Archive for November, 2012
Because one screen is not enough, even more people don’t only watch TV passively anymore. Laptop on the knees, it became normal to surf on the web while watching intermittently TV.
Nowadays, the so-called Second Screen applications appear on our tablets, giving additional informations linked with the TV’s main program. Useful ?
A familiy watching religiously at TV in the 50’s. Past times. Nowadays, one screen is not enough anymore.
What does the Second Screen brings to us viewers ?
The second screen provides additional informations, in link with what you’re watching on your TV. An international example are the 2012 London Olympics, an event during witch several main TVs transmitted content about the results of the athletes during the broadcasting on the Second Screen.
The Guardian Second Screen, on tablet
Second Screen experiences in Switzerland
A swiss example : the RTS “deuxième écran”
In February 2012, the Radio Télévision Suisse launch its own Second Screen system. Up to now, only one program uses the application : the daily evening news “19:30”. During the program, each time a report is broadcasted, complements become available on the application.
Lets have a look at how it works :
From the RTS website mainpage “deuxième écran” section can be found in “Les plus du web”
Or, it’s possible to acess to it directly following this link.
How does the RTS “deuxième écran” looked like for today’s 19:30 ?
Want to know more about Christian Varone topic ? The second screen gives you more elements.
The second screen doesn’t only proposes texts, but also graphics (for the elections periods for example), videos, pictures galleries, and all wich supports the web can provide.
A video made by the RTS about the “deuxième écran” at the moment of it’s launch :
Playing with Second Screen
In December, the RTS will launch it’s new general culture game “Les Imbattables”.
The game itself isn’t very innovative (teams composed by a kid and a senior try to answer questions in a quiz). What’s new is the possibility for the viewer to answer actively to the questions on a tablet, trough the Second Screen. As the question is displayed on the TV screen, it appears also on the tablet with the possibility to answer to it.
RTS future game “Les Imbattables” will use since December 2012 the Second Screen technology.
Usefull, the Second Screen ?
Looking at the swiss example of the 19:30 “Deuxième écran”, it certainly provides some additional informations. The graphics are for example interesting, since they appear quite quickly on TV, sometimes too fast to be analysed properly.
But it appears that most of the content of this RTS Second Screen remains quite light, with just short texts, and the videos simply come from the swiss television website. There are no additional videos coming from youtube or dailymotion, no links : nothing that can really bring the user to new way of knowledge.
The Second Screen is but quite a new born. Some time more should be needed in order to see the concept further developed in the future. The TV broadcasters believe in the future of this technology. As does for example David Wertheimer, president of digital at Fox :
The second screen discussion we’ve been having is just one piece of a strategy that’s all about giving our audiences an opportunity to talk about the shows and share thoughts with the showrunners and the talent. To us, that’s what television in the 21st century is all about.
David Wertheimer, president of digital at Fox, believes in the future of the Second Screen.
Are you using Second Screen ? Or do you want to stay an oldschool « couch potatoe » ?
Before Second Screen: couch potatoes. What’s the best ?
Posted by Jodew in Uncategorized on November 27, 2012
Social media for Africa development: reality or utopia?
Let’us ask the question differently: what can social networks bring to Africa? The news of social networks in recent years, allows us to address this topic. Maybe I’m more interested in the issue because I’m coming from Benin in West Africa. I’m studying Master of Journalism and in at the end, social networks have the advantage of changing all the world.http://www.afrik.com/reseaux-sociaux-en-afrique-go-mobile
We remember : february 2011, an African dictatorships fell. That of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. This is the sequence of events that are initiated from Tunisia. Behind these revolutions, unpredictable and unexpected tool: social networks. If the underdevelopment of Africa has long been maintained by dictatorial powers, their downfall should allow the development of Africa with massive participation of people in the conduct of their destiny. Facebook Twitter You Tube and Hi5 are widely used. They induce mutations in many areas.http://www.afriqueexpansion.com/les-reseaux-sociaux.html
In the Maghreb, Facebook and Twitter have been a good levers of the « le printemps arabe. The flow of information brings a profound change in public life and therefore in development. Now, people are actively involved in public debate, give their views and influence policy decisions. A few years ago, it was only a dream. The social network, twitter down the barrier between governments and peoples in Africa: who wants to govern today, will benefit communicate. Be present and active on social networks. The national press agencies, and government presses are not the only ones privileged. Across the continent, the heads of state are followed in their activities. Their press services included that they should not remain outside the boom of social networks. Here, the top 15 in the number of messages sent by the African leaders on Twitter in June 2012.
Finally, the government is closer to people
With an estimated population of just over a billion people, Africa now has 500 million mobile subscribers. Initially, it was just a luxury for many Africans. The mobile phone was used to communicate with family and friends. For their part, cyber-café, not developed enough to offer a big internet access. Now social networks including Facebook and twitter are available on mobile. In 2011, Africa had already 140 million users.http://www.jeuneafrique.com/Article/ARTJAWEB20120628173136/
According to the results of a recent study by the British communications company Portland, here is the map of African twitter users. It covers 11.5 million tweets with messages of 140 characters. Nearly 50% come from South Africa. It is interesting to know that even in countries with poor access to social networks grows rapidly.
Twitter network in Africa
– Facebook has more than 17 million subscribers in Africa, against 10 million in 2009. The number of subscriptions is growng increased. Unlike the situation in other continents. This is what facebook has launched this year, several versions in some major African languages including Swahili, Hausa and Zulu, Facebook announced that it would provide access to mobile users in many countries in Africa.http://www.jeuneafrique.com/Article/ARTJAWEB20120126150955/
– Google announced that it will launch a new service called Baraza. It allow users to interact by asking African and answering questions of local or regional interest.
– The local social networks themselves also develop. These are: Arigator South Africa, Ushahidi in Kenya, Linkedin and Viadeo to Magrheb in sub-sahérienne like Senegal, Benin…
What I think: The advent of democracy in the 90s had raised great hopes. Today, the development dream is not achieved even though there has been progress. Similarly, the growth experienced by social networks for two years must be accompanied in order to contribute effectively to the development of the continent. Countries should develop infrastructure to facilitate access to the internet. Fight against illiteracy. In Africa, social networks are also an effective tool of propaganda used by the government. Care should be taken to the plurality of opinions on social platforms.
If social networks continue to grow effectively, all vital sectors in africa will gain importance.
With the rise of the Web 2.0, more and more people get to express themselves on the Internet: by contributing to a personal blog, answering to a poll on a website or making comments on any event the web is talking about. Today, those contributions can be neatly managed by news organisations to make you participate to their news production. And this is the object of this blog’s entry: crowdsourcing the news.
The crowd likes to be involved
Jeff Howe is the man who coined the term “crowdsourcing” in 2006 in an article called “The Rise of crowdsourcing.” At the time he was a contributing editor of the Wired magazine. Now he tends to be perceived as The Crowdsourcing expert. But you may wonder…
What is crowdsourcing?
As Jeff Howe well expressed it, crowdsourcing is a process of involving the public, the crowd, into a task by an open call. And this process if often made through a website. The definition could include many sorts of calls, indeed. To a large extent, crowdsourcing can be applied to solving a scientific problem, as the company InnoCentive started to do in 2001, or as IStockphotos managed in outsourcing the task of photographing an event to a voluntary crowd instead of hiring a professional photographer for instance.
Crowdsourcing takes many forms. But one thing makes it unique: it empowers the crowd. As the crowd represents different brains, different competences, it can be even more creative, efficient, innovative and influent than a single man working in his office on a task he has no grasp into.
How news organisations make the most of it?
In the context of Journalism, you can well imagine that the journalist and the news organisation one can work for were primarily the only gatekeepers of news, and you were waiting for them to be informed. If there was a place for you to communicate with the newspaper, there was the “letters to the editor”, and not many more.
Today news organisations have their websites. Moreover, if you give a closer look to them, you will notice they even make a space for you to act and communicate. Not by solely adding comments. There is more!
In England, the BBC has launched Have your Say ; in the USA, CNN opened iReport. And the Swiss news organisations are not the last: The RTS has Vos infos and The 20minutes has the Lecteur-Reporter’s platform. All fell in the new trend. They all let you the chance to be part of their work, or in other words: now the news need you.
As a million of events happen across the world, reporters and journalists cannot cover them all. This is where the audience is powerful: it can improve their coverage.
When terrorists set off a series of bombs on buses and subways in London, who produced the most riveting images and sound bites? The passengers and their cell phones.”  When an accident occur next to your home, or on your way to work, you are the first witness of the event and no professional reporter could catch the same tension you were able to grasp when it happens.
With a single photo, a video, a short message, you can make a newsroom get up. You can even make it change its editorial agenda.
For Bernard Rappaz, Editor in chief at the RTS in Switzerland, crowdsourcing makes a news media quicker than before. Using Twitter, Facebook, and their crowdsourcing tool on their website, the members of the newsroom can compete with the news agencies they are sometimes dependent on. As Mathieu Coutaz confirms himself: it allows the staff to be the first on the scene and to be always closer to the stories that interest the people their work for.
Mathieu Coutaz is the content manager for 20minutes online in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. The 20minutes is The daily newspaper distributed in Switzerland and this, for free. Its platform “lecteur-reporteur” has been launched in 2006 and the newspaper rewards any contributions that it eventually publishes on its web. What is most, “50% to 70% of the contributions that are selected go on the print edition” Mathieu Coutaz explains. And he emphasises one fundamental point that cannot be neglected: your photos and stories go through a process of verification before getting anything done. “When verified, the contributions of the audience can influence the editorial agenda on the temporal and hierarchical aspects. If it has to be treated before another news, and if the story is worth being published at the top of our agenda, then of course we do it.”
Crowdsourcing does not ask readers to become anything more than what they’ve always been: eyewitness to their daily lives.
In that sense the news organisations save their first role of gatekeepers: the readers don’t write the stories, they only contribute to it: the final decision of its treatement and broadcast still lies in the professional’s hands.
Crowdsourcing at risks
In an interesting article, Darren Gilbert warns that “crowdsourcing can be as advantageous as it can be dangerous.” Although readers are willing to contribute to the news, some are able to get a journalist on the wrong track. He takes the example of a recent scandal that occurred in the United States: a company named Journatic published news gathered from the public. And there were actually wrong!
In Switzerland, all the news platforms I discovered ask for the name and mail address of the contributors, in order to be able to get back to him/her. A mail address can be fake, indeed, but in any case, Swiss news organsations do the verification before publishing, which can avoid some serious faux pas.
To cope it all, crowdsourcing may well bring the public and the news organisation closer than before. It may establish a new relationship between the public and the news media: a trust that could have been lost. But it still needs to be well used in order not to lose what crowdsourcing is for journalism: a relevant tool to make the crowd part of the work, for a better and substantial result.
I am now turning to you
Have you ever contributed to the news of your local newspaper?
What do you think of the crowdsourcing concept regarding journalism?
And to go further…
A new trend in crowdsourcing is for journalists to use special crowdsourcing platforms to gather the information they couldn’t find from their places, such as Ushahidi‘s platform, specialised in mapping crowdsourcing information.
The TED talks also got into the crowdsourcing concept, here is a talk held by Paul Lewis about the impact of crowdsourcing the news for investigative journalism.
And to be always up to date with the last seminars about crowdsourcing and journalism, have a look at the European Journalism Center’s website, it’s worth it!
By Céline Bilardo
 Howe, J. 2008. Crowdsourcing: Why the power of the crowd is driving the future of business. 1st ed. USA: Ed.Crown Business. p.212.