Social media


Tips for Storytellers: How to make the most of your tweets

My Grandma Helfrey was a master storyteller, using voices and just the right sense of humor. Over the years at Poynter, I’ve met a host of great storytellers and I’ve loved seeing them perfect the tools of their trade—for writing, audio, video, photography, graphics, social media and more.

To summarize a few of the ideas that have stuck with me, I’ve created a series of graphics with tips for storytellers. Think of it as bite-sized inspiration. Here’s the first one: How to make the most of your tweets. On Friday: Tips for great video, with Regina McCombs and others.

Poynter Tips for Storyteller: How to Make the Most of Your Tweets by Sara Quinn
Poynter Tips for Storyteller: How to Make the Most of Your Tweets by Sara Quinn

For a PDF: Tips for Storytellers: How to make the most of your tweets Read more


Pew surveys of audience habits suggest perilous future for news

News organizations have been confronting the problem of a shrinking audience for more than a decade, but trends strongly suggest that these difficulties may only worsen over time. Today’s younger and middle-aged audience seems unlikely to ever match the avid news interest of the generations they will replace, even as they enthusiastically transition to the Internet as their principal source of news.

Pew Research longitudinal surveys find that Gen Xers (33-47 years old) and Millennials (18-31 years old), who spent less time than older people following the news at the outset of their adulthood, have so far shown little indication that that they will become heavier news consumers as they age.

Notably, a 2012 Pew Research national poll found members of the Silent generation (67-84 years old) spending 84 minutes watching, reading or listening to the news the day before the survey interview. Read more


This clickbait headline generator will change your life

NewsWhip | TheWrap | Joy Mayer

NewsWhip has a new tool for publishers befuddled by the move from headlines optimized for search engines toward those optimized for sharing.

Its “Clickbait Headline Generator” quickly gives you content like “Is Netflix CEO Reed Hastings getting high with Vladimir Putin?” and “Is John Kerry teasing Ben Affleck at your parents’ place?” Throw some pictures under them, fire up Chartbeat and watch your Christmas bonus grow!

The service is not only “definitely a robot, it’s also guaranteed not to be an art project,” Tom Lowe writes, referring to the disappointment experienced by a certain segment of Internet elites when they found out the @Horse_ebooks Twitter account was the latter.

The headlines are funny, but the imperative behind such story packaging is deadly serious for publishers. Read more


Pinterest sees growing number of journalists using the site, makes related changes

Oh, How Pinteresting!

Pinterest introduced new article pins Tuesday; links to articles you’ve pinned can include a story’s headline and byline, plus a description as well as a link. The site says its users share more than 5 million articles each day. In that description, you can also throw in a photo credit.

News organizations with the right code should start seeing “rich pins” Wednesday,  Pinterest spokesperson Malorie Lucich told Poynter in an email. Pinterest is making the change because it’s “seeing a growing number or journalists and media sites use Pinterest,” Lucich wrote.

Some rich pins from Men’s Journal

The site’s ability to drive Web traffic may be a draw for news organizations and journalists. BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said in his interview for the “Riptide” project that Pinterest sends more traffic to his site than Twitter does. Read more

Bird words

New York Times experiments with tweetable highlights in ‘SNL’ story

Dave Itzkoff’s oral history of “Saturday Night Live” auditions has a new feature for a New York Times article page: highlighted sentences that you can click to tweet.

“It’s a one-off experiment on this story,” Times Deputy Editor of Interactive News Marc Lavallee told Poynter by phone. “It’s not like a feature that’s in the pipeline to be rolled out sitewide.” The Times is continuing to experiment with article presentation online in advance of a redesign next year.

Itzkoff — with whom I used to work at Spin — and social media editor Michael Roston chose the sentences, Lavallee said, at least one of which is actually too long for a tweet. That one gets abridged, Lavallee said. You’re not required to tweet the same sentences the Times chose, but a tweet using that link will drop you onto that exact point on the page. Read more


College media outlets work through evolution of email, social media interviews

“I don’t allow email interviews in any of the classes I teach — except one. If I didn’t allow email interviews in the class tied to The Lantern, we’d never put out a paper.”

I’ve recited those lines to students and others here at Ohio State many times in the three years I’ve served as student media adviser.

Am I being dramatic? I’ve been told I can be.

Am I exaggerating? No.

Some college newspapers have made headlines in the last year for “banning” email interviews: This Poynter story has a nice roundup of bans announced by three of them.

Reading about such edicts, I wondered how the papers could truly ban email interviews and continue to function. With that in mind, I spoke to and, yes, emailed with the editors of 10 prominent college-media outlets. Read more

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The New York Times looks for wedding-themed Instagram photos

The New York Times

Your wedding may never make The New York Times, but your Instagrams might! “Starting this summer, the Vows section will publish Wedding Album, an occasional series of your wedding-themed Instagram photos,” an announcement published this weekend says. “Please avoid generic images, like a posed shot of the couple or a table setting.”

Every month, the Times will gather photos with a theme. This month’s is “How wedding rituals are evolving” — though “any poignant photos — even ones that do not fit a theme — are welcome.”

Instagram photo of Managing Editor Mallary Tenore’s mother’s wedding dress.

Related: How the New York Times’ ‘Perfect Wedding Announcement’ came together Read more

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Journalists’ tweets about Bradley Manning verdict show need for nuance, context

For a moment on Tuesday, I thought the biggest news of the year had broken when a newsroom colleague turned to me wide-eyed and announced: “Manning acquitted.”

The adrenaline subsided seconds later when we saw the fuller context: Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was acquitted of the most serious charge against him — aiding the enemy — for providing secret documents to WikiLeaks, but he was convicted on many other counts and could still spend his life in prison.

That critical conjunction — “but” — was missing in the majority of breaking-news tweets, hence my brief confusion.

Journalists weren’t wrong per se. This tweet by the Washington Post, for example, was factually correct:

But it didn’t tell the full story, and, with its all-caps “NOT GUILTY” could have given readers the impression that it was all good news for Manning. Read more

Bird words

NPR’s Scott Simon turns the personal into the universal with tweets about his mom’s death

Scott Simon’s tweets about his mom’s final days in the ICU were well-written and deeply personal. They gave us a glimpse into Simon’s past and showed a grown man’s struggle to part with his dying mom.

Simon, host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday,” tweeted that he wished he had held his mom’s hand more throughout the years. He tweeted about her reaction to the Royal Baby’s birth (“Every baby boy is a little king to his parents“), his appreciation for the ICU nurses, and the powerful role reversal he experienced when holding his mom like a baby as she fell asleep in his arms.

Simon’s mother died in Chicago Monday night. He didn’t tweet much about the way he felt the moment she passed away, but he didn’t have to. Read more


Pew finds just 6 percent of adults are Reddit users

Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project
A new Pew study has found that 6 percent of online adults use the social networking site Reddit. Among the male Internet users surveyed, 15 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 say they use Reddit. By contrast, 5 percent of women the same age use it, and 8 percent of men between the ages of 30 and 49 use it.

Pew reports:

Overall, men are twice as likely as women to be reddit users, those under 50 are significantly more likely to use reddit than those 50 or older, and the site is much more common among urban and suburban residents than among those living in rural areas. Indeed, just 2% of internet users ages 50 and older—and 2% of rural residents—say they use the site.

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