Month: January 2014

Mandy de Waal editor of new emag called trendMARK

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trendMark 2014MarkLives.com – the advertising, design and media site  known for exacting content – has launched a new annual emagazine called trendMARK. Edited by MarkLives.com consulting editor Mandy de Waal, trendMark focuses on a wide array of subjects related to trends. The magazine offers insights from ‘thought leaders’ such as Dion Chang, founder of Flux Trends, who has established himself as one of South Africa’s most influential trend analysts; entrepreneurial educator and principal at the Ogilvy Digital Marketing Academy, Dave Duarte; MD of Idea Engineers, Shauneen Procter; founder of Fuseware, Mike Wronski; Ornico CEO, Oresti Patricios; as well as head of digital strategy at Machine, Andy Gilder.

MarkLives.com’s writesL “In its launch issue, Duarte outlines a three-step process for deciding what trends are while Chang gives a rundown of top trends in the consumer landscape, from retail disruption to understanding the millennials and their plenty martyrs. Patricios contributes on media trends, looking especially at that the politics of mobile news, and Gilder refuses to bark up the wrong tree, urging that we all focus on perfecting what we already know instead of trying to prophesy the future of digital.”

“Procter discusses the bigger picture in incorporating sustainability in business operations, driving the point home that ‘green’ is not a colour, while Herman Mason, editor and publisher of MarkLives.com, discusses the advertising landscape of 2013 and extracts lessons for the adland to learn as we progress into 2014. Gugu Mtshali, Ornico’s head of Africa division, who’s been eating, breathing and shopping the Nigerian way for seven years, shares on Nigeria’s Retail Death-match. According to Mtshali, everyone must be at the edge of their seats as 2014 and beyond hold more excitement for the West African giant than we’ve ever seen.”

“trendMARK is a joint venture between Brand Intelligence company Ornico and MarkLives.com, the authoritative voice of the advertising, branding, marketing and media community in South Africa. Design for this premier annual is done by Idea Engineers, the communications agency with a business-minded approach.”

Read or download the full magazine via Issuu.

Download the emag – trendMARK 2014 Pdf (12mb).

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SA Youth very keen on news

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Good news for news brands – young people are accessing news via social media, blowing apart notions that the many hours they spend every day on Facebook and Twitter are wasted only on trivialities.

Anton Harber cites research from Jos Kuper: “They don’t read papers or watch traditional TV, but they need quick and current news to keep up with their peer group. They just find and use it differently from the way their parents did. And South African youth, the research showed, are intensely involved with politics and discussing it a great deal. They check their cellphones often during the day and pick up snippets on social media, radio (still the most popular medium) or street news posters, and they Google it to learn more. They don’t trust a single source, knowing that the internet can feed them falsities, and so look at a number of reports, particularly those from branded sites, such as News24, CNN and BBC. Once they have verified the story, they share it — tweeting, posting it on Facebook or e-mailing a screen-print. If the story is particularly interesting, it may go viral — and then the mainstream media might report it.”

Read Anton Harber’s piece on BDlive.

Data Journalism – Resources

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Journalism.co.uk has a brilliant, speedy guide of data journalism tools and sources. Skip the first bit, which is very UK specific. About halfway down the page there’s listings on tools like:

  • Tabula, a tool for ” liberating data tables trapped inside PDF files”;
  •  Import.io, which turns website information into data tables;
  • Google Charts – which is fairly useful for visualising and displaying live data on Websites;
  • and much, much more.
  • There’s also cool insights and thoughts about how to use these data journalism tools.\

Read more:

Sources and tools for data journalism at Journalism.co.uk

10 key skills for digital journalists to hone in 2014 at Journalism.co.uk

 

 

 

MediaGizmos – Interviewy

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Interviewy-homescreen-iPhone-5COne of the tough parts of being a journalist is transcribing interviews. Recording dialogue is the most accurate way of capturing everything your subject says. Recordings are also handy as a back up for any disputes about quotes or “who said what” if you’re doing a controversial story.

But, oy, the task of transcribing interviews! Anyone who has made their bread and butter doing this knows how time consuming and laborious this is. And yes, speech recognition software has been around for years, but for the most part one has to train the software to recognise the accent. Hardly useful if your interviewing loads of different people each week, and you live in a country like South Africa where there are 11 different languages that affect local English dialects in really interesting ways.

That’s why it was particularly pleasing to find Interviewy, an iPad or iPhone app that promises to: “record the important stuff, keep it safe and quickly transcribe it later.” What’s cool about Interviewy is that it is free; is a compact piece of software at 4.5 MB; and looks pretty easy to use. Best of all Interviewy was built by journalists, for use journalists to take away the pain of what otherwise is a great job.

We’ll be testing the app over the next couple of weeks, and hope to report back about how useful it is.

Find Interviewy at iTunes.

Interviewy’s online home.

Read more: App for journalists: Interviewy, smart recording for faster transcription at Journalism.co.uk.

To err is human

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41ma-KlXVmLIn online publishing  perhaps Alexander Pope’s eminent quote “To err is human; to forgive, divine” should be changed to: “to err is human; to correct, divine.” When a fallacious facts make their way into newspapers, the bolted horse often means that corrections are more notably visible.

However in online news often there’s the temptation to fix that fact without a trace of an apology or correction. But given that journalism is the first draft of history, don’t publishes owe it to their readers to act ethically and correct correctly by being transparent in how they make corrections?

The Economist Style Guide dictates:

Apologies and corrections: Unless some other arrangement has been made, apologies and corrections should appear, under the heading Apology (or Correction), in a box in the section giving rise to them, at either the top or the bottom of the page. Corrections need not be ponderous. Apologies, however, should not be flippant. They should leave the reader with the impression that we are genuinely sorry for any offence given, not merely sorry that we had to say sorry.

Making mistakes in the news business is punishing to the ego, but accepting responsibility for those errs creates a sense of accountability which is important to ensure the credibility of news brands.

Besides The Economist Style Guide is useful for a lot more than just good form when it comes to apologies and corrections. From that writer’s ‘how to’, here’s George Orwell’s six elementary rules (“Politics and the English Language”, 1946):

  1. Never use a Metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do (see Short words).
  3. If it is possible to cut out a word, always cut it out (see Unnecessary words).
  4. Never use the Passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a Jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous (see Iconoclasm).