Stuff I’ve been reading this week…

Freedom of Information Act: not the only option, but sometimes the only known option < < < Headlines and Deadlines

Councils and public bodies often bemoan the use of the FOI Act for things it wasn’t intended for. But if you’re a member of the public, how else do you ask for information? Alison Gow explores this issue here – and highlights some potentially absurd uses of FOI by councils to other councils and councillors within their own council. In short, FOI shouldn’t be the default method of receiving information, but for that to happen, councils need to be a little more open.

2. Editors: How we beat the chequebook journalists < < < Holdthefrontpage

Any regional journalist will be able to relate to the terror, excitement and general fear of being scooped which accompanies the arrival of the national media circus on the patch. That’s what the Trinity Mirror titles in Newcastle have been up against since Raoul Moat rampaged across its patch. In this post, the editors in Newcastle show how they beat chequebook journalism and maintained an air of authority when many other media were losing their heads over the story.

3. How To Write A Mind Blowing Headline For Twitter < < <jeffbullas.com

Yes, I know. We’re all busy and Twitterfeed does a very good job of helping us tell people what we’ve just published – but just as a web headline is different from a print headline, so, surely a headline on social media is different from a website headline? Jeff Bullas looks at the issue here.

4. No resources? No problem: How a local Russian paper took on the New York Times < < < 10,000 Words

A brilliant tale from the ever excellent 10,000 Words blog which explains how a very small newspaper in Russia managed to replicate a project which the (much better staffed) New York Times had undertaken.

5. Video: Can City overhaul United? Elvis the otter makes his prediction < < < Manchester Evening News

What do you do when Paul the octopus retires and you want him to predict which team in your city will come out on top? The MEN found Elvis the Otter – time will tell if he’s right and United do finish higher than City (the comments on the story are worth a look too.)

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