Why the phone can be better than email

At the dawn of 2015, I made a New Year's resolution. I vowed to try to rely less on email and actually use the good old-fashioned phone to reach out to public relations people on my various beats. Even if I didn't have anything on the agenda, I planned to dial someone's number just to see what was going on. Read More

Why I always play music during writing workshops

The most fun I have as a teacher is when I can incorporate music into writing instruction. (Photo by Armondo Solares) I was 46 years old, and my life and time were filled by three pursuits: teaching writing, coaching girls soccer and playing in a rock band. My imagination was born, or reborn, that year in 1994. Read More

Being miserable at work isn’t working: 7 reasons to have a little fun

Newsrooms don't have to be depressing places, we promise. (Photo by Eric Gay/AP) Newsrooms have a long reputation for being unhappy, antagonistic workplaces. The massive downsizings since the mid-2000s and uncertainty about the future of the industry haven’t helped much. Journalists in the United States are “less satisfied with their work,” and “much more likely to … Read More

The magic of ‘experiment land’ in legacy newsrooms

Masuma Ahuja and Sarah Marshall had never met before. Once the ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media kicked off on April 12, though, they soon discovered they had plenty in common. Ahuja and Marshall, two of the 25 women in the inaugural Leadership Academy class, are both tasked with helping their legacy media organizations experiment … Read More

5 ways newsrooms can make the most of Instagram

A selection of photos from Poynter's Instagram feed (@poynter_institute) What’s the point of Instagram if it doesn’t drive traffic? This is one of the most common questions I hear from journalists tasked with growing their newsroom’s social media presence. It’s also a question I recently faced as I made the case for Poynter’s newly launched … Read More

Inside EndRun, The Marshall Project's lean content management system

EndRun's administrator homepage. (Credit: Ivar Vong) Ivar Vong is all about avoiding frustrating and tedious tasks. And since he started as director of technology at The Marshall Project in June, he's been focused on saving his co-workers a lot of time in little ways. "I'm very interested in workflow," Vong said. "Building tools that are efficient, especially for things … Read More

'Serial's' twist on traditional crime reporting

"Serial's" Sarah Koenig diligently re-investigates a murder and tells you what she is thinking as she is doing it – much like a fictional television detective. But, of course, she’s talking about real people. Read More

Storify adds a way to collaborate on breaking news

Storify now has a way for journalists to collaborate on breaking news, Livefyre announced Tuesday. Storify Enterprise, which was previously Storify VIP, lets several people "simultaneously add text or content in real-time, see who else is working on the story at any moment and access the editing history to clearly identify what changes were made by whom," according to … Read More

Omidyar's First Look Media looking to find its focus, target an audience

Pierre Omidyar has issues. Several problems, actually. The billionaire technologist, philanthropist, and publisher is stitching together a strategy for his weeks-old First Look Media group, and he’s grappling with some essential questions: What’s the focus? Will First Look be one big brand, or a confederacy of brands? Will it serve a mass audience, or a niche audience? Will it … Read More

Building a creative news environment can be a matter of routine

Newsroom managers have always needed to be good jugglers. When someone asked how I was doing, I often answered: “I’ve got a lot of balls in the air — and I’m trying not to let too many of them land on my head.” But listen to managers talk today about their daily challenges, and the juggling metaphor no longer feels … Read More