Friday, 16 March 2012

Building proficiency with - a guide for journalists from MMJ

I'd like to introduce you to the second in a three-level programme of tuition on using Wordpress as a publishing platform for journalism, to which you have free access until 26-03-2012.
The three levels correspond to the levels common across the whole Multimedia Journalism: A Practical Guide learning programme
We covered level one, Getting Started with Wordpress, here.
The focus there was on Now we are looking at
If you are new to Wordpress, and want tuition on how to:
  • Find your way around the Wordpress dashboard,
  • What themes are and how to choose one,
  • Add posts and pages to your site,
  • Add and remove widgets and other basics,
then you should check out Getting Started with Wordpress.
You’ll need to be a subscriber to MMJ to gain access. To become a subscriber, buy the textbook, in either paper or ebook form.
You’ll find it on at around £25, and at for the US at around $40.
Becoming a subscriber gives you full access to the extensive supportive website that complements each teaching unit in the book, plus access to the now 45 Masterclasses, which are up-to-the-minute tutorials in a wide range of key developments in multimedia journalism.

So what do we cover in level two, Building proficiency with Wordpress?

The focus now is on If you need to know the important differences between .com and .org, you’ll find an explanation here.
Here we cover:
  • Choosing a host and downloading to your computer
  • Choosing, downloading, unzipping and activating a theme in
  • Recommended themes for creating magazine and news sites on Wordpress
  • Essential adjustments to make to your Wordpress account
  • Plug-ins you should add to your Wordpress site to boost functionality.
 It is intended to add a third level of tuition, Professional Standards with Wordpress, in the future.
That level is likely to include tuition on:
  • Using FTP to administer your site
  • How to run a news site and newspaper using Wordpress
  • Essential plugins for newsrooms
  • Building a mobile app on Wordpress

Next: Choosing a host and downloading to your computer

Friday, 2 March 2012

The Port Talbot MagNet and the West Londoner win print runs from MMJ and Make My Newspaper

At MMJ we’re confident that print has a future.

But, sadly, more and more towns and villages are being denied a print newspaper, as local papers run by the big publishers put up the shutters. Certainly there are many excellent hyperlocals stepping into their shoes, but they can rarely stretch to a physical product; relying on websites, blogs, and social media to distribute their news.

So when I heard that Make My Newspaper, a short-run publishing house that lets you create your own tabloid online, had launched in the UK, I thought it was worth checking out.

Chatting to Paul McLachlan from the company it struck me that Make My Newspaper could perhaps provide a solution to the knotty problem of how a hyperlocal might make it into print.

And Paul generously offered a free print run of 150 copies of a 16-page tabloid newspaper to two readers of MMJ.

So we launched this competition to find worthy winners, as part of a look at the future of print, and a practical guide to creating a newspaper on the Make My Newspaper platform.
The response was overwhelming.

It proved beyond doubt that many hyperlocals would love to get into print, if only they could find an affordable way to do so.

I’ve been sifting through pitches from all corners of the country, and I’m sorry to have to disappoint so many hard-working local journos who are showing their commitment to keeping their communities informed.

But we do have two winners.

They are:

The Port Talbot MagNet


The West Londoner

NEXT: Why they won