Archive for February 26th, 2013

Those old photos your newsroom has stashed away in file cabinets? They might be engagement gold on Facebook.

Check out this photo posted yesterday by Maryanne MacLeod of the Macomb Daily:

Who remembers

In 20 hours, more than 1,000 people shared that on their Facebook walls, more than 3,000 people liked it (nearly as many as like the Macomb Daily) and more than 600 have commented (the combined totals have gone up by more than 200 just since I grabbed that screen grab and started writing). The numbers above don’t show this, but Maryanne reports that more than 84,000 people have looked at the photo.

Feb. 27 update: Maryanne reports that 150,000 people have viewed the post, generating 1,656 shares, 1,139 comments and 5,562 likes. She did a story about all the response to the photo.

Resuming the original post: This isn’t the first time I’ve shared a success story with remember-when photos from the Macomb Daily’s Facebook page. In my post on Facebook engagement tips last October, I noted a photo of the Plum Pit that went viral with more than 11,000 likes.  (more…)

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I was busy during the fuss over the Journal News publishing (and eventually unpublishing) a map of gun permit holders in its coverage area.

Other than a few comments on social media, I didn’t join the discussion. While I thought some criticism was valid, I was troubled by the outcry among journalists. At several points, I wanted to weigh in, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what I wanted to say. So I kept mostly silent and kept my focus on the work I needed to do.

Geneva Overholser (a colleague from our first hitches at the Des Moines Register back in the 1980s) has said what I wanted to say. Whether you agree or disagree with the publication of the gun permit data, you should read Geneva’s Online Journalism Review post Secrecy is trumping public interest in gun control coverage.

From local sheriffs and gun owners intimidating publishers about concealed weapon permits that are  and should be public records to an increasingly opaque White House, momentum is shifting away from openness. Journalists and citizens should worry about that shift, however you feel about a particular issue.

We need to make the case for openness better than we have. I’m glad Geneva made the case well, and I’m sorry that I didn’t.

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