You are browsing the archive for Audience Engagement.

Newsbeat

November 11, 2011 in Community, Distribution, Resources, Revenue, Technology

Newsbeat gives your newsroom’s front-line team detailed information on every single page on your site in a way they intuitively understand. You can dive as deep as you want and find the diamonds in the rough.

But Newsbeat doesn’t overwhelm you in a flood of data, it sorts the signal from the noise. Newsbeat’s finely tuned algorithms analyze every page in real time and predicts their expected traffic paths.

When something unusual happens, like a spike in traffic, you’ll be immediately alerted by SMS or email and be in the best position to respond.

Chevrons denoting acceleration of new visitors to your pages also appear on the dashboard, giving you an early warning signal that a story is about to blow up, or is losing its heat.

One of the key features of newsbeat is the ability to create personalized dashboards for every person on your team. The sports editor no longer has to wade through data on politics and world news to find the data that’s important to her. She can log in and immediately see her traffic, her stories and her referrers

A flexible user management system with granular permission settings means you only have to share the data you want, giving you the confidence that your data is secure.” Source: chartbeat

 

Community engagement: A practical conversation guide for newsrooms

October 7, 2011 in Community, Craft, Resources, Revenue

There is a general understanding among journalists these days that flourishing in today’s media landscape involves more interaction with and responsiveness to our communities. Community engagement is often cited in future-of-news conversations as a key to continued success. Nine out of 10 editors in a Spring 2011 Reynolds Journalism Institute survey said they were talking in their newsrooms about how to make the news more social and participatory. The survey reinforced, however, that editors aren’t sure what exactly that means or how to go about it.

This discussion guide is an attempt to help get folks started.

As part of my 2010-2011 RJI Fellowship (“Ditch the Lecture. Join the Conversation.”), I spent several months interviewing journalists about their changing relationships with their communities. I focused on their attitudes and actions toward their intended news consumers. Along the way, I took notes about the questions these journalists seemed to be pondering, and of the tips and strategies they shared with me. I grouped those strategies into three categories of engagement: outreach, conversation and collaboration.

You’ll find many of their ideas on the following pages, and I’m indebted to everyone who shared their time and expertise with me.” SourceReynolds Journalism Institute

The Future of Journalism Education

October 5, 2011 in Community, Education, Resources

If February’s weather kept you away from New York and the Future of Journalism Education conference at the Paley Center for Media, you weren’t alone. But you can still visit the center’s website to see some seven hours of streaming video about the needs of 21st century journalists, including  entrepreneurial ideas, new relationships with their audiences, new online tools — and, in the words of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative, “an in-depth understanding of the context and complexity of issues facing the modern world”…

Deans, faculty and students from 14 graduate schools of journalism participated in the Carnegie-funded event which, whether it solved anything or not, certainly featured well-informed and thought-provoking discussions…

From a newspaper perspective, panelists included executives and journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The St. Petersburg Times, the Associated Press  and The Guardian, whose New York bureau chief described a contemporary reporting position — his own — in which he can write a 2,000-word analysis in the morning and “tweet” his way through an afternoon typing 140-character online Twitter updates from another news event.

The Future of Journalism Education event (well-Tweeted itself by @paleycenter and others as #paleynews), included an hour-long discussion by Alberto Ibargüen and Vartan Gregorian of the Knight and Carnegie foundations, respectively, and a roundtable on the Carnegie-Knight Initiative‘s News 21 journalism education project.” SourceNewspaper and Online News

2011 Journalist Engagement Survey

September 22, 2011 in Community, Craft, Resources, Revenue

While editors at U.S. daily newspapers overwhelmingly say they think audience engagement has become an important part of practicing journalism, they’re often not sure what that means or how to go about it. Many have yet to embrace tools that allow them to understand and interact with their audiences. Not even half of respondents said that they use social media to listen as well as share information, that they interact with readers in comments sections, or that they use their analytics reports to help make news decisions.

A telephone survey of 529 managing editors, executive editors, and editors of daily community newspapers in March, April and May of 2011, validated that audience engagement is on the minds of editors, and not just the editors I interviewed this year who are on the cutting edge of experimentation. Many acknowledged that their news processes need to be more social and collaborative, and some mentioned hiring people specifically with that in mind. The survey was administered by the Center for Advanced Social Research (CASR) of the Missouri School of Journalism.” Sourcerjionline.org

Public Insight Network

September 16, 2011 in Community, Craft, Experiments, Resources

The Public Insight Network (PIN) is a powerful database of over 85,000 people who help to shape and deepen local and national public radio news coverage by volunteering their personal knowledge, experience, and opinions. Members of the network provide basic information about themselves and their areas of expertise, and receive periodic emails from their local newsroom soliciting their thoughts on issues that the station plans to cover. As Public Insight Network editor Andrew Haeg explains, reporter working on a series or piece on healthcare, could reach out into the network and find nurses and patients and doctors and administrators, sifting through responses to “see what themes and patterns emerge.”

The concept of Public Insight Journalism, with the PIN as its centerpiece, was originally pioneered by Minnesota Public Radio in response to what Haeg describes as “a big disconnect between what was going on in the newsroom — the decisions we were making, our editorial meetings — and what was going on out there in the community.” The PIN was designed to bridge that divide, pioneering what the Public Insight Journalism website describes as, “a new model of journalism to meet the needs of today’s open-source society…built on genuine partnership between news media and the public.”

This network-driven structure moves beyond what Haeg calls “Rolodex journalism” — relying on a small and trusted group of sources for news tips and suggestions for coverage. “We all know that people out there in the community have a much better feel for what’s actually going on on-the-ground,” he says, “and if you can include them in the conversation, you’re going to be much better off.”

This method of engaging the community in the process of newsgathering has steadily gained traction in public radio newsrooms since its launch in 2003, and has spread beyond Minnesota Public Radio and its parent organization, American Public Media, to local stations nationwide.” SourceCenter for Social Media

 

Linking Audiences to News: A Network Analysis of Chicago Websites

September 16, 2011 in Community, Distribution, Resources

A new report for The Chicago Community Trust analyzes news flows in Chicago and provides a thought-provoking analysis of the city’s emerging news ecosystem and the roles of key information providers and sharers. It also shows the potential power of Web savvy community news start ups and nontraditional information providers as a new news environment takes shape.

This latest report is “Linking Audiences to News – A Network Analysis of Chicago Websites” (pdf) by Rich Gordon, professor of digital media at Medill, and Zachary Johnson, CEO of Syndio Social.

Together with last year’s News That Matters, a survey to determine how news Chicago residents actually define their information needs, the Trust research is a refreshing departure from more traditional research frames that focus on institutional providers of information without fully connecting them to what consumers actually receive and what they say they need.

In the dynamic local news environment, it’s impossible to predict the shape of things to come. But this report clearly signals the emergence of institutional information sources (the local transportation agency, the museum) and micro local news start ups as key players.” SourceMichelle McLellan, Community Information Needs

 

A resource for newsrooms: Measuring the success of audience engagement efforts

September 14, 2011 in Community, Craft, Resources, Revenue

Journalists have a lot to learn from other disciplines about tracking what works. We’re not used to gauging our success in ways more sophisticated than ratings or circulation numbers, and we’re behind the measurement curve. But these days, it’s hard to value what you can’t measure. And as newsrooms grapple with how to make room in tight budgets for audience engagement, it’s natural that they’d also wonder what the return on that investment might be.

With these issues in mind, a group of journalists invested in audience engagement gathered in early May at the Reynolds Journalism Institute to talk specifically about measurement (http://www.rjionline.org/events/engagement-metric). Some of them were widely recognized experts. All were working to effect change in their traditional newsrooms or products. They came because they believe that as news organizations fight for survival, a more connected relationship with their communities should be valued, and therefore measured. They were joined by smart folks from other disciplines who shared their time to help guide the discussions and share their expertise.

Our multi-disciplinary group (see bios of some of the folks involved) focused our conversations around specific strategies for audience engagement, what their value is to the news organizations, and how the success of the efforts can be evaluated. We spent a day filling out a google spreadsheet together, and what you’ll find here is an edited version of that document. It’s not intended as a comprehensive guide to engagement, but instead as a sampling of practical ways to be strategic in our efforts.” Source: Reynolds Journalism Institute

The Seattle Times: News Partner Network

September 9, 2011 in Community, Craft, Resources, Technology

“I’ve read a lot about The Seattle Times and the News Partner Network, a collaboration between The Times and more than 40 community news sites to share story links and photos among the sites. In 2009, The Times was one of five news organizations that received funding through J-Lab to build a local news network involving at least five community news sites.

As you can see, The Times took that project and ran with it, building what is likely the most extensive collaboration network involving a newspaper and community news sites. In discussions last week with Bob Payne, partnerships and audience engagement editor at The Times, and representatives of four of the partner sites, I heard both what makes the network work and where some of the ongoing challenges lie.

Bob makes it clear that this is about collaboration, not about The Times trying to big-foot the community sites. The Times highlights the work of the community sites on its website and links to the stories. That means The Times doesn’t get the web traffic; the pageviews and unique visitors accrue to the community sites, not the newspaper’s site.

The Times doesn’t want to substitute its own news judgment or editorial practices for those of the sites. The site publishers are the experts in their communities, Bob said. The benefit The Times derives from the partnership is extended reach; Times readers are able to connect into community news that the newspaper would never cover, or that it would cover only in brief. In this way, The Times burnishes its role as a news and information hub for Seattle.” Source: Janet Coats, The Patterson Foundation

St. Louis Beacon

September 9, 2011 in Community, Distribution, Resources, Revenue

When her 34 years with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ended in a buyout in 2005, then-Sunday Editor Margaret Freivogel looked at the state of America’s shrinking newsrooms and decided something important was being lost.

“There were about 40 people who left the Post-Dispatch newsroom at the time I did, and we looked around and tried to put what had happened in perspective. What we saw was that what happened at the Post-Dispatch was happening all over the country, and it amounted to less reporting,”” Freivogel says.

She and several colleagues decided they were in a position to do something about it. In April, they launched an online news site, now called the St. Louis Beacon (stlbeacon.org) to cover the Gateway region. “We saw this as a service to the community, to provide the kinds of in-depth reporting and context..that is being cut back all over the country,” Freivogel says.

When creating the Beacon, the staff drew inspiration from Web-only local sites like Voice of San Diego (www.voiceofsandiego.org), Gotham Gazette (gothamgazette.com) and MinnPost.com (see Drop Cap, February/March). Freivogel hopes to make community interaction central to the operation as those sites do. The Beacon allows comments on its work, and frequently receives story ideas and other suggestions from its audience. The site has a presence on social media sites Twitter and Facebook and has sponsored events such as a book signing by Beacon contributor Harper Barnes, author of “”Never Been a Time: The 1917 Race Riot That Sparked the Civil Rights Movement.”” Whether in person or in the digital space, Freivogel says, audience interaction is the key to “”trying new things, pushing the envelope on things you can do.”” The nonprofit has been largely funded by donations, including a $500,000 challenge grant from Emily Pulitzer that requires the Beacon to raise an additional $1.5 million from other sources. The Pulitzer family owned the Post-Dispatch until the summer of 2005, when it sold the daily to Lee Enterprises.

The choice of nonprofit status is part ideology, part necessity, says Richard Weil, chairman of the board that runs the Beacon. “”We all have a not-for-profit mentality, because quite a lot of us have long thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a nonprofit newspaper?’ But we couldn’t be for-profit if we wanted to,”” he says, laughing. “”If we at the Beacon say to investors that we’re going to be a for-profit organization, can you imagine all the investors breaking down our doors to give us money?” SourceAmerican Journalism Review