Wednesday, December 3, 2014

¿Qué info vas a pedir para estrenar la Ley de Transparencia?

El próximo día 10 de diciembre es un día a celebrar: finalmente entrará en vigor la Ley de Transparencia, Acceso a la Información Pública y Buen Gobierno  y España dejará de ser el único país europeo de más de un millón de habitantes sin una ley de este tipo. ¡Suecia aprobó la primera en 1766! Países tan dispares como Uganda, Turquía y Colombia la tienen desde hace años. Access-Info batalla por un mejor acceso a la información en toda Europa. 

La ciudadanía no está acostumbrada a ejercer su derecho a la información pública. Entre tod@s vamos a cambiar esto.

Para celebrar el 10 de diciembre, os invito a una fiesta privada de transparencia onlineInstrucciones:

1- Ir a y explorar las solicitudes recibidas (hay un buscador estupendo) 
2- Crearse una cuenta, seguir unas cuantas peticiones de información
3- Leer los artículos 
Entendiendo la Ley de Transparencia I
Entendiendo la Ley de Transparencia II
3- Al llegar aquí, seguro que ya se te ha ocurrido algo que querrías saber y no encuentras. ¡Cursa tu propia petición de información! 
4- ¡Pásalo!

En una fiesta no puede faltar la música. Para acompañar el rato dedicado a mejorar nuestra democracia ejerciendo vuestro derecho a la información podéis descubrir:

Freedom of Information, por los australianos Ausmuteants, recientemente de gira por Estados Unidos y
Know Your Rights, por The Clash, de 1982. Escuchad a Joe Strummer "You have the right to free speech, as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it" (Tienes libertad de expresión siempre que no seas tan estúpido como para ejercerla)

En este blog he ido informando de los (lentos) avances en transparencia en los últimos dos años. Aquí podéis leer artículos etiquetados como transparencia, algunos en que he hablado de y otros sobre, que ahora forma parte de la Fundación Civio

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Felicidades a

Hoy hago una entrada de blog muy corta solo para felicitar a Eva Belmonte en su importantísima tarea de leerse el Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE) y contárnoslo diariamente en 

De paso, animo desde aquí a tod@s quienes citan el BOE en los medios de comunicación como si se lo leyeran entero ell@s, desde hace dos años, a citar a Eva Belmonte y su blog. ¡No son poc@s!

No dejéis de suscribiros a su mail diario si queréis estar informad@s de verdad. 
¡¡Un aplauso muy fuerte a ella y a la Fundación Civio !!
Mirad todos sus proyectos, se merecen una donación.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Video, hackdays and startups

Some innovations for video in the newsroom at the GEN summit in Barcelona came from competitions parallel to the event: Editors Lab Hackdays and Startups for News Battle.

The winners of the Editors Lab Hackday final competition, @JoshTBoswell @EoinTunstead and @aendrew from The Times, proposed ‘a seamless truly multimedia experience.’ Their prototype  allows journalists to insert small video play buttons in between the copy of the article, allowing readers to view snippets as they read. It is worth to mention that the code is opensource. They even had time to blog about it. 

Don’t miss following next year’s GEN Editors Lab Hackdays on this website. The quality of what teams from all over the world have been able to produce in 48 hours in this season 2013-2014 makes you think how much better content some papers could produce if more and more newsrooms took hackathons more seriously and knocked down the walls between journalists and programmers once and for all.

Re-designing working space can also have a huge impact on your media, as Jan-Eric Peters implied in his presentation on Thursday. He is Editor-in-Chief of Die Welt, Welt am Sonntag and Welt Kompakt, and most attendants were impressed when he mentioned that ‘only twelve people work on our printed edition.’ Digital and print blend together, digital comes first, and editors work in a circular structure, 'the Eye,' in the centre of the newsroom.

The other innovation came from Wibbitz, which got a mention in the Startups for News Battle. With sophisticated technology, they produce video summaries out of texts. When somebody expressed concern about the appropriateness and copyright of images, co-founder Yotam Cohen said they have both been taken into account. 

Published on the GEN website here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Communicate, Connect, Innovate

On a very intense second day at the GEN Summit, most of us followed Cory Haik, Executive Producer and Senior Editor, inside The Washington Post’s digital strategy. ‘The correlation between social media, in particular twitter, and our mobile traffic is total,’ she stressed.

Cory Haik at the GEN Summit 2014

During the 18-day US Government shutdown in 2013, the Post created an app to ask mobile users how intensely it was affecting them and, thanks to geolocalization, the results were mapped. They also experimented using Google Glass at the White House correspondents' dinner and sharing content via snapchat.
‘Readers’ needs are different if they are at the airport or on the couch,’ said Haik. Social media, mostly used on mobiles, play an essential role, too. ‘Part of my job is to take the conversations that are happening, summarize them and reflect on that,’ she added
The paper -shouldn’t we maybe start to call them something else?-, calls its approach adaptive journalism because it is about ‘creating news specifically by device and by platform.’ And a good example is their mobile-first story about the missing Malaysian airliner last spring.
‘The average smartphone user checks it 150 times a day,’ said Matt Kelly, Chairman of the GEN Summit, during one of the sessions he ran. If this is one of the rare occasions when you are not on your phone, switch to it now and enjoy scrolling down at The depth of the problem
Other highlights of the day were speeches about increasing media control by third parties, by Dan Gillmor, Digital Media Professor at Arizona State University, and 'Why do we believe anything governments say?' by vehement Seymour Hersh, journalist and author at The New Yorker. 

Published on the GEN website here

Sunday, July 13, 2014

South to South and North and back

Thinking South-to-South was the next big topic of the first day at the GEN Summit in Barcelona and I felt sorry that half the audience had left the room by the end of the sessions. “How much dialogue is there between what we call the political South,” wondered Sami Zeidan, from Al Jazeera, having recently been to South America. Representatives with experience in developing countries had a lot to say.

Wadah Khanfar at the GEN Summit 14
“The world was summarized and centralized in the West. It was our cultural narrative,” stated Wadah Khanfar, President of Al Sharq Forum and former Director General of the Al Jazeera Network. Years ago, when newsrooms looked at a model to follow, “for us in the East, it was London; for others it was the United States or France. Now it isn’t the case,” he sentenced. He also advocated for journalism in depth.  “We need our newsrooms to become think tanks, not technology laboratories,” he added.

Joyce Barnathan, President of the International Center for Journalists, mapped a world of fruitful journalistic development emerging from the South. Among them, the Manual of Digital and Mobile Security (in Spanish) by Knight International Journalism Fellow Jorge Luis Sierra, and ChicasPoderosas, to empower women in newsrooms in Latin America.

“The first session was like a science fiction film,” pointed out Venkatesh Kannaiah. “Now we come to something that only humans can do: pay and take a bribe.” As head of content of non-profit, which records over 26,000 reports in India, he knows. “We get a lot of enquiries saying we want to replicate this website in our country.” Ten countries have their own versions already; Hungary, Greece and Ukraine in Europe among them.

The impact of social media in the Arab World was also discussed. In the Arab spring, “social media made people more aware of human rights violations and made them go out and protest,” told us Arwa Ibrahim, senior journalist from MiddleEastEye, based in London. “But," she added, "in Egypt 65% of people do not use social media.” And in Algeria they only got 3G six months ago, said Mourad Hachid from El Watan.

“We need to reverse the slogan,“ was Al Jazeera’s Yaser Bishr’s conclusion: “Think local, act local.”

Published on the GEN website here 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Algorithm is the name of the game #GENSummit 2014

I have recently been covering the Global Editors Network Summit in Barcelona and publishing articles on their website. Here is the first one:

Automated journalism marked the start of the GEN Summit in Barcelona. 'It is the next logical step: let the computer do one more task,' said moderator Yves Eudes from Le Monde. News-writing computers make journalists feel their jobs are at risk and also 'Who wouldn’t like to get rid of journalists?' he inquired humorously. Some impressive first experiments of robot journalism were then shown. 
Robot Journalism Bootcamp Derechos de autor Global Editors Network
Among them, NarrativeScience uses Quill, an artificial intelligence platform to generate stories from data. For the time being, they are mostly about sports and business. 'The reason why some of these stories are not written by people is because there isn’t enough interest,' said Larry Birnbaum, from Northwestern University, who also mentioned 52,000 school descriptions edited at once in collaboration with ProPublica.

David Sancha from Xalok, one of the few Spanish speakers, gave a most entertaining presentation, based on a dialogue with Siri about what robots could do. Siri was very politically correct: 'We have a lot of human editors here. Why a robot?' but finally admitted robots can write, edit and design news, as well as sell ads. 

Wibbitz produces 10,000 stories a day

'We humans continue to evolve too, we are not finished,' counterpointed Tom Kent, responsible for editorial standards across the Associated Press. Craig Silverman, founder of Regret the Error, from the Poynter Institute, stressed the importance of fact-checking.

In that line, Cory Haik, executive producer from The Washington Post, showed her 'passion project', TruthTeller; and Stanislas Motte introduced Trooclick. Even Burt Herman, co-founder of Storify, admitted that 'not everybody can write a good story; it takes a lot of skill'.

Other innovations presented at the GEN Summit –and this is only the first afternoon- were automated writing in several languages by Yseop and video summaries created out of text-based articles by Wibbitz. 'We produce 10,000 of these a day', said co-founder Yotam Cohen. Stay tuned. 

Published on the GEN website here