News and Views

Reprinted from the Nieman Journalism Lab and courtesy of Andrew Phelps

NPR has become a poster child for legacy news organizations’ ability to reinvent themselves for the digital age: Its website and mobile apps are used by millions of people, NPR Music is a runaway hit, office hack days are a model for other newsrooms, and the network’s news apps team is attracting top talent.

And then there are individual NPR stations, so many of which have no reputation for innovation. As consumers find more ways to get NPR in their ears, they have fewer reasons to tune in to their local broadcaster.

Study: Community Differences in News Consumption

Sep 26, 2012

From large urban areas to rural communities, Americans often report similarly high levels of interest in news.  Still, a national survey shows that community differences emerge in the number and variety of local news sources people use in different types of communities, as well as their degree of “local news participation” through social media and their mobile news consumption.

Reaping The Benefits Of The Digital Era

Sep 25, 2012

With Public Post Vermont Public Radio takes advantage of electronic records to conduct more independent fact-finding for the benefit of Vermont.

In aggregating government documents in a searchable online database, our newsroom has rethought the way we cover Vermont’s communities.  Since we launched last year, we’ve already reaped the benefits of the digital era. For example, we found an item about license plate readers sparking privacy concerns in Hardwick’s minutes, which became a story in a VPR newscast and then was carried by NPR.

Read more about VPR's Public Post here.

Attracting Eyeballs Online Requires Smarter Strategy

Sep 24, 2012

Every public radio reporter wants to have their stories heard by as many people as possible. That desire holds true for our online work, too. And, of course, for online, it's also about being seen. Having an online strategy to help that happen is making a big difference at KPLU. Part of our strategy involves a concise list that our Online Managing Editor came up with entitled "Questions to consider when posting online."

ProPublica Launches New Tool to Investigate Nursing Homes

Aug 17, 2012

In February 2011, a nursing home resident in Michigan wandered away in a blizzard, unnoticed by staff. He was wearing only pajama pants, a sweater, canvas shoes and a knit cap. A technician driving to work found him half an hour later at a busy intersection, wet and covered with snow, government inspectors wrote.

Further Decline in Credibility Ratings for Most News Organizations

Aug 17, 2012

For the second time in a decade, the believability ratings for major news organizations have suffered broad-based declines. In the new survey, positive believability ratings have fallen significantly for nine of 13 news organizations tested. This follows a similar downturn in positive believability ratings that occurred between 2002 and 2004. 

Should You Ask a Source if They Are Gay? Reporters Disagree...

Aug 17, 2012

The Boy Scouts of America recently reaffirmed their ban on allowing openly gay boys to participate in Boy Scouts, and openly gay or lesbian adults from being leaders. (Full disclosure – I was a Boy Scout for many years during my teens, but that was decades before anyone was debating this issue.) We live in an odd world where what side of the “homosexual agenda” you are on can now be demonstrated not only by your participation in scouts, but also where you buy your chicken sandwich.

What Great Bosses Know

Aug 6, 2012

Jill Geisler became a TV news director at the age of 27. She didn't know a whole lot about managing people, and she learned by trial and error.

"When I was a baby manager, I thought I could compliment everyone into high performance," Geisler told KPLU. "So when I had to sit down with people about under-performance, they didn't know why this suddenly came out of the blue when all they'd been hearing about was how well they had done."

But Geisler liked management so much, she became a leadership trainer, and she’s just written a book on how to inspire and motivate staff. It's called Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know.

Our Responsibility to NOT Report Some Information?

Jul 19, 2012

Last week a bomb threat called in from Canada shut down the tunnel that runs under the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor. The tunnel is the second busiest crossing between the USA and Canada. The busiest crossing is the Ambassador Bridge just more than a mile downriver. The tunnel was closed to traffic for most of the afternoon while authorities from both countries inspected the tunnel and found no bomb.

This story was written by NPR Digital's Ki-Min Sung.

On the morning of June 9, the Colorado High Park wildfire near Fort Collins was just 40 acres. By the end of the day, the fire had consumed 8,000 acres and was zero percent contained. This was one of the worst forest fires in the state’s history. 

KUNC had the additional challenge of having a major transmitter in the burn area.

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