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#Podcast: How 3 women’s magazines invited the reader into the production process

September 27th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted by in Magazines, Podcast, Social media and blogging
Image by James Cridland on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by James Cridland on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Connecting with the reader is vitally important for any magazine. To sell copies and build an engaged community it must appeal to the reader, and be in tune with their interests.

This week’s podcast looks at how and why three magazines in Finland (Olivia), India (Femina) and the UK (Company), are using crowdsourcing methods to both further their understanding of the audience, and give their readers a greater role in determining the final issue. Examples include a magazine which produced an edition containing reader-produced content only and another which built an online “co-creation” platform, where the readers helped make editorial decisions.

The publishers and editors behind the magazines share some of their lessons, as well as the potential benefits for the readers, the magazine and advertisers.

We hear from:

  • Marjaana Toiminen, chief executive, Bonnier Publications (Publisher of Olivia magazine)
  • Tarun Rai, chief executive, Worldwide Media (Publisher of Femina magazine)
  • Victoria White, editor, Company

Both Toiminen and Rai spoke at the FIPP Congress in Rome this week, a conference focused on the latest developments and trends in the magazine industry, about the crowdsourcing projects at Olivia and Femina.

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the iTunes feed.

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#Podcast: Building a better comment experience on news sites

August 2nd, 2013 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Online Journalism, Podcast

Just this week the New York Times experimented with a new way to add value to the way comments feature on article pages, with specially selected ‘Reader Perspectives’ brought higher up in the article.

This is part of the Times’s efforts to continue to improve the comment experience for all, and one result is to encourage a greater quality of conversation.

In this week’s podcast we find out more about key strategies taken by a variety of news outlets including tips for growing discussion in the first place, how to encourage a high-quality conversation and a look at the impact of new digital reporting styles on how the comment thread could evolve in the future.

We hear from:

  • Laura Oliver, community manager, the Guardian
  • Marc Lavallee, deputy editor, interactive news, the New York Times
  • Bassey Etim, community manager, the New York Times
  • David Higgerson, digital publishing director, Trinity Mirror, regionals
  • Tom Miller, product strategist, Hearst Magazines UK
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#Tip: Download these free ebooks on journalism

June 7th, 2013 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
By Wiertz Sebastien on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By Wiertz Sebastien on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Paul Bradshaw compiled a list of 20 free e-books (later updated to 37) and published them on his Online Journalism Blog. Topics such as online journalism and multimedia; computer-assisted reporting; community management; data and information; culture, copyright and code; investigative journalism; and design and programming are all included, making sure there’s something for everyone.

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#Tip: Pointers for growing your Twitter following

While it may not all be about quantity, journalists and news outlets alike are undoubtedly keen to grow a large, and engaged community on social networks with which to share and discuss their content. This how-to by David Beard on the Poynter Institute website runs through  a list of “eight ways to attract more Twitter followers” looking at both the content being tweeted as well as the way the tweet itself is constructed.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.

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#Podcast: How news outlets use live Q&As to engage the audience

January 25th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Podcast
Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

News outlets and journalists have taken to a number of different platforms to host live Q&A chats with their community; from Twitter and Google+ Hangouts, to Quora and Reddit, as well as on their own websites using liveblogs or the article comment facility.

Just last week, for example, the Daily Post in North Wales launched a new weekly liveblog Q&A, which will feature a different expert each week who will answer questions on a given subject.

In this week’s podcast we look at some of the different approaches to live text-based Q&As and panel chats taken by news outlets and individual journalists, as well as gather some useful tips for running a successful Q&A.

We hear from:

  • Mark Luckie, manager of journalism and news, Twitter
  • Chris Hamilton, social media editor, BBC News
  • Tom Standage, digital editor, the Economist
  • Kate Hodge, senior content co-ordinator, Guardian Careers

There are also a number of journalism-related Twitter chats run on a regular basis. Here is a list of 50 which may be of interest, compiled by

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#Tip of the day for journalists – Getting the community involved

January 16th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
Image by James Cridland on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by James Cridland on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Managing director of Talk About Local Sarah Hartley shares some of her own tips, and gathers opinion for those behind hyperlocal sites, on how local news sites can get the community involved in editorial.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.

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#Tip of the day from – building communities and traffic

August 22nd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists, Traffic

On the Reynolds Center for Business Journalism site Maria Perez outlines some of the key takeaways from s session at the BlogWorld & New Media Expo about “strategies for creating and building a community people will participate in”.

In a post she gathers together some of the pointers shared on growing a community and building up traffic.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.

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Digital First Media’s first mobile community newsroom takes to the road

July 30th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism, Training

Digital First Media has launched the first of its new “mobile community media labs”, one of a number of community news projects to be launched by titles within the company. reported last month about the four new mobile labs, including “pop-up newsrooms”, to be introduced. They are being run by the San Jose Mercury News, the St Paul Pioneer Press, the York Daily Record and the New Haven Register.

The first, TCRover, was launched on Friday by St Paul Pioneer Press, described in a press release as “a modified Ford Transit Connect wrapped with and Pioneer Press branding” and “outfitted with WiFi, a generator, awning, chairs and a pull-down projection screen”.

Digital First Media’s Steve Buttry said in the release:

The Twin Cities are the perfect location for a mobile community newsroom. This is a sprawling metro area with two hubs, dozens of widely varying suburban communities and several shared interests, such as the sports teams.

With the TCRover, the staff will be able to engage people where they live and work.

Digital First Media travelling in the van will teach the community skills such as “how to blog, how to interact with our site, even how to do research on topics that interest them”, the release adds.

The adventures of the mobile community newsrooms can be followed on Twitter @TCRover.

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#PPAconf: Why cover design matters for the Big Issue

May 10th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Magazines

In the past year, the Big Issue has changed dramatically, regaining its reputation as a “magazine with teeth”, according to editor Paul McNamee.

Speaking at yesterday’s PPA conference in London, he said: “We are a very different magazine than we were a year ago and a radically different magazine from 24 months ago.”

The Big Issue has seen big changes since it teamed up with Dennis Publishing. With editorial now run from Glasgow and one national edition of the magazine, McNamee concentrated on  “the four Cs”, cover, content, columnists and community, to give the magazine some bite.

He told delegates: “The cover was the most important. [A bold cover] could attract a lot of attention and make a lot of noise.

“We had to find a way to find our own space again.”

Simplifying the cover’s design to one element, McNamee showed the delegates how the front page was markedly different to what it was before the magazine’s relaunch. He said: “[The cover has] one, single element to it every week that has power and impact and something to say.”

Along with enlisting footballer Joey Barton as a columnist and strengthening the magazine’s relationship with its vendors, McNamee said he believed the end product is something which will stand the test of time.

“We’ve been going for 21 years now – hopefully, we’ll be around for another few yet.”

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#jpod – Crowdfunding for journalism: is it working?

In the past few years a number of projects have cropped up which are trying to use crowdfunding as one mean to finance individual journalism pitches as well as journalism-related companies.

In this week’s podcast we speak to those who have ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt’ when it comes to crowdsourcing revenues and can share the lessons learned along the way, as well as hearing from those taking their first steps on this path.

Interviewees included in the podcast are:

  • David Cohn, founder, Spot.Us
  • Bobbie Johnson, co-founder, Matter
  • Henry Peirse, founder and CEO, GRN
  • Karim Ben Khelifa, co-founder and CEO,
  • Rachel Howells, director, Local News South Wales/Port Talbot MagNet

For some background reading you can see more about the launch of last year at this link, as well as the launch of Matter just last month. GRN has also blogged about the launch of Matter on its website. has also reported on Port Talbot’s crowdfunding ventures with Pitch-in! at this link.

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the iTunes podcast feed.

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