Digital Storytelling training - City Journalism, December 2011


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Digital Storytelling training - City Journalism, December 2011

  1. 1. 14/12/2011 1 DIGITAL STORYTELLING Patrick Smith, 14 December 2011 @psmith Slides available to download at
  2. 2. 14/12/2011 2About me• Editor of• B2B journalist covering the media industry• Visiting lecture at City in online journalism
  3. 3. 14/12/2011 3About you
  4. 4. 14/12/2011 4What we’ll do today 1. Storytelling (i) The old and new 2. Storytelling (ii) storytelling Practical digital landscape storytelling tools 3. Live, mobile 4. Journalism as reporting conversation - social media in news
  5. 5. 14/12/2011 5 A Tale of two Times4 December 1788 December 9 2011 Spot the difference?
  6. 6. 14/12/2011 6The model of production and storytelling hasn’tchanged very much for 300 years … until now.What do you think?
  7. 7. 14/12/2011 7Q&A – print media• What are the benefits and drawbacks of publishing stories in print ?
  8. 8. 14/12/2011 8Old media• Slow, constrained by deadlines• One-dimensional• Static, unchanging• Expensive• Singularity of voice
  9. 9. 14/12/2011 9 Number of stories (printed magazine with website) 45 40 40 35 30Number of stories 25 20 15 10 4 5 3 3 2 0 0 0 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Number of stories (print-centric B2B title)
  10. 10. 14/12/2011 10 Number of stories – print vs digital title 45 40 40 35 30 Number of stories 25 20 15 15 12 12 12 12 10 5 4 3 3 2 2 2 0 0 0 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Number of stories (print-centric B2B title) Number of stories (digital B2B
  11. 11. 14/12/2011 11The news pyramid In Print: • Text story • 300-600 words • No links • No updates • No multimedia • No social sharing online • No mobile device capability Is there more to news online than this?
  12. 12. 14/12/2011 12 New media1. Fast and live, unconstrained by deadlines2. Multi-media3. Multitude of voices
  13. 13. 14/12/2011 13Q&A – new media• What are the benefits / drawbacks of publishing stories online?• Is the digital / print resource split right in your business?
  14. 14. 14/12/2011 14(i) Fast and live, no deadlines• “The deadline is now” • Why stick to a print deadline online? • Your readers want the news now • Liveblogging is changing journalism • Social media is happening now
  15. 15. 14/12/2011 15Liveblogging• An entirely new form of digital journalism• Not a “story”, not an “article”, a breaking news format that is revolutionising reporting• One static page or a client programme• Allows internal and external collaboration• Excellent way to integrate social media output / input
  16. 16. 14/12/2011 16Liveblogging is (says’s head of blogs):1. The quickest way to publish information on incrementally updating and developing stories2. The quickest way to incorporate (and verify) contributions from social media3. Participatory - Guardian live blogs attract thousands of comments and the community co-ordinator role in the news room helps feed those back to the journalist for either inclusion in the piece or for follow up• (More at
  17. 17. 14/12/2011 17 News intro – main facts at the top Lots of interaction Automatic updates No Guardian edition on Sunday
  18. 18. 14/12/2011 18 Excellent for aggregation. You can link to your own stories….
  19. 19. 14/12/2011 19And otherpeople’s:
  20. 20. 14/12/2011 20 By the way, the Guardian’s liveblogs can be read by more than… 4 million people Compared to 220,000 sales in print….
  21. 21. 14/12/2011 21Practical Q&A• What news stories would be suited to liveblogging?• How many staff would it need to run?• Are there stories you could and should update throughout the day as they unfold?• p.s. there’s nothing wrong with a the old-fashioned article
  22. 22. 14/12/2011 22(ii) Multidimensional• Multimedia • Video, audio • Breaking out of the printed metaphor
  23. 23. 14/12/2011 23Video and audio• Video/audio can be done cheaply, effectively• Can build a existing and new audiences• Liberating and creative for reporters• Huge growth in video advertising 2012-2015
  24. 24. 14/12/2011 24 Video as news reporting toolGuardian’sinvestigation intothe death of IanTomlinson
  25. 25. 14/12/2011 25 Video as reportageVaughan SmithIn Afghanistan
  26. 26. 14/12/2011 26 Video as expert commentaryFlight Global’sMary Kirby (akaRunway Girl)
  27. 27. 14/12/2011 ‹#›
  28. 28. 14/12/2011 28Multimedia: Data journalism If words can’t describe how big something is, why use them?
  29. 29. 14/12/2011 29Using data to tell big stories…
  30. 30. 14/12/2011 30
  31. 31. 14/12/2011 31Video and data Q&A1. What stories you regularly cover would benefit from video coverage? What are the benefits of doing video?2. How much training and equipment do you think staff would need? What are the barriers?3. When is data journalism effective and appropriate?4. What kind of data do you hold internally that could be turned into a story?
  32. 32. 14/12/2011 32
  33. 33. 14/12/2011 33(iii) Multiple voices• Think social• Think aggregation• Publishing as a service to your readers – it’s not about “winning” at the news game• What value can you add by including contributions from • Rivals? • Readers?
  34. 34. 14/12/2011 34The Jarvis principle• Instead of saying, “we should have that” (and replicating what is already out there) you say, “what do we do best?”… “what is our unique value?”• When see a story that others have worked on, you should ask, “can we do it better?” If not, then link. And devote your time to what you can do better.• In the re-architecture of news, what needs to happen is that people are driven to the best coverage, not the 87th version of the same coverage.
  35. 35. 14/12/2011 35Aggregation and curation
  36. 36. 14/12/2011 36Telling stories through aggregation This Huffington Post liveblog links to Another HuffPo article Guardian’s political editor’s Twitter
  37. 37. 14/12/2011 37Why link?Linking is an essential part of attribution in onlinejournalism. Linking lets people see the full context of theinformation you are citing.Even when readers don’t click links, the fact that you arelinking tells them that you are backing up what you havewritten, that you are attributing and showing your sources. Steve Buttry, 2011
  38. 38. 14/12/2011 38 • Here, on, live aggregation is the service. • The story is the links, the experience is building up a picture with different sources.
  39. 39. 14/12/2011 39Storify
  40. 40. 14/12/2011 40@acarvinTwitter as an aggregatedjournalism toolTelling his audience whathe’s hearing around theworld
  41. 41. 14/12/2011 41@acarvin
  42. 42. 14/12/2011 42Practical Q&A• How are using social media right now?• How could your journalists get more value from the audience to feed into your journalism?• Are there small steps you could take to be more social?• Social media policy or not?• You don’t want reporters and staff to embarrass you or your brand• But you do want them to have freedom and confidence.
  43. 43. 14/12/2011 43Part two: mobile and social reporting• What is it?• What do you need?• What does it let you do?• What are the risks?
  44. 44. 14/12/2011 44Mobile reporting toolkit• Laptop – Mac, PC, portable eeePC (from Asus) • Not too heavy – helps to have video editing software• Smartphone – iPhone, Samsung Android etc… • (With camera and 3G capability)• 3G dongle/stick – for internet access on the go• Camera – Kodak zi8 is good, for e.g.• Tripod – Essential - have two ideally• External mic – lapel mic and/or directional• Extra batteries – for everything!• Optional: Mouse, extra keyboard, laptop stand
  45. 45. 14/12/2011 45Being mobile is about being there• Why are *reporters* sat at their desks all day and not out there reporting?• Do staff need to be at an office?• Do they need to come back to an office to report?• Should we force reporters to leave the office?
  46. 46. 14/12/2011 46
  47. 47. 14/12/2011 47Practical Q&A – live reporting• Could your reporters spend more time out of the office?• How do you cover live events now?• How could that be improved?
  48. 48. 14/12/2011 48VideoAt Journal Register Co. John Paton bought a Flip cam forevery reporter."They paid for themselves in about amonth. We have gone from about 100,000video streams a month to about 2 million.“Read more at
  49. 49. 14/12/2011 ‹#›
  50. 50. 14/12/2011 50Simple video interviews work well
  51. 51. 14/12/2011 51And add a mix of media to stories • End result is a mixture of • video • text • analysis • and links
  52. 52. 14/12/2011 52Don’t forget the editing
  53. 53. 14/12/2011 5310 common mistakes with video• 1 you don’t prioritise sound With big thanks and apologies to• 2 you get too caught up in kit @AdamWestbrook• 3 you don’t use a tripod See the full article at• 4 you don’t shoot in sequences.• 5 you parachute into stories• 6 you try to copy television• 7 your stories are too long• 8 you don’t understand storytelling• 9 you tell and don’t show• 10 you don’t play to video’s strengths
  54. 54. 14/12/2011 54Live mobile video• Bambuser / Qik – Stream live from wherever you are
  55. 55. 14/12/2011 55Practical Q&A – video• What stories you cover would be suited to video?• How much training would you need
  56. 56. 14/12/2011 56Adding social reporting to the mix• Don’t miss what’s going on right now• What can you add to a breaking story from your audience?
  57. 57. 14/12/2011 57Connect with an audience• No matter what you’re writing about, there is a conversation happening about it online• Are there stories, readers and influence you can fine through connecting with people?
  58. 58. 14/12/2011 58You only learn by listening• Use social tools to tune in to what your audience is saying e.g. Tweetdeck:
  59. 59. 14/12/2011 59What are people saying about youand your area of interest?
  60. 60. 14/12/2011 60
  61. 61. 14/12/2011 61Why do I use social media?• Drive readership and sharing• Make connections, find stories, find sources• Drive analysis of our stories and what’s going on• To market products and events• To offer thought leadership and help others• …And in return be helped by others when I have a Q• Plus, it’s fun!
  62. 62. 14/12/2011 62Practical Q&A – social media• How are you using social media now?• Is is something you might ask all staff to do, or just some?• How might they best use it and why?• What goals would you set?
  63. 63. 14/12/2011 63Links• panel.php• journalism-tips.shtml• yourself-with-audioboo/•• storytelling-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them-adam-westbrook-online-video/• advice-on-attribution-for-journalists/•