Possibly the most unoriginal relaunch in the history of mankind. Ah well.
Archive for October, 2007
I can’t believe it took me so long to find this. Over 500 of today’s front pages from around the world.
After calling Phillip Knightley a dinosaur a few weeks back, I’ve been chatting with a few journalists — online and offline — about the attitude older journalists have towards new technology, equipment and methods.
We’ve all agreed that the general principles of reporting should remain. Getting out and talking to people is the first priority. Not that it was ever disputed, of course, but it’s worth reminding ourselves from time to time. What was also (mostly) agreed on was that yes, journalists, young and old, must evolve if we are to survive.
At some point in our lives that word changes meaning. It can be seen to be exciting: The force of change, bettering ourselves, progressing. Or it can be seen as terrifying: Becoming something we’re not used to, changing how we work, having to LEARN.
And that’s where I feel that divide comes in. Feel free, anyone, to jump on me when I make this statement, but I think the word evolve is a much harsher word to hear when you’re an old journalist. Hence: Phillip Knightley. Hence: Newspapers taking ages to start using the web properly. Hence: My Mum not wanting to change phones to a better model.
The issue of evolving is not because older journalists cannot learn. Of course they can. Anyone can learn. It’s more to do with not wanting to learn.
Take Mum, for example. She doesn’t want to change phones for a very good reason — she’s happy with the one she has already. No problem. But when it comes to journalism, it’s either change or get left behind. Don’t want to use the web to publish? Fine, don’t bother. Just don’t expect to have many (or any) readers left in a year’s time.
Today I read this brilliant post from Cyndy Green. She’s a video journalist (and probably lots of other things too). She has, according to her post, been shooting video since 1974. You don’t need me to tell you that an awful lot has changed since then. Cyndy has embraced it all, but it hasn’t been easy:
I just didn’t get it – felt like a dinosaur – one of the old geeks who couldn’t make the film to tape transition. Had nightly headaches…I could shoot, but the damn program (Final Cut Pro 1.0) lurked in the school computer, doing whatever it could to mess with my tiny brain. The terminology….the computer keyboard…the files within files within files…the icons…and the lack of something material I could put in a machine and rewind or fast forward got to me. Finally got so mad I made arrangements with a friend of a friend for a tutoring session…there were four others, some of us dinosaurs and a few new kids who seemed to aborb everything in a wink. In one marathon eight hour session I grasped enough to understand and defeat the evil computer and its demonic software
Wonderful stuff. I urge you to read the entire post. It’s a wonderfully frank account of Cyndy’s worries.
At the end of her post, she mentions:
Final note: this is a discussion that needs to be in the open. I know a lot of folks fear for their jobs and their futures and have a real love of their craft as it is now. Meranda Writes has some good discussions going on this issue on her blog. Get out there and join the conversation – but don’t put up a wall and refuse to consider change. Pick up a video camera and try it out (at home if you have to). It ain’t hard and it won’t kill ya.
I agree. I’ve read Meranda’s blog a lot lately. It’s how I see this blog of mine panning out once I graduate. But anyway, as Cyndy says, let’s get this discussion going.
The Telegraph’s Shane Richmond rounds up a few comments following Donnacha DeLong’s comments on new media.
Social-networking at its finest. A great piece by fellow Journobizzer Sally Whittle.
It’s all done. Perhaps not the type of event that I’d have hoped, but at least that aspect was out of our hands.
From my point of view, I had the pleasure of leading a fantastic team of young journalists. Seriously, take a look at our content. We’ve done well. Photos, audio, analysis. All in the space of two hours. Video to come later next week (and that’s only because we didn’t have the equipment to put it straight onto the blog). I’m very proud.
The liveblog format worked well, I think. We were given a room to base our operations from — which we were locked out of at one point — and we flitted between our room and the SU bar where it was all being announced. But, somehow, we had a constant stream of people running upstairs shouting “I’ve got audio! I’ve got audio!”.
Tell me now: How many national newspapers have covered an event in this way?
It’s the way forward, and The Linc team has embraced it with open arms.
Lately, I’ve been linked to by some major blogs. Normally because I’m having a whinge about old journalists or, recently, the NUJ*. It would be great if this effort from Lincoln student journalists could get a heads up out there in blogland.
*Donnacha — thanks for your comment. I’m genuinely impressed by the fact you haven’t just seen the sarcastic nature of my comments and directed a hearty “F*ck off!” in my direction. I’ll be responding to your comments soon. I must say, though, that the comments you’ve made in my last post make much more sense than those in your article that I linked to. I’ve listened to the Media Guardian podcast that you appear in. Again, in that you seem to soften the blow. Either you regret your original comments, or they were shocking for shocking’s sake…
I remember a little while back, when BBC News 24 ran a few little adverts about themselves, there was clip showing a news crew scrambling up a mountain, using donkeys to carry satellites and other equipment.
Such scenes were repeated today as Danny and I waddled our way over to the Engine Shed carrying all manner of equipment. The original plan for tonight was to use small digital camcorders to get quick clips from the results. But, sadly, we lacked the proper equipment for that (the Sony Handycam we were using wrote to .VOB and .VOB only. We don’t have the software to convert it all).
Anyway, instead, we opted to cover it using broadcast quality equipment. Which is heavy.
Still, everything is shaping up nicely.
Student paper not allowed to distribute on Edinburgh campus.
Roy Greenslade quits his NUJ membership in dramatic, but very valid, fashion. I joined the NUJ back in my first year, and all I got was a press card that no-one recognises, and a magazine subscription that never seems to arrive.
Welcome to tonight’s award ceremony. There’s only one category. And only one nominee.
The winner of the 2007 Ridiculous Comment of the Year Award goes to Donnacha DeLong:
There are those who claim that Web 2.0 democratises the media. It would make everyone equal, yes, but should they be? It’s like saying anyone can play for Manchester United. In one of the main examples given to explain Web 2.0, Wikipedia replaces Britannica Online. Is that the kind of democracy we want – where anyone can determine the information that the public can access, regardless of their level of knowledge, expertise or agenda?
Should everyone be equal? Stupid question. Of course they should. And yes, it’s EXACTLY like saying everyone can play for Manchester United. Because everyone can… if they’re good enough. Not everyone has the skill to be a columnist for The Times, but that doesn’t mean we should stop them blogging on their own patch. It’s the journalism equivalent of having a kick about in the park. Just because little Jimmy isn’t good enough to play for Manchester United doesn’t mean the F.A come and confiscate his ball now does it?
You know, I may be cynical here when I say that if Donnacha is worried about agendas or lack of knowledge, then maybe journalists are the main culprits. Newspapers have agendas. TV stations have agendas. In fact, the only type of journalism WITHOUT an agenda is citizen journalism. They’re just taking pictures and blogging about whatever takes their fancy.
Roy Greenslade has given up his NUJ membership after reading that tripe up there. I don’t blame him. Personally, I’m not going to leave the NUJ, but you’ll never find me supporting their causes. They’re there for the limited legal protection they can russle up for me — and nothing more.
Tomorrow night The Linc will be doing its very first live event coverage on this site right here.
Today we’re busy promoting the event with posters and an online campaign. My favourite ad has to be this whopper stuck to the big window facing the main university building…
I’ll be blogging about this more today, tomorrow and Saturday.
Guardian America was launched today. This one passed me by somewhat… I didn’t really know it was coming. But come it did.
I’m not sure what it is.
It could be a new American newspaper. Except it doesn’t print. But then, why bother printing when people don’t read newspapers anymore anyway? Ok, it isn’t that drastic, but having a really good Guardian America website is obviously more valuable than having a really good Guardian America newspaper.
So in theory, that’s good. This could be the first serious attempt at an online-only ‘newspaper’. This I applaud; the amount of American traffic coming to the BBC and Guardian websites (and, indeed, the Daily Mail’s) is a good enough reason to pursue an American-led online paper. Where Guardian America falls short of being a paper is when it syndicates news from Guardian UK. Although, seeing as lots of news comes from agencies and wires anyway, this isn’t too much of a problem.
So is it a news newspaper? Or is it a new website? Is it neither? What the hell is it?!
The editor explains:
The journalistic shorthand version is that Guardian America is the US-based website of the Guardian newspaper of London and Manchester, which will combine content produced in the UK and around the world with content that we originate here to create a Guardian especially tailored to American readers.
So not quite a newspaper. Shame really: ‘Guardian America’ seems like a whole new product. Why not market this as merely an expanded and improved American news section of the site? The Guardian America banner promises too much.
Where Guardian America seems to fail most, I think, is that you constantly feel like you’re drifting away from the American content. Click on the story about why Guardian America is written in British English, and you’ll find yourself redirected to the English site, and before you know it, you’re faced with the English front page, top stories etc. Same with the blogs. If you click once or twice you’ll be faced with the British front to Comment is Free. It’s confusing.
If the Guardian want to do this properly, surely the smartest thing to do would be to launch it as guardianamerica.com. Or even just guardian.com.
In some closer-to-home news, another Lincoln blogger has emerged: Ben Reeves.