Teaching Examples

It’s what you DO with it that matters
June 24, 2006, 1:34 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Just think about this for a minute:

I’ve learned that a journalist basically does three things: collect data, distill data, and present data… It seems to me the first piece has gotten rather trivial in many cases. Data is everywhere. We’ve never been so inundated with information as we are now. Since many news organizations are going to have the same data, the way that you distill and present it is your ticket to setting yourself apart. For many stories, finding interesting ways to show the relevant bits (be it maps, infographics, motion graphics, visualizations, etc.) may actually be worth more of your resources than collecting the data in the first place.

(Source: JeffCroft.com, thanks to a refer from JournalismHope.com)

Come on, if no one pays any attention to that wonderful stuff you have uncovered, what was the point? Why is this so hard to figure out? And yet hundreds of online news sites sabotage their own content by making it ugly, slow, dominated by intrusive ad graphics, and blocked behind cumbersome registration schemes.

Here’s something else journalists might need to think about:

I’m not sure I quite understand why newspapers have reporters writing “blogs.” Is it just because they want to use a hip buzzword? Is it to somehow lower the expectations put on the journalistic integrity of those pieces? I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure this one out.

And this — this really hits the nail on the head:

Being local is the key to success in 95% of the markets out there…. Go nuts with local coverage. Overkill rules. Treat your local stories as if they’re as important as national ones — even if they’re not. Because they are. Just not to you.

This Jeff Croft is really smart. Read that again. “… as if they’re as important as national ones — even if they’re not. Because they are. Just not to you.

Jeff has more interesting stuff to say. Go read it.

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1 Comment so far
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Newspaper blogs serve several important purposes. They build a stronger relationship between the newspaper and readers. Also, they help usher the newsroom into the online world. The fact is many reporters and editors don’t have any online skills. A blog is a great way to teach them basic HTML and web savvy while doing something they love. Certainly, the journalistic integrity should remain: no cussing, attention to defamation, fairness, accuracy. Last but not least, the reality is that other blogs are out there, and people are looking for them. Why not tap potential niche readers with the newspaper’s own expert?

The newspaper industry has truly realized, out of necessity, that circulation numbers are only one indicator of readership.

Comment by Danny Sanchez

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