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Archives: June 2013

What iOS 7 Says About New Media (And Its Consumers)

iOS 7 running on an iPhone 5

Somehow, Apple causes a frenzy every time the company introduces a new product, and its newest mobile operating system, iOS 7, is no exception to the rule.

Earlier this month, Apple announced the forthcoming iOS 7 at its developers conference in San Francisco. The new system has a pretty striking visual. I didn’t think Apple products could look cleaner or simpler, but enough about its aesthetic.

Here are some conclusions I think journalists can draw from iOS 7’s features and functionality:

Reporters are even better equipped to make their iPhones a “one stop shop” 

Gone are the days when writers had to lug around reporter’s notebooks, laptops and tape recorders. At a moment’s notice, you might have to get up and go with only your iPhone in your bag.

Some pretty fascinating experiments have been done on reporting solely with an iPhone in the past, and 10,000 Words’ Lauren Rabaino wrote a piece on the concept a couple years back. It doesn’t seem possible, but now iReporting (to use a CNN-coined phrase) will be a more streamlined process thanks to iOS 7. Read more

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Cover Tech Trends at The Boston Globe Magazine

Boston Globe Magazine

Journos covering local and national trends can land a byline at The Boston Globe Magazine, the Sunday supplement to Boston’s leading daily paper, The Boston Globe. Over 75 percent of the magazine is freelance-written, and editors are eager to work with new writers who are pitching fresh meat.

A redesign in March of 2012 updated the look of the magazine and added a few new columns to the front-of-book section called “Boston Uncommon.” The magazine aims to speak to a diverse audience — men and women of many economic and educational backgrounds –- and focus on Greater Boston and occasionally New England. “Readers tell us that The Boston Globe Magazine is one of the most popular sections of the Sunday Globe,” said editor-in-chief Susanne Althoff.

Editors aren’t interested in random pitches, however, so make sure to tie your ideas into the theme of the magazine. For more info, read How To Pitch: The Boston Globe Magazine.

Sherry Yuan

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Border or Bust: Investigative Journalists Get Serious With New Media

Social media isn’t just for tweeting fillibusters or tracking fugitives — some outlets use new media as their main reporting strategy and to brand their beats.

This story about journalists reporting on the Mexican drug war shows that social media provides not just a great outlet for curating reports but also a shield from the threats that surround breaking news on dangerous people. Instead of going down the rabbit hole of bloggers versus ‘journalist,’ I find it rather inspiring. In the wake of all of the news surrounding sources, leaks, and the reporters that handle them, it’s been a rather good season for serious, investigative reporting.

Other outlets, like the Center for Investigative Reporting have launched new media campaigns that beg for awarenes concerning issues on the border. They also beg to be shared; Jonah Perretti would be proud. They’ve taken some very serious data and turned it into something that borders on silly — like this video that shows what the amount of marijuana seized on the border looks like and a series that plays on the “Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews” – ”Real Actors Real Yelp Reviews of U.S Border Checkpoints.

It’s takes the phrase “Funny or Die” to a whole new level, considering the severity of life on the border. Apart from their intended purpose, it’s also a good example of the thin line between journalism and marketing. Once you’re entertained, there’s also this interactive map if you want to get serious with the data.

Is there something about the Mexican border beat that breeds ingenuity? Have you seen any other great ways that journalists are using new media?

Knight News Challenge Winners Make Courts, Local Government More Accessible

Anyone who’s ever tried to follow a court case, interpret a legal document or even obtain one in some jurisdictions, knows how difficult it can sometimes be, even for the dogged journalist determined to see what’s in those dockets. Those legalese-filled decisions and depositions are gold mines of information and stories, but they’re often out of reach or understanding of the average person. This week alone the Supreme Court of the United States this week alone handed down major judgments invalidating parts of the Voting Rights Act and bans on gay marriage, to name a few of the decisions released. How many other court cases out there are setting precedents in your state and community? Chances are you don’t know, or even more likely, don’t know how to know. Figuring out what’s on the docket, where things stand and what they mean … well, who has time and the skills for that? Enter Oyez Project. Now, thanks to funding from the Knight Foundation, the group that has long brought clarity to SCOTUS proceedings can take it down a level, so to speak, and expand its interpretations to state supreme courts and federal appellate courts.

Oyez is one of eight projects aimed at opening up government data and resources that received a combined total of $3.2 million in funding in the latest Knight News Challenge contest. While not all of them are, strictly speaking, related to news, they are all related to making government more transparent and easier to understand and work with. That’s the goal most journalists aim to achieve as well. Here’s a brief glimpse of this round’s winners, announced this week:


Read more

WatchUp: ‘Video Centric News Reader’ Relaunches With New Features

As if you needed another way to waste time, WatchUp, an app that aggregates news video content has relaunched with new partnerships, a redesign, and new features.

It’s worth a download, especially if you consider news consumption to be anything but a way to waste time.

Founder Adriano Farano, a self proclaimed ‘digital dinosaur’ who helped found Cafe Babel, calls the app a “video centric news reader” focused on setting a new standard for the news experience on the iPad:

It’s no joke… There are many video aggregators but none that focus solely on the news. We offer all that comes with the immersive experience of video, and a chance to read print articles.

He’s talking about the new Watch and Read feature, which allows you to choose to ‘lean in,’ he says, if something is particularly of interest and click on links to related articles from around the web for context.

Read more

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