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.
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.
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
Wikileaks Iraq War Logs October 24, 2010Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, Journalism, News, Web Video.
Tags: Iraq documents, Iraq war logs, Julian Assange, Wikileaks
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Whistle blowing Website WikiLeaks has released nearly 400,000 pages of classified military logs chronicling the Iraq War, despite attempts by the Pentagon to stop the document dump. In the largest leak of its kind in US military history, the logs offer an incomplete, yet graphic portrait of one of the most contentious issues in the Iraq war — how many Iraqi civilians have been killed and by whom.
The documents themselves are known at the Pentagon as ‘SIGACTs,’ raw field reports chronicling “Significant Action” in the conflict as seen by U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq. The archive is the second cache obtained by Wikileaks and made available to news organizations.
Shedding new light on the war, the secret logs allegedly show the US ignored systemic abuse, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers, according to news reports. Der Spiegel, Al-Jazeera News, The Guardian and Le Monde have been collaborating with WikiLeaks on the latest leak.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is ‘a hacker fighting for the freedom of information.’ At 39, the former journalist has built his life around an uncompromising quest for information. He has no home and travels the world with one bag containing his clothes, and another holding his computer. The Iraq papers is the latest stage in a life of action against vested interest.
Wikileaks’ operators and volunteers – five full-timers, and another 1,000 on call – are almost all anonymous. The intentions are laudable – to “allow whistleblowers and journalists who have been censored to get material out to the public.” Who will watch the watchdogs? The Web has its own wisdom, and the crowds will provide the needed context, analysis and background.
Wikileaks’ most high-profile previous success came with the release of a helicopter cockpit video that showed civilians shot in Baghdad. The publicity from video added US$1m to the group’s coffers and prompted more people to come forward with leaks of their own. Read more.
Iraq war logs: WikiLeaks v Washington
Wanted by the CIA: Julian Assange – Wikileaks founder
Wikileaks: How website shines light on world’s darkest secrets
Wikileaks: Web Censorship Won’t Work
iPad, I write, I paint, I am June 11, 2010Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, News, Reviews, Trends.
Tags: Apple, digiart, iPad, storytelling
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Guest post by Michael Ryan Chan in Paris
Print is dying. Bin the dregs of a medium based on dead trees. Good riddance! Once upon a time, book romanticists like me would have shed tears over this capitulation to pixelation. But Apple has bestowed on us a work of art that will redefine our own artistry. Tempted, I took my bite of Apple’s masterpiece at the Louvre in Paris. Voila!
iPad’s minimalist interface – no keyboard or mouse – just direct interaction with documents, is just the device I’ve been waiting for. Let reading begin anew. At once art and utility, this platform to create and consume rich-content stands among icons of engineering design like the Eiffel Tower:
At last, a life of the mind, entirely on dazzling screens, ergonomic keyboards, and blistering modems. Now I paint anew with my fingers on a tablet, tell stories with a tactility in ways unimagined and doodle with touchscreen brushes. I am artist, writer, sculptor – unmediated – all at once. iPad, I am:
It is not easy not to gush at this storytelling device with the bright beautiful screen. Its “frameless window” has already raised the interactive stories I create to a new level. And it will change how I do journalism with its immersive potential, its platform for rich multimedia, and its ability to deliver information based on where it is in the world. I am in good company with David Hockney, iPriest of art:
Famous for his pool paintings set in Los Angeles, the British pop artist has swapped paintbrush to create artwork on iPad. Hailing the device as a new art tool, Hockney sees a transformative effect:
The iPad is far more subtle, in fact it really is like a drawing pad. They will sell by the million. David Hockney
To understand why the iPad is so exciting, we have to think about how we got here since printed books and painted pictures. Historically we have not read long-form text or viewed images on screens. With iPad, we can define when content should be printed or digitized.
This conversation is just beginning for publishers, Web masters, content creators, authors and designers. For people who love beautifully made things. For storytellers willing to take risks and consider the best shape and media for their yarns: