Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Assignment 2010-2011

17 Jan

A Leading cancer charity organised annual Pudding Race at Covent Garden in London to celebrate the amount of cancer survivals have tripled due to better research, according to Cancer Research Aid Committee.

Cancer Research UK, funds over 4,500 scientists and doctors in the UK and called on their supporters to take part in the 30th Pudding race event which took place 4th December. Dressed up as Christmas puddings, they raised money for its cause as Matthew Walker gave out free puddings to the crowd.

A spokesperson of Cancer Research UK said: “This is a great step forward for society. More than 80 per cent of all cancer patients survive because we obviously have better research but.”

The race was organised by CARC, a voluntary movement of Cancer Research UK that raises funds. The race has been a success for over 30 years and raised over £900,000 along with providing equipment for the charity.

Celebrity Masterchef winner Lisa Faulkner teamed up with Matthew Walker, to entertain the audience during the event by sharing the best tips to make the perfect Christmas. There were also special appearances by Charles Court Opera and the West End Gospel Choir who completed the festive atmosphere.

Anne, who works for Cancer Research UK said: “It’s really important we keep doing these charity events because due to research, there’s a really good chance of recovering and that’s amazing really. The government can’t fund all the research but because of events like this, my son recovered from cancer.”


Contact details:
Cancer Research UK
Telephone: 020 3469 8300

Cancer Research UK Surbiton
Anne (specialised in charity events)  – works every Friday
Telephone: 020 8399 6384

200 word media plan

Interactive map with all the events funded by Cancer Research UK throughout Britain: It becomes more organised for people to see what is happening and they become more aware. They can also see if an event is occurring nearby that they might want to go to.

Video of the scene preferably with famous people hosting or attending the event and giving people who benefit from the event a chance to talk how it benefits them: Will give a more human interest to the story and people are always interested in celebrities and if they are associated with the event, this will already attract readers to be interested in joining upcoming events.

Picture of the Event, pictures illustrating the mood and atmosphere of the event with a focus on human interest: Will give the readers a taste of what it’s like to be there and encourage them to join an event in the future.

A trivia/Challenge as interactive graphic: Readers can test their knowledge about cancer by answering questions and therefore raise awareness.

NOW CAM! : People can look at the event as it’s happening through cams at the event and see the event happening before their eyes.

My multi media piece!


New models of journalism: Volume 2

22 Dec

In this second part, I will focus on citizen journalism/crowd sourcing as a new model of journalism and the different aspects of this subject. Is citizen journalism good or bad for the future of news?

Citizen journalism occurs when tasks that were originally done by journalists, becomes open to a large group of people. This way the public becomes invited to do tasks that were only done by professionals before, such as newsgathering. This is very interesting because literally everyone is invited to have a shot at what the professionals do and maybe see if they can do a better job. Also, it is a cheaper way of doing journalism because the public is not educated to do this job and thus people are getting paid less or sometimes even do it for free.

Citizen journalism started to explode in the United States from 2005 and has been evolving ever since. The pioneers on this subject did not intend to make citizen journalism an alternative to hiring professional journalists, but they believed they were building a new kind of community, since they wanted to invite citizens to co-author on different matters such as the life in their towns. Things that citizens could do were neighbourhood news, calendar announcements, audio and video of events and meetings, discussion threads and photos.

After that, bloggers with no media attachments started to create hundreds of local hubs built almost completely upon volunteer user-generated content. This resulted in hyper local information by citizens, connecting other citizens locally, which is a great aspect of citizen journalism. A good example of a website created like this is MyCornwall which is created by people in Cornwall, for people who live in Cornwall. It is a great source of information including audio, video it is good advertising for other business and Cornwall itself. The idea behind this is, why would you spend so much money when you can reach many more through the internet and TV for a fraction of the price?

A similar concept is Thelichfieldblog which is a website made in Lichfield, and is all about providing news daily especially for people around Lichfield and Burntwood, a service that didn’t exist before.

A video made for the website by citizen journalists:

Another example is which is a community website in London that provides news, updates and valuable information for people who live in this area and also, has been made by people who live there. It is really all about citizens taking the roles of professional journalists and making news public that professional journalists do not have as easy access to. Sometimes it is just much easier for citizens to get exclusive information than for outsiders who might not have the right relationships or general abilities to acquire these news stories. Also should be noted that citizens might know better what people in a certain area want to know about, than professionals and thus produce better local coverage.

What can be concluded from these examples is that these websites have an extremely high amount of user generated content that is published onto websites and so the user plays an active role in collecting, reporting and analysing news and information. Moreover, the goal is to provide independent, reliable, and relevant information for the people of a certain area of interest. But, can we say it is good journalism? I would definitely say it is good journalism; maybe the quality isn’t as good as what professional journalists can do but the information can be extremely valuable and you don’t always have journalists at the place of an unpredicted event.

Here you can see a tourist filming a plane and a helicopter crash above the Hudson River, United States. After, numerous TV channels such as ABC have used the footage because none of their own journalists had footage of this event occurring at the exact time of the crash. Also, the footage was made by poor equipment but because it was on the web extremely fast this was not an issue and this is where citizen journalism/crowd sourcing really shines.

Overall, citizen journalism is extremely valuable as they can watch the local governments, help communities solve problems, enhance local news, and most of all provide local information that cannot be found elsewhere.

Another part where citizen journalism really shines is investigative journalism. This is a form of journalism in which reporters investigate a single topic of interest, which mostly involves crime, corruption and political issues. When citizens are doing this, it is sometimes called “watchdog journalism”. I think this is very interesting since citizens who do this are literally watching over what really happens in society, and research different sources to get to the truth.

A website we discussed in our lectures is Propublica who does “journalism in the public interest”. They are an independent, nonprofit newsroom located in Manhattan that produces investigative journalism for the public. Propublica is led by Paul Steiger, and the team consists of 32 journalists, funded by The Sandler Foundation and donations. They cover a wide range of topics that they think people should be aware of, such as Gulf oil spill, Wall Street, gas drilling, the military and the bailouts of companies.

Another website that does investigative journalism is VoiceOfSanDiego which is one of the most ambitious of the nonprofit sites, funded by local foundations. They received 700,000 page views a month in 2007 and are still growing. They are a public-service, nonprofit news organisation that focuses on in-depth and investigative reporting. The issues they cover are politics, educational system, environment, housing, and economy. The thing that makes them stand out is the fact that they only publish a story if they think they can do it better than anyone else or no one else is covering it. This results in higher value news and unique coverage of topics that you cannot get anywhere else, which is why this website is so successful.

All of this leads to my original question, is citizen journalism good or bad for the future of journalism? In short, yes I think this will benefit journalism. Especially because citizen journalism activated another positive facet; reverse publishing. A lot of citizen media sites turn their web content into a print publication, which is called reverse publishing. These print versions have greater appeal both to advertisers and readers. A good example is the website My Missourian who worked together with a daily paper to convert a free Saturday shopper filled with ads into a weekly community newspaper with citizen generated content. Overall, it can be concluded that citizen journalism is good for journalism but as said before, should not replace professional journalism.

On a final note, I found a table with interesting information about what some citizen journalists have contributed in the past.

On New West, serialized novels and MP3 downloads of local bands.

On The Forum in Deerfield, a crafts column and instructions on how to make a quilt and how to repair garden gnomes.

On ibrattleboro, local rumblings to the “Rumors” page.

On Northwest Voice, recipes for locally grown crops.

On Blount County Voice, a series on local historical sites.

On Backfence, local business reviews.

On OlyBlog, comics and a book of memories of Evergreen State College.

On New Haven Independent, profiles of the “Cop of the Week.”

At Arbor Update, tips on living in Ann Arbor without a car.

Journalism technology and the future lectures

New models of journalism: Volume 1

12 Dec

In the upcoming weeks, there will be multiple posts in which I will explain new models of Journalism and how they work and have been influenced in the first place. The idea came from a lecture I have had last week where new models of journalism were explained to us and I found it very interesting. In this first volume, I will talk about the paywall in relation to Rupert Murdoch and the effect on journalism.

Pay Wall

A paywall blocks access to a webpage, by making it required to pay before visiting parts or the entire webpage. First, to explain the pay wall, I have to go back to the founder of the paywall for The Times, Rupert Murdoch.

Rupert Murdoch is one of the most powerful businessmen on the planet (he is worth $6.2billion) and the CEO of News Corporation. He owns many newspapers across the world such as The Times, The Sun, and the New York Post and also, owns Sky TV in the United Kingdom as well as Fox Network in the United States.

The reason why he is so important to the paywall, is because he wants all websites under News Corp. to charge consumers eventually and he believes it is a new way to make money.  This way, when newspapers make the switch to both newspaper and online newspaper, they can make a profit out of a webpage and thus make money with online journalism.  As a matter of fact, this could be beneficial to future journalism.

A News Corp. Veteran said: “What Rupert always does, is use whatever technology is available as a publishing mechanism. In this, they are reshaping the internet, or at least the world wide web, as a simple one-way publishing tool. Take us or leave us. Most will leave.“

This leads to a different conflict, how beneficial is the paywall? Does it really save journalism online? Or maybe it is just another trick to make money.
A few People who are against the paywall say that according to the latest statistics not only is nobody subscribing to The Times online, but subscribers to the paper who already get free access to the website, are not going any further than the registration page. Therefore, it can be argued how useful it is for online journalism. “It’s as though their writers don’t exist anymore.” according to a Fleet Street veteran. This translates into journalists, who are working behind a paywall, will have fewer readers.

In contrast, some people who are for the paywall claim that even though The Times paywall may fail as a business plan, it is strange to say that just because people are used to getting free content on the internet it does not have to stay that way. In the end, all newspaper companies are just trying to save the newspaper business in the online age and, to keep continuing to pay their journalists and editors for professionally made content, rather than leaving the writing to bloggers.  After all, the paywall could be useful to divide the good writing on the web from the bad writing as blogs will be free but may not be as good writing and, if you are willing to spend some money you will receive higher quality journalism. It is not that bloggers always write worse than journalists for The Times, but there is a lot of badly written journalism in the blogosphere.  On the opposite, there is also a lot of good writing in the blogosphere so it is just the trick of finding it, and in the end the consumers get more choices.  In my opinion, blogs and newspapers online should complement each other, not replace one another.

Another aspect to note is that the paywall originally was supposed to make up for the loss of print circulation, due to the internet and free content.

However, even if the paywall could be successful, are people ready for this development or should it just stay free for the newspapers own good? According to KPMG, two per cent would pay for something they currently use for free. They also found out that TV and newspapers keep being the primary sources of news across all ages, making it a lot more resilient to online content than may appear at first.

Lastly, now we know the sides of the paywall, what are the newspapers doing now and in the future and what is their position towards paywall?

The Times and Sunday Times launched the website in May 2010 and in June it went behind the paywall. The websites charges £1 for one day of access or £2 for a week and this can also be bundled to a seven day print subscription to any of these newspapers. According to a new research from Experian Hitwise it suggests that 54,000 people a month are accessing behind the paywall. But, the GNM research states that “UK visitors to the Times website who viewed content behind the paywall were more likely to visit other news websites – including the Guardian – than visitors who did not view content behind the paywall, suggesting that the introduction of the paywall has not increased loyalty.” As for the future, they are venturing out onto other platforms and this weekend the Sunday Times has been officially launched on the iPad.

A rival of the Times and one of the leading newspaper websites, The Telegraph has recently decided to go behind a paywall as well. It rivals with The Times, the Guardian and the Daily Mail for top British paper online and unusual for an online paper website, it was actually making a profit. Earlier this month, The Telegraph wrote about The Times paywall: “They are making less from their paywall site than they would have made from a free one. And competition online will continue to grow, with new players offering sites that will be free to reader and very agile when it comes to selling web advertising. Acquiring new readers will get harder for paywall sites, not easier.”

To combat this problem, The Telegraph has decided to use a different hybrid paywall system but only the future can tell whether this will be more successful.

After all, the paywall design is still developing for the good and the bad. For example, News of the World has dropped 40% in visitors since it introduced a paywall in October but, because of the introduction of the paywall, other news websites are benefiting from the migration of readers. Consumers that previously were readers of paywall websites are now going to their rivals such as the Guardian, The Independent and the Mail Online. This is a new trend happening since the paywall got introduced but, we can only wait how this will affect the paywall as it could be the end for the latest model of journalism.

Lecture notes week 12

ABCe reveals statistics about newspapers online

25 Nov

In our Journalism class we did a small experiment where everyone rated five different websites in pairs rating the quality, navigability, design, choice of content, multimedia, live coverage, user generated content and ways users can access content. The results were surprising as not the Mail Online but the website was voted as the best online newspaper website on overall experience.

ABCe reveals Mail Online is the most viewed website of the UK.

According to a research done by the statistics instution ABCe, the Daily Mail website is the most viewed newspaper online with 50m monthly browsers.

All of the online newspapers have recorded traffic growth but the Daily Mail Online has seen the largest increase in both monthly and daily average users with an improvement of 54% from the same month last year.

Mail online registered more than 2,5 million daily users with the as the second biggest with two million average daily browsers.

First interview

18 Oct

First interview for Journalism Technology class. Hanna Magnussen is being interviewed about Lord Browne’s review of higher education funding and tells us her views on this particular subject.

Dom Sagolla ‘140 characters’

13 Oct

Dom Sagolla(co-founder of Twitter) is telling about his book ‘140 characters’ which is about how to make the most out of your messages on Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media sites.  The reason for choosing this video clip was because I received this book about a month ago and found it very interesting as it’s a style guide how to make your words more effective, how to reach to your audience and basically covers all the basics of amazing short-form writing.

Kingston university students revive the yellow duster.

13 Oct

                                                                      Click here for more pictures.

The yellow duster was given a makeover, by two design students from Kingston who met while studying MA Curating contemporary design, and was a shocker hit at London Design Festival where they exhibited the 100 best ideas at Tent London under the title ‘Everyday Delights’ where the stand had a constant flood of visitors.

They saw potential in the concept and asked London designers and also held an open competition to recreate one of the most ordinary household objects, the duster and received all sorts of things ranging from baby boots, a portable seat and a robot.  The plan was to use the most common everyday object to promote the creativity of London’s design scene.

A first years, interior design student commented, “ I think it’s something unique and haven’t heard anything quite like it before. It shows a good way of recycling products too. It’s also a good idea to use every day objects, plus convenience, price and availability play a role too. It’s very creative and any one can now take their duster and make something, it’s possible”.

The design duo graduated this summer and set up the JJAM Curators’ Collective which is one of the successful companies produced by the course. They willl have new plans coming up which will reveal themselves around Christmas time.


Grazia goes 3D

7 Oct

Glossy magazine Grazia has changed reading with a new concept; a 3D magazine as last year’s summer edition with Florence from the machine on the cover. In this special edition, you are able to literally move the famous singer around and see her sing too, with the help of their new 3D magazine.
Once you get hold of the magazine you are required to have a webcam or the iPhone app and follow this website to see the magic happen!

One in five of world plants are endangered.

2 Oct

22 per cent of the world’s plants species are threatened with extinction and are as threatened as mammals, due to human activities. This is the first time we have a clear picture of the extinction risk of 380.000 plant species, according to a shocking report from researchers of Kew.

This was assessed at Kew together with the Natural History Museum and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in response to the UN’s International Year of Biodiversity and the 2010 target. The sampled Red List Index for Plants is the first study of its kind and looks at a broad variety of rare and common species.

Kew’s director, Professor Stephen Hopper, is alarmed and said the importance of plants has been ignored.
The findings are weeks before governments meet to set the new targets for 2020 at the United Nations Biodiversity Summit in Nagoya,Japan scheduled for October 2010.


This is my version of our first assignment for the module Journalism, Technology and the future. We received a press release which was in the newspapers recently and were asked to shorten it, make the language more concise, rewrite the headline, add hyperlinks to further information.

I started by taking the information, I thought was most important, and making a much more concise story out of it. Then, I checked the source provided and other sources to add hyperlinks and further information. When I completely finished I made a list of sources and added a picture and included the source for that too.