My old junior school is having a 50th anniversary do - I didn't know this, but the building was opened in 1964, six months before I was born. And it turns out the first school on the site was 300 years ago - 1714!

I'm thinking about what could be done heritage/archive-media-wise...

There's an open day on June 7th

04/28/14; 04:16:45 PM

I spent an hour today out on the streets with some people who are making a film about "Buskers Rights". I told them we don't have any :blush:

They asked me some questions and then we went to my favourite St Christopher's Place pitch and played a few numbers. It seems that there are a couple of things going on - on the one hand Camden Council (busking regulations vary in London between boroughs) are tightening up their licensing scheme and making people with amps pay more (a good thing!) and on the other the Mayor's Office is trying to co-ordinate a pan-London agreement on street entertainment.

Really weird experience being filmed by a guy with a camera on a tripod and a sound team with a boom mic - I did three songs and nobody but the crew gave any money! More than usual people just wanted to move quickly on.

04/28/14; 04:06:21 PM

I'm going to go to the lovely @joannageary's Hacks and Hackers meetup tonight - it's a thing for journalists and programmers or as I'm reading it, people who are interested in writing on the web and technology. Anyway, it's been going for a while and I've never managed to get along but it popped up in my stream and it seems a few folk are crying off because Tube Strike so there were space (300 sign-ups apparently - scary!)

Turns out I know hardly anyone here - weird.

First up is Will Moy from

  • who do real-time fact-checking. They did the Clegg/Farage debate and have worked on Question Time. Real-time is hard, really hard. You need to have a great network, you can't do it on your own. But it's amazingly popular, people love it, think it essential.

  • A few things they're doing

    • Calls for "Open Statistics" - We should expect all the basic metadata, changes in standards, explanations, caveats and machine-readable where possible.

    • for finding data eg on ONS website

    • about to launch What's it worth -

    • Building a tool to make statistics with all the caveats, visible, sharable, instant - advertising for developers to build it.

    • Excel best practice guide - done by statistician from DH & from MoJ

  • Prospects for automated fact-checking

    • Washington Post Truth Teller

    • transcribes, recognises claims that have been checked before and flags those that

    • Fullfactomatic

    • makes guesses based on textual analysis of eg Hansard and tells you where else you might look.

    • not about replacing full fact-checking but giving you a short-cut

  • Democracy Club

    • volunteer group giving people a quiz that helped them understand issues and change their minds

    • now looking at reaching people for the next general election

    • 28th June event at NESTA to look at how volunteers can make a better election this time.

  • Q&A

    • who was right on "% of laws coming from EU"

    • depends on how you count it 15-50% reasonable

    • 7% is just Acts of Parliament

    • But basically it's not a good thing to count - you can't say he's right and he's wrong.

    • do you have a set of protocols - two people checking etc and how do you cope with speed

    • yes, we have lots but we don't always know which work best

    • if you're not sure never say it

    • don't have resource for double-checking as in total parallel, but things go through group peer review

    • how are you funded

    • 80% by charitable trusts - Nuffield and Esme XX and Joseph Rowntree and Cadbury

    • some users pay

    • commercial work for eg ITN external QA and research

    • how do you plan to increase profile

    • good to work with big media brands - TV still dominant for new

    • any egs of facts wrong

    • accurately described the stat defn of homelessness but case law affects this so now they're working with lawyers - big q on how to fact-check legal stuff.

    • how about crowdsourcing

    • really tough - it requires expertise and modesty/humility about what you don't know.

    • Moy doesn't find existing stuff convincing

    • Could work better on more specific things

    • Or create a much more expert crowd

Lightning round

  • Digital Accelerator Programme in Greenwich - SMEs 19th May hackathon - Pauline Laban

  • Silicon MilkRoundabout - jobs fair for tech startups - next event

  • MediaLab Preston -

  • Hiyalife - publishing tool to encourage people to contribute their side of the story - socially constructed timelines (typical terms & conditions)

  • Pat Long - Times. New mixed discipline newsroom team looking for a front-end developer.

Was just asked whether I was a hack or a hacker. I don't know if I'm either, but I'm more both than not :blush: Lots of people here wouldn't consider the sort of writing I do as journalism and most of the programmers would turn their noses up at my coding skills.

Lewis Whyld - Telegraph

  • has a miniature drone and is talking about what drones can do - he's using them for visual journalism - stories you couldn't see without them.

  • Phillipines Typhoon footage - immediate aftermath and six months later

  • UK Floods this year

  • Horse Race circuits

  • Urban sports BMX

  • Conservation with wolf hunters didn't find a thing, but drones found them in the trees

  • 3 or 4 miles range

  • Problems more about increasing capability for others to do bad things - eg helping an army find an enemy

  • Lots of legal restrictions especially in UK airspace

  • Took Lewis about 3 years to learn how to build and operate and get qualified.

  • Uses rechargeable batteries always a balance between weight and flight time.

  • Not a replacement for video on the ground and interviews

Overall it was interesting, but I think it's too big; with too high a journo:techie ratio in favour of the journo's. There were lots of people trying to find tech people to do work, but I didn't hear much more detail than "a javascript developer". I wasn't in the mood to talk to people enough to find out more.

04/28/14; 03:38:51 PM

Last built: Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 1:30 PM

By Lloyd Davis, Monday, April 28, 2014 at 8:35 AM.