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Preview: blog dot org from David R Brake

Updates on the internet, journalism and its social and policy implications from a Canadian academic and journalist

Last Build Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:31:36 +0000


Be careful what you ask for…

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:31:36 +0000

As an media scholar and journalist with an interest in the digital divide, I have long believed that one of the things that media outlets could do a lot better is using their higher profile to give a voice to ‘ordinary people’ who have something to say. I also believe that one of the things […]

Youth interest in elections on the rise?

Tue, 01 Mar 2016 14:50:07 +0000

Canada is the latest Western country to find that the youth vote, long thought to be in terminal decline, has in fact been rising. In the run-up to their 2015 elecion there was considerable speculation that Canadian young people had turned out to vote, but proof of the scale of the change has just emerged. […]

Facts vs analysis in journalism – Doris Day discussed this 50 years ago!

Mon, 22 Jun 2015 14:46:22 +0000

I found myself watching Teacher’s Pet, a 1958 romantic comedy about a hard-bitten hack going to journalism school and was struck that even then journalists were arguing over hard news versus analysis. This clip could be worth slipping into your teaching if you are a journalism prof: “This isn’t a rehash – I’m talking about The […]

The news “long tail” – are readers, journalists’ and advertisers interests diverging?

Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:40:20 +0000

Two recent pieces of news made me think about the issue of timing of news consumed online. Most obviously, online publication pushes journalists to publish ever-faster, but the ability to archive everything means there is also a place for “evergreen” features and explainers. Once done, as long as they are revisited from time to time to ensure […]

Are we seeing the death of the discussion forum?

Wed, 18 Mar 2015 22:47:14 +0000

I am used as a journalism professor to suggesting to my students that for any specialist topic – a disease, a hobby, a location – they should seek out the online discussion forums chat rooms or mailing lists that relate to it. These can act as sources of expertise or places where they can seek […]

Beware visualisations for their own sake

Tue, 13 May 2014 21:24:08 +0000

I saw this and was momentarily intrigued. Then I clicked on the pic to see it full size. It didn’t get any bigger and was therefore still unreadable. So I ended up having to go visit the original story at – now the individual text was readable but you couldn’t get a sense of […]

Tracking the social media footprint of academic output made easy

Wed, 02 Apr 2014 21:22:08 +0000

A few months ago, I mentioned how provides near-real-time tracking of visits and visitor demographics for any publications and used my own paper “Are We All Online Content Creators Now? Web 2.0 and Digital Divides” as an example to show how it works. Recently I came across a new tool that makes this tracking […]

First-person audio storytelling moves in a way conventional journalism struggles to match

Wed, 12 Mar 2014 15:54:46 +0000

I’d read and heard about the horrific tsunami that hit Japan three years ago, but none of it moved me in the way this simple podcast eyewitness testimony did. Audio is the most intimate of mediums, and lets the mind fill in its own pictures of the events described which I think are more vivid […]

Online journalists benefit from legal access to huge image library

Fri, 07 Mar 2014 16:44:24 +0000

If you are using images online as a journalist you need to ensure that you have the rights to put them on your site legally.  If you do a Google image search, click on “search tools” and select “usage rights” that’s one way to ensure what you’re finding you can use, but in addition image […]

Mapping a digital dashboard for journalists

Thu, 13 Feb 2014 14:35:36 +0000

I love hearing about the latest digital tools that help one operate as a journalist/researcher whether that be twitter search and monitoring tools, bookmark management tools, people search tools etc. “Search : theory and practice in journalism online” by Dick is particularly good for finding and describing this stuff – but I am not aware […]