“DataStore: Fact are sacred” is the subhead on the new data site, and that is the exact statement CP Scott, the Guardian founding editor, said in his first editorial in 1821: “comment is free, but facts are sacred”.
A New York-based research firm has been offering cash to reporters who are willing to give their opinions on their area of expertise, the Washington Post reported. PFC Opinion Research is looking for journalists who cover the energy sector and is proposing to pay them $250 to answer questions for about 25 minutes, specified the Post.
How can journalists best make use of the US Census Bureau data? asks Poynter’sAl Tompkins. Every ten years, the Census Bureau releases detailed statistics about the US population: this year, the first data to be released was on the populations of the states and the percentage change in the last ten years, which is used to apportion seats in Congress.
“Newspaper advertising revenue fell more – more than two to three times as much in percentage terms – during the 2008-2009 recession than during the two worst previous recessions for newspapers since World War II, in 1991 and 2001”, he says, pointing out that what newspapers did to counter weakening advertising revenue was not sufficient indeed.
Investigative journalism nonprofitProPublica has just announced that it is to partner with New York University’s Carter Journalism Institute and professor Jay Rosen to explore how to use the web to do better explanatory journalism. The project site, Explainer.Net, will be edited by students of Rosen’s Studio 20 program, which is focused on innovations in journalism.
Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at New York University, runs a program called Studio 20 that aims to teach students all aspects of a journalism business. News outlets used to want journalism schools to churn out people who could be easily plugged into their system and who “wouldn’t land them in court,” Rosen said. But now, j-schools are increasingly becoming R&D labs.
One such project is the Authoring Engine (also known as Stats Monkey), Owen Youngman, Knight Chair for Digital Innovation at the Medill School of Journalism told participants of the World Editors Forum study tour. What this software can do, he explained, is take the raw data of a baseball game, for example – line scores, box scores, play by play – and automatically generate a simple news story.
“Perhaps the most striking change for journalism schools is the degree to which we have shifted from being learning labs whose actual journalism (if any) was limited in its distribution and impact, to being significant — even major — media players in our communities”. As Overholser underlines, journalism schools across the United States are focusing on making substantial contributions toward filling the holes left by the hollowing out of local “legacy” media.
As news organisations make cutbacks, photojournalists, many of whom are freelancers, have been struggling to find enough commissions. Co-founded by Tina Ahrens, a photo editor and consultant, Karim Ben Khelifa, a photojournalist and Fanuel Dewever, a business consultant, Emphas.is is seeking a new funding model for photojournalism, an often costly and time-consuming trade.
from Editors Weblog – all postings by Federica Cherubini
In the New York Times, Brian Stelter tried to take the stock of the US news coverage of the Afghan. “As the Obama administration conducted an Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy review this month, the news media did too, and the coverage came peppered with question marks”, he said.
Poynter’s Adam Hochberg has studied StatSheet, a small company that turns sports statistics into articles, just using computers. Having launched in November, StatSheet has created a network of 345 websites (so far), each devoted to a different US university’s basketball team. The company’s proprietary software takes the statistics and box scores and creates text about each game.