Posted tagged ‘publishing’

Live blogging from the Michigan Press Association conference

January 27, 2012

Note: This is a live blog post and notes from the Michigan Press Association convention. Follow live tweets at #mpa2012.
Heritage Media reporter James Dickson asks question of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder

It has been about six years, but I am finally back. And a lot has changed in the industry since I last attended the Michigan Press Association’s annual convention in Grand Rapids. I am ready to learn some new techniques to apply to my craft, and I’ve brought two colleagues along for the ride. Heritage Media-West reporter James Dickson and copy editor Tanya Wildt are with me after making the 138-mile trek from Ann Arbor at 5:30 this morning.

Our first session, hosted at the spectacular Amway Grand Hotel, is “The Shape of Things to Come,” and the presenters are current and former college newspaper editors, and the talks is being moderated by Joe Grimm, professor at Michigan State University, who was introduced by Ken Winter, North Central Michigan College and Michigan State University Journalism School instructor, consultant and Petoskey News-Review editor and publisher. Listen to the talk here.

Do you think of print or digital when you think of a job in journalism? This was the first question posed to the student panel. Kelsey Schnell says, “Yes, I will work online,” notes they’re talking about eventually ending print edition of student newspaper. “Ideally, I’d like to stay in print, but I guess I will go where the job takes me,” says Mike Martinez.

How and where do you get your news? The second questioned posed to the panel: Mostly online, phone, through news apps; Twitter and picking and choosing what’s interesting.

Poll: How did you find out Michael Jackson died. Many heard on television, from radio, Twitter, Facebook and print. Make sure to fact check Twitter reports.

Important to uphold standards of journalism. Example, how it was tweeted that former Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno died before he had.

Student editor suggests write a 200-word preview with a photo and put it online, and response from audience will tell you whether to write a followup and produce video, possibly write a column. Let the audience help steer your efforts. Don’t waste time on a story about something no one or very few care about.

It’s important to know your readers, market and demographics. Serve both print and online readers, and cross promote everything.

Question from the audience: When is the last time you used a phone (to do an interview)? “It’s still old-school journalism in this new realm,” Kate Jacobson says, stating she prefers phone or in-person interview over email. Don’t let people hide behind technology and craft carefully-considered answers. Journalists want authenticity.

Advice for smaller or private colleges: Work in social media if you have fewer resources. “It’s free, so it’s not hard, and just brand yourself,” said Jacobson. If it’s a commuter campus, report and Tweet on local road conditions. This will help drive traffic, bring in an audience that you can share other news with. “Don’t worry about the size (of your audience; it’s about the activity (and engagement).”

Jacobson: MSU State News seeing a shift to online advertising and it’s “pumping serious gas in our car.” Print is down to six pages because print advertising is down. Subscriptions help a little bit.

What alerts do you have out there to get the news, Grimm asked. “Hard news matters.” More students interested in writing features. News aggregators like Gawker, Google and Yahoo have good news alerts, pulling from a variety of websites. Gawker has clever writers who aggregate content.

Most news originates from websites. In the new world, students were asked, “What will people pay for?” Students “don’t like paying for stuff.” Students willing to pay for some news content if it’s exclusive content and just what they want. One student pays for ESPN sports. He pays for small-town news because it’s not as shared on social media and those subscriptions are reasonably priced. Long-format writing, one student pays for. Has had a subscription to Esquire since he was 15.

Some college newspapers hoping to monetize Twitter stream by putting ads in feeds.

Thoughts on local community journalism. How do we build community and conversation like our local newspapers have done. Students say great thing about social media is community can share content, comment on content on social media. This builds community and conversation.

One student’s parents didn’t renew subscription because the newspaper isn’t “fun” to read anymore because it got so whittled down as advertising support dropped off and pages were cut, limiting local news coverage.

The session concluded with: “We’ve got to write something good before we tell someone to read about it.”
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder answers question of Eastern Echo reporter at Michigan Press Association convention.

My 30-Day Project Using iPadio.com

March 16, 2011

Our work in the ideaLab was initially billed as having “no rules” attached to it, but, just as with most things in life, there are some rules and one new rule is that we have to adopt a 30-day project, complete it by April 25 and be prepared to teach what we’ve learned in the process to others. Luckily, I am juggling several podcasting projects that I can use as they’re all mid-stream right now. So, here’s my proposal:
30 Day Project – Michelle Rogers
To Be Completed April 25

Brief one paragraph outline of project
Oral histories project. Pairing up with local retirement communities and senior centers to gather oral histories from area senior citizens, using ipadio.com’s iPhone “record and publish” application in person or can record phone conversation using ipadio account. Topics based on such themes as community activism, faith and spirituality, innovation, leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, patriotism, cultural influences, heroics/survival stories, interesting careers, community service, service to country, etc. Goal is to train volunteers in the community to record the interviews and provide the photos, so staff only has to grab embed code and receive photo, and then upload to our website under a “Podcast” drop-down menu. In addition, I am partnering with ideaLabber Marissa Raymo and she will use these podcasts/audio recordings for her Senior Central venture.

Details on stages
Every Wednesday: Visit Brecon Village retirement community in Saline to interview at least two residents per week. Take their photos and upload to website.
14 Days: Get the same process going in Chelsea and Dexter with help of copy editor Erica McClain.
21 Days: Implement in Milan.
21 to 28 Days: Set up a volunteer orientation session in Saline, Milan, Dexter and Chelsea to train community volunteers.
(Longer term/beyond initial project)
2 to 3 Months: Implement in Ann Arbor and Manchester and provide training.
3 to 4 Months: Implement in Ypsilanti and Belleville and provide training.

Resources available to you for this project
I will need the cooperation of staff and will solicit volunteers in the community, possibly high school history students to interview and record.
I will utilize our ideaLab iPhone and seek out others with smartphones, but Brecon also has a phone system that can be utilized.

Resources needed
At least one or two volunteers from each of our eight communities.

Metrics
Site traffic and buzz on social networking sites.
Scale
Train staff at sister publications via instruction sheet, but ipadio.com website self-explanatory and offers video tutorial. I could serve as point person and support.

Also find attached a spreadsheet of the tools please select the ones you want to learn and prepare to teach. You can post your choice to your idea lab blog.
Google Voice (I’ve also forwarded the tool list to my staff and asked each to learn one and teach to everyone over next 16 weeks, eight to learn and eight to teach.)

Tools to select from among:
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
http://www.audioboo.fm/
http://aviary.com/tools/audio-editor
http://www.cinchcast.com/
http://www.talkshoe.com/
http://crowdmap.com/
http://foursquare.com/
http://gowalla.com/
http://www.meetways.com/
http://www.polleverywhere.com/
http://www.quora.com/
http://storify.com/
http://www.surveymonkey.com/
http://tinychat.com/
http://www.ustream.tv/
http://www.contxts.com/
http://www.cueprompter.com/
http://www.evernote.com/
http://www.google.com/voice
http://qrcode.kaywa.com/
http://www.layar.com/
http://www.pixlr.com/
http://www.stickybits.com/
http://www.tlbox.com/
http://www.typewith.me/
http://zamzar.com/
http://writer.bighugelabs.com/
http://hootsuite.com/
http://youropenbook.org/
http://pligg.com/
http://www.widgetbox.com/
http://www.capzles.com/
http://www.dipity.com/
http://www.effectgenerator.com/
http://geocommons.com/
http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/
http://photopeach.com/
http://photosynth.net/default.aspx
http://picfog.com/
http://prezi.com/
http://vis.stanford.edu/protovis/
http://tripwow.tripadvisor.com/
http://www.umapper.com/
http://www.vuvox.com/
http://www.animoto.com/
http://jaycut.com/
http://www.stroome.com/
http://www.xtranormal.com/
http://www.polishmywriting.com/