Tag Archives: Journalism

One scoop or two?

A London Coffee House

Modern British journalism was born in the Coffee Houses of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century

London’s Coffee Houses were once at the epicentre of British science, commerce and journalism.

In the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century coffee houses were where the great and good met to exchange information and ideas. By the late Seventeenth Century there were thousands in England.

So successful were coffee houses as places for the disaffected to congregate that Charles II tried to suppress them.

The commercialisation and professionalisation of journalism took it away from its coffee house roots. But as the money is sucked out of journalism, the industry is showing signs of returning to its coffee house roots. Freelancers have long frequented cafes to tap out stories furiously on their laptops and sometimes to take advantage of free WiFi. Now big media organisations in the US are encouraging reporters to work in cafes in order to connect with readers.

There are signs that this trend is taking off in the UK, both at grassroots level and in big media organisations. In this month’s issue of The Journalist I wrote about news organisations that are making moves towards putting the newsroom back at the heart of their community. You can read the article by following this link and going to page 14.

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The glamour of the grey cardigan

Poster for subs

Subs is playing at The Cock Tavern until 29/02

The working lives of journalists have been dramatised many times, both on stage and screen. From Hollywood blockbusters like All the Presidents Men to small screen hits like The State of Play, most portray the profession as glamorous and heroic.

But as many journalists would testify, the profession isn’t always like that. For every Bob Woodward, you’ll have the poor sod who has to write about pork belly futures for a trade magazine in Topeka, Kansas. The State of Play is particularly guilty of idealising the profession. Continue reading

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The Twelfth Night – An epiphany for community journalists?



Originally uploaded by Pics by K.

So we reach the twelfth night, an evening normally associated with taking down Christmas decorations. But in Italy it’s the children’s Christmas when the good witch La Bafana visits families leaving gifts of fruit and sweets for children. And like La Bafana I am here to deliver a final Christmas gift – a blogpost rounding up my 12 Days of Christmas uploads.

Looking back over the previous days, I am finding a clear theme emerging in the content – community. As Adam Westbrook said back on Day 8, it’s becoming a big thing for journalists.

In an earlier post I highlighted the role of community manager as a key discipline for journalists in the future. Laura Oliver, who started her new job as a community manager at the Guardian earlier this week, told me that media organisations are taking this role more seriously. In the clip recorded back in June she said that community management is becoming a distinct role with its own set of skills. Continue reading

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Round up of eleven days of blogposts and audio treats

For the past eleven days I have been uploading outtakes and audio content generated while researching an article on new roles in journalism for the latest edition of The Journalist. It started on Boxing Day with a blogpost highlighting the potential of professional transfer and ended with a hat trick of clips from the BBC College of Journalism’s director Kevin Marsh.

Due to internet problems, there were some days where I could not get online to upload clips and write posts. So here’s some helpful links to all the content so that you can be sure that you haven’t missed anything. The clip for the 12th night is coming later on today. Continue reading

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Where are the new roles in journalism? 5th day of Christmas

In the next installment of my 12 Days of Christmas, I am sharing more outtakes from my feature for the Journalist on new roles in journalism.

Back in June I spoke to a number of journalists at the POLIS / BBC College of Journalism event on the value of Journalism. Among them were Laura Oliver, who at the time was at Journalism.co.uk, and Kevin Anderson, then of the Guardian. Over the past three days I have been uploading content from these interviews to my Audioboo account. Continue reading

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A professional fusion: 2nd day of Christmas

One of the problems that journalism has faced over the past few years is the decline of news as a salable commodity. When other professions have faced the same problem, they have looked outside of their traditional roles to find new sources of work.

When the decline in manufacturing created an oversupply of designers, those who couldn’t find work in tradition fields created the new discipline of service design. Likewise anthropologists have also found new markets for their work in the corporate sector.

Journalists are already able to move into PR, media training and copywriting. Now social reporting – a fusion of reporting and citizen engagement – is emerging as another journalistic discipline. Although it is currently quite a niche area, it does offer some possibilities for corporate and public sector commissions. Continue reading

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Beyond the story

On Thursday I was blogger in residence for the News Rewired event, which looked at new business models for journalism in a digital age.

Because of my blogging duties, I was not able to give as much in-depth consideration to the presentations as I would have done normally. But there were a few highlights that I’d like to share. For me the high point of the afternoon was the final session on social gaming which was an eye opener.

Philip Trippenbach, an interactive producer at the BBC had some interesting news about a project he is working on which is trying to make sense of the British Class system. However, I was more interested in his opinions on non-narrative forms of journalism. It was this element of the News Rewired programme that truly encapsulated the “Beyond the Story” sub-title. Continue reading

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The newsroom of the future



Originally uploaded by Stuart Pinfold.

Last week, I got the chance to have a sneak preview of New Broadcasting House, which will be the home of the BBC from 2012.

New Broadcasting House is on the site of the old one on Portland Place where the Corporation’s radio arm has been based since 1932. Following the sales of Television Centre and Bush House and the move of some departments up to Salford, almost all of the BBC’s London operations will be based in this building.

One of the interesting things about the new building is the attempt of architects to make it more accessible to the people who pay for it – ie you and me. This is partly due to the BBC Trust’s commitment to increasing openness. But I understand that Westminster City Council also imposed a planning requirement for public access in return for the building increasing its footprint. Continue reading

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How working overseas helped me adjust to freelancing

Originally uploaded by littlesaint_uk.

Two years ago – almost to the day – I arrived in Melbourne with my boyfriend and a one-year visa. The purpose of my visit was to work for a few months in order to raise money for the rest of our round the world trip.

Unfortunately, I arrived in Melbourne at totally the wrong time. Someone had told us to arrive early in the Southern Hemisphere summer because all the backpacker jobs would be snapped up before February.

We were totally misinformed. For three months my boyfriend and I struggled to find office work. Our arrival had coincided with the pre-Christmas lull, which was much more pronounced in 2008 because of jitters about the economy. We finally got something in February (ironically). My boyfriend found a data entry job, while I got a relatively well paid dish-washing job. Continue reading

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Audioboo’s mailbox is great news for hacks

Audioboo have launched private digital voice messages on the internet and it will soon been on iphone and android

Private messaging from Audioboo

I must admit that I have been very lazy about putting Audioboo to good use. That could all change with the recent introduction of private messaging via its web service.

One of Audioboo’s drawbacks until now is the fact that you have to share your boo with the world. Today, I received an email saying that Audioboo has now introduced private messaging and when I logged into my account I found a private boo from Audioboo fan Stephen Fry explaining the changes. Continue reading

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