Posts tagged innovation

Anthony De Rosa on API Virtue

In this video, we take advantage of Anthony De Rosa’s experience at Reuters to examine how larger news organizations struggle and hope to adapt to major shifts in the media industry.

Near the center of it at Reuters is De Rosa as Social Media Editor (and host at ReutersTV), where he helped figure out how API’s can be best used to distribute Reuters content. Here, he explains what APIs are and why they will play a more integral part of the News industry.

By consolidating content from both multiple sources and among differing mediums, APIs let organizations do more than just publish written pieces and slideshows. They allow them to make a more full use of the Internet.

For more of our videos with Anthony and others in the media industry, see TheFJP.org.

AP to Publish News on Restaurant Receipts
Interesting, no? From now on, whenever you dine at the Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C., your receipt will contain the news you’ve missed over the course of the meal.
From their press release:

The printed updates have several advantages in this venue over the smartphone, providing access to the news without people becoming absorbed in their devices at the same time contributing to table conversation and interaction.

Image: Press Release.

AP to Publish News on Restaurant Receipts

Interesting, no? From now on, whenever you dine at the Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C., your receipt will contain the news you’ve missed over the course of the meal.

From their press release:

The printed updates have several advantages in this venue over the smartphone, providing access to the news without people becoming absorbed in their devices at the same time contributing to table conversation and interaction.

Image: Press Release.

Anthony De Rosa on Social Curation

New at TheFJP.org:

In this video, Reuters’ Anthony De Rosa describes the new position of social curation in digital newsrooms. Citing examples like Andy Carvin’s work retweeting and verifying citizen uploaded information across the Arab Spring, De Rosa describes the job of covering social networks as a vital way to keep up with breaking events when you’re sitting halfway across the world.

Breaking news, for the most part, breaks on social media. But it’s not as easy as reading a wire — there have to be people to fact check, double check, and compile the best information from the millions of other uploads that may be misleading, incorrect, or otherwise irrelevant.

See other FJP videos with Anthony here, and be sure to explore TheFJP.org — our new home for video and other (awesome) things.

Even robots have biases.

Any decision process, whether human or algorithm, about what to include, exclude, or emphasize — processes of which Google News has many — has the potential to introduce bias. What’s interesting in terms of algorithms though is that the decision criteria available to the algorithm may appear innocuous while at the same time resulting in output that is perceived as biased.

Nick Diakopoulos, Nieman Lab. Understanding bias in computational news media.

Whether the cause is ideological or systematic, the outcome is, for now, the same: algorithms appear to be as biased as editors in their sorting of news. Click the link to read on, and see more about its author here.

For Students: a New Multimedia Storytelling Competition
From the multimedia magazine the Atavist. Beginning January 1, 2013, students are invited to participate in the above competition by submitting a long-form, nonfiction story that isn’t just writing — the judges want to see photography, video, narration and illustrations. Whatever’s appropriate and fits into the Atavist’s editorial platform.
There are openings for high school, college and grad students. Enter here, and good luck.

For Students: a New Multimedia Storytelling Competition

From the multimedia magazine the Atavist. Beginning January 1, 2013, students are invited to participate in the above competition by submitting a long-form, nonfiction story that isn’t just writing — the judges want to see photography, video, narration and illustrations. Whatever’s appropriate and fits into the Atavist’s editorial platform.

There are openings for high school, college and grad students. Enter here, and good luck.

New Journalism Startup Combines News, Comics
Symbolia’s a new magazine that tells the news through illustrations. Sources are drawn, and quotes get their own speech balloons.
Their first issue is available for free download now, covering the Zambian Psychadelic Rock, Iraqi Kurds, zoology in the Congo and California’s Salton Sea. They feel, in most cases, like longform reads.
It’s really meant for iPads, though you can download a PDF version. Future issues will be priced at $1.99, and Symbolia plans to publish six a year. Android fans will have to wait, Symbolia people said today, but they’ll begin publishing Ebooks in the Android Marketplace.

New Journalism Startup Combines News, Comics

Symbolia’s a new magazine that tells the news through illustrations. Sources are drawn, and quotes get their own speech balloons.

Their first issue is available for free download now, covering the Zambian Psychadelic Rock, Iraqi Kurds, zoology in the Congo and California’s Salton Sea. They feel, in most cases, like longform reads.

It’s really meant for iPads, though you can download a PDF version. Future issues will be priced at $1.99, and Symbolia plans to publish six a year. Android fans will have to wait, Symbolia people said today, but they’ll begin publishing Ebooks in the Android Marketplace.

Syria Deeply, Beat Page of the Future
It’s an incredible idea: one site, one beat. No front page. No sports, no business or finance, anywhere. It’s called Syria Deeply.
It’s about 25% original content, written by veteran Middle East correspondent Lara Setrakian and friends. The rest is aggregated and includes interactives, maps, and contextual material aimed to catch people up on the story without pointing them off site.
From FastCompany:

From a taxonomy perspective, Syria Deeply is the opposite of most news sites. In a traditional news taxonomy, information is divided by broad topics, like World News. Each topic is divided into subsections, like the Middle East. Each subsection is then often divided into even smaller subsections, like Syria. Each section gets smaller and smaller. Topic pages live in obscure ghettos on many news websites: auto-aggregated and ugly dumping grounds for content that happens to be tagged with particular keywords.
On Syria Deeply (designed by Brock Petrie and developed by Soumyadeep Paul and Arindam Biswas, who runs Collective Zen) the topic page is the homepage. Setrakian’s hope is that this site-wide focus on a single beat will allow for deeper, more thoughtful reporting.

FJP: Looks extremely promising.

Syria Deeply, Beat Page of the Future

It’s an incredible idea: one site, one beat. No front page. No sports, no business or finance, anywhere. It’s called Syria Deeply.

It’s about 25% original content, written by veteran Middle East correspondent Lara Setrakian and friends. The rest is aggregated and includes interactives, maps, and contextual material aimed to catch people up on the story without pointing them off site.

From FastCompany:

From a taxonomy perspective, Syria Deeply is the opposite of most news sites. In a traditional news taxonomy, information is divided by broad topics, like World News. Each topic is divided into subsections, like the Middle East. Each subsection is then often divided into even smaller subsections, like Syria. Each section gets smaller and smaller. Topic pages live in obscure ghettos on many news websites: auto-aggregated and ugly dumping grounds for content that happens to be tagged with particular keywords.

On Syria Deeply (designed by Brock Petrie and developed by Soumyadeep Paul and Arindam Biswas, who runs Collective Zen) the topic page is the homepage. Setrakian’s hope is that this site-wide focus on a single beat will allow for deeper, more thoughtful reporting.

FJP: Looks extremely promising.

Anthony De Rosa: Why Newsrooms Should Poach Tech and Startup Talent

Anthony De Rosa is Reuters’ Social Media Editor, where he’s also a columnist and host at ReutersTV. We sat down with him to discuss where the tech and news communities meet and, increasingly, overlap.

Being that the news industry has more than a few business problems these days, Anthony suggests hiring outside help. By choosing Craigslist, Groupon and Facebook as examples of places from which to steal employees, De Rosa makes a solid point: go where the success is, and learn from the people that have done smart things in the more turbulent and burgeoning media landscapes.

Anthony also discusses what news life is like at Reuters, which we’ll dive into in more detail over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

And for more FJP videos, see our new site, theFJP.org.

The Making of ProPublica’s Pipeline Safety Feature
Here’s a great example of data and journalism love.
The above link will take you to Lena Greoger's first hand account of how she's used a dataset to compliment her reporting. Lena made ProPublica's Pipeline Explainer, which makes sense of 26 years worth of records on pipeline-related accidents — explosions, leaks, fires, and spills. From the data set, which gave her the dates, cost, deaths and locations of the incidents, Lena created an interactive map so readers can find the incidents closest to their homes.

The Making of ProPublica’s Pipeline Safety Feature

Here’s a great example of data and journalism love.

The above link will take you to Lena Greoger's first hand account of how she's used a dataset to compliment her reporting. Lena made ProPublica's Pipeline Explainer, which makes sense of 26 years worth of records on pipeline-related accidents — explosions, leaks, fires, and spills. From the data set, which gave her the dates, cost, deaths and locations of the incidents, Lena created an interactive map so readers can find the incidents closest to their homes.

MOOCs condense and fracture course material and present it in the pithiest, shallowest form. They lack improvisation, serendipity, and familiarity. They pander to the broadest possible audience because in the MOOC economy—such as it is—enrollment is currency and quality is measured by the number of people who have checked in without subtracting the number who check out.

That’s not to say that MOOCs could not improve greatly, as I trust they will. But the unfounded hyperbole surrounding MOOCs ignores the real outstanding work professors in all fields have been doing integrating digital and multimedia tools into their courses and the outstanding work being done with online courses that have reasonable, controlled enrollments.

Siva Vaidhyanathan, Cato Unbound. A New Era of Unfound Hyperbole.

By MOOCs he means the massive open online courses like those offered through Coursera, UdacityUniversity of the People, etc. — courses that could potentially upset the accreditation system of university education. But don’t take the above quote out of context. Vaidhyanathan doesn’t mean to write that MOOCs are bad or harmful. He writes that the excitement surrounding them may limit their scope.

MOOCs, besides cheapening reducing the cost of education, can be used to do what university courses cannot — reach students outside of the traditional academic world.

Take Clay Shirky’s post on MOOCs from last week:

MOOCs expand the audience for education to people ill-served or completely shut out from the current system, in the same way phonographs expanded the audience for symphonies to people who couldn’t get to a concert hall, and PCs expanded the users of computing power to people who didn’t work in big companies.

YouTube Wins News Innovation Award

Via VentureBeat:

YouTube won a News Innovation Award from the International Center for Journalists last night. Ironically, that’s just a day before the Israeli army used the service, along with Twitter and its own blog, to almost livecast the assassination of a Hamas leader.

YouTube has become a massive news destination, YouTube chief executive Salar Kamangar said in his acceptance speech, with 7000 hours of news-related footage uploaded every single day. Fully a third of searches on YouTube are news-related, and after the March earthquake in Japan this year, the top 20 YouTube videos of the disaster were watched almost 100 million times.

Mitchell Stephens - Rethinking Journalism Education

In this video, NYU Professor Mitchell Stephens tells us what’s wrong with journalism education and how his school and others around the country are fixing it.

Historically, J-School has been unimaginative and rote, but it shouldn’t be (and increasingly isn’t) that way anymore, Mitchell says. Like the experiences of people coming up in other professional fields, J-School students today study the tradition of great journalism, work with an emphasis on experimentation and problem solving, and are encouraged to focus on what interests them most.

See more videos with Professor Stephens here and, for those of us who want to think more about j-school — a video from our talk with CUNY Professor Chris Anderson.

Video Store Psychology
In hindsight it’s obvious that LPs were better than eight-tracks, and that CDs and their walkmans/discmans/what-have-you-mans wouldn’t survive the iPod age. And don’t forget tapes — tapes had no chance.
But what’s more psychologically interesting is the cult of the LP — an obsolete disc, useless without its heavy player. Decades after it was pushed aside by technology and business, there are still people who will buy, say, a Postal Service album on vinyl. Which leads me to my only point today — it’s bloody interesting to see where technologically obsolete, unprofitable items and businesses go after they’ve been swept aside
Yesterday, Atlantic Cities covered the strange fate of the humble, quirky movie rental store. One quote, from a store owner named David Hawkins, catches my eye:

"We’re the new barbershop," he says. "There are fewer places these days just to hang out. Cafes are no longer as social, and if you don’t go to bars there are so few new social gatherings popping up. I worry that if we let all of video stores close, our neighborhoods will be a lot less interesting."

Something like this will happen somewhere in journalism, sometime after we’ve moved  further in the direction of tablets and mobile.
Maybe we’ll dress like our grandparents, order black coffee in a diner and savor the crackle of an old newspaper. Maybe we will read the news in groups and berate the daily me-ness of our devices. Or we may have to become armchair historians, because the newspapers we will have found by then will be among the last to have ever been printed, sometime around five years from now (my prediction.) - Blake

Video Store Psychology

In hindsight it’s obvious that LPs were better than eight-tracks, and that CDs and their walkmans/discmans/what-have-you-mans wouldn’t survive the iPod age. And don’t forget tapes — tapes had no chance.

But what’s more psychologically interesting is the cult of the LP — an obsolete disc, useless without its heavy player. Decades after it was pushed aside by technology and business, there are still people who will buy, say, a Postal Service album on vinyl. Which leads me to my only point today — it’s bloody interesting to see where technologically obsolete, unprofitable items and businesses go after they’ve been swept aside

Yesterday, Atlantic Cities covered the strange fate of the humble, quirky movie rental store. One quote, from a store owner named David Hawkins, catches my eye:

"We’re the new barbershop," he says. "There are fewer places these days just to hang out. Cafes are no longer as social, and if you don’t go to bars there are so few new social gatherings popping up. I worry that if we let all of video stores close, our neighborhoods will be a lot less interesting."

Something like this will happen somewhere in journalism, sometime after we’ve moved  further in the direction of tablets and mobile.

Maybe we’ll dress like our grandparents, order black coffee in a diner and savor the crackle of an old newspaper. Maybe we will read the news in groups and berate the daily me-ness of our devices. Or we may have to become armchair historians, because the newspapers we will have found by then will be among the last to have ever been printed, sometime around five years from now (my prediction.) - Blake

"Info Ladies" Bring Internet to Remote Villages on Bicycle
Part entrepreneur, part public service provider, Info Ladies are young women—usually undergraduates from middle-class rural families—who are recruited by local development group D.Net, trained for three months to use a computer, the Internet, a printer, and a camera, and then helped to secure loans to purchase equipment and bikes. They then take their services to rural Indian villages and charge for their services. 200 takas, the equivalent of $2.40, buys an hour of Skype time, for example.
via AP:

In the neighboring village of Saghata, an Info Lady is 16-year-old Tamanna Islam Dipa’s connection to social media.
"I don’t have any computer, but when the Info Lady comes I use her laptop to chat with my Facebook friends," she said. "We exchange our class notes and sometimes discuss social issues, such as bad effects of child marriage, dowry and sexual abuse of girls."
The Info Ladies also provide a slew of social services — some for a fee and others for free.
They sit with teenage girls where they talk about primary health care and taboo subjects like menstrual hygiene, contraception and HIV. They help villagers seeking government services write complaints to authorities under the country’s newly-enacted Right to Information Act.
They talk to farmers about the correct use of fertilizer and insecticides. For 10 takas (12 cents) they help students fill college application forms online. They’re even trained to test blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Read more from the AP.
Image: via AP

"Info Ladies" Bring Internet to Remote Villages on Bicycle

Part entrepreneur, part public service provider, Info Ladies are young women—usually undergraduates from middle-class rural families—who are recruited by local development group D.Net, trained for three months to use a computer, the Internet, a printer, and a camera, and then helped to secure loans to purchase equipment and bikes. They then take their services to rural Indian villages and charge for their services. 200 takas, the equivalent of $2.40, buys an hour of Skype time, for example.

via AP:

In the neighboring village of Saghata, an Info Lady is 16-year-old Tamanna Islam Dipa’s connection to social media.

"I don’t have any computer, but when the Info Lady comes I use her laptop to chat with my Facebook friends," she said. "We exchange our class notes and sometimes discuss social issues, such as bad effects of child marriage, dowry and sexual abuse of girls."

The Info Ladies also provide a slew of social services — some for a fee and others for free.

They sit with teenage girls where they talk about primary health care and taboo subjects like menstrual hygiene, contraception and HIV. They help villagers seeking government services write complaints to authorities under the country’s newly-enacted Right to Information Act.

They talk to farmers about the correct use of fertilizer and insecticides. For 10 takas (12 cents) they help students fill college application forms online. They’re even trained to test blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Read more from the AP.

Image: via AP