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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

A list of every hidden journalism-related social media group I could find

I’m overwhelmed by the number of different platforms that journalists use to share information, tips and job notices with each other. There are conferences and symposiums, not to mention Facebook groups and Slack channels and Twitter chats and listservs. I prefer Twitter to the other mediums: it’s open and accessible. In order to participate in a closed Facebook group or … Read More
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6 ideas for getting creative juices flowing...for almost no money

When you work in a small newsroom and have to keep up with a daily news cycle, it’s tough — if not impossible — to hold week-long internal coding hackathons with your product team. Heck, you might not even have a product team. But that doesn’t mean there’s not time or room to innovate or think about new ideas. Below … Read More
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How WCAI turned a coffee shop into a public radio satellite studio

The motto of Coffee Obsession in Woods Hole, Massachusetts is “Coffee. Internet. Art.” But now, the coffee shop just down the street from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution can add some new words to its blue wooden sign: “Public Radio Outpost.” For the past several weeks, the coffee shop has played host to a “radio box” installed in an … Read More
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What if journalists weren't controlled by tech? A conversation with Dave Winer.

I mainly interview journalists who are launching really innovative products in smaller newsrooms, but this week I decided to change things up a bit and talk to a software developer. His name is Dave Winer and he's probably most well-known for this contributions to blogging, podcasting and content management platforms. Dave is one of those people who makes everything he does open … Read More
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When journalists take a vacation, do they actually take a break?

Photo by Damian Gadal/Flickr I found out about the guacamole and the pea incident four days after The New York Times tweeted about it. That's not like me. I'm typically on top of the news cycle and keep tabs on the general zeitgeist of what’s important on the Internet. But last week, I went on vacation — for the first … Read More
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Why does local matter? Let’s ask our audience.

Photo by Sam Javanrouh/Flickr It’s summer now so it’s time for a long, juicy beach read on why local news matters. I posed the question a month ago to my newsletter audience and was expecting four or five responses. I received dozens on why their local newspapers and public radio stations mattered. I’ve collected their answers, which I … Read More
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Does the rise of ephemeral content spell the death of archives?

As news sites negotiate with Facebook to publish material directly on the platform, Facebook’s role in determining what news to surface, what news to censor, and how original content published on the platform is archived should be examined more closely. Trevor Timm tackled the first two points nicely in a Columbia Journalism Review editorial. I’m equally concerned about the … Read More
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7 conferences, 1 couch: What I learned this weekend without leaving my apartment

This is not Melody Kramer's couch. (Deposit Photos) I'm on a self-imposed conference hiatus this year. But that doesn’t mean I don’t stay up-to-date with what’s happening at journalism conferences — I just use social media to keep myself abreast of the latest tools and tricks. This past weekend, I was following seven events: the 2015 Local Independent Online … Read More
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Taxicab confessions...with an NPR reporter in China

Screen shot, Twitter It’s like Uber...but with an NPR reporter driving. Meet Frank Langfitt, an NPR correspondent based in Shanghai, who has recently been offering free rides around the city in exchange for good stories. (Full disclosure: I used to work with Frank at NPR, though I was based in DC and he was based in Shanghai.) So … Read More
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At Nashville Public Radio, Emily Siner's bringing together the movers, the thinkers and the community

In April, about 50 people gathered at Nashville Public Radio to hear enterprise reporter Emily Siner interview a pastry chef, a letterpress poster maker and a cyber security expert. The idea, as Emily puts it, was to find people who work behind the scenes in fascinating places and ask them more about their jobs. I love that Emily pitched the idea … Read More
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Why Philly.com partnered with 7 other organizations to create the ultimate primary election site

Screen shot, Philly.com Today is primary day in Philadelphia. Voters will head to the polls to pick candidates for mayor, city council, city commissioner and a number of other positions. If would-be voters check the Philly.com site before heading to the polls, they’ll be well-informed — and not just from the reporters working for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, … Read More
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The Daily Emerald's Sierra Morgan: 'Never be discouraged by no.'

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been profiling college journalists who are making amazing Web interactives for their on-campus publications. In today’s column, you’ll meet Sierra Morgan, a senior at the University of Oregon who works as the The Daily Emerald’s Web developer. But first a little bit about the The Daily Emerald, one … Read More
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Bobby Blanchard is a 'big learn-by-doing person' - and he's done a lot

I did not enter college with the intention of becoming a journalist. It was only after my writing teacher told me to consider joining the school paper that I even contemplated the notion. But as soon as I started writing the paper’s weekly humor column, I was hooked. I loved digging up story ideas and putting them down on paper … Read More
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Stephen Suen: 'Learn to talk about code'

What would you do differently if you could go back to college again? It’s a question I often get from college students who are interested in pursuing a career in journalism. I always say the same thing, “I wish I took more computer science classes, more statistics classes, didn’t worry so much about my grades and got off campus more.” … Read More
NEWS

Want to start an amazing local newsletter? Better call Sol.

Like many of you, I get a lot of newsletters about the news. I like to see what news organizations find important, how they write about those events and when they publish them. Do they try to get them out first thing in the morning, when people scan their email? Do they prefer afternoon, during a lull at work? How … Read More
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