Interesting News Site that I’ve just found!

I’ve just found a cool new site called Indy Media and added it to my RSS feed to my google reader page.

There is a really interesting short article about squatters taking over Gaddafi’s sons house in London.

There are plenty of other interesting things to browse on there too.

The layout isn’t great, it’s quite simple and uninspiring.

However, it’s a great alternative source for less mainstream news stories: “A network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues.”

A quick look at the guardian’s video page.

I love the guardian’s website. It is my go-to site for news, gossip and comment. However I have never spent much time looking at the videos available on the site, unless they happen to be featured in the story I am reading.

Today I started investigating the video section and I found some really interesting stuff.

The layout of the page is easy to use and pretty pleasing to the eye. I quickly found videos that were of interest to me, there are plenty to choose from. One thing I did like a lot was the fact that when you have watched one video there are lots of links available to find out more about that subject if you liked the video.

There are loads of videos about current affairs (ie. the oscars and libya), not that all of these things aren’t fascinating but I have spent much of the last few weeks reading about the middle east, and to be honest the oscars aren’t really of that much interest to me.

Then I found a video on “churnalism” . It is absolutely hillarious and if you have 5 minutes to spare you should definitely watch it.

Made by the people who set up churnalism.com it is a quick look at the influence PR has on mainstream journalism.

Chris Atkins is an investigative journalist who has recently started doing content for the guardian. He is well-known for the film “Starsuckers” and if you like knowing about faults within our media system or if you just fancy a laugh you should have a quick look at all this stuff!

Unemployment in the UK – A short film

This is my video assignment.

Making the video was very interesting. I went into the project with a stereotypical idea of the kind of people that claim benefits. I found out that this idea was totally wrong.

Most of the people I met at the job centre were educated, polite and interesting, these people did not seem like they would have any trouble finding jobs.

The economic situation in the UK has created a terrible situation for the youth of today. People leaving university and college have a lot of trouble finding work.

The question I began to ask myself was; where does the responsibility for this lie?

The government are supposed to care for those who find it hard to work, whatever the reason. However, many people that I spoke to said that the money they recieved from the government would not cover their outgoings, these people will have to spend their savings and struggle, mostly through no fault of their own.

Businesses have a responsiblity to young people. Apprenticeships and work placements should be given more freely to those leaving education. People in positions of power within the world of business should be doing everything they can to create a better world for our youth!

I would like to say thank you to everyone who appeared in this film, and everyone who has helped me in the editing process!

Top 10 News Websites

1. BBC News Online – this has to come first, I don’t know about anyone else but the first place I always go if I need to check something out or start research for a piece tends to be the BBC. And, the biggest bonus, NO ADS!!

2. Guardian Online – for readers of the print version of the guardian they will probably know the site well. CIF (comment is free) is a particularly good section of the site. Check it out! The best thing about the guardian online is that it wills you to get involved. They use images really well and the site is clean cut, it is very easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

3. Reuters – a must for a budding journalist like me. It is not the most pleasing to the eye but you get the bare essentials of the story quickly and there is plenty of breaking news to be found.

4. New York Times Online – looks like an old-fashioned broadsheet, which I love but it isn’t for everyone. The content is what draws me to the NYT, they seem to cover stories in great detail.

5. Google News – the great thing about google news is that you can arrange the page to feature things that you are interested in close to the top of the page. And, because its google you can be quite sure that you won’t miss out on anything!

6. Huffington Post – the layout looks great! This site really encourages the reader to get involved and comment, review, post and tweet. I think that is what makes it great, you can use any medium you like to alert your friends to something that interested you, and it takes like 2 seconds!

7. Wired – I’m not sure if this counts but Wired is a great technology and news magazine. There are always really interesting articles available, even for total non-geeks like me.

8. The Onion – This site takes a satirical look at the world today. You are sure to find something on here to make you LOL!

9. SlateThis is basically an online news magazine. It takes an interesting and often slightly different look at the news of the day. The layout is really easy to use and I love the priorities that slate have, as far as headlines are concerned.

10. TMZ – And, because deep down none of us can resist celebrity gossip and news. After all if you are going to look at celebrity news you may as well look at the best site ever for celeb gossip. This site is great, and has previously been the source for some of the biggest celeb stories ever!!

RSS, google reader, delicious and other things that used to make no sense to me….

I am by no means a computer geek. I have trouble understanding how to use the simplest of software.

However, over the past few weeks I have been trying hard to follow in my Multimedia journalism class and figure out how to use all this online material to help me become a better journalist.

‘Delicious’ is a great site. You can post links that interest you. You can follow along with certain genres of post by subscribing to a tag. You can follow people who post interesting links. My site doesn’t have many bookmarks yet but check it out if you like….

Jim has taught us all about ‘google reader’ now. It’s basically a way of collecting all the news and posts that interest you in one place. It works a bit like an email account, you just log on and then browse the net finding RSS feeds that you think will be useful to you. These feeds then appear (updated automatically) in your ‘reader’.

And, for those of you (like me last week) who have no idea what RSS feeds are, I will explain it as I understand it (in the context of google reader). Sorry if I am totally wrong.

That little orange symbol on the right is the symbol for RSS feeds. When you click on that (they are on most websites) you will go through to a simplified version of the page you were on before. You can then copy the URL into your new google reader account and that feed will then always feature when you log in.

Do old people really know how to use the internet?

In class we had to figure out how to write a 1500 word feature on older people using the internet.

I have found some links that would start me off if I really did have to write this piece.

  • I found a blog that had some hillarious pictures with captions.
  • There is also a good telegraph article on old people using the internet to make them slightly less lonely.
  • Short satirical piece from the daily mash on old people using the internet even though they hate it.
  • The internet could help old people get even older according to the NY Daily News and Evercare.
  • There are hundreds of websites specifically made for “silver surfers”, such as silversurfer.net
  • Lots of stats stating that younger people like social networking and instant messaging more than old people……I’M SHOCKED

The new ‘Twitter(er)’ and dinner with Julian Assange

Before I started at university I never been exposed to the wonderful procrastination device that is ‘Twitter’. I knew the kind of basic premise; 140 characters, regularly updating people who don’t care about things that don’t matter, or so I thought.

As the world of Journalism is changing, we can no longer just rely on writing skills and investigative nous to get the scoop. Modern journalism is over-run with ‘tweets’, ‘blog-posts’, ‘status-updates’ etc etc etc

Anyway, having been introduced to the world of Twitter this week in my ‘Multimedia Journalism’ class I began to get quite excited. So much news is generated by people sending tweets out into the twittersphere – I really began to feel that I had been missing out all these years.

Today I found a tweet that about a scheme that, for a small donation, sets up a dinner for you and your friends with Mr Wikileaks himself, Julian Assange.

It’s actually not as good as it sounds, basically you can invite all your mates round for a dinner party and at 6.30pm (GMT) you can enter the password you are given (after you make your donation, of course) into the site and Mr Assange will appear on you computer. He will then presumably talk to you, and everyone else who made a donation, about the freedom of speech.

I personally have two problems with this:

1) What happens if the outcome of his extradition hearing (happening today 7/02/11) means that he will not be able to broadcast to all wikileaks followers on the world-wide-web??

2) Is this a rubbish money-making excersise that will only end up benefitting Assange and the Wikileaks posse??

Maybe he is having trouble paying his legal bills and this is his way of making some quick cash.

Don’t get me wrong I like the idea of Wikileaks and the freedom of speech (and press) is very important to me, but I am sceptical as to whether this ‘dinner’ will make a real difference.

And finally, would any of you out there really get excited about the idea of dinner with this man??:

Five top tips for making the most of twitter:

  1. Make sure you follow interesting, trend-setting, news-making people – you can’t get the good goss if you’re not in the loop.
  2. Be active – don’t just expect people to follow you, encourage them. Make an effort to write interesting tweets and follow up on conversations/threads.
  3. Stay on top of what happening – follow the trending topics and big news stories, there’s a wealth of information to be found if you look hard enough.
  4. Remember a story can come from anywhere – I was browsing on Twitter the other day and something caught my eye. There was loads of comments and messages about a girl who was being ‘trolled’ (abused) by other users. I thought immediately that it would make a great human interest story – so keep your eyes peeled.
  5. Use your contacts – you will be amazed at how welcoming the Twitter community is, this can be great when you’re researching something. You will be surprised at how eager people are to help you out.

So happy tweeting!

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