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Angela Washeck

Angela Washeck is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas. She is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a journalism minor. Angela serves as an Editorial Assistant at PBS MediaShift and is a contributor to Paste Magazine and TexasMonthly.com. She was previously an intern at TV newsmagazine "Dan Rather Reports." Her work has been republished on Editor and Publisher, the American Press Institute and more. When Angela is not busy writing for MediaBistro, you can find her watching “How I Met Your Mother” reruns, watching Aggie football and attending indie/folk concerts in Dallas. Follow her tweets @angelawasheck.

How Newsrooms Can Cash In Through Events, According to the American Press Institute

eventsrevenueAs many struggling newsrooms — or publications who are at least in a stage of transition — keep thinking of ways to diversify their revenue streams, live events have become a welcome addition to the frameworks of many media companies.

When done right, event production can be a fantastic way to increase audience engagement with current readers, attract and inform new readers and promote the mission and vision of your publication.

And thanks to a recently-published “Strategy Study” produced by the American Press Institute (API), newsroom leaders now have another resource to refer to when pursuing event production.

Using the nonprofit, nonpartisan digitally-native publication The Texas Tribune as inspiration for a successful revenue model (in 2013, the Trib generated more than $1 million from events), the API spent eight months interviewing 19 publishers about how they made journalism events a sustainable, vital asset to their organizations, and to the community around them.

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Which Pubs Perform the Best on Social Media?

Shareablee_co_smallAs the media landscape evolves, we’re learning that publishers have much more to concentrate on than just putting out good editorial content and having a nice website. Today’s media organizations must put strong focus on having a powerful social media presence, as Sharablee, a social engagement analysis company, has found.

Last week, Shareablee compiled its first list ranking which digital and print publishing arms have the best handle on social media. The monthly list is intended to be helpful to advertisers looking to get the very best when it comes to choosing where to allocate their dollars and publisher audience engagement.

The Shareablee Audience Engagement Ranking of Publishers is calculated based on various publishers’ progress in growing readerships on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Here is a more in-depth explanation of what defines “engagement,” according to a press release from Sharablee:

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Is Grasswire, a “Real-Time Newsroom,” a Better Version of Reddit?

GrasswireIt’s no secret that the Internet is often a hotbed of misinformation in the wake of a breaking news event, particularly during horrible disasters involving multiple deaths, such as the Sandy Hook shootings. And social media is often a conduit for the rapid spread of fake facts and those terribly convincing photos that circulate around seemingly without end.

But a new service called Grasswire plans to be a “real-time newsroom curated and fact checked by everyone.” Covered by PandoDaily’s David Holmes recently, the Android app and website seeks to rectify all the wrongs people (including journalists) have Twitter have committed in spreading non fact-checked information on social media by ensuring it doesn’t keep happening. The platform is reminiscent of Reddit, Holmes notes — only Grasswire’s verification process is a bit more in-depth.

“…Instead of simply upvoting or downvoting, users can click “confirm” or “refute.” The confirmations and refutations stick with each post so that when the link is shared to social media, whatever factchecking is in place goes along with it. That way, even if a Grasswire link to a false claim is tweeted out or posted to Facebook, once its been refuted all subsequent retweets and posts will surface that factcheck,” Holmes explained.

Honestly, I think Grasswire’s idea is a huge step in the right direction. As more social media outlets surface, and user bases rise, citizen journalism is becoming more mainstream. On the one hand, it’s great. An engaged citizenry that reads and shares the news and seeks to inform their followers of what’s going on in their towns, states, country, the world?

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The Comment Discussion Continues: APME Editors Say Comments Are Here to Stay

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 1.14.01 PMA writeup that surfaced yesterday from The Spokesman-Review‘s Gary Graham revealed some new perspectives from newspaper editors involved in the Associated Press Media Editors (APME) organization.

Graham is an APME board member and reported some of the following noteworthy results depicting what editors and journalists really think about the often-lambasted comment section. You may be surprised at the results of the Sounding Board survey, which included 101 responses:

  • 94 percent said they “consistently allow comment” sections on their websites. According to Graham, many “believe allowing comments is important to encourage community discussions in a public forum.” Still, some cited complaints such as incivility, off-topic and ill-informed comments, and negativity as reasons comment sections can be frustrating.
  • 71 percent said it is unlikely that they would ever ban online commenting on their websites
  • 11 percent said they would never ban online commenting on their websites
  • Nine percent said it is “very likely” they will ban all comments
  • A few respondents reported that they have taken the time to ban individual commenters who either dominate conversation or are consistently uncivil in the comment section
  • 14 percent said they find a “great deal of value” in their comment section
  • 46 percent of the news organizations that responded allow anonymous comments
  • 38 percent of the news organizations require commenters to identify themselves by first and last name

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‘Bellingcat’ Kickstarter Campaign Seeks to Unite Investigative Citizen Journalists

BellingcatCitizen journalism is more prevalent than ever with the upsurge in social media platforms. Now that so much information is available at our fingertips, it seems that reporters — both formally trained and novice — are even hungrier for accurate news.

A crowdfunding campaign by a man named Eliot Higgins has the goal of bringing together citizen journalists who are curious about hard news issues through an open-source website. His vision is for contributors all over the world to continue coverage of “Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Kurdistan, Nigeria, Jihadists, Shia armed groups, the UK phone hacking scandal, police corruption, and more,” he wrote on Kickstarter.

Bellingcat, as he calls it, is based on the idea that citizen journalists have the power to do much of the investigation that traditional media outlets do. YouTube and Reddit are just two hugely important tools that anyone who values verification and getting to the bottom of a news story can use, and it’s totally open-sourced. Social media does the same thing, Higgins wrote on his Kickstarter page.

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