Posts Tagged ‘journalism’


Graphic: Andy Dickinson’s Ethics, Online & Journalism speech as a Wordle

March 6, 2011

Find the full text to Andy’s speech here …

Ethics, online and journalism

Ethics, online and journalism



August 17, 2010


Originally uploaded by photocumbria

Andy has been living rough on the streets of Manchester for the past eight months.

He became homeless after losing his job through illness and falling behind on his rent. The benefits agencies weren’t able to help in time to prevent the loss of his home.

He’s hoping the situation changes soon as he may soon have access to benefits and a place to stay.

This was shot just along from Picadilly Station, next to the Spar shop.


iPhone apps for journalists (or how to justify your new toy!)

July 8, 2010
Blue Mickey in action in an iPhone 3g with FiRe

Blue Mickey in action in an iPhone 3g with FiRe

The iPhone like many smart phones is a brilliant piece of kit, but getting the best from it takes a bit of work and research, and often a lot of trial and error to discover the right app that does what you need it to do.

So to make things a bit easier, here’s my list of iPhone apps for journalists. This is based on my experience with an iPhone 3G – you may know of apps for the iPhone 3GS and 4 models that do the same job better.


Audioboo: Record audio, take a snap and send it to the internet. The quality of the audio is very good (not like a phone call) and it’s already used by a few radio journalists to file from the field. You can’t edit the audio though, not even a top and tail. (Free)

FiRe: Produces very high quality recordings, in a variety of formats (wave, AAC, Ogg Vorbis) Again no edit facility, but this app allows you to FTP the audio or send it to Sound Cloud. (£5.99) There is a free version called Blue Fire, but it lacks the audio effects that improve the audio quality.

VC Audio Pro: A fairly well featured audio recorder and editor, but it’s quite demanding on the hardware and isn’t user friendly – you really have to read the manual to get the best out of it. But it will let you multi-track. Downside is the limited methods of getting the audio of the iPhone – either by email (max. file-size of 10MB), or via wi-fi connection on the same network.


Flickit: A photo uploader for Flickr and better than the official Flickr app! Lets you add detailed descriptions, tags and post the image to your sets and groups you belong to. And if you have and blogs linked to your Flickr account, it will post to those too. (Free) The paid for pro version adds search options for viewing images, including using the GPS in your iPhone to find images taken near where you are.

Autostitch Panorama: Create large and / or panoramic images from a series of images. Requires little user interaction to create the final image, which you then save and can email or post to Facebook. (£1.79)

Gorillacam: A replacement for the standard camera app, that allows you to use a self-timer, take time-lapse images and provides a grid and level on screen. (Free)

Kyte Producer: Create audio and video slideshows, viewable at (needs a free account). Quick and simple to use and can be integrated with Twitter. (Free)


MobileRSS: Sync your Google Reader subscriptions and read them on your iPhone. (Free) There is a paid-for version, but the free version does a fine job, and the ads are barely noticeable!


iPhone with Anycam Powerpack

iPhone with Anycam Powerpack, Blue Mickey and Griffin power adapter

Qik Live: Lets you stream a report live to the internet, which can be flagged up on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. (Free)

UStream Broadcaster: Lets you stream a report live to the internet, which can be flagged up on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. (Free)

The above two apps are nearly identical in use and features, it’s just which interface you might prefer that’ll be the deciding factor.

TCoder: A notpad app that time codes your notes – ideal for note making when recording an interview  / PR thing etc …(Free)

i-Prompt: An iPhone based tele-prompter that is very customisable (and for which you can buy some expensive accessories too) but the basic app is free.

Social Media

Twitter: This was Tweetie, one of the best Twitter clients available for the iPhone. Twitter has since bought out Tweetie and gives it away for free!

Tweetdeck: Keep an eye on Twitter, Facebook and your twitter searches in the one interface and syncit up with the desktop version too. (Free)

WordPress: Post to and edit your WordPress blogs and moderate comments too.


Blue Mickey: A plug-in stereo microphone designed for the iPhone. The latest version now has a mini USB port and a mic/line-in port. Costs £59 / £69.

Eternal battery pack: Using the iPhone for any of the above, especially the streaming stuff really puts a strain on the battery. There are any amount of external power packs and battery cases available for the iPhone, starting from around £30.

Car power socket adapter:
Again there’s a whole load of these available, but do check what’s included in the kit … often they lack a cable!

Note: The prices of the apps were correct when written; but as ever things change! A site I’d recommend for tracking app prices is Appshopper.


When people want the fiction to be reality

March 31, 2010

Interesting things happening over at the AF rangefinder blog

Jane the Phoole

Jane the Phoole

Photographer Jeff Ascough, has, an apparently as yet unannounced AF rangefinder camera to play with … or at least that’s the assumption that’s been made …

Of course reading closer and putting, just a little, thought to the matter, it seems to be a very different kettle of fish!
Probably a rather large, start of April, sort of fish.

There are plenty of clues littered through the posts, but only a few seem to have cottoned on.

At the Canon Rumors blog, there’s whole chapter and verse over what it might or might not be and which major player is behind it … as I said at the start, when people want a fiction to be a reality, they often overlook the truth of the detail.

And yes, I’ve done it too … See the amazing scratch and sniff computer experiment. We had fun with that!


The invisible toaster story

December 27, 2009
Transparent Toaster Concept

The Transparent Toaster Concept

When is a story not a story, or perhaps in this case, when is a toaster not a toaster (and no, this isn’t a bizarre Battlestar Galactica reference!)

This is the stange case of the four-year-old story and the swapping images in two British newspapers.

On the Daily Mail website, there’s a nice little story about a “glass toaster”; you can watch as the toast cooks, and stop it at your preferred brown-ness.

A nice simple page-filling story for Christmas … Except that they put the wrong image up. They initially used this image instead, which raised a few comments on the article.

Now that would be the end of it, wrong picture, swapped out, no big deal; apart from the fact that The Times are running the same story, and also initially used the same image (again now changed).

Bad PR company or lazy journalism?

“So what?” I hear you say, well as I was intregued by the glass toaster, and I though the image was wrong, I did a quick google search for stories and images and came up with these;

The Toastal Printer

The Toastal Printer Concept

From the Daily Mail in January 2008, the exact same story on the same glass toaster! (and I do mean exact)

But then I found this on the tech blog Gizmodo, from May 2006, a story on a Transparent Toaster Concept, with the exact same picture!

So it all comes down to who can’t keep a diary of stories used in the paper, and who’s pulling the wool over the eyes of the subs at the Daily Mail and The Times!!

And finally

Here it is in all its unrealised glory on the Inventables website. It is just a concept and not as the papers make out a finished product.


Saving the newspapers and journalism too!?

April 23, 2009

So, sitting in the office today, I suddenly came up with a briliant idea to save newspapers, and journalism too!

“Stop giving it away! Charge for your content!”

“But!” I hear you all cry “You can’t do that, you’ll upset all the freetards; and anyway no one will pay.”

This is where I think you’re all wrong and because of that, it’s how newspapers and journalism can win out.

The idea here is to get people to pay for what they want to see, at an amount that is, to be quite frank near zero!

And there’s quite a few different ways and combinations of making this work.

  • Let them see the Headline, standfirst and first one or two pars only before charging.
  • No images unless a payment is made.
  • Archive content attracts a premium.

Now,  I know this has all been tried before and failed, but this is where the difference is, instant micro-payments.

Think of the Amazon One-Click system of buying, we apply that here, but with micro-amounts of money; 1p, 2p, 5p etc… These are amounts that peope don’t notice or care about, especially if it gets them what they want.

An example might be:

  • To read a full article 1p.
  • To see the pictures too, an extra 2p.
  • To be able to print it 5p.
  • To post the text on your blog 15p and so on…
  • To view a year-old article 8p

Just think of how you can filter and block your content and make a micro charge for the user to see it.

There’s another advantage to this too:

To enable a one-click micro-payments system, the users have to register and log-on to the site. This means that you can have as much detail on them as you want, which means that all the adds they see can be specifically targetted to them, and thus increase ad revenue.

And don’t forget a system like this is easily expanded to other products / areas of content:

  • Buy pictures for personal / blog / syndication with a mouse-click. Even have them printed and delivered to your door.
  • Buy a subscription to the real paper – it might save money!
  • Selling related items through a box-drop service.

But it’ll make journalism cheap!

Not if you think about it.
How many articles are there in an average paper? 250? 500? 1000? Now divide that by the cost of the news paper, the resultant cost is very small, very small indeed!
The sysem I propose actually increases the value of the articles!

So there you go, a simple and easy system that could save the newspapers and journalism too!

And if any newspaper group wishes to take this up, my commission and consultancy fees will be most reasonable …


The Future of Photography

April 14, 2009

The Future of Photography

Originally uploaded by photocumbria

What the future of photography may look like; perhaps …
Here Robot B9 gets ready to change lenses on his Camon 1D mk 9, swapping from the 24mm f0.95 to his 35-650mm f1.8 lens!

Strobist info

Canon 580ex at 1/16th power gridded and set at 35mm directly above the robot, triggered with an Elinchrom Skyport.
To subject right, Sunpak 4500 with red gel, shot into a silver reflector to tint some of the reflective surfaces.

Shot with a Canon 30; 1/200 sec at f10

See the setup shot here …

Post work done in Photomatix and Photoshop.

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