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#bbcsms: Use data to inform newsroom decisions, says panel

May 20th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Data, Online Journalism

“Numbers are everything to our business” – this was the message from Washington Post‘s Raju Narisetti, speaking today at the BBC’s social media summit.

Narisetti outlined the “simple mission” for news organisations to have more people to engage with more of its content, and this is achieved through data – both numbers and importantly, context.

We’ve moved from our anecdotal newsroom to a newsroom where there’s a lot more data, a lot more measurement. Initial measurement was page views, but we very quicky realised we need to move to a world of context.

Data is not just about measuring eyeballs – it is a valuable resource in making decisions. You’re able to show with some data things we can stop doing, Narisetti said, without making an impact on the readership. This he said makes an “accountable newsroom” and creates an environment which is a lot more encouraging for digital journalists where they know the impact of their work.

Also speaking on the panel, which covered the cultural challenges for newsrooms trying to encourage the effective use of social media, was the Guardian‘s Meg Pickard.

She revealed that research by the Guardian has shown that when a journalist gets involved in the conversation online it halves the moderation need and the tone of the conversation “goes up”. This is a key example of such data being used to support proposals and ideas.

As for the culture of the newsroom the Guardian wants to focus on people and skills, she said, to “create a fertile medium” across the organisation and then trusting staff to “act as the intelligent adults that they are” and apply their best knowledge and judgement to the situation.

But, she added, there’s no point in forcing anyone to be active on Twitter from the get-go.

We should not be forcing someone to Tweet, it will be obvious, they will be grumpy and won’t know what they’re doing. So I don’t think on your first day when you’re handed an email address they should be told that you’re free to say anything you like about our brand to the world.

Within the first few months I would try and encourage them to do so, but by demonstrating opportunities to build the community and relationship with audience.

Journalism.co.uk’s own digital journalism event news:rewired – noise to signal, which takes place on Friday next week at Thomson Reuters, will dedicate an entire session to the issue of audience data in informing editorial and business decisions for news organisations. You can find out more and buy tickets at this link.

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BBC News audience up by a quarter on last year

The weekly BBC News TV audience has gone up by almost a quarter this year, according to a post by Kevin Bakhurst, controller of the BBC News Channel, on the BBC Editors blog yesterday.

He reports that so far in 2010 9.6 million people have watched the channel each week, a 24 per cent increase on 2009 when the average was 7.7 million.

This year has seen many major news stories, including the UK general election, the Haiti earthquake, the Pakistan floods, the shootings in Cumbria and the Chilean miners. During events like these, some traumatic and some complex, many people turn to the BBC.

…The highest reach recorded for a UK news channel and for the BBC News Channel (7.4m) was on 11 May, the day that Gordon Brown resigned and David Cameron became prime minister. This was closely followed by 7 May, the day after the general election, when 7m watched and 13 October when 6.9m watched the rescue of the Chilean miners.

On the BBC News website, on the day after the general election, there were more than 5.5 million requests for the live BBC News channel page and around 3 million requests for the live page on the day the Chilean miners were rescued, he added.

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NYTimes.com: What news do people share online?

February 10th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

The question at the heart of a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, which involved analysing thousands of New York Times articles and checking the site’s “most emailed” articles list every 15 minutes for six months.

Researchers found that people preferred emailing positive rather than negatively- themed articles and long articles on “intellectually challenging topics” with science articles making the “most emailed” list more frequently than the study had anticipated.

There’s plenty more analysis on what makes a reader email a story in the full story at this link…

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Strange Attractor: Journalists and ‘audience entitlement’

May 20th, 2009 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

Sparked by a comment from Adam Tinworth on Twitter, Kevin Anderson unpicks the idea that some journalists/news organisations believe they have both a right to an audience and deserve an audience.

“It’s the height of institutional arrogance and self-importance, and it’s obvious to anyone who even has one foot outside of the bubble of institutional journalism that this is the case. But therein lies the rub. For many journalists, we never get outside of this bubble. I think it’s one of the reasons that journalists are bewildered by the fact that viewership and readership numbers are declining,” he writes.

Full post at this link…

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Currybet.net: Mail Online comment rating is powerful tool

February 6th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

Mail Online’s introduction of a rating system for comments left on articles in December gives the paper an insight into the audience’s depth of feeling for an issue, Belam writes.

Full story at this link…

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