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Jakarta – A Brief Visit

Jakarta - A Brief Visit

I briefly got a chance to visit Jakarta in November, and stayed with an old friend — I didn’t explore a huge amount of it, and mostly spent it at my friend’s place hanging out. It’s a massive city, and so much time is spent on the road (there is effectively no public transport system, […]


Iraq Violence – Opening Up

One of the most opaque issues that we cover here in Baghdad is violence — officials are reticent to be quoted on the record, journalists are frequently restricted from accessing the sites of attacks, and authorities often clean up areas where bombings or shootings have taken place very quickly after they occur (which is also […]


Facebook Subscribe – I Relent

So this morning I signed up for Facebook Subscribe, which has basically been a way to emulate Google+ and Twitter to allow journalists to share their content with a wider audience. As with most things (like my attempts to figure out Tumblr and Google+), I just want to give it a try and see how it works, […]


Still raw wounds greet US medics in Iraq’s Fallujah

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was published by AFP on August 8, 2012. It can be found in full here. FALLUJAH, Iraq (AFP) – In an Iraqi city where US military offensives levelled entire neighbourhoods in 2004, a hospital has turned to American doctors to treat children with heart problems that residents blame on […]


How is the new MacBook’s Retina display? It depends

How is the new MacBook's Retina display? It depends

I recently purchased (and today took delivery of) a new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. I’m staying with my parents in Hong Kong, and as soon as my Dad walked through the door, he said he wanted to see the retina display which is, frankly, spectacular. Unfortunately, lots of software has yet to be upgraded […]


My First AFP Video – Initial Lessons

Readers of this blog will know that I’m trying to learn how to do more photos and videos to become more of a “multimedia” journalist (whatever that is). I did some training at AFP in Hong Kong to learn how to do “webclips”, and put together a little video about an Iraqi Ramadan game. So […]


To HDR or not to HDR?

To HDR or not to HDR?

After reading this excellent post with tips for using Instagram (written by Anthony Quintano, Senior Community Manager for NBC News), I went ahead and downloaded a couple of the iPhone photography apps he recommended: Pro HDR and Color Splash. Both are great applications and are really fun to play around with, but while Color Splash […]


Facebook Comments for your blog – a How-To

For whatever reason, my posts get inundated with spam, and while I sometimes generate a few hundred hits on individual posts, they don’t generate a tremendous amount of comments. I’d been thinking for a while of switching to Facebook comments to see if that could help rectify this. Obviously, it’s too early to say if […]


What happened @LSENews?

What happened @LSENews?

At 3:38 PM GMT, the London School of Economics‘s media office Twitter account sent out a tweet that appeared to lay the smack down on Oxford University: Minutes later, the post was deleted. Trying to click through to the tweet’s permalink says it no longer exists. Full disclosure: I’m an LSE alum. Personally, I kind […]


AFP’s Guidelines for Journalists Using Social Media

After a period of internal discussion (disclosure: of which I played a tiny role by taking part in a conference call to discuss an earlier draft), AFP has published its guidelines for journalists’ use of social media. You will recall that earlier this year, the agency published its guidelines for the use of content published […]


Introduction for Journalists Getting Started with WordPress

The good folks at IJNet have put together a nice little video introducing WordPress for journalists. It’s a useful introduction for those of you who aren’t familiar with the platform, the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, and the various things you can do with both. Personally, I swear by WordPress.org — and I use but […]


Google+ for Journalists — A Primer

If, like me, you’ve signed up to Google’s new social networking service Google+, you’ll be wondering how — if at all — it applies to your job; how it compares to existing social networking and/or micro-blogging services; and how best to use it. As a result, and after a suggestion from Sara Hussein that I […]


AFP Social Media Guidelines

I’ve been on holiday for a few weeks, so this blog hasn’t been updated as often as it should have. While I was away, AFP published updated guidelines on the use of content from social networks. Check them out here. A brief summary of what we, as AFP journalists, can use social networks for: Monitor […]


Facebook in the Frontline (Part I)

Prashant’s note: The following article was printed in the latest issue of Correspondent, the bi-monthly magazine of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club. It is re-published here in full with the permission of the magazine and the author, Thomas Crampton, a former foreign correspondent who now helps companies develop social media strategies for Ogilvy across the Asia Pacific […]


Building up a Tumblr

Matthew Keys made some interesting points in a live chat on Poynter about the use of Tumblr. He made some useful suggestions about how to get started, and what individuals and news organisations are using Tumblr well (Poynter’s Joe Grimm also offered up this list of 60 innovative Tumblr accounts). It’s worth checking out the […]


What is Tumblr? (Part III) – The Poynter Live Chat Edition

Past readers will recall my initial post trying to get to grips with Tumblr led me to a web presentation, which was compiled by Matthew Keys. Well, that same Matthew Keys is taking part in a Live Chat hosted by Poynter on the subject, “How to use Tumblr to build your brand as a journalist”. […]


What is Tumblr? (Part II)

There’s a really neat (and detailed) summary of what Tumblr is, how it works, and how to get started on Journalism.co.uk for those of you who are interested. The post’s author also makes a few good recommendations at the end about what to do with your Tumblr when you do eventually start using it: Go […]


Ah yes, that world famous restaurant chain — Pizza Hat

Ah yes, that world famous restaurant chain -- Pizza Hat

Spotted this while driving through Mansur, in west Baghdad: This place really makes me laugh, sometimes. (Photo taken on my iPhone 4 using Camera+)


Some good news for iPad users

The New York Post reported this week that Condé Nast was going to begin offering iPad subscriptions for its magazines, which is fantastic news for this particular customer. I am a subscriber to The New Yorker‘s digital edition (which massively lets down its fantastic writing) and a past subscriber to Vanity Fair, so I’m looking […]


If you read one thing today…

Make it AFP London photographer Leon Neal‘s two-part post (so two things, I guess) on his preparation for photographing the Royal Wedding on April 29, and actually taking and filing pictures on the day.


What is Tumblr?

One of the reasons I started this little project is to better understand web trends and technologies, either by forcing myself to use them (WordPress), or by learning enough that I could write about them — this feeling has been exacerbated by Portal 2 having been released and my not having known anything about it. […]


The rise of the iPhone 4 camera (and fall of my G10)

The rise of the iPhone 4 camera (and fall of my G10)

The good folks at TechCrunch have pointed out something pretty incredible: Camera upload data over at Flickr indicates that the iPhone 4 is about to overtake the Nikon D90 to become the most popular “camera” in terms of photos being uploaded to Flickr, and usage of point-and-shoot cameras is falling through the floor. If you […]


A random thought, with a touch of Bollywood

I recently returned to Baghdad from a holiday visiting friends and relatives in Asia, and during the course of that trip, I visited my brother and his family in Singapore. While in Singapore, I spent most of my time playing with my 16-month-old nephew, who is walking and has an expanding vocabulary that is, for […]


AFP Journalists on Twitter

UPDATE: I’ve actually moved this post into a page (unimportant why, but easier to organise for me) which can be found here. LAST UPDATED: April 18, 2011 More and more AFP journalists are on Twitter, to the point where a simple old #FollowFriday is difficult, so I’ve set about compiling a list with as full […]