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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Photo: New Jersey Gov. Chris ChristieWe’re testing out Google Hangout tonight for a video discussion here in New Jersey after Gov. Chris Christie’s speech to the GOP convention in Tampa.

If you’re not up on how that works, we’ll have 6 or 7 journalists from around the state all joining the live video chat, and we’ll stream it via YouTube. Then we’ll post a link to the video afterward.

Guests include:

-Yours truly.

– Debbie Galant, co-founder of BaristaNet and now director of the NJ News Commons, an initiative to strengthen journalism in New Jersey. Based at Montclair State, and funded by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Commons seeks to foster cooperation and sharing between news organizations around the state.

– Ryan Dicovitsky, an adjunct professor of public speaking at Seton Hall University, and the head coach of Seton Hall’s Brownson Speech and Debate Team.

–¬†Fred Tuccillo, the Patch senior regional editor for Central Jersey and the Shore, and a former national editor for Newsday, where he directed coverage of several conventions.

– John Celock, the state politics reporter and Patch liaison for The Huffington Post. He is based in Washington, and is the author of “The Next Generation: Young Elected Officials and Their Impact on American Politics.”

– Krystal Knapp, founder and editor of Planet Princeton, a hyperlocal site, and a former reporter for the Times of Trenton.

–¬†Julie Winokur, documentary producer and the founder of Bring it to the Table, a Kickstarter-funded initiative to foster civility in political dialogue.

-John Mooney, a founding editor of NJ Spotlight and a veteran of both the Star Ledger and the Bergen Record.

Google Hangouts are still a bit primitive in terms of typical TV production standards, but with their ease of use, their cost (free!) and the ability to bring together people from around the globe who are interested in any particular topic, and stream their conversation so anyone else can listen in, they’re a huge new way to do “niche-casting.” And just maybe, Google will soon add some real producer tools.

I did not attend the International Symposium on Online Journalism back in April in Austin, Texas, (nice place to be in April) but now the sponsors have posted videos from most of the presenters at the conference, and Nieman Journalism Lab has picked some of their favorites.

Ben Welsh of the L.A. Times tries to convince us all that it is not that hard to set up automated computer searches to parse data and he has some great examples of using that technique to automatically sort through real estate transactions or police blotters, at least for large cities such as Los Angeles. (It doesn’t work as well in those towns where the cops hand the reporter the handwritten log book to peruse in the chief’s office).

Brian Boyer of NPR makes the good point that too often flashy design trumps usability in interactive graphics (what’s wrong with on old-fashioned spreadsheet, he asks).

And University of Memphis j-school prof Carrie Brown-Smith shows how a local Twitter hashtag during a recent severe storm was useful to journalists.

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