Posts Tagged 'media'

Enviromental journalism: question for BCU students

This afternoon I’m popping down to Birmingham City University to meet Paul Bradshaw‘s group of online journalism students.

They’ve been doing some fascinating work on developing an environmental news service, with each of them specialising in a different subject area.

Environmental news is close to my heart. I would love The Post to be giving more coverage to stories on sustainability.

But it’s also one of those subject areas that many readers regard with great suspicion. Look at The Times guide to the most popular environmental stories of 2007 and you’ll see what I mean.

So, I guess the big question is, can you write environmental stories in a way that builds trust between you and the reader? Is the current suspicion surrounding climate change – for example – caused by media sensationalism or poor scientific reporting? Perhaps it’s neither, maybe it’s just human nature to respond to environmental stories with suspicion.

I certainly don’t know the answer. But in a world where the hegemony of large news corporations is increasingly challenged, the issue of maintaining trust as a way to maintain audience is critical.

And, I suspect, if you find a way to crack the hardest nut of trust and environmental reporting, then you have probably struck gold.

Del.icio.us

Under the recent comments in this blog’s sidebar, you will find that I have got me a new del.icio.us widget displaying my account. (Thanks to Pete for the suggestion)

I signed up to del.icio.us a few weeks ago and haven’t used it a great deal… until now. This weekend I started filling it with things I think might be useful for our meeting on the new Birmingham Post website.

Is there anything I’ve missed?

Talking to Donnacha

It may be noticeable that, since I commented on Greenslade’s departure from the NUJ last month, this blog has lurched into a discussion on the future journalism and online content.

To my surprise, there has also been an exchange of comments between myself and NUJ multimedia commission member Donnacha DeLong – the chap who sparked off the debate in the first place by writing an article entitled Web 2.0 is Rubbish.

I’m dead chuffed he has taken the time and effort to post – so I thought I’d link to the conversation here.

I’m not leaving the NUJ…

… nor is Paul Bradshaw. His reasons why are outlined here. I commented (with appalling typos).

Post Bloggers

The newest addition to The Birmingham Post editorial team, Tom Scotney, has started his own personal blog.

Vive le revolucion!

One of his first posts deals with a journalist pet hate – the mountain of unsolicited and irrellevent PR emails that we recieve.

My own hobby horse is the unnecessary waste produced from PR campaigns – a subject I hope to post in picture form soon. I’ve been saving up a few beauties.

Bedtime reading for the NUJ…

…and for any journlist who wants to get to grips with the future of journalism.

I’ve been following Paul Bradshaw‘s recent posts about blogging and investigative journalism with great interest. Currently there are five – all draft sections of a chapter for a new Investigative Journalism book.

I think they give a fascinating picture of just what can be achieved online – not just for investigative journalism, but perhaps other forms of reporting too:

  1. Blogging and Journalism 
    Explores the relationship of blogging to journalism.
  2. The Amateur-Professional Debate
    Questions whether the subjectivity of blogs is really corrosive to the search for “truth”. 
  3. Sourcing Material
    How online material can make readers part of the investigative process and help to “fine tune” stories.
  4. Publishing
    How online work can provide greater transparency and a wider distribution.
  5. Fundraising 
    How blogs have provided alternative funding streams for investigiative jourmalism. 

In his fifth draft, Paul also puts forward examples of interesting economic models for this style of journalism.

If would be nice to see the NUJ debating how such issues could be better exploited by professional journalists and, perhaps, provide us with a bit of training to boot.

Here’s hoping.

Alfie the opera budgie

I’m planning to buy a little camcorder to play around with videos on this blog, so I thought I’d check out the videos produced by our sister paper the Birmingham Mail.

The paper employed their video journalist Phil Vinter a few months ago and they have been playing around with the medium ever since, trying to find out what works for the paper.

I think some videos work better than others, but this particular one  had me in hysterics (it would be nice if I could embed it, can I?). It’s all about Alfie the budgerigar who can, apparently, sing along to Il Divo. A slow news day perhaps?


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