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Framing the debate on social media with @dwnews

To cover the entire story in today’s media landscape, journalists must reach out in many directions for both the collection and the distribution of information. Social media is becoming a standard in modern journalism and it is an integral part of the new DW News – providing a different angle to every story while giving the audience space to shape the debate and add depth and context to the issues.

DW’s social media service @dwnews is much more than a comment section for articles. On Live Blogs, users can are connected to a web of DW content and can follow of all the stories being covered during the live broadcast of DW News. DW’s social media team covers aspects of major stories posted on social media such as a tweeted photo from the negotiating table posted by American Secretary of State John Kerry or a YouTube video posted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Live Blogs also features stories from the world of social media such as a ban on “selfies” being proposed in Russia or a social media image campaign in Africa. These stories are tailored for discussion and they develop as users make their contributions. Another feature is the question of the day, a daily poll that allows users to share their opinions on stories covered by DW.

During broadcasts of DW News, the social media desk adds an important angle to stories and develops its own features, such as a profile of a Somali bloggers who are showing a different side to their country on social media than what the common news narrative would deliver. Careful verification and analysis is essential to using social media as a news source and DW applies the same journalistic standard as it would to any other source.

Moderated by experienced journalists Elizabeth Shoo and Carl Nasman, the social media desk and @dwnews represent a new direction for DW’s news broadcasting and both will play an essential part in the success of DW News and DW’s overall strategy for the future.

Date

2015-07-09 | 2:54

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Partnering for the greater good

Crossroads_Generation

DW’s Crossroads Generation has found another great partner with Mxit. The South African social media app goes beyond providing easy access to online social networks by actively aiming to improve lives through information and education. Aside from technology, they accomplish this through social activism.

Mxit Reach is an NGO run by the company, which seeks to improve lives by providing innovative mobile solutions. An estimated 1 million users access educational, counseling and health services through Mxit Reach. And with Crossroads Generation, DW has created a radio soap that tackles tough social issues with the help of a love story. It covers issues that are important for African youth like drug use, pregnancy and domestic violence – and does this in a fun and entertaining way to keep listeners coming back for more. Mxit can help the program do its job even better.

One of the Mxit app’s core strengths is “tailoring features for original localized content targeted at emerging market youth”. Crossroads Generation, the educational radio soap, is targeted to this market – African youth who will greatly benefit from having the program on such an accessible platform. Mixt enables users to gather around the content to react, discuss and develop their own ideas and this will surely expand Crossroads Generation’s effectiveness.

DW’s educational content for Africa is produced to enlighten and educate young Africans and is an ideal complement to the Mxit mission. With DW doing a lot of other work in media education and social awareness, it would be a positive development to see this partnership develop in the future.

Find out more about DW’s partnership with Mxit here.

Date

2015-01-23 | 1:50

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Where does the rabbit hole of user generated content lead?

runde_mod3_2_rbWilfried Runde

Head of Innovation Projects at DW

Couch potatoes aren’t inactive anymore. The days of uninterrupted attention are long gone, replaced by multi-device interaction on a massive scale. On average,  61 percent of TV viewers worldwide scan more than one glowing rectangle at a time. For news broadcasters to fully realize the potential of using the second screen, it is important to maintain a high-standard of conversation and discourse as a complement to informational content rather than simply providing an expansion on entertainment.

The advantages of using the second screen to both expand the audience base while providing them with a richer user experience will best be realized if the conversation takes place in an information-rich and well-organized environment.

Building and maintaining high-standard second screen platforms is a new part of the journalistic responsibility for accuracy and verification as the public forum has moved away from editorial pages and onto social networks. In contrast to the anarchy of the comments section, developing the conscientious use of the second screen as a public forum and promoting an intelligent exchange is an important value of public service media.

So what is next for the second screen? The EU co-funded project SAM (Socialising Around Media) is developing a Social Media delivery platform based on second screen and content syndication. It delivers content to the user rather than the user having to “pull” relevant material from digital sources and social networks. Since there are currently no standards for users, SAM aims to develop a standardized way to discover and syndicate media content interactively while providing users with content that is directed at their interests without them having to search for it manually. One part of this is creating dynamic social “hangouts” where people share interests, socialize and build virtual communities.

But the second screen is more than just a one way street and it has long been a way to access users’ thoughts, opinions and approval. It is also a place to mine for content and create real-time user experiences based on what is happening on television and on the streets. But broadcaster beware: How can we ensure that everything that is contributed is real and not some type of catfish scheme?

Here is where verification comes in. The REVEAL project focuses on verification technologies, tools and strategies in order to help journalists identify trustworthy user generated content on social networks. This includes assessing aspects such as the credibility of contributors, their reputation and influence, the quality of content items, establishing the right context and much more.

For journalists and broadcasters alike, mastering the flow of content through online networks is a primary focus of development and innovation. DW’s Innovation team is contributing to projects like SAM and Reveal to make sure the future of digital media looks as bright as we think it should.

Date

2014-10-29 | 9:49

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Social media is more than just being social

Guest commentary

Louise Houghton, Television Host at DW

Louise_HoughtonFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Circle, LinkedIn

It’s hard to try and keep up with them all. Even now I am thinking that I must change my Twitter settings because I have been hacked and am sending out adverts to my 500 followers!

People say that it sometimes feels like another job making sure that everything on their social media platforms is current. Of course, everyone wants to be the first to post about the new presenter seen on DW or the opening of a new store in Berlin, for example.  This is how news gets around nowadays and wouldn’t it be great if it was you who started a “Twitter trend”! There is no denying that Journal and newspapers offer a more detailed account of world events, but the likes of Twitter actually get the information out to the world much quicker. It is now possible to communicate without even using words – all you have to do is post a picture and that says it all. What an ingenious idea Instagram is! It saves me typing, but then I spend double the amount of time tweaking photos and putting them into little collages before I actually upload them.

Is it all really necessary? Are we doing it for ourselves or for our friends and followers who take an interest in what we do? We didn’t have it before, so why now the sudden interest in what dinner your friend is eating tonight? Furthermore, why is there a need to post a photo to clarify the fact that they have actually cooked it themselves?

I often wonder what we did before these sites were accessible with the touch of a button. Those precious seconds were probably spent taking life a little bit easier. We probably felt like we were able to relax before going off to sleep at night rather than thinking we need to write one last status update and say goodnight to the world.

These sites can also intrude on people’s personal lives too. Those who have millions of followers need to keep them happy by constantly posting something. But the reality is, as I mentioned above, that it is just too time consuming so they have someone else who takes charge of their social media presence for them.  It is not surprising that there are stories of stalkers and burglaries as a result of these sites either because the world knows where you are or where you are not as soon as you check in on Facebook!

Saying all that, no one can deny that there are benefits to having speedy access to all this information, especially if you have a smartphone. When I am working away from home it is great to be able to keep up to date with what my friends are doing and see pictures of their birthdays, children and holidays. It makes the world feel a bit smaller and that you are still part of each other’s lives even though there is distance between you. The number of people now living away from home has, no doubt, increased since the invention of social media, Skype and Facetime.

Not only does social media help on a social front but these mediums allow people to promote themselves or their companies with minimal costs.  Small businesses have the ability to promote events they are holding by posting links on feeds with followers and that is a great advantage.  The Internet means that headlines get around the world faster than the speed of sound. Whether it is news on who won the latest series of “I’m a celebrity get me out of here” or the horrific pictures of a tsunami, you only need to log in to your social media sites to see the information there in front of you because everyone will be talking about it. It’s quicker and easier than a search engine. This helps to educate nations without them even realising they are being educated. I believe there were a number of people researching Nelson Mandela after he died because of following posts, blogs, tweets and captions of his quotes on social media sites. This can only be a good thing – news is more accessible through these sites and becomes more a topic of discussion rather than just a headline. Our understanding and knowledge of historical events will be stronger as a result.

Like many things in life social media has its pros and cons and I have barely scratched the surface on the many topics of conversation based around this ever-growing medium. One thing is for sure though, technology will continue to shape our world and we can’t stop it, so I think it is best to jump on the bandwagon and enjoy what these sites have to offer. Otherwise you risk getting left behind not knowing what a hashtag means! #‬justsaying #socialmedia‬

Date

2013-12-19 | 1:57

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Showcasing the next new thing for language learners at Expolingua

Finding new and creative ways to teach the German language is something that DW has focused on heavliy over the last few years, with formats like Jojo sucht das Glück and the new Bandtagebuch. This weekend, DW’s language team will be in Berlin for the the leading language learning convention in Germany, Expolingua.  They will be presenting DW’s award-winning interactive learning tools and will also be presenting the successful learning format, Ticket nach Berlin. The presentation at the convention will introduce the format and its didactic concepts on November 16 at 3 pm. The series is a game show featuring learners of German as they complete different challenges on a trip across Germany.  DW’s language learning services are very popular worldwide. The Facebook page DW-Learn German, has over 230,000 fans and the language course websites get around 6 million clicks every month. Every year around 13,000 people visit Expolingua to check out the 150 displays from 25 countries. Around 50 languages are there to be sampled. If you can make it to the convention, be sure to pay us a visit.

 

Date

2013-11-15 | 7:27

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