A review of our blog and presentation

March 19, 2009


With our presentation behind us and our final posts in sight, I thought I’d write a blog on what we’ve found out about Multi-platform Delivery. Whilst watching BBC Breakfast this morning – they announced the BBC will be televising the Cambridge v Oxford boat race in 2010 for the first time in six years. The race which has been running for 155 years (2009) will be broadcast not only on television but also on many other platforms – a thing that has NEVER been done. At the moment it’ll be broadcast on television, radio, online and through mobile phones, and I’m sure there will be other platforms that will be utilised nearer the time.

I think this example sums up the main issues I/we have found while doing this blog/presentation. Multi-platform delivery IS here and IS changing the way we consume news, sport and entertainment. Rolling news on various platforms IS the norm now rather than a unique feature. I players, Listen again and Sky Plus are all used and it would be unimaginable to be in a world without them. The way journalists work is also changing and we have to adapt to cope with the demands to compete in a multi-platform world. From speaking to journalists who are doing this NOW, we can see how our jobs are going to be hectic but also arguably more interesting. It also opens many paths in relation to media regulations and ethical decisions which have to be made at greater speed, or on media which has previously been unexplored – such as Twitter (until recently).

I think we used a variety of media platforms to try and explain these points, and I think our teamwork was really good. We could have used more quotes from more famous journalists to highlight our point. After having Sky News’ Robert Kirk watch our Live @5 show, perhaps we could have talked more about the multi-media differences between the Beeb and Sky. Robert was emphasising that Sky journalists are more specialised in a profession (reporting, filming, editing) and this works better for the corporation – whereas the BBC is searching for journalists who are capable of writing, filming and editing across at least three platforms.


Multi-platform Journalists – Regulation and ethics

February 23, 2009


CHRIS: As we’ve discussed during the blog, journalists are expected to multi task in the way the obtain and produce content for different types of media. But does this mean that ethical standards are being affected by the increased for demand of content and the ability to learn about technological advances?

Both BBC Somerset’s Journalist and the CNN Reporter have commented on the lack of time they have. The issue of checking sources and even proof reading your own work are things that may be placed to the side if journalist’s responsibilities increase. This could cast a dark cloud over the profession, if several cases do get highlighted.

Although there has been few current examples, we are at the beginning of this new world in which we will (hopefully) be working in – a media world, that previous journalists have not worked in. I think ethics and regulations should still be of up most importance when writing content for whatever media – otherwise our reliability and reputation is at risk, as a profession.


An interesting comment made by John Lilley today after Live @5 regarding the future of content for different audiences. The BBC and other broadcasters should be aware of different treatments for the variety of audiences. For example an internet treatment would be substantially different to a local feature of BBC Radio. This is should be kept in mind, when re-working a feature/story for different media platform.

Andrew Marr’s prediction – the future of journalism

February 10, 2009

You could argue that British journalism is about to enter a golden age in this new century. After all, it is now a trade almost entirely composed of university-trained graduates, policed by watchdogs, which still sells far more papers and makes more broadcast news bulletins than any comparable European rival. WIth the internet, it has access to more information, faster, than any journalism has ever had before. Because modern communications are so fast and so easy to use, it is probably harder to lie in journalism than it used to be, too… The trouble is, it isn’t working. Newspaper sales have crashed over the past three decades. Paid-for nationals are a million down in the past five years. The audiences for mainstream TV bulletins have fallen too, and the new twenty-four-hour digital news services have not filled the listening and viewing gap.’ (My Trade / Pan Macmillan 2004)

Although it was written four years ago, I think Andrew Marr has a point here- but as with most crystal-ball gazers, simultaneously misses the point. If we look back at the past few years, we’ve seen the beginnings of a new sort of journalism; I believe even in the past two years. It’s all to do with the internet. If you work in an office, you will be in front of a computer. This will give you access to the news; in video, radio, textual or televisual format. All in one, all mere fingertips away. Not only this, but from an inconcievably wide variety of sources as well.

2007 saw the rise of social networking, it was the year of facebook. I remember in that year that facebook was such a phenomena it frequently was the news. First there was the comment on how great it was from columnists, social commentary on how people hooked up with old flames and friends, then came worries over addiction and finally the news started to come in that it was costing businesses money as their workers spent all day poking each other, chatting idly to distant friends and commenting on drunk-night-out photos. Then the businesses banned facebook… before embracing more productive social media ventures such as linked-in.

My point is that around this time people started to seriously ‘live’ online. Socialising in this way created new etiquettes and ways of communicating- and as journalism is based on communication this cannot go un-noticed. The problem is, I don’t believe that people have yet found a way it can truly work. Before you even start thinking about the in-depth analysis and commentary provided by journalists and how that role has to change to embrace the new online life, you have to work out ways in which that becomes financially viable. I wrote about this in my first blog but I really believe that is the problem facing journalism- could the role of the journalist potentially change so much with the rise of citizen journalism that paid ‘career’ journalists simply won’t exist? Journalists could become coders… web designers… funnels for information or something else that just hasn’t been invented yet. Access to media production hardware is becoming cheap to the point where anyone can do it- and they do. Could the future be hyper-local citizen journalists with camera phones, feeding into a global network of news? I think this might have been unforseeable in 2004 when Andrew Marr wrote ‘My Trade’ but is becoming more and more viable by the day. You just can’t predict the future.

Do Journos’ need to be techno geeks?

February 4, 2009


Charles Arthur (who follows technology at the Guardian) and various blogs including Mark Briggs both ephasise how coding is a vital part of modern-day journalism. This doesn’t mean you have to be a techno geek but a vague knowledge of the programes and software is vital. With technological advances, coding will become more important than ever. This combines a different section of multi-platform delivery as technology competent journalists evolve.

Will this be us in a couple years?!

What’s never been done awaits to be done…

February 3, 2009

David Dunkley Gyimah’s blog


I feel like we haven’t really explored the positive and negative points of a multimedia future yet… the role of the journalism may be changing but I haven’t found anyone explicitly embracing the ‘new’ journalism as much as David Dunkley Gyimah- the link above will take you to his ‘Videojournalist Manifesto’. He uses similar language to us, but as we question whether it is even possible to bring all these media together to create cohesive journalism, David is certain that he is a jack of all trades and a master of them all too. The way he describes his duties as a videojournalist, or just the simple fact that he has a manifesto, makes it appear as if he is his job. More than journalists perhaps have been before, David is completely part of his work as a journalist- he has the ability to show what the world is like through his eyes, pictures and words. Just have a look at his recent post about the snow. Click here.

This is a video demonstrating some of the techniques and the individual styles of the emerging and developing role of the video-journalist; immediacy, curiosity and ‘anti-aesthetism’- all through the perspective of a morning run.

The journalist has not necessarily become the story; he carries the story with him and others are able to experience it to a degree unavailable before. These aren’t streamline-edit news packages, nor the imagination and word-pictures necessary with radio, although these styles are useful in their place and of course can be incorporated into this new multimedia journalism. This seems more rough and ready, more ramshackle and eclectic, less finished, less beginning, middle and end. More like real life, you might say.

My job is never done. My camera is my third eye. My camera goes where I go.

Paying for the future

December 7, 2008

I found this blog on where news output is going – snappily called ‘the future of news’ no less. I added it to our blogroll. Two posts caught my eye – ‘will local TV news survive web tv convergence?’ and also ‘googlecreep – from news aggregator to news channel?’

The blog is focussed on the US media but with a decrease of sales in newspapers here in the UK, the idea that local TV news is more profitable and therefore the future is an interesting one. Although the recent decline of itv local news would seem to contradict this, does it not give space for a new form of local online tv news to emerge? Only if the advertising revenue can justify it.

“Metro papers are beginning to fail, and their online publications have not generated ad rates that can support large newsrooms, much less the video capabilities of TV stations. At this point, it looks like local news is going video.”

As more ways of accessing the news become available, issues over where the funding comes from become increasingly tangled – just look at the license fee in this country. When I paid my tv license for the year, I noticed that using the internet is now taxed under the license fee. This makes sense in some respects due to free television content on the BBC iplayer and so on but how long before traditional televison switches to a completely user-generated platform? Will use of the BBC website alone justify the license fee? Well, no, because viewers are likely to watch an ever-increasing range of content from across the world and not stick solely to one beloved source. When this time comes, the BBC might use some sort of paid subscription model for access to all of its content. Whether this works or not is something else so what about other news outlets? Online advertising revenue is still too fragmented to support busy newsrooms.

On to the post about Google.

In an effort to increase their own profits, Google appear to be attempting to centralise all news output. At the moment GoogleNews is still just a portal into other news sites but as The Future of News attests, screening live coverage of events like the Republican convention is direct competition to TV channels. Why bother visiting different sites and agencies when you could just use Google? A completely centralised, globalised, profitable news source. Uh oh.

As a footnote, there is also this.

Archives of 244 years of newspapers available, for free, on Google. News and history convene to simultaneously become more accessible and more profitable.