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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

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
NEWS

12 ideas for extending your reporting and your reach

I’ve been writing this column now for 11 weeks, which seems like a good time to revisit and round up some concrete tips and tricks from the first ten. (I’ve also added a few extra tips that I’ve picked up in the past few weeks.) As always, if you work in a newsroom outside of New York City, Washington D.C., … Read More
NEWS

3 smart ideas to steal from Alabama Media Group

As a video journalist at The Washington Post, Jennifer Crandall developed a series of narrative video portraits spotlighting ordinary people and the parts of their lives that others would find fascinating. The project, called onBeing, was nominated for an Emmy Award and captivated Post web readers, who enjoyed hearing about the quirks and musings of ordinary people living interesting … Read More
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Fritz Klug: 'Work on projects that serve your readers.'

Last August, Michigan primary voters voted on Proposal 1. It was a complicated piece of legislation, one that was designed to eliminate Michigan’s personal property tax on industrial and commercial personal property. But the language of Property 1 was confusing, wrote Fritz Klug, because “the ballot language [in Michigan] didn’t even mention the personal property tax it … Read More
NEWS

How freelancer Jen A. Miller uses Twitter as her professional water cooler

A chapter of Jen A. Miller's book. (Photo by Jen A. Miller.) After talking to Jen A. Miller for a while about freelancing, I wanted to quit my job and become a full time freelancer. That’s because Jen is a) really good at freelancing and b) loves supporting other people who are dipping their toes into the freelance world. Read More
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What Matthew Liddy learned in his first year running an interactive storytelling unit

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC News) has been producing interactive stories for many years, but it wasn’t until February of 2014 that Australia’s public broadcasting company formalized the process and created a team to focus exclusively on interactive storytelling. Matthew Liddy heads up the team of seven, which also includes two journalists, two developers, one UI/UX designer and an … Read More
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How did KPCC get voters to care? They picked one and made him care.

How do you convince people to care about a local, municipal primary election in a city with historically-low voter turnout? That’s the question KPCC’s managing editor Kristen Muller posed to science reporter Sanden Totten as they were planning KPCC's coverage of the Los Angeles primary municipal elections, which took place last week on March 3. “I was bemoaning the fact … Read More
NEWS

Alex Duner has written a dozen interactive news apps. Up next? Graduating college.

Alex Duner has mapped the diversity of the Chicago Public School District over time, created an open-source tool to compare photographs taken in the same spot, and developed an interactive app that recommends the best place to order pizza, based on the time of day. He’s done all of this while juggling a full class load at … Read More
NEWS

Melody Kramer: WNYC is helping people learn to be bored again

Illustration by John Hersey, courtesy of WNYC I fiddle with my phone everywhere: waiting for the subway, on the subway, on the street, on the escalator and in bed. I need help, and I’m the first to admit it. So I was pretty pleased to find WNYC’s new Bored and Brilliant campaign. The premise is pretty simple: We’re all … Read More
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