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Posts by Melody Kramer

About Melody Kramer

Mel leads audience growth and development for the Wikimedia Foundation and frequently works with journalism organizations on projects related to audience development, engagement, and analytics. She has 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, and later served as a digital strategist at NPR, where she launched and directed projects that helped NPR build and engage audiences on and off-air. She was a 2014-2015 Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where she studied alternative membership models in public media. Mel lives in a small town in North Carolina with her family. You can reach her at melodykramer@gmail.com or @mkramer on Twitter.
NEWS

Here's how to cover President Trump's tweets

I love On The Media's Breaking News Consumer Handbook, particularly the image that they post on social media whenever breaking news occurs. It reminds people that every breaking news event unfolds in much the same way, and it makes them aware how quickly misinformation can spread. News is moving very fast these days. Here are … Read More
NEWS

How do we design the news for people who are burned out?

Since the election, many people I know who don’t work in news have taken a break from the news, social media or some combination of the two. This is healthy and normal. Taking a small break from the news is recommended by psychologists who study the negative health effects caused by constant bad news. The American Psychological Association … Read More
NEWS

What does a news organization optimized for trust look like?

After White House advisor Kellyanne Conway appeared on NBC’s "Meet the Press" to say that the White House put forth "alternative facts" to counter what media organizations had accurately reported about inaugural crowd sizes, her phrase made its way into headlines on dozens of news sites — which may have been her intention in the first place. Her … Read More
NEWS

Not just 'Trump's America': These journalists will spend 100 days digging into Appalachia

Since Lyndon Johnson declared his War on Poverty in the early 1960s, Appalachian journalists have grappled with the portrayal of the region in the press. In his foreword to photographer Roger May’s book "Testify," the Kentucky journalist Silas House lamented that "only the poorest folks got into the newspapers and magazines, perpetuating the stereotype that everyone in the … Read More
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50 ways to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act

This November, the Public Broadcasting Act will turn 50. The law created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and later led to the creation of both PBS and NPR. Here are 50 interesting pieces to read or listen to about public media to celebrate the anniversary. (If you have more ideas, please list them in the comments.) Understand the history … Read More
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Could changing the way bylines look help increase trust with readers?

How does journalism signal its trustworthiness to an audience that has lost confidence in its ability to be fair? That’s been the ongoing question behind The Trust Project, which has convened journalism strategists and leaders over the past year to identify and develop tools which may help build trust with readers. The initiative, which is based at the Markkula … Read More
NEWS

There are huge advantages to moving to a smaller city

In the summer of 2015, I left Washington, D.C. and moved to Carrboro, population 19,582, in the middle of North Carolina. I had never lived in the South before, or in a small town. Most of my life had been spent along the Acela corridor, in Philadelphia and New York and Boston and Hartford, Connecticut. I thought we would stay … Read More
NEWS

Meet the researchers saving radio news from oblivion

How many historical radio broadcasts have been lost to history? Josh Shepperd, an assistant professor of media studies at Catholic University in Washington D.C., estimates that up to 90 percent of all radio broadcasts that aired between the mid-1920s and the mid-1980s were not saved. Millions of hours of tape were trashed, not stored, not preserved, or lost as … Read More
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86 pieces of journalism wisdom published in the month since the election

It’s been a month. In the days since the election, a number of articles have been written about the lessons journalists can take from the presidential campaign. Pieces have also focused on what journalists should or must do over the next few months. CJR staff writer David Uberti wrote this three days after the election: It feels as if … Read More
NEWS

Here are 28 ideas for covering President-elect Donald Trump

Here are 28 ideas for covering the president-elect starting in January. Feel free to use any of these, or adopt them as a starting point for thinking of ideas in your newsroom. Pick an issue, any issue. Collect everything the president-elect says about that issue in one place. It’s hard to keep track of all of the nuances related to … Read More
NEWS

Spread your masthead across the country, and other ideas to prevent groupthink

I’ve read dozens of journalism postmortems and tweets lamenting how and why journalists got it wrong last week. Here’s a short, probably-not-comprehensive summary: Journalists relied too heavily on polls. They didn’t talk to enough voters in red states. They used the term “red state” when states are more complicated than that, with blue and red areas. People can't be defined … Read More
NEWS

After this election, journalists must take care of themselves

Good morning journalists, and welcome to the rest of your life. You may have spent the past year following one of the candidates day in and day out and only eating when a campaign break allowed you to get a quick bite. You may have spent most of your time in arenas, getting booed by protesters (and coping with … Read More
NEWS

This newspaper covers Trump from a unique angle: his college years

Over the past year, dozens of publications have focused on Donald Trump’s finances, his business dealings and his rhetoric on the campaign trail. But there’s only one publication covering the angle that the University of Pennsylvania’s student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian, has taken for more than a year: Trump’s time in college. Trump, who transferred to Penn’s business school … Read More
NEWS

Is media bias really rampant? Ask the man who studies it for a living

Earlier this month, Donald Trump attacked the media at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. "This crooked media. They are worse than she is. I’m letting you, they are so dishonest," he told the crowd, which responded by shouting an epithet towards CNN. This tactic wasn’t new. Trump has spent much of his campaign attacking the press for its coverage … Read More
NEWS

What the Trump tapes can teach us about news archives

The recent emergence of the bombshell "Access Hollywood" clip that sat in the NBC vaults for over a decade before wreaking havoc on the Trump campaign illustrates the value of keeping archival material searchable and retrievable. The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan recently listed several “journalism lessons” that reporters could take from the current presidential campaign. Among her many … Read More
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