HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR ELECTION COVERAGE
Data journalism and multimedia tools boost your stories
Why would any self-respecting journalist need to learn how to cover elections? Surely it’s common sense. Not really, writes course leader GRAEME ADDISON.
Obviously, election reporting should be fair, accurate, not take sides, deal with the issues, watch for evidence of vote tampering, and cover the results objectively. What more could the public ask of the media?
Well, a lot. And with the data journalism tools now available, election reporting can be deepened and made a lot more informative for the average voter. It’s not about statistics and dry charts. It’s really about conveying the essence of each election fight simply, visually and with direct relevance to voter issues in each ward.
Angry protests over the provision of services in health, sanitation, policing, housing, education, roads and much more have shown that citizens are not happy with the way they are being governed.
Original photo: TimesLive
South Africans today face the most challenging municipal elections in the history of this young democracy. Unlike the Parliamentary elections, where there Continue reading
You can build a mobile app yourself, but beware – the devil is not in the detail, it’s in the overall concept. Graeme Addison explains DIY apping.
An amusing Dilbert cartoon in Business Day says it all: Stop doing what you’re doing because it isn’t working! I’m not suggesting that mobile apps – or for that matter websites – are a waste of time. Far from it. But unless you have a clear, integrated strategy for pulling in users you may be spending more time and money than it’s all worth.
At the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in Johannesburg I’ve just led a 3-day workshop on DIY App creation. If you want to do it yourself, the main question is how – what buttons to push – but this is really not the question you should be asking. It’s actually quite easy to sign up on one of the many online DIY app builders and get the technical job done.
These cloud-based services may cost you anything from $3 to $750 per month or more, but they are specifically designed to make apping easy. It’s Apps for Dummies, or the Idiot’s Guide to Going Mobile with your idea. One of the first such services to be successful was Infinite Monkeys, an ironic name chosen because the theory goes that an infinite number of monkeys given enough time and keyboards with word-processors could produce the works of Shakespeare. (They since changed this name to Appmakr, possibly because it was an insult to their users!)
You are probably no monkey but you may be an idiot when it comes to computer coding. At a loss, anxious, befuddled and wanting to make a good splash but not knowing how, you opt for one of the easy client management systems and hope it will do the job for you.
It won’t. It can’t conceptualise what you want, and Continue reading