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Data Journalism Camp 2013: Ready to get started in Istanbul #djcamp2013

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djcamp2013The next two days will be taken up with DJ Camp 2013 in Istanbul. This event is part of a programme created through Uclan’s Media and Digital Enterprise programme and will see Francois Nel, Megan Knight, Patrick McGee and I working with a group of journalists in Istanbul.

It’s all about data journalism – from sourcing information, work on verification and different outcomes including mapping and other visualisations.

The work comes at an important time for the development of an open data culture for the city. Late last year, Istanbul’s links with representatives from Manchester’s digital community kicked off discussions about the challenges and benefits of opening civic data sets during a visit from Julian Tait and Adrian Slatcher.

Now, in this separate initiative, we will pick up on that conversation again and look forward to hosting a panel event with representatives from Istanbul city council as well as prominent editor and columnist with national newspaper Milliyet, Mehves Evin tomorrow evening.

During the two days of workshops and coaching, there will be a liveblog running which you can see at the Uclan Made blog here:http://uclanmade.blogspot.com/2013/01/djcamp2013-coming-to-you-live-from.html
and I’ll hope to do more updates here and on the Flickr group for MADE Turkey here.

The hashtag for the event is #djcamp2013.

Written by sarahhartley

January 25th, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Responsive Web Design, crisis management and opportunity – three dates for northern media diaries

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Responsive Web Design on the agenda
The Digital Editors’ Network (DEN) is hosting an event looking at RWD or to put it simply – design that works across a variety of devices – in Preston next month.
Introducing the session, the François Nel, Director of the Journalism Leaders Programme, says:
“Sure, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the approach to web design that intends to provide an optimal viewing experience — easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones. But we’ll also be thinking more laterally about what Responsive Design means.”

The free event includes an in-depth case study from MNA Digital development manager Mark Cadman and electronic editor Abigail Edge who led the team that charted the Express and Star and Shropshire Star’s route to responsive web design will be lifting the lid on that innovative project – and how their efforts have paid off.

#ResponsiveDEN Digital Editors Network Winter 2013 meetup is on Thursday 21 February from 12:45 PM to 6:30 PM at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston. Tickets need to be booked here.

Crisis? Help at hand in York
Former BBC chief media spokesperson Donald Steel has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at a leading business event in York this spring, reports OneandOther.
Donald Steel was, for 11 years, the BBC’s chief media spokesperson, where he handled some of the most prominent media stories of the decade, from the murder of BBC presenter Jill Dando and a terrorist bomb attack on BBC Television Centre, to the Hutton Inquiry.

The evening lecture, Crisis Communications – an investment in company value, will be held at the Hospitium in York on Thursday 7th March 2013 at Museum Gardens. Tickets cost £15+VAT for IoD members and £25+VAT for non-members.Book at the IoD website.

Opportunities and challenges in Manchester
Insight Thirteen from Don’t Panic is a one-day seminar with lunch that takes place at The Studio, Lever Street in Manchester on Friday 25 January 2013 between 10am – 4.10pm.
The event will examine potential opportunities and challenges for 2013 and will feature leading industry speakers from the digital, marketing and communication arenas sharing their insights on trends they believe these sectors will see in the coming year. Each speaker will give a thirty-minute overview presentation and then join an interactive Q & A panel session.Tickets here.

The 2012 Journalist: Your future?

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lego

Constructing the journalist of the future

A journalistic world where personal branding is a lifestyle, managing micro communities is second nature and developing areas of specialist knowledge is essential for survival in what is a freelance work sphere where multiple revenue streams as a sole trader are the norm.

Welcome to the lot of a journalist in 2012!

That’s my personal summary of far more detailed discussions spent considering such things as part of the MELD experience last week.

Held at the futuristic Sandbox at UCLAN, the two-day industry think-tank to consider what skills the journalist of the future might need prompted some interesting dilemmas.

Looking forward such a relatively short amount of time was a tricky experience, not least because the audience who will be old enough to vote in three years time, are one of the first who will be true digital natives.

Today’s teenagers have only ever known mobile phones, games, the internet and on demand services. They are also unlikely to have got the newspaper habit, so how will their experience of the world impact on journalism?

But as we all wrestled with the issues of who will be funding the journalistic endeavour of the future, how organisations will need to change their structures and the skill sets individuals might be faced with, there was one aspect which sparked little controversy – that the next generation journalist is most likely to be a freelance worker.

And for that individual journalist, the future which emerged from our discussions operated in a complex personal ecosphere where some sort of web presence was the essential hub of activity, where earnings could come from sponsorship and affiliate relationships alongside mainstream media commissions for content packages, or access to the special interest networks which they had nurtured and managed.

Contemplating the short-term with some of those who may help shape the future of the industry was a thought-provoking experience  – and wasn’t purely an intellectual exercise.

Some of the input from the sessions will help inform journalism educators about the tools the journalists of the future might need.

I’d be very interested to hear what other journalists think the future might hold – join in with the time travel if you will! What do you think lies in store? Is the scenario detailed above a world which you’d embrace or recoil from? Where do you see the journalist of 2012? Thoughts most welcome.

Written by sarahhartley

December 9th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Study to look at life after newspaper layoffs

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It’s the story we are all more than familiar with, but is it the whole story? Newspapers layoffs have all too quickly become part of the fabric of life in regional journalism this year but what happens next is barely recorded.

Now academics at UCLAN and staff at  journalism.co.uk are going to address this by carrying out a survey of laid-off journalists. Posting at the journalismleaders blog , Francois Nel explains that the online survey is looking for volunteers and that information received is confidential:

“We want to know how about your experiences of being laid off and how you have adapted in your personal and professional life since leaving the newspaper. We’re also considering the gap in knowledge and experience you have left behind.”

The survey takes about 10 mins to complete and can be accessed here.

Written by sarahhartley

October 19th, 2009 at 11:06 am

Digg it like The Telegraph for news success

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Digg – a sometimes fun, but essentially useless, way to spike your site with foreign traffic or an essential tool for SEO? North Yorkshire based search expert Patrick Altoft urged journalists to think again about the American giant during a session on integrating social media into news operations at yesterday’s Digital Editor’s Network.

Patrick has often been faced with the argument that there’s little point for newspaper editors in working to get their content on the front page of Digg to receive a flood of traffic which can not be monetised with local advertisers in the UK but he put forward a different way of looking at it.

“A lot of newspaper editors believe there’s no real value in Digg because they are foreigners, they are not even going to see the ads and most people from Digg leave within three seconds.

“The key thing to remember is that you will, on average, get 300 links every day – that’s a lot of links to get every month”.

Yes it’s all about link love.

The hundreds of links which succeeding in Digg will create, will boost search engine positioning and could ultimately result in that audience which can be monetised hitting your site. And he revealed how The Telegraph is putting Digg right at the heart of its strategy to build audience by having an SEO expert working alongside journalists in the newsroom – even before the story is created – and ensuring every possible optimisation before it’s published and that all important one-hit-only Google spidering takes place.

“The Telegraph has SEO and social media people in the newsroom. There needs to be somebody involved from the social media team before the content is created, research exactly what people are talking about. After creation, it’s back to the SEO team to find out whether it’s been optimised.”

And promotion of the story after publication is also vital, he said. “Journalists at The Telegraph are encouraged to submit stories to Digg. “How many journalists, after the story is written, work on promoting that story? This is where bloggers are different.” He recommends setting up an automated promotion network which involves TSS, Twitter, email subscriptions and Google news pings within 30mins of publication to get the first-mover advantage on any story.

It was a fascinating and useful presentation for anyone concerned with gaining social media relevance in a news org and the full slide set is here and you can Digg this here.

Digital Editors Network[gigya width="425" height="355" src="http://static.slidesharecdn.com/swf/ssplayer2.swf?doc=digital-editors-network-090512152452-phpapp02&stripped_title=digital-editors-network" quality="high" wmode="tranparent" ]
View more presentations from guest38a088

Of course, Digg isn’t the only game in town and earlier in the afternoon those attending the sesssion At UCLAN in Preston heard how another mighty player, The Guardian, is reaping success with Twitter.

Robin Goard from Hitwise told the group that 54% of Twitter traffic is going downstream to what it classified as media sites – news, entertainments, blogs etc.

And The Guardian was winning out with not just the home page featuring in the top statistics, but also the technology and comment is free sections where personality journalists such as Charles Arthur and Jemima Kiss were credited with developing the networks to drive traffic.

Written by sarahhartley

May 13th, 2009 at 9:13 am

Integrating social media into news operations

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Tomorrow’s Digital Editors’ Network will be addressing the topic of the moment with sessions looking at  integrating social media and user-generated content into news operations.
Full details of the events at UCLAN from 1pm are below. If you want to attend, contact Nick Turner (Nick.Turner@cumbrian-newspapers.co.uk) ASAP. I shall update this blog after the event with some notes too.
The Line Up
13:00 DEN Registration  & networking lunch in Scholars Restaurant,
Foster Building.
14:00  Robin Goad, research director for the online market intelligence
company Hitwise, will present How can online publishers utilize User
Generated Content (UGC). User Generated Content (UGC) is a key growth
area online, and social networks now attract 1 in 5 Internet page views
in the UK. In this presentation, Robin will describe the digital content
landscape in the UK, discuss the popularity of UGC (User Generated
Content) brands (e.g Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia) – and compare some of
their content strategies to those of top online publishing brands.
14:45 Patrick Altoft, managing partner at Branded3, a Leeds-based full
service digital agency. Patrick will take a practical look at the role
search engine optimisation plays in social media marketing.
15:30 Break
15:45 Nick Turner, head of digital content for the CN Group, on Opening
the doors to the community. How newspapers in Cumbria have been
providing training to community groups and giving them access to create
content on their websites. Groups ranging from the police to the
Brownies have taken up the opportunity and now add news, information and
pictures. Nick will report on the pros and cons of the experiment.
16:30 DEN: What next?

17:00 Drinks & reception marking the opening of an evolving exhibition
and book project, Journalism at UCLan: past, present & future that will
mark the 50th anniversary of England’s oldest journalism programme.
Greenbank Building

18-19:15  12th Forum. Mike Ward, head of the School of Journalism,
Media and Communication at UCLan,  will chair the all-alumni panel
discussion on Journalism: past, present, future.

Ian Bent, editor, Factual Radio, BBC Manchester
Richard Frediani, head of news at ITV Granada
Joanna Geary, web development editor at The Times
Paul Newman, spokesperson for the developer Peel Media

Written by sarahhartley

May 11th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

links for 2009-03-04

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Written by sarahhartley

March 4th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Four points from this week’s Digital Editor’s Network

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The bad weather led to a smaller than usual turn-out for Tuesday’s DEN get together but those of us who made it heard some quality speakers. Here’s a few points from each;

1. Mark Skipworth from The Telegraph started by banging the drum for journalism as a job choice for the student element of the audience saying now was a great time for enterprising journos looking to forge careers.Some insights into working practices at The Telegraph proved interesting for those of us already in the industry. The working day starts with a ‘web-only’- news conference and reporters now work to two different news desks. The online news editor works during the early part of the day, directing journalists busy breaking news while the old-style news editor picks up later in the day with reporters re-working the stories for print. How those two desks dovetail must provide plenty of challenges. There’s more analysis of this Harris Lecture at Alison Gow’s blog.

2. The Guardian’s blogs editor Kevin Anderson gave us something of an insight into his remarkable journey across America covering the US presidential election, in part by utilising available social media tools. Geo-tagging everything as he went, Kevin was able to produce an interactive map of the journey. His coverage totalled 50 blog posts, 1,600 tweets, 2,050 photos and covered 4,000 geo-tagged miles. DEN has been fortunate to have Kevin speak previously and I always enjoy the enthusiasm he brings to the topic and the way he can so clearly demonstrate the journalistic benefits of social media.

3. Alison Gow of the Liverpool Post and Echo was able to give us the benefit of her experience of liveblogging – something her paper seems to be leading the UK regional press pack on. Because they have done so many very different live blogs – court cases, football, the giant spider and a Royal visit to mention just a few – it was interesting to hear how different the audience’s reactions have been to each. Alison told us how users for the “social” events such as the spider and the Queen would be quick to demand (and share) pix and video while football followers wanted to give and receive opinion. Useful stuff for anyone planning to follow suit.

4. Finally, Eric Ulken was able to talk about the opportunity and experience of creating deep data content such as this amazing homicide map from his former employer the LA Times. Despite having every presenter’s nightmare scenario of  unexpected wi-fi failure, Eric was able to describe how the map had come about with a three-way mash-up of public data (the stats, dates etc of murders) , staff journalism (crime reports/blogs etc) and public contribution (tributes, comments). Eric also pointed to his bookmarks for some further examples. Lots to learned here.

A previous commitment at Manchester’s Social Media Cafe meant I was unable to attend the panel event in the evening but you can replay Robert Peston et al here.

In a deviation from the norm there also wasn’t time to share what we’re currently all doing online around the regional press – if you have a burning project just waiting to be shared, please do feel free to do so via the links otherwise – see y’all at the next one!

February’s DEN meeting focus on business

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Next month’s meeting of the Digital Editors’ Network is promising a range of high-profile speakers willing to share their expertise with regional journalists working online.

Organiser Nick Turner says the free event at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston on Tuesday, February 3 will include the elements listed below before a panel discussion looking at the economics of journalism takes place in the evening:

• An insight into the digital transformation of the Daily Telegraph when Mark Skipworth, executive editor of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph gives the University’s Harris Lecture.

• A discussion about how newspapers can best make use of their archives in the digital age with a presentation by Patrick Fleming, head of reader and reference services at the British Library.

• The Guardian blogs editor Kevin Anderson on lessons learned from the social media coverage of the UK presidential election. With a UK election lurking somewhere on the political horizon it should be an informative and useful session.

• Eric Ulkin, former Los Angeles Times online editor, will talk about building the LA Times datadesk and alternative forms of story building.

The day will also include a networking reception and a Journalism Leaders Forum in the evening with BBC Business Editor Robert Peston joining the panel for a discussion entitled: ‘Reviewing the bottom line: the journalism of economics and the economics of journalism’

The Guardian’s Blogs Editor Kevin Anderson will chair the discussion and panelists will include: Robert Peston, BBC Business Editor; Kate McKenzie, interactive editor, FT.com; Arthur Porter, publisher, Crain’s Business (Manchester) and Chris Barry, editor, TheBusinessDesk.com (North West).

I shall be posting more at this blog from the event but if you want to attend and get further details, please email Nick Turner nturner@cngroup.co.uk.

Re-defining the role of the journalist

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When Jane Singer stood up in front of last week’s Digital Editor’s Network and suggested that reporters stopped doing some of their current routine bread-and-butter work and handed that responsibility over to others, there was a palpable wall of cynicism from some quarters.

Allowing users to contribute routine community information? Publishing the police force crime releases ‘in the raw’? Letting companies post the press releases of their activity? Whatever next!

Yes, the bright-eyed academic had just put the elephant in the room.

Ms Singer went on to say that, in these times of limited newsroom staff resources, perhaps the journalists’ job was no longer to simply provide information or facts – after all a whole raft of people are perfectly capable of doing that – think community group leader, marketing manager, head teacher or publicly paid press officers in councils or the emergency services.

She wanted to see journalists freed up to do the things users don’t have “the time, talent or training to do: investigate, analyze, contextualize, and explain.

“Their primary role is no longer to provide information but to help people make sense of it” she said.

It’s certainly an appealing argument – no more tedious press release rewrites and the opportunity to get out of the office again. Hurrah! Who wouldn’t want that?

As Ms Singer put so well; “Pursuing the stories behind the information and telling those stories well, whatever the medium……isn’t that the real job of the journalist?”

So where’s the rub?

The debate seemed to reveal that some didn’t feel there would be same quality of information if it wasn’t worked into traditional article form and some felt that the newsworthiness of a piece of information could only be properly assessed by a professional.

Listening to some of the points you could be mistaken into thinking that all of us in regional media are busy breaking stories of such importance to the nation that they couldn’t possible be dealt with by anyone else!

But, with a quick reality check, what would be wrong with a local events listings created by the organisers of those events? The appointments section of the business pages updated by companies themselves? A daily or weekly listing of “mis pers” provided and updated by the police? Planning applications uploaded by the council and geo-tagged onto a map?

Would the non-journalese language of the content undermine its usefulness/interest?

Personally I think that’s unlikely and, considering most of the items mentioned above are difficult to find (or absent) on most regional news sites, just having the content would be a good start to better community information provision.

These sort of objections to community collaboration really go to the heart of a larger issue – what is news and what is the role of the news organisation? Is it merely to present information which is likely to attract the widest and biggest possible audience (i.e. the old mass media model)?

I think not .

Surely our role as journalists is now to seek out information which is important to people’s lives and that might mean ”small” items having “big” significance for smaller groups or an individual.

Ms Singer’s thought-provoking presentation was a timely reminder of that shift in consumption with some provocative suggestions on what could be done to supply that demand.

* The discussion which rounded off the day at the Journalism Leader’s Forumalso turned, inevitably perhaps, onto the role of the journalist in today’s news organisations with The Guardian’s Kevin Anderson among others urging us to get out with our laptops are re-engage with the community.

Read Laura Oliver’s summary here.

See Joanna Geary’s streaming video here.