New media for crime and judicial reporting

My latest lecture to mid-career journalists at the Sri Lanka College of Journalism (SLCJ) focussed on how new media can the crime and justice beat, and reporters covering court cases (esp. high-profile ones in the media spotlight, at least one of which we have on-going in Sri Lanka).

Using technologies like Google Maps to plot incidents of crime to ascertain patterns, Ustream Producer on mobiles to give live coverage from outside the courtroom, Flickr Mobile to take photos of a crime-scene and quickly upload them to the web and drop.io to record audio interviews with key witnesses or file updates from the field, I flagged how new media and smartphones can be leveraged for more innovative, interactive reporting on matters related to crime and justice.

I also flagged the ways in which new media had revolutionised news production, consumption and dissemination even in Sri Lanka – encouraging the class to take Groundviews, Vikalpa and Perambera as cogent examples of relatively low-cost, high-value content driven websites to create their own, personal web media initiatives to flag stories, and angles, their respective stations or mastheads would find inconvenient to broadcast or publish.

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