Will Algorithms Make Human Editors Obsolete? Not If Journalists Collaborate – Publishing 2.0 October 13, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Scott Karp makes his case for more collaboration. My query: what happens to competition and to the revenue side of the equation?
"…while algorithms may excel at processing vast amounts of data by brute force, they are only as smart as the rules we give them. Algorithms can simulate human intelligence — but algorithms have no judgment — and certainly no news judgment. Algorithms can’t do link journalism. […]
Imagine if journalists and news orgs brought together their combined editorial intelligence, their combined news judgment.
Suddenly the advantage of an algorithm’s scale in filtering the web doesn’t seem so insurmountable. […]
…the idea that news orgs can accomplish more together than they can by themselves isn’t so foreign to journalism — it’s the basis of the newswire. So it’s not that hard to imagine a collaborative newswire based on links, where journalists help each other filter the web."
Twitter comes of age?
“Ironically then, it seems that microblogging is a return to actual reporting of fast moving events, while the other pieces are analysis or comment that have become confused/synonymous with journalism only in the last couple of decades. Journalism has come home to the future, and it matches perfectly the emerging online set-up: live text is to Twitter as analysis/comment is to blogs.”
FT editor Lionel Barber: Why journalism wins my vote October 11, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
"…the mainstream press lost touch with its audience at the very moment when technology, via the internet, was dramatically lowering the barriers to entry.[…]
…a shift in the balance of power towards new media, with wholesale repercussions for the practice of journalism.[…]
…whether this same journalistic rigour can survive the current maelstrom.
… the role of the trained journalist as trusted intermediary no longer holds. Some may argue that this privileged status was always precarious, even a fiction. […]
Yet to abandon the quest to write the first draft of history carries risks. There will always be powerful forces seeking to suppress injustice or inconvenient truths. For all their failings, newspapers, especially the well-financed family-owned newspapers, have served as a counterweight. On both sides of the Atlantic, the line between news reporting and comment is becoming increasingly blurred. That is something that should give everyone in the profession pause for thought."
A more proactive approach to developing stories based on user-generated content, it seems:
"[W]e've started a pilot to report more of the stories you're sending us while at the same time making a bigger effort to reach out and join in conversations on the web […]
…we've decided to try out a reporter whose beat is simply all the content you've been sending in to us – our first Interactive Reporter.
Siobhan Courtney has been with us for a fortnight now and has already scored two major successes […]
…on Tuesday night we experimented by opening up channels on video chatrooms Qik, 12Seconds and Phreadz to join in conversations wherever they were happening rather than expect people to come to us and host them on the BBC's platforms."
Twitter for reporting – Living in a Media World October 11, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Ralph Hanson offers some examples of reporters using Twitter (for their work, that is):
"twittering is also being used by reporters and news bloggers to post news links. There are political debates taking place by Twitter. Barack Obama's campaign has an official Twitter feed. St. Paul Pioneer Press technology reporter Julio Ojeda Zapata uses Twitter as a reporting tool. And bloggers covering live events (such as the Republican National Convention) use Twitter to make blog posts from their smartphones. In fact, the busiest outside link to my blog in August came from a Tweet posted to Fishbowl DC during the RNC."
Liverpool Daily Post liveblogs Rhys Jones trial and banking crisis October 10, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : blogging, convergence, Journalism, News, Newspapers, Online, reporting , add a comment
It’s nearly a live broadcast of the trial — an impressive exercise in liveblogging by the Post (below), particularly given the legal restrictions on court reporting with which the paper’s reporters and editors have to comply. Reporter Ben Rossington seems to be including lots of details and quotes.
As the page notes at the top of the liveblog section,
Submitted comments cannot be published for legal reasons throughout the trial
(Are comments being submitted anyhow — to be published after the case, perhaps?)
I imagine there’s also a risk of having to edit material already published if, for example, the judge decides during the proceedings that a particular defendant must not be named.
Then there are the logistics, which must be easier where it’s a high-profile case (such as this) and proceedings are video-linked to a separate press area. Otherwise — assuming laptops are not permitted in the court itself — it would probably need a reporter to duck out of the gallery every so often and post from his shorthand notes.
Post editor Mark Thomas hasn’t had any responses so far to his blog request for feedback on the paper’s liveblogging. Deputy editor Alison Gow posted some interesting reflections on her experience of liveblogging at the Post last month, with some dos and don’ts. (If either of you would like to say more here about the Rhys Jones trial or bank crisis liveblog, please add comments.) The paper has used the technique to cover different events this year, including football matches and the giant spider robot La Machine.
The liveblog on the banking crisis (below) seems to be a joint effort with the Birmingham Post and The Journal (Newcastle), among others. Looking at the liveblog on the Post’s dedicated business site, I can see it’s been attracting a few comments — it would be fascinating to know the impact of either liveblog on the sites’ hits/pageviews. Both use the Cover It Live software.
The liveblog of the Rhys Jones trial isn’t the first time a UK paper has covered a case live (or as live as possible) — the Evening Star in Ipswich and the East Anglian Daily Times used similar methods earlier this year to report the trial of Steve Wright, with brief live updates.
John Naughton: Slavish reporters join Microsoft in cloud cuckoo land | Media | The Observer October 5, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
John Naughton on the lack of questioning claims made by big, powerful companies/individuals — here, Microsoft and the easy ride given to its boss, Steve Ballmer. With special reference to BBC tech correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones:
"our tendency to lose all capacity for critical thought when confronted by great wealth or power […] we see it in the way even hardened hacks go weak when offered an audience with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett or even, God help us, Steve Ballmer, chief of Microsoft.
[…] he went on to say that Windows Vista had been 'the most popular operating system that Microsoft had ever introduced'.
This hooey was conscientiously relayed by Cellan-Jones, who was too polite to ask why, if Vista is such a success, Ballmer is to unveil its successor, Windows 7, to the Microsoft developers' conference at the end of this month. Microsoft is such a powerful company that it never seems to occur to reporters that its leaders might be fantasising. It's the aphrodisiac effect again."
Taking Twitter reporting to the edge September 16, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : Journalism, News, reporting , add a comment
The latest reporting use of Twitter that’s caught my eye is to cover a funeral, as undertaken (wordplay intended) by the Rocky Mountain News.
I make it 28 Tweets in just over 90 minutes — “pallbearers carry out coffin followed by mourners”, “people are viewing the body, which is lying in casket with teddy bear. some people falling on knees to pray”, for example. The texts are reproduced in one of the comments on the article linked above (no direct link; scroll down to the tenth comment).
Most of the comments are negative, perhaps not surprisingly — as was Michelle Ferrier on the Poynter blog.
More journalists seem to have been experimenting with Twitter over the last year or so. Paul Bradshaw provided a useful overview on his Online Journalism Blog and Jeff Jarvis weighed in here. It was only a question of time before theses on Twitter started to appear…