We’re nearing the end of 2014 at a rapid pace. So what better way to kick off the almost-holidays than with a new little side project? I’ve been failing dismally at maintaining my blog this past year so I’ve decided to get a head-start on 2015 with a project to round up the best media and journalism news of the week. I’ll be posting that here and in email newsletter form to my enormous subscriber base of three. Or was it four?

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2015 feels to me to be shaping up to be a major year for journalism and media. The slow burn decline in print of the past few years is likely to turn to searing heat next year as digital, particularly mobile, takes centre stage.

Speaking of change here are a couple some thoughts on the changes that are affecting the journalism industry:


1- The big trends changing journalism

Jay Rosen has put together a list to the trends that are shaping the news industry, from social, to mobile, to analytics in the newsroom. Rosen’s list, drawn from his digital thinking class, is full of examples and well worth trawling through.

Related: Steve Buttry’s excellent list of revenue streams for news organisations.


2 – Media outlets turn to Tumblr to extend reach

We go where the people are. At least that’s the attitude some newsrooms are adopting with many of them turning to Tumblr as another outlet for their content. Naturally pictures are a big part of this move and many newsrooms are using Tumblr to showcase their data visualisations.


3 – The dark side of social sharing 

Dark social? Yes, it’s those readers that, annoyingly, insist on sharing our stories in ways we can’t see, like email, or WhatsApp or SMS. Is it important for publishers? The Guardian thinks so, primarily because it affects their ability to provide advertisers with quality data about their readers.

And, this just in: Chartbeat flips the switch on dark social and discovers a high proportion of dark social sharing is not just from SMS and email but also from mobile apps, particularly Facebook mobile. For a more in-depth analysis of dark social read Alexis Madrigal’s Dark social traffic in the mobile app era.


4 – What does the future of online commenting look like?

Online comments are the best and the worst of digital publishing. Equally hateful and informative, engaging and alienating, they embody the the best and the worst of human behaviour.  We can’t shut them down – we want readers to engage – and we can’t control them completely because we don’t have the resources. What to do?

RelatedComments under news articles: Is it time to switch them off?


5 – Change the culture of journalism, not just what it produces

Obvious but always good to see it stated so clearly.


The toolbox
The must-have tools for the modern journalist


Most reputable sites have RSS feeds. Take advantage of them with Feedly. Plug your favourite sites’ RSS feeds into Feedly and monitor them in one place. We use Feedly to source most of our news. (We’re not paid to say that).


Site of the week


Anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to ask about being a mobile journalism is answered here. Nick’s site is chock-full of tips from recording interviews to doing mobile phone live broadcasts, to picking the best microphones, headphones and USB devices for your phone. A great resource.


And finally …

The modern beauty of 19th century visualisations

Cast your eye over these beautiful visualisations. They’re reproductions of visualisations from an 1870s statistical atlas.



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