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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.
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24 Pull Requests: The journalism edition

Over 10,000 people around the world are currently taking part in an annual event called 24 Pull Requests. 24 Pull Requests, which is held each December, asks developers, designers, content creators, and others to give thanks for open source softwareby “giving back little gifts of code for Christmas.” The idea is simple: over the first 24 days of December, … Read More
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Personalized text messages: The new push notification

BuzzFeed's news app has several options for push notifications. I have a confession to make: I recently turned off all push notifications on my phone. My reason for doing so was simple: When breaking news happened, my phone buzzed like a gnat. Not just one time — but several times because I have several news apps installed on my … Read More
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Designing journalism products for accessibility

A few months ago, I went over my friend Betty’s apartment to drop off some spaghetti and meatballs. Betty is 89 and a news junkie. After we sat down and drank some tea, she asked me to help her find some news stories she wanted to read on her iPad. “Sure,” I said, as we peered at her screen. “Why … Read More
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2015 was not the year of HTTPS for news organizations

(Photo by Sean MacEntee/Flickr) Two weeks ago, I went to a news industry conference and sat in on a session about HTTPS, a protocol for securely communicating over computer networks. The session was sparsely attended compared to the other sessions at the conference, which surprised me. I started to think about why so many people may have skipped it: … Read More
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How people who don’t work in news consume their news

How do you get your news? (Photo by CANNIK/Flickr) The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that there were 42,280 reporters and correspondents working in the United States in 2014. That number includes people who report for newspapers, news magazines, radio, and television, but excludes broadcast news analysts. (They have their own category.) Every so often, I like … Read More
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Where podcast discovery could go next

I recently moved from Washington, D.C. to a small farming community outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Over the past three months, I’ve realized that I’ve started to consume news differently. There are fewer news outlets to choose from here, and I find myself relying on a college newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, for my hyperlocal news. The DTH, … Read More
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How were you introduced to the concept of news?

(Photo by Deposit Photos) A while ago, I asked the Internet a question: “What’s the earliest news event that you remember?” Dozens of people responded and the results indicated that most people’s earliest news memory happened around the age of 5 or 6 when a teacher or parent told them to watch or read the news because a … Read More
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4 ideas journalism can borrow from libraries

Little Free Library (Photo by Ali Eminov/Flickr) I’ve always been a big fan of libraries. I received my first library card on my 4th birthday, which my parents tricked me into thinking was the best birthday gift in the world. It wasn’t exactly a gift - you simply had to be 4 in order to get a library … Read More
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Millennials in public media want to be heard

The public media world headed to Pittsburgh recently for its annual look at programming. Among the more interesting things to come out of the PRPD conference was this: public media is having a tough time attracting younger listeners during drive-time. Tim Eby, the general manager of St. Louis Public Radio, noted in a Medium post that the number … Read More
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That public radio documentary you just listened to was made by high school students

Isandro Malik and Omeed Miraftab-Salo during an interview at WILL. (Photo via Uni/WILL) Every year, the eighth graders entering Janet Morford’s social studies class at the University of Illinois Laboratory High School (Uni) learn how to conduct oral history interviews. This is a common project at many high schools. I remember learning how to do something similar. Many of … Read More
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How the Philadelphia media gets around during Pope's visit

While many people in the cities affected by the Pope's movements will be taking off, 8,000 journalists accredited to cover the Pope's visit to the United States this week will not. That number includes many journalists based in Philadelphia, the last of the three cities on the Pope's visit to the United States. The city will host the Pope … Read More
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In Salt Lake City, the community radio station invited the community in to podcast

Lara Jones is currently the only full-time employee producing public affairs content for the community radio station KRCL in Salt Lake City. In radio, there’s a lot of time to fill — and Jones knew that she couldn’t do it entirely on her own. So she decided to reach out to interesting community members who lived in Salt Lake City. Read More
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What Harley-Davidson can teach us about membership

Last week I attended a Membership Summit at CUNY’s Journalism School. The point of the summit was to think about membership at news organizations well beyond subscriptions and to really expand the idea of what membership programs could look like. As Jeff Jarvis said in his opening remarks, “Membership is not just about revenue — it’s about resetting the … Read More
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'Framed by WDET' takes public radio out in public

Photo by Kenny Karpov More than 60 percent of people in Hamtramck, a city in Detroit, Michigan, speak a language other than English at home. Many of those people are from Bangladesh. In Hamtramck’s 2.1 square miles, there are more than a dozen dress shops that cater to the predominantly Muslim community. When WDET’s Courtney Hurtt … Read More
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GitHub tutorials and resources for journalists

I decided to learn Python in the winter of 2014. The decision was partially out of practicality — I thought it would help my work — and partially out of boredom — it was a long, cold winter in DC and a good time to pick up a new hobby. I will admit: I’m still not the world’s best Python … Read More
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