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The Journalism Biz


The info-graphics revolution

March 17, 2015

Open data and visualization apps let small news organizations make great graphics

By M. Jane Ross

Source: The Data Journalism Handbook

Data journalism is changing the scope of government and political reporting – from city hall to the capitol. And graphics applications are transforming the way news organizations illustrate these stories. Even small news organizations are gaining access to powerful data visualization tools.

Just five years ago federal and local government agencies hoarded data. Journalists had to dig deep to get access to the numbers that revealed agency performance. News organizations struggled to turn government numbers into compelling graphics to accompany news stories.

In 2008, statistician Nate Silver brought a spotlight to data journalism when he predicted the results of the presidential election with pinpoint accuracy. Posting the results online in real time with eye-catching graphics, Silver launched a whole new way of telling news stories.

Robot Journalism on the Rise

March 5, 2015

By: Kaylee Nemec
The use of technology in journalism is stronger than ever before, but a number of news organizations continue to jump ahead and let robot journalism take over even further.

"Robot journalism” is a term used to describe the process of news organizations using computer software to produce news stories very rapidly without help from humans.

The Associated Press (AP) is one news organization that uses these robots to generate a fair amount of news stories. The organization’s computer-generated news is created by Automated Insights’ (AI) software platform called Wordsmith. Wordsmith rapidly produces stories and uses “artificial intelligence to dynamically spot patterns and trends in raw data and then describe those findings in plain English.”

Wordsmith gathers data from various sources. The software is then able to produce up to 2,000 stories per second from that data. According to a Huffington Post article, robot journalism has allowed the AP to produce an increase of 2,700 stories per quarter.

Crowdfunding: A unique revenue stream to bring your readers closer to the story

March 4, 2015

By Hojun Choi 

During a time when traditional news content publishers are desperately continuing their scramble for temporary fixes to their advertising revenue addiction, the Texas Tribune’s crowdfunding strategy is an example of how a malleable approach to monetization can lead to sustainability.

But emulating the success story of the Austin-based nonprofit is not an easy task. According to a 2013 report published by the Pew Research Center, many nonprofit news publications are faced with problems with long-term sustainability.

Hacker Journalism: Is This the Solution?

By Trisha Seelig

The world of gathering, processing and consuming news is rapidly changing. Those in the journalism industry are frantically searching for a way to handle the evolution of news, defining the future journalist as a “Swiss Army knife”.

In January, Hacking Journalism, a hackathon event hosted by a team of journalists, held the second event in New York. The event quickly filled capacity and focused on rethinking “how we create, disseminate, and consume media.” Hacking Journalism strives to create new products and tools that influence the way we use video on the Internet, which may be the answer journalists are working toward.

The Nieman Lab reports, teams focused on themes that have yet to be solved in the journalism business: “How can text and video be used together more effectively (and creatively)? What ways can we streamline the process of discovering and curating videos for journalists? How can we make producing and distributing video safer in parts of the world where reporting, or simply speaking out, is dangerous?”

The Local redefines English-language news in Europe

November 9, 2014

By Briana Denham 
Media players learned long ago that there was a demand in Europe for English-language international news. While many newspapers have found a specific audience to share their stories with inside this market, none have been quite as successful as The Local in creating a strong readership that demands attention.

As discussed on NiemanLab, The Local was stared in 2004.  Since then it has spread to nine different European countries through a network of websites and has become the first English-language news source to approach the European market from a digital-only standpoint.

Two Englishmen, James Savage and Paul Rapacioli, started The Local in Sweden as a weekly email newsletter. Before they knew it they expanded in Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Austria and most recently Denmark.

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