Web Journalists Should Learn Code October 29, 2012Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Education, Journalism, Multimedia, News, Trends.
by Joanne KY Teoh
It’s more than digging up the dirt – journalists today need to get their hands dirty with a little code. How well are J-schools preparing their grads for the real world as digital journalism products move online?
From crafting a good lead for the front page, to building a story for a Web page, knowing how to code is an essential skill if prospective journalists want to become better and employable multimedia storytellers in the digital media age.
Traditional storytellers at heart, many journalist balk at the idea of coding. Textbooks of arcane code remind them why they chose to study the 5Ws and H of journalism instead of computer science or engineering.
HTML: A markup language to outline the structure and content of the page.
CSS: A style language to tell the website how the layout, fonts and colors should look.
Learning how to build online interactive packages gives journalists a better understanding of how Web journalism is created and how they can enhance print or broadcast stories.
As with all multimedia skills, journalists are more likely to be invested in the technical process if they have an idea of what is possible.
Many journalism jobs now require someone who has both coding skills and writing experience, the latter of which many traditional computer programmers lack, giving the coding journalist an advantage.
Journalists with computer programming skills are in demand at media and technology companies. They analyze data for journalistic research, visualize data for news websites, implement content management systems, develop Web applications and oversee the creation of digital media products.
Several journalism fellowships and trainee programs are looking for journalists with programming knowledge. You can have the skills to apply for an opportunity to receive funding for your own cutting edge journalism projects.
The time is now for future journalists to learn about code. We need to innovate our curricula, really looking at what we are teaching our students. Learning, or mastering, specific software is not properly preparing our future journalists for successful, life-long careers. No one can learn digital storytelling in a semester.
Mastering Dreamweaver and Flash isn’t very future-friendly, and having a single mid-level “Online Journalism” course offered as an elective does more harm than good. We should be teaching code in all of our journalism courses — each semester, each year, until graduation.
Executive Director, Knight News Innovation Lab, Northwestern University
Newsrooms today need help to make cool news apps to complement and help build on their digital stories. PBS MediaShift Idea Lab talked to developers working in the news business to get their take on why they wanted to code in the newsroom.
Employers expect students coming out of J-schools to know the basics of video, audio and Web coding at a minimum, and be well-versed in mobile journalism and social media. J-schools need to integrate coding 101 as a core course so students grasp how Web pages and computers deal with their stories.
Journalists of the Youtube generation are already proficient in these skills. It’s the traditionalists and Luddites who are code-challenged. There has never been an easier time to learn coding. Check out these free or near free online coursework from Codecademy, the MIT/Harvard EdX program or Coursera and Google Code University
Where the Internet Lives October 18, 2012Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, News, Online Video, Trends.
Tags: data-centers, Google, Internet
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Google has provided the most comprehensive look yet inside its mighty Internet infrastructure. The largest search engine in the world has released a portfolio of images offering a rare glimpse into the secret world of the vast data centers powering its online information empire.
These centers handle well over 50 thousand servers that power the services we use every day – 20 billion web pages indexed, 3 billion searches, and 425 million Gmail users daily. To kick this tour off permanently, Google has launched a Website called Where the Internet Lives.
The site shows images from all of Google’s 12 data centers and let you meet the staff who run them. Check out one of their data center via Street View technology:
For a more thorough look inside Google’s cloud factories, the search giant has granted a CBS News crew unprecedented access to its Lenoir, North Carolina data center for a tour of facilities the tech giant once refused to acknowledge even existed. Take a walk through the Lenoir data center here.
For years, Google refused to acknowledge these data centers even existed and all visitors have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Every person entering and leaving is tracked and if more than one person enters the doors at once, alarms sound.
TED-Ed Lessons in New Video Site April 30, 2012Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News, Reviews, Web Video, YouTube.
Tags: Education, online videos, TED, TED-Ed
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TED videos have always been educational. For years, the non-profit group behind the thought-provoking TED Talks that touch on issues in Technology, Entertainment, and Design has fulfilled its mission of spreading ideas and inspiration through conferences, media and research fellowships.
As we shift from creating, curating and consuming content offline to online, TED’s initiative, TED-Ed is an affirmation of video as a 21st Century vernacular and its evolutionary role in the modern multimedia classroom.
TED-Ed gives educators a toolkit to rethink the traditional notion of teacher and student by sharing lessons and inspiration with anyone willing to learn or teach, within or outside the classroom.
TED-Ed.com, still in beta, was launched last week. It is the second phase of a project that started in March with an education channel on YouTube to combine exceptional teaching with eye-catching animations to make captivating lessons available to anyone on the Web:
Test Driving TED-Ed
The videos are impressive enough. But it’s the tech driving them that wows. The elegantly simple Website offers a structured avenue for repurposing content by allowing teachers to “flip” any video from TED-Ed and YouTube into a sharable lesson ripe with quizzes, links to additional info and animations.
This means teachers can customise lessons around any embeddable video and pipe the information onto a private Webpage whose access permissions could be individually set to track that lesson.
The best lessons may be showcased on TED-Ed, contributing to a collection of multimedia teaching best practices as more users take advantage of it.
The Future of Online Education
Think Khan Academy on steroids (Salman Khan is a TED-Ed advisor), and you’ll have an idea of what TED-Ed is shooting for, and why it could become a game-changing platform for education.
Online videos of “TED Talks” have attracted a global following, with TED presenters bringing brain power to mind-tickling spins on concepts as weighty as climate change or as playful as dance and music.
Now, teaming talented educators with talented visual storytellers to create fun multimedia, TED-Ed has set out to make learning irresistible by empowering educators to transform a passive academic experience into an interactive one.
The open source platform lets instructors incorporate pre-made videos from TED with any clips from YouTube into their lessons. This means any video from YouTube can be turned into a lesson – completely free. The implications of this for online education bear watching.
We want to show that learning can be thrilling. By turning great lessons into vivid scholastic tools, these TED-Ed videos are designed to catalyze curiosity.
Our longer term dream is that we will be able to aggregate the best lessons that teachers create and share them with a wider audience.
Views of educational content on YouTube doubled in the last year, according to the leading video sharing service. TED-Ed videos join more than a half-million education-themed videos on dedicated pages of YouTube.
TED is gearing up for a full launch of TED-Ed, timed with the new school year in September. Directed by Logan Smalley, a former TED Fellow with a background in documentary work, the project is backed by a US$1.25 million commitment from American department store chain Kohl’s.
Online Video Increasingly Used as a Teaching Aid
Schools Increasingly Friendly to Online Education Options
Infographic Series on Crisis Facing US Higher Education
Top US universities put their reputations online – BBC
Screentest for the online classroom – BBC
Great Journalism Thrives on the Web April 20, 2012Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, News, Trends.
Tags: David Wood, Huffington, online news, Politico, Pulitzer
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by Joanne KY Teoh
Movies have Oscars, cultural and scientific advances have Nobel Prizes. As far as awards go in media, nothing carries more cred than a Pulitzer.
Self-declared “Internet newspaper” Huffington Post, one of the most controversial players in online media, has been breaking out the bubbly after taking a step into respectability by winning a Pulitzer Prize, the traditional standard of journalistic excellence. (Yes, it earned the cred, not just link to one.)
This first Pulitzer for the seven-year-old Huffington Post is a milestone for the popular AOL-owned news site, often derided as an aggregator that built its audience by recycling the journalism of other outlets and sourcing free content from bloggers.
Huff Post’s senior military correspondent David Wood won a Pulitzer for national reporting for his 10-part series on the struggles of wounded American soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, “Beyond the Battlefield.”
Wood, 66 is not any Millennial Gen geek remixing multimedia assets or trawling Google News for trendy stories to repurpose for search engine optimisation. He was previously a Pulitzer finalist and has covered conflicts in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Central America.
Wood’s piece was not aggregated from other sources around the Web. While his Pulitzer legitimises the aggressive Web-native editorial approach of Huff Post, it is important to remember the team of editors, proof-readers and reporters behind the high-calibre journalism of the series that typifies traditional print media.
We are delighted and deeply honored by the award, which recognizes both David’s exemplary piece of purposeful journalism and HuffPost’s commitment to original reporting that affects both the national conversation and the lives of real people…
…One of the core pillars of HuffPost’s editorial philosophy has been to use narrative and storytelling to put flesh and blood on data and statistics, and to help bear witness to the struggles faced by millions of Americans.
President and editor-in-chief
Huffington Post Media Group.
Huffington says the site will continue doing multi-part series on big issues. It currently has 26 reporters working on a series on poverty in America.
Huff Post has differentiated itself from being only an aggregator to a site that has attracted eminent journalists and added them on top of its formula of sourced content. As Websites go, this editorial model makes smart business sense and is being emulated by newer sites, like Business Insider.
The real differentiator between old media and new is how we relate to and interact with our audience. We see it as setting the table for an ongoing discussion that we plan to stay on for a long time.
Executive editor of the Huff Post.
This year’s Pulitzers broke with tradition by honouring two primarily online publications, Politico and Huffington Post. The prizes were restricted to print newspapers until 2008 and now include text-based “online news sites,” as opposed to “online news magazines” or websites for TV or radio stations.
As the business of producing and consuming information offline shifts to online, no other industry is as vulnerable to disruption as journalism. This Pulitzer is an acknowledgment by the industry of the seismic shifts in digital journalism.
The easy narrative is that online news and blog sites have finally made it on the Internet, once a source for memes and cat videos. With the global jury still out on whether non-traditional news sites have finally arrived, a Pulitzer is surely a great nod to the great journalism thriving on the Web.
Making Cell-Phone Documentaries April 4, 2012Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
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The explosion in the number of video-recording devices is making every moment in our lives eminently recordable. The smartphone is already creating a new form: the cell-phone documentary.
And there have been some notable ones. The first of the best had less to do with convenience or cost than with stealth.
Tehran Without Permission is a landmark work in this respect, a documentary shot by filmmaker Sepideh Farsi on a Nokia N95 phone.
If you have a smartphone and are itching to use it for filmmaking, below is a quick, no-nonsense instructional video to get started.
Old Media Is Embracing Web Video April 2, 2012Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, News, Trends, Web Video.
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Leading publishers, broadcasters, and advertisers are embracing Web video as the online visual news explosion impacts their business models.
At the recent Streaming Media West conference in Los Angeles, Richard Tanner, senior producer of video at The New York Times, spoke on how the paper of record is adapting to new media by changing a corporate culture entrenched in print.
To learn how the NYT Web Video Unit started creating online original content in 2006, watch the full video below.
This session discusses how converging media technologies are redefining traditional distribution methods, how interactive and on-demand services are changing, and how entertainment and news video are being consumed on new platforms.
Moderator: Troy Dreier, Senior Associate Editor, StreamingMedia.com
Speaker: Richard Tanner, Senior Producer, Video, The New York Times
Speaker: Jeff Freund, VP, GM, Web Content Management Group, Limelight Networks
Speaker: Marco Parente, Sr. Product Manager, Video, The Nielsen Company
Speaker: Darren Feher, CEO, Conviva
Blogger Launches E-Book Venture February 8, 2012Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Journalism, News, Trends.
Tags: content, e-books, Publishing
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Indie e-bookstores may be the next big thing. Lifehacker editor Jason Chen has left Gawker Media to launch an e-bookstore of his own, StoryBundle. He joins former Gawker editor Emily Gould and GigaOm’s Michael Wolf who launched their own e-book ventures in recent months.
Chen believes “making things easy to buy, easy to get and easy to consume will be the key to StoryBundle’s success. He will sell bundles of DRM-free e-books under a pay-what-you-want plan, with the average price of a bundle around $5 in most cases.
Chen is modeling StoryBundle after “Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX), Rdio, Steam and indie game bundles” — particularly Humble Bundle for games—that “deliver content without having a bunch of physical stores get in the way.” He is “publishing in all genres” and plans “themed bundles of different genres down the line.”
StoryBundle is most unorthodox in the way it charges for content and the way it pays authors. First of all, readers pay what they want for a bundle of e-books. Not only do they decide how much they want to pay, they decide which percentage of that payment they want to go actually go to the authors.
That payment is split among all the authors in the bundle. They designate the remaining percentage of their payment “to charity and to keep the site running.” Readers can choose to give 100 percent of their payment to the authors.
Reuters TV Launches On YouTube January 17, 2012Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News.
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YouTube has boosted its premium channel lineup with a Reuters TV partnership. Adding a hard news channel is part of the push by YouTube to create new original content destinations. Reuters TV will offer programs devoted to news and analysis, and will cover breaking events, finance, politics, technology, and special investigations.
Reuters has chosen an editing style for its online videos that looks more at home on the Web and should appeal to younger viewers. It carefully avoids mimicking the look of traditional TV news. Channel videos will also be used on Reuters.com.
This deal with YouTube gives Reuters a way to showcase our collection of talented journalists and compelling video from around the world. It will offer unique insights and images that other media companies simply can’t match.
Dan Colarusso, Global Head, Programming at Reuters
Reuters TV will offer 10 original shows that should bring plenty of exclusive video and attention to YouTube. The shows developed by TV news veteran and Reuters global executive producer Barclay Palmer, will feature highly produced reports and commentary from many of Reuters nearly 3,000 journalists around the world. They include:
Reuters Investigates, featuring investigative journalism and special reports from around the world, in coordination with Reuters award-winning Enterprise unit.
The Trail, with Reuters political reporters covering the presidential candidates on the campaign trail.
Felix TV, with Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon, named by Time magazine one of the top 25 financial bloggers.
Media Bite, featuring Peter Lauria, editor of technology, media and telecommunications, and his team of reporters covering a media world experiencing massive change.
Tech Tonic, with Anthony De Rosa, Reuters Digital’s social media editor, dubbed by The New York Times “the undisputed king of Tumblr.”
Freeland File, with Reuters Digital editor Chrystia Freeland interviewing top news-makers.
Fast Forward, hosted by Chrystia Freeland and featuring Reuters’ top commentators and journalists
Money Clip, with Lauren Young, personal finance editor and former editor at BusinessWeek and SmartMoney.
Rough Cuts, with Jen Rogers, showcasing the remarkable news video that Reuters video journalists shoot around the world, allowing viewers to see and hear that video in greater depth than most television networks can offer.
Decoder, explaining in succinct and surprising ways the key topics in the news, ranging from the debt ceiling to the Strait of Hormuz.
Reuters TV is the biggest news channel among the push by YouTube to create new content channels. Having Reuters among its lineup shows the leading video site is more than just a destination for quick entertainment.
The Reuters website gets over 40 million unique visitors each month. It is the biggest news provider among the nearly 100 partners YouTube is working with as it creates original Web-based programming and reinvents itself as a channel-based video site. YouTube counts 800 million users, collectively watching 3 billion hours of online video each month. That’s 30 minutes for every human on earth.
Also recently launched is the Young Hollywood Network, a YouTube channel that focuses on exclusive sit-down interviews with buzzed-about young celebrities. Other original content channel partnerships include Madonna’s DanceOn, World Wrestling Entertainment’s Fan Nation, and exclusive bits from the Onion News Network.
Presenting the keynote for the CES Entertainment Matters program, which highlights the convergence of entertainment and technology, YouTube VP of global content Robert Kyncl looked back at how YouTube has changed the industry.
From a world with four television channels in the 1970s, viewers now have nearly endless viewing options on TV and online. This is all possible because a closed system is now opening up. The rise of mobile devices has spread the growth of YouTube, as has social network sharing.
Webs@Work 2011 In Review January 1, 2012Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News.
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 30,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.