (defined by the Beeb as Teesside) there will be just 2 reporters to cover the (vastly different and distant from each other) local authorities in Durham, Darlington and North Yorkshire.

I can’t think of a single independent news service which strives to cover such a large patch, so the only potential bidder would seem to be the established local Newsquest-owned paper. New entrants are considered ineligible – only news providers already up and running will be considered.

Given that similar situations will apply to many (possibly all) places as most independent publishers generally cover a small geography in a deep way), it’s hard to see where the opportunity to bid for these contracts will occur.

There was some disappointment about that situation expressed in the room today, alongside an understanding for the BBC’s position in attempting to find a way forward in managing this scheme in a reasonable, cost-effective way.

One possibility is that, in areas where there is a hyperlocal already operating, there could be some sort of joint bid with the local newspaper to cover these large patches.

The consultation is still running with the BBC continuing to talk with people about different ways of running the scheme and it will soon be put out to the industry with invitations to bid for the contracts.

Written by sarahhartley

January 9th, 2017 at 5:56 pm

We’re reading…. (weekly)

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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Written by sarahhartley

December 25th, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

We’re reading…. (weekly)

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  • “But we’re not telling any of these stories just because there’s space to fill in your day. We’re telling them because we think there’s a whole other narrative happening in the world that’s unseen, underreported, or dismissed altogether. We also are just really psyched to build new, weird things on the internet.”

    tags: outline journalism storytelling

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Written by sarahhartley

December 11th, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

We’re reading…. (weekly)

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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Written by sarahhartley

November 20th, 2016 at 4:31 pm

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We’re reading…. (weekly)

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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Written by sarahhartley

November 13th, 2016 at 4:31 pm

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We’re reading…. (weekly)

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  • “The report includes:
    An overview of the hyperlocal ecosystem, including a country-by-country analysis.
    An overview of the different legal business structures available to hyperlocal media services, including the potential advantages and limitations of these.
    An analysis of current and emerging revenue streams being used by hyperlocal publishers, with a focus on 35 case studies from Europe.
    An assessment of which of these are most feasible, reliable or lucrative.
    An examination of changes to the wider advertising and online industry.
    Emerging trends and innovations in revenue creation and capture in and beyond Europe.
    Recommendations for policymakers, industry and hyperlocal publishers in relation to gaps, opportunities and areas of growth.”

    tags: hyperlocal europe road sustainability news

  • “In short – and unfortunately – we have not been able to match up sales with the quality of the news and editorial.

    tags: independent news website salford hyperlocal

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Written by sarahhartley

October 30th, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

We’re reading…. (weekly)

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  • “You can embed your charts directly in your Medium-post. To do that, click on “Embed chart on website” first.

    tags: embedding charts medium datawrapper

  • “These findings matter because conventional newspapers, for all their shortcomings, remain the best source of information about the workings of our government, of industry, and of the major institutions that dominate our lives. They still publish a disproportionate amount of the accountability journalism available, a function that’s not being fully replaced by online newcomers or the nonprofit entities that have popped up. If we give up the print newspaper for dead, accepting its demise without a fight, we stand to lose one of the vital bulwarks that protect and sustain our culture.”

    tags: newspaper industry online

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Written by sarahhartley

October 23rd, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

We’re reading…. (weekly)

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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Written by sarahhartley

October 16th, 2016 at 4:31 pm

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Journos in Turkey start new English service from Istanbul

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Sometimes social media can give you a bit of a jolt. And so it was this morning when Facebook memories offered this picture in my stream.

made

MADE class of 2012

A standard class lineup shot it maybe, but behind the smiles to camera is a moment in time which is also a poignant reminder in these days of ‘post truth’ media, Brexit and Trumpism of the dangers that still face journalists around the world.

The picture was taken to mark the end of a course for entrepreneurial journalists in Istanbul as part of the Media and Digital Enterprise* team led by Dr Francois Nel from UCLan.

Earlier that week some of us had gone down to the street below our rented apartment to see the crowds of thousands take part in a peace march (on a route which included going past the Russian Embassy) to protest about Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian crisis.

.

One of the reasons the course took place in the Turkish city was due to the fact that journalists in that country faced so many difficulties and, even then, unhappily earned recognition for having the most jailed journalists in the developed world. None of us could have imagined how much worse that situation was actually going to get……..

Against this backdrop it was heartening to discover this morning that some of those journalists we were lucky to meet there (along with others from across the city) are determinedly carrying on their important work and getting the news out to a wider audience in the world by publishing this regular Twitter stream in English.

Called JournosInTurkey (follow @JournosInTurkey) it offers English tweets by @Ben_Gazeteciyim, a group of journalists from Turkey for solidarity. They only started a month ago.

Well worth a follow if you are interested in news reporting from that part of the world by journalists on the ground.

* Thanks as ever due to the International Press Institute and Google for their support of the work we were able to carry out there.

Written by sarahhartley

October 14th, 2016 at 9:43 am