Content strategies are one of the many things that used to be the preserve of publishers and editors. We didn’t call it ‘content strategy’ then: we ‘chose angles’ or adopted an ‘editorial approach’.
Now of course every journalist is a publisher, an editor, and a distributor. We control our Twitter platform, Facebook page, perhaps a professional blog and other platforms to boot. We are expected to be web first in all sorts of ways.
That means new responsibilities. We have to make choices about style, medium, timing and platform that we never had to think about before. Why? Because we want people to engage with what we are reporting on.
It’s as simple as that. That engagement is what defines us as journalists, and not just people who enjoy writing. What also defines us is the speed at which we have to do that. And to make editorial decisions quickly most journalists use content strategies.
For example, we choose this subject over another because it is more important to our audience. We choose this angleover another because it is more relevant to our audience. We choose this time because that’s when our audience is online. We choose this platformbecause that’s where the audience is at that time.
But I come back to ‘why’. Because it isn’t quite as simple as just getting people to read. Continue reading →
In our latest interview with hyperlocal practitioners, Damian Radcliffe speaks to Mark Baynes from Love Wapping. A journalist, professional photographer and user experience designer; Mark explains how his mutual love of data and wildlife has manifested itself in this East London hyperlocal site.
Who are the people behind the blog?
Just me! Fortunately I have an odd mix of professional skills that are invaluable for hyperlocal work: photography, journalism, print production and web design and development. Continue reading →
Journalism courses often expect students to spend a large part of their final year or semester producing an independent project. Here, for those about to embark on such a project online, or putting together a proposal for one, I list some common pitfalls to watch out for… Continue reading →
Most research on news consumption annoys me. Most research on news consumption – like Pew’s State of the News Media – relies on surveys of people self-reporting how they consume news. But surveys can only answer the questions that they ask. And as any journalist with a decent bullshit detector should know: the problem is people misremember, people forget, and people lie.
The most interesting news consumption research uses ethnography: this involves watching people and measuring what they actually do – not what they say they do. To this end AP’s 2008 report A New Model for News is still one of the most insightful pieces of research into news consumption you’ll ever read – because it picks out details like the role that email and desktop widgets play, or the reasons why people check the news in the first place (they’re bored at work, for example).
Back in June I took part in a panel at the UK Conference of ScienceJournalists conference, discussing tools for reporters alongside BBC Trending’s Mukul Devichand and Digital Science’s community manager Laura Wheeler.
Launched just four months ago, East Grinstead Online is already generating substantial traffic, and publishes multiple stories every day. Here’s their story…
1. Who were the people behind the blog?
I have been a journalist all my working life, and many years ago was news editor of the local paid-for paper.
I moved on as Group Feature Writer for the Croydon Advertiser group and subsequently set up a freelance agency with a photographer colleague which supplied features to newspapers and magazines around the world.
I am mainly retired, although I still do the PR for East Grinstead Town Council and write regularly for the Catholic press.