The Washington Post today announced Emilio Garcia-Ruiz has been named managing editor for The Washington Post. He will be responsible for digital initiatives and operations, video, the presentation departments of photo, graphics, and design, and the multiplatform editing desk. In this position, Garcia-Ruiz will be responsible for driving innovation in the newsroom across all digital platforms and will be the newsroom’s primary liaison with the business side on all digital efforts. He was previously The Post’s digital strategy editor. (more...)
The Lens is helping in that regard, too. Readers have come to rely on our new daily wrap-up of the day’s top news stories in the key topics we cover — no entertainment, sports or cute kittens.• Uptown Messenger News Director Robert Morris said "we saw an overnight increase in traffic" after the Times-Picayune's announcement. He declined to give exact numbers but said traffic, measured by both page views and unique visitors, was up about 50 percent since last May at Uptown Messenger, which he launched in 2010. He's since started Mid-City Messenger, which focuses on another area of town. "I know two things happened," Morris said in a phone call. The Times-Picayune "brought a piece of the print market to digital; they kind of legitimized us overnight." Also, he said, "when they announced the change -- and I've heard this from both local readers and New Orleans expats -- they just started looking for alternatives and seeing what else was out there." In addition to the city's online news orgs, "I think that we as a public are getting more news from nonmedia sources," Morris said. He cited the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans -- "they scour meeting agendas and they send people out to photograph every single home," he said, "it’s definitely the work of a news reporter; it’s just coming from a nonprofit group" -- and ProjectNOLA, which shares info from police scanners. "When he tweets every newsroom in the city jumps and goes and chases it," Morris said. • My Spilt Milk Editor Alex Rawls launched his music site two or three weeks before the Times-Picayune's announcement, so before-and-after traffic comparisons aren't particularly meaningful in his case. But as a longtime New Orleans arts journalist, he said the T-P's last year has been very instructive. "I think one of the things that changes at the Times-Picayune created is the sense of possibility that we could become have a larger impact and become a bigger part of the conversation," he said. "To some extent their changes created energy for the rest of us." The Times-Picayune's announcement that it would shift more newsgathering functions to its website, Nola.com, "suddenly made the web seem more real," Rawls said. The change also "made us think about our relationship to readers," he said. "Unfortunately I think a lot of the [Times-Picayune's] big picture decisions have also provided a model for us to think about what you do and don’t want to be," Rawls said. "New Orleans readers felt like they'd been ripped off, that they'd help up their part of the bargain" -- keeping the paper a "profoundly print habit," as media analyst Ken Doctor wrote -- "and then the paper walked away. So the change in relationship with your readers really has soured the way people read it," he said. "People read it skeptically, almost looking for mistakes. To have that kind of relationship with your readers and then throw it away and try to rebuild it seems like a problematic activity." • WWNO Director of Digital Services Jason Saul says the station's "site's unique visitors have climbed 55% in the past year, our mobile visits have risen 138%, and our streaming audio visits are up 69%." The station went to an all news/talk format on weekdays last July that Saul says was planned before the Times-Picayune's announcement. "[N]ormally when stations make a format change their ratings numbers decline, but we've actually seen near-immediate increases in our drive-time and midday ratings, which we couldn't be more excited about," he writes in an email.
In the past year we've also seen a large increase in our membership donations, the total number of members we've recruited, and the number of first-time members that have come on board. Individual donors are essential to the operation of a public radio station, and this shows that not only are our current members excited about the new programming we've been able to provide, but how our reach and impact have been expanding in our community.• Gambit Editor Kevin Allman -- whose publication has covered the shifting mediascape in New Orleans assiduously -- said in an email that Media Audit numbers showed "a spike in print readership after the change."
From April-May 2012, we had 131,446 readers per issue. In the period between Nov. 2012 and Jan. 2013, it was 179,677 per issue. That's a 37 percent increase. We definitely got a bit of a bump with the Super Bowl in New Orleans, but it should be noted that the April-May cume included our Jazz Fest issues (two), which are some of the most popular of the year.Allman didn't have Web numbers handy "but I know we've set three or four best months ever in web traffic in the last year, and it's showing no sign of leveling off." The Gambit topped the Times-Picayune in a Media Audit category: "adults who have attended a pop/rock concert in the past 12 months," Allman writes. "We had never topped the seven-day Picayune in this category. But in the most recent Media Audit report, Gambit is atop TImes-Pic Wed/F/Sun (#2) and Times-Pic Sunday only (#3)." The Gambit and Uptown Messenger recently announced a news partnership, both Allman and Morris told me. It's yet another alliance -- The Lens, My Spilt Milk, The NOLA Defender and Uptown Messenger announced a coalition last year called the New Orleans Digital News Alliance. Morris told me that group proved most useful for "back end stuff, that we could bounce ideas off each other," like talking about health insurance. "I think that editorial piece that we were hoping for, it happened so organically it’s hard to say if it was the alliance." More important than any such moves, Morris said, is the New Orleans news audience. "They have a greater appetite for hard news and serious news here. They just like the news."
The new interface allows readers to toggle through articles with their arrow keys, and also directs the site to load articles first - other content on the page is secondary, and doesn't change when a reader loads a new article. There's also a place for clickable content (that readers can access without a keyboard command), and improved ad targeting and placement. "The term “redesign” definitely calls to mind a visual focus, but this effort was as much about architecture and load times as it was about improving the user interface," Jake Lear, a Polygon developer, said in an email to Poynter. "Our main goals for the redesign were to make it easier to read content ... easier to find content related to a reader’s current story, and easier to continue reading news on Polygon after that first story." (more...)
"Every great city deserves a great newspaper. Here in Los Angeles, we need the L.A. Times to capture the local diversity of our voices, issues and our stories," said Kathay Feng, executive director of Common Cause. "Honest, credible journalism is one of the most important keys to our democracy."(more...)
One year ago today, spurred by a New York Times story, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune announced it would reduce staff and print frequency. Photographer Bevil Knapp took a look last June at how New Orleanians consumed the print paper; on Friday The Lens published another essay showing the subjects a year later. (more...)
KARE 11 television in Minneapolis has built a reputation for telling compelling visual stories. Reporter Boyd Huppert and the station’s national-award-winning photojournalists have set fire to a house to show the usefulness of new stovetop extinguishers, and he has explained … Read more
Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett will have a regular space on Philly.com's "New Voices" platform, the company announced Thursday. He'll produce "photo essays, videos and columns, highlighting the Governor’s perspective in addressing state issues of importance to Philadelphians," the announcement says.
Pennsylvania's next gubernatorial election is scheduled for 2014, and Corbett will be able to run for reelection. His inaugural column is a soft-focus Q&A with him and his wife, Susan Corbett.
So, uh, how's that going over in the newsrooms associated with Philly.com, which like The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News is owned by Interstate General Media, and some of whose content appears on Philly.com? (The company launched pay sites last month, but Philly.com remains free.) (more...)
Twitter will use "video fingerprinting technology" to track who was tweeting about a show, then direct ads to that person.
Whenever a commercial airs during a TV show, Twitter not only determines where and when it ran, but can identify users on Twitter who tweeted about the program where the ad aired during that program. We believe a user engaged enough with a TV show to tweet about it very likely saw the commercials as well.(more...)
New York Times political reporter Michael Barbaro made a compelling observation about New York mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner's website on Thursday: It seems the banner image isn't of New York, but Pittsburgh. (more...)