How digital transformed the news cycle - and what you can do about it

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Eight things that I believe news organisations need to stop doing, start doing, or do better, in order to cope with the way that digital has transformed the news cycle. Originally presented at Hacks/Hackers London, an essay version can be found at http://www.currybet.net/cbet_blog/2011/09/hacks-hackers-essay.php

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How digital transformed the news cycle - and what you can do about it

  1. 1. “How digital transformed the newscycle - and what you can do about it" Martin Belam Hacks / Hackers, August 2011 Lead User Experience & Information Architect, The Guardian @currybet
  2. 2. I am not a hack13th century miniature of the Siege of Jerusalem
  3. 3. I am not a hackerThis is what home computers used to look like
  4. 4. I joined the Guardian in 2009
  5. 5. 1. Write newspaper 2. Print newspaper3. Wrap fish‘nchips in newspaper
  6. 6. 1. Write newspaper*****and sub-edit it, check it with legal, write the headlines,clear the rights for the images, make late changes, re-sub it, syndicate the best bits, and get the files packaged up 2. Print newspaper ***and send the front page to @suttonnick in advance ****and publish it all to the web 3. Wrap fish‘nchips in newspaper *remember to have sent the British Library a copy **and our own library
  7. 7. 1. Write newspaper*****and sub-edit it, check it with legal, write the headlines,clear the rights for the images, make late changes, re-sub it, syndicate the best bits, and get the files packaged up 2. Print newspaper ***and send the front page to @suttonnick in advance ****and publish it all to the web 3. Wrap fish‘nchips in newspaper *remember to have sent the British Library a copy **and our own library
  8. 8. Oh. Did I say “web”?
  9. 9. 1 Stop the shovels Mobiles are not tablets. Tablets are not desktops. Neither of these types of devices are print.
  10. 10. There are more and more platforms to come
  11. 11. We are in “the animated gif years”
  12. 12. Not all content works for all mediums
  13. 13. Getting it wrong sends the wrong signal
  14. 14. 2 Be fast The audience expect news in real-time.
  15. 15. Most people can publish faster than most news orgs
  16. 16. Print seems slower and slower and slower
  17. 17. Live blogging is a native digital format
  18. 18. The BBC’s tools now seem ahead of the pack
  19. 19. Story-telling tools are appearing all the time
  20. 20. It is vital to let journalists experiment
  21. 21. Paul Lewis - was that a riot #Twitrip?
  22. 22. 3 Be permanent The web is forever. And it should be right.
  23. 23. Our content now lasts longer than a day
  24. 24. We need better digital corrections
  25. 25. Wikipedia-style “diffs” may be a step too far
  26. 26. But we should be avoiding this...
  27. 27. 4 Organise & own Find people to “own” the dark corners of your digital presence
  28. 28. You get some metadata and “furniture” in print
  29. 29. but there is so much peripheral digital content
  30. 30. Teams of people agonise over the words on the left
  31. 31. The words on the right? Not so much...
  32. 32. You need a web governance mindset
  33. 33. 5 Metadata is a friend Use semantic mark-up. The future will thank you.
  34. 34. Metadata is your friend
  35. 35. And so is semantic mark-up
  36. 36. There are many flavours to choose from
  37. 37. 6 Curate Not all news is born equal. Help readers get to the best stuff.
  38. 38. Not all news content is born equal
  39. 39. Context is often lost in digital transformation
  40. 40. Context is often lost in digital transformation
  41. 41. Give clear signals to the user
  42. 42. Help them find the best of your content
  43. 43. Help them find the best of your content
  44. 44. 7 Expand and re-use Exploit your archives. News organisations are uniquely placed for this.
  45. 45. News has been recorded for centuries
  46. 46. Many sites charge for archive access
  47. 47. Guardian Shorts extend the life of our content
  48. 48. 1. Stop the shovels2. Be fast3. Be permanent4. Organise & own5. Metadata is a friend6. Curate7. Expand and re-use
  49. 49. This made me cross yesterday“The top four most important skillscited by editors were: writing, findingnews stories, interviewing and legalknowledge - while at the bottom ofthe list came social media, web skillsand interaction with readers.”
  50. 50. This made me cross yesterday
  51. 51. The article didn’t link to the source
  52. 52. And the source has basic usability issues
  53. 53. 8 Dont stop learning The digital revolution is perpetual revolution
  54. 54. 8
  55. 55. Thank you. Questions?

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