Thursday, 8 September 2011

Previewing Masterclass 35: Getting started with RSS feeds


This masterclass is again set at the Getting Started level of MMJ's three-level learning programme.

Below is what the intro screen for students will say. There's a link at the bottom into the tuition.

A journalist is only as good as their sources

And building those sources is a vital part of becoming an effective and professional journalist
Some sources are individual, face to face ones.
The people you come into personal contact with in your day-to-day work. Or who you talk to by phone.
But we can also tap into sources online, and reach people, and information streams, we can’t easily get to in other ways.
With the growth of online publishing via specialist blogs, and the use of social media, the importance of monitoring these information sources has become huge – it’s one of the cornerstones on which you’ll build your career as a journalist.

RSS as social media

We looked in the last masterclass at how social media can be a valuable source of stories, contacts and tools for research.
We also looked at social media as publishing platforms, or distribution channels, for our journalism.
Now we add to that with a look at using RSS feeds to the same ends.
We’ll start from scratch, looking at what RSS feeds are, and how to set them up.
And we’ll look at how to use them most efficiently, by combining the sources you want to keep tabs on into folders.
We’ll also look at something Google calls bundles, which turn a whole bunch – or bundle – of individual RSS feeds into one big aggregated one.
These bundles can be a great resource for you, and for others. So they’re something you can share with your community.
Which brings us to publishing. We’ll also look at how you can set up RSS streams to distribute your breaking news and other information.

Next: What RSS is and how journalists use it

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