Times V Guardian

3 05 2011

I’ve payed my subscription for The Times and am now looking at their coverage of the killing of Bin Laden and comparing it to The Guardian.

The Times has gone for a live blog approach, updating events in real time. They include every aspect of the story, Pakistan’s refusal that they had any knowledge, children searching the compound and further statements from the Americans.

The Guardian has written individual, traditional type journalistic pieces.

There are some great graphics on The Times site, I can’t link to them and I don’t want to copy and paste in case I get sued but I can tell where they’ve put a lot of effort in. Above the main story there are four buttons. Article, video, pictures and graphics.

The Times is easier to navigate than the Guardian. The Guardian tend to riddle their text with links which can be disracting.

Moving over to sport and again The Times looks better and is easier to navigate. The page layout is very similar to a print page. There are headlines and columns as you would expect. The Guardian is nearly the same but not as much space given over to the main articles.

The Times doesn’t feel like an overload of information and is not as colourful as The Guardian. This is a good thing as the colourful Guardian will give me a slight head-ache. I think for £2 a week Times is value for money.

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The live blog and news day experiences

30 04 2011

You will see my live blogs over the last few posts. The reason I picked this for my individual project is I wanted an intense 90 minutes of online work and I couldn’t figure out coveritlive in the one day session we did. I decided the best way to get to grips with it was to live blog an event.

There are a number of live blogs for games out there. Sky Sports must be the king, they live blog every league game in England on a Saturday. This is done through their fantastic score centre, which is free.

The Daily Mail do a good effort and include some match pictures, though these are added afterwards.

They each have very different styles, Sky do short posts every minute or two whereas The Mail will have longer posts but every three to four minutes.

My first attempt was the Liverpool V United game. I’ve left this up in its original form to show the mistakes I was making. Firstly the spelling, I am not a very good typist, so there are lots of ‘teh’ when I meant ‘the’. Another problem was the foreign names; Kyriakos, Hernandez etc. are a bit difficult to type when you are trying to watch the action.

My second attempt was the United V Marseilles game. What I’d learned from my first attempt was not to try to include every single kick of the ball. This is where I would have liked an extra person to do my links and I could concentrate on the game, get it more like The Mail model I liked.  I spent a bit more time getting to know coveritlive and you can see how I have interactive games. I concentrated a bit more on build up, getting the team sheets up. also I began to add links, such as odds from book makers.

For the main event I chose the Wales V England game. I was lucky this game happened when it did, I know all the players and am familiar with their names (the Welsh defender does spell his name Morison, I know it looks wrong but I assure you that’s how it’s spelt). I spent the day before getting a few links ready: Gareth Bale being injured, war of words between Bellamy and Terry. Jim reckons that professional live blogs have two people working them, one to type and one to find the links, twitter feeds etc. I could have done with somebody but did get very lucky to stumble upon someone (@tombrown21) inside the ground tweeting great stuff about the game and the atmosphere.

The game was the intense 90 minutes as expected but the work I’d done the day before and my two dry runs at live blogging really helped. My biggest downfall was my typing speed. There are other elements I would ike to improve. I thought some of the images I used for the likes of substitutions were a bit big. I would have preferred a little graphic in the side of the text but coveritlive doesn’t do this.

To sum up,  my biggest downfall, without question, was my typing speed but being able to go back over it and tidy up helps. Does it work? Liverpool V United, no way. Wales V England, I like to think so. Looking at them now it is like they are written by two different people. Having the Mail and Sky to compare my work to really helped but if I wanted to improve it I would draft in a second person and that would  allow me to do the longer posts which I think work better for anybody reading the blog.

Finally it’s not all sport this live live blogging lark, It can work in the world of politics as well.

NEWS DAY

At the end of the year we had to do two news days. On the first of these days I worked on a story about a party being thrown in Queensbury for the cricket world cup final. The story was for the WNOL site. This involved using the interview techniques we worked on I first year. It was a reasonably easy interview to do as my interviewee gat to advertise his restaurant and was quite willing to talk. The rest or the day was online subbing, again first year skills.

For the second day I was involved in the social media aspect of the online journalism. I was able to take advantage of this as I had to do a lot of work with the radio team. I read the sports report for them and got involved in a debate about Wayne Rooney being suspended for swearing. I was able to go in between rooms updating the Twitter feed about the weekend’s sports. I put up highlights of the football that was coming up; there was also one of the majors in the golf going on out in America.

I worked with Matt in finding updates for his blog. I kept him informed of what I was doing and what was coming up in the radio broadcasts. Working directly with the radio team on the second day gave me more to do with the social media team. The cross media aspect is important and when the two teams talk to each other it gives a better overall final product.





Useful journalism sites

27 01 2011

If you don’t want to get left in the past then bookmark these sites. They’ll make you a net genius

online journalism blog

Nick Bergus

Steve Rubel

and if you’re interested in media news but don’t want to discuss it over the phone Mr. Coulson

Guardian Media and on Twitter

Alaistar Campbell’s blog and his Twitter feed

The Independent and Twitter





Last formal Blog

7 05 2010

And now the end is near… my last assignment of year 1 of being a journalist is a blog about the experience of studying multimedia journalism. Jim asked me in an interview what would be my ideal job in ten years time and I replied that I would love to be a political correspondent for one of the broadsheets. Oh how things have changed.

The reason for that change has been multimedia journalism. From my Facebook account to my blog to my pointless tweets there is a big electronic world out there that no journalist can ignore any longer.

I met a journalist who works for The Daily Mail recently and he agrees that the web is where the future lies; we just need to figure out how to make money out of it. I still use Google News since we were introduced to it a few months back and have since passed on my knowledge to some of my drinking buddies who have set up their own accounts.

An Irish DJ died recently and quite unexpectedly and, after a friend sent me a text, I used Google News to get the facts. The worry here is it was all free, news is so much more readily available but no one is paying for it. The world has become a much smaller place and though I’ve really taken to blogging I would love to make some money out of it. The Internet has unleashed an enormous amount of uncertainty about where the future of journalism is heading but I find this prospect rather exciting and hope that by getting into the business now I might have some say in the answer to this puzzle.

It wasn’t all technical; I also honed my interviewing skills for the podcast and my approach strangers in the street skills for the vox pops.

I will not be the type of student to ignore their blog ‘til we come back in October and Jim tells us to blow the dust off and get typing; there shall be a whole summer of theory, speculation and, of course, ranting. All donations accepted.





Group Blog

6 05 2010

My overall group blog experience was a good one; this is mostly down to the fact I had the privilege of working with a motivated intelligent group of people. We limited our number to four and although there were requests to join our blog such instances were swiftly dealt with.

My job was editor and chief and then we had a production editor, a social media person and a blog page enforcer. I don’t wish to upset anybody so I shall refer to these people as Mark, Victoria and Sophia.

My task was to inspire my people to write, there would be no problem here as everyone was brimming with ideas. Mark was asked to work out a time table to make sure posts were going up every day; I don’t think he needed to worry too much on that front. Vicky got us a page on Facebook which at its peak had 61 members and, director of decorations, Sophia spent an entire day in her back garden in the sunshine setting up the page.

I’m very proud to say that a number of other blog groups told me that they thought theirs and ours was the best. The page did look wonderful and everyone was brimming with ideas. By the end of the week my most difficult task had been to decide if I should allow a couple of little swear words slip through. I love swearing and I’m very good at it but I never like to see it in print. In my capacity as the leader I chose to let the swearing go, it wasn’t gratuitous and added a certain passion/humour where it was used.

As well as my posts, which I always tried to keep to the 300 word mark, I stuck up a few cartoons and after a while began crediting them (don’t want to get sued and lose my student loan). After having it explained to me 400 times I also learned what the difference between categories and tags is, I think.

Editing posts was my other task, luckily my team were mature enough to be open minded and listen to ideas. This was very much a two way thing and our final post on Camilla Chafer was written and re-edited by all of us.

An enjoyable experience and if I was required to do another group exercise I would imagine we’d get the old team back together.





TWEET TWEET TWEET

3 05 2010

I joined Facebook, set up Google news and reader, hell I even started a blog (you’re reading it) but Jim has pushed us to the limit this time and insist his minions all sign up for Twatter, sorry Twitter.

I put a post up on FB to inform people I had a Twitter account and within hours three people had responded. I elected to follow all three and one of them was an avid tweeter. now any-time I blow the dust off my Twitter account I have a ready update off where he’s drinking coffee, what shop he might buy a shirt in, who he may meet for a pint later and on and on and on.

Sometimes I’ll get an email to inform me that a complete stranger is following me on Twitter so I pop on the site, have a look and usually tweet something about how I feel Twitter is an awful waste of life.

When we set up our account in class initially I followed BBC and Sky Sports News and the usual suspects but the big boys flood Twitter with updates and take over your homepage. This meant a more tactful approach and I selected various journalists to follow instead.

I know Sky News have a full-time Twitter correspondent which must be a frightening prospect every morning on the way to work. “Dear God I have to spend another day sifting through mountains of horse shit just in case one of these needy people happen to be near anything newsworthy.” The best example of this is the plane that flopped down in the Hudson river and all the big media companies got their images from Twitter.

But I’ve decided tweeting is not for me, I’m going to go to my Twitter account now and make that public knowledge.





ONLINE VIDEO

25 04 2010

So today we’ll have a quick look at video links on media websites and we shall begin with a little peek at how they do it over the pond.

With the video link on the top of the home page The New York Times make it very easy to access their online videos. When you get there the page looks very professional and it is a navigating treat, with the main sections listed down the left, pick one and then a large number of videos appear for that link.

Plenty of choice for categories, you want technology? No problem. Science? Health? Style? Interviews? That’s a little taste of the 23 main options available.

Click on sport and there are 115 separate videos, environment 94, travel 90. These can then be broken into smaller categories, business breaks down into: Dealbook, CNBC, Green Inc and Your Money. Arts: Music, Movies, Urban Eye etc. It is clear that the NYT take this part of their web operation very seriously.

Comparing it to The Times in the UK where if you click on their sport link there is a choice of 8 videos, there’s no need for a sub-section as all the videos are there in front of you. I’m sure there’s more on offer but I just can’t see a link with ‘MORE’ on it. Click latest video and of the eight on display six are on the same topic. Two even use the same thumbnail.

If the Times in the UK dedicated the effort their namesake in New York did it would be marvellous because all those sport videos would be about football instead of baseball.

NOT SO GOOD