I’ll be back

True to the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s robot assassin in the Terminator, I am back and I’m blogging again. (I had complaints that I had stopped blogging – thanks for those.)

I have been busy. Most recently I have been paid to blog. I am now lead blogger on a new AOL-owned website called Daily Finance (my RSS feed right). Before that I was (unpaid) running a blog at the National Union of Journalists’ (NUJ) annual delegate meeting (ADM). It has been hectic.

So much has happened. News Now has ceased using national newspapers on its new aggregator service because of demands for payment from the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA). A company called Meltwater is now challenging the basis of that in the courts.

Links for free

I have not had time to get to the basis of the NUJ’s argument that aggregators should pay. But my gut reaction is to back the Meltwater. If you provide links to the source articles and don’t copy the articles themselves then that should be free.

News Now was a much more sophisticated search engine than the newspapers’ own websites. It found stories related to insurance that never appeared when searching each paper individually. And whoever designed the Telegraph’s search engine, for example, should be taken out and shot.

A Right to Link campaign has started. I am minded to back it.

Elinor and Kat working on their laptops

Elinor and Kat

NUJ ADM

Covering the NUJ’s ADM was a great, if knackering experience. The next issue of the journalist will include a fair chunk of the students’ work but the website itself is worth a look.

My full report on it says all I need to say, but I’d repeat here how great both Kat and Elinor are. I know Kat has spoken to a few editors I have recommended and I hope she gets a job out of teaching NCTJ law and into a newsroom where she belongs.

Elinor would be a good poach if anyone is interested in a reporter with a nose for news.

And finally

I was Jon Slattery’s third journalist to review the year and make predictions for 2009. This does not suggest I am the third most important. I think I was the third to reply.

In fact, quite possibly, I was the first to reply but he managed to convince two more interesting and important people to answer his questions before he had to use my answers.

Links (open new windows)

Go students go!

I am heading for Southport for the National Union of Journalists’ (NUJ’s) Annual Delegate Meeting (ADM). In 2009 why can’t we get a Vodafone and 3G signal on a Virgin East coast train?

Tomorrow I am running the NUJ student members’ conference. We should have 25 students there. A mix of students of journalism and students journalists working on student media. Continue reading

All of a twitter

Here’s two lists of journalists on Twitter:

Some of these may technically be the journalist’s twitter details but several rarely if ever post.

And I am not on either list – do I want to be?

You’ve got to admire my source

Thanks to a Journalism.co.uk tweet for this.

Journalism.co.uk story (link opens new window)

Missing links

screen grab of News NowAggregator site News Now has revealed a few more details of the legal battle it faces against the major daily and local UK newspapers over its linking.

In a Q&A format (link opens hew window) it claims News International objects completely to any linking to its stories, while others want payment for including those links.

We should all defend News Now’s right to use headlines and links.

Continue reading

Mark Watts’ error

Mark Watts’ McCarthyite attack on Rich Simcox as a candidate for the National Union of Journalists’ (NUJ’s) editor was a strange and misguided mistake.

I woke in hospital from my knee operation on Tuesday to two items of bad news: Watt’s email and the fact that my knee was worse than expected, I had lost my cartilage and I had arthritis.

The knee will get better. I am not sure Watts will. Continue reading