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Posts Tagged ‘News-Herald’

Project Unbolt logoFrom the outset of Project Unbolt, a key goal was to produce a manual for other newsrooms to follow.

As I prepare to leave Digital First Media (tomorrow will be my last day), here is that manual, my recommendations for newsrooms to unbolt from the processes and culture of print. Our work on the project has not been as extensive as I had hoped, but I think we have produced a valid plan for accelerating the digital transformation of newsrooms. I hope my colleagues will continue the work and continue blogging about it.

Thanks to the editors and staffs of the four pilot newsrooms of Project Unbolt: the New Haven Register, Berkshire Eagle, News-Herald and El Paso Times. I applaud their willingness to change and experiment during a time of upheaval in our company and the industry.

Most of the manual is in earlier blog posts published here and elsewhere during the project. This post will summarize the important steps you need to take to transform your newsroom, with links to posts that elaborate on each of those points (some links appearing more than once because they relate to multiple points): (more…)

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Newsrooms need to provide live coverage of most events and breaking news stories in their communities.

Live coverage will change your newsroom’s culture and workflow quicker and more profoundly than any other step you will try. It will make your news site more timely and produce more content and deeper engagement than any other step you will try. And it won’t take much more work from your staff; they mostly just have to start working differently.

If a journalist is covering an event for your newsroom, you should cover it live unless you have a strong reason not to (more on those later). Instead of taking notes at the event, the journalist should livetweet it, using the tweets mostly as notes if you need to write a story after the event. (You still might need to take notes of things you need to check out later.)

In all four of our Project Unbolt newsrooms, live coverage has been perhaps the most significant success, in our efforts to unbolt from print culture and processes. In a series of blog posts this week and next, I will address live coverage issues.

We’ll start with situations where newsrooms should consider live coverage: (more…)

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Northeast Ohio political candidates visit the new community meeting space at the News-Herald in Willoughby.

The News-Herald welcomed local political candidates to a lounge area Tuesday, part of a three-phase approach of opening its newsroom to the community.

The News-Herald, with Editor Tricia Ambrose, Managing Editor Laura Kessel and Community Engagement Editor Cheryl Sadler leading the way, has a strong record of engagement with its community, east of Cleveland in northeast Ohio. (Check out the community-submitted Olympic-rings photos, where entrants are competing for prizes from a salon, a restaurant and a hotel.) (more…)

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I’ve written a lot about Twitter’s value in covering breaking news. But don’t forget to post breaking news, especially photos, to Facebook, too.

Jon Hill, online editor of the Lowell Sun, demonstrated the power of a breaking news photo on Facebook yesterday, almost inadvertently. He was working the early-morning shift when a fire broke out at a popular local pizza parlor.

Jon hustled over to the pizza place and shot a photo. The website was down briefly, so he covered by Twitter and Facebook. (more…)

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Update: Buffy Andrews and her colleagues at the York Daily Record will be getting a box of Valentine’s candy soon, winning my Valentine’s engagement project with 365 votes just over 50 percent. But the voting and engagement was strong enough that I’m going to send a second box of candy to the second-place finisher, the Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., which got 283 votes for 39 percent.

Lisa Yanick-Jonaitis tweeted that her newsroom cared most about winning:

Still, I’m guessing the candy will be consumed.

I also should add that this is not all the Valentine’s engagement that Digital First newsrooms did, just the ones that provided the information for the contest. Delaware County Times mentioned in a Feb. 8 message:

Tonight (Wednesday) on our live-stream ‘Live From the Newsroom’ show, we are assembling our special gastronomic panel to delve into the mysteries of romance for Valentine’s Day, and in particular what food has to do with it. One chef is preparing a rack of lamb and talking about what foods will – and won’t – put you in the mood. … For Valentine’s Day, we are soliciting readers via social media to share the ultimate sign of devotion – a tattoo. Hopefully we’ll have some decent video and stories that take a look at the love stories behind the tattoos.

Reporter Paul Luce elaborated in a Feb. 9 email:

For the Daily Times’ Valentine’s Day Community Engagement Project, we decided to take a fun look at “love tattoos.” Utilizing Facebook and Twitter, we’ve solicited responses from folks who have tattoos of loved ones, or — even better — have had tattoos of loved ones removed.

It has generated quite a buzz on our Facebook page, from which I have gleaned a couple of great sources for interviews for the story. Internet Editor Vince Carey, Assignment Editor Jon Tuleya and myself have been monitoring the Facebook and Twitter pages, using them as interactive tools to converse with readers online — which has been a lot of fun. One reader even went so far as to send us pictures of her tattoos! She has a great story to go along with them.  I’ve also garnered a few more followers to my Twitter account from this process.

In addition, I’ve contacted a laser surgeon who removes thousands of love tattoos each year.

For a video component of the story, we have some videos of a father getting a tattoo of his late son for Valentine’s Day, as well as interviews with the above-mentioned surgeon and others with tattoos of loved ones.

We’re looking to wrap up interviews and video shoots today, and have the project finished by Friday.

I asked Paul for an update Tuesday and didn’t hear back, so I forgot to include it the Delco project. But I looked up the final project to show you that we had more engagement going on than what I included in the contest.

Digital First Media newsrooms have been competing for a box of Valentine’s candy. I offered to send a Priority Mail box stuffed with candy to the newsroom running the best community engagement project centered on the holiday we associate with romance.

Several newsrooms and their communities responded to the challenge with interesting projects. I’d like your help to pick the best one.

Here are the entries, in the order they were submitted (in some cases, I’m combining multiple messages updating the project): (more…)

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Journal Register Co. newsrooms are experiencing lots of opportunities for strong community engagement right now. I’ll share some examples (I could share many more, but I’ve taken too long on this post already) relating to weather, elections, a search for a school superintendent, sports and fun.

Weather engagement

The weekend storm that hit the Northeast provided abundant engagement opportunities (as severe weather always does).

Jeff Edelstein, a columnist at the Trentonian who is a rock star at using Facebook (and good on Twitter, too), covered the storm from his home by engaging the community. At me request, Jeff provided this account:

Saturday morning, home with wife, 2 yr old, 9-month old. Not working. Raining, which was all Greater Trenton was supposed to get. At 11 a.m., I post:

I love it outside! The only thing — and I mean the ONLY thing — that could make this weather better was if it were 76 degrees and sunny with low humidity. (more…)

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