Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, TikTok. 48 hours until I'm back to work (even the self-employed are allowed holidays, you know…), but that doens't stop me reading about this industry of ours. Here's some more interesting links to see you through the weekend.


This is an encouraging start to the year:

Here are the numbers: a total of about 550 English-language proposals were received, of which 97 on 31 December (deadline day) alone, from Uruguay to Canada, from South Africa to Finland, from Australia to Nigeria and points in-between. This is, by a significant margin, the highest number of proposals we have ever received.

I've never managed to get to Perugia for the festival. Maybe this year?

A record number of #ijf20 proposals: for the love of journalism
Since New Year’s Day we have been evaluating the proposals submitted for inclusion in the 2020 festival programme. We will notify on 05 January those whose proposals have been accepted. The 2020 programme is now full. Please do not send in any more proposals! Here are the numbers: a total of abo…

YouTube in radicalisation discouragement shocker

Well, this goes against the conventional wisdom:

Data scientist Mark Ledwich and UC Berkley researcher Anna Zaitsev have published a study suggesting that YouTube "actively discourages" radicalism through its recommendation system. Their reviewers classified over 760 politics-oriented channels based on overall leaning, topics and proximity to the mainstream, and found that YouTube removed "almost all" suggestions for conspiracy theorists, white identitarians and "provocateurs" (read: purposefully offensive creators).
Study says YouTube ‘actively discourages’ radicalism
YouTube may be too eager to court the mainstream, but it appears to be good at reducing toxic material.

TikTok Time

Corinne Podger has done the hard work in compiling a set of resources around emerging use of TikTok by publishers. Useful stuff.

What does TikTok offer publishers?
This article brings together resources and case studies for a webinar I’m delivering on 7 January for WAN-IFRA South Asia. I hope it will also be useful for journalists and media outlets considering…

Pretty clearly in the "no shit, Sherlock" category - but this ECJ ruling supports the existing position that copyright remains with the photographer, even if they have published the image on Reddit or elsewhere. The idea that an image is free to use just because it's on the internet is pervasive enough that I encounter it in a few students every year. And it probably starts in schools - which is how this court case came to be.

Online photos can’t simply be re-published, EU court rules
Internet users must get photographer’s permission even if images were already freely accessible, says ECJ.

The Op-Ed is destroying trust in journalism

Here's a typically thoughtful piece from Mathew Ingram about op-ed columnists, rounding up the range of reactions to a pretty clearly racist column in the New York Times. Add it to the file of evidence that the intresection of the opinion columnist and clickbait culture being one of the major factors undermining trsut in journalism.

The dilemma that is Times columnist Bret Stephens
<p>The holiday season and the arrival of a new year are often cause for reflection and soul-searching. Many critics have made it abundantly clear that they would like the senior management of the New York Times to consider why the newspaper allows op-ed columnist Bret Stephens to write the things he…

New Year, New Analytics

From today, I'm testing a new and simple analytics package here on the blog, one that doesn't have the complexity — or deep data capture — of Google Analytics. I'll report back in a month or so.

Fathom, simple analytics for bloggers & businesses
Simple, GDPR compliant website analytics, no cookie notice required. No tracking or storing personal data of your users.

Piers Jones: an obituary

I'd probably be more happy that one of my photos appeared in The Guardian — if it wasn't in an obituary of a former colleague. I published my own memorial of Piers last year.

Piers Jones obituary
Other lives: Digital publishing expert at the Guardian for eight years

Trees on the south downs, photographed from the gardens of Nymans.
Gratuitous calming photo, from a New Years' Day trip to Nymans

Have a lovely weekend, all.