NPR

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NPR’s Melody Kramer will miss the newsroom during breaking news. Also free books.

NPR’s Melody Kramer announced Monday that she’s leaving NPR and journalism, headed for 18F, “a skunkworks shop located within the federal government. It started up last spring. They build digital stuff quickly and they do it in a way that’s completely open.” Kramer will work building digital products and services.

Kramer, a digital strategist at NPR, has earned a well-deserved reputation for her work in digital and social media at NPR. I spoke with her via email about what she’ll miss, what she’ll take with her and what she’s happy to leave behind.

KH: What are you going to miss about working in journalism?

MK: I am a voracious news reader and have loved being a part of newsrooms in the midst of breaking news. Read more

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Secrets of Prize-Winning Journalism: This American Life’s Harper High School

“This American Life” reporters Ben Calhoun, Alex Kotlowitz and Linda Lutton spent an entire semester embedded in Harper High School in Chicago — where the previous school year, 29 former or current students were shot and eight died.

Working with producers Robyn Semien, Julie Snyder and Ira Glass, the team created two hour long documentaries that captured daily life in a school and neighborhood racked by gun violence.

The story earned a Peabody Award, the Jack R. Howard Award for Radio In-Depth coverage and the Dart Center prize for journalism and trauma. Peabody judges called the work “vivid, unblinking, poignant and sometimes gut-wrenching;” Dart judges said the story was “profoundly moving” and “extraordinarily comprehensive and compassionate.”

Shortly after “This American Life” aired the story, President Obama hosted Harper students at the White House and Michelle Obama spent an afternoon at the school. Read more

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Most memorable stories of 2014

S. Mitra Kalita is the executive editor of Quartz, on Poynter’s adjunct faculty, and a Spencer Fellow at Columbia University. She tweets @mitrakalita.

A friend of mine recently pondered the role of memory in journalism, saying an information overload has robbed his recall. Sometimes it feels like stories aren’t read as much as Facebooked, tweeted, toggled all day long. What actually gets absorbed, retained, understood?

This was my dilemma as Poynter asked me to compile the top 10 stories of 2014. Insecure about whether the best journalism had actually reached me, my inclination was to crowdsource the list. That felt dishonest. Key takeaway of my transition to digital media: only authenticity wins the internet.

So here are my picks, based solely on the top stories I remember from 2014. Read more

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Career Beat: Joel Lovell joins ‘This American Life,’ The Atavist

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community.

  • Joel Lovell will join “This American Life” and The Atavist. He was editing special projects for The New York Times. (Huffington Post)
  • Hernán Rozemberg will be editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current. He is metro editor for the Lafayette Journal and Courier. (Media Moves)
  • Mike Wilson will be editor of The Dallas Morning News. He’s the managing editor of FiveThirtyEight. (Poynter)
  • Byron Pitts has been named co-anchor of “Nightline.” Pitts is chief national correspondent at ABC News. (Huffington Post)
  • Ben Pershing will be editor at National Journal Daily. He’s the Washington editor at National Journal. Tim Alberta is now a senior political correspondent at National Journal. Previously, he was senior editor of National Journal Hotline.
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Tasneem Raja named senior digital editor at NPR

Tasneem Raja, interactive editor at Mother Jones, has been named digital editor of NPR’s identity and culture unit, according to a staff memo from NPR unit executive producer Carline Watson and Lynette Clemetson, director of editorial initiatives at NPR.

Raja, who was previously an interactive producer at The Bay Citizen and a features reporter at The Chicago Reader, will join the unit’s 11-person team in late January, according to the memo.

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Career Beat: Kevin Sullivan named EP for CIR’s investigative radio show, ‘Reveal’

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Kevin Sullivan has been named executive producer at “Reveal.” He’s the senior managing editor of “Here and Now.” (Center for Investigative Reporting)
  • Mike Hofman has been named executive digital director at GQ. He’s executive digital director at Glamour. (Email)
  • Steve Battaglio is now a TV and media business reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Previously, he was the business editor at TV Guide. (Email)

Job of the day: The Associated Press is looking for interns. Get your résumés in! (AP)

Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org Read more

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Career Beat: Matt Thompson to join theatlantic.com

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Matt Thompson will be deputy editor of theatlantic.com. He’s currently director of vertical initiatives for NPR. (Poynter)
  • Mat Honan will be Silicon Valley bureau chief for BuzzFeed. He’s an editor and writer at Wired. (Re/code)
  • Justin Yurkanin is now manager of multimedia at Alabama Media Group. Previously, he was a photojournalist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Email)
  • Sarah Karnasiewicz is now food editor of RealSimple.com. Previously, she was a writer at The Wall Street Journal. (Fishbowl NY)

Job of the Day: The (Rochester, New York) Democrat and Chronicle is looking for a senior engagement editor. Get your résumés in! (Career Builder)

Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org Read more

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Matt Thompson leaves NPR for The Atlantic

Matt Thompson will be the deputy editor of theatlantic.com, NPR staffers were told in a memo Wednesday, David Folkenflik reports. Thompson is NPR’s director of vertical initiatives and will work with site editor J.J. Gould “to help oversee editorial operations and shape strategic development,” The Atlantic says in a press release.

“It’s difficult to count all the ways and all the places where Matt has played a vital role at NPR during his years with us,” NPR managing editor for digital news Scott Montgomery and NPR News Executive Editor Madhulika Sikka write in an email to staffers, which is below.

Thompson, who worked at Poynter in the early 2000s, follows a number of high-profile departures from NPR in recent months. Chief content officer Kinsey Wilson left in October (and later landed at The New York Times). Read more

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NYT names Kinsey Wilson its editor for innovation and strategy

The New York Times Company

Former NPR executive Kinsey Wilson will become editor for innovation and strategy at The New York Times, the company announced Tuesday.

Wilson, who is a trustee for Poynter, left NPR in October.

At the Times he will “be in charge of expanding mobile strategy and creating new digital products inspired by Times journalism like the NYT Now and NYT Cooking apps,” the Times’ release says. Wilson will also “be the newsroom’s main liaison on digital matters to the business side of The Times Company.” Read more

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‘Profanity dramatically increases engagement’ says NPR health blogger

NPR

NPR health blogger Scott Hensley has a strategy to generate buzz on social media: start cussing.

He told NPR’s Social Media Desk that quoting a little profanity from a recent Jack Shafer interview in a tweet bumped his engagement up to 5 percent:

Posting dog photos, Hensley said, also helps. This pooch picture bumped Hensley’s engagement rate up to 4 percent.

Meanwhile, NPR’s social media guidelines advise reporters to “consider how your conduct in a community will affect your reporting”:

As you adjust behaviors such as language and dress in different situations, think about what might be most helpful or harmful to effective reporting.

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