Finding a niche: do papers need to focus better on what they do well? September 27, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Jim Brady, web consultant to Guardian America: “You take most newspapers in the U.S., there are a couple things they’re really, really good at, better at probably than anybody else. And then there are a long list of things they’re just no better at—especially if you look at soft sections […]
I don’t think that producing a paper that’s great at 30 percent of the subjects it covers and OK at the other 70 percent really has much of a future on the Web, because it’s just too hard to compete. We’re in this social media world now where if I’m on Twitter or I’m on Facebook and someone sends me an article, three pieces of information come with that: what friend of mine sent me the article, what the headline says, and who produced the article. And I would argue that who produced the article is by far the least important of the three.”
Search takes umlaut out of Bruno online July 2, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Guardian style guide ed (David Marsh): " So we have opted to use the umlaut in the paper but not online. The production editor of guardian.co.uk says: "In exceptional cases such as this, where the stories are just not being found on the internet because of the accent, we will remove the relevant accent on the website." "
As style guide editor I support that decision, even though it has given rise to an unusual situation in which we are using one spelling in our newspapers and another on our website. There is not much point in being consistent, however, if no one is reading us.
Bad Science » Nerdy fun with URLs February 4, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Ben Goldacre has fun at the expense of the Express and Telegraph websites — and perhaps causes red faces at the Guardian, too:
"I thought this was fairly well known, but for those who haven’t joined in the lolz, the websites of Express and the Telegraph, at least, let you substitute whatever text you want at the end of their web addresses."
Fun with tax data? — See the data underlying our tax database | Business | guardian.co.uk February 4, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
The Guardian has released its data on FTSE 100 companies' pre-tax profits and how much they paid in tax — xml file available. Interesting to see what others do with it…
"Here is the data for the four-year totals, converted into pounds for those companies who state their accounts in another currency. This file also contains other information about the companies, including comments they made to the Guardian, and links to their published annual reports."
Open door: The readers' editor on … pulling opinion polls apart | Comment is free | The Guardian January 19, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Take care with news stories based on polls and surveys. Siobhain Butterworth:??"The journalist had missed a footnote which said: "Survey respondents are not representative of all primary and secondary school teachers in England and Wales by subject specialism." It cautioned against statements such as "65% of all science teachers disagree that creationism should be taught".[…]??The British Polling Council's website publishes a journalist's guide to opinion polls, which covers issues such as sample size and methods of ensuring that samples are representative. The BPC checklist encourages journalists to ask who conducted the poll, who paid for it and why it was done."
Cheap laugh or reminder of juxtapositioning risks? January 9, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : journalism education , add a comment
Take your pick which (or choose both) but it was hard to resist this, from the Media Guardian site today.
Makes perfect sense, with the War Cry going tabloid…
…except that the pic was intended to go with the item below it, about the £18.2m loss by Sport Media Group, publisher of the Daily Sport.
On a slightly less frivolous note, those horizontal rules between articles (but absent in this case — perhaps obscured by the pic?) do have their uses. And awkward juxtapositioning is arguably harder to avoid online; I recall a few clangers, particularly with ads.
But it does provide a bit of light relief from news about job cuts.
David Marsh: The Guardian style guide hasn't banned the word 'grandmother' | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk October 9, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Guardian style guru responds to critics — outraged commenters as well as Rod Liddle and Stephen Glover — and on much more than the use of 'grandmother'.
Scope for endless debates here — which is one reason for having a style guide…:
"The diatribe was prompted by the Guardian Book of English Language, given away free with a recent edition of the newspaper. If you missed it, the book was a condensed version of the style guide used by our journalists, which has long been available to anyone, including Spectator readers, with access to the world wide web."