AudioBoo is a platform for capturing and sharing audio using the iPhone. AudioBoo enables users to record audio clips that are up to three minutes long, and then share them online like a kind of sonic Twitter. It is being developed in London by a company called BestBefore, in partnership with Channel 4’s new media investment arm 4IP.According to the BestBefore blog: “We saw value in having a publishing process and a platform that had the potential to do for the spoken word what Flickr did for images and Youtube did for video. That could be local journalists, twitter style musings, lectures, babies singing or a word of the day from President Obama.”The journalistic potential of this service is perhaps still untapped, but, potentially, it could be pretty wild.
The Manchester Evening News won plaudits from media commentators recently for their coverage of a demo by the far-right English Defence League in Central Manchester using Twitter aggregation service Coveritlive.MEN had up to four reporters on the ground around Manchester firing short Tweets via personal accounts, which were picked up by Coveritlive and published as a live feed on to the MEN website.Unlike previous attempts made by newspapers to cover live events, Coveritlive allows a genuinely live blog that updates itself on screen. And while the MEN reporters darted around the city centre, staff back in the newsroom were on hand moderating comments and adding rich content like photos.Coveritlive figures on the day reported 17,000 people logged on.
The Manchester Evening News has a rudimentary video section created by simply embedding YouTube clips on to a page of their website. YouTube now allows text ads on their videos – although I think that these are actually just relevant ads driven by Google, rather than the papers own advertising sales team.They also have various stories enriched with .mp3 files. These are not of reporting, but of source materials relevant to the story, e.g. “Screams of carjacking victim caught on tape”.
The West Midlands paper The Express and Star uses Livestream, an American service, to embed streaming video on its website. Obviously YouTube is rather inelegant for a professional news outfit; this alternative, Livestream, is relatively new tool that allows users to create their own streaming, looping TV channel. The service can be free, if you don’t mind them embedding their own adverts. Pro-packages start from just a few hundred dollars and allow the user to either dispense with the advertising or, perhaps more usefully, place their own advertising – as the Express and Star have done.The packages that they have created for their channel contain original content gathered by their own reporters on local issues.
How news changes – the UK experience Professor George Brock Head of Journalism City University London 3D, Utrecht 30th October 2009
The British model Local and “national” papers High readership per head: 12th highest in world Sizeable advertising market for print and TV: £6.8bn and £4.4bn in 2008 Cross-media ownership limited Elephant in the room: the BBC
How did we get here? The crisis is about local papers and TV Threatened because of (classified) advertising demand fall Enders: 48% fall of print ad income 2007-13 Demand for print journalism not the issue …except among the young
Long-range shifts Rising affluence Security and peace TV culture + passivity Explosion of channels and info
Effects Perceived value of journalism is lower Journalism is less formal More accessible and flexible Less disciplined Local accountability isn’t working Online business models untested Habits change slowly
To summarise… Print will shrink Sustainable online business models are the key Paywall wars to come New grammar for storytelling Something valuable is being lost. It needs replacing. But because of the news media’s reputation, few people care.
UK: throwing spaghetti at the wall The forgotten element: news agency National player goes local hyperlocal investigative
Issues to face State support? Shirky’s First Law: the future will be weird The importance of trust Does the bundle survive? Balancing fact and analysis Words vs sound & pictures Training in versatility needed Business training even more important Citizen journalism: curating becomes a job.
Universities and colleges to become bases for local accountability reporting
Fund for Local News fed by tax on ISPs or telco users
Questions to answer How will citizens get the information they need for democracy to function? What value does established, mainstream media add? Do trained journalists play a role? How will those who gather democratically useful information be compensated for their work?
George BrockProfessor and Head of JournalismCity University Londongeorge.email@example.com@georgeprofwww.georgebrock.net www.editorsweblog.org www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade www.newsinnovation.com