Lessons in journalism from The Guardian



Neil Mcintosh has a bit of advice for jdeans and jstudents out there. Watch the Guardian’s US correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg ‘on the hustle’

Suzanne’s in fine form as she beetles round interviewing campaign workers, fending off absurd requests from officials to stop doing what every good reporter does – asking lots, and lots, of questions. You don’t often get to see a journalist at work like this, which is what might make it useful for those j-deans out there.

I watched it and  at times, hell, all of it was like watching Michael Moore with a fur lined coat and purple handbag.

The video is okay as an authored piece but it’s labored.

But I agree. You don’t get to see many journalists at work like this. Yeah, you have to be pushy. You don’t do what you are told.  You have to go the extra mile for a story.  But I think one of the reasons we don’t see more stories like this is that generally journalists try and remember that they are not the story.

Shift happens

Alf Hermida posted a video he saw at the at the Knight Digital Media Center Multimedia Workshop at UC Berkeley. It’s the latest incarnation of the Did you know? presentation which has been doing the rounds since 2006 and it’s great.

In the context of journalism education, it highlights how we need to prepare students for jobs that may not yet exist. The time to do this is now.

A slide in the presentation really bought that home to me.

Shift happens grab

Scary stuff .

It occurred to me that those numbers where also indicative of just how far behind the other mediums were.  It would be interesting to see what the figures for print would be. But one thing is clear. Whilst we may be able to reflect on how we prepare our children for this world. For those of us already in it the time for preparation may have already gone.

All we can do now is live it and engage with it.

More on the 21st century newsroom

Paul Bradshaw continues his essential series on Newsroom of the 21st century with a look at what should happen to your story after it goes online.

He amplifies a great point about the permanent nature of a webpage and its place as an anchor for your story to develop.

I like this idea. Almost a year ago I posted on the idea that the web was really a whole range of stories waiting to happen:

On a macro level the web edits itself. We throw stories online and they find a place. Sometimes that place remains unknown until another story takes an audience there and the content is discovered. It wasn’t an editor who made that connection. The web enabled me to.

But Paul’s takes this to a much higher and more reasoned level co-opting the five W’s and one H of journalism 101 to great effect.

What I would recommend is re-reading Paul’s previous two posts to really get the flavour of the concepts he puts forward.  A lot of what he talks about in this article should be seeded in the way we collect and report on stories.

When he suggests the question “What did the journalist read to write this?”  he mentions social bookmarking.

This should be part of routine practice already, but through a combination of resistant journalistic culture; clunky CMS’s; and lack of time, journalists still don’t routinely link to their sources. So, we need a way to make this happen.

But how many journalists use social bookmarking as part of their reporting routine? More to the point, how many know what it is?

I talk to my students about building usefulness in to their content. Simple things like taking a dictaphone to interviews so that you could have some audio to go on the site as well as good audio notes.  Everyone involved in journalism education should be stressing the value of digital as an addition to the process not as a replacement.

Paul’s posts make for a compelling and intelligent argument for everyone to take on board. Great, great stuff.

Journalism students rewrite their history

A post about reputation management caught my eye over at the Innovation in College media blog.

Judging from frequent posts to the CMA listserv, more and more former students are attempting to get college media outlets to remove news items from their online archives.

In the post Bryan Murley cites a Washington Post article on companies that make money from clearing your past mistakes on the web:

Charging anything from a few dollars to thousands of dollars a month, companies such as International Reputation Management, Naymz and ReputationDefender don’t promise to erase the bad stuff on the Web. But they do assure their clients of better results on an Internet search, pushing the positive items up on the first page and burying the others deep.

The idea that this kind of thing goes on is not a surprise. But the idea that a lot of students are trying to polish up their profile and sideline, as Bryan puts it “youthful indiscretions”, was a bit of a shock.

We are still trying to get a lot of our students past the idea that Facebook is an ‘open’ platform not a text message chat with their mates. But I’m intrigued to know if anyone in the UK has had this kind of request