iDoc, modoc or no doc?

Will we still be watching documentaries in the future? Or will it be more of an interactive experience? This has been branded as webdocumentary or iDoc. Viewers, or should we say users, can choose where to go next in the story. Or will it all be replaced by virtual reality? And what is the relationship between documentary and journalism? Should documentaries be objective and balanced? Is it a good idea to shoot them on the mobile phone or is it always going to be second choice?

Change in viewing habits

As the keynote speaker, Prof Ramon Salaverría, pointed out journalism is about to change drastically making it much more tailored to our individual preferences and also making it much more experiential, including odours e.g. When I asked him about the future of documentaries he was pessimistic. Not so Prof Manuela Penafria who has written articles on webdocumentaries. A webdocumetary combines film with other elements such as maps, infographics and a forum. The viewer or user chooses where to go next. Great examples are Journey to the End of Coal and Cali, la ciudad que no duerme.

Prof Penafria went on to tell me that she wouldn’t classify the documentary genre as journalism. Continue reading iDoc, modoc or no doc?


WhatsApp versus Documentary

There is a revolution going on in journalism. That’s not really new. But will journalists be surplus to requirement in the future? Associated Press is already using algorithms to publish automated stories about developments on Wall Street. Yet, Prof Ramon Salaverría from the University of Navarra in his keynote speech at the 3rd International Conference on Journalism and Mobile Devices in Portugal explained why he doesn’t think so.

University Beira Interior, Colvilhã, Portugal

I asked him specifically about the future of documentaries in which I take an interest. He gave the example of the textile industry. When machines were first brought in during the time of industrialisation many workers lost their jobs. Some thought that by destroying the machines they could fight the change. Time proved them wrong. But today many more people work in the textile industry than back in the days of manual labour.

The same must be true for journalism. There is no point in resisting the introduction of Twitter and even Facebook or as another speaker outlined Whatsapp as a means of sharing information. Prof Salaverría is not worried about the future of quality in journalism, but admits journalism will change drastically.

Here’s how: Continue reading WhatsApp versus Documentary

Creating an app is like playing Lego

For somebody like me with a slightly technophobic tendency this didn’t seem very credible. But that’s what we were told at the start of today’s session in how to create your own app using MIT app inventor. It is designed for people who want to develop apps without the need to learn a programming language. Our tutor Prof Eduardo Pellanda from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil made it sound so easy in today’s workshop at Beira’s Interior University in Portugal. This is their third Conference on Journalism and Mobile Devices. I am attending on behalf of XpoNorth, Scotland’s leading creative industries festival.

Location of the conference: Covilhã, Portugal

The answer is somewhere in between: Yes, with app inventor even someone like me will be Continue reading Creating an app is like playing Lego

Grossbritannien ist gespalten über die Frage: Sein oder nicht sein – in der EU?

Der britische Premierminister David Cameron hatte vor den letzten Wahlen ein Referendum zur Mitgliedschaft seines Landes in der EU versprochen. Insbesondere in seiner konservativen Partei drängten viele darauf. Übermorgen ist es nun soweit: die Briten stimmen ab. In den letzten Wochen standen die Zahlen der Austrittsbefürworter und –gegner dabei Kopf an Kopf. Das Land scheint gespalten.

Blick auf Hummerkörbe auf der Isle of Luing in der Nähe von Oban (Schottland)
Blick auf Hummerkörbe auf der Isle of Luing in der Nähe von Oban (Schottland)

John McAlistair hat mehrere Fischerboote in Oban, einer Kleinstadt an der schottischen Westküste. Wie viele Fischer ist er der Meinung, dass die EU mit ihren Fangquoten den Niedergang der Fischerei in Großbritannien verursacht hat. Er wird für den Austritt stimmen.
Premierminister Cameron hingegen wies kürzlich darauf hin, dass in den letzten fünf Jahren 20% mehr Fisch in Großbritannien angelandet wurde, und der Wert der Fischerei gestiegen sei. In der Tat wurde die Quote erst im Dezember letzten Jahres wieder erhöht. Continue reading Grossbritannien ist gespalten über die Frage: Sein oder nicht sein – in der EU?

A language revolution in the media

Watching old movies I never knew whether to laugh or cry when German soldiers appeared speaking English even amongst each other. Was the viewer deemed to dumb to realise that this doesn’t make any sense? A film almost entirely in German on UK tv was a big step when Deutschland 83 started, but having it introduced in (some kind of) German is really sensational. Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Let’s hope it’ll make German more popular again in the UK.

Je Suis Paris

Je suis Paris
Je suis Paris – I am Paris, a common slogan expressing solidarity with the victims

Despite being used to horrible news I felt the Paris attacks affected me personally. I was in London at the time and Paris was only a couple of hours away on the train. They way the terrorists shot indiscriminately at people sitting outside in restaurants sent a clear message: Be afraid wherever you are! As a journalist I went to Paris.

Police and army were seen at every street corner and sirens were heard almost constantly. Continue reading Je Suis Paris

BBC Correspondent, Scotland Broadcast languages: ENGLISH, GERMAN, SPANISH, SCOTS GAELIC Interview languages: PORTUGUESE, FRENCH, ITALIAN, RUSSIAN ————— TV Journalism Lecturer at EDINBURGH NAPIER UNI, Religious Correspondent, Travel Photographer