Advanced Online Journalism, Discoveries, Journalism, London City, Music, My Inspirational Voice, Westminster University, Work

Advanced Online – 20.02.15 – Data Journalism

After looking at I found an interest in the Life and Style section. For the News Day Exercise I think I will do either an infographic or a Storify with my group, while posting news-stories throughout the day.

A Help for the Homeless article touched me a little, and this is an angle I would like to explore – find inspirational content that moves my readers, as well as being informative and educative to a younger audience. This piece contains a lot of factual information to verify it a little bit more, and to give it extra depth.

Is Data Journalism all about visualisation? Is Data Journalism new? A video explores this. As discussed, a lot to do with Data Journalism comes down to research and analysis which requires thorough investigation from a journalist’s behalf.

Here is an example of a Data Journalism story by Martin Rosenbaum, BBC. Technology suppresses the pressure of collecting all of the data by one self, through digital platforms and websites much can be done almost instantly.

For example:

To investigate and research a particular area, a question needs to be posed. Then, search engines can be optimised to navigate around the web and collaborate a bundle of diverse data to offer a fair and neutral understanding to the premise.

Whatdotheyknow website allow users to ask questions and make requests for specific information, on an amateur level to authority positions. So if you need a question answered for a report/piece of research you’re doing, this could be a handy tool to bear in mind. The Home Office and Department of Education has just recently answered random questions for people, statistically based, the world is literally ours we just have to ask for it.

Another way to collect data is via crowdsourcing. Interactivity and conversation help to generate content and thus data for specific topics, opening up doors and opportunities for new avenues to be investigated.

Vimeo is one of my favourite platforms based online, where any generation is able to watch videos that are educative, informative and entertaining all at the same time – very useful and similar to Ted Talks.

Discoveries, Journalism, My Inspirational Voice, The Secret

Ask, Answer, Receive

‘Ask, answer, receive’ – sounds simple ay? That’s because it is. See I didn’t quite understand it myself until I came across a video called The Secret Law of Attraction, that life is like a big catalogue and we can pick and choose what we want and desire in our life. Literally.

Many of us get so close to achieving beyond our wildest dreams and then suddenly we plummet and fall. Only those who are strong and persevere even through the knock-backs and the mistakes will ever succeed. Should we want something we have to focus on it. Focus on what we are happy with, what we do want and how we want our life to be rather than focusing on not wanting something to happen. Then we can’t just expect the thing or event to miraculously arrive in our life we have to take ACTION.

‘You don’t need to know how to do something just know that you will. The universe will show you the way.’

You will find inspired thoughts appearing in your mind and don’t sit back and procrastinate, get up and do something about it. That way you will be slowly but surely be working towards what it is in life you want.

If you have anything you’d like to ask me about or if you need anything explaining email me!

I have been studying this for a while now so I’d be happy to help in any way possible.

Discoveries, Journalism, London City, Media, My Inspirational Voice, Westminster University, Work

Interview with Andy Jones

Sitting down with Andy Jones, I learned a lot about how your journey can blossom from going to university. At the same time many of us go through emotional turmoil, self-doubt and un-satisfaction. We can get confused at the best of times, which can quite literally throw us off track. But what does this industry professional have to say about his experience, and what can you take from it?

While at school he began searching for placements at local newspapers to try and gain some early experience in his field of interest. He took this momentum through to his college years before taking a year gap to work.

“I had a year out in full time work. This was eye opening and it taught me the value of cash and helped me focus on what I wanted to do as a career. I then completed a 3 year BA in Multimedia Journalism at Bournemouth University.”

Andy Jones continued to work hard and had his heart open to opportunities. Through persistence and perseverance, he eventually got a staff job and became a features writer for ‘thelondonpaper’.

Many students feel this sense of pressure to achieve too much during their study years, to enable them to get their ‘dream job’.

“I am a journalist and broadcaster who writes across tabloid, broadsheet and glossy magazine platforms plus national radio and TV. I have been in the industry ten years.”

Andy said: “Without even realising it, freelancing is my dream job. I was given a dating column and that was also a career highlight; even though my interest in writing one was previously nil.”

always amazed at how few social skills some young people have.”

“It’s really hard being an intern in London if you don’t live here. You may end up paying £700 a month to work here and not even get paid for it. That’s why I’d suggest to non-London based graduates to get experience elsewhere too. It’s important that you make sure that the career is for you.”

He expresses that one of the most exciting elements of the freelancing industry is the versatility of it.

One of his strongest messages is that good manners and a strong personality always tend to stand out. You need to be likeable for an employer to want to hire you, and communication is also essential.

“You are sent on all sorts of assignments. It is very stimulating ”

It is also clear through his interview that many people who begin in the industry never end up where they started. Your interests can change as you find more out about yourself, which is usually done by transferring skills across new platforms and learning about different avenues within the job.

“A follow up thank you email after each placement always goes a long way (even
if you have been slightly bored all week) editors and staff talk across titles, after all.”

He leaves us on the note of ‘networking’, which is increasingly becoming the number one key to getting through the door to your dream job.

Andy also gave SPARK. some tips
on the best ways to impress a potential employer: “Politeness, ideas and knowledge of their product. I’ve worked in-house at dozens of titles and I am

He also tells us how he found it difficult at the start, and it is usually the same case for most students graduating. There is an expectation to work right up to our 70’s, and that is why choosing the right pathway and experimenting is probably one of the most valuable journeys we should admire and appreciate.

“Go out there and chase your dream when you’re young. You should be filling every spare hour of your day emailing new contacts. Tweet them or email them – flattery and showing an interest goes a long way.”

Discoveries, Journalism, London City, Media, My Inspirational Voice, Travel

Theatre Performance: Thriller in London

Thriller in London – a show about Michael Jackson and all of his musical ventures. It was very expensive to go to the theatre, but surprising my father as a birthday present made it all completely worthwhile.

I went along with my other half and my dad and on arrival in the luxurious theatrical surroundings, we bought a bottle of champagne to welcome the night in style.

The atmosphere was incredible. We sat in the middle upper-circle which allowed us to have a fantastic view, but as we couldn’t contend ourselves and sit still in silence, we got moved to our own box (which we didn’t complain about ONE little bit)! I mean, who would go to see Thriller by Michael Jackson and stay in their seat? You have to dance and let the music move you! We were all having the time of our life.

It was truly a brilliant performance by everyone involved. The character of Michael Jackson at the start was a cute boy, and then as the show went on different versions of him represented him growing up. It was very inspiring and moved me massively. I was sincerely entertained throughout, and my associates seemed to be embracing the musical energy in just about every way possible!

The cast clearly love what they do and it was evident in their performances – the dancing was stunning! I literally couldn’t take my eyes off of them from start to finish. The confidence and talent in the show was a gem to experience, so I recommend it to everyone, especially for those Michael Jackson fans you will not be disappointed!

A thoroughly enjoyable show.

Advanced Online Journalism, Discoveries, Journalism, London City, Media, Westminster University, Work

Research Notebook: Prototyping an app/design and one to one communication and ideas 13.02.15

We have been discussing interaction design – from linear to multi-linear perspectives

I have found a useful website where I can design a prototype for an app design for FREE: Invisionapp

Appmkr is an online platform where people can easily produce an app for a business and/or for personal specific uses. App development ideas: Appcrwlr showcases different ideas

50 Big Ideas, Predictions and Trends for 2015 in the business world of online media lots of new trends are constantly coming out into the open. Some trend predictions from the website are as follows:

Technology will have the most impact on small businesses. 2015 will be the year of EMV chip and PIN cards and Apple Pay.

In 2015, small businesses will begin to see operational efficiencies gained from the adoption of cloud and mobile technologies. Empowering small businesses to enjoy better customer relationships and be more knowledgeable in their respective markets.” – Steve Hebert, CEO, Nimbix

The transparency trend will thrive: From food to fashion, consumers are often rejecting the big brands for those that offer something unique, interesting and personal. This will continue in 2015 as consumers increasingly prioritise the stories behind the products they buy — stories about sourcing, ingredients and the individuals behind the companies they support.

One to one communication: Snapchat and Whatsapp are two examples of one to one communication, whereas a Blog website or Facebook is more open and less intimate. The contrast in communication can both be appreciated for different circumstances: one for reaching out to a mass audience and the other to be used to have a direct impact on a certain person.

Much research has been done today on different mobile websites, and I have been thinking hard about my individual project AND app ideas for my pitch and presentation for the second assessment.

Advanced Online Journalism, Discoveries, Journalism, London City, Media, My Inspirational Voice, Westminster University, Work

Mobile technology for news-gathering – UGC 13.02.14

Today we are talking about the use of mobile devices for news-gathering. I have an iOS operating system and I mainly use the apps: Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, BBC News, iPlayer Radio and Google Hangouts. I use my smart phone for news-gathering sometimes through hashtag searching on Twitter for trends as well as Facebook to see the current conversations on news-stories and breaking news. The benefits of this is the covenience of using my mobile phone on the go, and reporting on a story through my social media networks when I come across something interesting. The challenges include the lack of professionalism in the process – not having proper documented forms of news-reports, but I use my transferable skills to convert my brief stories on my mobile phone over to my laptop and change the style accordingly.

Some apps that journalists must have on their iPhone can be found here. 

Apps that stand out to me as useful MUST-HAVE’S are GroupMe for group-texting and Yammer is a good app to keep in touch with coworkers.

Disqus app sounds like an interesting one to monitor my blog comments. A journalist’s top app to track news could be considered as Twitter – this is an online platform I heavily browse through to track breaking news.

A useful mobile journalism kit can be outlined here. 

Other research:

Responsive Web Design Case Study at BBC News (outlined challenges, the core experience and other journalistic elements)

Reporters go at it alone: cellular-based electronic news-gathering – insightful article

Another news-gathering tool  [for example Storyfull, freeDrive, Geofeedia, iWitness, Pulse, Healthmap, Google Alert, Scoopinion, The Stream and Citizen tube]

Social Media News-gathering: Stuart Hughes

Breaking news guidance: for social media

Reporting resources: These tools can help with research and sourcing

Blog on mobile news-gathering

You’ll learn the basics of how to use hand-held devices as a journalistic tool. With the help of social media, apps and some gear, you’ll immerse yourself in the best practices for reporting, editing and sharing stories to any media platform with your smart phone.


Advanced Online Journalism, Discoveries, Journalism, London City, Media, Westminster University

Advanced Online – Visual Journalism and Social Media – interactive timelines

What is Visual Journalism? The BBC explains this. 

Vimeo is a website containing lots of useful links. We are looking at timeline story-telling, and how we can develop a story over a length of time that is both interactive, fun and exciting. We need to put something in practice and share this with others over social media.

Cool Info-graphics Tips

Here are the 18 best info-graphics of 2014 and an example. As we can see these come in all different shapes, sizes and formats. The beauty about info-graphics is that we can be as creative as we like – there really are no limits to what we can do!


Timelines interactivity make them a useful medium to portray a story over time for example: looking at a story: How a Market Crisis Unfolded.

An inspiring new visual language of storytelling: information graphics in content. This image is taken from Pinterest visual storytelling and tells a story on Refugees and immigrants. The image is powerful yet simple, and the figures will allow viewers to take the piece seriously as it is backed up with facts.


Here is another interactive timeline/info-graphic taken from Care2 website, that explores how plastic bags are having a major impact on our planet “killing it off” in their terms. Using visuals and short, punchy headers this timeline somewhat reads 1,000 words, without it being a normal piece of text stating the facts. 


This is a more complex timeline on how to make an Animated Movie. The visuals and arrows guide the person along in a visual/interactive way.

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 14.59.12

One of my favourite timelines is the story of Nelson Mandela’s life. I can only show a clip of the page but the link can be found here. This timeline defines him as a person, as a leader, as a creator and as an inspiration who had an effect on so many people’s lives.

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 14.57.58Pinterest also has a visual info-graphic page that has a whole selection of storyline’s to share. Here is an example taken from this site, that uses simplistic language to tell the story of Interior Design through decades:



There is an interactive timeline on The Guardian website on the Arab Spring of Middle East protests. Here is a snippet:

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 16.01.57

 Piktochart is a website online that allows users to create a FREE interactive info-graphic. They have been featured in Al-Jazeera, The Guardian, Forbes and many more.

Bundlr is another website where students can use this space to create a timeline/info-graphic.

Dailyinfographic showcases new info-graphics every single day that people have created and shared online. is another example.

Animated videos is another way in which media students can learn something new about a particular topic and at the same time be engaged through visuals, audio, factual written information and moving video interactivity. Here is an example. It focuses on the Inequality distribution of wealth.

Using the class hashtag #aomedia2015 I came across a useful link on Poynter: The 5 types of stories that make good Storify’s