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Media Lab

NEWS

Snow-blind: The challenge of voice and vision in multi-media storytelling

There has been no American feature story more honored – or over-praised – than “Snow Fall” by the New York Times. I don’t want the key word in that last sentence – over-praised – to detract from the story’s historic achievement. It won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for feature writing; it set a standard for multi-media … Read More
NEWS

Fortune magazine triples amount of online content even as Time Inc. cuts costs

As the newly standalone Time Inc. looks to cut costs by 25 percent and media writers [Bloomberg, The Atlantic, Nieman Lab] outline the magazine publisher's tenuous digital prospects, Fortune and Money have made 31 hires in recent months with one clear editorial strategy in mind: Publish more articles. A lot more. Fortune is tripling the amount … Read More
NEWS

Quartz launches Glass, a "notebook"-style vertical focused on the future of TV

Quartz No, the just-launched Glass isn't Quartz's foray into wearables — it's the new home for the Atlantic Media business site's "obsession" (Quartz's term for verticals) with screens: "The name is an argument: that media are best understood as a competition for attention on screens connected to the internet. Phones, tablets, laptops, monitors, TVs—it's all just glass." Editor Zach Seward writes that the site, glass.qz.com, is powered by Fargo, with an outline format Seward calls a "notebook." Content is broken into small parts, and many of the main points are expandable. Glass by Quartz on an iPad Air.Seward told me via email that lots of topics could be a natural fit for this format, but TV (broadly defined) in particular "is well-suited for an outline because there's just so much going on related to that topic, generating a lot of half-formed and stray thoughts. The notebook is an ideal home for that kind of stuff and should appeal to people who are similarly obsessed with the future of TV." Read More
NEWS

Why NY Mag and Chartbeat tracked what turns first-time visitors into loyal readers

Last year 46 million Web users visited New York magazine's pop culture site, Vulture, for the first time. Of those, 7.6 million came back at least once. To use a term and concept that free news sites haven't widely adopted, that's a 17 percent conversion rate. Because few media organizations without hard paywalls are focusing on what they can do to retain first-time visitors, it's hard to put that number into context, said Michael Silberman, NYMag.com's general manager. But he sees that 17 percent as a baseline from which Vulture can grow. “I see tremendous value in that gap and in figuring out how to identify those among the 46 million who with the right nudge would be most likely to want to come back again,” Silberman told Poynter via phone. “And once you get them coming back one more time, they’re that much more likely to come back two more times, three more times.” Read More
NEWS

How AOL maintains editorial independence in Ford-sponsored 'This Built America' series

When an AOL team with an editorial vision joined a video production team with an artistic vision to launch an ambitious 50-week series about people and companies rebuilding America, it was clear they needed a brand to help fund it. They found a top-dollar one in Ford Trucks. But despite the sponsorship (worth just under $10 million, Ad Age reports), "This Built America" is journalism through and through, said AOL's Fara Warner, the project's editorial director. Read More
NEWS

Time.com website redesign: 'There's a lot of text, and that's intentional'

As Time.com's Managing Editor Edward Felsenthal, and Daniel Bernard, head of product, prepared to preview the newly redesigned Time.com for me, I expected one of two types of popular overhauls: a spacious, minimalist approach a la NPR, or a grid-based explosion of images a la NBC News and Bloomberg View. But Felsenthal and Bernard emphasized neither of … Read More
NEWS

How NPR’s Planet Money spun an interactive yarn about making T-shirts

When Planet Money embarked on a massive reporting project tracking the making of a simple T-shirt -- from the cotton fields of Mississippi to Bangladeshi garment factories to shipping containers crossing oceans -- an interactive, documentary-style presentation seemed like the obvious end result. Indeed, NPR hasn’t reinvented the wheel with "Planet Money Makes A T-Shirt," but it delivers a remarkably smooth experience in an age of bumpy, "you want me to consume all THAT?" story forms with overwhelming numbers of moving parts. Read More
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