Never let it be said news must be ‘new’ — Charles Arthur October 31, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Charles Arthur addresses the “isn’t news meant to be new?” question, with reference to Brand, Osborne/Mandelson and more:
“I’ve seen criticisms saying “But everyone had ignored it until the Mail on Sunday ran its story – it was old news! It was nothing until they got onto it!”
Surprisingly, some of this came from journalists. The fact is, of course, that (in newspapers) “news is what the reader doesn’t yet know, but you can persuade them they want to”. Doesn’t matter if it’s ten minutes, ten days or ten years (even ten decades) old.”
Bebo kids will value privacy when they see adults do too | Comment is free | The Guardian October 31, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Cory Doctorow says parents of the YouTube generation have not learned an important lesson:
"When we tell kids to safeguard their privacy from everyone except governments, merchants, advertisers, entertainment giants, schools, Transport for London and parents, we tell them that we're not really serious about this stuff. Worse, when we allow our own private information to be taken by all these parties, we tell them that privacy is the cheapest coin of all. When BT secretly installs spyware in our browsers and captures all our clicks in order to serve ads to us, our lack of outrage tells our kids everything they need to know about the value of privacy."
How the numbers (don’t) add up for newspapers if they axe print October 26, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : Journalism, Newspapers, Online, USA , add a comment
Alan Mutter (aka Newsosaur) picks up on a point from the ‘New Business Models for News’ summit at City University of New York, arguing that scrapping print isn’t a solution, given that 90% of US papers’ revenue comes from ads sold in the print product.
Assuming it would cut costs by 60%, scrapping the print paper would mean the following, he suggests, for a $100m-revenue publishing company with a 15% operating profit:
If the company abandoned print but were able to double its online sales to $20 million, it would lose $14 million in a year, for an operating margin of a negative 70%. To break even, the prototypical publication would have to more than triple its sales from the current levels. To make a profit of 15%, the company would have to quadruple it sales.
A particularly tough target, Mutter adds, because around two-thirds of online revenues typically come from add-on sales to advertisers who are buying space in the print edition.
But this kind of online-only operation is not a pipe-dream, maintains Tim Windsor. Responding in comments on Cory Bergman’s post, he says making it work would need a much smaller newsroom with one or two community managers to make the most of user-generated content, plus linked/licensed content. A core staff of 20 multimedia reporters, he suggests. (Those comments via Mark Hamilton.)
ITN tailors news to user location, using Google Maps October 26, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
As described by Keir Clarke on the Google Maps Mania blog:
"Independent Television News have created a news map that delivers news based on the user's location. The map uses the Google Gears Geolocation API to determine the user's location and then serves up news for that region.
It is possible to change the location manually to retrieve news from other parts of the world. It is also possible to filter the results to read news from the last week, the last fortnight, three weeks or the last month. The map also has the option to view the news in the Google Earth browser plug-in."Academic, educational development, HE, SoTL , add a comment
Is this a first for a UK university? Glasgow has launched a website dedicated to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), punningly called BeSoTLed — and it’s more than just a page with links to some of the (much more plentiful) sites in North America.
This initiative has grown out of a learning community of teaching staff at Glasgow University, particularly Lorna Morrow (psychology), Rob McKerlie (dentistry) and Jane MacKenzie (Learning and Teaching Centre). Congrats to them. These three seem to have an open and encouraging way of describing their involvement with SoTL — for example, I like the way they
do not see themselves as SoTL experts but as SoTL enthusiasts.
Glasgow University seems to have been encouraging SoTL more actively in recent years. It became the only European member of the Building SoTL Communities project, supported by the Carnegie Academy. The six others are all in the USA or Canada. Glasgow also set up a SoTL journal a few years ago — the Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
The BeSoTLed website points to other activities, too — indeed, there’s an accompanying Moodle site, which sadly is accessible only to Glasgow staff.
Good stuff. Which also it makes me wonder why the HEA hasn’t created something like this, as far as I’m aware, as a central resource to encourage SoTL in UK higher education. Of course the HEA has supported initiatives such as this one at City, where we do our bit for SoTL, too, with an international conference almost annually, and schemes for SoTL research and recognition. Among other things.delicious links , add a comment
Martin Moore catalogues some of the ways The Times is trying:
"Many of them [newspapers] are, and have been for some time, looking for ways to 'monetize' their reading public (i.e. milk readers for more cash).
You can get a pretty good idea of what this means by reading todays Times. I counted 21 ads for ways in which the paper could make additional revenue (not including encouraging people to buy the paper tomorrow or Saturday or one just promoting the brand). […]
And, one of the strangest, an ad for a weekly Times online 'streamlined' series with Tony Hawks – sponsored by VW Passat C (see 'A Life More Streamlined'). The remarkable thing about this is the deliberate melding of editorial and advertising – the tagline for the VW Passat is 'See the new streamlined coupe'. "
Can a computer lecture better than a human? October 24, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Scott McLeod makes the case for covering the basics online. His example is a school assignment but his point has wider application:
"Don’t get me wrong. There’s still a lot of value in human teachers when it comes to explaining difficult concepts, working through students’ misconceptions, inspiring students to want to explore deeper, and so on. We’re not replaceable by robots and software just yet. But […]
There is a wealth of research showing that around 80 to 85 percent of classroom work is low-level factual and procedural work, exactly the kind of work that can easily be facilitated by the kinds of technology-mediated learning activities that I’ve alluded to this post. So why waste an expensive human on those things?"
Amy Gahran offers a useful intro to Twitter:
“In my experience, Twitter’s biggest payoff is that it allows you to gather a personal posse who can support you in powerful, flexible, speedy ways.
Also, if you’re choosy about the people you follow, Twitter can be quite an effective radar screen for news or relevant issues.
But there are many other potential benefits, especially for journos…”
For which, click and read on:
Why I Blog – The Atlantic (November 2008) October 24, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Andrew Sullivan on blogging:
"It is accountable in immediate and unavoidable ways to readers and other bloggers, and linked via hypertext to continuously multiplying references and sources. Unlike any single piece of print journalism, its borders are extremely porous and its truth inherently transitory. The consequences of this for the act of writing are still sinking in. […]
No columnist or reporter or novelist will have his minute shifts or constant small contradictions exposed as mercilessly as a blogger’s are. A columnist can ignore or duck a subject less noticeably than a blogger committing thoughts to pixels several times a day. A reporter can wait—must wait—until every source has confirmed. A novelist can spend months or years before committing words to the world. For bloggers, the deadline is always now. Blogging is therefore to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud."
$100 Million for Columbia J-School October 24, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
A good job they're not starting the fundraising now:
"Three years ahead of schedule, Columbia J-School has met its goal of raising $100 million, thanks in part to a $20 million donation from John Kluge"