Journalism links 8/25

Martin Belam, on the future over the past:

What concerns me is that there are a whole generation of students who are being encouraged to pay for qualifications that will equip them to work in a 90s newsroom, because the people designing the courses and the industry input they receive are all from people who cut their teeth in a 90s newsroom.

A piece worth reading in its entirety.

Five curation tools you should know about. Pearltrees is a new one to me. I’ll check it out this weekend. The others are variations on one another, reminding you that you don’t have to be in every space. At some point these things are competing with one another. You want to be doing your work on the one that is the winner, which is to say has an ease of use, flexibility to do what you need and the place where your audience is willing to follow (or is already building a community). Otherwise you just build up platform fatigue.

What’s more, curation is a function, not your every solution. All of these things, all of them, are options, tools and components at your disposal. As a journalist your job is to amass large amounts of information, filter, screen and select. Your job here, with these many platforms, tools and doodads, is similar.

Copy editors: read the story before writing the headline.


Also, beware of sneaky copy in those pull out boxes.

Everyone knows of Twitter, and the wise ones are using it to their advantage in their professional life. But now comes Pinq Sheets:

Unlike Klout and other similar services, Pinq Sheets is keyword- and campaign-based, as opposed to user-based. And because Pinq Sheets uses Twitter’s streaming API (instead of the search API), Pinq Sheets subscribers can pull down entire Tweets, rather than just numbers.

Pinq Sheets also does the dirty work for you, compiling the data in readable graphs (see below) that can easily be distributed to your clients. This is pretty stellar. When we do reporting for our clients, we find they love graphs and infographics. When we can make them pretty AND useful, so much the better. Seeing information and insights, for some, is often more valuable than reading a report.


Additional features include showing users which individuals talk about a particular hashtag or search term the most, giving you valuable insights about either your brand or the brand advocates/influencers.

“If you’re trying to market to a niche, this is the tool that’s going to tell you how to do it and who to talk to,” Jen says.

Robust tools get stronger all the time.

Big names in journalism links: How Steve Jobs changed journalism. A study on Rupert Murdoch’s troubles. The semi-retirement of Jim Romenesko and his impact on journalism.

Was Twitter a vehicle for riots in England? A Guardian study:

Analysis of more than 2.5m Twitter messages relating to the riots in England has cast doubt on the rationale behind government proposals to ban people from social networks or shut down their websites in times of civil unrest.

A preliminary study of a database of riot-related tweets, compiled by the Guardian, appears to show Twitter was mainly used to react to riots and looting.

Timing trends drawn from the data question the assumption that Twitter played a widespread role in inciting the violence in advance, an accusation also levelled at the rival social networks Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger.

That’s part of a quality series from the Guardian, Reading the Riots.


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