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Posts Tagged ‘Digital First journalism’

I have a fondness for copy editing and copy editors.

I learned more in my copy editing class than in any other course I took at Texas Christian University back in the 1970s (hat tip to my instructor, Jim Batts). I learned as much in my two years on the Des Moines Register’s copy desk, also in the ’70s, as I’ve learned any two years ever in my career. And I worked with an extraordinarily talented group there.

I got to be a pretty good copy editor and self-editor (I’m the only editor of this blog, though I often read a post to Mimi and occasionally she will read a post before publication). But still, copy editors saved me from embarrassment many a time in my reporting days (at the Omaha World-Herald, Sue Truax once asked gently about a drought story if I meant to say the city was encouraging water conservation rather than consumption. As embarrassing as that was, it was so much better than seeing it in print).

Copy editing is the quality control function of a newsroom, and quality matters. But the economics and workflow of the news business have changed, and copy editing must change, too.

Digital First newsrooms in Denver and the San Francisco Bay area have changed their copy-editing operations, as Steve Myers reported in some detail for Poynter. We’re trying two different approaches, each with fewer copy editors and fewer reads before a story is published online or in print. The Denver Post no longer has a copy desk; copy editing is handled by assigning editors (with some former copy editors moved to the assigning desks). The Bay Area News Group still has a copy-editing operation for all its newsrooms at the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., but some stories will get only one read there, rather than two, after being read by assigning editors. (more…)

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A fatal fire that eventually killed nine people showed how the Charleston Daily Mail is making progress as a Digital First newsroom.

The Mail has an unusual situation that presents challenges that other newsrooms don’t face. It is part of a joint-operating agreement with the Charleston Gazette, and the Gazette publishes the weekend print editions Saturday and Sunday. So, where many print-oriented newsrooms spend a lot of Friday attention on the huge Sunday paper, the Mail staff is working Friday on its Monday edition. With no Sunday paper, the news staff pretty much takes Saturday off.

In a November visit to the Mail, I encouraged a stronger digital focus, especially on Fridays. In a workshop, I taught about the value of Twitter in covering breaking news, about liveblogging and about using Storify to curate social media content. (more…)

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I will be leading workshops this week for The Gazette in Montreal. Here are links and slides I will be using in workshops:

We will discuss leading a digital-first newsroom. Here are slides for that workshop:

We will discuss the thinking and values of digital-first journalists. Here are slides for that workshop: (more…)

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You can’t know how successful you are — or even if you’re succeeding — unless you find a way to measure performance.

I’ll be leading a workshop today on metrics for Digital First journalists in Connecticut. It’s scheduled for the Middletown Press, but if the weather turns nasty, I might stay in New Haven. Either way, you can follow the workshop on a livestream and live chat. The workshop starts at 4 p.m. (but if I’m traveling, weather could delay that slightly).

I’ll start with a process journalists should use to measure their digital efforts, then I’ll discuss some possible ways and tools to carry out that process: (more…)

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I will be leading a workshop on working as a Digital First journalist starting at noon today for colleagues in Connecticut. You are welcome to join on the livestream and ask questions on the live chat.

We’ll address the concerns of the journalists in the conference room and on the live chat. Many of the answers are found in my various blog posts on Digital First journalism:

I will not be using slides on this beat, but if they are helpful to you, here are slides I have used in previous workshops on this topic:

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I will be leading workshops this week for Digital First journalists in Connecticut. You are welcome to watch them by livestream.

The schedule and topics (all times are Eastern time, all sessions lasting roughly 90 minutes):

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This is a blog post I wrote March 5, 2008, on my Training Tracks blog at the American Press Institute. The original is no longer online, but I’m resurrecting this because Elaine Clisham referred to it on Twitter yesterday, prompting my post this morning about why linking is good journalism. I have not checked the links to see if they are still good. Given the topic, I think I should leave them in this piece either way.

Some questions about journalism innovation stump me. This one didn’t.

A person who’s trying to help journalists move into the digital world was trying to persuade some newspaper editors and writers to “build credibility with their users by having the courage to send users elsewhere for info when they can’t meet the need.” The editors were appalled and asked for “hard data to take home to convince their legacy managers this is a good idea.”

You want hard data? Here’s some hard data: Google.

This need by too many journalists and newspaper executives to control how our audience spends their time is laughable except that it’s so maddening. Our users control how they spend their time. They always did and they always will. We need to give them value and links have value. (more…)

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I will be leading a workshop today for Digital First journalists in Connecticut on engaging the community. I will cover many of the points in this 2011 blog post. Here are the slides I will use (though it’s going to be a free-flowing discussion, so I may not get to them all and may use some out of order):

 

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I will be leading a workshop today for Digital First Connecticut editors on leading a Digital First newsroom. We will discuss many of the points I made in the Dec. 22 blog post linked above. Here are my slides for the workshop, which will largely be an open discussion addressing the challenges these editors are facing.

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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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My move to Journal Register Co. and Digital First Media and my work for my new companies dominated my writing this year on this blog. I’ve reviewed my blogging each of the past two years, so I’ll do it again in a post that clearly is self-indulgent. Still, I think it’s good to look back on a year’s work, and as long as I’m doing that, I might as well blog it.

The most notable posts of the year were a series I wrote the week before Christmas, explaining aspects of Digital First journalism. The piece on the workflow of a Digital First journalist became my second most-read blog post ever in just a week. While it’s more than 3,000 views behind my Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection, I’m sure it will eventually become my most-read blog post. It took the C3 blueprint nine months to reach 5,000 views. The Digital First workflow topped that in just over a week. Three other posts in the series topped 1,000 views quickly.

My work for JRC and DFM contributed to the blog in lots of other ways. I explained what community engagement means. More than a dozen blog posts offer tips, links and slides for workshops I did in visits to Digital First newsrooms. I also blogged frequently about how Digital First Media colleagues are using social media and engaging the community: (more…)

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