News writing and reporting: Leveraging new media


Published on

Lecture delivered to Sri Lanka College of Journalism. I introduced data journalism with examples from Google and Groundviews. The examples from Google, which use World Bank data, are especially interesting and in these examples, I explore the co-relation between GDP and life expectancy in Sri Lanka, plus the effects of GDP growth and mobile phone growth, looking at how war affected this. There are also two examples from Groundviews ( are to date the first and only examples of data journalism in Sri Lanka.

  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

News writing and reporting: Leveraging new media

  1. 1. Current affairs reporting News Writing and Reporting Sanjana Hattotuwa TEDGlobal Fellow 2010 Editor, Groundviews (
  2. 2. what is social media? • Social media uses Internet and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many). It supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers. (Wikipedia)
  3. 3. what is new media? • New media is a term meant to encompass the emergence of digital, computerized, or networked information and communication technologies. • New media is not television programs, feature films, magazines, books, or paper-based publications. (Wikipedia) • But increasingly, old media is leveraging the web, Internet and mobiles in generating and disseminating news and information.
  4. 4. new media and foundations • Blogs • Social networks (Twitter, Facebook) • Google Maps • Mobiles: SMS, mobile photography and video • VoIP: Skype, Google Chat • And making this all possible is ADSL + 3G wireless broadband
  5. 5. what’s new • Ubiquity of two way communications • Addressable peoples, even those who IDPs or refugees • Both news generation and dissemination leverages new media • Disintermediated models vs. traditional media model • Citizens as producers • Low resolution content broadcast on high definition media
  6. 6. old media model Event / Issue Journalist Consumer Mainstream media
  7. 7. new media models Event / Issue Journalist Consumer Citizen media Mainstream media Consumer
  8. 8. the revolution Journalist Consumer Journalist Consumer / Witness News as a conversation News as a package
  9. 9. What is out there?
  10. 10. bearing witness: Groundviews
  11. 11. readership and reach: web media From 19 – 27 May 2010, Groundviews ran a special edition on the end of war in Sri Lanka. Over this week alone, the site received over forty thousand readers and exclusively featured over eighty-thousand words of original content, one video premiere, over a dozen photos, generating over one hundred and fifty thousand words of commentary. Tens of thousands more have read and commented on this content since.
  12. 12. online video: Vikalpa YouTube Channel
  13. 13. alternative politics in Sinhala: Vikalpa
  14. 14. news from provinces: perambara
  15. 15. kottu: blog aggregation
  16. 16. sinhala bloggers union: Sinhala blog aggregation
  17. 17. sinhala bloggers union: Sinhala blog aggregation
  18. 18. twitter: topical, pithy perspectives
  19. 19. Facebook for journalism
  20. 20. social networking: facebook
  21. 21. social networking: facebook reach with $0
  22. 22. social networking: facebook reach with $0 Avg. FB account: 130 friends Updates featured on 225,000+ FB accounts. Instantly. Groundviews FB page has 1,732 fans
  23. 23. Managing content: Pulling in
  24. 24. essential email: gmail / google account
  25. 25. google search: updates from social media
  26. 26. google news: thousands of sources
  27. 27. google alerts: thousands of sources
  28. 28. google reader: a web based RSS reader
  29. 29. Selecting the best: Curating news
  30. 30. curated content
  31. 31. curated content = selecting the best produce
  32. 32. curating news • Buying fruits of vegetables • Check price • Weigh it in one’s hands • Look at it from all angles • Look at it in context • Look at a few, not just one • Discard if old • Be suspicious if it looks too good • Ascertain location where it was produced • Curating news • Check authorship • Check for veracity, quality • Is it accurate, fair, topical? • What is the bias? Is it progressive? • Select a few from many sources • Discard if out-dated information is presented • Be cautious of unverified information and breaking news • Is the producer local or foreign?
  33. 33. curated twitter content on sri lanka: news
  34. 34. curated twitter content on sri lanka: blogs
  35. 35. Managing content: Pushing out
  36. 36. blogging
  37. 37. blogging
  38. 38. blogging
  39. 39. blogging via phone
  40. 40. broadcasting via a PC
  41. 41. ustream: mobile phone broadcasting
  42. 42. flickr: posting images via mobiles
  43. 43. Visualising news: Data driven journalism
  44. 44. google: public data
  45. 45. google: world bank public data GDP growth and life expectancy, Sri Lanka
  46. 46. google: world bank public data Mobile phones and war correlation, Sri Lanka
  47. 47. groundviews: undergraduate unrest in Sri Lanka unrest-in-sri-lanka/
  48. 48. groundviews: undergraduate unrest in Sri Lanka unrest-in-sri-lanka/
  49. 49. groundviews: flooding in colombo time
  50. 50. Recap
  51. 51. enduring challenges • Impartial, accurate coverage still vital, increasingly hard to ascertain • Torrent of information, trickle of knowledge • Veracity and verifiability • Eye-witness accounts are partial, subjective • New media / technology illiteracy even amongst journalists • Apathy and animosity against citizen journalism • Licensing and attribution of online content
  52. 52. key points • New technologies potentially give voice to all citizens • Be sceptical of new information, but use new media to push and pull content • Develop media literacy to embrace new technologies
  53. 53. Thank you