28 March 2014
St Pancras Intelligencer no. 11
Welcome to the latest edition of the St Pancras Intelligencer, our weekly round-up of news about news - stories about news production, publications, apps, digitised resources, events and what is happening with the newspaper collection (and other news collections) at the British Library.
Journalism matters: Mark Austin and Julie Etchingham of ITN; Christiane Amanpour from CNN, Mark Ferguson from Channel 7 (Australia) ; and Shiulie Ghosh of Al-Jazeera English participate in this 40-second video in support of the #FreeAJStaff campaign, protesting against EWgypt's placing in custody for the past three months of three Al Jazeera journalists for "spreading false news".
The LBC Leaders' Debate: It was fascinating to see the debate on immigration between the LibDems' Nick Clegg and UKIP's Nigel Farage, not for the topic but for how radio station LBC is pushing its brand. Recently launched as a national service, they broadcast the event live on radio, with simulataneous video stream on the BBC News website, followed the moment it ended by the BBC News channel showing the debate with reaction afterwards. LBC's name was prominent, on the lecterns, the walls and in the name of the event itself. Look out for further LBC brand-building in the future, no doubt.
The Times 'moving towards profit' since paywall launch: Guess what, Times Newspapers has moved from a £72 million loss in 2009 to £6 million for trading year ending June 2013.
Will readers pay for journalists?: An interesting twist on the question of whether readers will pay for digital news content - American start-up news site The Beacon is asking its readers to sponsor a journalist for $75,000 for a year to report on the American prison system.
The problem with data journalism: The hot topic of the hour is data journalism. All well and good, says Allison Schrager at Quartz, but the problem with it is that it's not science. "Empirical researchers spend years learning how to apply statistics and countless hours dissecting data. And then even the most experienced, well-intentioned researcher might end up with biased results."
Facts are sacred: Meanwhile, this extract by Simon Rogers from his book Facts are Sacred, lists ten things that you should know about data journalism e.g. "It may be trendy but it's not new".
Before the "explanatory journalism" craze started to catch fire, there was Syria Deeply: The other, related journalism vogue is 'exploratory journalism'. Mathew Ingram at Gigaom tells the story of Lara Setrakian's topic-based site Syria Deeply to show how none of these ideas are new.
Reddit plans to offer embeds for breaking news discussions: Mashable reports that hugely popular 'notice board' site Reddit is planning to offer embeds for breaking news threads, something which could help news organisations tap into instant live blogs of newsworthy events. Could be big.
The week when Mick Jagger found the true cost of fame: Catherine Bennett at The Guardian muses on the papers' treatment of the L'Wren Scott suicide story, calls some of the coverage shameful (while repeating some of this) but says that it shouldn't be used as anrgument for curbs against the press.
London Live: The 24-hour entertainment TV channel for London, backed by The Evening Standard, goes live on March 31st, but its website is already active.
Checking out the NSB: This blog visits the British Library's vast Newspaper Storage Building at Boston Spa, and muses on robots, metadata, and what digital means.
As news reporters get measured by clicks, there are lessons to be learned from unlikely sources: Interesting piece from Poynter on page-view metrics and how the numbers can't determine what's journalistically important.
Trinity Mirror North East unveils plan for digital-first newsroom: The Newcastle and Teesside publisher's new editorial structure, called Newsroom 3.1, will put digital first, print second, evidence of how newspapers are finding their audiences being drawn ever more to their websites. The Drum reports.
Twitter - hot damn!: Not everyone in the news world gets Twitter as yet. Jon Slattery tells them in detail why they should. "Not being on Twitter leaves print journalists as out of touch as the judge who asked: ‘Who are the Beatles?'".
Can Twitter hashtags work in print?: Talking of which, the Media Blog muses interestingly on how newspapers are introducing hashtags into print stories, and whether this has much of an impact at all.