Orientation to Online Journalism


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This handout was created after a presentation "Orientation to Online Journalism" which was done as part of a UN Media Workshop in Georgetown Guyana on 12 September, 2015. The workshop was convened by Dr Paloma Mohammed.

Published in: News & Politics
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  • Feel free to drop me an email or i will begin that line of communication first
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  • Sir Kissoon, is there a direct link that takes one to info on the state of online journalism in Guyana? After this info for an assignment.
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  • Much of what i have read here sounded as you would expect sir Kissoon (knowing) but as always, my problem and every other blind and visually impaired person's would be accessability. I managed to go through some of what is posted but wish more could have been done for further reading.
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Orientation to Online Journalism

  1. 1. “Orientation to online journalism” UN Media Workshop – 12 September, 2015 Vidyaratha Kissoon Email vidyak1 (at) gmail.com , Tel: 686-0835 This handout has been updated after the presentation A note has been inserted about immersive journalism 23 October, 2015 Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
  2. 2. Before we start..  I am NOT a journalist; I have some Information Technology skills  I do this because of “The Danger of a Single Story”  Thanks to Samantha Alleyne, Ravin Singh, Derwayne Wills, Jomo Paul, Neketa Forde, Andre Haynes and others for ideas for the presentation  The mistakes are all mine  This handout is best read online so that persons could click on the links to see the reference materials.  Please feel free to contact me for any more information
  3. 3. Things covered in this handout.. ● The scope of online journalism ● The convergence of media ● Blogging and role of personal blogs ● Website design, responsive themes ● Writing for mobile users – 'breaking news' ● Addition of hyperlinks and embedded content ● “Every journalist is a photographer” ● Data journalism, data visualisation ● Ethical considerations ● Answers to all your questions ● New slide : Virtual Reality – immersive journalism
  4. 4. In Guyana... ● Print media online ● Web based news ● TV news clips online (Youtube channels) ● Live streaming of radio ● Social media ● NGOs, other organisations sharing their own stories on websites (Help & Shelter, SASOD, IADB blogs, )
  5. 5. About online journalism ● “The use of information and communication technologies, especially the Internet, to collate, analyse and disseminate content for the purposes of what ever you consider journalism to be... “ VK definition ● ranges from tweets of 140 characters to long form features of 15,000 words and over.. ● The increase in usage of mobile devices means a need for short, to the point, news updates ● Moving from just putting the text,images and videos from “traditional media” on websites to creating content which mixes text, images, audio, video, interactive graphics, maps , data visualisations ● There is interactivity with the readers/users – sorting, commenting, clicking for more information, giving feedback
  6. 6. Example of crowdsourcing data
  7. 7. Social media
  8. 8. Blogs
  9. 9. Blogs
  10. 10. Blog reference “...When iNews Guyana reporter Jomo Paul arrived, around 8:30 p.m., he found himself stranded between police with riot shields and a mob with petrol bombs. Over the next three hours, Paul told me, he witnessed people from outside Sophia fuel the mayhem... “ “CIA Meddling, Race Riots, and a Phantom Death Squad” Gaiutra Bahadur Foreign Policy July 31 2015
  11. 11. Blogs – using creolese
  12. 12. Blogs – Youth voices
  13. 13. Blogs ● Personal stories, opinions, behind the scenes, additional information not in the 'news' ● Can journalists can have blogs? ● Facebook, Twitter is 'microblogging' ● Decide on your ethics (Poynter guidelines say no anonymous blogs for journalists) ● Check with your editor/ manager – Do nothing to harm them ● Platforms are Wordpress.com, Blogger.com, Tumblr.com, LinkedIn.com , YouTube for vlogs ● Good to build your personal profile especially if you are a free lancer ● Decide – a post a day, every two days, once a week, once a month
  14. 14. IADB Blog Please see this 'personal blog' from an IADB staff member about the GT Recyclers. It has video, text, links and images. The stink of ignorance and the sweet smell of dignity” by Dr Marcello Basani.
  15. 15. Examples of online multimedia journalism Video, text, sound, images “ Tiny Words ,Big Drama : Inside the world of the Birdmen of Queens” Emile S Rueb,Emily S Rueb, NY Times, 31 July, 2015 Video, text, music : “In Guyana, Feeling stifled after needling Government in song” Girish Gupta , 5 Dec, 2013 Audio, Text, Images, “ Meet the Harmonium king of Queen's New York(Guyana born Mindra Sahadeo) Bruce Wallace, 1 April 2015, Public Radio International Video, text, images, animated maps, slideshows – Snow Fall:The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek, John Branch, NY Times, 2012
  16. 16. Maps, Data Visualisations Map : Chikungunya Cases confirmed in Trinidad & To (TT Guardian) LGBT Rights in the world (UK Guardian) Declaracion Juradas(La Nacion, Argentina)
  17. 17. Web platform considerations ● Customised design for agencies? Or use software like Wordpress, Drupal ● A separate team for the online presence of the agency ● Technical team for interactive graphics. ● Black text on white background ● Layout is important for ease of loading and navigation ● Search engine optimised (use of text, etc.) ● Accessibility – text for screen readers, font size adjustment ● Mobile Use ● Decide on separate sites for mobile devices ● One site using a responsive theme (layout changes when the screen size changes so persons do not have to scroll across too much) ● Free(almost) – Youtube, Vimeo, Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr, Podomatic, Soundcloud
  18. 18. Writing for mobile users ● BBC Academy – Writing for mobile ● Different from Writing for paper, and writing features ● Short headlines 55 chars, up to 70 chars - SEO ● Use images – ● 450 to 625 pixels wide, ● width to height ratio maintained ● Use Cross-heads ● Use Lists ● Use links for depth ● Get to the point quickly ● Tight writing, use every word
  19. 19. Images “Every (online) journalist is a photographer” (BBC Academy) Learn photography – light, composition, etc. Learn to use your camera. Capture many images ● Detail is nice, but could be lost when reduced for a mobile user Use Relevant Images (Example below of pretty image not really connected to the story)
  20. 20. Images ● Decide on how much post processing ● Do not use the same image files which are being used for the print version of the newspaper. They should be edited to reduce file size, resolution, dimensions, etc. ● Maintain width to height ratio ● Verify images which are not your own ● Check on attribution, COPYRIGHT ●
  21. 21. Links Links give readers choice to get more information Links allow fact checking and validation Links allow attribution Decision is based on ethics You can store your “expose” documents, files in Dropbox, Google Drive etc. and link to those
  22. 22. Decision about links  Link to articles,reports, images and other multimedia content from credible sources  Do not link to  criminal or offensive content,  content which will disappear,  content which violates your ethics  Content which cannot be verified
  23. 23. Embedding video and other content You can embed video and other content in your story by pasting embed codes in the HTML of the story. Many sites generate the embed code. Youtube Example below
  24. 24. Data Visualisation Google forms, Google spreadsheets Google Maps, Open Street Maps, etc IBM's Many Eyes Generates data visualisations DevInfohas development statistics and generates charts and graphs maps which can be embedded How to make Infographics: A beginners Guide to data visualisation : Rachel Banning-Lover 28 August, 2014 UK Guardian Please feel free to contact me for details
  25. 25. Ethics Poynter Guidelines Journalists have a duty to explore new technologies Limited time, resources – no excuse for bad work, mistakes. Harm could be easily caused by “viral mistakes”. Quickly correct what is wrong and acknowledge this. Understand difference between news and opinion Transparency to avoid conflict of interest Digital Media Ethics by Stephen J Ward from Uni. Of Wisconsin Centre for Journalism Ethics
  26. 26. Ethics – Guyana concerns - (GMPA & others are working on a draft media code of conduct for consideration to take into account Guyana's situation and global journalism standards ) - Journalists on social media getting into arguments and reflecting biases – the difficulty of separating the professional from the personal on social media - The need to moderate comments on posts, and on news websites to not cause further harm from users - Journalists using Facebook posts, etc. as sources for their reporting . This issue is addressed in t his Poynter Guidance paper. “How to decide what can be published, what’s private on Twitter and Facebook”
  27. 27. Some resources Many online resources eg. Online Journalism Blog Data Journalism Handbook Knight Centre for Journalism in the Americas There are also many how-tos and online courses available
  28. 28. Immersive journalism Inspired by Nonny de la Peña “Journalism meets Virtual Reality” Using 3D cameras and software to create visuals of news events Users need 3D lens and appropriate viewing software to access the content ABC News – VR Inside Syria http://abcnews.go.com/US/fullpage?id=33768357
  29. 29. Thanks for reading There were many positive responses to the workshop presentation which was done in 90 minutes. I willl be happy to voluntarily conduct any orientation or specific training sessions – 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes with no obligation to (any) participant(s). We would need a space with good Internet access. (With speed so that a youtube video can be viewed without any problems) All work will be done according to my code of ethics. Please feel free to contact me on vidyak1@gmail.com or tel 6860835 to arrange .