WIRED 2013: What the news industry can learn from smiles, pancreatic cancer and SMS

28 Oct 2013

wired2013_2Written by Paul Armstrong, HERE/FORTH 

Can two days change your life? I have just completed WIRED 2013, a two-day conference put on by Conde Nast for the third time—the most intense of all three with over 45 speakers… and only six breaks. If you have yet to attend, imagine reading all the issues of Wired 2013 in 48 hours, experiencing a great many of the technologies and gadgets described (as well as many new ones), in addition to hearing multiple nuggets of information that wasn’t reported on—that’s  the conference. Then, imagine being surrounded by about 500 incredibly smart and connected people (think CEO’s, heads of innovation, hackers, NGOs, product designers, Shell, Google) at the same time. To say this conference has the potential to change the world is no hyperbole.

I noticed a couple of things at the conference this year; the event acts as a mind reset—personal, professional and the world at large—all are given perspectives and contexts that help me reevaluate the different aspects of my being, and the other was identifying several inspirations and ideas for the news industry from some highly unlikely sources.

The Youth Will Eat Us All:

Nick D’Aloisio, founder of Summ.ly and now with Yahoo!, is 17 and has a clear vision for the future of information (in summary, everything will be summarized). D’Aloisio, who recently sold Summ.ly to Yahoo! for $30 million, spoke of his frustration with the current systems forced upon young people and his desire to marry both algorithms and the entrepreneurial spirit associated with news.

In a completely different field, Jack Andraka wowed the crowd to a standing ovation with his incredible tale of creating a pancreatic cancer test that is over 26,000 times less expensive than the current test and just as, if not more, accurate. He was 15 when he did it and is 17 now. Both individuals are impressive, but I got the feeling that the news could learn from exploring more “bedroom-dweller types” who, due to being programmed differently, will find answers others cannot. News organizations should be identifying them, allowing them space and encouraging them to break things.

Available Technology Is Not Being Used:


3D tech innovation, JPMorgan’s $13b settlement, Philippines earthquake, and more from Reuters Best this week

25 Oct 2013
Resident looks out from the window of his family's house, that fell into a river after an earthquake, in Buenavista, Bohol a day after an earthquake hit central Philippines

CONVERSATION STARTER – Reuters produced a unique video report on the 3D printing technology that is now being sold commercially at a UK supermarket. Asda, Britain’s number two retailer, is offering customers a chance to be scanned and made into a detailed miniature figurine, using the 3D technology. According to Asda, the scanner is so sophisticated, it can pick up details such as belt buckles and wedding rings.

JOURNALIST SPOTLIGHT – Over the past few weeks, Reuters has been extensively covering the budget crisis and looming government shutdown in the U.S. Andy Sullivan, a Reuters correspondent based in Washington, was a key part of the team covering the story, delivering regular news and analysis that was widely-cited in the press. Andy also frequently appeared on TV and radio outlets to discuss the crisis. In a Reuters Best: Journalist Spotlight Q&A, Andy offers an inside look at how he and the team covered the shutdown.

BUSINESS – Reuters revealed that JPMorgan’s preliminary $13 billion mortgage settlement with the U.S. government could end up costing the bank closer to $9 billion after taxes because the majority of the deal is expected to be tax deductable. The deduction also means the government is getting less than it appears in this deal. Banks can often deduct legal settlements from their taxes, but cannot get tax benefits from penalties for violating laws.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK – Reuters photographer Erik de Castro produced a dramatic set of widely-published images after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake and series of aftershocks hit the Philippines last week. Among the moving pictures that he took of the event was this image (above) of a man whose house toppled into a river.

From market-moving scoops and exclusive interviews to investigative reports and insightful commentary — Reuters Best is a complimentary newsletter compiling the highest points of our coverage from the week. Subscribe here to receive directly to your inbox every Thursday.  

More from Reuters Best…


2014 World Press Photo Multimedia Contest Jury Chair Announced

23 Oct 2013

World Press Photo announced today that Jassim Ahmad, Global Head of Innovation for Reuters, has been elected as jury chair of the 4th annual World Press Photo Multimedia Contest.

Based in London, Jassim is responsible for developing high-impact visual storytelling, spearheading innovative news experiences, and tracking multimedia markets for Reuters News Agency. Ahmad’s multimedia work includes Times of Crisis, Bearing Witness, and Surviving the Tsunami—all Emmy-nominated projects, which have also received such accolades as a PoYi Documentary Project of the Year award and Best Multimedia Feature from the Online News Association. Ahmad was the driving force behind the highly acclaimed The Wider Image app, which combines Reuters’ visual reporting with information and interactivity, and aims to set standards for multimedia formats and techniques. You can read his full biography here

Jassim expresses his view on the next Multimedia Contest: “It is truly a privilege to chair the jury of the fourth World Press Photo Multimedia Contest. There are few opportunities to review such an array of international work. Though multimedia can no longer be considered new, it is still in a state of constant evolution in response to the changing media and technology landscape. I do not doubt the challenge of assessing entries given the variety of production environments and target audiences. Above all, I hope we will discover work that realizes the potential of the medium to bring us closer to stories that matter. The most exceptional productions should serve to inspire the next generation of visual journalists.”


A Look-Back at Reuters Best Coverage This Past Week

18 Oct 2013

A worker cleans up a pool inside the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin mosque in Putrajaya

CONVERSATION STARTER – Homebuilders and developers are increasingly – and quietly – hanging on to the rights to extract oil and gas from beneath new properties amid the biggest energy boom in modern U.S. history. A Reuters Special Report revealed how tens of thousands of families have in recent years moved into new homes where the developer has retained the mineral rights. With horizontal drilling and “fracking” opening vast swaths of the continental United States to exploration, homeowners are growing concerned about health and environmental risks.

JOURNALIST SPOTLIGHT – In a Special Report on Thursday, Reuters revealed the real force behind Egypt’s “revolution of the state.” Asma Alsharif and Yasmine Saleh reported that Egypt’s Interior Ministry and police – harboring grudges that date back to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 – were prime movers in overthrowing the country’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Mursi. In a Reuters Best: Journalist Spotlight Q&A, Asma, a Reuters correspondent in Cairo, offers an inside look at the reporting behind their revealing Special Report.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK – When a 7.2 magnitude earthquake brought death and destruction to central Philippines this week, Reuters was way ahead of rival agencies in providing authoritative coverage of the story. As the death toll rose to at least 150, tens of thousands of residents of Bohol island, which took the brunt of the quake, remained living outdoors for fear of aftershocks bringing down damaged homes.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK – In addition to producing powerful pictures of the day’s big breaking news stories, Reuters photography also stands out for the sheer beauty of its images on a wide variety of subjects, from business to daily life. This Reuters Photo of the Week (above), which captures a worker cleaning a pool inside the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin mosque, is just one example, offering a snapshot of life in the Malaysian city of Putrajaya.

From market-moving scoops and exclusive interviews to investigative reports and insightful commentary — Reuters Best is a complimentary newsletter compiling the highest points of our coverage from the week. Subscribe here to receive directly to your inbox every Thursday.


More from Reuters Best…

Want to talk U.S. Elections at ONA 2013?

09 Oct 2013
Confetti obscures the stage as U.S. President Barack Obama celebrates after winning the U.S. presidential election in Chicago

If you’re registered to attend the 2013 Online News Association Conference and Awards Banquet, Oct. 17-19, in Atlanta, Georgia, one of the premier gatherings for digital journalists – we invite you to join us at the Reuters booth to discuss our exciting plans around the upcoming 2014 U.S. Elections.

Reuters is partnering with IPSOS, a global leader in independent market research, to deliver real-time election polling and results for the modern age, including….

  • Delivery of all state- and federal-level election results in 2014
  • Opinion polls on hundreds of topics from hard news to lighter fare
  • A modern collection process for more sophisticated capture and delivery
  • Fully customized reporting to allow parsing of data for a specific audience

…and we want to tell you more about it.

As an exhibitor at ONA 2013, Reuters is excited to host two Coffee Chats at our booth, specifically dedicated to discussing our editorial plans around the Reuters U.S. Election Service, and our partnership with IPSOS.


Journalist Spotlight: Olivia Oran Reveals How She Scored J.C. Penney Exclusive

07 Oct 2013

olivia oranAn exclusive story from Reuters Correspondent Olivia Oran reported that J.C. Penney was looking to raise as much as $1 billion in new equity to build up its cash reserves as the holiday season approaches. The retailer’s stock plunged following the report and the company later confirmed that it was issuing nearly $1 billion of new common stock, massively diluting existing shareholders.

In a Reuters Best: Journalist Spotlight Q&A, Olivia offers an inside look at how she scored the exclusive. Read full interview here.

For our customers: Reuters marks 25th anniversary of historic Olympic race

23 Sep 2013
Johnson of Canada leads Smith, Christie and Lewis across the finish line to win the men's 100 meters sprint final at the Olympics in Seoul

The 100 metres final in Seoul on Sept. 24, 1988 was probably the most eagerly-anticipated race in Olympic history and when Ben Johnson exploded out of the blocks to beat Carl Lewis and win it in a then-scarcely believable world record 9.79 seconds the world was left agog. Three days later the stunning announcement of the Canadian’s failed drugs test sent shock waves through the sport that still resonate to this day.

On Monday Sept. 23 and Tuesday Sept. 24, Reuters will be publishing an in-depth multimedia package to mark the 25th anniversary of that seminal race and its fallout:

Seoul-based Pete Rutherford will interview Johnson, along with Reuters TV, after he appears on the same lane on the same track where he ran that Olympic final, to deliver an anti-doping message. (more…)

Journalist Spotlight: Vidya Ranganathan reveals how she scored Indian dollar deposits exclusive

20 Sep 2013

vidyaOn Monday, Reuters reported exclusively that foreign banks are pushing to raise billions of dollars from expatriate Indians in response to New Delhi’s drive to defend its weak currency.

The story, by Vidya Ranganathan, revealed that banks are offering upfront financing for wealthy non-resident Indians (NRIs) to set up dollar deposits in India following various central bank incentives, including cheap dollar/rupee swap rates.

In a Reuters Best: Journalist Spotlight Q&A, Vidya, Reuters deputy editor of financial markets in Asia, offers an inside look at the reporting behind her scoop. Check out the full interview here.

Reuters Photographer wins Lead Award for iconic Tahrir Square image

19 Sep 2013
reuters egypt

Reuters photographer, Mohamed Abd El Ghany, is the winner of this year’s Lead Award for Picture Of The Year, which was published in the German weekly magazine Stern N.6/13. The picture emerged during a demonstration on the second anniversary of the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Protesters carry an injured child on the Tahrir Square in Cairo, a place that now stands for the Arab Spring like no other. It was, and is, a prophetic photograph that resonates with little hope.

The Lead Awards are Germany’s top award for print and online media. Celebrating its 21st year, it enjoys prestige both in the media industry as well as in the advertising and marketing scene. The Lead Awards honor outstanding work in the categories of: Magazines, Newspapers, Advertising, Photography and Online.

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