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Posts Tagged ‘Oakland Press’

If you didn’t catch the miracle shot, there’s a good chance someone did.

Nearly every high school sporting event has some mom or dad or kid in the stands recording the action on a cell phone video camera or something better. So if you miss the winning shot, be sure to ask for it.

That happened Monday night to Dan Fenner, who covers high school sports for the Oakland Press. He thought he caught the winner, when he shot some video of Todd Moore’s shot with 2.2 seconds left, giving Farmington Hills Harrison a two-point lead over Walled Lake Northern.

Sports Editor Jeff Kuehn picks up the story:

As he was preparing to interview coaches, the ball was put in play and a kid launched a half-court shot to win the game.

Dan tweeted the result and his own dismay.

Meanwhile, colleagues Jason Schmitt and Jeff Dullack got busy crowdsourcing: 

A player from the first game of the double-header came to the rescue:

Jeff continues the story:

Within minutes, it was up on our website, tweeted out to ESPN (possible Top 10 plays) and placed in the later game story. Obviously, it was the number one story on MIPrepZone.

Of course, Dan and his colleagues tweeted their thanks:

A video like that deserves more than thanks, though. This calls for some swag:

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Sometimes you don’t need a new story idea. You just use a good idea that has worked before. Newsrooms around the country provided extensive coverage last year of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack, much of it focused on sharing people’s memories of that unforgettable day.

That doesn’t mean the same technique wouldn’t work again this year. Monica Drake, community engagement editor at the Oakland Press, sent along this message about this year’s community-memory project.

I figured that most people remember exactly where they were when they first heard about the planes hitting the World Trade Center. On the front page of The Oakland Press last week, we asked readers to submit their stories of where they were when they heard the news. I also set up a Google voice account where people could leave voicemails of their responses — and made a video with these. (more…)

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Seeking photos from the public is easier when you ask for photos people are already shooting. This is why weather photos, holiday photos and travel photos often work well for community engagement.

I like a project by the Oakland Press, collecting photographs people have taken of their children with a statue of a boy at the Rochester Hills Public Library. The statue, part of a memorial to Andrew Moore, who died as a young man, virtually invites children to pose with the boy. So the Press wasn’t asking people to shoot photos, it was just inviting them to share photos they already had.

The community photos made an engaging package with a story, video and photos by community intern Susan Fine, reporter Krystle Anderson and photographer Vaughn Gurganian.

Update from Oakland Press Community Engagement Editor Karen Workman:

  • Since it was uploaded Friday afternoon, the video for this story is currently the seventh top video for our website with 167 views. Though this may seem low on views, it is actually quite good for a feature story video.
  • The story also did pretty well in terms of pageviews. For both story files (the first one archived, so I had to re-upload to get it back on the front this morning), the current number of views is exactly 1,000 — again, quite good for a positive feature story.

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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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The Oakland Press is using community internships to help bloggers develop skills in writing and blogging.

Digital First Media newsrooms are experimenting with Community Media Labs where we network with bloggers who are independently providing coverage of their communities. Through the network, we generate more traffic to their blogs and they provide news and commentary on segments of the community that either supplement staff coverage or bring attention to topics that we don’t cover (and in many cases, never covered regularly).

In the Oakland Press internships, Engagement Editor Karen Workman works with the bloggers to provide a meaningful experience. She provided this (lightly edited) overview of the program.

Our blog internships are tailored to meet the needs of individual bloggers. (more…)

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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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Community engagement in a Digital First newsroom doesn’t mean sitting at a computer all the time. You also invite the public in to use your computers, drink your coffee and chat.

Journal Register Co. newsrooms are working to open our newsrooms in a variety of ways. Our Newsroom Cafe at the Register Citizen in Torrington, CT, has received the most attention, including being named Innovator of the Year last month by the Associated Press Managing Editors (video below). But other JRC newsrooms are working to invite bloggers and other community members into the buildings and to reach out into the community digitally and in person.

The Register Citizen’s move was prompted by a necessity to move out of its old building into a roomy former factory. Publisher Matt DeRienzo planned the layout of the new building to include the Newsroom Cafe, an area with computers and a microfilm machine for public access (with free printouts), a classroom and a lounge where community art could be displayed.

For some newsrooms, this is a great idea to copy or improve upon (as the Winnipeg Free Press did). Opening an area to the public is more challenging in other communities, where many of our newsrooms operate in old buildings and less-than-ideal locations. But each newsroom is working on direct public outreach in its own way.

This is the perfect illustration of something I say frequently: Community engagement is not a one-size-fits-all venture. Don’t try to replicate what the Register Citizen did. Find the right engagement path for your newsroom and your community.

(more…)

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