One of the things I enjoy the most when traveling is reading and watching the local news. On last week’s Tar Heel Bus Tour, I had a chance to pick up a couple of papers and wonder to myself what local media in the state would look like if it were starting from scratch today.
What if the question at newspapers with (literally) dying readerships were not “How do save the newspaper?” but instead “How do we start today serving our communities with the most accurate, relevant and efficient package of news and information?”
Continue reading “THBT: Local Media, Built From Scratch”
Several of my colleagues have also posted to their blogs some thoughts about the Bus Tour. You’ll see from the blog titles that we were an eclectic group. I like eclectic groups.
Also not to be missed is the blog of my journalism colleague Jock Lauterer, who does his own tour every summer of the state’s community newspapers. He’s on the road now.
Tuesday’s stops on the Tar Heel Bus Tour had us looking at different ways that private industry is partnering with Carolina, but Wednesday provided examples of partnerships that UNC is creating with public agencies in efforts to improve the lives of North Carolinians.
The stops left me wondering: Are there (and should there be) similar partnerships available in the field of journalism, and what would they look like?
It seemed to me that the first question we need to ask is, is journalism good for North Carolina?
Continue reading “THBT: Is Journalism Good for N.C.?”
One of the reasons I decided to make the move from newsroom to classroom is because there’s a need for journalism schools to be a source of applied research and development of products and processes that can help journalism be more memorable, relevant and inclusive. Today on the Tar Heel Bus Tour I had a chance to see how some of those partnerships are constructed between UNC and private business in other fields, and to think about how they might work in journalism.
Continue reading “THBT: Academy-Industry Partnerships”
The old question about cannibalization came up last week at the NCPA Newspaper Academy at UNC-Chapel Hill. I found two links that I wanted to share with you. I like them, perhaps because they support my prejudices.
Do you have other anecdotes or data on this question? Send them my way.
Rocky Mount, split by a railroad line between the white world of Nash County and the black world of Edgecomb County, was the first stop on this year’s Tar Heel Bus Tour. For me, it was a fitting first stop because it was one of the first towns in “the real North Carolina” to which I was introduced as an undergrad.
The stop reminded me that, even in an era of international, on-demand connections, so much — if not most — of what we know about the world comes from the people we call friends.
Social media is not a new concept.
Continue reading “THBT: Social Media in Eastern N.C.”
Last week, I gave a presentation at the N.C. Press Association’s Newspaper Academy at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Next week, I join 38 other UNC-Chapel Hill faculty members on a five-day bus tour across the state — from Shackleford Banks to Cherokee. The Tar Heel Bus Tour was launched in 1997 to give new faculty members a head start on learning about the state we serve. Continue reading “Coming Up Next…Tar Heel Bus Tour”
While watching campaign coverage here in North Carolina earlier this week, I was reminded of one of my longtime frustrations with live election returns — it’s a game news sites have to play, but cannot win.
Continue reading “The Pitfalls of Commodity News”
Although I don’t hear this as often as I once did, the claim that online heads shouldn’t give away the whole story is one that pops up now and again in my conversations with editors. The editors — addled by increasing pressure to increase revenue by increasing ad inventory by increasing page views — surmise (rightly) that some readers come to their homepages simply for a quick nibble of news headlines, and that online news editors should, therefore, write teaser heads that don’t give away the milk.
On one hand, maybe they’re right. After all, teasers have been a feature of broadcast news for years.
On the other hand, this mentality flies in the face of just giving the customer what he or she wants. And, as we all know, the customer is always right.
So, how much of a tease will the online audience tolerate? Are younger readers, who are more likely to quickly click links in search of the information they want, more likely than older readers, who often carefully assess their choices before clicking on a link, more tolerant of teaser heads? Does the perceived urgency or relevancy of a headline cause readers to be more or less likely to click on teaser heads? Is there some measurement of vagueness that would allow us to find the right balance between serving our reader customers and serving our advertising customers?