Monday, November 28, 2011

Attention News Entrepreneurs: IPI News Innovation Contest winner wants to help you

One of three winners in the International Press Institute’s News Innovation Contest 2011, the co-convenor of the Digital Editors Network plans to use his funding to support news entrepreneurs.

François Nel, Director of the Journalism Leaders Programme at UCLan, beat off stiff competition from 300 other projects, to be named as one of only three winners who will share a $600, 000 grant from Google for projects in across Mali, Turkey, France, the Netherlands and the UK.

Nel said he will use his grant to launch the Media And Digital Enterprise (MADE) project, which aims to equip digital innovators in the UK and Turkey with the cutting-edge knowledge and skills required to start up and sustain innovative new journalistic enterprises in the public interest.

“With easy access to new and cheap technology, starting up a new media enterprise is pretty straightforward; keeping it up is much more complex," said Nel. "That’s the key challenge MADE will tackle."

Nel, who researches and consults widely on online business model development, will be working in collaboration with software developers from and Sarah Hartley, interim managing director of UK hyperlocal experts Talk About Local and community strategist for Guardian Media Group.

Over the course of the next year, the MADE project will, in the first instance, offer up to 60 news entrepreneurs training in data-driven journalism, online community engagement and digital business development.

Next, 10 high-potential entrepreneurs will be selected to receive up to £3,000 in software and business development support, as well as mentoring through UCLan’s award-winning Northern Lights business incubation support team Digital Editors Network

Finally, the experiences of the project participants will be shared through detailed case study reports and presentations at Digital Editors Network networking events.

If you're interesting in keeping in the loop on how the MADE project develops in the UK and Turkey, add your contact details HERE.

The International Press Institute (IPI), in line with its commitment to defending press freedom and promoting the quality of journalism worldwide, launched the IPI News Innovation Contest with a grant from Google in 2010.

The process of selecting the winners was very rigorous. More than 300 applications were whittled down to 74 and then, in a second round, to 26 finalists whose submissions were reviewed by a panel of experts including Jeff Jarvis, Director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at City University of New York; Torsten De Riese, former Director of CNBC Europe and Managing Director of NewsCred Ltd; Daoud Kuttab, General Manager of the Community Media Network in Jordan, Amy Webb, CEO of Webbmedia in the US and Anthony Dara, founder of NN24 Network News 24) in Nigeria’s first 24-hour news channel.

“The contest, a first of its kind for the 61-year-old IPI, is in line with the organization’s commitment to defending press freedom and promoting the quality of journalism worldwide,” said IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie, who was also on the review panel.

" Of course, UCLAN is home to the UK's oldest journalism programme and has been working to help industry worldwide address some of its key challenges for almost 50 years now, " said Nel. "This project is another example of our commitment to supporting the global news industry as it changes and evolves.”

"I'm really looking forward to linking with others who are committed to building innovative, sustainable digital news enterprises," said Nel, who can be contacted at FPNel [at], or on Twitter @francoisnel .

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Join the #den2011 conversation live here

The Digital Editors Network line up for 20th October is:

13h00 -13h45 Registration & lunch
13h45 - Welcome
13h55 -14:45 - Cliff Langley & Dawn Archer
14h45-15h20 - March Reeves
15h20-16h45 - Break
16h45-16h15 - Grig Davidovitz
16h15-16h45 - Paul Galaghar
1645 Wrap up
17h00 - Networking reception
18h00 - 19h15 14th Journalism Leaders Forum & live Webcast: "The Future of UK Press Regulation: Is there a Third Way", in collaboration with the UK Society of Editors.
Informal discussions continue at the Lamb & Packet

Twitter conversation: #den2011

Diary note: Want to join us next time? The next Digital Editors Network is 24 February 2012. Theme: Invention + exploitation = innovation. Confirmed speaker: Nick Jaspan, serial entrepreneur and founder of

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Leading media innovators contribute to Autumn 2011 DEN meeting, master classes and Forum

Leading innovators in digital media content, multi-platform designand online business models are lined up for two days of Digital Editors Networkmaster classes, meetings and meetups on October 20th and 21st in Preston.

Thursday, October 20th

09:00- 15:00 Master Class: TruthTelling. Have you ever been deceived?In an interview for a new recruit? By a business partner or client? By a colleague? By a news source?
The Truth Telling Master Class with Cliff Lansley and Dr Dawn Archer will interest all who are concerned about the validity of what we hear read and see. Cliff is managing director of Paul Ekman International, whichhas been established to make emotional skills and deception detectionprogrammes accessible across the world, and Dawn is Reader in CorpusLinguistics at the Universityof Central Lancashire, where her internationally-rated research includesusing computer aided linguistic analysis to identify implicit/“hidden”messages.
More details about the master class, which suitable for professionals from a variety of disciplines, including media managers, investigators andresearchers, download the workshop flyer here and register here.

13:00-17:00 Autumn DigitalEditors Network meeting programme will focus on innovations incross-platform content, design and commerce. Confirmed presenters are:
  • Paul Gallagher. The Manchester Evening News was praised for its coverage of the summer riots which included instant news, pictures and comment via a live blog that ran during the disturbances. Paul, the MEN's head of online editorial, reports on its success and gives digital editors the chance to reflect on the advantages and limitations of live blogging.

  • [Note: This session has been rescheduled for the next DEN meeting in Feb 2012] Sarah Hartley. Guardian Media Group Community StrategistSarah Hartley will introduce GMG’s latest innovation:, a communitynoticeboard for online and mobile. Sarahwill give DEN a glimpse behind the scenes at the site's Beta and explain the opportunitiesit provides for local newspaper journalists.

  • Grig Davidovitz. “Content is beautiful. Surprising. Shocking.Funny. Dramatic. Engaging. Try to see that in today’s journalistic websites.They are over-crowded with information, displayed in dull, static templateswith dense content areas and inefficient banners. So how can websites expresstheir content better?” A cross-media digitaldesign specialist with wide international experience, Grig will address thaqt question during the DEN meetingand expand his explanation the next day in the News Show master class (Register here.).

  • Cliff Lansley.There’s a lot of talk about truth and lies in the media. But just how good areyou at detecting truth and deception in verbal and non-verbal communication? Paul Ekman International managing director CliffLansley will introduce some basic truth/liess analysis techniques – and giveyou a chance to test them.

  • Marc Reeves. When the editor of the Birmingham Post leftthe mainstream media to join digital start up many wondered just how long it wouldlast. Well, it’s been almost two yearsand Marc will tell us what it takes not only to start up a new online news business,but to keep it up.
Book your place at #den2011 here .

17:00-18:00 Networking Reception in Greenbank Foyer.

18:00-19:15 The 14th Journalism Leaders Forum in Greenbank Lecture Theatre will debate"Press Regulation: Is there Third Way?" These have been bruising times for the Press. Scandals about the conduct of some journalistshave not only brought down journalists, senior executives and one of thelargest newspapers in Britain, but it has also prompted the resignation of thehead of the Press Complaints Commission and raised questions about the futureof press regulation. Those who seek to simplify the issues usually offer twooptions: press self-regulation, or government regulation. But others are lookingfurther afield and so we're asking, "Is there a Third Way?" Thepanel will include executive director of the Society of Editors BobSatchwell, head of journalism ethics at UCLAN and former deputy editor of The Independent on Saturdays Michael Williams, the head of the Global Forum for Media Development Bettina Petersand, author of Journalism Ethics and Regulation Prof Chris Frost, Director of the Media Standards Trust Martin Moore and Prof Peter Cole, co-author of Newspaper Journalism. This event, which is open to all UCLAN students and the public, but advance registration is essential in order to guarantee seating.

If you can't be there in person, there are other ways to join the discussion. You can post your questions and comments on this site, or you can participate in the live Webcast by logging in here as a "guest". Online participants will be able to post questions to panellists and each other in a text chat room. Follow the conversation on Twitter at#14jlp.

19:15 onwards. Informal discussions continue at the Lamb & Packet pub .

FRIDAY, October 21st

Update: Regrettably this Master Class has been postponed until Spring 2012. Please contact Francois Nel at FPNel @ if you'd like to get more information.

10:00-17:00 MasterClass: It’s News Show Time online, on mobile, on tablets. Wondering how mobiles and tablets influence your website design - and your cross media business strategy? Then join this one-day workshop with Grig Davidovitz on ways to turn dull, template-based sites into coherent, cross-platform newsexperiences that captivate users, confound the competition - and grow revenues.
As online journalism evolves it becomes clear that the one-template static sites are just not enough. News sites should be able toinstantly change to reflect drama (Muammar Qaddafi has been toppled) tohighlight the best elements of the article (an amazing video of the hurricaneIrene hitting the shores of the US) and to create dynamic information packages(all the news on the elections today). This dynamic experience should bevisible on all digital devices, according to the users’ choice: laptops, mobilephones and tablets.
This workshop will be presented by the international digital media consultantGrig Davidovitz, who is regular conference speaker and workshop leader for the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). Grig has recently worked with, among others, HearstMagazines (US), 24 Sata (Croatia), TTGItalia (Italy) and Haaretz (Israel).
In the first part, the workshop will present solutions forimproving organic traffic and stickiness by creating flexible news sites andsuccessfully duplicating this "news show" on all devices. In thesecond part, it will explore different ways of monetizing digital products,including: a) Improving display-ads; b) paywalls, freemium and selling content;c) e-commerce.

Please register for the News Show Master Class here.

For the latest programme information follow @denupdates on Twitter or contact Francois Nel at FPNel @ or Nick Turner at Nick.Turner @ .

Friday, July 15, 2011

Help shape the DEN programme for 2011/12

Restoring trust. Reviving revenues. Republishing across multiple mobile devices. Recruiting and retaining talent, inside and outside of the organisation. There's a long list of challenges that digital media businesses face.

What we (that's the DEN convenors Nick & Francois) would like to know is what themes you want discussed at the three meetings we're planning for the coming year. And, of course, we would also welcome suggestions and volunteers to present.

Please post your feedback here, or get in touch with Francois Nel / , @francoisnel or Nick Turner / / @nickincumbrian.

The dates are:
  • Autumn, 20st October 2011 in Preston (confirmed)
  • Winter, 21th Feb 2012 in Preston (confirmed)
  • Spring 2012, May (TBC)

The Digital Editors' Network works to connect media innovators and relies on the volunteer efforts of participants and presenters, along with the hospitality and little hard cash from UCLAN and Vision + Media. And we welcome donations from you, too.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Play it again: #socialden slides and links

You can visit, revisit or replay the presentations from the #sociaden meetup, Social Media & Publishers: mobilizing, managing, measuring and monetizing the engagement, on 24th May 2011 in Preston by checking out the live blog log or by following these links to the speakers' slides:
  • Journalism Leaders Programme director Francois Nel's slides with findings from the 2010 World News Future and Change Study* and the ongoing Where Else Is the Money? project (*Newpaper executies can participate in the 2011 survey here - and get a free copy of the final report).
  • Facebook's Karla Geci's slides.
  • The Independent, the I paper & Evening Standard’s Jack Riley's slides
  • Institute for Analytic Journalism’s Tom Johnson slides (to be posted soonest).
  • Social Media consultant Paul Teague 's slides
Also see Clare Cook's blog for a summaries of presentations by Karla, Jack, Tom and Paul .

Diary note: the Autumn 2011 Digital Editors' Network meeting is slated for Tuesday, 18th October in Preston. Got a suggestion for a speaker or theme? Please post it here. And follow us on Twitter @denupdates to keep in the loop.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

#socialden coming to you live on 24th May - wherever you are

Anyone who still doubts that mainstream media are no longer the gatekeepers of mass communication and knowledge dissemination would do well to talk to Hosni Mubarak. Or to ‘CTB’.

With over five billion mobile phones in use, over 100 million smart phones sold per quarter (Q4 2010), 175 million Twitter accounts*, 600 million Facebook users (Jan 2011), one billion Google search queries per day (Mar 2011), news publishers (and others) are grappling with how they best to link and to leverage the power of social media.

That challenge is under the spotlight at the spring meeting of the Digital Editors Network at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston in Tuesday, 24th May 2011. Those leading the discussion on "Social Media & Publishers: mobilizing, managing, measuring and monetizing the engagement," will include executives from Facebook, The Independent and the Centre for Analytic Journalism.

The program, outlined below, will be Webcast here and also blogged live by UCLan journalism student and BlogPreston editor Joseph Stasko. You can the discussion on Twitter (#socialden) and post your comments and question to the speakers here, too.

13:00 Lunch and registration in Scholar’s Bar
13:45 DEN meeting starts with welcome and introduction – François Nel and Nick Turner
14:00 Facebook’s Karla Geci
14:40 The Independent, the I paper & Evening Standard’s Jack Riley
15:20 Break
15:30 Institute for Analytic Journalism’s Tom Johnson
16:10 Social Media consultant Paul Teague
16:40 1x1x1 session and wrap up

The Digital Editors Network aims to link media innovators, whether they work inside, outside or alongside mainstream media organisations. To keep in touch, join our LinkedIn group and follow us on Twitter @denupdates.

* The number of active Twitter accounts is thought to be much lower.

Friday, April 08, 2011

#socialden2011 Social Media and Publishers: mobilizing, managing, measuring and monetizing the engagement

As we grapple with how to grow audience engagement through social media, it's obvious that we must understand more about how to manage, measure and monetize our activities.

Our Spring 2011 meeting of the Digital Editors’ Network will give you a chance to hear from executives of Facebook, The Independent and the Institute for Analytical Journalism about the opportunities and practicalities of implementing a social media strategy during in a Chatham House Rules-discussion in Preston.

The programme will run from 1:45-5pm on May 24th, with registration & lunch from 1pm in Scholars Restaurant in Foster Building on the University of Central Lancashire's Preston City campus. A networking reception will follow until 6pm.

 Leading the discussion will be:

Karla Geci is Strategic Partner Development for Facebook and former head of marketing for Bebo. Karla works with broadcasters, media companies and content owners who want to leverage the Facebook Platform to build social applications and experiences on their owned web properties and Facebook Pages.

Jack Riley is Head of Digital Audience & Content Development for The Independent , the i paper and the Evening Standard. He has championed innovative ways to use Facebook's features, allowing readers to 'like' Independent content and follow articles from individual journalists or on certain topics such as football teams.

Tom Johnson works in the space where journalism and technology overlap. A former editor at the Scientific American, Tom is co-founder of the Institute for Analytic Journalism and professor emeritus at San Francisco State University.

Paul Teague has 20 years experience in journalism during which time he picked up a Webby award and now works in internet marketing. He'll have practical tips on creating the best Facebook pages and thoughts on how media companies should respond to their advertisers exploring social media options.

The discussion will be chaired by Nick Turner, Head of Digital Content Development for the CN Group. François Nel, director of the Journalism Leaders Programme, will lead the the final 1 X 1 X 1 session during which each meeting participant will have one minute to discuss one idea using one slide / link (if required).

The Digital Editors' Network is supported by Vision + Media and the School of Journalism, Media and Communication at the University of Central Lancashire, home to England's oldest university journalism programme.

For addtional programme details and #socialden2011 Twitter updates, contact or follow Nick Turner at @nickincumbria / , or François Nel @francoisnel /


Do you have - or would you like to take - responsibility for managing multimedia projects? Then check out the Journalism Leaders Programme website for details about the Spring Seminar, Managing Multimedia Projects: delivering innovation in the Digital Age, which runs from 23rd to 27th May in Preston or download the flyer.
#djcamp2011: DEN is offering a data journalism do-shop (not another talk shop) on 19-20 May at Vision+Media at Media City UK, Salford Quays, Manchester. More details about this hands-on skills development workshop with Tom Johnson, ScraperWiki's Frances Irving and Open Data City Manchester's Julian Tait are available here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

#djcamp2011 Data+Journalism+Camp @ Vision+Media, Manchester

Recently Paul Bradshaw asked this question on The Guardian Data Blog:

“Data journalism is huge. I don't mean 'huge' as in fashionable - although it has become that in recent months - but 'huge' as in 'incomprehensibly enormous'. It represents the convergence of a number of fields which are significant in their own right - from investigative research and statisticsto design and programming. The idea of combining those skills to tell important stories is powerful - but also intimidating. Who can do all that?"

One answer: Tom Johnson can. And during this two-day workshop Tom, a former editor of the Scientific American and co-founder of the Institute for Analytic Journalism, will help you get started, too.

Organised by the Digital Editors Network's Data Taskgroup and sponsored by Vision + Media and the Journalism Leaders Programme at UCLAN, this handson workshop is aimed at journalists who are new to or recently responsible for turning data into stories with impact.

Other contributors include Francis Irving, one of the forces behind ScraperWiki , Julian Tait of Open Data City Manchester and François Nel, founding director of the Journalism Leaders Programme and co-convenor of the Digital Editors Network.
What will you learn?
  • Collaboration tools for the newsroom team
  • Customizing search-and-retrieve data tools
  • Extracting data from documents
  • Data cleaning and formatting
  • An elementary introduction to scraping web sites for data
  • Using web “cloud” tools to clean and display data
  • Most important, how to tease meaning and STORIES out of data and then tell those stories in multiple ways
When and where? The progamme runs from 9:30am to 7pm on Thursday, 19th May, and 9:30am to 5pm Friday, 20th May 2011, at Vision+Media @ Media City UK , 100 Broadway, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 2UW.
Fees? Fifteen free places are available for freelances and small businesses (less than 250 employees) from the North West of England. An additional 15 spaces are open to journalists from outside the region, or from larger media groups (with more than 250 employees) at £200. All are available on a first-come basis.
How to enrol? Download the flyer here and enrol here.
Transport? Getting to and around Manchester is easy and Vision+Media at Media City is a short tram ride from the city centre and Piccadilly station (nearest tram stop: Broadway). Also see the Google map .
What to bring? Besides curiousity and creativity, you'll need to bring your own laptop. Wireless broadband and power outlets will be available.
Every participant will also be expected to share in the 1X1X1 session (one slide X one tip/ inspirational example X one minute) on the Thursday evening.
Questions about #djcamp2011? Contact François Nel at or @francoisnel to discuss this workshop further.

Also: If you're charged with managing projects - or would like to move your career in that direction - then check out the flyer of the Journalism Leaders Programme's Spring Seminar, Managing Multimedia Projects: delivering innovation in the Digital Age. The seminar runs from 24-27 May in Preston and can help you earn academic credit towards a postgraduate certificate, diploma or Master's degree.