Journalism Evolution and Exploration

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Today we had a guest speaker! The second half of the class featured a guest talk by Eliza Anyangwe (the Guardian Professional Networks). We had the opportunity to explore how journalism has evolved over the past decades as it has moved from a mainly paper medium to the internet and phone publishings. A journalists publishing options have moved from cubicles and sources to webpages, blogs, and a surprising amount of Twitter publishings as journalism has moved into the digital age.

One concern issued during the lecture is the problem of journalism values returning to the “Stone Age.” Journalism values have changed in the amount of information able to be published and how they are written. It is important for certain words to not be used or for it to not appear for an article to be supported by a particular company. Often journalists need approval to write about popular brands and new policies have been put in place as digital journalism has evolved.

Further in to the changing of what journalists write also comes a change in where and how they write, the where being just about anywhere that with laptops or tablets or even a phone and an internet connection. Meanwhile the how changes depending on the for of media the article is aimed towards. An atricle written for a blog may easily be written differently than an article written for a paper newspaper or website, while a Twitter post is even more vastly different.

It leads to an ever evolving medium, and creates an interesting scope of information and methods to be taught to journalism students in an evolving career.

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Media Growth

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On 6th February we spent time talking about various types of media and how the media now takes up such a large portion of our lives. First we discussed a wide range of media types, from hot and cool media, and the various methods media reach us, from magazines to television to books to the vastness of the internet. To begin with hot media is defined as engaging only one sense completely and demanding little interaction, while cool media is a low-def media that engages several senses less completely and demands more participation.

From this we were abel to explore how deeply embedded into our lives media has become. We have moved into a media heavy life where we roll over in bed in the morning, turn off the alarm on our phones and check out what happened on Facebook or Twitter or Email while we were sleeping. We see media plastered to the sides of buses and cabs, lining the trains and tube stations, in general an overwhelming amount of media that is so much more than the traditional newspapers and magazines with their paid ad sections or the easily ignored or skipped adverts that break up your nightly television viewing.

New Course, Old Blog

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A blog that began in DITA will now continue with a new course in LAPIS, Libraries and Publishing in an Information Society.  The first session of the new course began with an overview of the term and an introduction in to the world of publishing in the current age.  Heading in to the final term we started looking in to publishing in the current information society.  As it is the start of a new term a change up Blog title, swapping it from a DITA title for a more general title.

Aside from that…  The definition of publishing has changed as the information age has progressed.  No longer is publishing only the relegated to books.  It has expanded to include a wide variety of products from literature to music to just about any type of information available.  This is just one topic of which the course will be expanding over the next ten weeks.  The new term has begun…

DITA Reflections

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Despite the somewhat early hour of the class (no matter how hard I try, I am not a morning person) DITA was definitely one of my favorite classes this past semester.  While I wasn’t new to blogging, it was nice to get in to a regular schedule that prompted me to keep up a few of my blogs and to explore those written by others.  DITA also explored a wide range of the more digital aspects of the library world, from the emerging world of blogging to TAGs and archiving to an in depth exploration of multiple API’s.  The use of blogging helped to tie in the other topics discussed, linking them together, and creating an opportunity for discussions and further learning.  Blogging the various topics and assignments created the opportunity for a more thorough and in depth exploration of the topics, outside of the lecture or lab periods.

I still can’t believe that the course has already finished!  It’s a bit different for me, as I am used to 15 week semesters rather than the shorter 10 that I get to enjoy at CityLIS, and the time seems to have flown by.  I am eager to continue utilizing this blog (although it might need a name change now) as a means of professional development and learning, as it is a great way to work out new ideas and share or explore information.

Time for a little Holiday break and then on to our Spring classes!  Merry Christmas!

Old Bailey API

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The Old Bailey API offers the opportunity to delve into history, discovering how crimes where categorized and judgments awarded. The API offers a much more in depth way to research and discover the files within the Old Bailey API. The text analysis returns a variety of information to the searches. The API allows for a more critical search that the original search feature. However the original search feature returns a more user/reader friendly view of returned search parameters.

I did have trouble when attempting to export to Voyant Tools, as I continually got an error message when clicking the link. However I imagine that using a visualization tool to view the results in a different manner would have been fascinating.

My chosen Utrecht University digital humanities lab text mining research project was Annotated Books Online, a “virtual research environment for scholars and students interested and historical reading practices.” The search function is very basic when compared to the Old Bailey API, although Annotated Books Online holds a much smaller collection of information.

Overall, while these are two very different digital catalogs of information, the both serve a very historical purpose. Allowing us to reach back in time.

Data Sets and Word Maps

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Data Sets and Word Maps

DITA this week centered around the opportunity for exploring different tools to “surf and stumble,” exploring datasets and the ways that we can break them down.  Three different web sites were utilized to complete this exercise; (http://www.wordle.net) (http://many-eyes.com) and (http://voyant-tools.org).  These websites allow you to input a set of information and then the sites will then analyze and develop that information into a variety of word maps and charts.  This provides us with a visual of what was originally a mere list of data.  You can see which words are most often used and which are used the least.

One of the tools, Voyant, also allows the individual to retract or cancel certain unimportant words such as: a, the, and, of….  These words are an example of often used words that aren’t going to pertain real information to present an accurate visual of the data set.  By retracting these simple words it is makes it easier to discover the meaningful and useful words that appear most often in the dataset outside of the use of if’s, and’s, or the’s.  The Voyant website was easily my favorite of the website, as it allows you to see the data reflected in other ways outside of the word map produced.  These include a summary and a words in the entire corpus section.  These allow for a more ‘wordy’ way of analysing the data beyond the visual word map.  For example, the words in the entire corpus section allows you to see which basic words are used the most and access what words need to be excluded from the word map in order to access the real data.

The various tools used for todays exercise introduce new methods of exploring data and analyzing the contect of a gathering of information.  This is useful in many ways, especailly when researching a particular topic as it allow one to quickly discover what the other important words or imformation are that also come up.  Through this we are able to become better researchers and organizers, editing information and following where a trail leads from one topic to another.

New Ways of Keeping Track

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This week in DITA we looked at the ways of using the company (and program) Altmetics.  Altmetrics is a program implemented by a company of the same name that an individual can use to search for a topic and see how that topic is being discussed, from how often to how many to what platform (social media to the news.)  This provides users new ways of keeping track and collecting useful data.  It allows you to see which articles are the most popular and therefore the most current/useful/popular to your needs.  Or it could help you to find an unpopular article, something not being discussed and therefore something more unexpected.

This also allows people to keep track of news and information in a new way, rather than going to one or more individual websites to look for information, you can go to one website and have the multiple searching done for you in one place.  Altmetrics allows the user to see where the article is beinging discussed, how many people are discussing it, what is being said.  It provides real time tweets regarding the subject and links to the other sources where the topic is being discussed.

This type of technology, rather than cutting out the middle man, introduces a better, smarter middle man that does it a lot faster than without one.  Now, if only it were free like google…