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Thursday, 23 December 2010
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Court reporting, and the essential requirement of having an accurate note of proceedings, has always been one of the cornerstones of the argument in favour of journalists using shorthand. Perhaps the cornerstone.
But now Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, has removed that cornerstone. He ruled that: “the use of an unobtrusive, hand-held, virtually silent piece of modern equipment for the purposes of simultaneous reporting of proceedings to the outside world as they unfold in court is generally unlikely to interfere with the proper administration of justice.”
There was just one restriction: “Before such use is permitted, the court must be satisfied that its use does not pose a danger of interference to the proper administration of justice in the individual case”
Shorthand was, until now, the best way of ensuring you could get a fair and accurate report into your notebook in a situation where audio recording is forbidden. But now, as Lord Judge said: “The most obvious purpose of permitting the use of live, text-based communications would be to enable the media to produce fair and accurate reports of the proceedings.”
So who needs shorthand anymore?
There is another argument in favour of learning shorthand, in the wider journalistic context. Say you are recording an interview. What’s best: shorthand or audio?
Defenders of shorthand will say that it is far better than an audio recording in that you can easily riffle through your notes and produce a report fast. Audio takes a while to transcribe, slowing down the reporting process. But then, so does shorthand, and you can read outlines wrongly, sometimes with disasterous results.
And, in any case, those who have been taught shorthand should also have been taught, elsewhere in their training, that it is far better to write your story without reference to your shorthand note or audio recording, referring to your record only to ensure accuracy with direct quotes and essential facts. So transcribing is bad, whatever the method of recording information.
So why keep shorthand on the syllabus? I have my own theory as to why some, particularly in the newspaper industry, will argue that trainees should still learn shorthand.
Because it’s hard, and takes time to master. Which means you can use the need for shorthand to help justify keeping a trainee on a pittance for 18 months: they need that time, typically, to get up to 100wpm.
I have an interest to declare here. I never got my 100wpm, despite two years of slaving away at it. Fortunately, that never held me back. But, today, no shorthand means no NCTJ qualification and, in the local press, that makes things tough.
But there can no longer be any justification for teaching shorthand to trainees.
What can’t be justified is failing to teach them about the full range of multimedia reporting opportunities that are now open to them: whether it’s using Twitter, CoverItLive or another text-based live reporting medium in court; learning to create mobile platforms; using their iPhone as a multimedia reporting device; understanding data-based reporting; or learning to create and run a hyperlocal site.
If those are not on a journalism syllabus but shorthand is, then journalism students are being ill-prepared for work.
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Very often, online video is just a short clip embedded in a text report. Nothing wrong with that. Indeed, it’s a brilliantly effective way to use video
Steve Herrmann, editor of the BBC News website, says that the Beeb has learned that one of the most successful formats is the short news clip that shows something visually compellingThese work particularly well, he says, when they are embedded in a related text news story. So we’ll take a close look at video snippets and inserts in this masterclass, which you can find in full here.
But while quick clips are often all that is required, or there is time for online, that can be pretty limiting.
We’d probably all like to develop our skills as visual storytellers, we’d like a bigger canvas, and that’s what video packages give us. So this masterclass will focus mainly video packages and the art of visual storytelling.
You'll also need to be competent in this style of video journalism if you are on an NCTJ-accredited course and are taking their Videojournalism for Online option.
We’ll look at when such packages, which take time and skill to produce, are appropriate for the multimedia journalist.
To learn from the experts we’ll take a trawl through what a wide range of video journalists have been saying recently.
Those people include US journalists
- Joe Fryer,
- Jason Witmer, and
- Darren Durlach,
We’ll have examples of their videos, along with their explanations of how to make our own efforts as good as theirs.
We’ll also take a look at what UK multimedia storyteller Adam Westbrook says we can learn about storytelling from Hollywood movies, and how to apply it to our own videos.
Speaking of Hollywood movies, we’ll see what you can learn about sequences from George Clooney.
And introduce you to Shawn Montano, who writes the Editfoundry blog, a brilliant learning resource on the shots to get, and how to edit them into a great video.
What all this builds up into is a masterclass in developing your video storytelling skills.
The NCTJ's Videojournalism for Online syllabus is also outlined here.
This masterclass builds on the book version of Chapter 14: Professional standards: publishing platforms for advanced multimedia storytellingIf you aren't yet a subscriber, you can sort that out here
Friday, 10 December 2010
So far in MMJ, we have looked at creating multimedia publishing platforms on simple, straightforward software such as Webs and Blogger
They're great places for non-programmers to learn the basics
But now a new, and much more sophisticated web-building platform has become available to the non-programmer
It’s called Drupal Gardens, and it’s a version of Drupal 7, an open-source programme that is used by many professional web developers, including those who built the MMJ site. Here's a video and audio introduction to it, and to what we'll be doing in this masterclass, with a text version below.
Until recently, Drupal was a great platform for programmers, but baffling to non-coders. And you needed a server to host it on.
Drupal Gardens is designed to enable the non-coder to build a site that is every bit as good, professional and powerful, as a Drupal website created by a programmer.
It’s web-based, and it’s hosted by Acquia, the company that developed it, so you can use it just as you would Blogger, Webs, Wordpress or any other web-based publishing platform.
Drupal Gardens uses the Drupal content management system. But there’s no software to install. No servers to update or manage.
Drupal Gardens has a library of themes and templates for you to use, or you can start from scratch, and create your own.
It has an integrated wysywlg editor, so adding multimedia content is easy.
And it gives you user profiles for your contributors, with tailored access depending who they are and what they do. So an editor and a team of journalists can all be given the access they need, to the areas of the site that they are responsible for.
It’s socially connected, easily linked to Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and all your other social presences.
And it takes RSS feeds. So if you want a site where a good deal of aggregated content can be presented – perhaps you are building a hyperlocal site with a lot of information feeds that you’ve tailored for your audience – then Drupal Gardens can handle it.
If you want to import your own custom URL to what you build, you can.
And if you decide later that you want to host the site you build on your own servers, you can do that too.
But if you are entirely new to building publishing platforms, then I strongly suggest that you work your way first through the relevant Chapters of MMJ, and look at the supporting material, and practical demonstrations on the accompanying website.
It’s not essential, but if Drupal gardens is your first attempt at web building, you may find it hard going at first.
Anyway, here's the link to get you started: http://www.drupalgardens.com/
The links to the right will take you step by step through the site-creation process.
Friday, 19 November 2010
We’ll be talking to one person who is building a website for west London: West London Today.
His name is Bolaji and he’s something of a veteran in hyperlocal.
He created a hyperlocal print magazine, Brook Green, in 2001, and last year he decided to create an online site for a large area of London, with various hyperlocal presences under that big umbrella.
Bolaji is at a crossroads,;trying to decide whether to keep building what is at present a fledgling site on his own, or to partner with one of the most successful names in the hyperlocal business, Neighbournet.
That’s a choice many who want to create hyperlocal sites face.
Another problem for many hyperlocal sites is how to get enough content on them.
Bolaji has been following the masterclasses in MMJ, and he asked if we could address this key problem.
So we do, looking at how to use Yahoo Pipes to create filtered streams of content; a range of closely targeted feeds that will help satisfy the information needs of his users, in each locality of west London that he covers.
And we look at how to embed such RSS feeds into your site
Also, at how to find those feeds.
And not just news feeds, but also feeds containing on a whole range of other information, such as school league tables, crime, what MPs are up to, and reporting street cleaning and other problems to the council.
There is a great deal of advice out there, and existing Yahoo Pipes that you can adapt for your own purposes, if you can find it. So we have gathered some of that.
Finally, what we cont cover in Masteclass17: your publishing platform. That’ll come next time, in Masterclass 18.
Friday, 12 November 2010
Friday, 5 November 2010
Law textbooks go out of date fast
One area the law is moving too fast for those textbooks is that of privacy.The latest masterclass at www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/masterclasses offers journalists an essential update, delivered by the prominent media lawyer Duncan Lamont.
The masterclass is ongoing, and the elements published so far are linked to below:
Introducing Duncan Lamont: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1097
Privacy backgrounder: What the PCC and Ofcom say: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1098
Privacy law is new: key points in its development: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1099
How case law has shaped the develoment of privacy: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1100
Is pregnancy a private matter? http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1101
Why can you say more about some people than others? http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1102
Wayne Rooney and data protection: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1103
Prince Charles and breach of confidence: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1103
John Terry and the rise of the super-injunction: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1105
More modules to come each day
In this module of our law masterclass, which you can find in full at www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/masterclasses, Duncan Lamont says: “The law was you couldn’t get an injunction, an order to prevent publication, with libel, so it was publish and be damned. Editors got used to not facing injunctions because they could say 'I believe what I am going to publish is true'.
“However, with the development of privacy, and that aspect of confidentiality, the fact that a story is true and libelous, or made up and therefore incapable of being libelous but still private, meant that celebrities started going to the courts in increasing numbers to get injunctions.
"Now, that's not a super-injunction, that’s a mere injunction to stop publication of a particular story.
“A super-injunction stops anyone ever saying there was even an injunction. That there even is a reason that we should be interested in footballer X or politician Y.
The John Terry super-injunction caseThe most prominent super-injunction was the one initially granted to then England football captain John Terry when he heard rumours that a Sunday newspaper was intending to publish details of an alleged extra-marital affair.
The super-injunction was soon removed when, as The Telegraph reported: “Mr Justice Tugendhat decided he should lift a temporary gagging order he had granted which prevented the media from reporting that the £150,000-a-week footballer had conducted an extra-marital affair with the ex-girlfriend of his England team-mate Wayne Bridge.
“The injunction ... had been heavily criticised as the latest example of the courts bringing in a privacy law by the back door.”
As Duncan says in the clips, the granting of super-injunctions " many people believe, led to injustices."
But super-injunctions continue to be granted. Stephen Glover, in his Independent column wrote on October 4 2010:
"More injunctions to shield the famous and wealthy
"Why no campaign against super-injunctions?"Rightly, Stephen Glover points today to the fact that "two more secret injunctions have been handed down... to shield the famous and wealthy."
"He is, like the rest of the British-based journalistic community, unable to tell the public their names even though he knows them.
"I agree that people should be able to prevent publication about their private lives if they can convince a judge that there is no justifiable public interest.
The details of the claims should also remain secret (of course). But the fact of a person taking legal action should not be concealed from the public.
"I wonder why more newspapers are not kicking up a great fuss about these super-injunctions this time around.
"For example, why is The Sun - which loves to hold aloft the banner of press freedom - not campaigning against the gag that prevents us knowing the identity of a television star who has prevented his ex-wife publishing an account of their relationship?"
Thursday, 4 November 2010
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Monday, 1 November 2010
Sunday, 31 October 2010
We don’t have a list of things you can say about a person without intruding on their privacy.There is no check list of what is acceptable and what is not.
Courts judge what is said, and why, on an individual basis, taking account of the character and behaviour of the complainant.
The courts' view of what is and is not acceptable has changed over recent years.
You'll find more on privacy case law here:
or here: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1100http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1100
The full law essential update masterclass, as it is published, here
or here: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1096
Saturday, 30 October 2010
From Gorden Kaye to Naomi CampbellKey points in the development of privacy law
We hear a great deal about privacy cases now, and privacy is something that must concern every journalist, but how have we got to the point where it is such a burning legal issue?
Privacy law is new, says Duncan LamontIn the clip he points to three key points in its development
1 Gorden Kaye
2 Human Rights Act
3 Naomi Campbell
Follow the full masterclass here: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1096
Friday, 29 October 2010
Law textbooks go out of date fast
One area the law is moving too fast for those textbooks is that of privacy.This video introduces an essential update on this aspect of the law, and flags up the areas covered in the full masterclass, which is with media lawyer Duncan Lamont.
The full masterclass goes live from October 30 at www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/masterclasses , with a new element added each day
Friday, 22 October 2010
How to subscribe All you need do is buy the textbook (Amazon has it for £25.05)
With the book comes the code you need to access the full, complementary website.
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
But you can add a gadget that hugely improves on things, and you'll fidn more on that here: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1064
The iPhone4 has built in flash, so it’s much better for low light conditions that the 3GS, which I have.
Some professional photographers are dismissive of the iPhone, saying it is just not up to the job. However, others enthuse about the phone's pic-tacking capabilities
Here is an example of what a professional photographer can do:
That's a grab from this photography blog:
Fidn out more at
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
- How to publish audio instantly online
- How to create a podcast feed that users can subscribe to
- How to embed an audio player in your website or blog
- How to get your podcast onto iTunes
- Find out more here: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1060
Monday, 18 October 2010
Take a look at this:
How to get fasterIf you aren't as fast as that, here are some tips on speeding up
If you’re not that fast then to my mind the only solution is to get hold of a portable keyboard, ideally one that will fold up and slip in your bag, and hence makes sense for the mobile journalist.
Find our more here: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1059
Sunday, 17 October 2010
Where to broadcast to - Establishing publishing platformsThe basics: filing to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube
Most apps offer you options to file to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. It's dead simple; when you have your material you just press the right button.
That’s fine a lot of the time. But it can be disjointed.
You get bits of coverage, and if you are covering an event with stills, audio, video (some streamed live, some edited) it gets filed all over the place and you can’t create a coherent multimedia report.
So what you need is one place where all your material for a story appears together.
Various platforms allow you to post via email. The main blogging ones, such as Blogger, and other platforms such as Tumblr, do that.
I’ve tried them, and the one I find works best is called Posterous.
Posterous - all your content, in any medium, posted together in one placeI like Posterous because I can file everything to it, whatever the medium, via email.
In one email you can include various media: text and stills; text and video; text, stills and video. What you file appears together in one post.
Find out more here
Saturday, 16 October 2010
Friday, 15 October 2010
Part 1: The contextThe context for multimedia journalism: the coming of smartphones, apps and Web 3.0.
This is the first part of a talk I gave to journalism students about using the iPhone for mobile, multimedia journalism. See part two for a practical guide to broadcasting with the iPhone.
For the full masterclass, plus a second video, go here: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1056
Friday, 8 October 2010
It’ll be available from October 15 available as text, video or audio here
Video introductionTo demonstrate use of the iPhone on the move, I shot this in the car while travelling to a job. This was a live broadcast which I subsequently uploaded to YouTube for onward distribution to Facebook, Twitter and Posterous, and which is intended to illustrate how easy it is to create slightly rough-and-ready but serviceable video on the move.
I’ve also done an audio version of the introduction to this masterclass as a further demonstration. This was recorded as on Audioboo, one of the apps we’ll take a look at later, and shared from there via iTunes and other distribution platforms
Text introductionWe will cover both:
- the iPhone as a news gathering, editing and transmitting device, and
- how to establish publishing platforms for the material you create
Why the iPhone is good for mobile multimedia reportingFirst the basics. The device itself is good because it has built-in the things you need:
- a camera for stills and video,
- a Voice Memos app for recording audio,
- a qwerty keyboard for writing text
- GPS to pinpoint your location and enable you to link your reporting to place
We’ll look at a range of apps for audio, video and text to see which of them are better than what you get built in.
Then there’s the phone’s broadcasting capabilities. Because gathering the news is one thing, having a place to publish it is another.
The apps make it simple to broadcast video, audio and the rest to social networks such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, but that’s very basic.
There is a danger that, in simply broadcasting snippets – a video clips to YouTube, a tweet to Twitter and a picture to Flickr – you end up with coverage that is highly fragmented.
Your users may catch some bits of your reporting of a particular story or event, but miss others.
What you really need is one platform on which your reporting – text, stills audio and video, can be gathered and presented as a coherent whole.
So we’ll look at the best ways of doing that, creating platforms that not only present your multimedia well, but which also autopost it on to the various social networks we need to have a strong presence on.
But the iPhone is by no means perfect. There are several significant things wrong with it that limit its potential as a reporting tool, unless we find ways to compensate for them.
Why the iPhone is not so great
- Battery life is poor. Half a day at most if you are using it intensively.
- The signal can be poor away from wi-fi hotspots.
- The built-in mic is prone to wind noise in even the merest breeze
- Trying to edit video on the built in app is a nightmare.
There are now apps available, some free, the rest dead cheap, that vastly improve things – particularly video and audio editing, which can now be done to professional standards with the right £5.99 app.
So, here’s what we will cover in this masterclass.
The links below will go live here on October 15 for subscribers to Multimedia Journalism: A Practical GuideGadgets: how to maximise the performance of the iPhone
Broadcasting platforms: Where, and how, to publish your multimedia content
Text: Overcoming the shortcomings of the iPhone’s qwerty keyboard
Audio: The best apps reviewed, explained and demonstrated
Stills: The iphone as a stills camera
Video: The best apps for live broadcasting, and recording
Video and audio editing: How to use Vericorder 1st Video, the first professional-standard in-phone editor for creating video packages, audio, and audio slide-shows
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
MMJ Masterclasses: iPhone for Journalism, Essential Law Update, Apps for Non-Coders and latest Developments in Video Storytelling
Masterclass 14: iPhone for JournalismSmartphones are a highly convenient way for the multimedia journalist to publish instantly
We'll look at how to turn your iPhone into a fully-enabled multimedia reporting device, so you can file text, stills, video and audio instantly to a custom-made blog, to a mobile-enabled multimedia site, and any combination you like of Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and a huge range of other platforms.
We're concentrating on the iPhone, but what we cover is also applicable to other smartphones.
Going live: October 16
Masterclass 15: Media law is changing fast, are you keeping up?
What do you know about the developing de facto law on privacy in the UK?
Puzzled about sports stars, data protection and super-injunctions?
Ever wondered why what your law textbook says on defamation and contempt seems out of step with how the media actually behaves?Then this Masterclass is for you. Media law expert Duncan Lamont talks about how the law as it relates to the media is changing, and explains how the law is interpreted in real journalistic life.
Going live: October 30
Masterclass 16: App-building for non-coders, website building for non-coders
How to build a iPhone and Android-compatible app, and a Drupal website without being a web-developerWe'll cover basic html in a later masterclass, for now, here's how to get your really professional mobile app up and running. Also, building on existing MMJ course and masterclass content, we'll look at how it is now possible to create a website on Drupal, on open-source web dvelopment platform that is the basis for many websites, including the one you are reading now.
Going live: November 13
Masterclass 17: Video storytelling
The latest on what works best in online video, and how to get it rightOur understanding of how best to deliver online is developing rapidly. We'll build on existing MMJ course content by looking at what the BBC has learned, and see how to put it into practice. We'll also take in the National Council for the Training of Journalist's requriements in its video storytelling option at Diploma in Journalism level.
Going live, November 27
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Gary Wright, group editor at KoS Media, has this advice on what will persaude an editor to shortlist you.
In a word: evidence. Evidence that you are keen on the career, so cuttings and work experience are essential.
So now you've got the interview, how do you ensure you are the successful candidate?
Haymarket's group editorial training manager Jess McAree has this advice for how to succeed at interview:
Above all show desperate desire and enthusiasm, show that you are tough; tough enough to work long hours, take criticism when you have underperformed, show that you’ll stick at it even when it isn’t going well. That’s what they are looking for at interview.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Adam's portfolio looks like this:
- Teaching video journalism at Kingston University
- Video journalist for agencies and sites online sites such as VJ Movement
- Print journalism for clients including The Big Issue
- Selling information products, including e-books
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Jess McAree, group editorial training manager at Haymarket says: “Knowledge of multimedia, including video, is not essential today but it’s very desirable. Two or three years down the line it will be a requirement.
“In your training learn as much as you possibly can about all of the multimedia and publishing on the web.
“It’s not essential to know about coding but it is desirable. The journalist as coder is not here yet but some are looking to that.
"As a bare minimum you need to know basic htlm tags."
For the full video masterclass on finding your first job in journalsim, go to http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/967
Monday, 27 September 2010
What course should you take?
Which accrediting body is the best: the newspaper-focused National Council for the Training of Journalists, NCTJ, the magazine-focused Periodical Training Council, PTC, or the Broadcast Journalism Training Council, BJTC?
What length and level of journalism course: undergrad, postgrad, fast track? Which should it be?
In magazines, says Jess McAree, group editorial training manager for haymarket, they favour the PTC, but “I personally when I’ve recruited people have never really looked at their qualifications… I’ve always wanted people who were mustard keen.”
What course should you do?
If you want to begin your career on local newspapers, what qualifications do you need? The obvious answer is an NCTJ pre-entry course, but industry experts such as Gary Wright, group editor of KoS Media, say that this lacks certain vital areas of expertise.
So if you take the NCTJ's preliminary qualifications as part of a university course - whether its at undergraduate or postgraduate level - make sure you also get a solid grounding in the web, video and audio, in addition to what the NCTJ requires you to know to pass its exams.
Friday, 24 September 2010
In the clip he gives the example of Business Link, a site which has thousands of pages of content, with not a byline to be seen. He writes that content.
He says: “It’s me but no one knows it’s me, and there is tons of stuff that sits under the high profile stuff. If you can find that work there’s a ton of it.
To get it, pick some markets, call and ask where they source their information from. It’s often a third party content provider, and if so you need to find out which, and approach them.
Apply the same skills that you would to getting a story to building your business: research, knock on doors: “People ask me what’s the most important skill doing this, it’s research frankly.
“The other key skill is you need to develop a selling gene, that idea that you aren’t selling something if you’re a journalist is rubbish, because you are.
More from David here http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/704
Some newspaper groups get multimedia in a really significant way. Many don't.
Could it possibly be true that there are plenty of journalism jobs to go around?
I’d understand if you dismissed that question out of hand. Having been told just how tough it is to get into journalism – tougher than ever what with the recession and the slump in advertising – how could it be easy to get a job?
- No-one seems to keep figures of how many jobs are available each year.
- Even the numbers studying journalism are contested.
- It’s not even possible to say with complete confidence how many journalists there are in total.