Posts by Melody Kramer

About Melody Kramer

Melody Kramer spent the majority of her career in public media, where she directed, produced, edited, and wrote stuff for several shows, including Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me and Fresh Air with Terry Gross. More recently, she worked as a digital strategist at NPR, where she launched and then directed projects that helped NPR make better decisions and build audiences online and on-air. She was a 2014-2015 Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and just received a Knight Prototype Grant to build out Media Public. Mel has a newsletter where she shares stuff she's learned. She lives in Carrboro, NC.
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How to do good journalism between now and Election Day

Up until recently, many news organizations have been reluctant to use the "L" word to describe Donald Trump's many falsehoods. When The New York Times finally did — on Sept. 16, 2016 — it was seen as “kind of a big deal.” In the days since, The Times has tried to make up for lost time, publishing … Read More
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How to prepare for journalism jobs of the near-future

At last week's Online News Association conference, futurist Amy Webb listed several journalism jobs of the near-future, including a data and algorithms investigator, an augmented reality producer, a lead data scientist and a platforms manager. cc: every journalism school, it's time to update your syllabuses #ona16 #ona16trends pic.twitter.com/wHoLxQbUHX — Alex Duner (@asduner) … Read More
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How to throw an intentional, inclusive journalism conference

It’s journalism conference season once again, so you may have spent the past month hopping from city to city learning engagement strategies, swapping war stories and getting free pens from vendors to schlep back to your newsroom. If you’re anything like me, you can quickly get overwhelmed by the August through September conference season. Conference days are long and … Read More
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What happened after 6 college newspapers cut their print schedules

Today is a Tuesday, which means that for the first time in its 123-year-old history, the University of North Carolina’s student paper, The Daily Tar Heel, will not publish a print edition. The change was announced last week by the paper’s editor in chief, Jane Wester, and detailed in a lengthy Medium post written by the paper’s new … Read More
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Gawker's demise is troubling for experiments in reader engagement

This is a column about Gawker.com's demise, but it is also a column about a plane ride I took last Friday. The two are related, though it might not seem that way at first. I’ll start with the plane ride, which was from San Francisco to Raleigh-Durham. I sat next to a woman who brought an assortment of religious … Read More
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American households are changing. So should American news.

I grew up living in a house with my parents, brothers and grandparents. My grandparents taught me how to play poker, cook Matzoh balls and appreciate a long afternoon reading a newspaper (and then, perhaps, we’d spend the next few hours writing a well-thought-out letter to the editor). I’m not alone. A record 60.6 million Americans — nearly one in … Read More
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Should paywalls come down for election coverage?

As Election Day nears, news organizations that keep their journalism behind a paywall will likely give some of it away for free. When The New York Times dropped its paywall for 24 hours before election day in 2012, it was keeping with a policy of providing "critical information" for big breaking news like natural disasters and presidential elections. The … Read More
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To get a different perspective on the media, we went beyond New York. Way, way beyond.

Earlier this week, New York magazine published interviews with over 40 journalists about what’s wrong (and right) with the media, along with a survey sent to 113 journalists about problems in the media. The interviews are fascinating. They excoriate the media for being addicted to conflict, gorging on Trump, cutting deals and being clueless about its audience (and … Read More
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50 ways to measure your analytics (with apologies to Paul Simon)

"The problem is all inside your figures," she said to me. "The answer is easy if you think more than numerically. I'd like to help you in your struggle to count your impact perfectly. There must be (at least) 50 ways to measure success for a news article." She said, "It's really not my habit to really … Read More
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What journalists can learn from Pokémon Go

I’m not what you could call a video game enthusiast. I think the last game I truly mastered was Tetris, and the only hazy memories I have of the original Pokémon games are my brothers shouting things to each other while playing GameBoy during car trips to see our grandmother. Last week’s release of Pokémon Go, though, made me … Read More
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Who says kids don’t have podcasts? Here are 18 choices from public radio

Recent pieces in The Atlantic and Current lamented the lack of children’s podcasts available on the market. Writing about the deficit of podcasts for young people on public radio, Lindsay Patterson — creator of "Tumble" and a fierce advocate for children’s podcasts — noted that “Public radio’s almost-exclusive focus on adult audiences is strange, considering public television’s … Read More
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The Office of Creative Research, a New York data lab, has a lot to teach journalists

If you were walking on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin campus one spring night in 2012, you would have seen a number of people getting their news from the side of a five-story building. Phrases from Walter Cronkite’s legendary broadcasts, as well as live news feeds from around the country, were projected onto the side … Read More
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The definitive summer reading list for journalists who just can't put their work down

Last year, I asked journalists to talk about their work habits while on vacation. Some were able to completely break away; others found it difficult to head to the beach without checking their work frequently. If you can’t break away this summer, you might as well jump in with both feet forward. Whether you’re vacationing at the beach or … Read More
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If ad tech is not sustainable, what can publishers do?

This is the third installment of an ongoing series by Melody Kramer looking at ad tech and the future of publishing. In the first, she interviewed Aram Zucker-Scharff about the major issues facing publishers. The second installment examined what happens when publishers don’t own their data. In this article, she talks to researcher Dave Carroll about alternative … Read More
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Where should news apps go? With 'Citizen’s Toolbox,' the CT Mirror provides an answer

I love examining how newsrooms display data-driven news apps on their websites. News apps take a lot of time to make, and I think they deserve a different treatment than a quick news piece or a sports headline. I like seeing how newsrooms socialize and promote their news apps to their audiences through the design decisions they make. Among my … Read More