Brexit vs English summer rain

11 Jul 2016
Asha Tanna reporting live for TRT World Asha Tanna reporting live for TRT World

On 24th June Britain decided the future of Europe. The country held a referendum on whether to remain in or leave the European Union.

I travelled all the way from Moscow to join my Reuters-TIMA colleagues in London for a few days to cover this historical event.

Our referendum operations were spread across four live positions: a beautiful spot in Abingdon/College Green with a picturesque view of the House of Parliament, a position near St. Thomas’ Hospital on the other side of the river, a New Zealand House rooftop with a stunning panorama over the city, and a spot on Downing Street.

My main position was at Abingdon Green. Everything was running smoothly on the eve of the referendum. We did an hour long live program for TRT World that involved a lot of logistics and advanced planning. We also had a few other shorter lives throughout the day which also went seamlessly.

While Brexit has overshadowed the typical weather talk in the last couple of months, the British weather found a way to remind about itself on the day the referendum. Torrential rains fell on the city overnight and more heavy rains followed in the afternoon, while the voting was in full swing, flooding the whole area of Abingdon Green.

Four inches under water and with quite a busy schedule ahead in the evening and at night, our team had to come up with a quick solution to fix the damage caused by the rain. This is where the tent assembling skills came in handy! In less than fifteen minutes we put up a new tent and had the set up ready for our client (who was frankly impressed our team managed to get back up and running in such a short period of time given the dire state of our working area).

Our Abingdon Green operation ran through the night, and by early morning it seemed that despite the opinion poll predictions, the British voting public had delivered a surprise result.

Our dayside team arrived on location early and took over the operation. We knew that the result would mean an increase in interest.

Abingdon Green was a frenzy of excitement, the whole area was full of camera crews and a continual stream of MPs being asked their opinion, not to mention many happy ‘Leave’ supporters a bit worse for wear after their celebrations overnight.

The rain held off and throughout the day we successfully completed over 40 live interviews for a variety of clients across the world.  Our Downing Street team were also kept busy and were on hand to catch the moment that David Cameron announced he would step down, and over the Thames in the garden of St Thomas’ Hospital we helped TRT World air a special multi-camera  Brexit programme that ran for several hours.

Despite solid advance planning, many things are just impossible to predict. What I found truly inspiring is how professional and creative my colleagues were even in such extraordinary circumstances. Thinking fast, thinking outside the box, acting quick, staying cool, and offering the best services possible to every single client despite the issues faced.

Abingdon Green

Downing Street

Click here for more information on Reuters-TIMA Location Services.

Author: Anastasia Gorelova, Reuters-TIMA 

Reuters Video Archive – unlocking the 20th Century

11 Jul 2016

From the bruising Trump, Clinton election campaign to the unprecedented turmoil brought about by BREXIT, from England football disaster to genuine tragedy of the Istanbul airport bombings, these are hectic times in the news business. Numerous long running major stories vying for position alongside breaking news to gain prime position in the headlines and news bulletins. Reuters coverage of these events is delivered with its customary professionalism and integrity and with such a heavy focus on news; it’s an ideal time for Reuters News Agency to launch a brand new service offering Broadcasters unprecedented access to its unique archive collection. With the launch of the Reuters Video Archive, subscribers will be able to augment their coverage with relevant footage, be it comparing the US election of 2016 with a more collaborative campaign run by Roosevelt in 1936 or honouring the centenary of the battle of the Somme.  The Reuters Video Archive has been compiled since the foundation of the television operation and now contains over a million news clips, covering world events from 1896 to the present day.

President Roosevelt and Governor Landon Meet During Campaign, 1936

One can hardly discuss an archive without a little history lesson.  The Reuters Television operation was established in 1957 in the guise of the British Commonwealth International Newsfilm Agency (BCINA), which became Visnews in 1962 and was part owned by BBC, NBC, Reuters and others.  In 1992, Reuters bought the entire operation and along with it the video library which contained not only all the Visnews footage back to 1957 but also several, wholly owned, newsreel archives, including Gaumont Graphic and British Paramount – which, in their day, were direct rivals to Movietone and Pathe – and comprised material from the 1910’s to the early 1960’s and to top it all, footage from the very start of film cinema, including the coronation of Tzar Nicholas II in 1896. This unique collection was stored on 16mm and 35mm film and video tape and was successfully made available to the Reuters newsroom, broadcast customers, documentary and film makers via an analogue operation until the 21st century.

Throughout the years, those of us involved in the Reuters Video Archive dreamed of the day when the entire collection would be digitised and available on-line. The project to make that dream a reality started in 2013 when Reuters embarked on a major project to digitise the tens of thousands of film cans and video tapes in the archive. That project will complete by the end of 2016 and today over a million news clips can be viewed and downloaded via Reuters Media Express.

Whether you are looking for specific events such as the bringing down of the Berlin Wall or Britain’s signing up to European Union membership in 1976 –

 

………or more abstract searching for material that you wouldn’t even have thought of – “a cocktail of the loopiest news items of 1936” anyone?

 

For more information about our comprehensive collection of international news stories dating back to 1851, please visit us here, where you can sign up for a free 30-day, no-obligation trial by completing this form.

 

Author:

Tim Redman

TIM REDMAN, Head of Archive, Reuters

 

15 Things Your Newsroom Can Do To Combat The Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm Change

07 Jul 2016

Last week, Facebook announced significant changes to its newsfeed that means all publisher content (read: Pages) will have their content deprioritised in favour of content from people you know (or ‘UGC’ as Facebook call it). As ever, this announcement, like so many other Facebook announcements, is a grenade hidden in a chocolate box marked “Enjoy!” but look closer there is more going on than simply your traffic going down.

 

FACEBOOK IS UNDER ATTACK

It sounds almost hilarious to say with a network that has +1.65 billion users but Facebook, the vacuum of human existence it is, has a lot of problems. Firstly, possibly most importantly, users are posting less about themselves on Facebook – roughly 25% less actually, year over year. This is a huge problem because we use things that are personal and – gulp – news is anything but. In fact, Facebook did too good a job of showing us what we like, that many have created sad bubbles and thus use Facebook less and less. Mix with this the rise of Messenger and Whatsapp and you have the perfect story for utility over…over-sharing. The other issue is of course, Snapchat – while no screeching competition, its growth and the lack of love from the Founders towards Facebook must be giving Zuck some pause for thought. Beyond this, Snapchat is entertaining the kids and that is often where the money follows. This is not something Zuck wants, and while the moves to reshuffle the newsfeed is a beautiful reminder that should you want people to actually read your stuff, you can line Zucks pockets and all shall be right with the world.

Unless the media world collectively decide to band together and form some sort of anti-Facebook union or boycott certain practices, it’s unlikely anything will drastically change anytime soon so here’s what I recommend your social media folks and newsrooms do to combat the changes:

1) Lessen your reliance on Facebook

Let’s get this one out of the way. It’ll be hard and you’ll take some hits but ultimately if you put it on Facebook you’re building nothing but Facebook. Be smarter and make content that works for you outside the network – fish the right people out using a nice ad strategy and hook them anyway you can into paying entities.

2) Don’t jump on Snapchat

The temptation will be great but the brands that are on there at the moment – organically or through monetised relationships aren’t doing the best job. While content is being seen in its millions, I have yet to see if it can prove any ROI for media brands. This said, if you want a good example follow Quartz or Cool Hunting – both are using it to extend stories and tell new ones.

2a) Jump on Snapchat

The oldies are coming! 14% of U.S. adults aged 35+ are on Snapchat (up from 2% in 2013 per comScore). While many view this a deathnell for the platform, I see it more as an early transition. Snapchat is maturing fast – a stat that was leaked out earlier this year was that 50% of new users were +25 years old. This group will use the service drastically differently – get them in and cater for their needs. Unlikely to want images you can scribble over, try new content formats – you might strike gold. New tools like the recently announced “Memories” will be a big opportunity to reach all demographics (but specifically older ones). The older demographic “trend” won’t slow down – nor will Snapchat’s aggressive product update schedule, so get on board and start testing.

3) Don’t freak out at your July/August numbers

Time will tell what the actual realities of this “tweak” will be – the reweighting is a matter of degree – no-one but Facebook knows. If they’ve kneecapped you, you’ll soon know. This is the perfect point to evaluate the content you have been putting out there and adjust what isn’t working – everything now needs to work and have a plan – even if it is to do nothing extra (why are you putting this up there…?)

4) Live video is your way to subscribers

When Facebook launched the live streaming functionality I expected great things – it turns out there are a lot of bored and boring people out there. There are however a lot of incredibly interested people out there too – find them, leave breadcrumbs and CTA, CTA, CTA (call to action). Go for the subscribe button and keep the quality high – if need be, retrain journalists into presenters – this shift is underway and you are late.

5) Understand your reader’s sharing behaviours

Expect to see adoption of Instant Articles slow right down – there is now little point in putting time and effort into this area (unless you have a good ad budget behind them) as the content will be de-emphasised compared to say a friend voluntarily sharing and article.

6) Start telling your readers what you are doing/expect of them

Whether it’s a cry for money aka the Guardian and the Brexit coverage or a reminder at the end of every video to subscribe, now is the time to really understand how to build a loyal group and leverage it. You should have been building your army before you need it – that time is now but you still have a lot of arrows left. Start thinking about your notification strategy, your sharing ecosystem, your URL shorter trust level and how you will increase your trust level in general. Recent events highlight just how important trust can be and yet few outlets focus on this element nearly enough. When was the last time you asked your customers to put you on the front page of their phones?

7) Start thinking about the basics differently

As our phones get clogged up with apps, games and messengers sometimes the ability to cut through the clutter can seem impossible. Text alerts may be a great way to drive traffic and yet are used by few. Don’t ignore the dock – tell people to put it in there – if you snag a spot you are significantly more likely to be used more regularly…so ask for that important spot.

8) Post more things about friends, family, families and siblings

Ok this is a short-term bump tactic but it should work as people will be more likely to share things that say friends, mum, dad are amazing people or how the third sibling is always the rockstar in the family. Should you choose this path, use with caution as overuse will probably be noticed and you will be penalised.

9) Wait to get that Chatbot

While an interesting new twist on the news paradigm, I personally think bots will be less useful in the long run for news than other industries. News doesn’t need more channels – it needs to help people focus and get informed. Chatbots could help with this but are more likely to cause frustration right now – first mover advantage has gone, so you may as well wait until all the best practices are out.

10) People need help to break their bubbles, help them

Create a string of stories to help people break out of their Facebook bubbles with how-to’s and video content about apps that give them time back for…you! Not only does this increase trust and credibility for your brand but it should also score you more subscribers too (if you create it correctly with the right CTAs).

11) Use Whatsapp to kickstart sharing

You can have 256 people in a chat and 50 of these chats – that’s on one Whatsapp account – what if you got creative and used a few accounts? You might just be able to create a few hockey stick effects if you identify the key/core sharers in your network and interest verticals. Look at Google Circles – there’s gold in them there hills…

12) Look for the new network

Facebook is unlikely to get toppled anytime soon (although my time at MySpace taught me nothing is ever too big to be immune from failure) but there will always be other options – start doing deals with the people that want to kneecap Facebook. Think Yubl, Snow (Asian Snapchat)

13) Use live streaming tools to create rituals

Facebook Live and Periscope et al offer huge opportunity for newsrooms – with low barriers to entry, the ability to create a morning show (already being shopped around by an agency in partnership with Facebook) that people tune into isn’t completely out of the question. Audiences can be reminded to pick up a paper, tune in – success is feeding the information to them at the lowest friction point. Other ideas could include wrap ups, live coverage, sixty seconds on and other such time-focused but high quality video. Low-fi options for revenue range from product placement, on-air mentions to branding on sets and faux-mercials. Test and learn what works best.

14) Don’t forget YouTube

The poor red button has been quiet of late but there is a lot of good news coming. The new live product seems interesting, if a little late, but generally using it to stream live and build subscribers still seems like a good play. Focus strategies on building content veins and regular programming with key figures and support roll outs with spend for the best success.

15) Refocus your email strategies on bite sized discovery

Email remains a key way people get their news and insight driven content. A clear strategy that is focused, creates trust through clear honesty and adds value through being considerate of context and things like time of day will become incredibly more valuable. Start investing in UI/UX experts that will help you determine the right tech and focus for your products. Personalisation and context tweaks (including but not limited to multiple images for different times of day when the email is opened, images based on the location where the email is read) can increase click through by more than 25%. Remember, there are more than three times the amount of email accounts than Facebook and Twitter accounts combined – they aren’t just used for coupons, events and changing passwords.

 

More information on the Facebook changes and “values” can be seen here.

Facebook remains the most powerful entity the world has ever seen. Rightly or wrongly Zuck and co have made it clear they are only interested in the next billion users. Beyond this, Facebook continues their forays into new and disruptive technologies like drone technology, VR, AI and others showing a very different beast is emerging. This beast is a beast that will be less and less reliant on the newsfeed. Media should never have relied or got complacent on the traffic it got from the Facebook teat but there’s never been a better time to wean yourself off of it.

 

Paul Armstrong, guest writer for Inside Agency, runs HERE/FORTH an advisory that helps business leaders decide how to best use rapidly changing, disruptive and emerging technologies. Follow Paul on Twitter @paul__armstrong or contact him on hereforth.com.

This article does not express the views of Thomson Reuters. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author.

Reuters Tessa Kaday discusses the explosion of Online Live Video

29 Jun 2016
tessakaday

Traditionally, running the live desk at Reuters would have meant operating a satellite-delivered service which goes to hundreds of broadcasters around the world, but in recent years it’s also been about running Reuters Live Online – an over-the-internet service that is specifically designed to deliver easy-to-use live content to digital publishers. 

Launched in March 2014, Reuters claims to be the first multiple live service for online publishers. But it won’t be the last, as Tessa Kaday, who runs the desk at Reuters Video News, predicts that “this year we are going to see an explosion of live content online”.

tessaquote

 

Kaday discussed the basics of how to make live content work online successfully. Reuters had a huge infrastructure to deliver live content from across the world, an existing client base for online and was able to build a product that was easy to use for digital publishers, enabling them to transform their present digital offering of a ‘clunky’ simple stream to a service that delivered more than 6,900 hours of live coverage last year. That’s an average of 18 lives a day. But what they didn’t know was which content would work:

It’s been a matter of trial and error, plenty of error has been involved in that.

That’s partly due to understanding that the most successful stories for broadcasting may not always be the most successful for online – not every big story is suitable as a live story for online clients. For example, Kaday told delegates at news:rewired that the solar eclipse was the most successful online live story of last year. Why? The story was simple.

It wasn’t a breaking news story, there were no celebrities involved, this was a very simple, completely expected event and that was really the secret of its success. The trickiest thing about making live content work online is about making sure that people know that it’s there and more importantly making them stay there.

This was an expected event allowing Reuters Live Online to throw all of their resources into creating a strong live signal, delivering six lives from six different locations. This made it the ultimate live event as it could only be truly appreciated as it happened.

Kaday’s advice is to recognise these set piece events before they come up and build live content around it. Promoting that content ahead of time and planning is key, as well as putting it front and centre of your coverage.

But for content that cannot be planned ahead, reliability is essential:

In the past we used to think that online content was sort of less serious than broadcast content – people wouldn’t mind if it was bad quality or fell over occasionally, that’s a complete lie. If anything our online consumers are fussier and more likely to switch off if you fail them.

She added that you can break the ‘rules’:

A lot of the rules that relate to social video – about shorter being better – is quite the opposite for live. You want to be up, you want to stay up and engage people. Just because you can do something live and it’s the biggest story of the day, if it’s not engaging, developing and evolving they won’t watch it. Don’t fall into the trap of broadcasting rules.

Live content comes down to three things: get people to start watching, get people to keep watching and never stop experimenting.

This is going to be the year that live video really takes off online and I don’t think any of us are going to know what direction that’s going to go in. The important thing will be to keep experimenting.

By  on behalf of Journalism.co.uk

For more information on digital media events from Journalism.co.uk, visit newsrewired.com

Reuters-TIMA on the ground at Euro 2016

15 Jun 2016
Live position at the Paris Fanzoe

As tens of thousands of football fans gathered in Paris for the opening game of the Euro 2016, Reuters-TIMA set up live positions near the Eiffel Tower fan zone and the Stade-de-France to serve clients a month-long football feast. The main football event in Europe is being closely monitored by hundreds of media organisations not only for what happens on the pitch but also due to the heightened security situation in the country.

For the opening day on the 10th of June, Reuters-TIMA had a live position at the entrance of the Paris fan zone from the early hours of morning until the crowds left the area at night. The service also provided Reuters clients with a live feed from inside the fan zone, showing the atmosphere of the crowd gathered for the opening game – France vs Romania. However, for clients who preferred to have the venue of the game as background,  a second live position provided a perfect Stade-de-France backdrop.

For the rest of the tournament, Reuters-TIMA Location Services will be operational in Lyon and Marseille for the semi-finals, and back in Paris for the big final of Euro 2016.

Reuters-TIMA Live position

Click here for more information on Reuters-TIMA Location Services.

Peter Bohan — Tales from the Trail: A Salute to Local Reporting

02 Feb 2016
Local reporting uncovers human trafficking in North Dakota

(Image CreditBenjamin Edwards Photo via Forum News Service)

In a year of continued financial turmoil for newspapers, 2015 ended with a special gift from Santa – the movie “Spotlight.” It arrived not just to general acclaim from critics but to rapturous audiences inspired by its tale of courageous journalists overcoming conspiracy, speaking truth to power and producing justice for their community.

“The reports I’m getting from friends all over the country when they go to the theater is that people applaud at the end,” the former Boston Globe editor (and current Washington Post editor)  Marty Baron told Ken Doctor of Nieman Lab at ASNE in November.

It was Baron (portrayed by Liev Schreiber in the film) who smelled a skunk at the powerful Catholic Church in Boston and drove his troops in the Spotlight investigation. It produced a tsunami of carefully documented articles that rocked the community, nation, world – and the U.S. church to its foundations.

“I do hope it sends a signal to the people getting into the field that it’s absolutely critical that we do this kind of work, and that there don’t have to be investigations to the magnitude of this particular one but that it would be holding powerful individuals and powerful entities accountable — and that someone has to do that, and if we don’t do it, quite honestly, nobody will,” Baron said.

That noble mission – being the Voice of the People, the Conscience of the Community – reminds us of what we will be missing when newspapers as we know them go away.

Newsroom staffs have been cut in half or worse in the last decade as readers young and old – especially, young – abandon print for digital. But when the local newspaper no longer casts a snoopy eye over the local community, who will?

“It needs to be done right. That’s what’s really critically important,” Baron told Doctor. “It can’t be done wrong. It needs to be done carefully. It needs to be done with responsibility and care, all of that. It has to be nailed down and airtight because if it isn’t then you have the opposite effect. You undermine people’s confidence rather than help establish it.”

If not your local newspaper, who has the time, the smarts, the staying power, tenacity, courage and independence for such work? Local TV or radio? Local universities? Local individuals? New national digital news outlets and foundations like Pew’s Stateline dip into regional and sometimes local issues. But the local implications for local communities usually lose focus when the target is national readers.

“Governments, businesses – and yes, religious organizations – that operate in secret and without scrutiny can be breeding grounds for corruption,” New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan said in a Dec. 5 column titled ‘The search for local investigative reporting’s future.’ “Clearly, local investigative journalism can’t be allowed to die out, even as local newspapers struggle to survive. The mission is far too important.”

Sullivan, a former award-winning editor at the Buffalo News, added on Dec. 12: “For the good of democracy (and their own survival) news organizations, whether start-up or legacy, must make it a high priority to keep digging – with the public’s interest at heart.”

If the audiences for Spotlight are to be believed, few would disagree with that conclusion. But, so far, that hasn’t changed the economics of newspapers. As a generation of older readers fades and younger readers embrace the brave new world of social media, the outlook for a print universe dependent on subscriptions and advertising alone continues to look bleak.

So in 2015 it was inspiring to see so many local newspapers on the same wavelength with Baron and Sullivan, driving investigative journalism for their communities in the face of budget and staff cutbacks.

Looking around Reuters America customers, I saw lots of stories last year with such impact. These shone their own spotlights on local government, businesses, schools, and institutions both in watchdog investigations and daily coverage of local issues or disasters.

The list goes on. But I did have a favorite: “Trafficked,” a seven-part series by Forum News Service based in Fargo of human trafficking  in sex workers spawned by the Oil Boom in the North Dakota shale patch.

Forum set loose two newspaper reporters and one broadcast reporter for six months, conducting more than 100 interviews in Williston, Minneapolis, Washington DC and other locations. The series, which appeared in January, spurred a raft of new laws in the North Dakota legislature “to offer more support to women who are victims of human trafficking and educate johns who have been busted on the social consequences of hiring prostitutes,”  Forum News Service editor Jeff Beach told me. Forum sponsored standing-room only town halls and showings of its documentary ‘Trafficked’ that kept a spotlight on the issue even as the Bakken oil boom’s population of oil wildcats thinned out over the year as world oil prices crashed.

Former House Speaker Tip O’Neill once said “all politics is local.” For most newspapers, “All news is local” – local news remains dominant for page A1. So kudos to all these papers – and the hundreds of others serving their communities – for keeping lit the lamp of local investigative reporting. A lot more than newspaper economics, as Baron and Sullivan agree, depends on this flame burning bright.

 

For more information about the on-the-ground local reporting coverage from around the world that reuters provides, please visit us here, where you can sign up for a free 30-day, no-obligation trial by filling out this form.

 

Automated Sports News Packages are Here!

20 Nov 2015

Since the beginning of this US College Football season, the Reuters Sports team has been in the lab collaborating with Graphiq, a company that specializes in making big data easy to digest.  Now, we are thrilled to share the first output…

Starting this weekend and continuing through to the College Football National Championship, Reuters and Graphiq will be automatically generating sports news packages at the conclusion of each NCAA FBS game—with full length text recaps and hosted graphics to go with them—for any editorial publisher to use in their digital projects, for free

automated sports news packages

 

While the initial rollout is only NCAA FBS, we plan to use our learnings from the remainder of the season to launch auto-generated news packages in other sports in 2016. We need your help to expand our technology, so please leave your feedback in the comments below. Let us know what you like, what changes you’d like to see, what sports you want to see covered in the future, and anything else you want to tell us.

The packages are available to the public on Open Media Express and existing Media Express subscribers need only to ask their account manager to give them access to the feed. Some stories from earlier this week are already up, so log on today!

The Reuters News Agency has a 160 year tradition of finding the best ways to use technology to deliver more news to our clients, faster, and today we’re adding another chapter to that story. Keep checking the blog for more automated sports content unveilings.  Our partnership with Graphiq will soon help us offer much more for our customers —including a wide variety of hosted graphics that can be accessed via Open Media Express that will go far beyond College Football.

Want to increase your sports coverage? Learn more about Reuters sports news packages here! 

 

Reuters Panel Explores How Data is Shaking up the Journalistic and Digital Worlds

21 Oct 2015

10192015-REUTERS-2097

L-R, Ethan Zuckerman, Vivian Schiller, Stacy-Marie Ishmael, Maurice Tamman and moderator Reginald Chua.

On Oct. 19, influencers from various parts of the media world, along with a packed room of newsmakers and marketing professionals, gathered together for a Reuters Special Event: Informing Society in the Data Revolution. The hot topic of the night, data journalism, sparked a lively panel discussion on how unprecedented amounts of data, rapidly changing technology and individual access to story-telling tools are reshaping news, influencing elections, and transforming the way we as a society gather, process and consume information.  The one-hour talk, moderated by Reginald Chua, executive editor, data & innovation at Reuters, took place at Thomson Reuters’ 3 Times Square headquarters in New York.

Reuters President and Editor-in-Chief, Stephen J. Adler, introduced the panel, and described data journalism as “a very important way of gathering information” that is fast becoming essential to the profession. Said Adler, “A central challenge is to find better ways to harness technology as it changes, to figure out what works, what doesn’t, both to get the data and figure out how to use it.” A further challenge he said is how to apply journalistic standards of accuracy, fairness and solid news judgment to such rapidly changing styles of storytelling.  Maggie Chan Jones, CMO of software maker SAP, the sponsor of the evening’s event, expressed her own personal awe at how much technology has changed over the course of just two presidential elections.  “The American voter has transformed to the digital voter,” she said, adding that when it comes to the election process, the most important thing to today’s data-driven voter is real-time information.

Sharing their vast knowledge, along with points of concerns and excitement, were panelists Stacy-Marie Ishmael, managing editor, Mobile News, Buzzfeed; Vivian Schiller, consultant, formerly head of news, Twitter, president and CEO, NPR; Maurice Tamman, editor in charge, data & computational journalism, Reuters; and Ethan Zuckerman, director, MIT, Center for Civic Media.

Concern over a well-informed, effective citizenry was unanimous among panel members, who each contributed their own unique perspective on the barriers faced by those who distribute the news as well as those who consume it. Schiller, while praising the ubiquity of mobile technology and never-before-seen accessibility of information around the world, won many nods of approval from audience and panel members alike when she pointed out the oft-overlooked fact that finding the right information within that digital ecosystem takes a lot more skill and effort than in the old “lazy” days of turning on the evening news or picking up a newspaper. Epitomizing this, said Schiller, is Twitter: “If you work Twitter, it is spectacular. There is no greater source of news if you have curated who you’re following to an inch of its life. If you haven’t, and you’re new to it, then it’s not giving you the information you need.”

Adding to that thought, Ishmael said, “What I think you have to try harder to find, are things that are worth your time.” For news organizations and platforms like Buzzfeed, which are transitioning into news providers, transparency on where information comes from is crucial, Ishmael said. “Vox gets a lot criticism for explaining things to people, but it’s actually quite refreshing.”

Perhaps the greatest concern keeping panelists up at night is the great echo chamber of information that peer-generated newsfeeds and decision-making algorithms seem to invite. “Most of us have a very strong tendency towards homophily, towards walking with birds of a feather,” observed Zuckerman, adding that what his friends are paying attention to, to a large extent is what he’s paying attention to. And while it may be easy to curate what one reads on Twitter, Zuckerman noted that curating a circle of Friends on Facebook was a lot harder. To which Ishmael replied dryly, “Get more interesting friends.”

Facebook humor aside, panel members’ concern over the mission of professional news organizations to serve the public interest were very real. Said Maurice Tamman of Reuters, “I think the problem is because we can’t find a way to make money quite frankly, that we are ceding our place within the social contract to collective intelligence and algorithms.And I’m uncomfortable with that.” Even more discomforting to Tamman is what he sees as the gradual eclipse of empirical-based journalism by social media, i.e. the persuasion of opinion over fact. Said Tamman, “The biggest joke on the part of the debates was people sitting around, ‘Well, on Twitter, Bernie won.’ Bernie didn’t win, we know that! Come on, let’s not kid ourselves!”

Rounding out an engaging conversation that everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy, Chua asked the panel what concerned and excited them most about the data journalism landscape. In reply to the latter portion of Chua’s question, the most hopeful response came from Zuckerman, “My hope, my ‘the best of times’, is that we are seeing people able to come together, organize, share information, do extraordinary things as citizens coordinating our lives. And that is potentially incredible politically powerful and I hope over the next 10 years that we will see that flower and branch.”

By Anne Marie Lee

Global MMA News (GMN) Content Available For Free Via Reuters

06 Oct 2015

Russian MMA phenomenon Marat Gafurov crowned Interim ONE Featherweight World ChampionGlobal MMA News (GMN) and Reuters today announced that select breaking news and feature articles will be free for editorial use by digital publishers via Reuters platforms.  As the exclusive Mixed Martial Arts news contributor to Reuters Media Express, GMN will deliver breaking news on events, fight cards, in-depth features, exclusive interviews with star athletes, and commentary that covers the burgeoning MMA scene.  The very first feature from GMN is now available:

THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MEN IN ASIA SPORT

You can view it here

Any digital publisher can view and download Global MMA News content from the dedicated GMN channel on Open Media Express:

For inquiries on how to access Open Media Express:

https://liaison.reuters.com/contact-us/openmex/

About Global MMA News:

GLOBAL MMA NEWS (GMN) is the premier source for the most updated news on the development of mixed martial arts (MMA) in the world. Focused primarily on the rapidly growing Asian MMA scene, our team of experienced journalists is embedded across the region to provide real-time news and features suitable for MMA fans and mainstream audiences alike.

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