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Julie Starr’s Evolving Newsroom is a great New Zealand website about journalism and what we once thought of as the newspaper business. Starr writes as much about the technology underpinning modern journalism as the nitty-gritty of the subject itself. While I doubt we’d agree on everything, I count her among the people who ‘get it’.

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There’s no serious New Zealand counterpart to The Australian’s weekly Media section, which also appears online as part of the paper’s website. Given the section is part of Australia’s national daily newspaper, the focus is firmly on that country’s media, but there’s a huge overlap with New Zealand’s media industry and, anyway, the Australian does a good job of covering the big picture stories which affect us all. The Media section is not entirely unbiased — after all The Australian is part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited — and often shows Fairfax in a less flattering light and pulls its punches over News’ properties, but overall the coverage is well-balanced. While the print section is weekly, the online news is updated regularly throughout the week.

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Another great Australian resource is the online-only mUmBRELLA which covers media and marketing. The site takes a much more light-hearted approach than the Australian, which can be a bit heavy at times. It also tends to focus on short, snappy pieces with a healthy dose of reader comments. From my point of view there’s a lower signal-to-noise ratio. Nevertheless it stays on my daily read list and I love it, although I hate the typographic silly buggers with the name.

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As the name suggests the anonymous writer of Freelance Unbound is a freelance journalist. He worked in the trade press in the UK and does a little teaching as well. I like the site, partly because it moves smoothly between big picture ‘think’ pieces and snappy little items — there’s often some fun and plenty of good reader comments. There’s some great material covering the point where the world of traditional journalism collides with social media and other online communications tools. The site also has an excellent voice, although I suspect that’s just the author’s natural voice.

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Publishing 2.0 is an American site with a heavy focus on web publishing, the blurb says it is about “how technology is transforming media”. A lot of the material appears to be aimed at people managing traditional media companies – which in American tends to mean large corporation. Nevertheless there’s plenty of valuable ideas and news.

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So far I’ve carefully trying to avoid using the word ‘blog’. This isn’t because I’m some print era fogey in a state of digital denial. As far as I’m concerned blog is a term that conjures up the wrong image. But there’s simply no getting around the online journalism blog which appears to be written and edited by professionals exhibiting the skills most bloggers seem to disdain. The site is primarily British, with correspondents from around the world. A lot of the material aims at showing switched on journalists how to use technology to improve their work.

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I don’t always agree with Martin Hurst who sporadically makes entries on his Ethical Martini site, but his ideas are usually worth reading. Hirst is an academic who teaches at Auckland University of Technology and specialise in media ethics.

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2 thoughts on “Interesting journalism sites you’ve not heard of

  1. Hey Bill, thanks for the recommendation. Though it’s not so much that I’m anonymous – just that I have a thin filter between me and crazed internet stalkers (mainly journalism academics). And rest assured that I tone the voice down a little when people meet me in the flesh…

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