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Source Sleuth Looks to Connect Journalists, Bloggers with Quality Sources

source sleuthGood story sources aren’t always easy to come by, as most journalists can attest. And, the stress of deadline pressure can make finding those sources an even more daunting task.

But, while there are several free services out there to help, there are few that take the time to vet those same sources.

Enter Chicago-based Source Sleuth, a free service that seeks to connect journalists, bloggers and other writers with “quality sources.” Read more

Mediabistro Course

The Art of the Book Review

The Art of the Book ReviewStarting August 4, get paid to write reviews that will influence the publishing landscape! Taught by a Publishers Weekly book critic, you'll learn how to recommend a book to its audience, write reviews of varying lengths, tailor a review to a specific publication and more! You'll leave this course with two original reviews and a list of paying markets for book reviews. Register now! 

Why Are Journalists Publishing Before Checking Facts?

INGreport2A new survey from Dutch company ING found that 45 percent of international journalists “publish as soon as possible and correct later,” while only 20 percent always do their due diligence before publishing.

Additionally, the 2014 Study Impact of Social Media on News report, created for PR professionals and journalists, reported that one-third of journalists don’t consider social media posts a reliable source of information. Still, 50 percent said the majority of their news tips and facts come from social.

But journalists don’t seem to mind questions of accuracy too much, since 60 percent said they feel less restricted by journalistic standards in their social media reporting. Twenty-two percent reported that they treat social media posts the same way as traditional methods when it comes to journalism ethics.

Finally, PR professionals, who once worked quite closely with journalists in setting up interviews and providing timely, accurate news items, say reporters aren’t as quick to get in touch with them. The assumption for this is that journalists are relying more frequently on social media info, despite their low levels of trust with the medium.

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New Book, Local News Lab Highlight Rev Strategies For Community Journalism

SavingCommJourA book released by the University of North Carolina press, “Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability” by Penelope Muse Abernathy, highlights the challenges surrounding local news operations and offers recommendations on how newspapers can “build community online and identify new opportunities to generate revenue.”

Abernathy is Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at UNC and a professional journalist with more than 30 years experience in the news biz, so she knows what she’s talking about. More importantly, she’s another prominent writer, researcher and educator proving that no, journalism is not dead, and yes, print can thrive at the local level. Her book, hot off the presses in April 2014, is an important one for newsroom leaders frustrated by dipping print revs and disengaged readership.

In the same vein, Josh Stearns launched the long-awaited Local News Lab last week with the help of the Dodge and Knight Foundations. The project is intended to be one big experiment in community journalism with the question, “How can local news outlets make money and keep the locals interested in what they’re doing?” as a foundation. What will become of newspaper subscriptions? How much will events play into local newsroom revenue? What about corporate sponsorships?

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Three New Tow Center Reports Out May 30

TowCenter_Horizontal_v5_for_NewsletterIf you haven’t been following along with the Tow Center conference “Quantifying Journalism: Data, Metrics, and Computation” live-stream today (May 30), don’t worry.  You haven’t missed all the good stuff.

Over the weekend, you can back-read some of the fascinating conversations about metrics in the newsroom and sensor and data journalism on Twitter using the hashtag #towtalk.

Plus, be sure to pore over the three research reports highlighting various facets of digital journalism that Tow Fellows are releasing today:

Amateur Footage: A Global Study of User-Generated Content in TV and Online News Output“, by Claire Wardle and Sam Dubberley

Sensors and Journalism“, by Fergus Pitt

The Art and Science of Data-Driven Journalism“, by Alex Howard

The live blog for the conference is worth a gander, too.

From the Tow Center: Research Indicates Video News Is Always Growing, Changing

TowCenterColumbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism is producing some important research on upcoming trends in online media, like news video, sensor journalism and longform.

Its most recently released report, “Video Now: The Form, Cost, and Effect of Video Journalism,” highlights the video strategies of popular digitally native publishers like Mashable and NowThis News, longform outfits including Vice Media and Frontline PBS, and legacy papers like the Washington Post and the Chicago Sun-Times, over a five-month period. More than 50 newsrooms were examined during the research for this paper.

Study facilitator and assistant professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, Duy Linh Tu set out to answer three main questions:

  • How do news organizations define video?
  • How do they produce video?
  • What is their return on investment? (ROI)

Now for what Linh Tu found: metrics across newsrooms aren’t very reliable. Typical measurements like plays and page views “are inconsistently measured across organizations,” so the report features mostly editor interviews rather than sheer numbers. The answer to digital video is that there is no answer — at least not now. Publishers are finding it difficult to capitalize on this new medium while bringing in the advertising support they need to produce quality content. In other words, there isn’t a ton of data out there on video ROI that inspires trust in marketers with limited budgets.

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