Tuesday, November 24, 2015


NYT reporting:
Creating news for the current and future media landscape means considering the time scales of our reporting in much more innovative ways. Information should accumulate upon itself; documents should have ways of reacting to new reporting or information; and we should consider the consumption behavior of our users as one that takes place at all cadences, not simply as a daily update.
...he biggest underlying shift in conceiving of the future of news as something more than than a stream of articles is in the implied distinction between ephemeral content and evergreen content. There has always been a mixture of the two types in news reporting: An article will contain a narrative about the event that is currently occurring but also will contain more evergreen information such as background context, key players, etc. But the reliance on the form of the article as the atomic unit of news means that all of that information has essentially been treated as ephemeral. A news organization publishes hundreds of articles a day, then starts all over the next day, recreating any redundant content each time. This approach is deeply shaped by the constraints of print media and seems unnecessary and strange when looked at from a natively digital perspective. Can you imagine if, every time something new happened in Syria, Wikipedia published a new Syria page, and in order to understand the bigger picture, you had to manually sift through hundreds of pages with overlapping information? The idea seems absurd in that context and yet, it is essentially what news publishers do every day. The Particles approach suggests that we need to identify the evergreen, reusable pieces of information at the time of creation, so that they can be reused in new contexts. It means that news organizations are not just creating the “first draft of history”, but are synthesizing the second draft at the same time, becoming a resource for knowledge and civic understanding in new and powerful ways.


BBC reporting:
We’re going to do two things - firstly, to explore how to make it easier for journalists, in their day to day work, to capture structured data about the key movers and shakers in the news; and secondly, build things on top of structured data that allow audiences to explore the news, understand it better, and make as much use of the data as a journalist can. The fact is, we don’t know what the future of journalism is. But if we put concerted effort into this, and be open about it, perhaps we as an industry can find what works.The existing model of storylines, a result of years of research and partnerships, gives us a head start here. Making narratives out of structured data, and allowing room for different points of view, and links to publicly available evidence, is a key aspect of what we want to achieve. And all of this results in an archive of news which is a living resource of open knowledge for journalists and society at large.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Publishing for peanuts. Innovations in journalism report

"We were inspired and encouraged by what we saw. All over the world, independent media outlets are innovating and overcoming obstacles. Globally, start-ups are demonstrating the drive to take risks for the sake of a good idea. The challenges facing these outlets—and the innovations employed to tackle them—broadly fall into four categories: editorial, business, distribution and security. Operating with agility, media start-ups are finding creative ways to gather and disseminate information. In India, Gram Vaani uses a mobile phone social network to connect the rural poor and circumvent legislative prohibitions on radio broadcasting. In Zimbabwe, The Source survives in the repressive media climate by focusing on business journalism..."

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Tricky Terrain of Virtual Reality

nytimes reporting:
...But at the moment, this is new. The Times has leapt into this technology with fanfare and has gathered acclaim. The goggles contained within the cardboard, when combined with a downloaded app on a smartphone, gives viewers a 360-degree immersion into an 11-minute film called “The Displaced,” the stories of three children — from LebanonUkraine andSouth Sudan — torn from their homes by war.
“There is a whole host of ethical considerations and standards issues that have to be grappled with,” Mr. Silverstein said, and The Times is doing just that. He and those involved with making the film met at length with the standards editor, Philip B. Corbett, among others, to go through the film piece by piece to make sure that it fairly represented reality. And his editor’s letter was meant to be as transparent as possible with readers about the process.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

20 new projects are awarded $35,000 Knight Prototype Fund grants

NiemanLab reporting:
Each project will receive $35,000 in funding. Many of the journalistically minded projects are focused on the areas of audience engagement or improving data accessibility.NPR visuals editor Brian Boyer is leading the development of Carebot, a tool that aims to change “how newsrooms measure and celebrate success by measuring the things that actually matter: Did people complete the story? What proportion shared it? Did we make them care?” Vocativ, meanwhile, is building Dataproofer, an app that helps reporters ascertain the quality of a data set before they begin reporting on it. Interactive producer Gerald Rich is leading the development of that project.http://www.niemanlab.org/2015/11/20-new-projects-are-awarded-35000-knight-prototype-fund-grants/?utm_source=Daily+Lab+email+list&utm_campaign=e3ae02f010-dailylabemail3&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d68264fd5e-e3ae02f010-384988165

Inside The New York Times' new push notifications team

Digiday reporting:
The New York Times in September created an 11-person team, some of which are shared, to focus on messaging and push alerts. It is led by Andrew Phelps, who was formerly the Times’ iOS lead and now has the title of product director of messaging and push. Phelps, who oversees a lot of experiments in this area and works with news editors to push out alerts, sees 2016 as a big year for push.“We used to be standing on a hill and shouting messages at people,” he said. Now, by comparison, he said, “There’s a growing number of users who only engage with us when we send a push.”The push notification has great potential for personalization and, in this way, the Times is joining other publishers in thinking beyond the breaking-news alert to how it can customize notifications to people’s interests. At the Times, personalization can take a couple of forms. One is customizing pushes to people based on reading history. If you read a lot of politics stories on the Times, for example, the Times can be reasonably sure its recent magazine profile of Donald Trump might appeal to you.The Times is also testing pushes based on time of day and language...Once, the push notification sent only the top or breaking stories; that approach seems simplistic and dated now. The Times is well aware that when news breaks, people may see the same headline in multiple places. So along with customizing its pushes, it’s trying to make them stand out by adopting the more informal writing style it created for the Apple Watch. “We’re sort of treating push as a new form of storytelling,” Phelps said.http://digiday.com/publishers/inside-new-york-times-new-push-notifications-team/

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sun website to scrap paywall

theguardian reporting:
Brooks told staff in an email: “I recently shared with you the future priorities for the company and am excited today to tell you more about our plans for the first of these: growing the Sun’s audience. This will mean setting the Sun predominantly free in the digital world from 30 November. By happy coincidence, this is also Cyber Monday, one of the best-performing days of the year for online retail.
Recent months have been filled with experimentation at the Sun. The standalone political site SunNation won plaudits at election time, we increased the number of shareable stories on social media, we entered platform partnerships with Apple News and we will be a major player in Facebook Instant Articles.http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/oct/30/sun-website-to-scrap-paywall