Anna Li

I write articles and produce multimedia for Poynter.org, focusing on how tech intersects with journalism. I'm interested in digital media and virtual communication. I'm also one of the first Google Journalism Fellows and the 2013 Naughton Fellow. I curate content for Poynter's Tumblr blog and tweet from @Poynter.


butchward_small

PoynterVision: Transitioning from newspapers to corporate communications

After working for 27 years in newspapers, Butch Ward, senior faculty and former managing director at Poynter, left his final newspaper post at The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2001. Eight months later, Ward joined the Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia as the vice president for corporate and public affairs, putting him “on the other side of the wall” with journalists. Watch the video to hear how Ward navigated the transition.


// Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 9.38.28 PM

PoynterVision: how journalists can work with coders on projects

Understanding enough code for journalists to communicate with developers still isn’t enough, says Robert Hernandez, digital journalism professor at USC Annenberg and Poynter adjunct faculty. Watch the video to see what Hernandez recommends to help journalists work successfully with developers on data projects.


// Read more

Tools:
2 Comments
NPR Headquarters

PoynterVision: how NPR goes after emerging news audiences

Patrick Cooper, director of web and engagement at NPR, talks about trends that he sees coming in news audiences. In particular, he pays attention to fragmented audiences, the way audiences divide their time among devices, and the challenges that come with capturing those individuals. Cooper, who spoke at Poynter’s Future of News Audiences conference Jan. 26-27, offers us insights into NPR’s approach in drawing audiences.


// Read more

Tools:
1 Comment
News Corp Split

PoynterVision: Why News Corp acquired Storyful

Raju Narisetti, senior vice president and deputy head of strategy at News Corp, explains the reasons behind News Corp’s $25 million acquisition of Storyful in December. Many newsrooms have adopted Storyful to help them verify social media and video content. Watch the video to hear how Narisetti, who came to Poynter for the Future of News Audiences conference Jan. 26-27, sees Storyful’s verification tools fit into News Corp’s larger strategy.


!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); Read more

Tools:
3 Comments
leadership conceptual compass

PoynterVision: Step up to leadership by volunteering

Poynter’s Jill Geisler, senior faculty of leadership and management, shares her story of how she became the news director of a major market network affiliate at age 27 in the 1970s when only a few handful of women ran newsrooms.


//

Related Training: The 10 powers of leadership | Advice for the Newly Named News Director | What Great Bosses Know About Leadership Styles Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
FJ_small

PoynterVision: For Journalism teaches journos to code

Dave Stanton introduces For Journalism, a platform aiming to equip journalists with technical skills to succeed in data journalism jobs.

Stanton, ringleader of the Kickstarter-backed project, and a stellar team of working journalists including those from NPR, ProPublica and the Associated Press have created courses with screencasts, code repositories and discussion forums targeted at mid-career journalists, students and professors. Participants work on real-world projects that can be implemented immediately in the newsroom.


//

Related: Live chat on what students need to know about code and data viz | PoynterVision: Create a data résumé | Live chat on how journalists can learn to code — and why it’s important Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
BRANDthumbnail

PoynterVision: @webjournalist on how he builds his personal brand

How has Robert Hernandez created a successful persona on Twitter as @webjournalist with over 11,500 followers? He says he decided to be just who he is.

Hernandez, digital journalism professor at USC Annenberg, adjunct faculty at Poynter and music fan, told me that he talks about the many projects he has started, including #wjchat for journalists to discuss media topics via Twitter or beta testing Google Glass, and he tells jokes and quotes song lyrics.

His parting advice: “Be genuine when you engage with others,” he wrote in a Twitter direct message to me. “Be genuine in who you follow and learn from.”


//

Related: Tips for Storytellers: Your personal brand | How journalists can build their own powerful brands | As brands start building digital newsrooms, what do they need to succeed? Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
Depositphotos_4097837_xs

PoynterVision: New managers can reframe conversations for success

New managers need to know what their team expects of them when they step into their new roles, says Jill Geisler, Poynter’s senior faculty in leadership and management. Geisler asks a couple of questions to help new managers reframe the conversation for success.


//

Related Training: Managing Change: Creating Strategies, Setting Priorities | Innovation at Work: Helping New Ideas Succeed Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
Interactive Media

Explore the makings of interactive journalism

At some point, every journalist grapples with figuring out what his or her story is about – particularly if that story involves complex data sets or government documents, and the end result will be an interactive project rather than a straightforward narrative.

Perhaps Andrew DeVigal can help.

DeVigal is director of content strategy at Second Story and the former multimedia editor at The New York Times. In a phone interview, he shared the steps he takes when starting an interactive project to ensure the results form a cogent story.

The first question he asks himself is a deceptively simple one: “What does the content want to be?” It is a question he attributes to a former colleague at The Times, Steve Duenes, AME for graphics.

DeVigal, a self-described “natural organizer,” likes to partition the information into buckets to understand the different pieces of the story. In doing that, he will ask himself such questions as, “What is the information about?”, “Who does it affect?” and “What is at stake here?”

When he has a solid understanding of the information available to him, his next step is to “highlight the most important key elements.” That helps him determine how to present the interactive so the viewer can dive into complexity, or skim if the information is too complex.

“That’s the true craft of a journalist: to make things clear for the viewers and readers,” he said.

DeVigal’s last step before building the interactive is to think about the audience and the context in which they will see the story. Analyzing the potential audience is very difficult, DeVigal said, especially for general-purpose news sites that are “trying to hit as many people as possible.” Nonetheless, he added that it’s crucial to “frame the presentation so that you actually have a very known target audience,” even if that leads you to creating two different versions of your interactive aimed at different target audience.

What is interactive journalism?

DeVigal’s philosophy on interactives has been shaped by a career that began in informational graphics at The Chicago Tribune, took him to Knight-Ridder as a designer and brought him to San Francisco State University as a professor of visual journalism while he was a fellow and visiting faculty at Poynter, and then led him to the Times. After six years in New York, DeVigal moved to Oregon and began working for Second Story, a design studio specializing in interactive storytelling and part of SapientNitro.

But what is interactive journalism, anyway?

The term has described many multimedia news packages — think Snowfall, Gauging Your Distraction, Firestorm, A World Apart and Hazardous Hospitals. These projects combine video, photos, audio, graphics, maps, data visualizations and text to tell stories that couldn’t exist before the Internet.

But DeVigal sees interactive journalism as far more than a reflection of which media are used for storytelling. To him, it’s a carefully crafted experience, one that draws users in and lets them create their own individual stories from the content available.

Several aspects of interactives allow this. For starters, viewers can consume a story at their own pace and find their own path through it, instead of following a linear presentation typical of print.

Open pathways lead to personalization: DeVigal wants to make viewers feel as if the “story was about themselves.”

He offered the example of a map — it’s interactive because a user can start with the big picture and then drill down to only see information on, say, California. The ability to switch perspectives gives designers breathing room to introduce more complex information that wasn’t possible in static print stories. The user can also customize the map, creating a new and unique experience every time.

An experiment in film

Since DeVigal started working outside of the news industry, he has had more freedom to experiment. In October, for instance, DeVigal and his team at Second Story experimented with an interactive storytelling project, Shape of Story, at a screening of seven short films on gun rights and gun-control laws at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Ore.


Shape of Story from Second Story on Vimeo.

During each film, viewers were asked to tap a button on an app every time they had an emotional reaction. Immediately after each film, the Second Story team projected a visualization on the screen showing which moments caused the most reactions from the audience. This visualization was the shape of the story.

Viewers also had three minutes to submit comments through the app, with the team choosing comments to display on the big screen alongside the visualization.

The goal wasn’t to find the perfect shape of story, but to explore whether interactions among audience members could add value to the movie-going experience.

The short answer according to Nora Bauman, operations manager at Second Story, is yes. The key to interactives, she said in a phone interview, is that “you’re creating an experience for a user so they can write their own narrative.”

Perhaps that’s why DeVigal has always asked the same question, regardless of the medium he’s using or where he’s been employed: “Can we bring the same special ingredient around campfire storytelling into the ways we’re telling stories?”


!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');

Correction and clarification: A previous version of this story located the Hollywood Theatre in Los Angeles rather than Portland, Ore. DeVigal attributes a question he asks himself to a former colleague, Steve Duenes, and Second Story is a part of SapientNitro. Read more

Tools:
1 Comment
}PgžxQ

Poynter experiments with ReadrBoard reader comments

Poynter is experimenting with a new commenting and annotation tool, ReadrBoard, which allows users to chart their reactions by paragraph and leave comments inside a story.

You can tell which Poynter stories we’re testing with ReadrBoard by finding the Reactions button; under the headline of some stories, there is a button with an icon that looks like bubbles with the word “Reactions” and a caret (the arrow pointing downwards):

When you hover your mouse over the button, ReadrBoard will show you how other readers have responded to the article. Click on the reactions to read comments other readers have left.

To leave your own responses, click on “What do you think?” and a series of rectangles will appear. You can click on the rectangles which best encapsulates your reaction to the story: Hilarious. Love it. Uh, no. Amazing. These are the options are now available in the story on email encryption by Jeremy Barr.

If the categories don’t fit your response, create a new one by clicking “Add your own” and type in your response.

To comment on a particular paragraph, hover your mouse at the end of the paragraph to see the ReadrBoard icon appear with other reactions. Click on “What do you think?” to leave a comment.

If others have comments, you can find them in the grayed out icon with a number denoting the number of comments in that paragraph:

We are trying this new system to determine whether we can increase meaningful discussions with our readers and gauge your reactions to our stories.

Publications such as ProPublica, Fast Company, Duke Chronicle and Racialicious, have already partnered with ReadrBoard to try the tool, according to Porter Bayne, co-founder of ReadrBoard.

Leave a comment through ReadrBoard or discuss below to tell us if you like this commenting and annotation tool. Read more

Tools:
3 Comments