editor on the verge

Online musings from the newsroom and beyond . . . by Yoni Greenbaum

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A different way of approaching meeting coverage – UPDATED

January 20th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Are there any newspaper reporters using Twitter to cover council meetings? I know that we’ve seen examples of sporting events being covered via Twitter, but I don’t recall anyone saying that they are using it to report on municipal types of events.

I’m sure there are those of you who are already shaking your heads and saying “it won’t work” or “messages can only be 140 characters long.” Actually, I think, not only can it work, but also that the 140 character limit makes it ideal for this type of event.

Reporters are infamous for over-reporting and especially for taking pages upon pages of notes, many of which will never be used. Covering a meeting via Twitter might just be the remedy to this malady. If “notes” or in this case Tweets need to be limited to 140 characters per entry, it might just force them to focus their efforts and be more judicious with what they note. And when the meeting is complete, they’ll have a chronological record of their coverage.

And, there’s a bonus, a Twittered meeting can be pulled (via the RSS feed) into a newspaper’s webpage and readers can be invited to follow along either at your site or through Twitter. Seems like a win-win for me.

What do you think?

1/21, 9:23 p.m. (EST) The New York Times has a great piece today about Twitter and Presidential campaign reporting. If this approach at all interests you, check it out: “Campaign Reporting in Under 140 Taps

→ 4 CommentsTags: Audience Development · Beat Development · Blogging · Innovation · Mobile · Online · Reporting · Traffic · Twitter

Worthwhile or not — E&P’s coverage of NV and SC

January 19th, 2008 · No Comments

I’ll admit that I was initially dismayed to read that Editor & Publisher would be “blogging the vote in Nevada and South Carolina.” I wondered what could they add to the coverage of the Nevada caucuses and the South Carolina GOP primary. And it’s a fair question that newsrooms should always ask themselves, “What can we provide that won’t come from the wire services or the 24-hour news networks”?

E&P’s approach appears to be a mixture of aggregating online coverage and original writing from Editor Greg Mitchell. Although as of 1:14 p.m. EST it’s sounding like Nevada is already over, Mitchell appears ready to update throughout the remainder of the day. So if you find yourself online today, add their coverage to your mix and see what you think.

Is this something that you think E&P should be doing? What traffic do you think it will drive? How are you approaching the day at your newspaper or website?

→ No CommentsTags: Blogging · Elections · Online · Traffic

Consider forming your own reader feedback group

January 18th, 2008 · 1 Comment

How often do you bring your readers together? I know that probably sounds like a strange question and I can already imagine some of you sitting there shaking your heads as you read this, but seriously, how often do you get a group of readers (and even potential readers) together to talk?

This isn’t such a far-fetched idea, companies of all types and sizes use Consumer Panels to provide insight and feedback. Your newspaper might even have Reader Panels that they use to provide reaction to design or marketing ideas or on specific types of coverage. For example, typically before launching a Young Reader publication, many newspapers will gather a group of readers and potential readers to gauge their reaction to the proposed product and solicit their thoughts on the look and feel.

So why shouldn’t you, as an individual reporter, benefit from this approach. Thanks to a number of online websites, you too can assemble your own reader panel and use it to provide you with feedback on your work, suggestions for new stories or even insight on local current events.

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→ 1 CommentTags: Beat Development · Branding · Innovation · Reporting · Research

Now open to the general public

January 17th, 2008 · 1 Comment

For those of you who use Internet Explorer and have visited editor on the verge recently, you know that I have been trying to fix a programming problem that resulted in the site not appearing correctly. Well I am happy to report that thanks to the encouragement of some very smart colleagues and determination on my part, the problem has been fixed and the faulty code has been excised.

Whether you use Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari, editor on the verge should now appear correctly for you. If you visited previously and found the problems too distracting to ignore, I urge you to come back and give editor on the verge another look.

→ 1 CommentTags: Editor on the verge · Mission