Friday, 13 February 2009

The editor's days are numbered

Much discussion has been generated by Roy Grenslade's comments on why sub-editors are becoming redundant.

He makes a very clear and coherent case for when they are required - on pop papers where their creativity is a vital part of the finished product.

Apart from that, they are fast becoming a luxury.

As Greenslade says, he doesn't need a sub to get his blog published.

What he also doesn't need is an editor.

No proficient columnist does. Nor do experienced, specialist reporters.

So, let's take it as read that the sub is dead in the multimedia world. Now lets move on to considering when an old-world editor might still be necessary. Rarely, is the answer.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

A novel paid-journalism model

Will readers pay journalists to research and publish stories they have a particular interest in?

As possible solutions to the knotty problem of how to get readers to pay for news it is certainly one of the more left-field ideas. But Spot.Us is giving it a go - and claims it is working.

Story pitches are published on the Spot.Us site, and readers invited to contribute towards the cost of producing them. There's a handy button with "I'll donate $25" on it, and another slot for readers to suggest stories they'd like to see followed up.

There's also a quote from the New York Times, saying: "Spot Us would give a news sense of editorial power to the public."

The LA Times columnist James Rainey took a look at the six stories published in the site's first three months, and found them editorially wanting. Which is not to invalidate the idea.

Journalists ask for between $500 and $1,000 per assignment, and no one bidder can find more than 20% of a project.

It might sound mad at first, but think of it like an ad feature. No shame in getting a grand for one of those.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

What's your Tweet value?

A new application called Tweetvalue claims to be able to assess the value of your tweets.

The BBC's Maggie Sheils (Twitter value $62) blogs that Tweetvalue says the service was created in four hours by the Swedish entrepreneur and developer Jonas Lejon and is "calculated with a Ph.D algoritm that is based on the public information available on your Twitter profile"

Top of the Tweetvalue tree is Barack Obama at $41,150.

Type in any Twitterer's name and you get their value. A random selection of those I follow reveals: Stephen Fry is worth $5,552, Jonathan Ross $866, Iain Dale $275, and No10 (downingstreet) $1999.

Me? I'm worth all of $9.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Who's the tweeting poet at No 10?

So who is the press officer with the lyrical turn of phrase bringing a poetic sensibility to No 10's Twitter posts from Davos?

For instance: "Iced snow-slopes in bright sunshine twinkle like sheets of glittered cotton"

And the almost Haiku-esq:
"Business media types patter keys furiously. Smell of coffee."

Here's a clue: "
No10admin is with the PM in a cold and snowy Davos for the World Economic Forum. As many have asked, I can tell you my name is Ian"

Well done Ian. There should be more poetry in politics.