Wednesday, February 24, 2010
In our web training courses, we spend time drawing things to imagine how they might display on a web page.
We do it for a number of reasons; it stimulates creative thinking, sparks debate and highlights some of the gaps in expertise that will have to be filled if newspapers are to survive.
A simple example of this different way of thinking comes from The Times map display of their hotel reviews. It's not big or clever, but it works. How many newspaper journalists do you know who could take the original content from the archives, design, build and then publish them in this form? And what does it say about the skills we have in the newsroom?
I had a conversation recently with a news editor about a great bit of web content. I complimented him and his team for a great bit of work. "Nothing to do with me mate," he replied. "Our web editor got it from a local blogger." Nuff said.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The identity of 15-year-old Kyle Farrell, who pushed another youngster off a 20ft high sea wall leaving him with life-threatening injuries, would have remained anonymous but for the intervention of Hull Daily Mail reporter Claudia.
Claudia handed a note to the legal clerk at Bridlington Magistrates Court after Farrell was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm to a 14-year-old boy by pushing him off the sea wall in Bridlington.
At the time of the incident, the teenagers were with a group of around 20 youngsters who were tombstoning – a controversial pastime which involves jumping from large heights into the sea.
Claudia's note highlighted the fact that the victim, who landed on concrete steps after being pushed, could have died from his injuries which included a broken neck, fractured skull, a bleed on the brain and a punctured lung,
She argued that the order under Section 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act banning Farrell from being identified should be lifted as the case was a matter of public interest. She also cited the general principle of open justice with appropriate case law to back it up.
Claudia said: "I was ready to argue that Farrell had committed a serious offence and I had also been told by the detective in charge of the case that the boy's mother was very upset and wanted justice to be done, which could be argued involves naming and shaming the offender.
"But the judge asked no further questions and quite quickly decided that it was a serious enough case to warrant the naming of Farrell."
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Our Newcastle course has been in existence for 41 years and will continue to run twice per year.
The London course will be a mirror image and provide a route into journalism for those who prefer to train in the south east.
It will be based in the Press Association training centre which is just one floor below the main PA newsroom offering those attending the course a unique opportunity to learn new skills at the heart of a major international media business.
This new course is a great addition to our portfolio and we look forward to welcoming the first cohort on August 30th this year.
We hope to be able to annouce the course's accrediation by the NCTJ shortly,
For more information see www.becomeareporter.co.uk TJ
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
A TERRIBLE mix-up has left a city Premiership football club “red faced” and a newspaper denying all knowledge after the wrong pop star didn't play at a school in Liverpool. Following the success of American folk legend James Taylor's circus workshop at St Sebastian's primary school, Edge Lane, last month, and womanising champion golfer Sam Taylor Wood's appearance at a film premiere here last November, education bosses were “keen” to celebrate being the most improved council in the county with a series of low key cultural concerts in city schools.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
There are probably three things that distinguish a blog from a website:
1. Personality - blogs are personal. They can be instructive, educational, entertaining, useful, annoying or (often) pointless, they belong to somebody and are a reflection of who they are. Perez Hilton's celebrity blog is a case in point.
2. Interactivity - some blogs are conversational. Some are controversial. Some are funny or sad, and some, like The Pencil Sharpener are a source of information, expertise, entertainment and discussion. Even The Drudge report which at first glance looks like a random collection of links, relies heavily on involvement from visitors who suggest relevant articles for posting on the site.
3. Navigation - Blog posts are displayed chronologically, with the newest item first. Until recently this, the use of tags or labels, and an archive feature were usually all the tools you were offered to find your way around.
Peter Sands, fellow Pencil Sharpener blogger, has brought to my attention the new 'pages' gadget on Blogger. We can (and will) now add some extra navigation to specific pages or themes. Is this the beginning of the end of the static, stand alone website as we know it?
Friday, February 5, 2010
... from the Daily Trust http://www.news.dailytrust.com who have spent two weeks at our offices in London. They have learned everything from the subbing masterclass and the editor's chair courses with Peter Sands, Jonathan Grun, Tony Johnston and Andy Drinkwater and we have learned a huge amount about Nigerian newspapers and culture. They fly back tomorrow to 35 degrees and a group that believes first and foremost that good journalism sells newspapers. Good luck to them.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
The PG had drawn up a strong list of commentators
The Grey Cardigan (Press Gazette) - compulsory reading for all journalists. Sums up the industry in a way that others fear to tread.
Charles Sale (Daily Mail Sport) - continually breaks stories that would make the back page. Needs a bigger show.
Lucy Kellaway (FT) - does a first class job lampooning the excesses of management-speak.
If there are any other notables missing from the list let us know and we will give them a mention.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Most of our early courses focused on equipping writers with the ability to use a video camera. The thinking was that photographers were too busy capturing stills to think video and carrying more kit just wasn’t practical.
Slowly, over time, though, more and more photographers came on our courses. What they lacked in video know-how they made up for in the ability to spot was works visually and what doesn’t.
I’ve just had a chance to see first hand a camera that will probably have all stills photographers now being asked to shoot video drooling with delight.
The Canon EOS 7D looks like a digital SLR, feels like a digital SLR, takes the highest quality still photos like the best digital SLRs and just happens to shoot broadcast quality video too.
Some of the results being achieved are quite stunning and to switch from shooting still to video all you do is flick one switch.
It does have some downsides which those used to more traditional video cameras won’t like.
The audio options are limited and the viewing screen you have to use when using the video option is embedded in the back of the camera and will be hard to see in bright sunlight. It’s heavy too and you’ll probably need to use a tripod all the time.
But photographers used to the look and feel of a traditional camera body will love it, and it will mean them carrying just one piece of kit not two if they are asked to shoot both still and moving pics.
Our video trainer, Christina Fox, a broadcast cameraman never more than a few feet from a Sony Z5 or V1 was so impressed she bought one. Praise indeed. Read her full review here.
There is still strong demand for traditional skills, news writing, story-gathering and subbing for journalists; while the PR and communications industry is still keen to learn about the basics of sending a press release or planning a campaign.
New research would seem to indicate that the media is in a similar quandary in terms of what skills they want from their recruits. An American publication that goes by the splendid name of Journalism & Mass Communication Educator has just completed a study into what 'traditional' and 'non-traditional' media employers want. These two excerpts would seem to suggest that a much broader range of skills is now required to carve out a successful media career. In between the Americanese there are some useful insights:
Traditional news media were still most interested in hiring new employees with nontechnical routine expertise,” such as solid writing skills, working under deadline, editing, teamwork and communication skills, and Associated Press Style. About equally, however, they also were seeking employees with “technical routine expertise,” such as content posting and management, image editing, blogging, video editing, and social media knowledge....and in 'non-traditional' news media?
Nontraditional online news media were as interested in nontechnical routine expertise as traditional news media, but less interested in routine technical expertise (perhaps because they assumed new employees already had such skills or that they could be easily taught). Instead, nontraditional online news media were significantly more interested in hiring employees with adaptive expertise, such as knowledge outside journalism/mass communication, creativity, independent and critical thinking, leadership, and problem-solving abilities.
This would all suggest what we've been saying at Press Association Training for some time now, that the journalist of the future will need to have a much broader range of skills and more importantly a much better grasp of how the world is changing around them.