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Verify U.S. Federal Government Social Media Accounts

August 24, 2012 in Craft, Resources

There are thousands of social media accounts claiming to be associated with the federal government, but how do you know which are real? It’s relatively easy to set up a Twitter account or Facebook profile claiming government connections that aren’t real.

Officials at the General Services Administration want to to aid citizens with a new tool to allow them to find out if a given account is legit.

Available on HowTo.gov, GSA’s Social Media Registry supports more than 20 of the most common social media platforms. Its main purpose is three-fold:

The public will be able to verify that a social media account is run by the government, or spot a fake.

The registry will help manage all these accounts governmentwide by offering application programming interfaces that allow agencies to get data about their agencies.

Finally, the registry serves as a one-stop shop that eliminates the need for different solutions for each agency.

The database is build in Ruby on Rails — an open-source web framework — and officials said the code that powers the registry is open source and available on GitHub. Officials said they teamed with industry partners such as Sunlight Labs, Code for America and Expert Labs to make the registry open and sharable…

Only accounts of official U.S. government agencies, organizations or programs will be tracked by the registry. Government employees will be able to register accounts managed by federal agencies, elected officials, members of the president’s cabinet and heads of agencies. No personal, employee or other types of social media accounts will be included.” Source: Federal Computer Week

Politifact’s Truth-O-Meter

August 24, 2012 in Craft, Resources

PolitiFact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times and its partners to help you find the truth in politics.

Every day, reporters and researchers from PolitiFact and its partner news organization examine statements by members of Congress, state legislators, governors, mayors, the president, cabinet secretaries, lobbyists, people who testify before Congress and anyone else who speaks up in American politics. We research their statements and then rate the accuracy on our Truth-O-Meter – True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False and False. The most ridiculous falsehoods get our lowest rating, Pants on Fire…

How the Truth-O-Meter works

The heart of PolitiFact is the Truth-O-Meter, which we use to rate factual claims.

The Truth-O-Meter is based on the concept that – especially in politics – truth is not black and white.
PolitiFact writers and editors spend considerable time researching and deliberating on our rulings. We always try to get the original statement in its full context rather than an edited form that appeared in news stories. We then divide the statement into individual claims that we check separately.

When possible, we go to original sources to verify the claims. We look for original government reports rather than news stories. We interview impartial experts.” Source: PolitiFact

You can now embed part of PolitiFact into your website. Our widgets will put the latest Truth-O-Meter and Obameter rulings on your page. They flex to fit just about any width hole you want them in. Best of all, they update dynamically, so they always contain the latest rulings.” Source: PolitiFact

Investigative News Network Report: Critical Strategies for Growing a Nonprofit Newsroom

April 6, 2012 in Craft, Distribution, Resources, Revenue

This report is directed at the Investigative News Network membership and its supporters. It is intended to provide explicit strategic and tactical advice for growing earned revenue streams from audience development and paid distribution for the purpose of diversifying funding. It will also explain how those activities contribute to the overall operating health and sustainability of nonprofit investigative news organizations.

This work should be iterative; consider it a 1.0 release. As the movement continues to mature, these basic frameworks and assumptions will continue to evolve and best practices, solid performance measures, and realistic operating assumptions will codify.

We hope that this research will have broader interest outside INN and the foundations that support it, including members of the public and the growing diaspora of journalists leaving established news organizations that may be contemplating starting their own independent nonprofit news organizations.

What Will You Find?

  • The Landscape: An overview of market conditions that catapulted the nonprofit investigative news movement into existence. Many of these trends suggest a great deal of opportunity for nimble investigative journalism shops; however, the challenges of building economies of scale and managing multiple, fragile distribution channels and funding sources remain persistent.
  • Planning a Nonprofit News Organization: What are your mission, strategy and organizational archetypes? What kinds of journalism will you do and what impact do you want to have? How does your mission shape your product, distribution, and organizational and operating strategies (products, people and technology)? What will it take? Is it feasible?
  • Engaging Your Audience/Community: What is your target audience? Where will you reach it and how will you prove your impact? This paper will take a deep dive for INN membership on the fundamental questions regarding:
    • Audience Development: How should INN members go about conceiving and developing their own audience or strategy for having a site based on traffic vs. impact, etc.?
    • Distribution: How should INN members think about distribution? What does a partnership look like, and how should you negotiate one? How can you be compensated? Who are the best partners based on your goals?
  • Paths to Sustainability: What does success look like? How does your organization stay nimble and entrepreneurial, while at the same time maturing its operations? How will you grow earned revenues, chart a course to sustainability, and lessen your dependence on philanthropic support over time?
  • Conclusions: What does the future hold for nonprofit investigative journalism? We offer some suggestions and thoughts on the road ahead.
  • Appendix, Bibliography, Figures and Resources: Background material on this report, interviews, reference materials and the authors.”

Source: Investigative News Network

Knight Foundation Report: Getting Local: How Nonprofit News Ventures Seek Sustainability

March 11, 2012 in Community, Resources, Revenue, Technology

In the emerging landscape of non-profit news, good journalism is not enough. Even with generous foundation support, high-quality reporting alone will not create an organization that can sustain its ability to produce news in the public interest.

Instead, successful news organizations – even the nonprofit ones  – have to act like digital businesses, making revenue experimentation, entrepreneurship and community engagement important pieces of the mix. Understanding how to create social and economic value and how to adapt and innovate are just as important as good content.

…“Getting Local,” offers a detailed look at some of the country’s leading online local nonprofit news ventures, providing data on how they are generating revenue, engaging users and cultivating donors.

It also offers a useful way for foundations and others interested in supporting nonprofit news to think about and assess the sustainability of these types of emerging organizations.” Source: Getting Local: How Nonprofit News Ventures Seek Sustainability

Investigative News Network

November 16, 2011 in Community, Craft, Policy, Resources

The Investigative News Network is a collaborative organization made up of [60] nonprofit investigative journalism outlets.

The network was founded by 25 nonprofit news organizations at a summer 2009 conference organized by The Center for Public Integrity and The Center for Investigative Reporting. Those two organizations, along with the Investigative Reporting Workshop and ProPublica, had previously initiated a six-month collaborative pilot project, though ProPublica is not a member of the group.

The group was formed as a way for nonprofit investigative outlets to collaborate on anything from reporting to administration to fundraising. In February 2010, it released its first collaborative report, on sexual assaults on college campuses.” Source: Nieman Journalism Lab

  • “The Investigative News Network (INN) is dedicated to helping our member non-profit news organizations produce and distribute stories with the highest impact possible, and to become sustainable nonprofit organizations.
  • We are a consortium of high quality, award-winning watchdog journalistic organizations serving the public interest to benefit our free society.
  • We aim to provide premier support for our members, by incubating and fostering new non-profit newsrooms, providing opportunities for editorial collaboration and creating distribution channels to reach the widest audience possible.
  • To qualify for the extensive benefits and services of INN, our members are not-for-profit news organizations that are transparent in their funding and non-partisan in their approach to investigative and public service reporting.” Source: Investigative News Network

Exploring a Networked Journalism Collaborative in Philadelphia

October 24, 2011 in Community, Distribution, Resources

J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism just released a report analyzing the media landscape in Philadelphia. The William Penn Foundation commissioned J-Lab to conduct the study of Philadelphia’s media landscape and the state of public affairs reporting and make recommendations for a possible media investment strategy. It is well worth a read.

Some of the key findings:

  • The available news about Philadelphia public affairs issues has dramatically diminished over the last three years by many measures: news hole, air time, story count, key word measurements.
  • People in Philadelphia want more public affairs news than they are now able to get.
  • They don’t think their daily newspapers are as good as the newspapers used to be.
  • They want news that is more connected to their city.
  • People from both the Old Philadelphia, anchored by the city’s union and blue-collar workers, and the New Philadelphia, representing tech-savvy, up-and-coming neighborhoods, want to be involved in helping to generate that news.
  • The city is awash in media and technological assets that can pioneer a new Golden Era of Journalism.
  • There is strong, but guarded, interest in exploring a collaborative journalism venture.
  • A significant number of Philadelphia’s new media outlets have expressed interest in pursuing a collaborative media initiative.
  • Any collaborative news effort must validate and support the fiercely independent mindsets of the city’s new media makers.

The entire report is available here.” Source: Citizen Media Law Project

 

Local TV News in the Los Angeles Media Market: Are Stations Serving the Public Interest?

October 21, 2011 in Community, Distribution, Innovation, Resources, Revenue

L.A.’s television stations deliver on average about 22 seconds of local government coverage, according to a new study by the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

The study found that only half of a half-hour news show was devoted to news. Of that, local news received 50 seconds more coverage than non-local news. Sports and weather — not considered to be news in the study — received about half the time of non-local news. Teasers and advertisements account for more than a third of each half-hour news show.

“Reports like this are a summon to action,” FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said. “We better pay more attention to what is happening to traditional journalism and find out how to fix it because this is where most of the news originates.”

The findings are the first in an ongoing study of all L.A. television news broadcasts, which is the country’s second largest media market. Researchers analyzed more than 11,250 news stories broadcast on KABC, KCAL, KCBS, KNBC, KTLA, KTTV, KCOP and Spanish-language station KMEX during 14 randomly selected days in August and September of last year.

Of all news coverage, crime took the largest chunk of time — 2:50. Shows also lead off with crime one out of every three times. About 20 seconds less was taken up by soft news, oddball news, human interest stories, contests, makeovers, world record attempts, fashion, travel, cooking, animals going wild and weddings. Entertainment coverage unrelated to business aspects received another two minutes.” Source: Neon Tommy

The Center for Public Integrity

September 9, 2011 in Community, Policy, Resources

Founded in 1989, the Center for Public Integrity is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit news organizations in the country. Our award-winning newsroom is comprised of reporters, editors and computer-aided reporting experts who dig deep and deliver national and international investigative journalism of enduring significance. The Center’s development team works with foundation partners and individual donors to nurture a steady cash flow to fund our operations. Our underwriting department generates earned revenue to augment the Center’s philanthropic income.

The Center’s mission is to produce original investigative journalism about significant public issues to make institutional power more transparent and accountable.

The Center focuses its investigations on the following areas: money and politics, government waste/fraud/abuse, the environment, healthcare reform, the financial system, national security and state government transparency. We have won more than 50 major journalism awards, including the George Polk Award and numerous honors from the Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Online News Association, Overseas Press Club, Society of Environmental Journalists and the Society of Professional Journalists.

iWatch News is the Center’s online publication dedicated to investigative and accountability reporting. It provides original and exclusive daily stories as well as in-depth investigations and commentary.” SourceThe Center for Public Integrity