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Online journalism

  • At the crossroads: which path should AllThingsD head down?

    JP Mangalindan and Dan Primack at Fortune have produced an excellent article on tech gadget and news site AllThingsD and the discussions between owner Dow Jones and the founding team of Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. Here are the main points: Dow Jones owns AllThingsD but the contract with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher will expire at the end of this year. The two co-executive editors are trying to gain ownership of the property. AllThingsD is working with investment bank Code Advisors to find outside investors at an enterprise value that could exceed the $25-million that AOL (AOL) reportedly paid in 2010...

  • Data journalist? Here’s how to deal with the changes to ScraperWiki

    Scraping is an important tool for data journalists. Sometimes you are lucky, and can download your data or copy-paste them from a website. Bad luck; then the data journalist has to look for heavy tools: a wrench like Outwit Hub could do the job. But if this fails too there is one last resort: the crowbar that is ScraperWiki, where you can code your own scraper. Paul Bradshaw payed much attention to ScraperWiki in his book Scraping for Journalists (check out the Memeburn review). Recently ScraperWiki has been updated and we are not just talking about the look and feel...

  • Aspiring data journalist? This book is a must-read

    It was work in progress, but after almost one year and 40 'versions' later, Paul Bradshaw's 'Scraping for journalists' is published. Bradshaw is teaching at London City University and the City University at Birmingham, but he is also a respected data journalist and blogger at the Online Journalism Blog. And not without reason. You can order a copy of the work as an e-book, available in PDF, Mobi or Epub formats. Leanpub, where you can obtain a copy, has an interesting concept: it offers all the tools for the production and for the publishing of a book. You can make...

  • Why data driven documentation is the future of online journalism

    Anyone who thinks journalism is not about numbers is wrong. Figures in the newsroom are more important than ever. We live in age where more data is collected than ever and that data will be used for setting policy goals and decision-making. But we also all sit behind computer screens and databases are not rocket science anymore, so if you're not using data for investigations, you're missing out. The news is still in text format but tables with figures are playing an increasingly important role. Even something as simple as a press release from the ECB (European Central Bank)...

  • Citizen journalism, crowdsourcing are changing news but not how we thought

    “Will anyone with information please come forward”. It's a refrain we always hear police echo in crime-dramas. People are too afraid to come forward though for lack of trust in the official authorities or fear of gangs. That's especially in poverty-stricken, gang-ridden areas. You can easily imagine the classic scene: New York cops at a ghetto crime scene with apartment residents hiding behind their curtains. Then again, we are constantly documenting massive amounts of potential evidence each time we post a photo via Instagram, a video via Vine or even a report by sending out an ‘eyewitness tweet.’ How...

  • Reddit’s bomber search: witch hunt fail or successful online manhunt?

    The events of the past week in the Boston area have the makings of a Hollywood movie. Bombings, shootouts and suspects on the run. But any movie made about the events of the past week should include Reddit. The site, which dubs itself the "front page of the internet" has been a focal point as people come to grips with what has happened. What happened at the MIT shooting? "Suspect #1 is dead, Suspect #2 is on the run, we have an MBTA officer who was seriously wounded and is in surgery right now, we have an MIT security...

  • Oscar Pistorius and social media: behind the followers, hangouts and frenzy

    You’ve got to have been hiding under a rock not to know about the Oscar Pistorius case unfolding in Pretoria and on almost every news website globally. The world’s global off and online media have physically scrummed to get into the courtroom as global viewership has soared in what is set to be the court case of 2013. What’s heightened the interest in the case, apart from the incredibly bizarre circumstances of Reeva Steenkamp’s death, is the realtime reporting and discussion going on on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Hashtags on Twitter have caused #OscarPistorius to trend globally and access to...

  • 6 liveblogs that will keep you up to date with the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing

    Look, let's be honest for a moment. There's pretty much no hiding from the Oscar Pistorius case. People are going to want to talk to you about it, so you might as well be properly informed. But where to go? We've already established that keeping up with events on Twitter means sifting through a mess of different reports. A more streamlined way of keeping up with events in and around the South African court room where Pistorius' bail hearing is taking place is to follow a live blog. The best ones will incorporate tweets and video from around the...

  • 17 top journos to follow on Twitter during the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing

    The world has pretty much been glued to Twitter since news broke that renowned paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius had apparently shot and killed his girlfriend. The story continued to occupy large portions of space on people's timelines as Pistorius' bail hearing begun. With all that noise though, it can sometimes be difficult to separate the noise and speculation from the facts being reported by people at the scene. There are however a select few quality journalists worth following during the ongoing proceedings. Finding out who those journalists are on your own can however be a difficult task. That's why...

  • Can corporate media survive the falling value of online content?

    My 2013 prediction warned of the continued fall in the value of online content which would lead to the production of ever more content as media companies tried to maintain ad revenues. You can think of it as a towering tsunami of content, or as a massive bubble of content inflation. Just as inflation devalues currencies, content inflation is devaluing content. Ryan McCarthy, Deputy Editor of Reuters.com, and the former Business Editor of the Huffington...

  • 2013: the year corporate media will ascend and all media will spiral

    When it comes to making industry predictions I always resolve not to make any, but as you can see, I have trouble keeping my new year's resolutions. Two years ago I made the same resolution and failed. Back then I wrote: The media is dead, long live the media. We now have more media, in more formats, in more times of the day and night, from more people -- than at any other time in history. And we will get even more in 2010. When I talk about media, I mean anything and all things that are published: news stories, magazine articles,...

  • Can BuzzFeed usher in a new golden age of journalism and advertising?

    It was just over a year ago that BuzzFeed hired editor-in-chief Ben Smith away from Politico to help build the cat-happy publication into a major media company. In the intervening months, it hasacquired a Facebook advertising company, hired a longform editor, set up a video division led by Ze Frank in a new Los Angeles office, and launched an entertainment section. Last week it closed a Series D round of US$19-million, even though the US$15-million it raised in a Series C round sits in the bank, virtually untouched. The new round brought the total funding raised to US$43.6-million and reportedly valued BuzzFeed at US$200-million. More...

  • 12 top tech security tips for journos to follow in 2013

    There are a lot of places where journalists aren't really welcome and there are plenty of people out there looking to find chinks in any news hound's armour. Rapid advances in technology have only made it easier to find and exploit those weaknesses. Even the most tech-savvy journos are at risk. Just ask Wired reporter Mat Honan. Last year Honan's Google, Twitter, and Apple ID accounts were all broken into, allowing the hackers to remotely erase all the data on his iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. All this happened because Amazon displayed a portion of his credit card number, which...

  • Pageview journalism: economic reality or capitulation to pop culture whims?

    Ryan Holiday, writing for the New York Observer, has discovered something very important about the media industry today: The widespread belief is that the media has "reach." Trust me, they don't. Not anymore. It's become almost pathetic. It hit me the other day when I snagged a profile for a client on a well-known website... Dear God, I realized, my client has more readers than they do. The website needed us to attract an audience for them. They wanted the subject of the piece to send his readers over to them rather than the other way around. It seems a bit strange that...

  • How fake press releases could kill SEO for real press releases

    SearchEngineLand has a very good, long look at the recent fake press release announcing Google's US$400-million acquisition of Wi-Fi company ICOA. PRWeb distributed the press release and said it slipped through its internal tests for "integrity." Danny Sullivan explains how PRWeb has become a popular distribution network for a lot of content, some of it shady, and how it ends up on well-respected newspaper sites: In the past, you'd get a press release out and hope newspapers might pick up the story, often using the release as a basis for writing their own stories -- ones that might be fact-checked, or sourced...