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Decoding Collaboration Part 2: News collaborations – defining impact

August 8, 2013 in Blog, Community

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, who leads The Media Consortium, has been going deep on collaboration in her work. Here, she generously offers a number of insights, with this the second of her three-part series:

Light at the end

Might defining impact to reflect new market realities for journalism help blaze a new trail to sector level transformation? Credit: Lisa Skube

News Collaborations:
Part I: What do we mean by the word “collaboration”?
Part II: How can collaboration create impact? (see below)
Part III: How can collaborations shape the future of journalism? (coming next)

As Jo Ellen describes it, “‘Collaboration’ has become such a sexy term in the journalism world that centers and sites are being built around it. As I noted in my previous post, content sharing, resource sharing, and even joint reporting is not new. What excites those of us looking to the future of journalism is what I have called networked collaboration… 

In a networked collaboration, a number of different outlets work together to produce original reporting around a particular topic. In vertical networks, that reporting is designed and supervised by one outlet; in horizontal networks, the work is co-operatively created, managed by a backbone organization with no editorial skin in the game…”

In this post we explore the implications of impact and look at a couple of different examples of networked collaborations. With some rich context around how news providers may gain more yield by breaking down what impact means, and potential ways to create more of it. Read the rest of this entry →

twitonomy

June 1, 2013 in Resources, Technology

Get detailed and visual analytics on anyone’s tweets, retweets, replies, mentions, hashtags… Browse, search, filter and get insights on the people you follow and those who follow you … Monitor your interactions with fellow users of Twitter: mentions, retweets, favorites… Backup/export any user’s tweets to an Excel spreadsheet in just one click Monitor tweets from your favorite users, lists and keyword searches … Find out easily those you follow but don’t follow you back … Easily add & remove people you follow to your lists … jGet the list of the followers you don’t follow back … Add and remove people in batch to your lists … Browse, search, filter and sort your lists … Track clicks on the links in your tweets” Source: twitonomy

Another app I’ve just discovered, and, for me, is helping to fill the void left when I left Crowdbooster, is Twitonomy. It has some pretty great features: analytics, breaking down your tweets and showing you how you are doing with re-tweets and @mentions. …

“My favorite thing about Twitonomy is that you don’t have to have access to someone’s twitter account to analyze it. You wanna check out your competition? Just put their Twitter handle in the little box, and they’ll analyze it for you!” Source: Rebecca Coleman

Networked Journalism: What Works

December 21, 2012 in Experiments, Resources

Three years ago, J-Lab launched the first round of what would turn out to be nine pilot projects in collaborative journalism in the United States. Now, the verdicts – and the lessons learned – are in.

There is good news and bad news. A majority of the projects delivered success far beyond our expectations and a notable level of creativity; others did yeoman’s work. And, unfortunately, a couple projects failed. …

Bottom line: At its height, the nine hub newsrooms had grown their networks from 44 partners to 169; 146 partners are still participating. … The overall score: Five wins, two hits and two losses.”
Source: J-Lab

Commenting on the fluid nature of even the successful networks, [J-Lab Executive Director Jan] Schaffer observed that ‘partners come and they go,’ adding: ‘Some divorce the network, some die in an emerging news ecosystem that is still quite fragile. Indeed, only two of the projects still have the identical partners they launched with.

The path forward for journalism, she concluded constructively, is ‘iterative.’ But the Columbia team was a bit more blunt: ‘There is no solution to the present crisis…. [T]here is no stable state coming to the practice of news any time soon.’” Source: Alan D. Mutter, Newsosaur

Post Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present

December 7, 2012 in Education, Resources

This essay is part survey and part manifesto, one that concerns itself with the practice of journalism and the practices of journalists in the United States. It is not, however, about ‘the future of the news industry,’ both because much of that future is already here and because there is no such thing as the news industry anymore. …

Many of the changes talked about in the last decade as part of the future landscape of journalism have already taken place; much of journalism’s imagined future is now its lived-in present. (As William Gibson noted long ago, ‘The future is already here. It’s just unevenly distributed.’) Our goal is to write about what has already happened and what is happening today, and what we can learn from it, rather than engaging in much speculation.

The effect of the current changes in the news ecosystem has already been a reduction in the quality of news in the United States. On present evidence, we are convinced that journalism in this country will get worse before it gets better, and, in some places (principally midsize and small cities with no daily paper) it will get markedly worse. Our hope is to limit the scope, depth and duration of that decay by pointing to ways to create useful journalism using tools, techniques and assumptions that weren’t even possible 10 years ago.” Source: Tow Center for Digital Journalism

Brilliantly researched and written by C.W. Anderson, Emily Bell and Clay Shirky, it was a refreshingly realistic read on where journalism is and where it’s going. There is a lot in the essay of concern to those who seek to practice journalism as a profession, like me, but there’s also much to get you excited about the opportunities that the future will hold.” Source: The Huffington Post

Digital Training Comes of Age

August 24, 2012 in Craft, Education, Resources, Technology

Journalists want to learn new digital tools and techniques. Will they be comfortable learning those things digitally, using webinars, e-learning and self-directed classes? If online education is easier to provide than ever, are news organizations rising to the occasion?

In its search for answers, this new Knight Foundation report details the Web-survey responses of 660 active alumni from the roughly 3,000 journalists who received Knight-branded professional development within the past two years.

  • Digital Training Comes of Age shows a growing demand for training as journalists adapt to the 21st century’s evolving media ecosystems. Journalists want more training in digital tools such as multimedia, data analysis and technology. Most give their news organizations low marks for providing training opportunities.
  • Digital classes are gaining popularity as a cost-effective way to reach more trainees. Significant numbers of journalists who have participated in online classes say they are as good as, or better than, conventional training in the classroom.
  • Training organizations are adapting to the digital age. They are providing more training online and rethinking how their programs can foster the transformation of journalism.
  • Professional development has impact. Training helps journalists adopt new digital tools, create change in their organizations, or find new ways to be part of the news ecosystem.
  • Continuing education drives change in forward-looking organizations. Training and staff development helps them achieve their goals and become more adaptive.” Source: The Knight Foundation

Based on the 660 journalists surveyed, the Knight survey identified the following 10 key points:

  1. Lack of training is a major source of job dissatisfaction.
  2. Overwhelmingly, journalists say they want more training.
  3. Increasingly, journalists want digital-tools training.
  4. Journalists say they aren’t getting the training they most need.
  5. Most journalists give their news organization poor marks for training.
  6. Journalists used their training and are likely to recommend it.
  7. Online training is growing more popular, especially internationally.
  8. Many journalists pay for their own training.
  9. News organizations must become learning organizations.
  10. Work focus shifts to digital and combined media.

The survey findings show a variety of reasons why news organizations today need to spend more time and resources toward professional development of their employees and include digital learning opportunities as much as possible.

This can be achieved by creating a “learning culture” in the newsroom.

This “learning culture” must be pervasive throughout the whole organization – from the top all the way to the bottom.

There are many ways that news ventures including nonprofits can start creating this kind of culture.” Source: NPJhub.org

JA How-to: A four-step guerrilla guide to social listening

June 4, 2012 in Blog, Craft, Technology

Social Media Signals

Investing time exploring social listening tools can help tune your business strategy, connecting the dots for greater profitability AND deeper audience connections. Image: Intersection Consulting

Journalism Accelerator

Have you been keeping up with all the hype around “social monitoring” software? There are scores of tools out there that promise to deliver a secret treasure map of insight and intel: how to decode the value of your products by “listening” to your audience “talk” about them across social channels.

Here at the JA, we have been evaluating social listening tools for our own work. This post offers a summary of what we’ve found, for you to consider as you size up methods for deeper knowledge of and engagement with your audience. We’ll tell you a little bit about how each tool works, and share a framework so you can consider how social listening may advance your success. Our goal with this list isn’t to cite everything that’s available, but to present a comprehensive range of options we think may be most useful in your work.

There are a number of ways publishers might apply social listening techniques. Some are simple, some more complex. To help guide the build of our service model, we subscribed to and tested the capabilities of one social listening industry leader, Radian6, over the past eight months. While it appears to satisfy major corporate brands like Pepsi, UPS, and Dell, it didn’t do as well helping the JA achieve its objectives, which are less about brand loyalty and more about tracking emerging trends.

So we began to explore other options. If you’re considering the offerings of the big kids on the block (such as Radian6, Crimson Hexagon, Lithium, Simplify360, or Alterian), know specifically what you want out of it before you go in. Also, don’t let budget stop you from experimenting. If you’re on a shoestring with little time to spare, you may find some tools you need in these free or low-cost alternatives.

Our best success in both choosing tools and getting a good outcome from social listening came from having a clear plan going in. Outlining your community and business requirements early on focuses your search for a social listening solution that provides the best fit for both budget and bandwidth. Know what you want to achieve before you start trying tools, and know how much time you have to invest in the effort. Going in with an idea of what you hope to learn sets up the experiment for a greater return on the effort.

There are four basic steps to successful social listening: discovery, analysis, management and integration. We list tools that can help with each element below. Read the rest of this entry →

Can collaboration in publishing up revenue? Collab/Space forum surfaces insight

May 10, 2012 in Blog, Community, Revenue

Collaboration Sliced Fruit

Can the diverse flavors of collaboration slice up and reconstitute a fuller revenue apple?

Journalism Accelerator

The Journalism Accelerator, MediaShift’s Collaboration Central, and the Investigative Reporting Project at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism experimented with an extended conversation last month. A discussion about collaborating in journalism started among people face-to-face at a conference, then continued online with a sharpened focus on collaboration and revenue. There’s plenty to learn from the entire thread. This post identifies several major themes that emerged, setting the stage for a greater consideration of financial costs and benefits as journalists do more collaborations.

Journalist Carrie Lozano nailed a real need in her #1 takeaway from April’s “collaboration marathon” of back-to-back conferences in Berkeley. “We need to come up with useful cost-benefit analyses of collaboration,” she wrote on Collaboration Central last week.

That work is underway. Journalists and others experienced in collaboration began to assess the costs and benefits in a conversation that started at the Collab/Space 2012 conference, then continued online here at the Journalism Accelerator. The kickoff question focused on financial pros and cons, but people brought all sorts of costs and benefits into the discussion. Here are some highlights. Read the rest of this entry →

OpenSecrets.org

October 17, 2011 in Craft, Policy, Resources

OpenSecrets.org is the nation’s premier website tracking the influence of money on U.S. politics, and how that money affects policy and citizens’ lives.

The Center for Responsive Politics launched the website following the 1996 elections. Before that time, the Center, founded in 1983 by U.S. Sens. Frank Church (D-Idaho) and Hugh Scott (R-Pa.), published its work tracking money in politics and its effect on elections and public policy in extensive reports and books. The first Open Secrets book, published in 1990, was a massive 1,300 pages and analyzed contributions by political action committees in the 1988 congressional elections. Featuring contributor profiles for every member of Congress, it was an unprecedented resource that illuminated money’s role in congressional elections and policymaking. Open Secrets also profiled the spending patterns of interest groups and major industries, and included an extensive “Big Picture” section on the patterns of PAC spending and the flow of PAC dollars to each congressional committee. The second edition of Open Secrets, published in 1992, added an analysis of large individual donations — a mammoth task that had never before been attempted.

The OpenSecrets.org website not only allowed the Center to expand its reach beyond those willing to invest in its voluminous and expensive publication, but also greatly accelerated the timing and depth of its analysis, making the Center’s research more readily available to those making decisions about candidates, policy and the influence of money. For the 1998 elections, the Center produced online contribution profiles for every federal candidate well before Election Day. For the 2000 elections, the Center unveiled several new groundbreaking features on OpenSecrets.org, including detailed contribution profiles of more than 100 industries and special interest areas, fund-raising breakdowns for federal party committees and analyses of contributions from special interests to members of specific congressional committees.

Today, the Center has expanded the information it analyzes beyond just the Federal Election Commission’s offerings on campaign finance. OpenSecrets.org has become a clearinghouse for data and analysis on multiple aspects of money in politics — the independent interest groups flooding politics with outside spendingfederal lobbying, Washington’s “revolving door”federal earmarks and the personal finances of members of Congress, the president and other officials.” Source: Opensecrets.org