THE BRITISH LIBRARY

The Newsroom blog

33 posts categorized "Web"

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.

 

08 April 2014

Opening day

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On Monday 7 April 2014, at 10:00, the Newsroom opened at the British Library. We were just about ready. I don't know what it is about we humans, but with all the months, indeed years, of planning that went into developing a new reading room for news at the British Library, we were working right up to the last minute getting the last fixtures and fittings in place. Was it true, as I heard, that they only hung the Newsroom sign up above the door with not much more than an hour to spare? The first punters didn't notice any such final hammering or tweaking. They queued patiently outside, though our first researcher actually managed to come into the Newsroom via a side entrance, which we hadn't expected. Those who came in through the front door gawped briefly at the newness before them, then made their way to the desks. "Bloody hell", said one. Which was nice. 

Longview

View down the Newsroom

The Newsroom is the British Library's news reading room for its news collections. It replaces what was the Newspaper Library at Colindale, though the print newspapers themselves are being transferred to dedicated storage facilities at Boston Spa in Yorkshire. They will become available to order once more in the Autumn, so the Newsroom at present offers access to microfilm and digital newspapers, as well as television, radio and web news.

Microfilm_readers

Row of terminals with microfilm readers

The Newsroom seats around 100, with 40 microfilm readers with digital display and monitors that can be turned landscape or portrait depending on how you wish to view your newspaper.  There is a large number of newspaper microfilm reels available on open access, while the remainder can be ordered from our basements with a promised maximum delivery time of 70 minutes. There are also many news media reference books available on the open shelves, photocopying facilities, and of course our expert reference team, who quietly introduced researchers to the news resources, the intricacies of the microfilm readers, and the other particulars of the Newsroom. 

Front_pages

Newspaper front pages display

We wanted to made the Newsroom a visually striking and newsy place, while ensuring that it remain first and foremost a place for study. A striking feature is the row of 21 newspaper from pages, from 1643 to 2013, which decorate the length of one wall above the microfilm cabinets. The display works both as a history of newspaper design and of history in the making as reflected through newspapers.

Cubicles

Cubicles in the networking areas, with Twitter display above

Some of the most eye-catching features are in the networking area, which is the first part of the Newsroom that you see when you enter. It's an area that's open to anyone (you only require a reader's pass to enter the main reading room) and it is meant to be both an informal space and an area in which to display news present and past. There are tables, chairs and sofas liberally scattered about (with plenty of charging points, which we suspect will make the space very popular very quickly). On one side is a row of cubicles, with above it Twitter feeds which show the news coming in as it is tweeted from news web sites that we archive. So, in a way, you see the news being made, and the news being saved.

Video_wall

The video wall

The live news element is also seen in the networking area's most striking feature, the video wall, which occupies a large part of one side of the space. We plan to have different kinds of display on its multiple screens in due course, but we have started with a BBC news ticker feed, live TV news from Sky News, archive videos from our Broadcast News service, a loop of front pages for news-based websites that we will be archiving, and a display of the ingenious Newsmap news aggregator site, developed by Marcos Weskamp, which shows news stories around the world in a grid format, classified by territory, place and importance.

Issue_desk

Issue desk

The networking area and main reading room filled up gratifying quickly over the day, though it is Easter time when the British Library is always particularly busy, and a lot of the desks were occupied by overspill from other reading rooms. But that's fine. The Newsroom is not an ivory castle for news. We're interested in seeing the boundaries blurred between what gets researched where, just as we are looking beyond newspapers to incorporate other forms of news publication, to create a richer, more interconnected archive.

Full

View down the Newsroom through the glass partition between networking area and main reading room

There was much else besides on that first day - British Library colleagues coming to admire, familiar faces from Colindale days settling down to continue their work once more, much tweeting of images and updates, some fretful pulling out of hair when the live video stream failed for a while, some careful explanation to visitors that the footage of rioting in Tottenham was an archive recording from 2011 and did not mean what they thought it meant... I held my first meeting there, charged up my computer there, and drank the first cup of coffee there (in the networking area, I hasten to add, not the reading room itself, which would not be allowed). And we launched a new set of web pages for news media (we have to call it that to avoid confusion with news about the British Library).

We hope we may see you there soon. We're on the second floor.

Doorway

Welcome

 

 

 

28 March 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 11

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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. 

  

Journalism matters: Mark Austin and Julie Etchingham of ITN; Christiane Amanpour from CNN, Mark Ferguson from Channel 7 (Australia) ; and Shiulie Ghosh of Al-Jazeera English participate in this 40-second video in support of the #FreeAJStaff campaign, protesting against EWgypt's placing in custody for the past three months of three Al Jazeera journalists for "spreading false news".

The LBC Leaders' Debate: It was fascinating to see the debate on immigration between the LibDems' Nick Clegg and UKIP's Nigel Farage, not for the topic but for how radio station LBC is pushing its brand. Recently launched as a national service, they broadcast the event live  on radio, with simulataneous video stream on the BBC News website, followed the moment it ended by the BBC News channel showing the debate with reaction afterwards. LBC's name was prominent, on the lecterns, the walls and in the name of the event itself. Look out for further LBC brand-building in the future, no doubt.

The Times 'moving towards profit' since paywall launch: Guess what, Times Newspapers has moved from a £72 million loss in 2009 to £6 million for trading year ending June 2013.

Will readers pay for journalists?: An interesting twist on the question of whether readers will pay for digital news content - American start-up news site The Beacon is asking its readers to sponsor a journalist for $75,000 for a year to report on the American prison system.

The problem with data journalism: The hot topic of the hour is data journalism. All well and good, says Allison Schrager at Quartz, but the problem with it is that it's not science. "Empirical researchers spend years learning how to apply statistics and countless hours dissecting data. And then even the most experienced, well-intentioned researcher might end up with biased results."

Facts are sacred: Meanwhile, this extract by Simon Rogers from his book Facts are Sacred, lists ten things that you should know about data journalism e.g. "It may be trendy but it's not new".

Before the "explanatory journalism" craze started to catch fire, there was Syria Deeply: The other, related journalism vogue is 'exploratory journalism'. Mathew Ingram at Gigaom tells the story of Lara Setrakian's topic-based site Syria Deeply to show how none of these ideas are new.

Reddit plans to offer embeds for breaking news discussions: Mashable reports that hugely popular 'notice board' site Reddit is planning to offer embeds for breaking news threads, something which could help news organisations tap into instant live blogs of newsworthy events. Could be big.

The week when Mick Jagger found the true cost of fame: Catherine Bennett at The Guardian muses on the papers' treatment of the L'Wren Scott suicide story, calls some of the coverage shameful (while repeating some of this) but says that it shouldn't be used as anrgument for curbs against the press.

London Live: The 24-hour entertainment TV channel for London, backed by The Evening Standard, goes live on March 31st, but its website is already active.

Checking out the NSB: This blog visits the British Library's vast Newspaper Storage Building at Boston Spa, and muses on robots, metadata, and what digital means.

As news reporters get measured by clicks, there are lessons to be learned from unlikely sources: Interesting piece from Poynter on page-view metrics and how the numbers can't determine what's journalistically important.

Trinity Mirror North East unveils plan for digital-first newsroom: The Newcastle and Teesside publisher's  new editorial structure, called Newsroom 3.1, will put digital first, print second, evidence of how newspapers are finding their audiences being drawn ever more to their websites. The Drum reports.

Twitter - hot damn!: Not everyone in the news world gets Twitter as yet. Jon Slattery tells them in detail why they should. "Not being on Twitter leaves print journalists as out of touch as the judge who asked: ‘Who are the Beatles?'".

Can Twitter hashtags work in print?: Talking of which, the Media Blog muses interestingly on how newspapers are introducing hashtags into print stories, and whether this has much of an impact at all.

21 March 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 10

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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. 

538

fivethirtyeight.com

Why do we expect so much from Nate Silver?: American data guru Nate Silver (he of the book The Signal and the Noise) launched a new data journalism site, FiveThirtyEight (backed by ESPN), which has been much discussed in the American media. Benjamin Wallace-Wells at New York Magazine profiles the man. Mathew Ingram at Gigaom wondered if there was a broad enough market out there for numbers journalism. John McDermott at DigiDay takes a look at reaons behind the rise in data-driven, exploratory journalism, as does Roger Yu at USA Today. And Ben Thompson at stratechry ponders Silver's success in 'FiveThirtyEight and the end of average', looking at the bell curve of news consumption, and concluding with this startling line: "the challenge of our time is figuring out what to do with a population distribution that is fundamentally misaligned with Internet economics."

Gawking at a foreign disaster: The disapperance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has gripped the world, over and above the crisis in Crimea, but Nicholas Quah at Salon finds that the coverage (chiefly American)  too often has painted "an offensive picture of an ill-understood country".

How journalism is facing its own battle in Ukraine: With the Russian television channels spouting the Kremlin line, many in the Ukraine are turning to social media for their news, reports Alastair Reid at Journalism.co.uk.

Could robots be the journalists of the future?: The Guardian's Generation Y week tielded some interesting pieces on the (possible) futures of news and journalism. GUARBOT, using an algorithm to extract relevant data relating to quinoa, would seem to need some work before it replaces a living journalist, to judge by these results:

The crime-ridden family of quinoa has taken US by storm this month. According to Peru, New York has confirmed that quinoa is more story than anything else they've ever seen. Quotes from top Yotam Ottolenghi eaters suggest that "crop" is currently clear top, possibly more than ground black pepper. Experts say both Salt and University need to traditionally grow to strengthen a common solution. Finally, it is worth slightly rattling that this article was peeled until it made sense.

In five years' time, all news articles will be a single coloured icon that fires out info-nuggets: Inevitably, Charlie Brooker's contribution to Generation Y was a caustic look at our news futures which is all too plausible to be that funny. Surely someone has already produced 'The Ten Gravest Crimean Developments You Simply Won't Believe'?

#newsHACK II: the 2014 News Industry Innovation Event: The BBC has announced a #newsHACK 2014 competition for news organisation and academic institutions from across the British Isles tto prototype news experiences and journalism tools of the future.

Reading all about it: Here at the Newsroom blog we took a look at three recent books on news production past and present: Andrew Pettegree's The Invention of News, Alain de Botton's The News: A User's Manual, and George Brock's Out of Print. They all connect, somehow.

Survey of nearly a thousand web pages looks at interactive features for news: Interesting results from the Engaging News Project at the University of Texas, looking at how polls and various share buttons are being treated by newsroom developers.

Newspaper paywalls spring up, but not much is concrete: Subscription? Metered access? Free? Peter Preston thinks that is remains very unclear what business model for newspapers online will actually work.

Why venture capitalists are suddenly investing in news: Adrienne La France at Quartz investigates why the money is flowing into online media ventures like Buzzfeed, Vox Media and Upworthy.

Newspaper ill-advised to let police post their own online story: Roy Greenslade is worried about the implications of Torquay Herald Express,  letting Tobay police post a story on its website.

How the Daily Mail escaped censure for its false immigration story: Roy Greenslade again, this time on how the Press Complaints Commission has dealt with some of the more tendentious reports about Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants published at the end of 2013.

World editors hit out at UK over press freedom: The World Association of Newspapers and News Publisher (WAN-IFRA), which has been visiting the UK, is concerned over the UK's plans for a state-sponsored news regulator with Royal Charter, Hold the Front Page reports.

Washington Post to offer free digital access to other papers's subscribers: An intriguing twist on the previaling business models for online news, reported on by Press Gazette.

"I feel sorry for dogs. They learnt to fetch newspapers, but newspapers are dying. Killed by an internet driven by cats." News tweet of the week from @BinaryBad.

14 March 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 9

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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. 

  Newsroom_issue desk

The Newsroom: Well of course we have to start with our own big news, which is that the Newsroom - the British Library's news reading room for news - opens at St Pancras on Monday 7 April. Is this first library space ever to be named after a blog...?

Named Entity Recognition for newspapers: Not the most exciting title for a blog post, but something worth reading closely by anyone interested in the future of digitised newspaper research. Europeana Newspapers explains how key terms can be extracted from newspaper text to enhance search and improve linkage of data.

News Archive Connected Studio: Build Studio: Keep an eye on what Peter Rippon and his team at the BBC are doing in planning how to open up their news archives. Much audience testing is coming first.

Why Twitter will never be a news organization: An interesting interview in Time with Twitter's Head of News, Vivian Schiller. "The Twitter news team is never going to pick and choose news stories, pick and choose winners. That’s not our job at all. But what we need to do is ... to make it easier for news organizations but also for our consumers to find what they’re looking for."

Why Twitter can't keep crashing: Mat Honan at Wired says that Twitter has become too important to how the world gains its news to have the crashes that it not infrequently does have. "It is the definition of breaking news. Twitter is increasingly the key place where information is born – stuff that maybe starts with one person but is important to the whole world."

Strictly algorithm: Really interesting article by Stuart Dredge at The Guardian on how the news we wants find us - through algorithms - and what this means for news, journalism and democracy.

Thomas Jewell Bennett: an early supporter of Indian Home Rule: Pat Farrington writes for the British Library's Untold Lives blog on her great-uncle, editor of the Times of India, some of whose letters are held here.

Russia’s information warriors are on the march – we must respond: Anne Applebaum at the Telegraph sets out to sort out the truth from lies in the Russian media's reporting of the crisis in Ukraine.

Channel4subtitle

Ah, sweet irony: For afficianados of errors in TV subtitles, much joy was brought about by this misinterpretation of Matt Frei talking about Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Channel 4 News.

BBC values: The BBC Academy interviews James Harding, director of BBC News, about values and maintaining audience trust.

Endangered species: At British Journalism Review Kim Fletcher argues that traditional newspaper editors are on their way out; content officers are on their way in.

Fleet Street editors of the past were little different from those of today: Talking of which, Roy Greenslade reviews Dennis Griffiths' Blum & Taff: A tale of two editors, on R.D. Blumenfeld and H.A. Gwynne, Fleet Street greats from another age.

Why venture capitalists are suddenly investing in news: Adrienne LaFrance at Quartz looks at why the investment money is pouring into the new kids on the news block: Buzzfeed, Upworthy, Vice etc. As one interviewee puts it: "“They are all technology companies first ... They understand how people utilize technology and how to present and create content."

Journalism startups aren't a revolution if they're filled with all these white men: Emily Bell looks at the somewhat familiar make-up of some supposedly cutting edge news start-ups.

Robot reporters and the age of drone journalism: And finally, look out for Emily Bell's lecture on how new technogies are driving the future of journalism, at the British Library on 25 April.

07 March 2014

The Newsroom

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The Newsroom - it's a good name. It's a place where any kind of news gets made, be it print, broadcast or web. It's at the heart of information.  It's a point from which we can look out and see the world for what it is. A newsroom is where we plan to understand things.

Newsroomview

Visualisation of the Newsroom

At any rate, it's the name of the British Library's new reading room for news, which we can now announce will be opening on 7 April 2014. It was back in November 2013 that the Newspaper Library at Colindale closed, since when we have been working on preparing and then sending the newspapers to the new Newspaper Storage Building in Boston Spa, Yorkshire (the first newspaper start being shipped there in March). Meanwhile, we have been preparing the new reading room for news at St Pancras. If you know the building, then it's on the second floor, above the Business & IP Centre. 

The Newsroom will be divided into two parts. Users familiar with the Colindale service will notice many changes - all for the better, we hope. There will longer opening hours, 40 state-of-the-art digital microfilm readers, and a much wider range of microfilmed titles available on open access. This will include the 15 most highly-requested national titles – including The TimesThe GuardianThe Independent, the Daily Mail and The Sunday Times - whereas in Colindale we only offered The Times on open access. There will be access to extensive digitised and multimedia collections, including the Broadcast News service with its recordings from 22 television and radio news channels, and the BBC catalogue with TV and radio programmes from 2007, which will move from a pilot service to a regular service.

The second, smaller part of the Newsroom will be at the front, an informal area for networking, testing out digital resources, and viewing news content as it is produced. We want the Newsroom to be about news today as much as news yesterday, and to draw out the connections between the two.

Newsroom

Design for part of the Newsroom, showing the issue desk with networking area beyond

Before the room opens, we've been making significant service changes. On 17 February the periodicals formerly held at Colindale - and put on embargo in June of last year - became available once more. The majority of these periodicals, some 24,000 titles, have been moved to Boston Spa and will be available to order into any St Pancras Reading Room within 48 hours. A small number of high-use periodicals are being stored at St Pancras and will be available to order into any St Pancras Reading Room (not just the Newsroom) within 70 minutes. 

These can be ordered online in advance via explore.bl.uk, where there have also been changes. There is no longer a separate Newspaper Library tab for searching, instead newspapers have been fully integrated into search (though you can still search on newspapers alone by using the Advanced Search option). There is improved information about newspapers titles and volumes that we hold, and links to digital versions where they exist on the British Newspaper Archive site.

Users can track the progress of their requests via My Reading Room Requests. Records for microfilm and print newspapers that are currently being moved are also now visible. The print newspapers themselves won't be available in April, however. It's going to take until the autumn until they are all stored at Boston Spa and the service ready to go. Then they will be delivered to St Pancras within 48 hours, but if there is an access copy - i.e. a copy on microfilm or in digital form - then that's what we will provide for you, rather than the print copy. Around a third of the collection of some 60 million newspaper issues is accessible through microfilm access copies, so most research enquiries are likely to be answered by the microfilm in any case, and they will all be onsite at St Pancras.

And there's more, because there is also work underway to improve facilities for users at Boston Spa. When completed (in the next few weeks), the reading room there will provide access to print newspaper and digital copies where available, but not the microfilms. Meanwhile, access to the Boston Spa collection is being maintained via a temporary Reading Room nearby in the same building.

There's more information on the opening and our news services on the British Library newspaper moves pages including our March 2014 Collection Moves Bulletin (PDF).

We've not been idle. We hope to continue to be useful.

 

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:

 

 

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.

07 February 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 4

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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.  

Graph
 

The year Facebook blew past Google: Peter Kafka notes how Facebook is now outstripping Google when its comes to referrals for Buzzfeed, which could have important implications for how web journalism works. Anyway, it's a great graph.

How I learned to stop worrying and love bite-sized news: Josh Stearns looks at short-form news services like Instafax, Circa and NowThis News and reckons they have their part to play in how we find news - "sometimes small pieces loosely joined can add up to more than the sum of their parts".

How the BBC and Guardian are innovating on Instagram: More on the use of Instagram by news outlets, with Rachel Bartlett reviewing Instafax and GuardianCam.

Help us improve the British Newspaper Archive: The BNA has a survey, asking you how you use the historical newspapers site and what you would like to see more of.

News Archive Connected Studio: Interesting things are being plotted at the BBC to open up its news archives. Peter Rippon reports on ways they might connected news archive to audiences.

UK Parliament considers allowing secret courts to issue orders to seize reporters' notebooks: The Deregulation Bill could lead to the seizure of journalists' notebooks, photographs and digital files in secret hearings, as opposed to open court as is the case now. Cory Doctorow is alarmed.

The secret to having a successful paywall around your news is simple - it's about community: Mathew Ingram looks at the success of Dutch crowdfunded journalism site De Correspondent, which is bringing in almost $2M per year in subscriptions.

News UK boss critical of Mail and measurement: It's been a week where those who see paywalls as the future of news journalism have been having their say. The Media Blog reports on Mike Darcey, CEO of News UK, criticising the Mail Online business model:

The Mail Online is the embodiment of the school of thought which says flooding the internet with tacky clickbait to attract huge audiences can be profitable while Darcey is clearly a man who believes in ringfencing smaller, more identifiable audiences behind paywalls, such as those imposed on The Sun and The Times.

Tim Franklin, incoming president of the Poynter Institute likewise praises the paywall models of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Have 24-hour news channels had their day?: This Guardian piece by Richard Sambrook and Sean McGuire makes some familiar arguments against 24-hour TV news (filling time when there is no news, becoming out-dated by social media, not really 'live' etc). Sky News' Adam Boulton tweeted angrily in response: "@sambrook's @mediaguardian blog on 24hr news: shoddy inaccurate generalizations timed for @SkyNews 25th but can hardly bear to mention us".

The Syrian opposition is disappearing from Facebook: Facebook's decision to shut down some pages of Syrian opposition has "dealt  significant blow to peaceful activists who have grown reliant on Facebook for communication and uncensored—if bloody and graphic—reporting on the war’s atrocities", reports Michael Pizzi at The Atlantic.

How do hyperlocals contribute to local democracy and what do they need?: Those watching new news trends in the UK are excited by the hyperlocal trend for community-based websites. The Creative Citizens project at at Cardiff University and Birmingham City University has launched a survey aiming to learn more about the pratice and needs of neighbourhood websites.

Over one million TV and radio programmes now available for education: Previously we used to be thrilled when thousands of items were released online - now everyone seems to deal in millions. So one million TV and radio programmes are now available from the UK higher education service BoB National, thanks to collaboration with the BBC. Not available to general users though, alas.