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.


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.


Good ‘New York’ Times

27 04 2011

The creators of the NYT paywall are very happy with its performance. Though we have The Times to keep an eye on over here this is the one that the international market is most interested in.

Google Maps

22 03 2011

If you think Google maps is limited to sticking an image on a website under the heading “Find Us Here” look at this.

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.

Audio Visual

7 05 2010

I tackled audio first and, am ashamed to admit, my heart was never quite in it. At the time I had a few big mark assignments due in and had to give a presentation about the Chilcot inquiry (I take immense pride in my presentations) so audio got bumped way down the list.

I did a podcast about mature students, I felt we were something of our own little species and wanted to see if the others views reflected my own. I interviewed Mark, Sophia, Monika and the ever talkative Patrick Stoddart. The biggest lesson I learned is to be brutal when working. Patrick had given me the most interesting interview but I just couldn’t fit it into my two minute limit. So the ten minutes of his time (this was while he was incredibly busy with interviews) he gave me was to come to nothing. Those I spoke to felt the same way I did at the frustration of the attitude of younger students and Patrick gave me the impression he would love to teach a class full of us older kids.

The first obstacle is to overcome the sound of your own voice which is something I don’t think we ever achieve fully. Whose voice is that? Oh it’s me. You need to accept you sound like that and crack on.

I spent many hours editing my podcast and no one seemed quite sure how to burn it onto a disk but I managed eventually. I lost ten percent for not having music in it but had discussed with the lecturer how I had put music in but it just didn’t work. I should have left it on. 54% my lowest mark of the year.

Video and the mighty Rezzzza. Students who had studied video had warned me about Reza’s style of teaching but I thought he was outstanding and the amount of effort he put in with the individuals who came to his class was great. I did a vox pops about the election in Harrow, see earlier post. This was a no brainer as a choice as i was writing the group blog at the time and I have a huge interest in politics.  A great experience for any journalist is jumping in front of people in the street and making them talk to a camera, you need to think about how you approach and what to say, I always assured them I wasn’t looking for money and that it was a student task and they weren’t gonna be on the six o clock news.

Once you get good at it people start to open up and you learn to spot the talkers, Asian women will talk to other women but not men. Monika who I was teamed with had a great interview with a Muslim woman, one that I would never have gotten.

Final Cut Pro, what a mess. Without Reza to be pestered by me I never would have done it. I must have picked something up though because I ended up helping a lot of my class mates. I think I’m gonna have to keep practicing my editing skills for audio and visual outside of class time. Got to know how to do everything these days.

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.