Here’s a brief guide to topics/areas I’ve worked in and find interesting. I’ve also pointed out projects I’d be interested in working on. Contact me if you want to join in.
I’ve written about how India is trying to reconcile social media with political attitudes, and attended privacy workshops organized by the Software Freedom Law Centre, Datameet, and other organizations on the issue of how to ensure a fair and open online experience for Indian citizens. I’m interested in organizing RTI meets and databases, as well as interviewing/profiling people who are pushing the boundaries of Internet freedom.
UGC is an umbrella term that covers all content produced by people in a context that isn’t professional journalism. On a practical level, it includes everything from Tweets to YouTube videos to pictures shared on Twitter. In an era when news breaks on Twitter, journalism organizations increasingly have to find ways to access and curate the content produced by UGC communities. This is my primary concern at CNN IBN. I’m constantly looking to meet community journalism organizations, especially those who are developing models for rural, mobile and/or non-English audiences.
While at BT, I worked with senior leaders to decide how we wanted our brand to be perceived on social and digital media, and to launch projects that reflect that vision. As part of the nonprofit Whypoll foundation, I work with volunteers on campaigns that bring social opinion-makers together to promote government transparency and public safety.
Open Data & Data Journalism
An area emerging in India, but already rapidly growing. In news, examples include work by journalists like Rukmini S, Avinash Celestine, T Ramachandran, and Ravi Bajpai, all of whom use data analysis and visualization as key elements in journalistic storytelling. India also hosts a growing Open Data movement, spurred by groups like Datameet, who have organized events in partnership with Hacks/Hackers. The Indian government recently launched a public data portal. The big challenges to open data in India include public data that is out of date or not robust, as well as the absence of large open archives of reliable non-public data. HH has organized training events in data journalism before, and I’m always interested in meeting people working in this area.
I’ve spent most of my career in mainstream media organizations – a newspaper, a magazine, and a TV channel – often heading transitions between traditional and integrated newsrooms. I’ve logged many hours trying to understand and encourage the way journalists in traditional media are embracing online journalism. In India, integration is a staggering task that often brings together staff from different media (newspaper, magazine, TV) and requires familiarity with multiple languages, with new technology and with a wildly fragmented news audience.
Hybrid News/Other Online Experiences
Whether it’s the blend of news and gaming or serving news stories through chronological Tweets, I’m interested in modes of storytelling that bend the rules of conventional news presentation. Several media companies – in India and around the world – are now experimenting with blends of news/ecommerce and news/gaming. I’d be very interested in working with a developer to create a news game.
Graphics by Trisha Gupta, of the Washington Printmakers’ Gallery.