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Archive for January, 2012

American Press Institute logoI have been expecting some sort of change for the American Press Institute for more than a year. But today’s news that API is merging with the Newspaper Association of America Foundation still hit me with a wave of fondness and nostalgia.

I won’t speculate on the future, except to express my hope that the new organization serves the news business as well over the next 65 years as API has for the past 65. And to hope that it continues to employ my remaining API colleagues.

And I won’t dwell on the decline of API. It serves the newspaper industry, which has been in a freefall. I don’t know what could have been done to prevent the decline of an institute tied to an industry whose primary revenue source was declining. I have noted before that the industry did not do enough to follow the advice we presented in the Newspaper Next project. But I wish some newspapers would have tried everything we advocated. I think the business and API would be doing much better. (more…)

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Facebook engagement doesn’t mean just posting links and questions on your own page. Good journalists should be reaching out to the community on other pages.

In a recent email, Toni Sciacqua, Managing Editor – Digital at the Daily Breeze, Press-Telegram and Daily News in Southern California, shared a great example of Facebook engagement:

I wanted to share a big social media aha moment we had recently at the Daily Breeze that illustrates how listening to and engaging with the community can pay off in building a new audience and help us address issues the community is talking about. (more…)

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For the last few months, I have taken a few turns leading the #ASNEchat on Twitter for the American Society of News Editors. Starting today, we are going to alternate live-chat formats. We’ll still do a Twitter chat every other week. But on the alternating weeks, including today, we’ll do the live chat using CoverItLive at ASNE.org.

Today’s chat will discuss the role of newsroom ombudsmen with four panelists with interesting perspectives on the topic:

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How is your newsroom using Google+ Hangouts?

In recent months, I’ve seen some good examples of Google+ use in some Digital First Media newsrooms. I asked my colleagues to explain what they did and how. Their responses are presented below, with minimal editing. (You’ll note that I’ve been hanging onto these examples quite a while. I’ve had more blog-post ideas than blogging time lately. I hope to catch up in the next few weeks.)

From Karen Workman of the Oakland Press:

The Oakland Press and The Macomb Daily made Michigan history Thursday, Dec. 22, by conducting the first editorial board meeting with a governor by using a Google+ hangout. (more…)

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The Banjo app is downloading to my iPhone as I write this. I haven’t used it yet, but I like how it helped Andy Stettler gather information during a breaking story earlier this month for The Reporter in Lansdale, Pa.

I’ve blogged frequently about using Twitter’s Advanced Search function to find people in your community who are tweeting about a news incident. But Banjo finds people who are using social media nearby, even if they aren’t using the keywords that might show up in tweets about the incident. (more…)

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I enjoy watching journalists grow and learn about our profession. I recounted last month how Lisa Fernandez of the San Jose Mercury News tried live-tweeting after a webinar I led on using Twitter to improve your journalism.

Lisa tweeted and emailed recently about another lesson she learned about engaging with the community:

Lisa’s email to me last week told the story: (more…)

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My blog post on questions to guide beat reporters drew a helpful response from Buffy Andrews that I wanted to give more attention than it would receive simply as a comment. So I’m reposting it separately, with minimal editing:

Another excellent post, Steve. I totally agree about establishing a routine to check on digital sources. I do this every day (you are one of them) on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, etc.

What I love about using an interface such as HootSuite is the ability to set up various columns that search for people or hashtags or companies. This makes it easy to check every day. I’ve been doing this for a few years now. I’ve catagorized my searches. For example, I have the following (among others): (more…)

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When I wrote about how a Digital First approach changes a journalist’s work, people asked for more examples.

In that initial post, I provided examples of how the approach would change the work of a court reporter, sports reporter, visual journalist, beat reporter and assigning editor. In response to a question from a colleague planning to hire a statehouse reporter, I blogged separately about how that reporter might work. On Twitter and in comments and emails, people asked me to explain how the Digital First approach might change the work of a business reporter, investigative reporter, lifestyle reporter and a reporter covering multiple beats.

Part of me wants to answer: You tell me. I haven’t been a business reporter in 20 years (though I have covered a few business stories since then). I was never a lifestyle reporter. A purpose of that blog post was to stimulate the discussion and experimentation of journalists so that you would answer those questions for yourselves and colleagues.

But more examples from me might stimulate more discussion and experimentation, so I’ll provide some answers, with this caveat: I’m not spelling out here how anyone should work. I’m suggesting things to consider as you decide how to work. Instead of going through each of the beats I was asked to address, as I’ve done with some of the others, I’ll list some questions and tasks any reporter should consider in working on any beat. I’ll answer them for some of the examples I was asked about, but the answers may be different for your beat. (more…)

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Credit: Free images from acobox.com

An editor asked me to outline how a Digital First statehouse reporter should work.

I see nine themes for the digital emphasis of a statehouse reporter:

  1. Live reporting of events.
  2. Community engagement around the issues and events of the Capitol.
  3. Reporting breaking news and enterprised scoops as the stories unfold.
  4. Curation of content from other sources.
  5. Enterprise and daily reporting based on analysis of data compiled by state agencies.
  6. Video reporting of interviews and news events.
  7. Mapping.
  8. Digitally focused enterprise reporting.
  9. Beatblogging.

I’ll elaborate on them, but need to acknowledge up front that I’m not involved directly with statehouse coverage now, so some statehouse editors and reporters could certainly explain any or all of these points better than I could. This continues the discussion I started last month with a post on the workflow of a Digital First journalist. (more…)

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I will be leading a workshop at the Daily Local News of West Chester, Pa., this evening for local bloggers.

The workshop will be fairly short, then I’ll answer questions and we’ll socialize for a while. I will share with the bloggers some tips from these earlier posts:

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As you get ready to watch coverage of the Iowa caucuses tonight, I offer my favorite Iowa videos:

Iowa Nice:

Iowa Nice (the clean version, which you should watch if foul language offends you):

Where in Iowa is Jeff? (a Hawkeye/Cyclone version of Where in the World is Matt?):

And a video I did about a famous Iowa photograph:

 

Homecoming revisited from GazetteOnline.com on Vimeo.

What are some other fun or interesting Iowa videos I should watch (and share)?

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Iowa Caucus Game

Iowa Caucus Game, 1983

I’ve had a lot of fun covering the Iowa caucuses. It feels odd to be mostly sitting this one out.

Last week I noted that I think it’s time for Iowa to relinquish its place at the front of our nation’s political line (or for political parties or federal legislation to reform the process, giving other states a turn).

Today, as Iowans get ready to caucus, I’ll note that, whether the caucuses should be first forever or not, they’ve been a fun story to cover and I’ll share a few memories from covering caucuses in four decades. (Memories is a key word here. Most of these caucuses were long enough ago that news accounts are not easy to find online. I didn’t do extensive research to verify the accuracy of all my memories, though I did verify all the caucus results – and remembered them accurately.) (more…)

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