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Posts Tagged ‘local news’

Philadelphia-Based News Outlet Brother.ly In the Works

cropped-cpij300x100It was a bummer to hear about the shutdown of Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome in April. But former editor-in-chief Jim Brady is moving onto another local news experiment this fall.

USA Today’s Rem Rieder reported yesterday that Brady will launch a for-profit Philadelphia-centric editorial project called Brother.ly after DFM’s failed attempt at producing community journalism on a national scale.

Brother.ly has a staff of six, which will produce original reporting, as well as aggregate and curate web content. They also plan to pursue partnerships with other local outlets.

The initiative will also be incubated by Temple University’s Center for Public Interest Journalism. Brotherly.ly is intended to replace AxisPhilly, which enjoyed some success but couldn’t be financially sustained.

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TV Reigns In News Consumption and More Surprises in ‘Personal News Cycle’ Study

Fewer than 50 percent of the API's sample set said they used an online-only reporting service to find news. Eighty-two percent said they went straight to local TV news.

Fewer than 50 percent of the API’s sample set said they used an online-only reporting service to find news. Eighty-two percent said they went straight to local TV news.

An exciting new partnership between the American Press Institute (API) and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research called the Media Insight Project has produced a study called “The Personal News Cycle: How Americans choose to get their news”.

The Media Insight Project’s main goal is to “understand changing news audiences” through a series of polls and studies, the initiative’s leaders announced in a press release last week.

“We created the AP-NORC Center to serve the news industry by making the best social science research available to journalists and the public in order to promote a greater understanding of social trends,” AP-NORC Center Director Trevor Tompson said.

Based on a telephone survey of 1,492 adults across the nation conducted from Jan. 9 to Feb. 16, 2014, here are a few of the study’s key takeaways, published on March 17:

Consumers will find the news they want on the technology that is most convenient

According to the Media Insight Project, traditional media is still relevant for sifting through the news. Respondents used at least four devices to either discover or follow up on stories in a single week, but the tools used may surprise you. “The most frequently utilized devices include television (87 percent), laptops/computers (69 percent), radio (65 percent), and print newspapers or magazines (61 percent),” reported API. The same people said they preferred television to computers for consuming news 24 percent to 12 percent, with cell phones and tablets at 12 and four percent, respectively. ”People who own and use more devices are no more or less likely to use print publications, television, or radio to access the news,” read the study.

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Journalism and Open Data Wins: Knight Foundation Announces Community Information Challenge Projects

The Knight Foundation annouced the winners of their Community Information Challenge, which will share a total $545,000 of matching funds. For the first time, according to the release, the challenge “prioritized awarding funds to Open Government projects” and those that focus on strengthening local journalism and those that promote government transperancy.

All of the project winners have fairly simple, almost obvious, ideas on how to use digital media, technology, and data based journalism to connect people and causes. Instead of reciting “hyper-local” three times and clicking their heels, these smaller organizations are actually practicing it. The problem with AOL’s Patch, for example, was that they focused on replicating a print model, and even layout!, to the digital landscape. Sometimes innovation is just using what’s in front of you in new ways. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

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3 Ways to Up Your Reader Engagement

We all have social media and digital best practices coming out of ears. But after thinking about how big media companies make their dough, I realized that, although there aren’t always the resources and staff and innovation teams at smaller papers, there are some simple, almost silly, tips smaller papers can take from the behemoths in terms of reader engagement. Things that make your organization seem relevant and savvy.

1. Go Vice

Ok, you don’t have to start covering the sex beat in your town, but start thinking outside the box. Vice isn’t just a magazine anymore, it’s also a production company, and a marketing agency. Is there a crime beat reporter who could easily start posting video reports along with his written one? Are there events or causes you could sponsor that you aren’t? Run a summer program where high school students can run their own vertical. Nothing is more niche than a local hometown. Be all over it. If there is a kinky sex beat, start covering it.   Read more

From Print to Broadcast: How Local News Transitions to Digital

We all know video channels are the next step for news. It’s one thing if you’re The Atlantic or The Huffington Post. But smaller, regional publications are making the move, too. And it has been a slow, evolving process.

Phillyburbs.com, a Calkins Media Group website based in suburban Philadelphia, has been transitioning its print papers online for the past decade and it’s starting to get serious about video content. The Bucks County Courier Times, one of the group’s papers (and for the record, where my mother works), recently launched The Courier Times Update, a ten minute news broadcast that goes live on their website at 2pm every day. Rachel Canelli, the host of the update, has transitioned from a strictly print reporter to the Courier’s go-to video reporter over the past few years. She doesn’t have any broadcast experience, but like most mid-market journalists these days, she’s learned how produce her own video segments.

 Ever since we had a website, we’ve done video. But it was more random. Three years ago we started a weekly segment called Buzz In Bucks and that evolved from man on the street interviews and hard news to more feature content. Two years ago, we started doing daily news video. That’s when they started handing out iPhones and cameras – it was a big investment, and then everyone was expected to do video. And the photographers got in because the had the capability to shoot video. Within the last year or so, we hired the video consultant and bringing in new players – we hired a new CEO and general manager and we started to put an emphasis on moving to video, by investing in equipment and software to add advertisements into the videos.

How many of you are sitting in a newsroom struggling to stay relevant? It’s not easy. For the team at the Courier, it was about hiring Canelli to head the update, and repurposing other reporters and photographers in the newsroom to add more video content. It’s a bit of a scramble.  Read more

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