Tag Archives: Washington Post

Poynter: Washington Post sponsors trending Twitter topic for US midterm elections

The Washington Post has sponsored a Twitter term to appear at the top of the Trending Topics today as it covers the US midterm elections, according to a report by Poynter Online.

This use of Twitter, the first by a news organisation according to the report, can be seen at work on the social networking site, where a label reading ‘Promoted’ appears next to the top trending term #Election and the top tweet is marked as ‘Promoted by The Washington Post’.

When users click on that topic, one of the Post’s tweets will appear above other tweets with the #Election hashtag — giving the Post prime real estate to promote its coverage and updates.

By being the only news organization using Twitter this way, the Post could rise above the din of election-related conversation and draw more traffic to its website.

Editor & Publisher: Washington Post to start crowdsourcing

In collaboration with story-sharing website Intersect The Washington Post is to start crowdsourcing, starting this weekend when readers are asked to share their experiences of the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert rallies in Washington DC, according to the Editor & Publisher.

Post reporters will use Intersect – a beta website that lets users share stories through time and location for all to see – to report stories and lead the conversation with readers. According to a Post press release, crowdsourcing the rally will “create a richer, more in-depth story told from readers’ perspectives all over the rally, versus what a group of reporters can do alone.” The story will be available at washingtonpost.com.

#WEFHamburg: Multimedia newsrooms vs. online-only outlets

Multimedia news organisations or purely online outlets – which has the most sustainable model? This was the question posed in this morning’s panel discussion at the World Editors Forum. But before the debate could even begin, the question itself was quashed by Raju Narisetti, managing editor at the Washington Post.

The idea that one of these models is more sustainable for the other is a false choice for those of us in traditional media. It isn’t like we can just dump that and go to the purely online model. It’s an issue of legacy and mindset, the legacy is we all have fairly profitable newspapers to manage in addition to what we do online. We have to embrace the legacy and deal with it, we can’t walk away.

Comparing the models of each newsroom he outlined what he perceives as a different mindset behind online-only ventures which contrasts with that of traditional media.

Most traditional journalists talk about themselves as gatekeepers telling readers what they need to know. Some feel our job ends once we publish. But the online players have a very different mindset, their DNA is different. Their speed is not once a day as some of us are used to. They don’t think of themselves as gatekeepers, more like gate openers. They are much more metrics focused. (…) But there are different standards (…) I am happy to be held up to a higher standard.

Speaking next was Benoît Raphaël from LePost.fr, a news site subsidiary of Le Monde. He explained the theory behind Le Post’s model, which features news curated and aggregated from other sources.

You have to write about the most important topics of the day, so this means that 80 per cent of your newsroom are rewriting news stories everybody else is already writing about and that users can find in real time on Facebook and Twitter. So we felt the best service was to curate these stories from the media and web and then save time for unique stories. Users can help you as you don’t always know how to write stories, but they are experts in their hobbies (…) and this helps us to collect and then add value by finding the angle.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk, he added that the model of digitised content is the future for all newsrooms, regardless of the platform or tools used to present it.

You have to focus the production of the news on the digital world, so you have to digitise all of your newsroom and then you can display it and organise it using different tools. A website is a tool, a newspaper is a tool – it’s just an offline browser.

The good question is how can we learn from each other.

More on Raju Narisetti’s comments during the debate at this link.

Click here for more information on how to follow the World Editors Forum with Journalism.co.uk.

Media Notes: Is journalism becoming a popularity contest?

The battle to increase audiences is hardly a new challenge facing the media environment. Whether print readers, radio listeners or television viewers, it has generally been a case of the more the merrier.

In the world of online journalism, where there is instant access to page view and retweet counters, the ‘success’ of a story has perhaps come to be defined by these metrics. Howard Kurtz, columnist for the Washington Post, has an interesting post on the site this morning discussing the potential impact of this environment on the work of online journalists and the resulting balancing act between appealing to the search engine and maintaining a quality brand.

Naturally, those who grew up as analog reporters wonder: Is journalism becoming a popularity contest? Does this mean pieces about celebrity sex tapes will take precedence over corruption in Afghanistan? Why pay for expensive foreign bureaux if they’re not generating enough clicks?

Doesn’t all this amount to pandering?

Potentially, sure. But news organizations such as the Post and the Times have brands to protect. They can’t simply abandon serious news in favor of the latest wardrobe malfunction without alienating some of their longtime readers. What they gain in short-term hits would cost them in long-term reputation.

See his full post here…

Twitter transgression almost claims another job in journalism

There is no shortage in opinion that journalists using social media such as Twitter are armed with an invaluable tool for staying connected to their patch and enabling communication with an extensive community of sources and readers.

But recent cases of journalists being reprimanded or even sacked for comments made on the instant messaging site repeatedly remind us of the importance of using the mouthpiece with careful consideration. The need for caution was well illustrated by a Washington Post sports columnist this week who sent out a false news tweet from his personal account, which identifies him as a reporter, landing him in hot water with his employer.

Mike Wise was suspended by the Post after sending out a tweet suggesting that a Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback was being suspended for five games, despite Wise being well aware the figure was inaccurate. He claims it was a ‘test’ of how fast incorrect news can spread over the internet.

But while his test succeeded in showing how quickly that piece of misinformation spread through the web, it also left him with a month-long suspension to reflect on what he admitted was a “horrendous mistake”.

According to a blog post by the newspaper’s ombudsman Andrew Alexander, the fabrication of news is “a major journalistic transgression” and an action for which Wise is “lucky” to not have been sacked for.

Should newspapers publish full interview transcripts online?

Washington Post economic and domestic policy blogger Ezra Klein has called for newspapers to make full interview transcripts available online, where there are not the traditional space restrictions of a print edition.

Klein cites last week’s New York Times article on Paul Volcker, which is “clearly and proudly set around a wide-ranging, on-the-record interview with Volcker himself”:

But that interview, aside from a few isolated quotes, is nowhere to be found. This is a baffling waste of good information. Reporters are endlessly interviewing newsmakers and then using, at most, a handful of lines out of thousands of words. The paper, of course, may not have room for thousands of words of interview transcripts, but the web certainly does.

Klein’s comments echo those of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who criticised the media on Friday for not making use of the huge amount of space available online to make primary source material more readily available.

The main issue for Klein, like Assange, seems to be one of transparency, especially for the interviewee:

It’s safer to have your full comments, and the questions that led to them, out in the open, rather than just the lines the author thought interesting enough to include in the article.

“And for the institution itself,” writes Klein, “it’s a no-brainer. You get a lot more inward links if you provide enough transcript that every niche media site can find something to point their readers toward.”

But news organisations considering such a move would have to weigh any potential increase in traffic – and any respect garnered by increased openness – with what is surely, for most, an unwelcome level of transparency. To say nothing of having to transcribe the hours and hours of interviews conducted by a newspaper such as the New York Times.

It is an interesting question for online journalism nonetheless. With programmes like the Open Government Data Initiative tipping more and more raw materials into the internet, will news organisations benefit overall from taking the same open approach?

Read Ezra Klein’s post here.

Washington Post: Should non-disclosure policy on sexual orientation continue?

From the Washington Post’s Ombudsman Blog, a frank discussion about the Post’s policy to not disclose a person’s sexual orientation if it is not deemed relevant to the story. Last month middle-school teacher Brian Betts was murdered and the Post held firm on not mentioning his sexual orientation even after the police revealed that it might be connected to his death.

Defining ‘relevant’ is the challenge. It can be relevant if a closeted gay lawmaker promotes anti-gay legislation. And I felt it was relevant to disclose that Betts was gay, especially because the circumstances of his murder were similar to others locally and nationally.

Full story at this link…

Beet.tv: WaPo plans live video programmes for hundreds of reporters

The Washington Post is planning to launch hundreds of live video shows hosted by reporters using webcams from their desks and a new version of the title’s existing video player.

The programmes will be developed to include live chats with story sources and commentators, and feature questions from readers about the topic being discussed, posted as a webchat around the video.

“We’re looking at this as an opportunity to conduct journalism in real-time,” Hal Straus, interactives and community editor for the Post, tells Beet.tv.

Full story at this link…

Poynter Online: How news orgs hope to use new Facebook features

Poynter’s Mallary Jean Tenore talked to various news organisations about how they might make use of Facebook’s new features.

She interviewed journalists at the Washington Post, ABC News, ESPN.com “to find out how the integration of these tools fits into their overall social media strategies”.

Full story at this link…

WashPo’s new ‘Network News’ tool for Facebook users

The Washington Post has launched a new tool which integrates Facebook with its site, reports Nieman Journalism Lab, “allowing users to ‘like’ any story and follow what their friends like or share on Facebook, all within the confines of the WaPo site”.

Full post at this link…

[More from Washington Post at this link]