Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Good blog posts come in threes

This is unlikely to be a good blog post though, hence why it is only the second of the day. Just an update on how I found my latest two stories, this notion of 'two' might be a regular theme in this post. The first of my stories, which I actually wrote after the second one (I also like to make my posts slightly cryptic) was the typical story that I hate to write but I feel had a place on the website. As McDonaldization suggests, quantity is more important that quality and it would appear that I am pandering to the slave that is. I found the appeal in the West Midlands Police Press Area which makes it about as establishment as Tony Blair dressed up as a speed camera but hey, PR news is better than no news right? (I feel another blog rant coming on)

Moving swiftly on, as I tend not to do, the second of my stories was remarkably similar and being as anti-PR as I am, I just had to find my own angle on this one. Ashamedly I found the story on my WikioRSS feed for BBC news in the West Midlands. However, I found a new angle by going out and asking a shopkeeper about the incident and how it had effected his viewpoint on things. I got some interesting quotes from him and it made the story very different to the BBC offering. Personally, I think it's more interesting. What do you think?

On a parting shot, I pray that I have done all these links correctly. They can be a right pain!


Leaving it a little late again to be posting my stories, but Wednesday evening/Thursday morning seems so much more appealing than the weekend, and Im getting more than a little frustrated. Im frustrated about many things, not least the pathetic amount of stories that have been posted on UCE News . Personally I have contributed two, which is the required amount, but two in two weeks still seems a measly amount. However, it is more than most appear to have done.

Anyways, moving on from that rant and on to the new one that I originally began writing this blog for (I wasn't joking about the 20% more rambling). I have a story that I have been writing, Iv adapted it for the local angle and interviewed a shopkeeper. He wouldn't give me his name but there are ways around that. It's more the aspect of a picture that irritates me. Now I dont wish to steal one, even though there is one on BBC News that I really want to steal. I can't find one on any of the image banks, unsuprisingly, and even mediapoint is coming up with nothing. I should have taken one of the shopkeeper or something but I didn't think of that and I doubt he would have gone for that anyway. So what do I do? I can't put it up without a picture. Thats rubbish. Unless I just use a stock police photograph. I might do that until a better idea comes to me.

The trials and tribulations of an online journalist eh?!

Thursday, 22 February 2007

First News Story

Now then, now then, as Jimmy Saville would say, I have just posted my first real story on the UCE News . As much as Im sure you wish to rush off and spread the good word to your friends and family but wait, I wish to tell you about how I wrote this

I found a blog written by a West Midlands Police Officer, which I wrote about in the last post. I used this as a basis for my story, backed up by searches made on the Birmingham Mail's website website And thats about it. Take a look!

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Speed Cameras

As Crime and Emergency Services correspondent, I found a blog by a West Midlands Police Officer, who makes some very interesting points about speed cameras and possible replacements.

His blog can be found here:

I think he makes some very interesting points, and I think that this could serve for an insightful first feature article. I'll get on to the proper authorities tomorow, and see if I can speak to this chap about it.

This blog is changing

So...this blog, despite being just over a week old is already moving on. It has packed its bags, called a taxi and is on it's way to the airport to start a new life. There will be little more rambling about online journalism, but fear not, where there is Todd Nash, there will be rambling.

The blog now concerns itself with my new job title, Correspondent for Crime and Emergency Services for our news website, UCE News. The site can be found here:

UCE News

I think that is it anyway, we are still ironing out the details. So from now on, instead of rambling about the virtues of Online Journalism, I will be an Online Journalist. I will report to this blog with my tales of journalistic woe and rant about people that do not tell me what I want to know. So mostly press officers then.

Anyways, thats about all I have to say for this particular blog, except that I am also creating a fanzine for five-a-side football heroes Perry Barcelona. Ask for more detail!

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Why online journalism skills are essential in the news industry

Online journalism is a growing field, and like the oak tree that stems from the smallest of beginnings, the humble acorn, it just continues to grow and grow. An oak tree lives a long time, longer than you or I, and so will online journalism. It currently appears a young sappling, but will soon take over all of its competitors in the tree world. News websites are already huge, but are currently overshadowed by their bigger, taller, leafier siblings, the television and print worlds of news reporting. Not for long.

They are growing up, and catching up, with news websites already infringing on the popularity of their printed counterparts. Soon will come the day when your work colleagues do not read The Times or The Sun, depending on whether you work in the city or the job centre, on their train journey but instead read BBC Online at their laptops. Who knows, they might even read it on the train using tiny microchips implanted on the insides of their eyelids.

People will, of course, be sceptical at first. Some will laugh at them as they think they are sleeping, some will try to wake them at every stop as they are worried that they will miss it, but it is they who will have the last laugh. Their fingers will not be black from the dirty dirty ink of printed newspapers, nor will they have annoyed the angry tattoed baldie sitting next to them by rustling the Financial Times in their hideous faces. They will be laughing like hyenas, not outwardly for then they would appear crazy, on the inside at their technological advancement over these goons. How they will pity non-microchipped people. How they will conquer the world.

We, as journalists, need to gain the skills to exploit this technology. When microchips are implanted in eyelids, do you want to be one of the first writing for this bold new idea, or waiting for a bus looking at the local paper for stories to steal for your big ugly tabloid career? You can continue to make up stories about celebrities and print wabs on page 3 for the working class to drool over in between bites of a bacon sandwich. I'll be riding that gravy train of technology. If we were at weightwatchers, I'd be the after photo compared to your fat mess.

Jumping back to reality, just for a moment of course as I wouldn't want to get too serious on you, but online journlism really is the future. I've tasted it. Before long, most of the working population will be using the Internet as their main news source. Computers are taking over the world, and there will soon be little room for the humble newspaper in this. As a journalist, the skills to work with this technology are essential. In twenty years time, the newspapers will be struggling whilst their online equivalents thrive.

Those who cannot adapt will be left behind, make no mistake. There is no room for sentimentality in the news industry. The skills to work with online journalism are essential for the modern day reporter. The need to work with it is important for those who do not wish to drop their press hats and find a new career. Online journalism is the future. It is time for this acorn to become a tree.