PRESENTING YOUR INVESTIGATION ONLINE. Milos Milosavljevic and Anita Rice In this session, we’ll cover these topics: Changing media landscape Writing for the web and publishing online Social media – researching and dissemination online Questions. DIGITAL MEDIA (Milos).
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Milos Milosavljevic and Anita Rice
In this session, we’ll cover these topics:
The economic crisis has seen the editorial teams of media houses in the region stripped
down to the minimum, particularly in print.
More and more companies are focusing on the web as a publishing AND broadcasting
platform and, consequently, a revenue source.
As such, journalists are expected to be comfortable producing material for online and
print or radio/TV
• Your story lives on beyond the site it is published on – including the Balkan Insight and fellowship website
• Think about key words – what’s likely to get picked up by search engines?
• Make sure all your stories are linked to on your websites and your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts
• Make sure all your contacts know about your stories, and ensure they link to your articles via their websites and Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts
• Use shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs than you would for a broadsheet newspaper
• Word counts are generally much smaller online – users read differently online, they tend to skim pages
• Break down the story into parts – such as timelines, profiles, case studies, quick guides
• Who wants to read a 2,500 word article without pictures? Not many people.
• Ensure you have pictures of key interviewees – just like you would for newspapers and magazines
• Good pictures on the front page of a website entice readers as much as headlines and summary paragraphs – don’t forget getting good general images
Headlines must be short AND
Work hard on your opening paragraphs, here’s
one from last year:
Altin has come home to find a virgin. Tall, good–
looking and in his thirties, he is back from Britain
where he has worked for more than a decade,
seeking an appropriate girl to marry.
But three weeks into his stay at his hometown of
Korce in southern Albania, the hunt is proving
frustrating. “It’s been weeks since I came here and in
four more days I have to go back,” he complains.
Fact boxes and at–a–glance guides save you hundreds of words – use them
For example, Selvije will probably put together a fact file of key events in the three–years
since EULEX came to Kosovo
Juliana will probably produce an at–a–glance guide to asylum legislation in Bulgaria and
compare to EU directives
You can’t show everything on one page so keep fact boxes short
However, you can put ‘teasers’ into your text that lead the reader to related material, such as
sidebars/side stories, picture galleries, etc.
See the teasers on the right hand side for the interactive map, video and photo gallery on this story:
FILING STORY ELEMENTS BY 31 JULY
You will have to file THREE OR MORE story elements by end of July.
These will be agreed in the individual meetings on THURSDAY AND FRIDAY this week
and can include quick guides, timelines, profiles, fact boxes, and case studies.
THESE SHOULDN’T BE A PROBLEM, AS YOU WILL HAVE COMPLETED YOUR FACTUAL
RESEARCH WELL BEFORE THE END OF JULY
IT ALSO HELPS YOU TO ORGANISE ALL THE ELEMENTS COVERED IN YOUR STORY
Wikipedia is NOT a source, but worth going to but check out the info/check sources.
Plagiarism is not acceptable in any form of journalism – including online
See the following for examples of hyperlinks and sources fact files:
AND THE BALKAN INSIGHT WEBSITE (Anita)
The fellowship website – http://fellowship.birn.eu.com – is where all your material will be
However, stories will also appear on the Balkan Insight website:
The fellowship website is in the process of being redesigned, so we can make use of more of the features we’ve shown you today
You are obliged to provide blog–style updates, of around 400 words, for the fellowship
website every two weeks
Here are a couple of examples:
• Ensure you have the rights to reproduce photos, text (e.g. poetry, song lyrics) on the internet
• Ensure you can get/have the rights for BIRN to offer photos, text etc to third parties/local and international press
• EG: Stories are published across the region, Der Standard and Al Jazeera English ran three stories online last year
• Be prepared to adhere to embargoes if your story is syndicated
• That might mean that a preferred media partner gets ‘first dibs’ before others
• It might mean the Balkan Insight/Fellowship cannot publish before a certain date
• Let Dragana and I know immediately if you might have a deal to publish elsewhere
The social web is invaluable in terms of news sourcing and gathering.
Make sure you have a profile on the ‘big three’:
• Facebook (discussion and emotion)
• Twitter (instant news)
• LinkedIn (professional, expert opinion, debate and resources)
The Social Web is a powerful dissemination tool
SHARE each of your posts on every social media site where you have an account and try to initiate discussions
FIND issue–based communities, pages and groups that deal with the issues you are
investigating and contribute your own work
MAKE THIS A TEAM EFFORT: All fellows can help each other in this respect by mutually
promoting their posts and stories to their networks, thereby amplifying the social mediaeffect
Familiarize yourself on the basic concepts of web journalism, including keywords, links,
writing for the web reader
Familiarize yourself with web tools for gathering information such as:
• Delicious (social book marking): http://www.delicious.com
• Google tools, such as Google News: http://news.google.com
• And Google Reader: http://www.google.com/reader
Find out how people view content on screen:
• Download PDF https://www.box.net/shared/g4a2rogviv
• Go to Website: http://www.poynterextra.org/eyetrack2004/index.htm
Get familiar with the concept of citizen or grassroots journalism:
READ: PBS Guide
READ: The Perils of Citizen Journalism
READ: The Dangers of Citizen Journalism
The internet has transformed the modern newsroom, you only have to look at the Arab
Uprising and the Iranian elections of 2009 to see how central the web, and social media
in particular, are to news gathering today
Bloggers, Tweeters and YouTubers often beat the big media houses when it comes to
However, this is not the END of the trained journalist. Trained, experienced investigative
journalists still rule
The web has eroded the barrier between journalist and citizen – and made journalism
more transparent – but good news production still depends on good reporting
Just as you work your contacts for reporting purposes, make your social network
contacts work for you.
ORGANISE and expand your professional contacts, groups and lists so that you can
effectively reach relevant audiences with a few clicks
ACTIVELY follow people and pages that deal with the subject of your investigation
(tip: use RSS where available to get updates in Google Reader)
ASK FOR INFORMATION: Do not hesitate to ask for bits of information on social media
sites. Someone, somewhere may just have the missing puzzle piece
• Just as you need time to research, organise and write your articles, we need time to edit, arrange, template and publish your material
• Get in touch well in advance about presentation requirements for photo–galleries, profiles, audio–video material
• Just ask if you’re unsure, perhaps we can help
• Keep in touch, so we can all work together to give your work the most effective presentation and cross–promotion possible