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Posts Tagged ‘Julie Westfall’

Filling one of Thunderdome’s conference rooms for a Thursday meeting (clockwise): Robyn Tomlin, back to camera, Mark Lewis, Julie Westfall, Karen Workman, Chris March, Jim Brady, Mandy Jenkins, Angi Carter, Ryan Teague Beckwith and my empty cupcake wrapper.

Thunderdome is happening, Baby!

I was in our Thunderdome newsroom this week, and we filled a conference room with journalists and creative energy. Our new curation team was working on a long-term project and some daily work. New politics channel manager Ryan Teague Beckwith was brainstorming convention and campaign coverage with the curation team. Thunderdome Editor Robyn Tomlin was interviewing job candidates. We ate too much cheesecake, cupcakes and gourmet chocolates. Digital First Editor-in-Chief Jim Brady and I told funny stories about embarrassing things we’d done. This is feeling like a newsroom. (more…)

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Two years ago, I was working with Jim Brady, right, Mandy Jenkins, left, and Julie Westfall to launch TBD. Now we’re still trying to change the news business at Digital First Media. We’re together this week at the Thunderdome newsroom.

Two years ago today, an incredibly talented crew of journalists launched TBD. We had a lot of hype and a lot of fun, even if it didn’t last long. TBD now exists in URL only, its concept abandoned, its talent scattered, its name linked to history’s most famed sinking ship. But I have yet to talk to a colleague who doesn’t remember the experience fondly.

I blogged on the first anniversary of our launch last year about some lessons from the TBD. I’m not going to observe the anniversary every year, but I think two years after the launch it’s worth noting where the #TBDiaspora ended up and how we’re doing. The day Jim Brady left TBD in early November 2010, less than three months after launch, he said he hoped we’d “get the band back together” someday. Well, we have a quartet of the old band playing for Digital First Media: Jim, Mandy Jenkins, Julie Westfall and me. I’ve updated us plenty, but I wanted to check in with the rest of my colleagues. (more…)

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Digital First Media’s curation team starts work full-time today.

They are taking on a new role for our company, curating national content for use by our newsrooms scattered across the country in 18 states and four time zones. I blogged recently with some thoughts about how news curators should work. We also asked candidates for the positions how they envisioned the team working.

Here, with some light editing, are their responses:

Julie Westfall, coming to DFM from the web operation of KPCC public radio in Los Angeles (a former colleague from TBD), will lead the team:

Curation is obviously a huge part of the future, and that’s exciting. Besides that everyone says so, it’s clear that verification, context and new formats for it are the best ways to utilize user-generated content and the huge amount of data and information that flows during breaking, developing and ongoing news. The way most news orgs do this is still slow, clunky, un-user friendly, and not well-distributed, and that means there’s a lot of space for growth and a lot more ways to engage the users who provide the content. 

Viewing content from a curator’s point of view is among the first ways to move into the mobile world. While these people may figure it all out, the article is not the ideal format for consuming breaking/developing news on mobile, but curating and its tools already give us what we need to start getting beyond that on mobile, and having a curation structure in place already rocking and rolling puts an org in a good position to create apps and take advantage of other mobile-friendly, article-busting storytelling innovations as they come along. Or hopefully as we create them! On that note … (more…)

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News curators must collect, summarize, make sense, add value, attribute, link, intrigue and entice.

Digital First Media announced today that Julie Westfall will lead our curation team, joined by Angi Carter and Karen Workman.

I am delighted with our selections for this team and look forward to working with them as they explore and demonstrate what a news curation team should be.

Mandy Jenkins introduces the candidates in her blog. Here I will discuss our expectations for those team members as well as for other Digital First journalists who will curate local content.

Successful curation will make sense on its own if you don’t click through to any of the content you are curating, but will entice many people to click through and read or watch more. Finding and presenting the collected content is important, but effective curation boosts the experience of each of the pieces by presenting multiple pieces in a context that enhances your understanding of each piece. (more…)

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I have recently gained experience from both sides in job-hunting in digital journalism.

First I spent nine months looking for my next gig, landing at TBD as Director of Community Engagement. So I studied the issue from the hunter perspective. More recently I have filled five positions on my community-engagement team (hope to fill one more position before long). I have screened more than 100 applicants and interviewed more than a dozen. (more…)

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