Burgers or politics? To be relevant, local newsrooms need to be experts in both

One of the claims frequently made about newsrooms which are seeking to grow the number of people who read their websites is: “Oh, they’re just chasing clickbait now.” Clickbait, as I’ve written before, appears to cover a very broad church of content, roughly characterised as “Not what we’ve always done in the past.” A moreContinue reading “Burgers or politics? To be relevant, local newsrooms need to be experts in both”

FOI FRIDAY: 10 FOI ideas for journalists is back!

Welcome to the return of FOI – a weekly look at FOI stories which are worth sharing (and in many cases, copying). As an added incentive to read on, this blog will also celebrate/shame those councils who prove that actions speak louder than words when it comes to delivering on the principles of FOI andContinue reading “FOI FRIDAY: 10 FOI ideas for journalists is back!”

Digital journalism trends in 2016: From social newsgathering to social journalism

This is the first in a series of posts between now and the end of the year looking at key themes I think will emerge during the course of 2016. It takes a foolhardy journalist not to be familiar with Twitter or Facebook these days. There are probably very few journalists who haven’t written aContinue reading “Digital journalism trends in 2016: From social newsgathering to social journalism”

FOI Friday: Children at risk, data lost in the post, unsolved murders and the not-so-smart motorways

Criminals avoid jail despite dozens of crimes < Get WestLondon Criminals in London are escaping jail sentences for serious crimes, despite dozens of previous convictions for similar offences. A burglar in London was not given a custodial sentence at a court appearance in June 2014, despite 33 previous burglary offences and 58 total previous convictions,Continue reading “FOI Friday: Children at risk, data lost in the post, unsolved murders and the not-so-smart motorways”

FOI Friday: Thefts from churches, Christmas cuts, Coventry’s oldest driver and hospital drug thieves

Tax relief for independent schools < Croydon Advertiser CROYDON’S independent schools received £6.8 million in business rates relief over the last six years. Figures obtained by the Advertiser through a Freedom of Information request to Croydon Council show the extent to which the town’s private schools receive financial support. What gets stolen from churches? <Continue reading “FOI Friday: Thefts from churches, Christmas cuts, Coventry’s oldest driver and hospital drug thieves”

FOI Friday: Absestos claims against councils, zero hour contracts, councils with millions in the bank and police encounters with men in fancy dress

Absestos claims made against councils < Manchester Evening News own hall bosses throughout Greater Manchester are facing a ‘ticking timebomb’ of mounting claims from people struck down with conditions linked to deadly asbestos. Manchester council paid out almost £600,000 in damages to victims in the last year alone, an M.E.N. investigation has found. The 2013/14Continue reading “FOI Friday: Absestos claims against councils, zero hour contracts, councils with millions in the bank and police encounters with men in fancy dress”

FOI Friday: Babies missing from care homes, absent pupil fines, stalking laws and sexting complaints

Schools starting to make use of fines for absent pupils < Harrogate Advertiser An investigation by the Advertiser series has found that nearly eight times more fines were issued in North Yorkshire, year on year, in the first quarter of the new rules. Countywide, there were 95 fines issued from September to December, compared toContinue reading “FOI Friday: Babies missing from care homes, absent pupil fines, stalking laws and sexting complaints”

The fraudster who shows how to epically fail at trying to avoid being identified by journalists going into court

Any reporter who has spent time covering court knows the drill. You arrive at court early with a photographer, armed with a grainy image of the person whose case you’re covering. Even before you get on with the main business of the day – covering justice in action – you’ve got a battle of skills,Continue reading “The fraudster who shows how to epically fail at trying to avoid being identified by journalists going into court”

FOI Friday: Ambulance call out hot spots, crisis fund rejections, Premier League policing and missed 101 calls

Most frequent ambulance call out homes < BBC The Welsh Ambulance Service is urging people to think before dialling 999, after one home rang for an ambulance 290 times in a year. Of the call-outs to the property in Colwyn Bay, Conwy, 98 resulted in hospital visits. The service spent 3,660 hours dealing with theContinue reading “FOI Friday: Ambulance call out hot spots, crisis fund rejections, Premier League policing and missed 101 calls”

FOI Friday: Prostitutes wanting to work in schools, hunger on the rise, counselling on the underground and 11-year-old drug runners

Prostitutes applying for jobs in schools (or reasons criminal checks failed) < Nottingham Post PROSTITUTES, shoplifters and even someone who assaulted a child have applied for jobs in schools in Nottinghamshire over the past three years. Other crimes committed by those wanting to work with children include assaulting a police officer, growing cannabis and raciallyContinue reading “FOI Friday: Prostitutes wanting to work in schools, hunger on the rise, counselling on the underground and 11-year-old drug runners”