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September 29, 2014

Local Fix: Transparency, Time Travel and New Multimedia Tools

Subscribe to the Local Fix. Each week we look at key debates in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news, starting with one good idea… 

One Good IdeaShare What You Are Reading. The New York Times is putting curation on the homepage. With itsnew “Watching” feature it “will keep an eye on developing and breaking news from The Times and other sources.” From Billy Penn to the BK Bridge, more newsrooms are becoming trusted curators, helping their communities find the most relevant and important information and stories from beyond their own pages. 

Local Lessons From the Online News Association

This week’s LocalFix is coming to you from the Online News Association conference in Chicago where we are looking out for some of the best tools, resources and lessons for local newsrooms. You can tune in online to many sessions with video, audio, slideshows and specialized twitter hashtags. Here are a few sessions to check out:




Concrete Tips for Transparency and Engagement

ONA14 is the big show in Chicago this week, but two weeks ago the American Society of News Editors were in town. At ASNE the Engagement Hub project hosted a discussion on “Nine ways to grow a better relationship with your audience.” Their short post is a good complement to a brand new report out this week from the American Press Institute focused on “The best ways for publishers to build credibility through transparency.” The report includes concrete advice on how to “Collaborate with the audience,” “Practice ethical curation,” and “Correct website and social media errors.”

>>> Don’t miss these two presentations on community engagement from Steve Buttry and Amanda Zamora – the slides are full of good ideas.


Is Time Travel a Business Model for News? 

Last week the NJ News Commons hosted a webinar on how local newsrooms can tap into their archives to boost engagement and revenue. For a long list of links and examples, read a summary of the discussion and check out the slideshow on creating e-books from archives. This week, Folio looked at how the Harvard Business Review has turned their archives into new revenue. Earlier this summer the Library of Congress hosted a discussion on “Preserving Born Digital News” which focused on how online news sites can protect and leverage their archives. Did you know that 27% of hybrid news and 17% of digital news sites have reported “significant losses of news content due to technical failures?”

>>> For a sense of why archives are growing in popularity, read Megan Garber on “How the Internet Uses Nostalgia


Simple and Free Tools for Multimedia Digital News

This week the KnightLab at Northwestern University introduced a new tool for doing side by side photo comparisons. Their app creates a slider between two images, and is “ideal for highlighting then/now stories that explain slow changes over time (growth of a city skyline, regrowth of a forest, etc.) or before/after stories that show the impact of single dramatic events (natural disasters, protests, wars, etc.).” As with earlier KnightLab tools like Timeline.jsStoryMapand SoundCite, the new Juxtapose.js is simple, powerful and useful.

You should also keep an eye on the new Journo.biz which brings together an array of resources and lessons on the business of nonprofit and independent journalism organizations. And over at NPR’s social media desk Tumblr the team there regularly talks about what they are learning and the tools they are using as they experiment and test new ideas. See also the new NPR Local Stories Project.

>>> Once a week not good enough for you? If you like the Local Fix you should check out the daily newsletters from the American Press Institute and Pew Research Center.

Recent Reads from the LocalNewsLab.org:
Don’t miss these great new posts on the rise of “hands-on journalism,” foundations and funding with strings attached, and tips for fostering universities as advertisers.