Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

Journalism posts: a summary IV

Posted in Fresh eyes series, Ideas for the future of news, Journalism by Adam Westbrook on March 31, 2010

It’s the end of the first quarter – here’s a wrap of all the highlights you might have missed on the blog so far in 2010..

Future of Journalism

10 resolutions to make you a better journalist in 2010

On snow and innovation

The one question journalists need to start asking

The newspaper doing multimedia journalism…in the 1950s

Three ideas for news businesses which will never work (and why)

Ideas for the Future of News: 006 – geo tagging

Ideas for the Future of News: 007 – the revolutionary search engine

Fresh Eyes: what can journalists learn from a musician?

Fresh Eyes: what can journalists learn from a web coder?

Fresh Eyes: what can journalists learn from a branding expert?

Why the BBC cuts are a call to action for Next Generation Journalists

Multimedia Journalism

My new ebook for hyperlocal websites is published

Book review: The Digital Journalist’s Handbook by Mark S Luckie

Five myths about shooting video

The TV news package is ripped to pieces…and how you can make it better

Five quick tricks to add spice to your storytelling

Three amazing films – shot on a DSLR camera

…and why the DSLR is changing video journalism

The digital magazine pushing the boundaries of online storytelling

Previous summaries from 2009 are right here!

Your last chance to get “Newsgathering For Hyperlocal Websites” on the cheap!

Posted in 6x6 series, Journalism by Adam Westbrook on January 16, 2010

As promised, the ebook Newsgathering For Hyperlocal Websites, will move up to it’s original price of £7.99/~$13.00 at midnight on Sunday GMT.

That means you’ve got about 24 hours to buy it at a bargainous discounted price of £4.99/~$8.00

If you’ve not heard the buzz, it’s a 40 page e-book written specifically for anyone starting up a hyperlocal website. It’s packed full of advice on finding local stories and turning your blog into a real source for local news, adding value to your readers’ lives. Here’s a list of chapters.

As well as some lovely reviews, there’s been lots of positive feedback from journalists and bloggers at the News:rewired conference in London this week. But there’s also another big reason to get this book while it’s still so cheap.

Already I have a new edition planned, which will be rolled out  later in 2010 to keep up with new developments in this fast moving field. But rather than release a whole new book (old school, or what?) I’ll be releasing new chapters like a software upgrade.

That means if you’ve already got the book you’ll get a chance to buy these new sections for as little as £1, depending on what they’re worth, a week before they go into the main book.

Everyone else will have to buy the whole book from scratch.

Click here to buy (Paypal only)

So don’t delay. It’s only a fiver!  But having said that, if you can only spare a fiver, donate it instead to the DEC Haiti appeal – if you’re in the UK, text “GIVE” to 70077 or click here; in the US text “Haiti” to 90999.

A new ebook for hyperlocal bloggers

Posted in 6x6 series, Journalism by Adam Westbrook on January 11, 2010

The numbers of excellent hyperlocal websites in the UK and the US bloomed in 2009, from The Lichfield Blog, Bournville Village, Kings Cross Environment and Pits n Pots in the UK; to CrossCut, Red Bank Green and the Ann Arbor Chronicle in the US.

But will they fill the void left by shrinking, or dying, local newspapers?

That is the challenge laid down to them; and if hyperlocal blogs and websites are to have any lasting resonance as a new way of doing news, they will have to live up that, and move beyond simply aggregating other content and hosting a listings site.

In other words, they must become newsgathering operations in themselves: finding stories, checking facts, holding powers to account and sharing the results with their community of readers.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a new ebook, out today, to help all hyperlocal bloggers big or small, young or old, get the news that matters to their community. It’s called…

Newsgathering For Hyperlocal Websites

What’s in it?

In 40 pages it covers everything from getting news from council agendas and press releases, finding out about crime, keeping on top of your local sport team and submitting Freedom of Information requests.

In it are the tools you’ll need to create a one-person newsroom, which gets all the important press releases and has all the important contacts. You’ll find out how to create and manage an effective news diary which means you rarely miss a big story.

I explain why you don’t need to pay for expensive news wires to get confirmation of big national news stories on your patch, and show you step-by-step how to submit an effective Freedom of Information request. The end of the book contains an appendix of templates you can print off and use to get started.

It’s based on my years as a local reporter, at times single-handedly managing a news desk which covered no fewer than three counties at once. I learned the hard way how to report on local news, and it’s all in Newsgathering For Hyperlocal Websites.

Click here to get a free peek at the contents (pdf)

Who should buy it?

This book is ideal for anyone who is setting up a hyperlocal website, or is thinking about it. All the information I have shared I have done so with a small hyperlocal outfit in mind: there is no other journalism guide book like it. Journalism students will find it a great simple breakdown of the newsgathering operation.

It is written chiefly for the British hyperlocal blogger, and although the terms will differ in other countries, the techniques are applicable in the US, Europe and beyond.

Who shouldn’t buy it?

If you’re a journalist with years of local newsgathering under your belt, you will probably know most of it already. However, if you are not used to covering a patch/beat single-handedly you will find the contents useful, no matter how long you’ve been in the trade.

How do I get it?

I’m publishing it with an awesome discounted price of £4.99 (~$8.00/EUR5.50). This will last for 7 days at which point it’ll go up to its normal price, so buy quick to get the good deal!

Click here to get your mitts on one!

Any feedback on the first edition will be much appreciated: I’ll bear everything in mind for future editions!

Update: hyperlocal blogger Philip John over at JournalLocal has reviewed the book.