Journalism

Recent Articles

Laura Amico shares lessons learned at Homicide Watch

A few weeks ago, the Boston Globe announced the hiring of Laura Amico to join the digital site as news editor for multimedia and data projects. Amico has been the co-founding editor of the Homicide Watch along with her husband, Chris Amico, since 2010. In a farewell post published today in The Crime Report, Laura shares some of the lessons she learned as the co-founder of the data-driven project that focused on violent crimes. In the post, she opens up about the challenges of keeping Homicide Watch true to its mission, focusing on people and not just data, and departing the project for the Boston Globe. Below is an excerpt of the full piece, which you can read here at the Crime Report:

The motto of Homicide Watch is simple: Mark every death. Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Here’s what The Lens did when a single story attracted 81,000 web visits

Louisiana’s state prison officials were not being forthcoming when acquiring drugs from a hospital, so on August 6 The Lens published this investigative story as part of its series on the state's execution methods. The story alone is impressive. And in terms of web traffic, it went viral. As of Monday, The Lens editor Steve Beatty says the site has had 81,000 unique visitors with an average of almost four minutes spent per visitor on the site. All thanks, in part, to the Huffington Post which picked up the story and directed its large audience to The Lens website. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Food imports overwhelm FDA safety net, INN collaborative investigation finds

The rising number of food imports into the United States is overwhelming the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is tasked with inspecting much of the seafood, fruits, spices and other food items shipped from abroad, a collaborative investigation by two Investigative News Network members has found. FairWarning's reporting found many concerns with the FDA import inspection system. The FDA today rejects about the same number of shipments of foreign food as it did a decade ago – when imports were less than half the current level. The Food and Environment Reporting Network drilled down more closely on seafood, finding that though the FDA and some other federal agencies inspect a portion of imported seafood, the safety net still doesn't catch all of the potentially diseased or unsafe food. The FairWarning story also was published by some McClatchy newspapers and other INN members, and the FERN story was picked up by Medium. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

A Nonprofit News Approach to Native Advertising

Native advertising is having its moment of truth in the nonprofit news sector as organizations figure out new ways to be sustainable in the digital age. The practice of disguising advertisements as editorial (journalism) work is becoming a center discussion in newsrooms that see the value of sponsored content as a source of revenue. And two major efforts to follow those discussions inside nonprofit newsrooms are already under way. One of those efforts is going on here at INN. As one of the grantees of the INNovation Fund, Southern California Public Radio is experimenting with native advertising. Our job is to document their process and the internal discussions as they debate how to successfully give corporate sponsors the ability to advertise without compromising the integrity of the organization and its independence. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Kickstarter launches category for journalism projects

Kickstarter has launched a new category dedicated to funding journalism projects, the company announced on its blog today. Journalism is now one in a list of 16 categories, each with their own subcategories, including subcategories for journalism projects that are based on audio, photo, print, video and web.  

"To us, that means it’s more important than ever to make sure journalists have the tools and resources to try new things — whether they’re professionals looking for innovative ways of funding and sharing their work, or ordinary folks with a hunger to tell the stories around them," the company said on its blog. Explore the journalism projects here and tell us what you think. Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

News startups are hardly spending money to make money, survey reveals

News startups spent less than 20 percent of their budget on making money to run their business, according to a survey sample of 48 publishers who provided information on their own expenses. News startups spent 55 percent of their total budget on creating editorial. That was more than half of what they spent on sales, revenue development and marketing, according to the survey conducted by media consultant Michele McLellan. If those figures are true and representative of other news startups, it "may spell trouble for longterm sustainability," McLellan writes on her blog. McLellan also cited INN member City Limits as an exception for devoting 45 percent of its budget to revenue development. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Who gets media credentials—and who doesn’t?

One in five journalists has had media credentials denied at least once, according to a recently released survey of journalists and news organizations nationwide. The report, “Who Gets a Press Pass? Media Credentialing Practices in the United States,” takes a snapshot of the media’s current ability to access government. In summary, the report makes this acknowledgement: “The journalism market in the United States is more diverse than ever before, with a wide array of independent newsgatherers complementing the work of institutional news organizations.”

The report also acknowledges that this diversification of news has led to some confusion as to who is a journalist and how some organizations define journalism. In the survey, journalists answered questions about their experiences in acquiring media credentials from federal, state, local and private organizations from 2008 and 2013. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Community Engagement for News Is In Mobile Devices

Is your news site mobile-friendly? It's a buzzy term, but mobile-friendly sites are not to be scoffed or ignored. And that's the advice Amy Gahran offers in her latest webinar on mobile strategies for community news and information. In her webinar, hosted by USC's Knight Digital Media Center, Gahran explains that the mobile tipping point is already here—whether we like it or not—and there's numbers to back it up. According to a Pew study, there are a lot of mobile users out there:

66% are between ages 18 and 29
59% between 30 and 49

If your key demographics are between 18 and 50, this should encourage you to ensure your site is mobile-friendly. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Local Online Publishers Rely on Ad Revenue

Online advertising is slowly climbing its way to the legacy of its older and more institutional forms, and mounting evidence says local online news publishers focus on more revenue through local ads. Per Michele McLellan's survey of online publishers, there's incentive in pursuing local advertising dollars over other types of revenues such as donations, syndications, events, etc. Why such appeal for local online advertising? According to McLellan's survey of 47 sites/group of sites that revealed their revenue source, 44 said local ads are a primary source of revenue. And it accounts for 50 percent (or more) of their total revenue. And then there's the caveat:
The finding about local ad sales is good news-bad news. Continue Reading →

Filed under: