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Public Relations & Social Media Insight
PR insight, social media & thought leadership - from The PR Coach www.theprcoach.com
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Go-to research databases journalists can use to improve their reporting | Poynter.

...It’s also important to acknowledge that conventional Web searches — just Googling it — won’t necessarily turn up the best research materials; search algorithms don’t always prominently highlight studies and reports that are seldom linked to or visited. There’s also the problem of increasing “personalization” of search results.

 

For specialist reporters, many of the key subject-area databases may be well-known. But for more general assignment reporters, here is a short, representative list of open databases and scholarly search engines that are well worth bookmarking — and entering your key words into as part of the newsgathering process:...


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The Most Dangerous Place in the World for Journalists  | American Journalism Review

To enter Syria, CBS News foreign correspondent Clarissa Ward has squeezed through holes in fences, waded across canals and slogged through muddy fields in the middle of the night, paying smugglers to help her sneak past government checkpoints.

 

Once inside, she works under the radar, dependent on ragtag bands of rebel fighters for food, shelter and safety. For locals caught helping a foreign journalist, "It would mean certain death," says Ward, who speaks "passable" Arabic and has been inside Syria six times in the past year....

 

[Great reporting, courage and powerful storytelling ~ Jeff]

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Can a big bet on tech help USA Today escape its paper past?

Can a big bet on tech help USA Today escape its paper past? | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
USA Today is taking advantage of Gannett's custom built CMS system that will let it select and curate content for the growing number of readers who are reading news on mobile devices.

 

Is there a future for a media brand best known for dropping free newspapers at America’s hotels? The brass at USA Today seems to think so and today launched a “next generation” iPad app to carry the brand into the digital future.

 

The app represents a big bet on technology by parent company Gannett which, like other newspaper chains, is on borrowed time as it tries to solve the digital dilemma before its traditional print ad earnings collapse once and for all.

 

The company’s gamble comes in the form of a bespoke content management system that lets editors tailor content specifically for a mobile audience rather than simply slinging content from the USA Today website. In practice, this means shorter and snappier headlines and choosing hard news stories in the morning and then more visual, feature-like fare for later in the day. The move coincides with a mass reader migration to smartphones and tablet devices.

 

“We’re starting to think of these as products that should be actively programmed rather than taking things that were produced for another medium,” said Gannett’s Chief Digital Officer, David Payne....

 

[This is a fascinating look at how USA Today is trying to shed its newspaper past ~ Jeff]

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Coca-Cola enter the world of brand journalism | Wannabe Hacks

Coca-Cola enter the world of brand journalism | Wannabe Hacks | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
Coca-Cola have made the transition to brand journalism, using its corporate site as a digital magazine...

 

Journalism is currently going through a transition. As this transition takes place, advertising revenue has dropped off, PR has gone up and ‘churnalism’ has become a worrying issue of newsrooms.

 

But why would corporations go through all the hassle of press releases or creating stories for their products when they could just do it themselves? After all, according to Harry Evans, news is “something someone somewhere doesn’t want you to hear”.

 

Three days ago, Coca-Cola took the first step into the world of brand journalism. It has completely overhauled its corporate site, rebranded and repackaged it as a digital magazine, Coca-Cola Journey. This will allow it to produce ‘news’ to its own agenda.

 

Ashley Brown, director of digital communications and social media at Coca-Cola, said: “Our corporate site is our most trafficked online property, so we wanted to create an experience that would make this incredibly valuable digital real estate work harder for us.

“We want to make sure that as our brand becomes a publisher, we do so in the most beautiful and functional way possible.”...

 

[Journalism? Meet brand journalism.]

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Condé Nast's Digital Push

Condé Nast's Digital Push | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
The publishing company said it’s raising the circulations of both Wired and The New Yorker by 25,000 each on the strength of their tablet businesses.

 

...The more notable development here is that Condé said it’s raising the circulations of both Wired and The New Yorker by 25,000 each on the strength of their tablet businesses. Two years after both magazines created iPad replicas, the publisher is starting to see results at many of its titles, Sauerberg said.

 

“The numbers are really starting to scale,” he said, adding that by the end of the year, digital subscriptions will be well more than 1 million.

 

Like most major publishers, Condé Nast took a while to create a digital business. “Prerecession, we didn’t have to fool around with the digital business because of the rate of growth in the print business,” Townsend explained at the Paley Center. But then the recession shaved off 40 percent of the company’s revenue, and it was time to reorganize. Sauerberg was brought in to find new business besides print. “The postrecession moment is really the introduction of alternative platforms that take the pressure off print, not replace it,” Townsend said....

 

[Are PR and marketing their approach to the new reality of many screens? ~ Jeff ]

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Gallup is very upset at Nate Silver | Salon

Gallup is very upset at Nate Silver | Salon | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
The polling firm complains operations like FiveThirtyEight could spoil polling for everyone...

 

Did Gallup just blame Nate Silver for ruining the art and science of polling?

 

You don’t have to read too far between the lines of a statement from Gallup’s editor in chief, Frank Newport, published on Friday, to get that impression.

 

Newport first attempts the formidable task of defending Gallup’s polling accuracy during the 2012 campaign. Perhaps he was anticipating Silver’s Saturday column, which labeled Gallup the most inaccurate pollster of all the firms that measured voter sentiment this year. But Silver was hardly alone in wondering why Gallup regularly reported numbers much more favorable to Romney than anyone else in 2012. We deserve an explanation a little less lame than Newport’s: what’s the big fuss? Gallup wasn’t really off by that much....

 

[Suck it up Gallup and do a better job. ~ Jeff]

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The future of the feature: Breaking out of templates to build customized reading experiences | Nieman Lab

The future of the feature: Breaking out of templates to build customized reading experiences | Nieman Lab | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
In print, decades of design language have helped publications draw extra attention of readers. But news web design has mostly been straitjacketed in rigid templates. A few news sites are trying to break out.

 

When it comes to reading long form, the web can be an ugly, distracting place. It’s the reason why services like Instapaper and Pocket (née Read It Later) exist: to strip content of its context — noisy site designs, advertisements, and other unnecessary elements. But perhaps we’re moving into a new era where more of the web is clean and readable. Maybe the future of web publications will be beautiful enough that the reading experience is more enjoyable in its natural habitat.

 

This is how I felt, at least, when I came across ESPN.com’s “The Long Strange Trip of Dock Ellis,” a gorgeously designed feature about the Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher who threw a no-hitter while under the influence of LSD. It’s arguably one of baseball’s most colorful tales; this take on it is certainly one of the most ambitious web designs ever attempted by a traditional media company for a single article. The piece is generously adorned with accompanying visuals — photos of Ellis, memorabilia like trading cards, pull quotes, all moving and sliding while the reader scrolls. The reading experience is very comfortable on both desktop and tablet, thanks to a larger text size and generous amounts of white space. It’s feels like an experience instead of a block of words surrounded by the detritus of the web....

 

[This ESPN story is a fascinating design innovation for a news organization. ~ Jeff]

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Brilliant New Yorker Cover Captures Sandy Psyche | PR Blog News

Brilliant New Yorker Cover Captures Sandy Psyche | PR Blog News | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
The New Yorker cover brilliantly captures the psyce of Sandy to the battered lower Manhattan.

 

The New Yorker revealed the cover of this week’s issue, which comments on Hurricane Sandy, the blackouts of lower Manhattan, and the upcoming election. Artist Adrian Tomine described how he ended up connecting the storm’s destruction with the election: “Where I was in Brooklyn, I don’t think I would have even known that there was a major storm happening,” he said. “So I spent the whole night glued to the Internet and watching everything unfolding, just being shocked that this kind of dramatic destruction was happening just miles outside my home. And I started thinking about how it would affect the election…and somehow these two significant events just came together into that one image for me.”...

 

[The New Yorker is two for two in its cover art ~ Jeff]

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The newsonomics of the newspaper industry as the Republican Party

The newsonomics of the newspaper industry as the Republican Party | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
White, older, and male — the audience for newspapers in the United States looks a lot like the support base of the GOP. As Republicans think about broadening their appeal, can papers do the same?

 

The pictures told much of the story. As the networks beamed in live coverage of Barack Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s gatherings on election nights, their anchors made similar observations — some gingerly, some more prominently.

 

The Romney crowd was overwhelmingly white and older. The Obama crowd was mixed in color and younger in age.

 

The presidential vote bore out the videography. The numbers picked off the assembly line of news stories have been astoundingly, and properly, reflective of the new state of America (all data via CNN)...

 

[Interesting comparison of GOP with newspaper industry by Ken Doctor. ~ Jeff]

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Transmedia Journalism in 499 Words

Transmedia Journalism in 499 Words | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Kevin Moloney: "Transmedia journalism is designing a project to unfold across multiple media in an expansive rather than repetitive way" ...

 

[Excellent overview of Transmedia storytelling ~ Jeff]


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Motor Trend Journalist Also Taking Money To Be A Spokesperson For An Oil Company

Motor Trend Journalist Also Taking Money To Be A Spokesperson For An Oil Company | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
Motor Trend's Jessi Lang says she is a journalist who wants to help "build relationships" between that publication and its readers while covering the auto industry.

 

She's also being paid to represent oil company Phiillips 66 as a spokesperson who is trying to help influence young people to buy their gas, something Motor Trend doesn't appear to be telling its readers.

 

Taking payment from a potential newsmaker is a generally frowned upon practice, but Lang, and the PR firm representing Phillips 66, say Motor Trend approves of her simultaneously representing an automotive publication and a company that's part of the automotive industry....

 

[Ethically challenged? ~ Jeff]

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How many fake Sandy pictures were really shared on social media?

How many fake Sandy pictures were really shared on social media? | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
Dramatic images of hurricane Sandy have made it into the news and have been shared via social media.

 

Farida Vis and Axel Bruns have examined the top 50 most tweeted images and discuss how many of the images shared were actually fake....

 

[it's a challenging task to verify authenticity of photos, especially in a tragedy  Jeff]

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What it’s like to tell a story without social media and why I will never do so again (Guest blog) | Charlie Beckett

What it’s like to tell a story without social media and why I will never do so again (Guest blog) | Charlie Beckett | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Imagine doing your journalism without any social media. Imagine your newsroom is actually restricted by law in what social media it can use. That was the situation for Austrian radio correspondent Nadja Hahn who has spent the last month at Polis, LSE researching the value of social media for public service journalism. Here is her valedictory post.

 

My stay in London is coming to an end. In the past five weeks I visited the BBC, Channel4, ITV, CNN and spoke to lots of journalists, experts and academics. Thanks to all for sharing their thoughts with me. I had my own personal social media crash course.

 

So, going home now I am thinking about how I could be applying all that knowledge to my own reporting to make my stories better, provide more public value, reach a larger audience and get fresh ideas. I want to share my thoughts with you, as some of you might still be struggling to see the value social media could bring to a story. Like I was....

 

[Lots of lessons and insight ~ Jeff]

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Journalism as service: Lessons from Sandy

Journalism as service: Lessons from Sandy | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

But instead, we got mostly articles. For that’s what journalists do, isn’t it? We write articles. We are storytellers! But not everything should be a story. Stories aren’t always the best vehicle for conveying information, for informing the public. Sometimes lists, data bases, photos, maps, wikis, and other new tools can do a better job.


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Future selling $1 million per month in tablet magazines | Paid Content

Future selling $1 million per month in tablet magazines | Paid Content | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
As it launches a new weekly tech magazine on iPad, publisher Future puts some numbers on impressive tablet magazine gains, but overall revenue is slightly down.

 

Magazine publisher Future says its tablet magazines are earning it $1 million per month in gross revenue.

 

It is now selling 239,000 tablet magazines per month, led by T3 in the UK (30,000) and MacLife in the States (65,000), plus dozens of other mostly replica editions amongst its more than 100 tablet titles.

 

[Valuable insight  into tablet-only magazine publisher ~ Jeff]

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CNN Reporter Hits The Deck While Reporting On Incoming Hamas Missile Fire | Mediaite

CNN Reporter Hits The Deck While Reporting On Incoming Hamas Missile Fire | Mediaite | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
CNN's boots-on-the-ground coverage of the violence in and around Gaza City has yielded some dramatic, if possibly flawed, results.

 

The network dispatched marquee talents Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper to the region late Sunday, to round out a complement of ten CNN reporters in the region. During a live shot Sunday night, Anderson Cooper was startled by a nearby explosion in Gaza City, but continued his reporting largely unfazed. On Monday morning, foreign correspondent Frederik Pleitgen was forced to calmly hit the deck in the middle of his report to CNN Newsroom anchor Carol Costello when an incoming Hamas missile triggered an alarm.

 

Reporting from the Israeli town of Ofakim, near the border with Gaza, Pleitgen told Costello, “This is a town that’s been hit by a lot of rockets in the last couple days. They have had rocket sirens go off earlier today. Really this entire region has had a lot of rockets coming in, especially in the past couple hours.”

 

Moments later, as if on cue, Pleitgen said “We have an alarm going off right now. I am going to have to seek cover. We’re going to go over here. Let’s get the camera down off the tripod, we’re going to have to get into safety.”...

 

[We can be critical of some of the weaknesses and flaws of media and journalists but this story reminds us of the guts it takes to report from a war zone like Gaza City. ~ Jeff]

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The Media Business: Many journalists can't provide the value-added journalism that is needed today

The Media Business: Many journalists can't provide the value-added journalism that is needed today | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

...Most journalists spend the majority of their time reporting what a mayor said in a prepared statement, writing stories about how parents can save money for university tuition, covering the release of the latest versions of popular electronic devices, or finding out if a sports figure’s injury will affect performance in the next match.

 

Most cover news in a fairly formulaic way, reformatting information released by others: the agenda for the next town council meeting, the half dozen most interesting items from the daily police reports, what performances will take place this weekend, and the quarterly financial results of a local employer. These standard stories are merely aggregations of information supplied by others.

 

At one time these standard stories served useful purposes because newspapers were the primary information hubs of the community. Today such routine information has little economic value because the original providers are now directly feeding that information to the interested public through their own websites, blogs, and Twitter feeds. Additionally, specialist topic digital operators are now aggregating and organizing that information for easy accessibility....

 

[The challenge for news media with the proliferation of social media and self publishing by everyone from city councils and corporations to citizens? Finding less available news and adding more value to it.]

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NBC's Vivian Schiller: social media has made live TV essential again

NBC's Vivian Schiller: social media has made live TV essential again | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
The war for the living room will ultimately be won not by gadget manufacturers, but by content companies — the people who make and distribute TV itself. But it’s a two-way street: the...

 

...internet is changing how even the largest producers of television think about their products.

 

Vivian Schiller has been on the front lines of change for years. She was the first general manager of what has become the Investigation Discovery channel, then the senior vice president of NYTimes.com, and then the CEO of NPR. Now she’s the Chief Digital Officer for NBC News, overseeing the company’s online efforts — including the newly-acquired MSNBC.com, which is now simply NBCnews.com.

 

We spoke about the future of distribution, how Twitter and Facebook are changing NBC’s audience, and the challenges of developing real-time news across different platforms and mediums....

 

[Good read on media trends- ~ Jeff]

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The new propaganda: Armies take war to Twitter in Gaza conflict

The new propaganda: Armies take war to Twitter in Gaza conflict | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

As Israeli and Palestinian forces clash in Gaza this week, those same armies are engaging in a real-time battle of hashtags and twitpics, trying to win the hearts and minds of watchers around the globe.

 

Propaganda used to be about full-color posters and dropping leaflets from airplanes. Now, the Israel Defense Forces and the Hamas military Al Qassam Brigades are taking to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, instantly sharing photos, videos and granular news bites in English, so that they can reach the broadest possible audience.

 

"What is happening here is that both Israel and Hamas are using social media to communicate over to the other side in the conflict and the broader international community," Charles Ries, former ambassador to Greece and vice president of the international division of the RAND Corporation, told NBC News....

 

[War for the words and minds on social media? ~ Jeff]

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The newsonomics of thin ice, from the BBC and FT to The New York Times and The Washington Post

The newsonomics of thin ice, from the BBC and FT to The New York Times and The Washington Post | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
Some of the world's biggest news organizations, once rocks of stability, are showing signs of unstable foundations.

 

The cracks got a little louder this week.

 

For most of a decade, news companies have been operating on thinning ice. This week, events on both seaboards of the Atlantic displayed anew just how thin the foundations on which many major news operations operate are. With each crack comes a new sense of mortality and, thankfully, motivation.

 

Here’s a quick chart to demonstrate what’s at stake, just with the companies most lately in the news....

 

[Struggling for survival at BBC, Financial Times, New York Times and Washington Post ~ Jeff]

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Are smartphones now essential for journalism? | Adam Tinworth

Are smartphones now essential for journalism? | Adam Tinworth | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
Can a serious online journalist really manage without a modern smartphone now?

 

Between hurricane Sandy and the US presidential elections we now have confirmation, if you needed it, that Instagram is a big social player. I can see why Facebook bought it - there's plenty of evidence that people interact more around photos than anything else on Facebook. Instagram - as a pure photo social network - has an obvious appeal. And people are using it to share so much material around big news events that reporters just can't afford to ignore it.

 

Instagram skills are pretty much an essential part of the social media journalist toolbox now. Last week I did some work with the Interhacktives on verification and identification of images from Instagram. It was a good session - but it did expose a problem. A few of the students had BlackBerries or older model Android phones that didn't support Instagram....

 

[Interesting question, great topic ~ Jeff]

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7 ways online media benefits public relations | PR Daily

7 ways online media benefits public relations | PR Daily | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
The massive shift toward digital media continues for new and traditional press outlets. Here’s how you can explain the change to your clients, including why it helps them.

 

...A few weeks ago, Newsweek became the latest magazine to announce it would cease publication of its print edition in favor of a digital-only format by year’s end. This isn’t the first announcement of its kind in 2012: SmartMoney Magazine killed its print publication in the summer, and rumors have swirled that the U.K.’s The Guardian is considering a switch to a digital-only edition.

 

This trend will likely continue in the coming years as, according to the Pew Research Center’s statistics on print vs. online media, more than half of Americans receive their news from digital sources, and the number of people relying on social media exclusively for their news has doubled in the past two years.

 

So how do public relations pros communicate this ever-changing landscape and its importance to clients?...

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From Storm Sandy to the election, speculation dominates the US media

From Storm Sandy to the election, speculation dominates the US media | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
Emily Bell: Disruptive statistics and assumptions are skewing the way politics is being reported...

 

America experienced a moment last week when forecast became fact; shockingly, concretely. Tomorrow, the same thing will happen. A speculative river will solidify into a hard fact. Whether it is the trajectory of the "super storm" Sandy, or the outcome of the presidential election, recent US media discourse has been dominated by forecasts, forecasting and those who make and disseminate them.

 

Informed judgment, or speculation as it is less flatteringly known, has formed a key component of reporting for as long as the practice itself.

 

The faulty forecast has become the dry rot in the flimsy framework of public trust in journalism. Failures to adequately anticipate phenomena, from al-Qaida's rise to the financial system's collapse, have contributed to an erosion of credibility. The "bendy tree" journalism of wind-blown TV news reporters has too often misled audiences about the threat of weather systems; the charts say one thing, the man in the Berghaus clinging to a lamppost another.

 

As with every other branch of journalism, the dynamics of reporting "what will happen" are shifting from the qualitative model of expert opinion to the quantitative model of what can be extrapolated from measurement.

 

[To some, growing use of speculation in journalism is concerning ~ Jeff]

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Is the future of serious journalism in the hands of corporate media? | ZDNet

Is the future of serious journalism in the hands of corporate media? | ZDNet | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
Corporations are beginning to produce serious journalism. Is this the funding model for the future of high quality journalism?

 

As the business models for serious journalism continue to erode where will we get the quality media we need as a society to make important decisions about our future?

 

I've been warning people: "Special interest groups will gladly pay for the media they want you to read, but you won't pay for the media you need to read."

 

Software engineers have a saying: GIGO, garbage in, garbage out.

If you start with garbage data you will get a garbage result. That's the future we are heading towards, a future where our media is corrupted with information that serves the goals of special interest groups....

 

[Tom Foremski asks a sobering question ~ Jeff]

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There Is No Such Thing As 'Objective' Journalism — Get Over It ... | Mediaite

There Is No Such Thing As 'Objective' Journalism — Get Over It ... | Mediaite | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

You read that correctly. There is no such thing as objectivity in journalism. And it's time to get over it. Every journalist has a political point-of-view and they don't magically check that at the door the minute they land a job.

 

[Many would disagree with Andrew Kirell's point of view. I think it's an accurate reflection of journalism today ~ Jeff]


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