Posts Tagged ‘media’

I’ve left the digital coalface, I suppose.

I am no longer the digital editor of the Sunderland Echo. And I’ve just taken up a post as a senior lecturer in the well-regarded Journalism and PR department at the University of Sunderland.

Term hasn’t started, but I feel like a kid in a sweet shop.

I’m shelving my journalistic cynicism and trying not to think too hard about the tidal wave of pressure (and marking!) coming my way.

Instead I’m beaming. I’ve got bleeding edge technology all around me (amazing radio studios, TV studios, a lovely HD cinema, computers that work and versions of Photoshop I have only ever read about).

My colleagues are a formidably qualified bunch too.

I’m delighted at the prospect of enjoying the autonomy to play with the reporting and multimedia tools I’ve tried to get my hands on any moment I could during my time at the Echo.

And above all, I expect to do more actual journalism than ever before.

Plus, I’ll be able to pursue my growing interest in entrepreneurial journalism – both in theoretical terms and practical terms with my satirical news project

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll miss some aspects of my old job. I’ve always thrived in low resource environments, and Johnston Press was certainly that.

But this is a great new start for me, and I can’t wait for term to begin.


As promised to my University of Sunderland students – here’s a quick video walkthrough on how to create a slideshow in Photo Story 3. Hope it’s useful. Feedback welcomed. Should hold up to full-screen viewing if you need a closer look.

>> Download Photo Story 3 (it’s free!)

Just a note to say that I am now getting stuck into a part-time role as an academic tutor at the University of Sunderland.

Ran a session with journalism students today on Photo Story 3 in which they created their own slideshow from scratch. They seemed to enjoy having a tangible product at the end. And hopefully they appreciated the context of the lesson which was designed to show how a free, quick and easy tool can turn a two-dimensional story into compelling content that will generate significant traffic for a site.

Slideshows often out-perform videos on And they’re handy when it comes to covering poignant stories which are too sensitive for video intrusion, such as Sharon Dyer’s funeral.

Better still, applications such as Photo Story 3 can be learned in a few minutes and produce professional results in a matter of seconds.

>> Download Photo Story 3 for Windows

iPhone at last

The long wait is over. A couple of weeks back I finally got my hands on an iPhone, which means I can now blog on the go with relative ease.

I know – call me Mr. Early Adopter.

In fact now I have ditched my enormous Nokia N95 – which I loved for it’s video capabilities – I can rarely be bothered to fire up my laptop for browsing.

Mind you, all those trips to McDonalds restaurants and chain pubs to use their free WIFi – I’m such a cheapskate and my employers won’t stump up for a dongle – have taken their toll.

My fingers are so bloated after a steady diet of web browsing with regular side orders of onion rings that this post has taken me ten minutes to hammer out.

Still – check out my new phone…

Johnston Press colleague George Hopkin – he’s our Search Engine Optimisation Evangelist no less – has set up an excellent service for those of you wishing to stay up-to-date with media news online.

He’s aggregating content from various feed readers into a single service.

Subscribe to media news updates here

An actual conversation from a real-life newsroom…

Staffer: What year are you in at Uni?

Work ex: Third year, well I should have graduated last month but I didn’t arrange work placements so I can’t graduate until November… at least I’m doing it now.

Staffer: You’re studying magazine journalism – did you work on the student magazine?

Work ex: I didn’t bother… there were other people better than me.

… forget the credit crunch – you’re hired!

In the mid- to late-19th century there were over 1,000 daily newspapers in England. Information was scarce and people were as hungry then as they are now for grisly tales of murder and titillating stories from behind the doors of respectable Victorian villas. (Murders in The Times archive 1850-1899 – requires subscription to see full articles)

At the same time Madame Toussauds was doing a roaring trade, and for much the same reason papers were selling like hot-cakes. Information – be that the likeness of great figures such as 18th century naval hero Horatio Nelson reproduced in waxwork, or news of the British Army’s escapades thousands of miles from home – was scarce. Continue Reading »