Archive for the ‘Academics’ Category

Computer Assisted Reporting (CAR): some sources

30 September 2008

Here follows the lecture prompts for part II of my 2008/9 lectures on Computer Assisted Reporting (CAR). For part II on theory – see here (more…)


FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT! LinkedIn vs Facebook

7 May 2008

On Read Write Web today there’s a stramash afoot: LinkedIn vs Facebook.

The focus of this article is on which is the better for keeping and establishing professional contacts. Taking this to its logical conclusion (for this blog, at any rate) I thought it might be useful to pit the two against each other for the purposes of finding journalistic contacts.

So... let’s say we are after an expert to pass comment on James Whale‘s attempts to influence the public during last week’s Mayoral Election, through comments made during his radio show on Talksport (for which he quite rightly got the tin-tac). We’re after an expert on media impartiality, or political influence on the media. (more…)


23 April 2008

Colin Meek’s tip of the day on, is to use the Domain filter, which is applicable in Google, Altavista, Yahoo and other search engines.  It allows you to limit your search either to a particular site, or to a particular domain.  Use it like this:




…followed by the domain name (i.e. or upper level domain (i.e. (more…)

Wikipedia vs establishment sources

10 April 2008

Interesting article in today’s Guardian from Nicholson Baker.  He gushes lovingly and engagingly over that most ubiquitous of web sources, Wikipedia

I was particularly amused by his take on Wiki’s detractors (and by association, the detractors of Wiki’s voluntary authors).  Those ‘deletionists’, those ‘self-promoted leaf-pile guards’ who say ‘your leaves were too crumpled or too slimy or too common, throwing them to the side.’

Last week, while on holiday, I leafed my way through The Cult of the Amateur, a text authored by perhaps the leading ‘self-promoted leaf-pile guard’, Andrew Keen. 

Keen pours endless scorn on Wikipedia, bemoaning the impact it is having on established reference sources (i.e. the Encylopoeadia Britannica), and on our culture more generally.

So I thought I’d try a little experiment here.  How, I wonder, does Wiki’s entry on Nicholson Baker compare with his entry in one of the establishment sources, Gale’s Contemporary Authors, in terms of some of the criteria key to journalists (and other professional researchers) plying their trade?  We’re talking Up-to-dateness, Degree of detail, Referencing and reliability, and Authoring and reliability here. (more…)