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Posts Tagged ‘digital journalism’

SXSWi Day 3: Journalism Can Make For Great Business, Says The Atlantic‘s Scott Havens

IAP22928The “future of journalism” topic has almost become trite in journalism circles, but for The Atlantic‘s President M. Scott Havens, thoughtful discussions and observations on the media landscape, both present and future, make the difference between being in the red and black.

At his SXSW talk, “Can Great Journalism Make for Great Business?” Havens, who will begin his post as Senior Vice President, Digital at Time Inc. March 31, explained how he helped propel a struggling then-Atlantic Monthly back to relevancy and progressiveness in the biz. A few of his “core beliefs” on producing and financially sustaining digital journalism are:

Magazines are here to stay

Sure, the definition of magazines is increasingly open for interpretation, but Havens says they’re not going anywhere. Readers are seeking stories with depth, analysis and craft, unlike so much of the content that permeates the web. “There’s something special about a well-researched magazine article,” he said. It’s fair to assume that print magazines won’t last (other than giants like TIME, Harper’s, The New Yorker, etc.) unless publishers can keep making profits from them. In The Atlantic’s experience, “Print advertising is actually sorta stable,” he said.

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Steve Buttry Wants to Change How You Work (It Will Be Better, We Promise)

project unboltMost of our newsrooms, if we’re honest, are print organizations with the digital initiative “bolted on.” Or so admitted Digital First Media CEO John Paton. I can’t decide whether I’m jealous of or pity the man, Steve Buttry, who has been tasked with unbolting four test newsrooms as DFM’s digital transformation editor.

He obviously knew what he was getting into. More than just refocusing attention to mobile reporting, engaging with audiences over social media or creating new ways to play with and use data, Project Unbolt is about actually changing how newsrooms think and act. Buttry elaborated on his blog this week about what it will actually entail and look like to ‘wrench’ newsrooms away from thinking for print. Here are some highlights:

  • Everything is live, all the time. He writes:

Virtually all event coverage and breaking news coverage are handled as live coverage, with ScribbleLive, livetweeting, livestreaming, etc. This includes sports events, government meetings, trials, community festivals, etc….Live coverage is routine for the unbolted newsroom. Reporters and/or visual journalists covering events plan for live coverage unless they have a good reason not to (a judge won’t allow phones or computers in a courtroom; a family would rather not have you livetweet a funeral; connectivity at a site is poor).

  • In the unbolted newsroom, you post content when you have an audience. Digital content is fresh every morning, you aren’t planning for morning editions, and those ‘Sunday magazine’ style features go up during the week. Read more

Are Personal Essays the Future of Digital Journalism?

personalessaysPersonal essays have never been more popular online. Sarah Hepola, Salon.com’s personal essay editor, thinks she knows why: “People have always been drawn to personal narratives. It’s one of the fundamentals of storytelling: Through your story, I better understand my own. As human beings, we like to see others fail and hurt and triumph.”

It’s not just random blogs that publish these confessional articles anymore. Digital (and some traditional) news sites are getting in on it too. Salon is a perfect example of such a site. Since its inception in 1995, it has gained a reputation for being a reputable source of information about news, politics, pop culture and everything in between. But it’s that ‘in between’ category that, in recent months, has really gotten the public’s (and the Internet’s) attention. Personal essays now garner hundreds of comments a piece. Controversial topics (and click bait headlines) have become the norm. And it’s not just Salon — outlets like The Daily Beast, Time and Slate all use similar tactics in the race for traffic. Read more

HootSuite University Moving into J-School Classrooms

It’s back to school time and the debate about how to teach journalism is already underway. As academics debate the ‘teaching hospital model’ and hackathons, there’s some real time relief for professors at the 101 level– and it’s coming from a brand. HootSuite, the social media management system, has long offered certification programs and paid pro-package ‘educate yourself’ content. Now, they’re moving into higher education.

Launched in 2011,  HootSuite University has already partnered with over 350 universties, including NYU, Syracuse, and Columbia. The program is more than just product training, though that’s included. There’s also a tailored curriculum for journalism and communications professors, which covers topics from the easy stuff like maintaining a social media presence and best practices to story tracking and analytics.

Lesson objectives cover a variety of topics from “How to Live Tweet an Event With Integrity” and “Compare Social Media Analytics with Site Traffic Using Google Analytics. The curriculum follows the “Read, Watch, Do” format, so professors have an archive of articles, videos, and examples to share with students and suggestions for homework assignments like setting up a Tumblr blog and tracking it, or revising a Twitter bio. Professors can follow the curriculum rigorously, or just use it as inspiration. Dr. William Ward, a professor at at the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse, uses HootSuite’s program to make more time for other things, he told me via email: 

I integrate HootSuite into the curriculum of all my courses because it frees me up to focus on higher level strategic concepts. Students receive recognized, industry leading professional credentials that give them a competitive advantage in the job arena.

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Write to ‘Inspire and Encourage’ at Entrepreneur.com

Entrepreneur.com

Unlike other small biz publications such as Inc. and Fast Company, Entrepreneur has expanded into the lifestyle territory, addressing the facets of entrepreneurs’ lives that extend beyond the boardroom.

“Entrepreneurs have sort of become the rock stars of our era,” explained executive online editor Laura Lorber. “It’s very popular to call yourself an entrepreneur now, and it’s a very aspirational status. Basically we’re looking for content that helps them improve their work and their personal lives.”

Good news, journos. Editors at Entrepreneur.com are open to pitches from new writers, as long as they stay in tune with the brand’s mission: to inspire and encourage.

For pitching etiquette and editor’s contact info, read How to Pitch: Entrepreneur.com.

Sherry Yuan

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