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Help On The Media ‘Fix Twitter’

There’s been a lot of moaning about misinformation on Twitter the past few weeks; myself and other 10,000 Words contributors have done our fair share of kvetching. 

But the team over at the On The Media podcast are actually trying to do something about it. In a short segment in this week’s podcast, which you can listen to here, they’re asking listeners to help ‘fix Twitter.’

When news breaks, it’s commonplace to just tweet and retweet what people are reporting, and then find out later that the information was totally wrong. The problem is that most organizations or individuals will either delete the tweet, or correct it another one. We all know the scrolling feed moves at a breakneck pace, and sometimes the correct tweet can be overlooked. Meanwhile, the incorrect one is left to be found by users later on in someone’s feed and the cycle of misinformation continues. 

So, there has to be a way for people to tweet to-be-confirmed information that fits into the overall Twitter aesthetic and that sticks with the original tweet itself, so that the “not yet confirmed” status of the information doesn’t get lost in the ether. 

On the Media host (and editor…) Brooke Gladstone suggested a question mark. The punctuation fits into the lexicon of Twitter — it’s just one character. But, as they point out in the segment, that mark could potentially be deleted in retweets. OTM producer PJ Vogt suggested a ‘flag’ function, that would immediately gray out a tweet that needs to be corroborated. Then as he puts it, the ‘onus is on the reader’ to seek out more information. 

Got any good ideas? Head over to the OTM Blog and leave a good suggestion — the comments are already filling up withpretty good ideas ranging from the highly technical to simple key-worded hashtags that journalists could propagate. 

This is Where the Paywall Works

The so-called “News Paywall” has been a subject of debate and ire for plenty of publishers, journalists, business owners and practically anyone with an opinion since The New York Times famously established their 10 article limit in March of 2011. One popular opinion is that paywalls never work — an audience on the internet is much more likely to get their news for free than anywhere else, and the value proposition is too low to keep anyone’s attention (and subscription). But there actually is a group of publications that are able to make the paywall work better than anywhere else, and they’re pulling in high revenue for their material.

Yes, the world of conservative political news media has mastered the paywall. Read more

At $170,000+, ‘99% Invisible’ Becomes Most Funded Kickstarter in Journalism

An update to our post last week: the pledges kept coming, and the most funded journalism project in Kickstarter’s history is now a small-staffed podcast about design.

If you didn’t read it, public radio’s Roman Mars started a crowdfunding campaign this summer with a goal of $42,000 to help fund extra help for its third season of 99% Invisible, his side project focusing on the “invisible” activity that shapes our lives. (It was a necessary gamble– most of the money was slotted to hire former intern Sam Greenspan and make production more manageable.) In the end the radio show distributed by Public Radio Exchange more than hit its goal, and more than doubled its goal, too—the project funded its goal 405 percent.

A total of 5,661 backers crowdfunded it to a whopping $170,477.

Read more

How a ‘Tiny’ Radio Show Raises Over $147,000 on Kickstarter

The crew of the radio show and podcast 99% Invisible doesn’t compare to that of Morning Edition, This American Life, or most popular public radio strongholds. It’s only two people (and even that’s a recent addition.) But with the support of its distributor Public Radio Exchange, and numerous design-curious fans, it may be paving a new model for audio content that fits the purpose of public radio.

With four days to go in its fundraising campaign, the “tiny radio show about design, architecture and the 99 percent invisible activity that shapes our world” has raised over $147,000 through close to 5,000 supporters on Kickstarter, shattering its original goal of only $42,000.

(Notably, the number also already marks it as 1 of only 208 successfully funded projects on Kickstarter to raise over $100,000.)

If funds continue to flow in, the show’s host and producer Roman Mars will be able to do much, including bringing on former intern Sam Greenspan to help produce a strong third season.

This should catch the attention of both content creators and fundraisers. What began as a short one-minute segment on a KALW show is organically growing into a stellar success story of digital storytelling worth examining. So how’d it happen? Read more

Get Your Stories Featured on This American Life

ThisAmericanLife.jpgI’m sure you’re a great writer, but did you ever consider radio?

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have experience in the AM-FM field. This American life, the weekly public radio show that reaches more than 500 stations nationwide and is home to Ira Glass, wants your story. But none of that generic “my first marathon” stuff — think funny, dramatic, or surprising when pitching.

“The show started as a place where writers and performers could broadcast their stories and a place for journalism that wasn’t following the big news,” says founding producer Nancy Updike. ”After 9/11, we started doing more journalism, including sometimes tackling whatever was in the news in a given week. That shift wasn’t a conscious decision; it just worked out that way as people on staff followed their interests.”

And get this: 60 percent of the show’s content is freelance generated. Find out where to direct your perfect pitch here.

– CLAIR PHILLIPS

 

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