Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

Best of the blogs: 2009

Posted in Adam, Journalism by Adam Westbrook on December 18, 2009

My Google Reader probably trebled in size in 2009. It’s where I get at least 50% of information, gossip, inspiration and ideas on multimedia,  journalism and the future of news. As a Christmas treat, I thought I’d share some of the best blogs of 2009 with you….

Digital Journalism

10,000 words: Mark Luckie’s site is a goldmine of beautifully presented practical advice for digital journalists. His posts have become less frequent since he became re-employed, but each one is still as valuable.

Journalism 2.0: Mark Briggs is bringing out a new book for digital journalists in 2010 – expect it to become a core text on all journalism course reading lists.

Video Journalism

Advancing the Story: Deborah Potter’s blog on video journalism serves the local American market best of all, but it still has useful advice on shooting video and interviews.

Rosenblum TV: Michael Rosenblum’s blog isn’t your standard VJ fare. As the father of the medium, he is determined to see it revolutionised, and is a vocal herald of the death of traditional TV news. He has pitched for funding on an ambitious plan to give out 1,000 Flipcams in New Jersey, and launches a new video academy in New York in 2010.

The Outernet: David Dunkley-Gyimah’s single handedly pioneered the space between video journalism and cinema; his work resembles multi-million dollar Hollywood flicks. As artist-in-residence at the South Bank Centre in London, expect more news/art mashups in 2010.

Video Journalist: Glen Canning’s site offers some great practical tips for video journalists.

Bob Kaplitz: Bob Kaplitz’s blog is a must for anyone trying to get to grips with the basics of video journalism. He’s done what no-one’s really thought to do up until now – use video to teach video journalism. Clever, huh?


David Stone: a young news editor by anyone’s standards, David’s posts on practical radio journalism are useful for any radio journalist, especially in the UK.

NewsLeader: Justin King has used Twitter very effectively this year to share advice and tips for radio journalists in the UK and elsewhere. There’s more good stuff on his blog.

James Cridland: just returned from a round-the-world tour of radio, Radio Futurologist James has posted from Canada and the US, where he’s been meeting radio producers everywhere and sharing the future of radio with the rest of us.


RESOLVE, Livebooks: not just a blog, RESOLVE, managed by Miki Johnson, is also a community of photojournalists all seeking the future for their craft. The After Staff series from summer 2009 is a superb library for anyone who’s been laid off and wants to make it in the scary new freelance world.

The Travel Photographer: Tewfic El- Sawy niftily picks up the best photojournalism from around the world and showcases it. A forward thinking blog, the Travel Photographer also presents new multimedia from photogs.

Lens Blog: The New York Times’ home for photojournalism is a beautiful resource of the best images from the around the world, plus occasional advice from the experts. Great for inspiration.

Writing, Blogging & Thinking

CopyBlogger: possibly the most famous blogger in the world, Brian Clark’s Copyblogger is vital for anyone who wants to understand how to build an audience and avoid boring them with dull words.

Steven Pressfield: a recent discovery for me, Steven’s Wednesday Writing tips not only cover the art of storytelling, but also shares advice on dealing with your own mental resistance and the limiting mind.

Freelance Switch: the ultimate resource for freelancers in all disciplines,  this site has regular articles on writing, getting and keeping clients.

Lateral Action: I have referred to Mark McGuinness’ work several times in the last year, not least because it’s so damn inspiring. If you’re a creative entrepreneur, and want help staying motivated, managing your time or pushing creative boundaries head to Mark. Lateral Action is particularly special because he’s teamed up with Brian Clark from Copyblogger (above) – a dynamic duo if ever there was one.

Career Renegade: also high up on the inspiration chart is Jonathan Fields site Career Renegade. If you’re a journalist thinking of launching your own startup, and creating your own “renegade career”, for Gods sake, read his book first.

The News Business & entrepreneurship

Directors Blog: since setting up POLIS at the London School of Economics, Charlie Beckett has held conferences and given countless conferences on the future of journalism. He has also influenced the future with his ideas of “networked journalism”; his blog today provides academic insight into journalism in the brave new world.

Headlines and Deadlines: blogging from the frontline of regional press in the UK Alison Gow’s blog has insight surrounded by lots of good links.

Killer Startups: every day 15 new internet startups are posted and critiqued. You won’t find any news ones on here, at least not yet, but it’s a fantastic inspiring resource for anyone thinking of going entrepreneurial.

News Innovation: with the banner “new business models for news” you know this blog is asking the right questions; follow it and you might get the answer. In the meantime, its posted some excellent videos of Jeff Jarvis (see below) explaining why the future of news is entrepreneurship.

BuzzMachine: Jeff Jarvis has emerged as the key proponent of “entrepreneurial journalism” and is leading the way in the classroom with his work at CUNY. His blog explains with passion why the future of news is entrepreneurship. Expect more pioneering ideas from Jeff in 2010.

Online Journalism Blog: one of the best sites for analysis on all things digital, Paul Bradshaw’s blog leans towards the often ignored arena of uncovering, analysing and producing data.

Paul Balcerak: from the US, Paul Balcerak sees the future, and then writes about. He shared some of the most creative uses of video journalism earlier this year, and expertly slams down anyone who is stupid enough to resist the future.

Mashable: in the TechCrunch v Mashable war, I am (after trialling both) firmly with the latter. Techcrunchers slate Mashable for just sharing funny Youtube videos, but it covers the revolution in journalism far better and with a much more positive outlook.

The Media Business: Richard G Picard’s blogs are more like essays, but their insight into business models for journalism is profound, and should be on the reading list of anyone thinking of going entrepreneurial. His articles  in 2009 have been shared on countless blogs.


Design Reviver: unless you’re solely a radio journalist you should really exploit the internet’s fantastic resources for visual inspiration. Design Reviver is one of them, featuring among other things, great wordpress themes and photoshop tutorials.

ISO50: Scott Hansen is not only a talented musician but an exceptional graphic designer who shares his own work and those that inspire him. His retro colours and collages are perfect inspiration, and his taste in music is on the ball.

FFFFound: a must for visual journalists of any kind seeking inspiration. A warning though – you’ll struggle to click through the 100+ marvelous designs and photographs from around the world which will filter into your reader.


4iP: it’s always worth following the latest developments from 4iP towers; they are one of the major funders of public service startups in the UK, and their blog provides a good idea of what the latest developments are – and what they fund.

Duckrabbit’s Blog: Ben Chesterton and David White have shown the rest of us how to do multimedia, especially for non-profit clients. When not producing powerful stories for those without a voice, Ben and David passionately blog about the good, the bad and the ugly of multimedia journalism.

Bombay Flying Club: meanwhile in warmer climes, the three talents of Poul Madsen, Henrik Kastenskov and Brent Foster are producing equally gorgeous content for non-profits all over the world. Their blog acts as a showcase of their beautiful work, and is a great inspiration for anyone.

Innovative Interactivity: Tracy Boyer’s seriously on the ball when it comes to using multimedia and interactivity to tell news stories. Subscribe to her blog and you’ll get thoughtful critiques of some quite amazing work which is paving the way towards the future.

A daily dose of all these blogs have filled my mind with things I never thought possible, and work of superb quality. And there’s already room for more…what blogs do you recommend?


21 Responses

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  1. Tracy Boyer said, on December 19, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Great list! There are some on there I hadn’t seen before, so thanks for the tips! I wanted to add a couple that I value the most:

    Smashing Magazine:
    Six Revisions:
    Information Aesthetics:

    And of course you should promote your own blog as well! But I assume if people are reading your list, then they already know about your blog 😉

  2. Mark McGuinness said, on December 20, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Great list Adam, honoured to be included.

    I’d add Chris Guilllebeau’s Art of Nonconformity – a really inspiring blog for anyone who takes a creative approach to life and work.

  3. Varun said, on December 20, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Nice list. I am going to add few of the blogs though my google reader is also overflowing. Too many blogs to read, track. Arghh….

  4. tewfic said, on December 20, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Adam, many thanks for the inclusion of The Travel Photographer and for the kind comments.

    Marry Christmas & A Happy Nnew Year!


  5. […] Best of the blogs: 2009 « Adam Westbrook – Liste de blog à connaître ou à lire pour tout journaliste multimedia. […]

  6. James Cridland said, on December 20, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Honour to be included; and I’ve only returned from part 1 of my round-the-world; part 2 starts on December 29th… (grin)

  7. paulbalcerak said, on December 22, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Thanks for the endorsement! Really flattered to be included, and by what you said.

  8. Prime said, on December 22, 2009 at 6:32 am

    thanks for this list. very useful for journalists like me.

  9. Tygielles said, on December 23, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Can you guide on a high definition review website. I got this from my friend looks ok

    High definition camera


  10. […] ainsi par tous les moyens à l’information, aux réflexions et aux opportunités, qu’il partage ensuite avec enthousiasme. Une motivation qui devient de plus en plus un minimum […]

  11. […] If none of the resolutions appeal to you so far, think about learning how to use Photoshop (or even cheaper, its open source equivalent GIMP); of how about Illustrator or DreamWeaver? And start bringing in some design blogs into your blog reader. I gave some suggestions in my best of the blogs post. […]

  12. Miki Johnson said, on January 12, 2010 at 12:59 am

    Thanks for including RESOLVE on the list, Adam! This is a great resource…as usual 🙂

  13. Deb Wenger said, on January 14, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Thanks for including Advancing the Story – and keep up the good work yourself!

  14. David Degner said, on January 20, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I recently culled my RSS feeds and put together a list of photojournalism related blogs. We have some overlap, but surprisingly not much.

  15. vanna sherratt said, on February 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Good post. Interesting read. One thing – I’m using Google Chrome and I had a few problems posting comments. I know Chrome isn’t hugely popular but you might want to check it out.

  16. M gates said, on April 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    great compiled list – i had no problem on chrome, great reading.

  17. Blog Clippings » eCuaderno said, on June 29, 2010 at 6:57 am

    […] Adam Westbrook: Best of the blogs: 2009 […]

  18. richard said, on November 4, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    The post is really good, its really interesting..

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