How to microblog in high heels

A geek girl's guide to social media and online engagement

Archive for the ‘journalism’ Category

How to get Connected, #SocialConf and new beginnings

Some updates which I wanted to share with you from the last week.

GShortsOrig_ConnectedBlue (1)

If you’re interested in how online communities come together to get stuff done, make change happen and have the power to impact on people’s day to day lives then you might like to sit back with a new Guardian Short which I’ve co-written with Ed Walker and Marc Thomas.

I’ve worked with Ed and Marc in a number of capacities – and here we’ve combined our experience and understanding of what makes community projects online work (and not work), as well as choosing some of our favourite (and lesser known) examples of communities and projects which are both inspiring and have made a difference in the area around them – all in a very short and (we hope) engaging read. It’s perfect for a Sunday evening so go and put the kettle on, climb into a comfy chair and download the ebook here: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by hrwaldram

September 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm

A comment on GuardianWitness – another tool on the roadmap to open journalism – and Making News – Radio 4’s programme on modern day news cycle

Lots of talk and excitement on the web today as the Guardian unveiled a new UGC platform – GuardianWitness – a downloadable app and desktop tool which allows users to easily submit photos, video and text direct to journalists.

Joanna Geary has written a post about the launch here and there’s some more detail on One Man and his Blog after Adam Tinworth interviewed Joanna about the project. First, a big well done I think to all those involved in the project – in particular members of the community team Joanna Geary, Laura Oliver Caroline Bannock and Philippa Law. As I hope to explain in this post – GuardianWitness looks set to make the process of users collaborating with journalists even easier.  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by hrwaldram

April 16, 2013 at 7:14 pm

How can online communities assist and enhance traditional journalism? Some notes

On Wednesday this week I’ll be taking part in a panel event run by City University’s Interactive journalism students (they go by the name of ‘interhacktives‘ online) about how community engagement can enrich journalism. 

Also on the panel will be Nick Petrie, my counterpart at the Times, Sarah Drinkwater who runs Google Local, and MSN International editor Tom (aka flashboy) Phillips who also runs Is Twitter Wrong?

The Q&A discussion hopes to answer the following questions:

  • How can online communities assist and enhance traditional journalism?
  • What does a community manager actually do?
  • Which are the most useful social media and online tools?

For my part I will be drawing on three particular examples – both recent and long term – which I think exemplify how engaging with online communities can enhance your journalism.  Read the rest of this entry »

Help me crowdsource slides for my #newsrw presentation

I’m finalising the last touches to my presentation at’s news:rewired conference and when thinking about slides to illustrate my presentation, I kept coming back to the idea I that my Twitter & blog followers can probably come up with something more creative and different than I can think of (after exhausting all my creative slide-making juices on my recent Storywheel presentation for #icwsm). What’s more, the presentation is on ‘the power of the crowd’, so I wanted to experiment to see if my crowd to help illustrate various points!
To get involved:
Simply send me the link to your photo/Flickr image/slide via Twitter @hrwaldram with the hastag #SlideforHannah and I’ll pick it up.
If you haven’t taken the image let me know so I can contact the person who holds the copyright (but would be even more AWESOME if you were the author).

Some inspiration for slides:

  • Pictures which demonstrate engaged communities (I know, right – maybe some Lego men shaking hands or something…. get creative!)
  • On that note, ANYTHING LEGO related always works a treat…
  • Also, (sounds unrelated but it’s not), there’s a bit when I talk about video games & player participation – maybe Super Mario – feel free to work on this theme
  • Readers – what do they look like?
  • Likewise, community coordinators?
  • Knowledge – I need a slide to represent knowledge. No books please.
  • Instagram, the official tool for making things look better. If you send me an Instagram from your daily business, I will almost certainly make use of it somehow

So that should give you something to get on with this weekend 🙂 Just to reiterate, this isn’t me being lazy – but trying to illustrate a point, and at the same time harness the power of the crowd. Plus I’ll post the slideshow and talk here for everyone to see (and everyone who takes part will get a special mention).

UPDATE Mon 9 July: Thanks for the couple of slides sent my way! I’ve finished my presentation now. Thanks to those who took part!

Written by hrwaldram

July 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Posted in journalism, Online Journalism

Tagged with

The end of the scoop – News:rewired notes October 2011 #newsrw

#newsrw - Collaboration in investigative journalism

Christine Spolar, FT; David Hayward, BBC CoJo; Paul Lewis, Guardian. Photo: John Thompson/Flickr

The last session I could make it to at’s News:rewired conference 2011 was on investigative journalism and its precarious future.

Before I go into more depth on what the four speakers said – I’ll start with the most reverberating statement which many readers may find contraversial – but in which all four panellists were in agreement – it’s the end of the scoop.

Here’s what it said about the session in the programme:

Collaboration in investigative journalism

  • It has often been said that collaboration is key for the future of investigative journalism, be that working in partnership with other news outlets or media bodies, or harnessing the power of the community in investigations. This session will feature advice on how best to make a go of large projects by sharing resources and inviting the community to help dig with you.

With: Iain Overton, managing editor, Bureau of Investigative Journalism; Simon Perry, founder, Ventnor Blog; Paul Lewis, special projects editor, the Guardian and Christine Spolar, investigations and special projects editor, the Financial Times.

Iain Overton – don’t let exclusivity stamp out profitable collaborations

#newsrw - Iain Overton

Iain Overton, Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Photo: John Thompson/Flickr

First up Iain Overton from Bureau of Investigative Journalism – a not-for-profit org which runs investigations for press and broadcast media. Since April 2010 TBIJ has seen 26 front pages. He was buoyant about now being a great time for investigative journalism. The Economist and FT have new investigations editor – it’s refreshing, he said when elsewhere there’s a real lack of in-depth original reporting.

Glossing over the outlook for investigative journalism, however, Overton outlined how investment is a perpetual problem – you have to think about the cost of paying journalists to live in London, lawyers and the like – you could get multi-skilled TV producers like at ITN – but there’s a to what one person can do (amen!), so you need to generate as much sales across as many platforms as possible.

But regaining an optimistic tone, Overton said there were exploitation opportunities for the web and multi-media – it’s not just about being a Sunday exclusive read – and this is where collaboration is key. In particular international collaborations. “The easiest way to find money for is international documentaries based on human rights” – he said, as there’s a ready market. But if you become too specific other commissioners get bored.

Then came Wikileaks – and the biggest media collaboration ever. But sometimes exclusivity deals can kill investigative collaborations (which Overton said the BBC was a particular cuplrit for). The model is still sustained by philanthropy – collaborations need to be subsidised. Overton ended on saying investment in investigative journalism could put more energy and financing into the beleaguered journalism industry.

#newsrw - Paul Lewis

Paul Lews Photo: John Thompson/Flickr

Read the rest of this entry »

The new model for journalism: Hyperlocal, collaboration and aggregation

We still haven’t found it – the perfect future business model to make journalism work online – but we are still looking and searching and a few blogs and conversations recently have raised some interesting ideas about how the future of journalism might look.

Earlier this week, Paul Carr posted on TechCrunch. He talked about how bloggers aren’t really taking over mainstream media – how UGC can help break news but traditional reporting would always be needed to flesh out a story, but bloggers also seem able to get information the tabloid press also doll out.

He said good investigative reporting would always be needed – the 50-strong crack team who perhaps constitute the phrase “good journalism” were essential to keep the industry alive. But, he said, you always needed people to write the smaller, press-release type stories to flesh out the paper and keep the less explosive news being published.

Carr then goes on to use the example of TechCrunch to see where the industry is going – a small team of niche reporters working hard to deliver top technology news for loyal readership. He writes:

Whatever the cynics might think, it’s a place where sources are built up, facts are checked, lawyers are employed and writers are encouraged to go out and get the real story behind the story.

Other sites popping up around the globe are catering for other niches – farming, music and politics. The new model is an online one – of collaboration with users and bloggers combined with your best editors to create the best news content and linking to other niches you can’t do so well (a method Jeff Jarvis championed a while back).

This leads me onto the next exciting development closer to home, in Birmingham, which is again leading the way in new ideas of doing good journalism online.

Help Me Investigate is a new website (only about three weeks old) which allows the locality to type a civic question into the website (“How many parking tickets are being issued per month on my road”) and a group of journalists as well as other users on the site work about getting the information back to that person – submitting Freedom of Information requests and collaborating on finding out the relevant legislation. It is time consuming and costly process – which in any newsroom would need a number of resources. But the Help Me Investigate team have managed already to find out some pretty ground breaking facts – like the story about parking ticket hotspots which was recently published (and rightfully attributed) in the local press by the Birmingham Post and the Birmingham Mail.

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This is the future of journalism. A collaborative effort with professional journalists, local people and local authorities coming together to make the community more transparent and an altogether better place. It is a source of news as well as a place people who are passionate about where they live to ask others for help with their shared local grievances. It is also the essence of a hyperlocal website.

Numerous ones have sprung up across Birmingham (and the UK) – building communities online which reflect the local area. Digbeth, Lichfield and Acocks Green are great examples.

But as Paul Bradshaw today on Radio 4’s Media Show – you cannot make much money form hyperlocal. I am quickly finding this out as I pour my efforts and limited webby skills into making a hyperlocal news website for Bournville – the area I live in in Birmingham.

Bournville has no local newspaper and little going for it on the web – and tons of advertisers who would love to have their services published to the local community. Seems like a sure fire hit? Well it takes time and energy to set up – and it’s only little old me working on it at the mo – albeit with a web of friendly and supportive bloggers in Birmingham and plenty of other hyperlocal experts to take advice from.

But hyperlocal, collaborative and aggregation seem to me to be key terms in the future of local journalism online. And I’m excited my home town Birmingham is pioneering such innovative and exceptional work.

Written by hrwaldram

August 5, 2009 at 1:35 pm