Amy O’Leary of The New York Times shares some audio tips for print reporters (embedded above).
Great stuff. You can find the transcript on the Nieman Journalism Lab site here.
Here’s a new Rohingya story from the New York Times: “Burmese Refugees Rescued at Sea”
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Dozens of refugees from Myanmar, rescued by the Indonesian Navy after drifting aboard a wooden boat at sea for almost three weeks, are receiving treatment at a hospital in Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra, Indonesian officials said Tuesday.
About 200 refugees, all of them men, were found by a local fisherman Monday afternoon. It was the second boatload of refugees from Myanmar to land in Aceh in the last month.
Interviews by Indonesian Navy personnel indicated the men are all part of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar who had fled to Thailand in December.
Survivors from the first boat, which was found in early January and was also carrying about 200 men, told Indonesian authorities that they had been rounded up by the Thai military after escaping Myanmar, and then were beaten, towed out to sea and abandoned.
The survivors rescued Monday told Navy personnel a similar story, adding that originally there was a flotilla of nine motorless boats that had been led out to sea by the Thais, containing about 1,200 people.
What’s the best way to tell a travel story?
Newspaper and magazine travel journalism, as we know, typically aims to pair descriptive, compelling text with illustrative photography. But what if you add complimentary video and a blog to the mix?
The New York Times‘s Matt Gross — the Times‘s Frugal Traveler — has been producing some really, really good travel journalism over the last few years. ((Disclaimer: I’m lucky enough to call Matt a pal, but I was a fan of his work before our paths ever crossed. In fact, before I ever moved to Bangkok, I ate up his NYT travel stories from Southeast Asia, particularly “To Be Young and Hip in Bangkok.”)) And he’s been doing so using not just well-crafted words accompanied by well-shot images. He’s also been using a blog and sms alerts to connect with his readers. And some of his stories are plotted on Google Maps. There’s even a Frugal Traveler Facebook group (latest count: 1,345 fans).
Matt has traveled around the world in 90 days; he took a road trip across the US; and he re-created the European grand tour. All of his stories are formatted as blog posts, and many of them receive over a hundred comments. In some of the comments, readers give him travel tips on where to go and what to do when he gets to future destinations.
In short, though I’m not a fan of the phrase “Web 2.0,” Matt is a travel writer for the Web 2.0 age.
His stories are not only rich in practical details that are helpful in planning a trip, but his dispatches are often emotionally revealing. For example, during his grand tour last summer, he filed a story called “Tracing Family Roots in Vilnius.” The article describes how he tracked down his Lithuanian ancestors. And the accompanying video (embedded below) is also interesting — but it’s more lighthearted:
The written article, blog post, and images were one story. The video was another.
In the end, I think that traditional newspaper and magazine travel journalism will continue to thrive, as will travel TV shows. These meet a need. But it’s interesting to see how Matt’s work has blended traditional and multimedia elements to create something different entirely.
For more reading, I suggest:
Some snippets that caught my eye:
On media ubiquity
The challenge, for Mr. Estenson and others, is to make CNN.com more distinctive. At the end of a long day recently, he showed a visitor screen grabs of four Web pages on his Macbook Air.
“When you look at the top news sites, they often look almost identical,” he says, gesturing to the home pages of CNN, ABC News, The Wall Street Journal and Yahoo News. Down to photo choices and color schemes, the four sites look practically interchangeable and utilitarian, he says — hence his emphasis on the power of “unique signatures.”
On high-traffic times
More broadly, Ms. Golden defines “Web prime” as 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. During those hours, the home page will feature six or seven lead stories, on average, so no one headline lingers too long.
It’s also trying to make money from more experimental forays. During the inauguration coverage on Tuesday, for the first time, CNN.com Live, the Web site’s video arm, will include TV-style commercial breaks. Until now the only ads on the streaming service have been snippets that play before the main clip, and small sponsorship banners.
Amid a recession, advertising sales are sluggish on television and online, putting a damper on CNN’s growth plans. But CNN.com is expected to remain flush; while Web revenue doesn’t match TV’s, the costs aren’t nearly as high.
As I may have mentioned in the past, I’ve been a soccer (football) goalkeeper since the age of 7. I can’t get enough of the game, and I absolutely love goalkeeping. (I still play regularly today.) ((A few of my favorite goalkeeper-related Web sites include The Glove Bag — an exceptional online community of goalkeepers — and the news blogs The Goalkeepers’ Union and JB Goalkeeping Blog. And if you’re seriously into the philosophy of goalkeeping, I recommend this manual: “The Art of Goalkeeping or The Seven Principles of the Masters.”)) So I was delighted to see that, according to the New York Times, one of 2008’s big ideas that begin with the letter “g” — along with topics like genopolics, gallons per mile, and the guaranteed retirement account — is goalkeeper science:
What’s the best way to stop a penalty kick? Do nothing: just stand in the center of the goal and don’t move.
That is the surprising conclusion of “Action Bias Among Elite Soccer Goalkeepers: The Case of Penalty Kicks,” a paper published by a team of Israeli scientists in Journal of Economic Psychology that attracted attention earlier this year. The academics analyzed 286 penalty kicks and found that 94 percent of the time the goalies dived to the right or the left — even though the chances of stopping the ball were highest when the goalie stayed in the center.
If that’s true, why do goalies almost always dive off to one side? Because, the academics theorized, the goalies are afraid of looking as if they’re doing nothing — and then missing the ball…
(To read the rest of the entry, visit the link above and then choose “g” in the navigation bar. Sadly, there’s no direct link.)
For more on this subject, I recommend this blog post: “The Rationality of Soccer Goalkeepers” ((Insert joke about all goalkeepers being necessarily — and perhaps genetically — irrational here.)) ((And if you want to see a photo of yours truly saving a penalty kick several years ago in Taiwan — and I apologize in advance for the tight goalkeeping pants, but it was cold and the pitch was terrible — click here.))
This study illustrates the tension between internal(subjective) and external (objective) rationality discussed in my last post: statistically speaking, as a rule for winning games, to jump is (externally) suboptimal; but given the social norm and the associated emotional feeling, jumping is (internally) rational.
(Hat tip to B.L. for the NYT link. Image credit: Flickr.)