Fraudgate: Luckhurst speaks out

Jun
23

At the Association for Journalism Education conference last week, Tim Luckhurst spoke about something we have discussed many times at the Centre for Journalism: the number of journalism degrees on offer in this country that offer their students little or no chance of getting a job within the industry. There is, he told the conference, an "element of fraud" in a system that allows such courses to proliferate.

Unsurprisingly, his views - reported here by journalism.co.uk, not necessarily with perfect precision - have sparked vigorous debate around the blogosphere.

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Investigations Fund

Jun
22

There is a glimmer of hope this morning for budding investigative hacks depressed by declining editorial budgets and the rising tide of churnalism. Following the launch in the USA of dedicated investigations funds at ProPublica and the Huffington Post, four journalists, Stephen Grey, Phillip Knightley (author of The First Casualty), Misha Glenny (former BBC Balkans Corr) and David Leigh have set up a UK based version. Called simply the Investigations Fund it has received a first contribution from the Telegraph group. 

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Guardian turns to crowdsourcing to check MPs' expense documents

Jun
18

Having had to sit on the sidelines for what must have seemed like an eternity, watching daily Telegraph exclusives on MPs' expenses, The Guardian is hoping making its mark on the story with an interesting crowdsourcing experiment.

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Telegraph vindicated

Jun
18

 

Among the arguments favoured by critics of the Daily Telegraph's revelations about MPs' expenses has been that journalists should have waited for the full details to be published by the House of Commons. It is a good thing we didn't. This morning, with the Common's publication of  expenses claims for the last four years we are able to see just how much has been omitted (or redacted to use the phrase-in-vogue). 

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Night Jack: the end of the anonymous blogger?

Jun
16

The anonymous columnist has a long and distinguished tradition in newspaper and magazine history. Recent practitioners like the londonpaper's City Boy and the ghastly Julie Myerson (who thrice denied being the author of the Guardian's Living With Teenagers column before fessing up) were treading in the foosteps of far more illustrious journalists such as William Connor, who wrote the Daily Mirror's legendary Cassandra column for many years and ended up with a knighthood.

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Panorama: The death of kiss and tell

Jun
15

This evening's Panorama deals with one of the most controversial issues facing journalism: privacy. The Human Rights Act guarantees two competing rights viz: freedom of expression and the sanctity of private life.  In the competition between them, where does the public interest lie?  Many editors believe that the courts' interpretation of the right to privacy in cases such as that of Max Mosley v  the News of the World is creating a 'chilling' effect on journalism.  In the past public figures pursued by journalists would reach for their libel lawyer. Now they are turning to the courts to protect their privacy. The threat to traditional red top kiss and tell stories is real, but is kiss and tell in the public interest or just an example of what the public is interested in? Panorama: The Death of Kiss and Tell, is on BBC One tonight (Monday, 15 June) at 2030. Journalists all over the country will watch it.   

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CfJ testing the new Evri semantic tool

Jun
12

Having just finished marking first-year essays about the Link Economy... I've been having a quick play with a tool called Evri, the new semantic network tool that's being used most notably by the Washington Post and The Times. If you have a look at the bottom of this and the three other most recent blog posts on the Centre for Journalism site, you'll get the idea. Evri searches through each post and uses fancy semantic web search methods to suggest key terms about which readers might want to find out more information. 

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Manchester Evening News video of Blears used by BBC

Jun
12

The BBC has been working for a while on plans to share some of its news video content with regional newspaper publishers for their web sites. So it's interesting to see the reverse happening today with footage of Hazel Blears' trio of apologies making its way from the Manchester Evening News's Channel M on to the main BBC news web site. 

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Iran votes

Jun
12

All democratic elections matter, but few have the international significance of the one taking place today in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The contest between incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Moussavi has direct implications throughout the region and the world.  Will Iranians elect a leader less determined to pursue confrontation with the west? Will the result calm fears in Israel and reduce tension between two nations whose mutual enmity has produced one of the most sensitive flashpoints in international relations? Reports indicate that Iranians are most concerned about domestic economic problems (how familiar that sounds), but their votes will be counted as carefully in Washington, London, Tel Aviv and Brussels as they are in Teheran, Mashhad and  Tabriz.  The BBC's running coverage  is very good. For an American perspective try this from the Washington Post . For an example of what Israelis are reading take a look at the Jerusalem Post.

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British fascists in Strasbourg

Jun
08

 

My first reaction to the election of British National Party MEPs was to feel profoundly angry and ashamed. Angry because mainstream politics has to fail badly for men such as Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons to win votes. Ashamed because innocent people will be frightened and this country's reputation as a tolerant, liberal democracy tarnished by their election.  

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