THE BRITISH LIBRARY

The Newsroom blog

26 posts categorized "British Newspaper Archive"

04 June 2014

An introduction to the Newsroom

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The Newsroom is the British Library's new dedicated reading room for researching its news collections. It is located on the second floor of the Library's site at St Pancras in London. This post is an overall guide to what researchers can expect to find in the Newsroom. 

Newsroom_issuedesk

The Newsroom is in two sections: the main reading room, which delivers access to the news collections and is open to anyone with a British Library reader's pass; and the networking area, a research space open to anyone which displays live news on screens from a variety of sources.

Finding

You can find most of our news collections through the British Library's main catalogue, http://explore.bl.uk. News items can be searched for by title, any word from a title, place name, or word in the catalogue record. Some of our television and radio news records can be found on Explore, but we are still adding records. The full collection can be found via Broadcast News (see below). Our web news collection needs to be searched separately (see below).

To access anything from our news collections you will need a free Reader Pass - guidelines on how to obtain a pass are available here.

You can order items before your visit using http://explore.bl.uk.

Desks

The main room has 110 desks, of which 58 are clear Reader desks, 40 have microfilm viewers plus access to electronic resources, and 8 have dedicated electronic resources terminals. 

Services

We offer self-service facilities for making copies from print, microfilm and digital newspapers, subject to preservation and copyright restrictions. There are 3 printers in the Newsroom, and 1 print release station. We have a wide range of news media reference works available on open access, including such titles as Willing's Press Guide and the Times Index.

Newspapers

We collect nearly all newspapers published in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with some 60 million issues going back to the early 1600s. We currently receive around 1,500 newspaper titles on a daily or weekly basis, and nearly 100 titles from overseas. Because the main print newspaper collection is currently in transit from its former home in Colindale to our Newspaper Storage Building in Boston Spa, Yorkshire, the newspapers will not become available in the Newsroom until autumn 2014.

Microfilm

There are 15 microfilmed newspaper titles available immediately via open access, while anything from our main collection of 625,000 reels of microfilmed newspapers is available for delivery within 70 minutes, or can be ordered in advance by using http://explore.bl.uk. Appropxiately one third of our newspaper collection is available on microfilm. The 15 titles available for immediate access are:

  • Daily Mail 1896-2009
  • Daily Telegraph 1855-2009
  • Daily Worker 1930-1960
  • Evening Standard 1860-June 2010
  • Financial Times 1888 onwards
  • Guardian 1821 onwards
  • Independent 1986 onwards
  • Independent on Sunday 1989 onwards
  • Mail on Sunday 1982-2009
  • Morning Star 1966-2009
  • News of the World 1843-2011
  • Observer 1791 onwards
  • Sun 1964-2009
  • Sunday Telegraph 1961-2009
  • The Times 1785 onwards

Our specialist microfilm readers enable the microfilmed images to be viewed on a digital screen, and can be rotated to suit the shape on a newspaper if required. They offer the ability to zoom in and out, crop, adjust focus, brightness, contrast, and de-skew the image.

Electronic resources

We provide access to a wide range of digitised newspapers and other electronic news collections, both those derived from our own holdings and the digital collections of third parties. This includes:

  • British Newspaper Archive
  • British Newspapers 1600-1950 
  • Gale News Vault
  • Readex World Newspaper Archive
  • NewsBank
  • ProQuest Historial Newspapers
  • UKpressonline

All of our electronic news resources are listed at http://www.bl.uk/eresources/main.shtml and all can be seen for free in the Newsroom.

Television and radio news

We have almost 50,000 television and radio news programmes recorded since May 2010 available onsite via the Broadcast News service. This can be accessed by using the link to Sound and Moving Image collections given on the home page of the Library terminals. There are recordings taken from 22 channels:

  • Television:
  • Al Jazeera English 
  • BBC One
  • BBC News
  • BBC Parliament
  • BBC Two 
  • BBC Four
  • Bloomberg
  • CCTV News
  • Channel 4
  • CNN
  • France 24
  • ITV1
  • NHK World
  • RT
  • Sky News
  • Radio:
  • BBC London
  • BBC Radio 1
  • BBC Radio 4 
  • BBC 5 Live
  • BBC World Service
  • LBC
  • talkSport

Most programmes are available in the Newsroom from the day of broadcast. We only record news and news-related programmes.

BBC

Separately we provide access to BBC programmes via the BBC Catalogue service. This has some 2 million BBC catalogue records from the 1950s to 2012, with around 200,000 playable television and radio programmes broadcast 2007-2012. This can be accessed by using the link to Sound and Moving Image collections given on the home page of the Library terminals.

Web archives

We provide access to over 4.8 million UK websites archived since 2013 as part of the Legal Deposit Web Archive. This archive can be accessed by using the link to Web Archives collections given on the home page of the Library terminals. The collection includes over 500 news-based websites archived on a frequent basis, including most UK national newspaper sites and many regional sites, which can be searched as a discrete collection.

Networking

Networking area

The networking area is open to anyone. It has seating for over 30, with cubicles, and many charging points. The area's Video Wall features live television news, a rotating display of live news websites (all sites archived by the Library) and the Newsmap news aggregator site. We refresh the content on the Video Wall periodically.

Above the cubicles we project live tweets from around 100 news websites that we archive, including international, national and regional titles.

Opening hours

10.00-20.00 Mon

9.30-20.00 Tue-Thu

9.30-17.00 Fri - Sat

Workshops

We are organising a series of regular workshops on using the news collections, both general guides and introductions to particular parts of the collection. See http://www.bl.uk/reader-workshops.

Finding out more

The Newsroom has leaflets aavailable on the news collections and their use.

Our newspaper reference team can give help on using the Newsroom and finding items, though we cannot undertaken in-depth research requests. You can contact us online via http://www.bl.uk/reference-contacts.

Guide to the collection and its use are given on our web pages at http://www.bl.uk/subjects/news-media.

You can follow discussion about news and news collections via the Newsroom blog at http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/thenewsroom.

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter too: @BL_newsroom

 

23 May 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 19

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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.   

Chart-5-more-getting-news-from-internet

One of DigiDay's five chart's illustrating the New York Times' digital challenges

The leaked New York Times innovation report is one of the key documents of this media age: The New York Times continues to dominate discussion about the news media, for the sacking of its female executive editor, and for its leaked report into its digital shortcomings. The title of this Nieman Journalism Lab investigation into the document's contents may be a touch hyperbolic, but it does reflect the fascination and excitement that the document has generated, with lessons for all those involved in news publication (on digital publishing generally).

The New York Times’ digital challenges, in 5 charts: It's a long document, so for those who don't have the time (or who find reading so much detail on a screen hard on the eyes...) DigiDay has produces five illuminating charts extracted from the report's data that tell the story of the NYT's digital struggles.

Le Monde and New York Times turn on their female editors: Peter Preston in the Observer looks behind the sacking of Jill Abramson at the New York Times and the ousting of Natalie Nougayrède at Le Monde through a staff revolt and sees it all as part of the brutal and sometimes clumsy weilding of power. Meanwhile, in her Guardian piece Life and death as a female editor Amanda Wilson (formerly editor of the Sydney Morning Herald) looks at the perils of editing while female.

"I thought of Hakim as a friend. Then he shot me": An unbeatable title for an article which is as powerful a read as you will find anywhere. Anthony Loyd, a hugely respected reporter with The Times, describes how he was kidnapped by Syrian rebels lead by someone that he had previously befriended and who had him severaly beaten and then personally shot him in the ankles to cripple him. Loyd was eventually freed following intervention by the Islamic Front. The Times piece is behind a paywall, but there is a BBC News interview with him that provides the main details.

8 million newspaper pages are now fully searchable: The British Newspaper Archive has hit the magic number of eight million historical newspaper pages digitised and available online. 

Local heroes: The British Newspaper Archive is largely made of the regional newspapers of times past. Press Gazette reports on the regional press of today and the winners of the Regional Press Awards 2013 (with a poweful set of front pages and prize-winning photographs).

Time to look afresh at the role of the BBC: The BBC's influence on regional news is a never-ending topic of debate. The Yorkshire Post has published the full text of a speech given to the Newspaper Society by Ashley Highfield, CEO of Johnston Press (and a former BBC high-flier) that calls for a new relationship between the BBC and regional publishers.

The BBC is one of the country’s most important cultural institutions and the relationship it has with us as a nation is truly astounding. But it’s not the BBC which has a direct relationship with people in Pocklington, Peterborough or Portsmouth. It’s us – the local media operators.

'BBC News should learn lessons from Buzzfeed in digital strategy': Of course it's charter renewal time, so everyone has advice for the BBC. Someone they might well listen to (given that he is being tipped as a possible BBC Chairman) is Sir Howard Stringer, who has produced a report on the future of BBC News. Comparing BBC News to the rapid rise of Buzzfeed, he argues "It is impossible to escape the conclusion that the BBC is punching well below its weight in the digital world." The report was commissioned by BBC Head of News James Harding, and readers of this blog will know that Harding himself champion Buzzfeed and its ilk in his WT Stead lecture given at the British Library in January.

BBC World News channel in 30m American homes: Meanwhile the BBC news channel you don't see unless you are outside the UK is doing rather well. Ariel report on the success of the advertising-supported 24-hour news channel BBC World in America, where it now reaches 30 million homes, up from six million two years ago.

What data journalists need to differently: Don't just rely on the same old sources, advises Liliana Bounegru in this really interesting piece on the rise of data journalism for Harvard Business Review.

How algorithms decide the news for you: Think you are finding the news for yourself on that phone of yours? Think again. Jihii Jolly at Columbia Journalism Review explains how social media and reading apps bring us the news depending on who we are and where we are.

These type of algorithms create a news literacy issue because if readers don’t know they are influencing content, they cannot make critical decisions about what they choose to read. 

Grasswire founder Austen Allred is trying to build a Wikipedia-style platform for real-time news: Mathew Ingram's pieces on new media for Gigaom tend to give you a lot of plain detail in their titles alone. Here he gives the background the crowdsourced breaking-news service Grasswire, a sort of Wikipedia for breaking news (or that's where its ambitions may take it).

What newsroom spaces tell us about the future of digital journalism: An interesting twist of digital journalism debates from PBS's Mediashift, reporting on a Tow Center for Digital Journalism study. What implications does physical space hold for the digital future of news?

Barbara Walters retires after five decades: American broadcaster Barbara Walters, famed for her high-profile interviews for ABC, has retired after 52 years in the business.

Globalised news looks around the world – but too little at the north: Peter Preston again, noting that for too many London-based journalists the digital world is more real than the actual ones in the north of England and Scotland, which are treated as remote places.

Fleet Street's last religious affairs position axed as Ruth Gledhill leaves Times after 27 years: End of an era, sort of, but as Ruth Gledhill interestingly says to Press Gazette:

When I started the job I was asked to take religion out of the sanctuary, and into the general news arena. And in a way you could say it’s a sign of my success that now my job has been made redundant because it’s so much a part of general news now.

The concept of news: And finally, this blog provides you with some thoughts about what news is, inspired by debate that took place at a Newsreel Netowrk meeting in Copenhagen. "How far does the idea of news stretch? Does it include any kind of information delivered to an audience at a particular time, or does it lie specifically in those media which identify themselves as being carriers of news, such as newspapers?". We will continue to discuss.

16 May 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 18

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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.   

Reykjavik

The Reykjavik Confessions: The creative strategies that have been applied to some recent immersive fictional web narratives have now been employed by BBC News for this visually-impressive and engrossing account of some Icleandic real-life murders, written by Simon Cox. The news is changing.

Celebrating local newspapers: It's been Local Newspaper Week, and this blog published a piece on how the British Library supports research using local newspapers, while the Newspaper Society's Making a Difference campaign highlighted a showcase of 30 of the strongest editorial campaigns across the UK, inviting anyone to vote for the best. 

The perils of 'hashtag activism': The #bringbackourgirls campaign on the plight of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls has generated much comment. Jill Filipovic of Cosmopolitan magazine discusses the issues raised on MSNBC's The Cycle. By contrast, the Media Blog makes a strong argument in defence of #hashtag activism. Meanwhile RT (Russia Today) mischievously reports on how anti-drone campaigners have subverted Michelle Obama's much-tweeted picture holding up the hashtag.

Welcome to #UkraineDesk: And there's more on Twitter hashtags, with this interesting development - cutting edge digital media organisations MashableDiggMother JonesQuartzBreaking News Online, and VICE News have formed a collective to collaborate on reporting news from Ukraine. So far it's just a shared hashtag, but might it go further?

Why Jill Abramson Was Fired: The firing of New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson has been hotly debated. Ken Auletta at The New Yorker aims to get to the bottom of why, discovering that she was being paid less than her male predecessor. Needless so say, the publisher denies that this was the reason (while not really saying why she was removed from her post so abruptly).

Exclusive: New York Times Internal Report Painted Dire Digital Picture: A Buzzfeed scoop is news of this 96-page internal report commissioned by Abramson before her dismissal. It is withering in its assessment of the venerable paper's apparent struggles to keep up with the digital age, despite how things might appear on the surface.

'The government does not attack us physically because they are afraid of what the world will say':  Award-wining Nigerian journalist Musikilu Mojeed interviewed by Press Gazette on the difficulties of reporting in his country.

 

Comics unmasked: Closely allied to newspapers (and previously housed by the British Library alongside newspapers at Colindale), comics are the subject of the British Library's new exhibition. Those expecting  Desperate Dan or Biffo the Bear are likely to be surprised...

300,000 newspaper pages added, including the Daily Mirror: Our partners in digitisation, DC Thomson Family History, have added 300,000 pages to the British Newspaper Archive in April alone - including the Daily Mirror for 1915, as part of an increased focus on World War One newspapers. DC Thomson have also been busy working with the Imperial War Museums on the Lives of the First World War project (just think of it as 'Facebook for the Fallen'), announced this week.

Q&A with newspaper researchers: Kārlis Vērdiņš: Interesting interview on the Europeana Newspapers blog with a Latvian researcher looking at researching topics of gender and sexuality in Latvia at the turn of 20th century.

Madeleine McCann: is it time for the press regulator to step in?: Roy Greenslade is torn between defending the press and defending the subjects of the obsessional interest of the press.

The best and worst things about journalists:  Tony Harcup, editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Journalism, lists nine best ("Our default position is healthy scepticism") and nine worst ("Our scepticism can sometimes become cynicism") things about journalists.

The state journalism is in: Julian Petley, influential Professor of Screen Media at Brunel University, has written three posts for the Informm blog on the UK press treatment of the Edward Snowden story, taken from the journal Ethical Space. Part two is here, part three here. Roy Greenslade helpfully summarises the arguments made here. Broadly Petley asserts that "the overarching theme in the press campaign against The Guardian was national security."

Robot reporter: Journalism in the Age of Automation and Big Data: We have published a podcast of the excellent W.T. Stead lecture given at the British Library by Emily Bell, where she considers how new technologies will affect journalism and the role of reporters and editors. Look out for a particularly strong question and answer session at the end.

CNN Taps Google Glass For Citizen Journalism: Two of the sort of thing Emily Bell highlights in her talk - using Google Glass to report the news, and media organisations challenging the US government's ban on the use of drones by journalists. The news is changing.

30 April 2014

Open for business

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On Monday April 28th the British Library officially launched the Newsroom, its new reading room for news. It was a long day, the fruition of much organisation to ensure everything went just right (the British Library strives very hard to make sure that everything always goes just right), as well as the culmination of seven years of planning for the proper preservation of the UK's newspaper collection. Here's a record of some of what happened over the day, from your blogger's perspective.

Empty_newsroom

An empty Newsroom

07.15 - A bleary-eyed news curator stumbles into the Library, heads up to the Newsroom on the second floor, and joins the head of press (a man who may not actually sleep at all) whose job it is to manage our messages. We set up two of the 40 digital microfilm readers that we have installed. We choose The Times from the late 19th century and a News of the World from the 1920s, one displayed 'landscape', the other 'portrait', to show off how the screens can be manipulated to fit the shape of the newspapers they show. Before the TV company comes in, I take a quick phone snap of the empty room.

07.30 - A camera operator and a journalist from TNR, a Press Association off-shoot, arrive to film a short piece about the Newsroom, to be sold on as a package to TV news providers. They work out camera angles, position me by a wall with a long display of newspaper front pages, pin a microphone to my lapel and get me to give my name and so forth to check sound levels. They shine a bright light in my face. I have a crib sheet telling me all of the messages that I have to get across. I stutter my way through the interview, surviving somehow. Try as I might I cannot say the words "Secretary of State for Culture" without stumbling. They say nice things, which means that my gloomy assessment of how I appear on camera is probably spot on. They go off to shoot some background shots, and I head for my desk.

09:00 - I publish a blog post (written two days beforehand) on the British Library's news content strategy. It seemed timely to do so.

10:00 - Checking through the advance news coverage of the launch. An excellent, thoughtful piece in The Independent by Ian Burrell, that gets where we are coming from and going to, lifts the spirits. The Guardian has a shorter piece full of all the facts and figures we sent to them - the online version unfortunately states that the reading room itself cost £33M. It's very hard for anyone to spend that amount of money on a room (the money was mostly spent on the preservation store for newspapers that we have built at Boston Spa in Yorkshire). I review my list of newspaper collection facts and worry about what our earliest, still published newspaper title might be. Is it the Stamford Mercury or Berrow's Worcester Journal? The London Gazette (first published 1665) trumps them both, but is it strictly speaking a newspaper?

11:00 - Another TV crew, this time from ITV London. They are much quicker about things, letting me talk more freely about things. I show off the microfilm readers, the Broadcast News television service, the archive of web sites, throw in mentions of the preservation centre and say how pleased we all are. The interviewer is somewhat smaller than me and I wonder how it will look on screen with me looming over him. Odd, is the answer. Odder is the near-empty Newsroom. Where are they all? The place has been packed for days, and the moment we bring in cameras, everyone disappears. He-who-never-sleeps boldly invites a researcher sitting blamelessly at one of the microfilm readers if he would be willing to be interviewed for the news piece. Certainly, he says. It turns out he has no TV but he talks to camera like a trouper.

12:00 - Lunch, then coffee while reading The Independent piece.

13:00 - He-who-never-sleeps has been in touch with Newsnight. They have a great idea for when the programme signs off by showing tomorrow's papers - why not do so with tomorrow's news from 1914, 1814, maybe even 1714? It's going to be a bit pot luck, but I scour the British Newspaper Archive and find some uninspiring front pages. Our friends at DC Thomson Family History join in and do rather better at finding good stories. I redeem myself by looking at our Burney collection of early newspapers and finding a couple of good items for 29 April 1714. Fingers crossed.

13:30 - BBC London want to do a radio interview with me. It will be on my home phone, but at 06:25 tomorrow morning. I agree to this, somehow cheerfully.

14:00 - News about the launch has spread all over Twitter, or at least the bits of Twitter that I know. There is some confusion out there (no, the room did not cost £33M; no, we haven't digitised all 750 million newspaper and magazine pages in the collection) but huge enthusiasm. It's a good news story.

14:30 - We have the final project board meeting for the Newsroom. Nothing gets done at the British Library without a project team, project plan, work packages, risk register, budget, lessons learned log and such like. Everything is meticulously thought through, though we all have issues that we don't think have been properly resolved as yet. But we are pleased with the reaction there has been from researchers so far (we actually opened the room on April 7th), both new and the old hands who used the Colindale newspaper library that we closed down in November.

15:30 - I fret over the slow loading of videos in the Newsroom and check the display for live TV and live web sites in the networking area of the Newsroom. Everyone is bothered by the archive videos that we show there because they aren't captioned as such, and people have been spooked by seeing footage of London riots and not realising it's 2011. I say that making adjustments to the display is not as straightforward as they might think. This is true, but doesn't sound convincing.

16:30 - We have a team meeting in the Library foyer to make sure everyone knows what they have to do for the evening. Screens have been put up (two show newspaper pages, one for video), there is a platform for the speakers that looks amusingly like a trampoline, and there is an extraordinarily large amount of audio equipment for what will be three speeches at one microphone and a video. 

17:00 - The Newsroom is closed early. The newspaper curator and I carry newspaper volumes into the Newsroom and display them on rests or lecterns. We have chosen four titles from four centuries that are each all still in print - The London Gazette (17thC), Stamford Mercury (18thC), Manchester Guardian (19thC) and Daily Mail (20thC). The Manchester Guardian does not sit steadily on its lectern so wisely we lie it flat instead. The print copies of the newspapers won't start to become available in the Newsroom until Autumn, but we had to display some. I test the videos - they are still taking an age to load. I make contingency plans.

17:30 - I put on a tie. It looks terrible. I take it off then put it on again. It looks worse. I repeat this action several times. I resign myself to my fate.

18:15 - The first guests arrive for the launch of the Newsroom. The party is taking place in the foyer. The great, the good, former Colindale users and staff past and present have their names ticked off the list and pick up coloured cards which say which of the tours of the Newsroom we have organised with our elegantly-attired newspaper reference team they will be going on. Despite some chaos behind the scenes, the visitors all enjoy their tours, not knowing that they might have enjoyed them even more had we been able to organise them as we have dreamed we would do.

18:25 - The ITV London piece is broadcast. The TNR team are here for the party, to film the event and the minister's tour of the Newsroom.

18:30 - The place is packed and we humans do what humans do best and talk animatedly at one another. The canapés include fish and chips in newspaper - just the one chip and a sliver of fish in a newspaper-ish cone, but a neat idea all the same. I say hello to many friends.

Peston

Robert Peston in full flow

19:15 - The minister has arrived, and the speeches begin. The Chief Executive of the British Library thanks everyone for coming and praises the achievements of the Newspaper Programme which has worked so had to ensure the long-term preservation of the newspaper collection. The recently-appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Sajid Javid, then gives his first speech in his new role. He talks engagingly about his nerdish adolescent fondness for newspapers at his local library and says all the right things. Then the BBC's Robert Peston gives a most charming speech, keen in tone and theme, with a most touching reference to his late wife's great fondness for the Colindale library where she researched regularly.

 

The Newsroom launch video

19:30 - We play a promo video that we shot a couple of weeks ago which introduces the Newsroom and the Boston Spa store. The conceit of having the opening images move up and down as though being viewed on a microfilm reader is probably lost on most (I didn't get it until a third viewing), but it has cheery music, says what it needed to say, and the Newsroom looks great, if populated by some familiar faces from our press office (filming mostly took place before the room opened to the public, and you have to get your 'users' from somewhere). I cringe as the video ends with me giving the cheesy pay-off line - "We're open for business". They clap anyway.

Minister

Roly Keating, chief executive of the British Library, Sajid Javid, Culture Secretary, and a curator inspecting the Stamford Mercury

19:45 - The CE, the minister and I go up to the Newsroom (it's on the second floor) to show him round. I explain the idea of the networking area is to encourage collaborative research and to show current news, so that we're as much about news today as the news of yesterday. We show him the newspaper volumes, the microfilm readers (ably demonstrated by one of our newspaper reference team), Broadcast News (everything works - oh happy day), showing off our recording from that morning of ITV's new breakfast show Good Morning Britain (he hasn't heard of it). He is interested in everything, particularly in our web archives, then goes off script by searching for his own name rather than the subject terms I had prepared. Sure enough the link he selects doesn't work. We move on quickly. TNR films him and he comes up with perfect short quotes. It's a gift.

Interview

The minister is interviewed

20:00 - The party continues, though the numbers have thinned as various people decide they would rather get home now before the Tube strike starts at 9pm. I make plans, arrange meetings, smile constantly, then escape. Other remains behind to clean it all up as if the event had never been.

21:00 - I answer some of the many Tweets and emails that have appeared through the day. Enthusiasm still reigns. @BL_newsroom has many more Twitter followers than it did. 

22:00 - Home. The other news out there - a schoolteacher has been stabbed to death in her classroom. A special report from ruined Aleppo. Max Clifford has been found guilty of indecent assaults. Pfizer is confident of a takeover of AstraZeneca. Arsenal have beaten Newcastle 3-0. ITV London shows its Newsroom piece again, in re-edited form.

 

A look at tomorrow's papers...

23:20 - Newsnight closes with the tomorrow's headlines from three past centuries. Jeremy Paxman says that we have 7.5 million pages instead of 750 million, but the conceit works well. He stumbles over his words more than I do, which I find reassuring. They subsequently publish the clip on YouTube.

23:30 - End of a long day in which we played our part in manufacturing the news while showing how well we are archiving it and making it available again. News is not what happens, it is what is mediated through accepted news channels and consumed by us as clients of those channels. Likewise with history, which is not what happened but what we select and re-tell from what once happened (often found through news archives such as ours). All we ever do is tell stories to one another.

24:00 - TNR delivers its completed video package of the day. He-who-never-sleeps takes receipt of it and starts work for another day....

Update: The TNR video package has appeared on several news websites, for example the Yorkshire Post.

 

11 April 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 13

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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.  

Newsroom3April2014-13

The Newsroom

Opening day: So of course the British Library tops the week's news about news with the opening on April 7th of the Newsroom, its new reading room for news. Newspapers, television news, radio news and web news can now all be found in the one physical space - though for newspapers that means microfilm and digital for now, until the print papers become available again in the autumn. It all looks very beautiful - and has a lot more people in it than in this photo taken just before it opened.

Shift 2014: It's all been happening here this week, with Newsworks, the marketing body for UK national newspapers, holding its Shift 2014 conference at the British Library. The live blog of the event includes reactions to star turns such as the editors of The Guardian (Alan Rusbridger), The Independent (Amol Rajan) and The Telegraph (Jason Seiken) and Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP. Jason Seiken's speech is here.

Here & Then: And there's more. The British Newspaper Archive, which provides digitised copies of British Library newspapers online, has issued a free iPhone app, Here & Then, with articles, images and adverts from the collection. Oh, and 135,000 pages were added to the BNA site in March.

What will yesterday’s news look like tomorrow?: Article of the week, by a mile. Adrienne LaFrance at Medium looks at the future of news archives, which focus on how they are catalogued and their data mapped for rediscovery in the future. "News organizations need to design archives that better mirror the experience of consuming news in real time, and reflect the idea that the fundamental nature of a story is ongoing".

The Press Freedom Issue: Contributoria, the community funded, collaborative journalism site, published a special issue on press freedom this month. Among the great articles available are Crowdfunding critical thought: How alternative finance builds alternative journalism, Court and council reporting - still a bedrock of local news?, Pirate journalism and The printing press created journalism. The Internet will destroy it. Read and learn.

News is still a man's world: A City University study reveals that male experts still outnumber female experts by a ratio of four to one on flagship radio and TV news programmes.

Has Thompson at the NYT given newspapers a new way to pull in extra cash and readers?: Mark Thompson, former BBC DG and now heading the New York Times, may have had a big idea - New York Times Premier, an added subscription to the online version of the newspaper, with additional content, offers (two free ebooks a month), even special crosswords. The Drum speculates.

Upvoting the news: long, engrossing article by Alex Leavitt for Medium on how news spreads across social media channels, with particular emphasis on Reddit.

The state of Egypt's news media: Al Jazeera's excellent news analysis programme The Listening Post looks at the "sorry state of journalism in Egypt".

Fracking

A sample 'card' from Vox.com

Three good things about Ezra Klein’s new site Vox, plus three challenges that it faces: The much-hyped Vox.com site, with celebrity news blogger Ezra Klein, launched on April 6th. Mathew Ingram at Gigaom says what he likes (especially the user-friendly 'cards' with background information to stories) then wonders how it will thrive.

Bristol Post editor baffled by fact that front page gay kiss costs thousands of sales: Press Gazette reports on what happened when Bristol Post editor Mike Norton decided to put same-sex marriage on his paper's front page.

'Video-checking' the Clegg and Farage debate: Fact-checking videos - where videos of speeches are analysed to see whether or not the statements made stand up - have been popularised by The Washington Post's Truth Teller. Now the fact-checking organisation Full Fact have done the same for LBC's Nick Clegg v Nigel Farage debate.

Peaches Geldof – was the coverage by newspapers, and TV, over the top?: Roy Greenslade ponders on what would have been proptionate news coverage for the sad death of Peaches Geldof.

More UGC, fewer photographers – and no paywalls:  Editors set out visions of future: Hold the Front Page reports on the Society of Editors Regional Conference, where likely changes to the regional newspaper world were set out: user-generated content, smaller offices, cover price rises,  no staff photographers, and no paywalls.

One easy, transparent way of making accuracy visible: open sourcing: George Brock argues that the way for news providers to build up trust is through links to source material - footnotes, sort of, though he prefers the term open sourcing. 

How some journalists are using anonymous secret-sharing apps: Using apps like Whisper and Secret to turn rumour into news.

We need to talk: Raju Narisetti, senior vice president of strategy at News Corp, poses 26 questions to ask news organisations about the move to digital. Fascinating insight into a business in transition.

 

07 March 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 8

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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. 

Lorry

There's a long way to go, but the first lorry taking newspapers from Colindale, north London, to the British Library's Newspaper Storage Building, set off on March 4th. It'll take three such lorries every day for the next six months to move the entire collection to its new home.

7.5 million newspaper pages now online: Another milestone for British Library newspapers as the British Newspaper Archive reached 7.5 million pages available online (our target is 40 million).

Paparazzi! How an unloved profession has shaped us: Elizabeth Day at The Observer reports on a Paris exhibition dedicated to that most unloved (yet eagerly consumed)  part of news and magazine publishing, the paparazzi photographer.

Getty Images makes 35 million images free in fight against copyright infringement: Talking of photographs, here are 35 million of them, made available by Getty for  non-commercial usage by any one (the embedded images come with copyright information and link back to Getty). The British Journal of Photography explains why Getty is doing it. Doesn't work for Typepad though...

Reddit is having the same trouble as traditional media - defining what news is: Interesting piece from Mathew Ingram on how the use of moderators by Reddit is "no worse - and in some ways better - than that of a newspaper editor". The issue arose over a Glenn Greenwald piece entitled "How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations", which Reddit decided didn't qualify as news.

Reddit embraces its role as a journalistic entity with new live-reporting feature: And more on Reddit from the same source, as it makes steps towards encouraging 'open source journalism' by allows users to create and update live blogs about breaking news events.

Can Greenwald's digital magazine Intercept help to reinvent journalism? Meanwhile, talking of Glenn Greenwald, here's Ben Cardew at The Guardian on First Look Media and its digital magazine The Intercept, aiming to reinvent journalism for the digital age, with Greenwald signed up as a contributor.

Russian propaganda and Ukrainian rumour fuel anger and hate in Crimea: Shaun Walker at The Guardian shows how the Russian's media's version of events in the Ukraine is fuelling hatreds. Meanwhile, not one but two American journalists working for the American version of Russia Today (now known as RT) have declared their opposition to reporting the Kremlin line, one of them resigning on air.

Propaganda, or the other side of the story?: But there is always the other side of things. Jay Pinho at The First Casualty looks at the sullied background of some of those who have been gleefully reporting the RT resignations.

Susanna Reid quits BBC for ITV as Daybreak is axed: A nation reels.

Newsweek makes its print return this week in the US and, soon, in Europe: When the US journal Newsweek went digital only, it was seen as a harbinger of doom for print journalism. Now it's is coming back in print, what are we to think about the future for digital age journalism?

Washington Post expands fact-checking project — and not just to movie trailers: Truth Teller is a Washington Post fact-checking platform in which ahows videos of speeches by politicians and the like, then runs text commentary underneath saying whether their assertions are true or not.

Business as usual on Page 3 as critics round on The Sun's breast cancer campaign: The Sun's Page 3 v Breast Cancer campaign does not impress the campaign site No More Page 3: "[W]e can’t help but feel that it’s a real shame the Sun has decided to use these sexualised images of young women to highlight breast cancer. They will say that they want to use the power of page 3 as a force for good – we say that a society in which sexualised images of young women are seen as that powerful has to change."

161 years a mistake: The New York Times solemnly referenced an article from 20 January 1853 in its Corrections column, noting that the name of Solomon Northup (subject of the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave) had been misspelt twice.

28 February 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 7

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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.  

 

With You All the Way: This totally charming local newspaper TV advertisement has been produced by  Weekly Independent Newspaper Association (WINA) which represents small independent local publishers, headed by Tindle Newspapers and backed by the Newspaper Society.

The future of the news business: Marc Andreessen's optimistic piece has been much shared and much discussed. "I am very interested to see how Journalism with a capital J can maintain its reputation for truth and accuracy versus upstart blogs and Wikipedia. For Journalism  – big J – the stakes  are very high if that reputation is lost. But it may be that all journalism wins. Maybe we are entering into a new golden age of journalism, and we just haven’t recognized it yet.  We can have the best of all worlds, with both accuracy rising, and stories that hew closer to truth."

Is it 'too trivial' for complex geopolitical stories to use same techniques as for horses that look like Miley Cyrus?: Another much shared piece on the nature of news today from Emily Bell, specifically on how graphic images on social media could be a valuable way to make foreign news more accessible. "A serious challenge to the mainstream press is increasingly coming from new entrants who understand the mechanisms used for conveying mass market trivia and are adapting them to more serious issues. PolicyMic – a New York start-up run by Chris Altchek and Jake Horowitz – Vice and Buzzfeed are bringing a far younger audience to Venezuelan politics, Ukrainian riots and inequality."

Vice News, where video works: And so Dylan Byers at Politico reports on the beta invite-only launch of Vice News, a new video service from Vice, "the CNN for Generation Y".

St. Bride's Thanksgiving Service: To help mark the 150th anniversary of the Journalists' Charity, Sky News' Alex Crawford gave this funny, thoughtful address on her profession and why those like her pursue it. "To make a difference,  to have adventures, to expose lies, to hold Governments to account, to bear witness, to take on authorities all over the world, to educate, entertain, enchant, enthrall ... To have fun ..."

Why are all the House of Cards journalists so bad at journalism?: James Ball at The Guardian pokes fun at his small screen rivals.

The year most news home pages looked the same: The Atlantic notices that Bloomberg looks like NBC looks like New Republic looks like Vox Media looks like The Atlantic...

#newsVANE at BBC News Labs: It may sound like it's for techies only, but the work BBC News Labs is doing on scalable reference tools and semantic referencing of news - essentially making digital news content more discoverable by making the most of the knowledge digital content has about itself - has great importance for how we'll be able to research news archives in the future. The project is called #newsVANE.

Seeking a Lead on News, Network Turns to Data-Mining Media Group: More on the importance of news data, this time for the production of news itself. The New York Times reports on tools that mine the Internet for news, and why major news providers (News Corporation, MSNBC, CNN) are teaming up with some smart digital start-ups (Storyful, Vocativ, Dataminr).

Upworthy details why it fact-checks every post: Upworthy says that it curates news stories rather than produce them, but that it believes in fact-checking for all that. So there's hope for the new news media - and its audiences - after all.

Piers Morgan is a victim of arrogance and his accent: Piers Morgan was sacked by CNN and the knives have been out for for the man for whom no one, but no one, seems to have a good word. Gavin Haynes at Vice may have had the knife that dug the deepest.

Harman and Ed Miliband need to rethink how they handle the Daily Mail: Roy Greenslade offers advice to those Labour politicians who once again have taken on the Daily Mail and lost, this time over a 1970s misalliance with a paedophile advocacy group.

Top tips for searching the newspapers: The British Newspaper Archive published a sensible list of searching tips for those new to newspaper archives in search of family history (or any other sort of history).

Regional dailies lose third of readers as cover price rises hit sales: Hold the Front Page reports on the gloomy picture painted for regional newspapers by the latest ABC circulation figures.

How digital growth is countering print decline in regional press: But looking at the sameABC figures Press Gazette sees digital green shoots of recovery.

And finally, BBC Look North presenter Caroline Bilton went viral this week. It's that sinking feeling:

 

 

21 February 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 6

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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. 

Kiev

Before & After - Kiev's Independence Square: A stunning composite image published on Reddit.

You're not going to read this: But you'll probably share it anyway. The Verge points out the huge difference in numbers between what we tweet and what we actually read of what we tweet.

Scientists develop a lie detector for tweets: More on the shakiness of social media, this time on a system - Pheme - which could help determine whether a Tweet contains credible information or not. From the Daily Telegraph.

The Historian and the Home Movie: A nice 5-part set of thoughtful blogs from the Media Archive of Central England on why home movies matter as history. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

The YouTube War: A fine piece by Amnesty International's Christoph Koettl for PBS on the rise of YouTube videos in reporting on the Syrian conflict, and the opportunities and challenges of using such videos as evidence of human rights violations.

Letter asks for release of Peter Greste held in Egypt: The BBC, ITN, Reuters, Sky, NBC News and ABC News have signed a letter asking for the release of Australian freelance journalist Peter Greste and his two Al-Jazeera colleagues, being held in prison by the Egyptian authorities.

Highlights from the IFLA newspaper conference: A handy blog post from the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program on the International Federation of Library Associations’ (IFLA) Newspaper group's conference held at Salt Lake City. Newspaper history, digitisation and preservation.

Hacked Off to Daily Mail: you are the biggest ethical code offender: The Press Complaints Commission published a list of publications responsible for breaches of the editors' code of practice. The Daily Mail came top. The Mail protested and defended its position. Hacked Off was not impressed. Roy Greenslade refrains from comment.

Anti-“Daily Mail” Signs Appear On Britain’s Rail Network: Talking of which, these signs have been popping up on UK trains (having been handed out by satirical comedian Mark Thomas on his current tour). Buzzfeed dutifully collates a selection of photographs.

Antidailymail

On the Ramsgate to Victoria line, photographed by Nicola Branch

How digital weighs up against print for UK magazine circulations: Journalism.co.uk reports on the new data from the Audit Bureau of Circulation which for the first time gives combined digital and print sales for magazines. Print still dominates, for now.

BBC accused of political bias - on the right, not the left: The Independent reports on Cardiff University research which finds that "the BBC has compromised its impartiality by depending too heavily on sources from business, the media, law and order and politics" and that the BBC "was more likely than ITV or Channel 4 to use sources from the right – such as US Republicans or Ukip politicians – than from the left (US Democrats or Green politicians)."

Should UK licence-fee payers still fund the World Service?: More BBC worries - The Observer is concerned that the end of Foreign Office funding for the World Service could put the service in jeopardy when the next round of cuts is made.

Former Colindale periodicals available to order again: Good news for British Library users - the periodicals formerly held at Colindale and embargoed since June are available to order once more.

Readers love Johnston weekly’s UGC: Can a regional newspaper find 75% of its copy from user-generated content, and thrive? Steve Dyson reviews the Pocklington Post for Hold the Front Page and emerges pleasantly surprised by what he reads. "The resulting copy may be a little loose in style, but there seems to me to be finer detail, more names and probably fewer factual errors".

Are quizzes the new lists?: More to the point, are quizzes journalism? Caroline O'Donovan looks at the latest Buzzfeed viral phenomenon.

The case of the poisonous Bath buns: Michelle Higgs' discovery of a shocking tale from Victorian times found when using the British Newspaper Archive.

WikiLeaks now offers a search engine to help you find documents linked to any keyword: And here it is.

19 February 2014

10 great online newspaper archives

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The sheer number of digitised newspaper resources out there is astonishing. In a period of not much more than ten years ago when the first newspaper digitisation project got underway, there are now hundreds of millions of pages accessible online. Here's a guide to ten of the best of them (but not the ten 'best' of course), first in a series of 'top ten' guides to news research sources we'll be publishing over the next few weeks.

Ukpressonline

British Newspaper Archive (£)

The BNA is a partnership between the British Library and DC Thomson Family History to publish 40 million pages from British newspapers over a ten year period (deadline 2020). Built upon an earlier newspaper digitisation project between the Library and JISC, there are currently just under 7.5 million pages available from around 250 British newspaper titles, dating from 1710 to 1954. The focus is on regionals as opposed to nationals, and titles which have not been digitised and made commercially available elsewhere. So you won't find The Times or the Daily Mirror, but you will find the West Kent Guardian, the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, the Bristol Mercury and the Dundee Courier. 19th century nationals represented include The Graphic and the Morning Post. It's a subscription site, with exemplary searching and filtering tools and helpful guides. 

Chronicling America

This is a newspaper digitisation programme sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program. It covers newspapers published 1860-1922 for the following states: Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. Papers available include The San Francisco CallThe New York SunThe Washington TimesThe Colored American, and The New York Evening Times. Currently there are some 7.2 million pages from 1,270 titles.

Gallica

Gallica is the digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Established in 1997, today it contains nearly 3 million digital documents - books, manuscripts, maps, images, sound recordings and newspapers. The library has 1.3 million newspaper and periodical pages to date, including Le Figaro and L’Humanité, with new content being aded all the time. The content is all French, of course (but there are English-language searching tools), and is a mixture of free and paid-for content.  You can search by title, author, text, date, language, broad subject, document type and access type (i.e. free versus paid-for content), and there are useful filtering tools.

NewspaperARCHIVE (£)

The American site NewspaperARCHIVE calls itself the world's largest newspaper archive, and in online terms that may be the case. It boasts over 130 million pages (newspaper and periodicals) dating from 1607 to the present day, with papers from all American states and eleven other countries, including the UK (some 800 titles). It claims to be adding 80,000 images per day, or 2.5 million per month, such is the relentless demand from the geneaology market, to which the site is strongly directed. There are various subscription offers available, and you can have a 3-day trial of the full database for $1.95.

Newspapers SG

A plain but helpful online resource of digitised historic newspapers from Singapore and Malaya. The site allows you to search the National Library of Singapore's digital archive of papers published between 1831 and 2009 and includes The Straits Times 1845-1989. You can also find information about the National Library of Singapore’s microfilmed newspapers. All images are watermarked and the image and OCR quality are variable, but none of it is illegible. The advanced search option allows you to narrow down researches by date, newspaper (there are 26 on offer ranging 1836-2006) and content type (article, advertisement, letters etc.). The newspaper titles are in English, Chinese or Malay. Only the historical titles can be viewed online, but do note that the British Library holds most of the digitised titles on microfilm for access in our reading room.

Nineteenth Century Serials Edition (ncse)

King's College's the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition is a free, online edition of six nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers. It includes full runs of the first five titles, and a decade only of the Publishers' Circular. Titles are represented as completely as possible, including multiple editions, advertisements, wrappers, and supplements where these could be found. Titles are:
Monthly Repository (1806-1837) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Northern Star (1838-1852), Leader (1850-1860), English Woman's Journal (1858-1864), Tomahawk (1867-1870), and Publishers' Circular (1880-1890). All six journals are segmented to article level, and can be downloaded freely.

Papers Past

This excellent site from the National Library of New Zealand contains over  three million freely-available pages from 83 digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals covering the period 1839 to 1945. The search and presentation tools are a model of their kind. Australian and New Zealand newspapers from this period carried a great deal of British news, so this and the Trove site below are great resources for searching British subjects as well as Australasian.

Trove

Trove is a discovery tool for information on Australia and Australians. It is the digital library par excellence. The newspaper section of the site presents the results of the on-going Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program: to date there are 12.3 million pages covering a range of titles from every state and territory, from the earliest newspaper published in Australia in 1803 through to the mid 1950s. The remainder of Trove covers books, journals, pictures, photographs, films, music, sound, manuscripts, maps and archived websites, its cross-searching making it the model example of a research resource that does not discriminate between the different media.

UKpressonline (£)

This commercial site provides text searchable access to full page facsimiles of over 2 million pages from some of the UK’s biggest selling popular newspapers of the 20th and 21st centuries. The archive is still being built up but already complete are the Daily Mirror 1903 to date, Sunday Express May 2000 to date, the Daily Star May 2000 to date, the Star Sunday September 2002 to date and The Daily Express 1900 to date. It is easy to use, with search bringing up every relevant page as a thumbnail. Searching is free (one you register);  if you subscribe you can view, download and print pages at full size.

Welsh Newspapers Online

Welsh Newspapers Online is a free online resource from the National Library of Wales which currently lets you search and access over 630,000 pages or 6.8 million articles from nearly 100 newspaper publications from years 1804 to 1919. It is easy to use, with snippets of text appearing as search results, linking to the article image and the OCR text alongside it, a particularly welcome feature as it lets the researcher gain a clearer picture of the accuracy of their searches.

We provide a list of all the many full text, word-searchable electronic newspaper resources (free and commercial) to which we provide onsite access in the British Library reading rooms, with descriptions of each of the services. They include all of the above (with the exception of NewspaperARCHIVE).

14 February 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 5

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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. 

Liberation

A note to the staff of Libération in France: Perhaps the most eye-catching news about news story of the week was the front page of French left-wing journal Libération, which was hijacked by staff protesting at the paper's shareholder group's plans to turn it into a social and cultural hub. Their call to be left alone to be a newspaper and to do journalism "couldn't be more wrong", according to Mathew Ingram.

17 Things That Would Only Get Reported In British Local Newspapers: Patrick Smith of Buzzfeed's regular round-ups of British local newspaper stories are always an irresistible treat. "Police launch appeal after mystery tea pot found near Cambridge ..."

News you can lose: Richard Sambrook on US cable TV news networks' strategy of diversifying programming to keep hold of shrinking audiences. " More and more, news channels will depend on dinosaurs and killer whales."

Georgia Henry obituary: The Guardian's deputy editor and creator of its Comment is Free section has been much mourned.

Iraqi newspaper bombed after Ayatollah caricature: Index on Censorship reports on the struggle to survive of the Al-Sabah Al-Jadeed independent newspaper.

You can see right through News Corp's transparency: Peter Preston analyses Mike Darcey of New UK's defence of pay walls and argues that one model does not fit all.

 

Europeana Newspapers: The portal for digitised European newspapers has produced a sassy promo video which shows just how inventive you can be in promoting newspaper archives for research.

Welsh Newspapers Online – 27 new publications: It's been a good week for newspaper archives. The National Library of Wales' Welsh Newspapers Online has added 27 new publications and now has over 630,000 pages from pre-1919 newspapers freely available.

125,000 extra pages now searchable on the British Newspaper Archive: In what has been a busy month for the BNA (which moved from Colindale to Boston Spa in January) they managed to add an extra 125,000 British Library newspaper pages to their online archive.

Periodicals return: The periodicals collection held at the (now closed) Colindale newspaper library was embargoed in June. From Monday February 17th it becomes available once more at the British Library's St Pancras site.

What is Google Newsstand and how can publishers make the most of it?: Press Gazette's Dominic Ponsford analyses Google's mobile app for news.

Video journalism: Former newsreel cameraman Terence Gallacher runs an excellent blog on the history of his profession. Here he asks whether camera operators have become journalists or the journalists become camera operators.

Why it matters that LBC is going national: LBC, the talk news radio station for London, went national on February 11th. Gillian Reynolds looks at why it's an important move.