Category Archives: Data Journalism

Does BBC Newsnight DUMP guests if they get bad comments on Twitter?

Two weeks ago I saw this tweet.

This really interested me as a journalist who writes about UGC and the power it can have. Most people who consume news and media now follow and comment events on twitter, we have written about this in relation to the Xfactor on #Xfactor and BBC Question Time on #bbcqt. But the revelation that the Editor of Newsnight has a twitter feed in the gallery and uses real time feedback to cull tanking guests really impressed me. As avid reader of this blog you will know we still have something of a trust issue with UGC so we decided to put it to the test (after contacting Newsnight but getting no response).

Theory..

Newsnight ‘data’ set

We watched Newsnight and set up a twitterfall feed with the search #Newsnight, so far so scientific. We then timed how long each guest spoke for and how many positive or negative comments they or the debate that they were having got on Twitter. We then subtracted the negative comments from the positive comments and so each guest receives a single +/- figure. For example. Shaun Bailey received 3 negative comments and no positive ones so he gets a score of -3. We did this on two dates Tuesday 22nd March and Thursday 31st March as we thought it may be slightly more scientific and then we put all the data into a table then a lovely graph thanks to Many Eyes – to see the fully interactive graph click here.

Many Eyes Visualisation

So what have we learnt from this albeit it entirely unscientific experiment..

1. That we need more data to make more of an accurate reading.
2. Any strong reaction on Twitter be it negative or positive means the guest gets more airtime
3. Guests that are hovering near the 0 likeability scores are actually getting less time..therefore boring means less screen time.

It seems that that the initial tweet was right if a guest is tanking i.e boring then they get less screen time! The POWER of UGC is very much alive!

Here are some tweets from John_Crooks when Noman Bentoman, Hisham Matar and Mike O’Brian were talking and they all got amongst the shortest time as they didn’t provoke debate.


Aside from the very many factors that can change. Guests it seems are likely to be dropped if they are dull and get no reaction not bad reaction, after all a programme like Newsnight is all about debate.

As a side note the biggest reaction on Twitter was for a package on the Big Society by Stephen Smith, whose whimsical style seems to have rubbed most viewers up the wrong way..

No chance of that being dropped then..

by JAMES GLYNN @jamesglynn

 

POLL: Do YOU like or trust UGC when used in OUR news?

Ok so over the last few months we have brought you loads of interviews with the ‘big-wigs’ of UGC and News organisations. Now we want to know what YOU our loyal readers and lovers of online journalism think…

In case this is your first time here get yourself up to speed by what we mean by User Generated Content.

A great new post coming just vote in these two polls…ALSO if you have anything else to add please either let us know on our twitter @generatedby user Or comment down below!!! Thanks

and….

What time of day do you get the most out of Twitter? HubSpot reveals all.

One of those golden questions that we’d all like to know the answer to. Especially as journalists. If we’re asking for some information in the form of a question we want to ask it at the time that will brings back the most responses, right?

Similarly if we’re tweeting out news articles, videos, audio interviews etc we want to post them and shout about them when the optimum number of eyes will see our work, of course.

I’ve been looking around for stats on this for a while and came across HubSpot – a fab site dedicated to social media marketing mostly aimed at businesses and advertisers. Lots may think that as journalists marketing isn’t really our thing – it’s the dark side, but when it comes to online journalism and the effective use of social media within our work – it most definitely is.

HubSpot have data on all sorts of things on all the big social media platforms. You can find out what the most retweeted words are, what kind of thing gets the most ‘likes’ on Facebook and what things make users click through links you post in updates.

We all use social media, but lots of us don’t know how to use it properly.  Whether you’re contributing to a blog, updating items online as part of a larger news organisation or finding guests for programmes, optimising your social media usage can make a big impact on your journalism.

After scraping data on the best time of day to send tweets, I put together this visualization using ManyEyes:

What time of day do you get the most out of Twitter? Many Eyes

From the data above we can see that the best times to tweet is:

  • 9-10am in the morning
  • 12-1pm over lunch
  • 4-5pm in the evening

These times correspond directly to an average working day. People arriving at work in the morning switch on their computer and check Twitter, this happens again over lunch breaks and again at the end of the day when employees are anticipating home-time and may be hurrying time along by checking their social networks/tweeting out work they’ve completed during the day.

So keep these times in mind when sharing content with your digital networks – the more eyes the better right?

 

By Lucy Hewitt

How Simon Rogers from the Guardian views UGC

I spoke to the Guardian’s Simon Rogers about User Generated Content, how to source a story from different social media platforms and what the Guardian will be offering in terms of UGC in the future.

Here is a little bit of information about Simon: Simon edits the Guardian Datablog and Datastore and is also an editor for the newspaper. Simon won the annual award for statistical excellence in journalism with his work with the Datablog. His journalism career began on trade magazines The Lawyer and Brand Strategy followed by four years at the Big Issue in the mid 1990s, when this paper was running interviews with leading opinion formers and politicians, including Tony Blair. Rogers joined The Guardian in 1999 and was launch editor of Guardian Unlimited News, and other roles at the paper have included editing the science section.

I asked him how he goes about collecting user generated information and which is the richest social media platform for the Guardian. I also asked what’s in store in the future for UGC at The Guardian.

According to Simon, half the traffic generated for the Guardian’s stories come from Twitter and therefore it is one of the best social media platforms to use. It is also extremely useful when it comes to generating data for interactive maps – a good example of this being when it the weather was unpredictable back in 2010.

By Linzi Kinghorn

User Generated content in media discussed at the NUJ Student Conference

I went along to the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) Student conference last weekend and managed to get in a question to the panel about UGC.

From left to right: Marc Vallée (photojournalist) – Heather Brooke (campaigner & author) – Donnacha Delong (VP NUJ) – Shiv Malik (investigative reporter)

I asked what they thought about user generated content in journalism. As an example of UGC I mentioned how the Guardian published MP’s expenses details, and asked readers to take a look and find any information that they might have missed. This is what each of the panelists had to say:

  • Heather Brooke thought it was impossible for just one person to go though huge amounts of data like the expenses information. She said it was a great idea to put the information into the public domain so that more data could be analysed faster.
  • Marc Vallée used the example of the amateur footage of when Ian Tomlinson was pushed over by police at the 2009 G20 in London. This event led to his death. The footage was sent to The Guardian newspaper who published it. He explained that this is a great example of how the media uses UGC to its advantage. He said that twitter is also extremely useful for journalists. They can find out where people are and what’s happening. It is used a lot by paparazzi to find out where celebs are.
  • Shiv Malik thought that ‘citizen journalism‘ and UGC are very important. But he believes there still needs to be a skilled journalist to put the story together. He said that without the journalist and news organization the information wouldn’t get transmitted to as big an audience.
  • Donnacha Delong mentioned that the police at the G20 summit were trying to keep journalists as far away from the protests as possible. He said that journalists were told to go away for an hour or risk being arrested.
  • Shiv Malik concluded by saying that user generated content is not a replacement for traditional journalism. It does however compliment and add important information to journalism. It also helps keep the police and government in check because anyone can publish online and become a part of news.

By Kirsty Malcolm @kirstymalcolm

Karl Schneider from Reed Business International on how Business to Business publications are using User Generated Content

We had a chat with Karl Schneider, editorial Development Director of Reed Business International, about how his publications are using UGC. He told us that User generated images are the most widely used form of UGC across his Business to Business publications.

They use UGC because RBI is comprised of niche publications. It is therefore often more beneficial to use user content as it is their users that have the most knowledge and access to niche subject matters.

He gives a great example..Farmers Weekly live-tracked the spread of crop disease with data collected and mapped by users. UGC was then effectively helping save farmers crops. By providing more accurate and speedy updates issued by farmers themselves, they were able to share and spread information much faster and more efficiently than traditional media.

Karl told us that this is why UGC is important to RBI:

  • 70% of their revenue comes from online
  • They aggregate user sourced information eg. tractor theft/crop disease which is very useful to their audience, and therefore brings them to the website
  • They create structures so it’s easy for people to add their own information. This can help add essential information to a story that a journalist might not know
  • Forums can help create content for their journalists
  • They can immediately involve the audience in the journalistic process
  • Their readers can let them know what information they need thus creating story ideas for their journalists

If you want to hear more you can watch the interview here:

It could therefore be said that publications can benefit hugely from their audience’s specialist knowledge.

By Kirsty Malcolm @kirstymalcolm