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
add a comment
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
add a comment
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.
add a comment
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.
add a comment
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
add a comment
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.
Google Adwords for Video October 3, 2011Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News, Reviews, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
Tags: Advertising, Google Adwords, Web video
add a comment
The long-awaited Google AdWords for Video is finally here, in beta. Billed as a service that “combines the science of online advertising with the emotional engagement of video” Adwords brings Google’s auction-style advertising to the world of online video.
It’s something that the video community has been expecting ever since Google purchased YouTube in October, 2006. With AdWords for Video, advertisers pay only when their video is viewed; since viewers have to choose to watch the video, that ensures an interested audience.
The system offers four types of placement: In-stream (including pre-, mid-, and post-roll, with an opt-out option after five seconds), in-search (in the viewers’ search results), in-display (showing against similar content), and in-slate (the viewer chooses which ad to view while watching longer-form content). Video ads can show on YouTube or the Google Display Network.
AdWords for Video offers targeting options, so that advertisers can select the group they want to reach. They can target based on demographics, interests, and keywords. They can also choose to display an overlay ad on top of their video, giving more information or prompting an action. The advertising system ties in with Google’s existing analytics tools, so advertisers can monitor performance and make changes, if needed.
Google is offering a simple five-step setup guide for new customers. The steps include linking to an account, creating a campaign, creating an ad, creating a group to target, and then measuring the campaign’s performance. Go here for a ste by step guide to get started or watch Google’s video below:
How The Web Can Change Education July 18, 2011Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Essays, News, Reviews, Trends.
Tags: e-learning, Education, eG8, Lessig, Murdoch
add a comment
by Joanne KY Teoh
The Web has freed people from the “tyranny of time and distance” and is now poised to create a culture for learning innovation, expanding classroom walls to bring the best learning resources for kids of the world.
No surprise Rupert Murdoch of News Corp has been enthusing about the commercial potential of eLearning, using the e-G8 Forum “The Internet: Accelerating Growth” in Paris to talk up the Web’s power to transform education in his presentation.
Of course, Murdoch lauds commercial educational initiatives and products while ignoring Open Access resources like MIT OpenCourseWare, and many others. While one should beware ruthless tycoons peddling their wares, the point is that even Murdoch sees the future of education, and his words are accurate in many respects.
If schools today have not changed much, and the classroom is still defined by a teacher with a book and a blackboard, what should change? Computers aren’t enough. Software that engage students are also critical. If possible, equip students with tablets to let them become more interactive in their learning.
Digital technology allows for personalized or individualized learning. Students can work at their own pace with online tutors and videos featuring, for example, master teachers from anywhere in the world to monitor each student’s performance.
What does it look like when the Web positively impacts the daily practice of a learning community through communication and collaboration? Some schools have shifted their thinking to transform best practices, utilize project-based learning activities, and implement school communication initiatives that involve blogging, wikis, and social networking tools.
Education and creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson also criticized outdated schools in his classical 2008 A Change of Paradigms lecture at the Royal Society of Art. But he addressed technology from the viewpoint of its effect on cognition and culture, and how educational politics should take this into account. Certainly a more fruitful and far-sighted approach than Murdoch’s promotion of exclusively commercial tech solutions.
Animation: Changing Education Paradigms by Sir Ken Robinson
While Murdoch advocates for less government in education as a software seller, Lawrence Lessig advocates socially ethical “less government.” Below is a video of his e-G8 keynote which focuses on his slides.
We should say to modern democratic government, you need to beware of incumbents bearing policy fixes. Because their job, the job of the incumbents, is not the same as your job, the job of the public policy maker.
Their job is profit for them. Your job is the public good. And it is completely fair, for us to say, that until this addiction is solved, we should insist on minimalism in what government does.
The kind of minimalism Jeff Jarvis spoke off when he spoke of “do no harm”. An Internet that embraces principles of open and free access, a neutral network to guarantee this open access, to protect the outsider.
But here is the one thing we know about this meeting, and its relationship to the future of the internet. The future of the internet is not Twitter, it is not Facebook, it is not Google, it is not even Rupert Murdoch.
The future of the internet is not here. It wasn’t invited, it does not even know how to be invited, because it doesn’t yet focus on policies and fora like this. The least we can do is to preserve the architecture of this network that protects this future that is not here.
Lawrence Lessig, Professor, Harvard Law School
Hockney iPad Doodles Debut in Paris October 23, 2010Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Journalism, News, Trends.
Tags: David Hockney, digital art, Fleurs Fraiches, Fresh Flowers, iPad
add a comment
One of the most influential artists of the 20th century is helping to herald a new movement: digital art. British artist David Hockney opened an exhibition at the Fondation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent in Paris – harnessing mobile technology to draw the most traditional of artist’s subjects, the still life.
The computer-generated botanicals in Fleurs Fraiches (Fresh Flowers) feature iPhones, iPads and iPod touches bearing images of flowers created by Hockney using the Brushes app in his home in East Yorkshire in the UK.
David Hockney with iPhone on an easel in his London studio
Three of Hockney’s iPad drawings
The flowers are indeed fresh – Hockney will email new images of the blooms for the duration of the exhibition to help ensure the exhibit is always fresh with new images. Dozens of the apparatuses are bolted onto the walls, their flat screens aglow with art. So if you fancy braving strikers in Paris, the exhibition runs until 30 Jan 2011.
Hockney gained renown in the 1960s as a member of the Pop Art movement. He discovered Brushes 18 months ago after getting an iPhone and then iPad, and started doodling with his thumb to build images of flowers on the screen. He would email the images to his friends.
Among friends who got the emails was curator and cultural historian Charlie Scheips, who immediately saw the potential for an exhibit. An innovative exhibit are six animations showing Hockney’s creative process in fast motion. Days before his show, Hockney was filmed painting the Eiffel Tower on his iPad at the Hotel Lutetia. That mini-documentary has been added to the show’s lineup
Fleurs Fraiches opening cocktail at the Tokyo Art Club in Paris
With the iPad, I use my fingers to zoom in for details, then zoom back out. There’s magic in an iPad. It’s the same magic that’s in pencil or pen or brushes. With this show, one of the great difficulties was, how will people see the paintings? When I sent them personally, on an iPhone, I knew people would be holding the iPhone in their hand, and that my hand made the paintings in that size.
When you put an iPhone on a wall, it’s a bit too small. Twenty iPads look good together on a wall, but 100 together are a little too bright. We tried that in England. The way it’s done here, on a mixture of screens, some measuring up to four-and-a-half meters, they really glow marvelously. You don’t see any pixels.
David Hockney, Artist
Brushes has become something of a Web phenomenon with its own blog, Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as a dedicated Flickr group where Brushes artists can share their work. Portuguese illustrator, photographer and graphic designer Jorge Colombo has even used the app to paint a number of covers for The New Yorker magazine.