Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Can 'Citizen Journalists' Really Produce Readable Content?

[Keyword: ]. So asks Steve Outing. He answers positively, but with some examples of press release-style examples that highlight the potential problems with the form.

New news search engine/aggregator that jumps pages and includes paid content

[Keyword: ]. " is a new news search engine/aggregator that competes with the likes of and Google News," reports Poynter (my last link to them today, honest).
"Inform's technology scours news articles deeper than its competitors, it seems. (For instance, on a Web article that "jumps" four pages, Inform analyzes all four pages of content.) One thing that impressed me in talking with Goldman was how the service is being designed to integrate paid content. As he explains it, the idea is to search and catalog news that's behind registration and subscription walls. So, for example, Inform will index and analyze not only articles from (user registration required), but also from (paid subscription)."

Digital Journalists Meet in Venezuela

[Keyword: ]. To quote in full: "Some 200 people are taking part in the 2nd International Congress of Online Journalism in Maracay, Venezuela, this week. As part of the first day's issues, there were lectures about digital narrative, legislation, and digital content. On Friday, the last day of the event, speakers will be talking about weblogs, including a track about how to get earnings from them. "

To moderate or not moderate online debates

[Keyword: ]. ...That is the question, or at least in Norway, where the Norwegian Code of Press Ethics is being revised, according to Poynter:
"The committee proposing a new Code claims that it's the duty of an editor to read through and accept or reject every post in a forum. Clearly this is a hard line to follow, and a representative of Norway's largest website, VG Nett, said earlier this year that this would keep about 20 people working full time, in addition to slowing down the debate and thereby destroying the dynamics that are so crucial to Web chats and debate forums."

Monday, October 24, 2005

What a way to promote a redesign

[Keyword: ]. Kudos to the Star Tribune for putting together this Flash presentation on their recent print and online redesign, although they could have made the navigation clearer rather than simply require you to guess what each of the '10 reasons' is by having to click on a number (FYI: no.5-10 are about the website).

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

BBC appoints news interactive chief

[Keyword: ]. "The BBC has appointed Pete Clifton to head its news interactive unit, overseeing the popular BBC News website and Ceefax services."

Friday, October 14, 2005

Flash Journalism - the short version

[Keyword: ]. As someone who's been teaching the skill for three years I'm looking forward to reading Mindy McAdams' book on Flash Journalism (nice coining-of-phrase there, by the way) - in the meantime, she's written an overview of the practice at Online Journalism Review with some of the reasons why journalists use Flash, summed up in the following quote:
"Flash addresses two key needs in online journalism: integrating multiple media (content), and reaching the widest possible audience (compatibility)."
It also emphasises the importance of interactivity in Flash journalism. If you ever create a 'Next' button you're thinking in the wrong way:
"Users appreciate having the ability to choose, according to Mega Communications' Villalobos. “The things we get the most traffic out of is when the users get to decide what they’re going to see,” he said. “You can’t do that on TV. You can’t do it in print. Online is the only place where you can redefine how stories are told.”"

Monday, October 10, 2005

The continuum from stalker to paparazzi to... blogger?

[Keyword: ]. Poynter notes the potential beginnings of an interesting trend as "Toronto Globe and Mail reporter Shawna Richer [is] given the go-ahead to spend the entire 2004-05 hockey season covering the Pittsburgh Penguins' hot rookie, Sidney Crosby [...] she'll be blogging about Crosby daily (or near daily)."

The move is hardly surprising given the media's obsession with celebrity, but the depth of that blog could represent a new level of obsessiveness. Conversely, how long until media companies start to pay fan bloggers (for example) a retainer for their own obsession-driven exclusives?

The downside of readers' comments

[Keyword: ]. Here's an interesting article by the editor of the Globe Gazette about the less than positive experience he had of letting readers post comments on stories - an experience that led him to scale down the number of articles he allowed to be commented on...

"You might think our in-box would have been full of congratulations and good wishes for continued success for the subject of this particular story.

"But the only three I remember seeing were derogatory at best. I cringed when posting them to the site, but did so because I’d said just days before that we would refuse to post only those comments that were vulgar or libelous, and not just because we disagreed with the opinion of the writer."

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Find out who's quoting you

[Keyword: ]. It's great to see that Blogger has now added the facility to see which blogs are linking to your postings - something I'd previously relied on Technorati to do, but which wasn't too effective as it only applies to Technorati members. This is likewise is limited to Blog Search-listed sites but that's a much larger population to draw on.

Anyway, to turn the facility on, go to your Settings, and the Comments tab - you want to be turning 'Back Links' on (this link may take you straight there).

You can also subscribe to a regular search for sites that link to yours - information here.

PS: Apologies for the infrequent postings of late. Becoming a father can do that to you.