Daily Archives: January 11, 2012

New Journalism project

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will probably know that I have created a new website called ‘The New Journalist’ and that I’m looking for writers and contributors.

The basic idea is this: I have blogged about the terrible state of the UK media for a few years now and whilst I do believe that this is a worthwhile pursuit, I also acknowledge that it is also never really going to make any real difference in the way that the mainstream media functions. I have therefore decided rather than just criticise the current state of a lot of media output, I would actually create a platform for young or aspiring writers to get their views into the public sphere to counter the increasingly dishonest and irrational content currently inflicted upon us by large swathes of the media.

Whilst many individuals may have a blog or want to start one, few people can properly afford the time and effort to build up a readership and many good writers often fall by the wayside because of this. What The New Journalist aims to do is offer them a well publicised shared platform to which they can make the occasional contribution, allowing them more time to research the topic that interests them and put together an article that they can be proud of [avoiding the late-night rushed blogging that so many of us suffer from].

I want to give a platform to younger writers in particular because so often they bear the brunt of negative media portrayals or indeed political decisions without necessarily having any real right of reply.

I have built the site on a spare domain somewhere ready for activation, I now just need writers to provide the site with some content. You can write about anything really because this is never going to attempt to be a news site [impossible given the constraints], but rather more considered articles on contemporary matters – or articles on topics of interest that are not covered by our throwaway news industry. General categories will be:

  • Arts & Culture
  • Education
  • Science
  • Environment
  • Business
  • Politics
  • Life
  • Technology
  • Human rights
  • Technology
  • Health
  • Essays

Here is what I expect from contributors [some of these adapted from NUJ code of conduct for journalists]:

  1. All contributions should be as accurate as possible. This includes hyper-linking to all online sources used and referencing all other offline sources of information using endnotes.
  2. All information disseminated should be honestly conveyed, accurate and fair.
  3. Opinion pieces should clearly be marked as such, and should not contain any confusion between fact and opinion when creating an argument.
  4. Any information within the article must be obtained by honest, straightforward and open means, with the exception of investigations that are both overwhelmingly in the public interest and which involve evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforward means.
  5. Produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.
  6. Avoids plagiarism.

Furthermore, contributors should notify the editor as soon as possible if they spot any mistakes in their article/s or would like to add any form of clarification.

The editor reserves the right to publish only the articles that meet this criteria.

If you are interested in becoming a regular contributor, please email editor AT thenewjournalist.co.uk with details on yourself, what you are interested in writing about and preferably an article. All articles will be edited if needed before publication and for the time being no payment can be offered. What I do hope to offer budding writers is the chance for their work to receive a decent amount of readers from day one.

thenewjournalist.co.uk does exist but is currently just a holding page. The website will be launched as soon as a team of writers are in place. I made a resolution that in 2012 I would get my projects going, and this is the main one, but it cannot succeed without your help. Please spread the word, follow The New Journalist on Twitter and visit the new site when it is launched.

MailOnline fakes Austrian snowstorm picture

MailOnline have an article on heavy snow in Austria, and have decided to claim that a photograph taken in a famously snowy region of Japan is actually of one of the locations in Austria that they describe in the article. Here is the photograph from the MailOnline homepage (note a pretty dire headline fail as well):

In the article itself the photograph is accompanied by the following caption:

Tunnel vision: The road into Ischgi was briefly open before being closed because of avalanche fears

If you do a search for the image using TinEye you get 142 results clearly showing the Japanese origins of the photo. Here is a link to one blog that not only contains the picture from the Daily Mail article, but also lots more lovely snow pictures to look at to take your mind off of the mild, grey winter we’re experiencing this year. Also, check out the date of that blogpost: 29 December 2010. The Mail is claiming a picture that is over a year old has just been taken in Austria. Not to mention that the cars in the picture are driving on the wrong side of the road for Austria.

What baffles me is how the Mail ever thought they could get away with this obvious deception – a deception that has been pointed out numerous times in the unmoderated comments under the article. You would have thought everyone would be on their best behaviour whilst the Leveson inquiry was ongoing. Obviously not.

UPDATE:

Whilst is appears that the Mail website has now removed this image, they did not have time to remove it from the print edition of the Daily Mail:

The photo includes the same caption as the original online version of the article, claiming the photo is from the recent snowstorm in Austria. This is embarrassing considering the Daily Mail’s photo editor – Paul Silva – is currently appearing in front of the Leveson inquiry.