Some more stories on journalism and change to follow


I’ll be first to admit that I might never get round to finishing this Jeff Jarvis article. I’ve started hundreds, promised that I’ll read the whole thing, but rarely if ever do. But I always want to put the article aside to spend more time reading and thinking about what he is saying. This looks like a cracker.

Artificial Intelligence & Real Journalism

While our brains still matter, I’d like your help in brainstorming the opportunities artificial intelligence, deep learning, et al hold for journalism. I’m asking this of my students and asking for your help in that.

I organize my thinking about the roles AI can play into these buckets:

For the journalist: gathering, sourcing, and analyzing information.

  • For the public: making information relevant and presenting it.
  • And for both: a feedback loop that should become not the end of the process of journalism but instead the start — that is, using these new tools to better discern and serve the public’s needs and wants.


My buckets are a variation on Nick Diakopoulos’ useful and succinct roadmap for innovation in computational journalism, in which he identifies four tasks: information gathering, organization and sense-making, communication and presentation, and dissemination and public response.

Well that’s how it starts. I promise I will go back to it … just as a personal challenge. It’s here on Medium

Facebook Live and other streaming tools for journalists

Facebook – oh how I hate Facebook. I hate it’s omnipresence, the dominance, and oh so much more. But they do a lot of useful and interesting things, the most recent is Facebook Live which of course is not new, but a variation on Livestream (and one assumes, easier). There have been several applications for computers and mobiles; I still have Ustream on my iPad and have used others. There’s Periscope from Twitter and others like Meerkat and Hang W/ (here’s a useful list). But Facebook will dominate – won’t it?

Facebook has managed to at one moment challenge legacy media particularly online news services, then engage with it. Now they are offering their tools to news organisations. ….. “Facebook wants news organizations to use Facebook Live, and it’s paying some of them to do it” reports Poynter

And talking of Poynter it is a fantastic resource, filled with great analyses, tips and ideas for any journalist, but particularly new, young journalists and students. Like this:

“Stop asking so many questions, don’t forget the kicker and other tips from Pulitzer Prize winners”.

Here’s an excerpt

Tom French was getting ready to leave the police station when an old sergeant at the front motioned for him to wait.

French, then a reporter at the Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times, finally looked at the man in front of him. The man wasn’t wearing a shirt. His body was shaking. Over one shoulder, French could see the man was splattered with blood. The man had just killed his girlfriend with a machete. He was turning himself in.

French wrote the story that day. After it ran, some friends in the newsroom thought he’d missed an opportunity by not interviewing the man.

“I don’t agree,” said French, who won a Pulitzer for feature writing in 1998. “I didn’t agree then and I don’t agree now…I don’t know what answer he could have given that was more profound that what I saw. His trembling was his testimony.”

Many journalists are more comfortable with a quote from someone with a title at a press conference than they are sharing what they witnessed themselves. Interviews are important, but we also need to remember to observe, said French, now a professor at Indiana University’s Media School.

“You can have something right in front of you, and you can think that you’re good at seeing things, but you miss everything.”

Is the future on online journalism just listicles and “content marketing”?

No! Although there is far too much of that sort of thing anyway. And I hope the future of popular print news will not be what it seems to be now – fear, exaggeration and down right lies! But that rant for another time. Here’s the positive story. There is more to new emerging media. Yes, even INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM (read more here – Digital Digging: How Fusion is producing investigative journalism for the Jon Stewart generation) And even (what apparently called “DEEP DIVES”. <shiver> uuuugggh! </shiver>

But shivers aside this is an interesting – and appropriately longish article on Mashable.

Lara Setrakian is 33 and ready to change the news industry. Again.

Three years ago, she co-founded News Deeply, a media company centered on subject-based deep dives into major news stories.

The Syria-focused edition of her site emerged out of nowhere in December 2012 to become one of the go-to resources for information and context on the growing conflict. It followed that up with another site that focused on the Ebola outbreak in Africa. Then came the Arctic.


That’s enough for one post – almost into Jeff Jarvis length this time.

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