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24 posts categorized "Digitisation"

19 December 2014

2014 - the year's news about news

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2014 has been an extraordinary, sometimes harrowing, year for news. It has also been a highly significant year for the production and use of news itself - hot topics have included the hacking trial, IPSO, Buzzfeed, data journalism, Google and the right to be forgotten, Brown Moses, Ezra Klein, and the New York Times's leaked Innovation report. It's also been a major year for the British Library's news collection, with the opening of our Newsroom and the successful conclusion of our newspaper digitisation programme. Here are some of the highlights from the year's news about news.

NYT

January

The re-design of the New York Times website was much discussed. Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher was sacked. The Birmingham Post's Business Daily Tablet edition, designed to  “reinvent business journalism within the regional press,” closed after seven months. Also owned by Trinity Mirror was The People, a Buzzfeed-style site populated with "native content". It lasted three months.  But Trinity enjoyed rather more success with viral news site UsVsTh3m. Charley Miller at Medium wondered if in the future we might all become personal broadcasters. News UK launched The Academy, to train teenagers to become journalists. James Harding of BBC News gave a key speech, 'Journalism Today' at the British Library (the first of our three WT Stead lectures). Philosopher Alan de Botton's book The News was not reviewed kindly. Facebook announced Paper. Kola Dumor, the BBC World News presenter, and Chris Chataway, athlete, politicians and news reporter for BBC and ITN, died.

Liberation

February

The staff of French left-wing journal Libération took over the front page to protest at the paper's shareholder group's plans to turn it into a social and cultural hub. Richard Sambrook and Sean McGuire argued that 24-hour news has had its day - and got an angry response from Sky News's Adam Boulton. London news radio station LBC went national. Marc Andreessen's optimistic piece, 'The Future of the News Business', was much shared and debated. 

538

March

American data guru Nate Silver launched data journalism site FiveThirtyEight. Getty made 35 million images freely available.  The New York Times issued a correction for an article written 20 January 1853. The Sun's Page 3 v Breast Cancer campaign did not impress the campaign site No More Page 3Susanna Reid left BBC Breakfast for ITV's planned Good Morning Britain programme. Are robots the future of news? Andrew Pettegree's book The Invention of News, on the early history of newspapers, was greatly admired. The Evening Standard-backed London TV Channel, London Live, went live.

Newsroom

April

The British Library opened its new reading room for news, the Newsroom. Emly Bell lectured at the Library on Journalism in the Age of Automation and Big Data. Celebrity news blogger Ezra Klein launched Vox.com, with its user-friendly 'cards' giving background information to stories. News headlines from UK regional newspapers became an Internet cult. Are automated breaking news stories the future of news? But what about how the news archives of tomorrow will look, asked Adrienne LaFrance. 26 searching questions for news organisations from Raju Narisetti about the move to digital. The Mirror's 'crying child' front cover (which turned out to be a stock photo, not a British child in need of food parcels) caused controversy. British Pathé released 85,000 historic newsreels on YouTube. The New York Times joined the explanatory journalism craze with offshoot The Upshot. Dutch government-funded news site Blendle asked you to pay for stories, giving you your money back if you were not completely satisfied

Innovation

May

Most discussed news-about-news subject of the year was probably the leaked copy of the New York Times's 'Innovation' report, making many - and not just in the newspaper world - think if they were doing enough about digital. But just why was the NYT's executive editor Jill Abramson fired? The British Library published a news content strategy (and not a newspaper strategy). Facebook and Storyful launched FB Newswire. London Live's chief programmer quit after terrible audience figures. Nate Silver's advice to young journalists - learn to code. Good Morning Britain launched (to a mixed reception). Max Clifford was found guilty. Journalist of the year? - quite possibly citizen journalist and social media sleuth Eliot Higgins aka Brown Moses. Immersive narratives became all the rage, led by BBC News's The Reykjavik Confessions. The British Newspaper Archive reached 8 million historic newspaper pages online. And the Duchess of Cambridge's rear became front page viewing (elsewhere).

Miliband

June

Ed Miliband's interview for Buzzfeed saw his comments on reading the news being analysed a great deal (he uses RealClearPolitics). Also much devoured was the Reuters Institute's annual Digital News Report. As was Robert Peston's speech on threats to journalism.  Benedict Cumberbatch helped bring BBC radio news scripts of D-Day (from the British Library's collection) back to life. Are drones the future of news? The Sun tried to give a free copy of a version of the paper backing the England football team at the World Cup, which didn't impress everyone. Ed Miliband then apologised for endorsing it. An Egyptian court sentenced two Al Jazeera journalists to seven years in jail and one to ten years in jail. Jeremy Paxman stood down from Newsnight. At the end of the phone hacking trial, News of the World editor Andy Coulson was found guilty of a conspiracy to intercept voicemails, while former News International chief executive Mrs Brooks was found not guilty. Is Fox News more dangerous than ISIS? So Russell Brand claimed in a YouTube video. And the dream headline occured - Man Bites Dog

Ukraine

July

Social sleuthing from Storyful uncovered evidence of surface-to-air missiles in eastern Ukraine following the shooting down of airliner MH17, as verification of online information became the topic of the hour. Sky News' Colin Brazier was condemned for a live news broadcast when he briefly looked through the content of the luggage of one of the victims of MH17, and produced a thoughtful apology. Ian Burrell at The Independent said poor news coverage was exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. A European court decision allowed individuals to request that Google remove links to historical articles which has personal information that they would rather was forgotten. George Clooney forced Mail Online to apologise. Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow's heartfelt video account of the child victims in Gaza went viral. There was a timely and useful report on the state of hyperlocal community news in the UK. The Independent launched i100. Brown Moses launched the Bellingcat site to train others in crowdsourced reporting. The 'Fake Sheikh' was himself entrapped. Sarah Palin launched a news channel. There was plagiarism at BuzzfeedThe Sun said farewell to Wapping.

Vice

August

Medyan Dairieh of Vice News scooped the world with his insider video report on the Islamic State. Is virtual reality the future of news? Chapman Pincher died, aged 100. Nick Davies published Hack Attack, on the phone hacking saga. Newspapers marked the centenary of the First World War with solemnity. American started to get alarmed about ebola. David Carr pronounced on the imminent death of the print newspaper.  So did Clay Shirky. 4,000 Buzzfeed posts disappeared. The sound of typewriters returned to the newsroom of The Times. American journalist James Foley was murdered in Syria.

Scotland

September

According to Twitter, Scotland won its independence. Alan Rusbridger spoke at the British Library on the urgent need to protect journalists' sources. The Guardian announced the building of Guardian Space (in King's Cross). Do people remember news better if they read it in print? The dizzying decline of Britain's local newspapers. Newsnight's Ian Katz on the death of the political interview. Hannah Storm on how journalists are becoming propaganda. Independent press regulator IPSO was launched - Hacked Off was hacked off about it.

Bradlee

October

Legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee died, aged 93. Ebola coverage - there was the good, the bad and the ugly. Among the good was much-praised single issue site Ebola Deeply. Among the ugly were fake news sites spreading ebola panic. Is Emergent the future of news? We considered how Edward Snowden changed journalism. Was Krishnan Guru-Murthy's interview with Richard Ayoade the greatest ever? Time travel was offered with the New York Times's TimesMachine archive service.

Getreading

November

Many saw the end of times with the news that Trinity Mirror was closing of seven regional print titles, including The Reading Post, and replacing them with a single website (GetReading). But Tien Tzuo said newspapers are not dying (at least, not some of them). The Newspaper Society and the Newspaper Publishers' Association merged to form the News Media Association. The British Newspaper Archive reached 9 million pages online. Print newspapers became available once more to British Library users, after a year's absence. Professor Aled Jones lectured at the BL on newspaper reading rooms and civic engagement.

Syrian

December

The 'Syrian Hero Boy' video (after being seen by millions) was revealed to be a sham. A new national newspaper was launched, the pro-independence Scottish title The National. Emily Bell's lecture 'Silicon Valley and journalism: make up or break up?' led to much thinking about the future of news. Andrew Norfolk was named journalist of the year at the British Journalism Awards for his investigations into child abuse for The Times. The archive of The Independent is to be digitised. A Wikipedia for news? Google News withdrew its service from Spain after a law was passed saying it had to pay royalties on use of news snippets. Now Spanish newspapers are complaining of loss of traffic. There was an Early Day Motion in the UK parliament against the closure of local newspapers. Alan Rusbridger announced he was standing down as Guardian editor-in-chief. Did Al-Jazeera's hackathon uncover the future of news? And finally, why it is bad news to publish only good news.

This blog is one year old today, by the way. See you next year.

15 August 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 31

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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. 

Islamicstate

https://news.vice.com/video/the-islamic-state-full-length

The Islamic State: Medyan Dairieh scooped the world with his inside report on the Islamic State, the fruit of three weeks spent embedded with the group in Syria and Iraq. A notable coup for Vice News, the youth-oriented news service increasingly challenging the methods of the mainstream media companies. Originally released in five parts, linked here to the full forty-minute report (with some disturbing scenes, please note).

Print is down, and now out: David Carr's piece for the New York Times on how media companies are spinning off newpapers, which could be an indication of bad things for the medium, has been much discussed all week.

The persistent financial demands of Wall Street have trumped the informational needs of Main Street. For decades, investors wanted newspaper companies to become bigger and diversify, so they bought more newspapers and developed television divisions. Now print is too much of a drag on earnings, so media companies are dividing back up and print is being kicked to the curb.

See also Columbia Journalism Review's The great newspaper spin-off and Roy Greenslade's Will newsprint-only companies really hasten the demise of newspapers? On the other hand, News Corp's Robert Thomson announced ""We remain firm believers in the power of print", adding ""Print is a concentrated, intense reading experience with unique affinity in our digitally distracted age." So who really knows?

UK press coverage of the death of Robin Williams: The issue of tabloid and social media coverage of the suicide of Robin Williams is sensitively handled by David Banks at his Media Law blog.

Turning a profit in the Netherlands: How a Dutch hyperlocal network has grown: Joseph Lichterman at Nieman Journalism Lab on the success of Dutch hyperlocal website network Dichtbij.

The relentless trauma of covering Gaza: Jared Malsin at Columbia Journalism Reviews on how even seasoned war correspondents are feeling the impacts of witnessing continual civilian casualties.

Ebola

All quiet on the ebola front in Lincolnshire: Quite possibly the news story of the year, brought to the grateful residents of the county by the Lincolnshire Echo and noted by the Media Blog - though China's news agency Xinhua's confident assurance that "There is no evidence that coffee and onions cure Ebola" surely runs it very close.

6 things publishers need to know about UK media consumption, from Ofcom's latest report: They include the bald asertion that newspapers would not be missed by most of us: "just two percent of respondents saying a newspaper would be form of media they would miss the most", notes The Media Briefing.

Behind the BBC's interactive 'The rise of the Islamic State: Journalism.co.uk reports on the production of the BBC's innovative interactive video piece 'The rise of the Islamic State'.

160,000 newspaper pages added from 1787-1954: They continue to go full steam ahead at the British Newspaper Archive, adding 160,000 pages in July, including the London Evening Standard (for some years in the 1860s, please note), Glasgow’s Daily Record and the Surrey Comet.

African American Newspapers, 1827-1998: A great new digital service just introduced into the British Library's Newsroom is this Readex World Newspaper Archive collection of around 270 US newspapers documenting the African American experience over a century and a half.

Graphic content: How media differ on use of Gaza images: BBC Monitoring shows how news organisations in different countries have approached the use of images about Gaza.

11 July 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 26

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Welcome to the latest edition of the St Pancras Intelligencer, our weekly round-up of news about news. It may be summer holiday time, but there is so much going on - George Clooney taking on Mail Online (and winning), the fallout from the phone hacking trial, BBC TV news at 60 (supposedly), the rise of hyperlocal news, and lots of digitised newspapers being added online.

Clooney

Via USA Today

Exclusive: Clooney responds to 'Daily Mail' report: This week's news lesson is that there are some things in this world that wield greater power than Mail Online, and one of those is George Clooney. The American actor reacted furiously to a story about his future mother-in-law via USA Today with a strong critique of its newsgathering ethos. An apology from Mail Online followed swiftly after, and the story was removed  from its website (it still exists, in reduced form, in the separately edited print version).

'Yes journalists have broken the law, and we should be pleased and proud that they did': An impassioned post-Coulson piece from Mick Hume for Press Gazette, on how journalists have broken the law or broken rules in the past to uncover the truth, from John Wilkes in the 18th century, to WT Stead in the 19th, to the Sunday Times investigative team in the 20th.

Of course journalists are "not above the law". But neither should they be subject to special prosecution and persecution, as has happened in the UK over the past three years with the arrest of more than 60 tabloid journalists. Strangely, few of those high-minded media types at the BBC or Channel 4 news now protesting about the jailing of journalists in Egypt have offered a peep of protest about the criminalisation of tabloid journalism in Britain – and not because anybody has taped over their mouths.

BBC TV News reaches 60-year milestone: BBC News celebrates the sixtienth anniversary of its first TV news bulletin  on 5 July 1954., with Richard Baker reading the headlines (he wouldn't be seen on screen for another three years). Strictly speaking, BBC TV news started in January 1948 with Television Newsreel, unmentioned in this anniversary piece, which is otherwise a great summary of how its news has developed into the age of 24-hour channels and the Internet.

Sun on Sunday editor Victoria Newton on Rebekah, Rupert, paywalls and filling the gap left by the News of the World: A great interview in Press Gazette with Victoria Newton, editor of Sun of Sunday, on thriving in a changing world:

Obviously in terms of print it’s a declining market ... A huge chunk of readers went out of the market with the News of the World. About 800,000 readers just went, which is devastating because you find it very hard to get them back – especially in the digital world.

Newspaper industry to review audience count metrics: Interesting. The Drum reports that Newsworks, the marketing body for UK national newspapers is to conduct a review of audience measurement metrics for the industry to reflect the changing ways in which we now read the papers, from print and laptops to tablets and mobile. 

The New Yorker alters its online strategy: and while it does so, the magazine will be making making all the articles it has published since 2007 available free for three months before introducing a paywall for online subscribers. The offer starts 21 July.

Punch Historical Archive goes online: The Punch Historical Archive has gone online, with 7,900 issues (200,000 pages) from all volumes of the satirical magazine published between 1841–1992 now available via the Gale NewsVault to subscribing institutions.

Whitstabletimes

The Whitstable Times, 23 December 1950, Image © Local World Limited

240,000 extra newspaper pages from 1752-1954: Keen-eyed newspaper archive watchers will have noticed that the number of pages being added to the British Newspaper Archive is double or more per month what it used to be. 240,000 extra pages were added in June for the period 1752-1954, including the Lichfield Mercury, Selkirk’s Southern Reporter, the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald and the Illustrated Times.

Diving into newspaper archives: Chronicling America: We're big on digitised newspaper archives this week, which is great. Here's a really useful Europeana Newspapers interview with Deborah Thomas from the Library of Congress' online newspaper archive Chronicling America.

Newspapers in Europe and the Digital Agenda for Europe: Yet more on digitised newspapers: the British Library is hosting a Europeana Newspapers workshop 29-30 September, which will be in  two parts: What is the value of newspapers? and Barriers to improving access to digitised newspapers.

The state of hyperlocal community news in the UK: Two AHRC-funded projects at the universities of Cardiff, Birmingham City and Westminster have combined to produce this clear, useful and timely report into the state of hyperlocal news (including asking such pertinent questions as How local is hyperlocal?).

Press freedom is being frustrated as privacy becomes new libel: Thought-provoking piece in The Standard from Roy Greenslade on the threats to journalism he sees in the European Court of Justice's 'right to be forgotten' ruling and the UK's Data Protection Act:

Privacy has become the new libel, and the loser in the long run will be the people who misguidedly think of “the media” as some kind of homogeneous evil institution. In fact, it is there for them, not against them.

A $52 million loss, but a good year for The Guardian: Columbia Journalism Review looks admiringly at how The Guardian's ownership by the Scott Trust has enabled it to paper to experiment and expand digitally across the globe. On the same theme, Gideon Spanier at The Independent interviews Andrew Millar, chief executive of the Guardian Media Group in a post strikingly titled The death of the newspaper has been exaggerated (which is not the same thing as the print newspaper, please note). Having an £843M investment fund certainly helps.

Sir Ray Tindle 'totally convinced' of almost complete return to 'full viability' for local press: More from the newspaper optimism corner. Ray Tindle of publishing group Tindle Newspapers sees the turning of the corner for the local press.

Why you can no longer expect that the news will find you: Tom Krazit at Gigaom warns us on how corporations such as Facebook and Google control the flow of news they think we want to see. Talking of which, All Tech Considered looks at searching for news stories on the World Cup and discovers that in Google Newsroom, Brazil defeat is not a headline.

Beacon Reader's crowdfunding platform now lets supporters fund topics as well as journalists: There are crowdfunded journalism startups that let you fund specific journalists; now how about funding individual topics you'd like to see covered? Mathew Ingram at Gigaom looks at one example, Beacon Reader.

Rolf Harris sentencing made Saturday a good day to bury bad news about the jailing of a national newspaper editor: How Rolf helped bury Andy, with Press Gazette asking why.

 

10 July 2014

Newspapers in Europe and the Digital Agenda for Europe

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Europeana Newspapers is a three-year project (running to Jan 2015) which aims to 

  • Aggregate 18 million historic newspaper pages for Europeana and The European Library
  • Convert 10 million newspaper pages to full text
  • Create a special content viewer to improve online newspaper browsing
  • Build tools that will allow professionals to better assess the quality of newspaper digitisation in relation to level of detail, speed and costs

 

As part of the British Library's contribution to the Europeana Newspapers project, we will be hosting a workshop entitled Newspapers in Europe and the Digital Agenda for Europe, 29-30 September 2014. Registration for the event is now open, and here's the agenda:

29 September: What is the value of newspapers? 

13.00 – 13.15 Welcome
Caroline Brazier (The British Library)
Marieke Willems (LIBER)

13.15 – 13.30 Europeana Newspapers Project
Hans-Jörg Lieder (Berlin State Library, Coordinator of Europeana Newspapers
Project)

13.30 – 13.45 The Digital Agenda for Europe
Krzysztof Nichczyński (European Commission DGCONNECT)

13.45 – 15.30 Panel discussion: What is the value of newspapers?
Tim Sherrat (Trove), Toine Pieters (University of Utrecht), Alastair Dunning (The
European Library), Clemens Neudecker (Berlin State Library & Coordination of
Europeana Newspapers Project), Max Kaiser (National Library of Austria)

15.30 – 16.00 Coffee

16.00 – 16.45 Break-out session: What is the value of newspapers?

16.45 – 17.15 Reporting back from break-out groups

17.15 – 17.30 Wrapping up

19.30 Dinner (participant’s own expenses)

30 September: Barriers to improving access to digitised newspapers

9.00 – 9.30 What helps the Europeana Newspapers project and its partners to improve access to
digitised newspapers and what stops them?
Marieke Willems (LIBER)

9.30 – 10.15 Break-out session: Roadmap for policy makers

10.15 – 10.45 Coffee

10.45 – 11.00 Reporting back from break-out groups

11.00 – 13.00 Panel Discussion: How to overcome barriers to improving access to digitised
newspapers
Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen (National Library of Finland and LIBER president), Lucie
Guibault (University of Amsterdam), European Newspaper Publishing Association,
Patrick Fleming (The British Library), Krzysztof Nichczyński (European Commission
DGCONNECT, Henning Scholz (Europeana)

13.00 – 13.15 Wrapping up

13.15 – 14.00 Brown bag lunch

Hope to see you there.

13 June 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 22

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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.

Antisocial

Stop sharing this photograph of antisocial newspaper readers: This much retweeted and shared photograph of a train carriage full of newspaper readers has been viewed by many as a comment on an anti-social past age. Medium makes a strong argument why this is a complete misunderstanding of how a newspaper is consumed.

... what you are seeing in that picture of “antisocial” people reading newspapers is actually an eminently social activity: citizens keeping themselves informed so they can participate in the civic discourse of their community.

Enabling access to digitised historic newspapers: We held a Europeana Newspapers event here at the British Library, on assorted issues relating to the digitisation of newspapers, with interesting contrasts between traditional browsing and big data analytical approaches, and between free and paid access services. The link is to a Storify collection of tweets, links and slideshows from the day (fun to put together - will be doing more of these).

Broadcasting D-Day: The BBC's recreation of radio broadcasts from D-Day by using digitised scripts and actors (Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones, Patrick Stewart) made a powerful impact and was a fitting tribute on the 70th anniversary of the landings. The BBC radio scripts come from the British Library, and this post gives the background.

 

Digital News Report 2014: Eagerly devoured and much commented upon has been the latest annual Reuters Institute Digital News Report, the result of a survey of digital news consumption in UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Denmark and Finland. Among the key findings are:

  • The use of smartphones and tablets has jumped significantly in the past year, with fewer people using their computers for news
  • More than a third of online news users across all countries (39%) use two or more digital devices each week for news and a fifth (20%) now say their mobile phone is their primary access point
  • US social sharing news sites like Huffington Post and Buzzfeed are beginning to make inroads around the world, with new formats and a fresh tone of voice aimed at younger people
  • Even so, traditional brands remain strong in most markets, with cross-platform newspaper reach averaging 75% in most countries
  • The number of people paying for digital news (11% average) has remained stable over the past 12 months, although there is a significant switch to more valuable ongoing digital subscription in most countries 
  • Of those paying for news in all countries, 59% are paying for an ongoing subscription (43% 2013). Of those who are not paying, 15% say they are likely to pay in the future
  • Facebook is by far the most important network for news everywhere
  • Although Twitter is widely used in the US, Spain, and the UK, it is far less influential in many other European countries. Google+ is emerging as increasingly important for news, along with messaging application WhatsApp

Robert Peston’s speech: Hotly discussed all week has been Robert Peston's British Journalism Review Charles Wheeler lecture, where he queries James Harding's statement (given in his WT Stead lecture at the British Library), "I think this is the most exciting time to be a journalist since the advent of television". Peston is not so sanguine, seeing threats in online culture, reader power, and the power of the public relations industry. He concludes:

...we don’t yet have what you might call a stable ecosystem in news. The poll-tax funded BBC is one kind of news-media model. The loss-making Guardian, funded by vast private-equity capital gains, is another. The Daily Mail another still. And Quartz, Huffington Post and BuzzFeed something different again. There is diversity – which all ecologists would tell you is vital to long-term survival. But there is also pollution, from a dangerous elision between news that pays and news that matters.

Why would anyone want to be a journalist?: But then there's Sarah Hartley at Contributoria, who speaks to several journalists about the hazards and frustrations of their occupation, and finds the answer to her question in these words from photographer Giles Duley (a triple-amputee after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan):

It’s about storytelling for me. There are these incredible stories out there and I think I follow a tradition that started around camp fires, in caves around ten thousands of years ago and there’s an innate need for people to tell stories and to hear stories and I just love being part of that tradition and so I’ll carry on doing it.

The Sun Launches A £4.2 Billion Marketing Campaign?: The Sun is delivering a free special World Cup issue to 22 million UK homes over a 48-hour period (avoiding Hillsborough). Chris Brace at the Brown Moses blog notes that the giveway lacks the imprint that identifies the publication as a newspaper. The fine for breaching this legal requirement can be up to £200 per copy. 200 x 22M = £4.4Bn. That's a quite fine...

Not Everyone Is Happy About The Sun’s “This Is Our England” Front Page: Patrick Smith at Buzzfeed rounds up some less than complimentary reactions to the great free Sun giveaway. There's even a @PostTheSunBack campaign.

Internet not responsible for dying newspapers, new study finds: Riding against the general trend of argument is a paper by University of Chicago Booth School of Business Professor Matthew Gentzkow, which says that comparisons between the internet and newspaper are based on some false assumptions. ScienceDaily summarises these.

A year on Guardian continues to face derision from Fleet Street rivals over Edward Snowden revelations: Press Gazette reviews the opinions expressed about Edward Snowden in other British newspapers, which are distinctly unimpressed.

Time Inc. Has a Big Problem - So Does Digital Journalism: Derek Thompson at The Atlantic feels that the future looks bright for digital journalism as a product, but dim for large-scale digital journalism as a business.

 

Victorian Meme Machine: Bob Nicholson of Edge Hill University is one of two winners of our BL Labs competition for innovative ideas to use digital collections. His Victorian Meme Machine will create an extensive database of Victorian jokes, drawn from newspapers etc, and pair them with an appropriate image drawn from BL and other digital collections. 

Annotating the news: Intriguing piece by Jihii Jolly for Columbia Journalism Review on student news literacy and annotation tools.

The BBC was impervious to the launch of Sky News. Now they have to take notice: Ian Burrell at The Independent interviews Sky News editor John Ryley, who is full of plans, is disparagaing of ITV's attitude towards news, and states firmly: “The future for news is on mobile.”

European newspapers search for ways to survive digital revolution: A Guardian survey of how newspapers in Spain, France and Germany are struggling (belatedly) to find ways to make money as print sales plummet.

16 Pictures Of Beyoncé Where She’s Not Sinking In Quicksand: The Onion has launched Clickhole, its parody site for 'clickbait' viral sites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy. Not super-funny yet, but we have hope.

Why banish words from the front page?: The sharply opinionated Grey Cardigan on The Spin Alley blog is critical of sloppy front page design in some UK regional newspapers, and thoughtful on the reasons why.

Newspaper printed with ink that repels mosquitoes: This is such a heartening story - a Sri Lankan newspaper has come up with Mawbima Mosquito Repellent Paper, printed using bug-repelling ink, as part of campaign to help prevent the spread of Dengue fever. Probably a bit of a preservation challenge though...

Chatting with bots: How Slack is changing how newsrooms talk amongst themselves: Nieman Journalism Lab on Slack, a chat application being used in the newsrooms of  The Times, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, Quartz, Slate, NBC News, The Guardian and more.

Kevin Turvey investigates ... the media: RIP Kevin Turvey, peerless investigative reporter from Reddtich, aka Rik Mayall.

06 June 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 21

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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.

Newspapers

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jimwaterson/ed-miliband-on-the-road

Ed Miliband: “It’s Important To Follow Your Own Path”: Ed Miliband's comments on his news-reading in this Buzzfeed interview became the news about news debate of the week, in all the newspapers. None were impressed:

It’s always a good idea not to read the newspapers ...  I don’t read much British news. You get a lot of advice in the newspapers about what you should do. It’s much more important to follow your own path and stick to your own path...

 Instead he prefers to get his information for the US site RealClearPolitics. The St Pancras Intelligencer would of course advise us all to read newspapers, TV news and news websites. The more and diverse news sources the better.

Benedict Cumberbatch reads the 8am news from D-Day: On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, June 6th, Benedict Cumberbatch is reading out original BBC radio news scripts of those events for the Today programme. The scripts have been taken from the British Library's collection. More on this anon.

Sensitive Words: June 4th: The twenty-fifth anniversary of the protests at Tiananmen Square has been widely covered by the world's news media, and in China not at all. The US-based China Digital Times provides an instructive list of search terms which have been blocked on the Chinese search engine Weibo. They include 'today', 'candle', 'six+four' and '占占点' (tanks crushing a protestor illustrated through Chinese letters).

How Hostwriter wants to connect journalists around the world: Journalism.co.uk reports on Hostwriter, a new platform enabling journalists to contact each other for world-wide collaboration opportunities.

A retiree digitizes 27 million old newspaper pages in his livingroom (and libraries fight to catch up): Anyone who has gone searching for newspapers online is likely to stumbled across Tom Tryniski's remarkable one-man effort, Old Fulton New York Post Cards, a collection of 27 million American newspapers digitised by this one retiree. This piece from Reason.com is actually about Brooklyn Public Library's struggle to find the funding to digitise all 115 years of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle - something that Trykiski did solo in five months. In the end they got Newspapers.com to do it for them, without payment, with the BPL being offered for free on the Library's portal but also as part of Newspaper.com's subscription package of 3,000 newspaper titles. 

Telegraph increases operating profit to £61.1m and is UK's most profitable 'quality' newspaper: Press Gazette reports that the Telegraph Media Group increased operating profit by £2.7m to £61.2m in 2013, making it "by far the most profitable of the UK's 'quality' newspaper titles", despite falling print circulation. No information has been revealed as yet about the performance of its website metered paywall, introduced in April 2013.

BBC News Division To Cut 500 Jobs: Neil Midgley at Forbes scored a major news media news scoop with his revelation that the BBC is to cut between 475 and 500 jobs from News, with a further 75 to 85 from Radio. The BBC is now indicating that this could be true.

BBC receives almost 1,200 complaints over Ukip election coverage: Talking of whom, The Guardian reports on the barrage of complaints sayig that it had been biased in favour of UKIP and/or Nigel Farage during the European and local elections. It also received 149 complaints that it was biased against UKIP.

Who's behind that tweet?: An interesting piece from Nieman Journalism Lab on how seven news organisations make use of Twitter and Facebook: ABC News, AP, CNN, NBC News, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal,

Can anonymity app Whisper become a viable news source?: How can a mobile app that lets its lets users post messages anonymously work as a news source? DigiDay asks Whisper's Editor-in-Chief Neetzan Zimmerman.

Journalists face threats to press freedom across Europe: Roy Greenslade at The Guardian lists some of the examples of threats to press freedom across Europe, from information gathered by Index on Censorship and Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso.

Punch Historical Archive 1841–1992: This month Cengage Gale Learning will be publishing the Punch Historical Archive 1841-1992, containing every issue of the hugely influential British humour magazine Punch. It will be included in the Gale News Vault collection of historical newspapers, which is free onsite to all British Library users.

Newsquest launches responsive mobile platform for each of its 140 titles across England and Wales: Regional newspapers in the UK are getting that bit more responsvie and smart with Newsquest's launch of a mobile platform for such titles as Northern Echo, Southern Daily Echo and The Argus.

Virtual Newsroom: getting journalism done in a digital age: Sandra Oshiro writes for Poynter on the challenges and opportunities for a journalist working remotely for a news organisation.

Digital archive of Isle of Wights history goes online: The Isle of Wight County Press Archive has been completed, with more than 160,000 pages from 6,000 editions now online (as a subscription service) of the Isle of Wight County Press.

 

Stopfake

A Ukrainian factchecking site is trying to spot fake photos in social media — and building audience: Lydia Tomkiw at Nieman Journalism Lab has a good story on the success of Ukrainian fact-checking site StopFake. 30% of the donations the site receives come from Russia.

How the Kremlin is killing off the last of Russia’s independent media: Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen reports for Quartz on the impending death of Russia's independent news media.

Media outlets love to use citizen journalism, but don't like to say where they got it or how: Mathew Ingram at Gigaom summarises a Tow Center report on the use of user-generated content by TV news organisations, including Al Jazeera, BBC World, CNN and France 24. It gets used, but it doesn't always get acknowledged - for various reasons.

The Art and Science of Data-Driven Journalism: Another Tow Center report, introduced by Alexander Howard, on the important trend towards data journalism, with 14 findings, recommendations and predictions, among which are:

  • Being digital first means being data-centric and mobile-friendly
  • Expect more robojournalism, but know that human relationships and storytelling still matter
  • More journalists will need to study the social sciences and statistics

Publishers: There's money in your archives: They are still going on about the New York Times' Innovation report (see previous St Pancras Intelligencers). Here DigiDay focusses on the report's complaint that insufficient advantage was being made of the newspaper's archives. "There may not be much money in reselling archived content, but at least it’s not expensive to produce", says The Economist’s Paul Rossi.

The news in India is all about the news: Handy piece from Quartz on news publishing in India.

India has 12,511 daily newspapers, 161 million TV households, some 2,000 multiplexes and 214 million internet users, according to a report by consulting firm KPMG, which estimates the size of the industry more than 1 trillion rupees ($16.9 billion) in 2014.

Who's Going to Buy The New York Times's New Opinion App?: The New York Times has lunched a $6-a-month app of its opinion columns, NYT Opinion. The Atlantic examines what's on offer.

Duchess to turn Hogwarts into school for cage-fighters: Thank you Daily Mirror for the headline of the week.

30 May 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 20

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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.    

Innovation_report

For the Times’ innovation report to stick, its journalists need to be on board: Fascination with the leaked New York Times' digital innovation report continues unabated. Emily Bell from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism argues that journalists themselves are the crucial element behind any innovation plans.

The New York Times KPI’s: In another piece on the NYT report, Frederic Filloux at Monday Note comes up with this thought-provoking quote: "In theory, the Times can get rid of print. Digital revenue far exceeds the cost of running the newsroom..."

The New York Times and innovation: are they asking the right question?: And there's more. George Brock points out that nowhere in the Innovation report does is say what journalism is, or that its authors graps that it is changing. He asks:

Is it actually possible for a big, mainstream newspaper to make the transition to being, principally, a digital platform for journalism? Not just make the transition slowly, painfully and with embarrassing mistakes but…not make it at all.

UK daily newspapers have doubled in price since 2004 and shrunk in size - no wonder sales are down: William Turvill at Press Gazette looks at the rise in cover prices for UK daily and Sunday national newspapers over the past ten years.

How Niuzly wants to put control into the hands of journalists: Journalism.co.uk reports on publishing platform Niuzly which  allows writers to sell their articles to readers on for individual micropayments.

Guardian launches redesigned app: The Guardian has issued a new version of its app, available across all Android and iOS phones and tablets running Android 4 and iOS 7, with increased personalisation features and incorporating the user-generated content platform GuardianWitness.

BBC issues new guidance for journalists on using Twitter: 'Don't do anything stupid': Sage advice after head of the BBC newsroom Mary Hockaday tweeted "#WhyImVotingUkip – to stand up for white, middle class, middle aged men w sexist/racist views, totally under represented in politics today", just ahead of the European elections. She subsequently took no part in the BBC's election coverage.

With Farage on the loose, broadcasters and newspapers must realise they are no longer king-makers: Reflecting on the results of said European elections in the UK, Ian Burrell at The Independent observes that the media's assumed power to influence voting (no UK national newspaper came out in support of UKIP) is waning.

FT_main

Screenshot from FT.com

7 engaging ways news outlets covered the European election: More on the elections for data visualization fans, from Journalism.co.uk.

Metaio unveils Thermal Touch technology for making user interfaces out of thin air: Let's face it, we're all still hoping for our newspapers to become fabulously interactive. German company Metaio may have made a significant step towards this by developing its 'Thermal Touch' interface concept which could make any surface a use interface through a combination of thermal imaging and augmented reality. Applications they see for this include newspaper ads with clickable links. We'll just have to wait five years until they develop it.

Watch Skype translate a video conversation in real time: Another potentially transformative technology is speech-to-text (coverting audio files into printed words), which could have a huge impact on the use of audiovisual news archives. Microsoft are applying the technology - along with translation software - to Skype. Watch the video on the Quartz site and ponder the possibilities.

Royal privacy row as German tabloid publishes picture of the Duchess of Cambridge’s bare behind when her skirt blew up during Australia tour: Because it is news about news, we have to report the furore over the German magazine Bild's decision to publish a photograph of the Duchess of Cambridge's backside, and the decision by British newspapers not to do so. The Daily Mail report features a pixilated version of the image.

We're all aggregators now: Anyone can become a news publisher online simply by aggregating the news produced by others. Ann Friedman at Columbia Journalism Review comes up with three simple cardinal rules of being an ethical aggregator.

Preserving early periodicals and newspapers of Tamilnadu and Pondichery: The British Library's Endangered Archives Project has made 10,000 issues of rare periodicals from Tamilnadu & Pondicherry dating back to 1892 available online.

We just aggregated over 15.000 historical newspaper issues from Poland: More on digitised newspapers, which were already online but have now been incorporated in the Europeana portal. The Europeana Newspapers blog gives the background to these Polish additions.

John Humphrys offers advice to aspiring journalists: 'Don't do it': Today programme presenter John Humphrys tells Press Gazette he is advises not to go into journalism as a profession. "I am deeply pessimistic for the future of serious print journalism and I tell my own children and grandchildren to train for a profession where they're more likely to get a decent job with some hope of security". But Piers Morgan, Jon Snow, Ian Hislop, John Witherow and Kay Burley  and many others all disagree.

A journalist goes missing nearly every day in Ukraine: The week's most sobering news media statistic, from The Independent.

29 May 2014

Enabling access to digitised historic newspapers

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Enabling access to digitised historic newspapers is an event being organised as part of the Europeana Newspapers Project with the aim to raise awareness of Europeana Newspapers and the value of collaboration to make historic newspapers content available online. It takes place at the British Library Conference Centre on 9 June 2014. There will be presentations from the UK partners in the Europeana Newspapers Project, The European Library and newspapers researchers.

Eunewspapers

The British Library is one of the partners in Europeana Newspapers, a three-year project running to January 2015 which aims to aggregate 18 million historic newspaper pages for Europeana and The European Library from across Europeana newspaper collections, and to convert 10 million of those newspaper pages to full text. Our role in the network is a relatively minor one, cheifly participating in the promotional work of the project and hosting this June event. The project is led by the Berlin State Library, and there are 18 project partners, 11 associate partners and 22 networking partners.

There are a few tickets left (at the time of typing ), which can be booked through this link.

Programme

09:30 -10:00 Arrival and Registrations (refreshments)

10:00-10:10 Welcome and aims of the day

10:10-10:30 News collections at the British Library (Dr Luke McKernan, British Library)

10:35-11:00 The British Newspaper Archive: Tales of the unexpected (Dr Ed King, Independent researcher)

11:10-11:40 Digital research and newspapers (Paul Gooding, Digital Preservation Coalition; Dr Ulrich Tiedau, University College London)

11:40-12:00 Welsh Newspapers Online (Alan Vaughan Hughes, National Library of Wales)

12:00-13:00 Lunch (provided)

13:00-13:30 Europeana Newspapers Project: an overview (Dr Rossitza Atanassova, British Library)

13:30-14:00 Europeana Newspapers browser (Alastair Dunning, The European Library)

14:00-14:30 Europeana Newspapers: evaluation and quality assessment (University of Salford)

14:30-15:00 Coffee break

15:00-16:00 Digitising and researching historic newspapers collections: panel discussion with Dr James Mussell, University of Leeds; Professor Lorna Hughes, University of Wales; DC Thomson Family History and others TBC

16:00 – End of the official programme

16:00-17:00 - Drinks and nibbles

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.