Beth Monaghan's blog listings. Public relations, social media Zend_Feed_Writer 1.10.8 (http://framework.zend.com) http://www.profnetconnect.com/inkhouse Radio Boston’s Meghna Chakrabarti on the Art of Listening

The day I decided I wanted to meet Meghna Chakrabarti, co-host of WBUR’s Radio Boston, I was driving home while we awaited the Tsarnaev verdict. Meghna was interviewing Tina Packer, author of “Women of Will,” a new book about the women in Shakespeare. Near the end of the piece, Tina was describing how Shakespeare found a way to communicate the complex range of human experience through his female characters. She said of emotion, “…Unless you can get out of linear revenge thinking, unless you can actually shift this idea of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but you really can shift it and say I will not be the same as the person who perpetrated these horrors on me. And that means creative thinking and love.”

Tina paused a bit here (around 12:10 on the audio). I was sitting in my car at a red light in front of Whole Foods and all of the sudden I was paying close attention as Meghna asked, “Tina Packer, if I may say, you caught me off guard just now. You have some profound feelings about this…Why the tears?” To this Tina responded, “I was just thinking of the trial that’s going on in Boston right now and how it’s about revenge – what they did is about revenge and what we’re about to do is revenge – and how do we get out of it?”

As my own tears flowed and I moved through the light that had turned green without me noticing, I kept wondering why Meghna decided to ask Tina that all-important question that got to the heart – the complexity – of the issue on everyone’s minds even though it was disconnected from the story. I wanted to learn more about how Meghna brings out the complex emotions that transform news stories into human stories, so I asked her to meet up. And she graciously agreed. What follows is an edited version of our conversation.

InkHouse: What made you ask Tina Packer about what choked her up?

Meghna: Tina was in the studio and I could see that she was feeling something deeply emotional. She took a deep breath and looked up as she was trying to speak. And I thought, I’m going to go for it because something is happening. So I asked why the tears.

InkHouse: Yes, but not everyone is capable of leaning into something like that in the moment. How do you make yourself present enough to get to the good story?

Meghna: We try to get as many interviewees into the studio as possible.

Nothing replaces being in the same space as the person. Then it’s about focused listening. It’s about paying attention. An interview is only as good as the effort and energy that the interviewer puts into actually listening.

InkHouse: During times like this, how do you make a judgment call about when to throw out all of the prepared questions and go with the moment?

Meghna: The studio is very busy. Every host has two screens and lots of papers. On one screen I have Twitter going and on another my internal scripting system. When we’re taking phone calls there is another screen with the incoming calls. In other words, there is a lot of visual distraction, along with the production staff talking in your ear. It’s the worst possible environment for paying attention.

Of the conversations that have really mattered, I stopped looking at the other stuff. The key for the true professionals and masters in the craft is to prepare, prepare, prepare. You must organize your questions and do the background research. Then you put it in your brain and you have to find the confidence that it will be in your soul and your mind so you can put all of the paper down.

InkHouse: How do you center yourself enough to get into that place in the middle of so many distractions?

Meghna: I’m a big believer in mindfulness and walking. I get out of the office I take a coffee walk at 10 a.m. and around 2 p.m. for 10 minutes on most days. Just the physical engagement of my body moving and walking is clearing.

InkHouse: How do you find the stories you want to air?

Meghna: We have a multi-pronged mission so if something’s in the news we have to cover it, but it’s also about people, ideas and conversation. On the people front, we look for those with the unique ideas. The person might have one tiny quote in a Boston Globe story and we’ll call them and see if they have other interesting things to say. Books are also a major driver. Also with more frequency, it’s that I was somewhere and met someone and asked them to come on. You need to be part of your community.

InkHouse: How do you manage to dig through the chaos of social media?

Meghna: As technology becomes a force, it becomes the journalist’s job to think like a detective and researcher. It’s content curation: applying editorial standards to cut through the noise. The answer to these issues is still old-fashioned journalism. You get on the phone. Google does not have everything. Technology is just the tool.

InkHouse: In this so-called “attention economy,” how do you navigate the needs for clicks with the needs for quality reporting?

Meghna: We’re seeing the merging of value between two different poles. There are two types of news for us. On one hand, there is breaking news like the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage. On the other is timeless content: that’s the Tina Packer conversation.

You have to do both. We’re seeing consumers of the media being savvy enough to switch between these two poles. They take the now when they want it and they take the timeless when they want it. It’s the vast middle ground where it’s tough.

The grab for attention from the BuzzFeeds of the world does have an impact. We’re in competition for people’s attention. First, how do we grab it and then how do we hold it? BuzzFeed does a good job at grabbing it. The gold standard will be for those who can grab it and hold it. On the grabbing part, we’ve had to rethink headlines and lead-ins in a very beneficial way. Technology is really helping us now though. Radio has always had a metrics problem and for the first time we can measure when people leave a program.

However, there are story-telling tenets that hold. Once you grab people with a BuzzFeed-like list, a great story, powerful narrative, or tough, courageous, and insightful interview will hold people. That’s always been true, and it remains true today.

InkHouse: What was the most difficult or interesting story you’ve told recently?

Meghna: I’ll give you two.

  1. Before the Tsanaev jury chose the death penalty we talked to a juror from the Timothy McVey trial (he was on trial for the attack that killed 168 people, including 19 children). McVey’s was the last federal jury to give the death penalty until now. We looked back at the history of how the government’s approach to terrorism trials has changed. It was difficult because I wanted him to tell us what it was like sitting on that jury. I wanted to know what questions he asked himself and what went through his mind when he considered this ultimate punishment that he had to choose on behalf of the people. The closest he came was to say that it should stay behind closed doors. He said that he’d been in Vietnam and never thought he’d see anything worse, and he had in that courtroom.
  2. Every conversation with a politician is hard. No matter what you do, it’s difficult to have an honest and meaningful conversation. Even politicians who are generally open and honest can suddenly find themselves held back by institutional barriers to transparency.

I could have spoken to Meghna for a few more hours, but the Supreme Court had just announced its ruling on marriage equality. We walked back toward the WBUR studio and as she turned to walk up to the business of reporting on a day that would turn into one of the most newsworthy of the year – marriage equality, Obama’s eulogy in Charleston and a manhunt for escaped convicts – one takeaway from our discussion stayed in my mind. At some point in our discussion, she stopped and said this:

“Mindfulness is the answer to every question you could ask me.”

Listen to Meghna daily at 3 p.m. on Radio Boston and online anytime.

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Thu, 09 Jul 2015 09:24:50 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/inkhouse http://www.profnetconnect.com/inkhouse

The day I decided I wanted to meet Meghna Chakrabarti, co-host of WBUR’s Radio Boston, I was driving home while we awaited the Tsarnaev verdict. Meghna was interviewing Tina Packer, author of “Women of Will,” a new book about the women in Shakespeare. Near the end of the piece, Tina was describing how Shakespeare found a way to communicate the complex range of human experience through his female characters. She said of emotion, “…Unless you can get out of linear revenge thinking, unless you can actually shift this idea of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but you really can shift it and say I will not be the same as the person who perpetrated these horrors on me. And that means creative thinking and love.”

Tina paused a bit here (around 12:10 on the audio). I was sitting in my car at a red light in front of Whole Foods and all of the sudden I was paying close attention as Meghna asked, “Tina Packer, if I may say, you caught me off guard just now. You have some profound feelings about this…Why the tears?” To this Tina responded, “I was just thinking of the trial that’s going on in Boston right now and how it’s about revenge – what they did is about revenge and what we’re about to do is revenge – and how do we get out of it?”

As my own tears flowed and I moved through the light that had turned green without me noticing, I kept wondering why Meghna decided to ask Tina that all-important question that got to the heart – the complexity – of the issue on everyone’s minds even though it was disconnected from the story. I wanted to learn more about how Meghna brings out the complex emotions that transform news stories into human stories, so I asked her to meet up. And she graciously agreed. What follows is an edited version of our conversation.

InkHouse: What made you ask Tina Packer about what choked her up?

Meghna: Tina was in the studio and I could see that she was feeling something deeply emotional. She took a deep breath and looked up as she was trying to speak. And I thought, I’m going to go for it because something is happening. So I asked why the tears.

InkHouse: Yes, but not everyone is capable of leaning into something like that in the moment. How do you make yourself present enough to get to the good story?

Meghna: We try to get as many interviewees into the studio as possible.

Nothing replaces being in the same space as the person. Then it’s about focused listening. It’s about paying attention. An interview is only as good as the effort and energy that the interviewer puts into actually listening.

InkHouse: During times like this, how do you make a judgment call about when to throw out all of the prepared questions and go with the moment?

Meghna: The studio is very busy. Every host has two screens and lots of papers. On one screen I have Twitter going and on another my internal scripting system. When we’re taking phone calls there is another screen with the incoming calls. In other words, there is a lot of visual distraction, along with the production staff talking in your ear. It’s the worst possible environment for paying attention.

Of the conversations that have really mattered, I stopped looking at the other stuff. The key for the true professionals and masters in the craft is to prepare, prepare, prepare. You must organize your questions and do the background research. Then you put it in your brain and you have to find the confidence that it will be in your soul and your mind so you can put all of the paper down.

InkHouse: How do you center yourself enough to get into that place in the middle of so many distractions?

Meghna: I’m a big believer in mindfulness and walking. I get out of the office I take a coffee walk at 10 a.m. and around 2 p.m. for 10 minutes on most days. Just the physical engagement of my body moving and walking is clearing.

InkHouse: How do you find the stories you want to air?

Meghna: We have a multi-pronged mission so if something’s in the news we have to cover it, but it’s also about people, ideas and conversation. On the people front, we look for those with the unique ideas. The person might have one tiny quote in a Boston Globe story and we’ll call them and see if they have other interesting things to say. Books are also a major driver. Also with more frequency, it’s that I was somewhere and met someone and asked them to come on. You need to be part of your community.

InkHouse: How do you manage to dig through the chaos of social media?

Meghna: As technology becomes a force, it becomes the journalist’s job to think like a detective and researcher. It’s content curation: applying editorial standards to cut through the noise. The answer to these issues is still old-fashioned journalism. You get on the phone. Google does not have everything. Technology is just the tool.

InkHouse: In this so-called “attention economy,” how do you navigate the needs for clicks with the needs for quality reporting?

Meghna: We’re seeing the merging of value between two different poles. There are two types of news for us. On one hand, there is breaking news like the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage. On the other is timeless content: that’s the Tina Packer conversation.

You have to do both. We’re seeing consumers of the media being savvy enough to switch between these two poles. They take the now when they want it and they take the timeless when they want it. It’s the vast middle ground where it’s tough.

The grab for attention from the BuzzFeeds of the world does have an impact. We’re in competition for people’s attention. First, how do we grab it and then how do we hold it? BuzzFeed does a good job at grabbing it. The gold standard will be for those who can grab it and hold it. On the grabbing part, we’ve had to rethink headlines and lead-ins in a very beneficial way. Technology is really helping us now though. Radio has always had a metrics problem and for the first time we can measure when people leave a program.

However, there are story-telling tenets that hold. Once you grab people with a BuzzFeed-like list, a great story, powerful narrative, or tough, courageous, and insightful interview will hold people. That’s always been true, and it remains true today.

InkHouse: What was the most difficult or interesting story you’ve told recently?

Meghna: I’ll give you two.

  1. Before the Tsanaev jury chose the death penalty we talked to a juror from the Timothy McVey trial (he was on trial for the attack that killed 168 people, including 19 children). McVey’s was the last federal jury to give the death penalty until now. We looked back at the history of how the government’s approach to terrorism trials has changed. It was difficult because I wanted him to tell us what it was like sitting on that jury. I wanted to know what questions he asked himself and what went through his mind when he considered this ultimate punishment that he had to choose on behalf of the people. The closest he came was to say that it should stay behind closed doors. He said that he’d been in Vietnam and never thought he’d see anything worse, and he had in that courtroom.
  2. Every conversation with a politician is hard. No matter what you do, it’s difficult to have an honest and meaningful conversation. Even politicians who are generally open and honest can suddenly find themselves held back by institutional barriers to transparency.

I could have spoken to Meghna for a few more hours, but the Supreme Court had just announced its ruling on marriage equality. We walked back toward the WBUR studio and as she turned to walk up to the business of reporting on a day that would turn into one of the most newsworthy of the year – marriage equality, Obama’s eulogy in Charleston and a manhunt for escaped convicts – one takeaway from our discussion stayed in my mind. At some point in our discussion, she stopped and said this:

“Mindfulness is the answer to every question you could ask me.”

Listen to Meghna daily at 3 p.m. on Radio Boston and online anytime.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Code Conference and Mary Meeker: The 10 Internet Trends that Matter Most to PR Mary Meeker at Kleiner Perkins issued this year’s “Internet Trends 2014” report at Re/Code’s Code conference yesterday. It’s 164 slides of fascinating information, but which things matter most to PR people? Here you go!

  1. The rumored tech bubble is not as big as some think. 2013 tech IPOs are still 73% below their 1999 peak. Venture financings, too, are 77% below their 2000 peak.
  2. Facebook leads social traffic referrals with 21%. Pinterest has 7% and Twitter has 1%.
  3. Buzzfeed is the top Facebook news publisher. Huffington Post, ABC News, Fox News and NBC follow.
  4. The BBC is the top Twitter news publisher. It is followed by The New York Times, Mashable, ABC News, CNN and Time.
  5. Buzzfeed’s formula works. It has 130MM+ unique visitors with 3x year over year growth. WOW!
  6. Apps are Replacing TV Channels. ESPN had 34MM digital users access ESPN just on smartphones/tablets. The BBC had 234MM requests for TV programs on iPlayer in February 2014. HBO counts 1,000+ hours of video content for HBO Go.
  7. YouTube Channels have Reach and are Growing! The music channel has 85MM subscribers, followed by gaming with 79MM, sports with 78MM, news with 35MM, etc.
  8. YouTube is birthing new stars. Video game commentator PewDiePi has 26MM subscribers.
  9. Fans, not Audiences! According to slide 114 that cites Alex Carloss from YouTube, “An audience tunes in when they’re told to, a fanbase chooses when and what to watch. An audience changes the channel when their show is over. A fanbase shares, comments, curates, creates….”
  10. TV viewing is losing ground. In 1950 TV sets accounted for 100% of viewing. In 2014 it accounts for 57%. DVRs account for 23%, connected TVs 10%, computers 6% and mobile devices 4%.

You can look through the full deck here.

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Thu, 29 May 2014 16:59:06 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/inkhouse/blog/2014/05/29/code_conference_and_mary_meeker:_the_10_internet_trends_that_matter_most_to_pr_ http://www.profnetconnect.com/inkhouse/blog/2014/05/29/code_conference_and_mary_meeker:_the_10_internet_trends_that_matter_most_to_pr_ Mary Meeker at Kleiner Perkins issued this year’s “Internet Trends 2014” report at Re/Code’s Code conference yesterday. It’s 164 slides of fascinating information, but which things matter most to PR people? Here you go!

  1. The rumored tech bubble is not as big as some think. 2013 tech IPOs are still 73% below their 1999 peak. Venture financings, too, are 77% below their 2000 peak.
  2. Facebook leads social traffic referrals with 21%. Pinterest has 7% and Twitter has 1%.
  3. Buzzfeed is the top Facebook news publisher. Huffington Post, ABC News, Fox News and NBC follow.
  4. The BBC is the top Twitter news publisher. It is followed by The New York Times, Mashable, ABC News, CNN and Time.
  5. Buzzfeed’s formula works. It has 130MM+ unique visitors with 3x year over year growth. WOW!
  6. Apps are Replacing TV Channels. ESPN had 34MM digital users access ESPN just on smartphones/tablets. The BBC had 234MM requests for TV programs on iPlayer in February 2014. HBO counts 1,000+ hours of video content for HBO Go.
  7. YouTube Channels have Reach and are Growing! The music channel has 85MM subscribers, followed by gaming with 79MM, sports with 78MM, news with 35MM, etc.
  8. YouTube is birthing new stars. Video game commentator PewDiePi has 26MM subscribers.
  9. Fans, not Audiences! According to slide 114 that cites Alex Carloss from YouTube, “An audience tunes in when they’re told to, a fanbase chooses when and what to watch. An audience changes the channel when their show is over. A fanbase shares, comments, curates, creates….”
  10. TV viewing is losing ground. In 1950 TV sets accounted for 100% of viewing. In 2014 it accounts for 57%. DVRs account for 23%, connected TVs 10%, computers 6% and mobile devices 4%.

You can look through the full deck here.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Press Releases: The Most Trusted Form of Company-generated News It’s true. We were surprised too. Press releases are the most trusted source of company-generated news, according to a study we did in partnership with GMI Lightspeed of 1,000 Americans ages 18+.

Press releases won by a long shot – 33% of respondents trust them the most, followed by articles authored by the CEO (16%), blog posts by the CEO (4%) and advertisements (3%).

 

The trust factor varies by age. Younger audiences trust blog posts a bit more (11% of 18-34 vs. 0% of 55 or older) and articles by the CEO (23% of those 18-34 vs. 9% of those 55 and older) more than older audiences. They also put more trust in company-generated news overall – about 30-32% of those 18 to 34 do not trust any source of company-generated news. Older audiences are more skeptical.

What does this mean? Press releases, while less common these days for technology startups in particular, are still important PR tools (and they are required public disclosure vehicles for public companies). Over time though, they have become more marketing brochure than news vehicle and this evolution has lessened their impact. Press releases were designed to be news articles that could be printed in a newspaper, and they have veered a long way from that original purpose. For more, see our post, 9 Tips for Retooling the Press Release to its Intended Audience: The Press. We believe this important shift in tone and content will only continue.

We asked questions about lots of other topics – from Buzzfeed, to Facebook, email versus social media and preferred news outlets. You can view the full results in our ebook, Read It, Watch It, or Tweet It – How Americans Read and Share News.

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Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:12:21 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/inkhouse/blog/2014/04/03/press_releases:_the_most_trusted_form_of_company-generated_news http://www.profnetconnect.com/inkhouse/blog/2014/04/03/press_releases:_the_most_trusted_form_of_company-generated_news It’s true. We were surprised too. Press releases are the most trusted source of company-generated news, according to a study we did in partnership with GMI Lightspeed of 1,000 Americans ages 18+.

Press releases won by a long shot – 33% of respondents trust them the most, followed by articles authored by the CEO (16%), blog posts by the CEO (4%) and advertisements (3%).

 

The trust factor varies by age. Younger audiences trust blog posts a bit more (11% of 18-34 vs. 0% of 55 or older) and articles by the CEO (23% of those 18-34 vs. 9% of those 55 and older) more than older audiences. They also put more trust in company-generated news overall – about 30-32% of those 18 to 34 do not trust any source of company-generated news. Older audiences are more skeptical.

What does this mean? Press releases, while less common these days for technology startups in particular, are still important PR tools (and they are required public disclosure vehicles for public companies). Over time though, they have become more marketing brochure than news vehicle and this evolution has lessened their impact. Press releases were designed to be news articles that could be printed in a newspaper, and they have veered a long way from that original purpose. For more, see our post, 9 Tips for Retooling the Press Release to its Intended Audience: The Press. We believe this important shift in tone and content will only continue.

We asked questions about lots of other topics – from Buzzfeed, to Facebook, email versus social media and preferred news outlets. You can view the full results in our ebook, Read It, Watch It, or Tweet It – How Americans Read and Share News.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Messaging and PR Lessons from NPR and the Nobel Prize in Medicine

Message clarity and simplicity are some of the most fundamental, and often overlooked, tenets of good PR. The average newspaper is written at the third grade reading level, yet innovative companies often ignore one of the easiest ways to draw attention: storytelling.

I was reminded of this importance yesterday on my drive to work by NPR’s Steve Inskeep and Richard Harris, who reported on the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine for “Morning Edition.”

James Rothman, Randy Schekman and Thomas Sudhof shared this year’s prize for their discoveries of “machinery regulating vesicle traffic,” as NPR’s segment noted. This is not the language of the average third-grader, or the average NPR listener.

So Inskeep and Harris spent most of the piece providing real-world analogies and plain language descriptions of the discoveries to make the story accessible.

The discoveries have massive implications. Yet, without an easy-to-understand explanation of their impact, no one would know (save the Nobel Prize Committee, of course).

So how did they describe it? You can read or listen to it for yourself, but here are the basics of this very important story:

What is the discovery? Inskeep opened with this: he said that the three scientists had, “figured out how cells package up material like hormones, and how they deliver those materials to other cells. This is one of the most basic functions for living cells, and diseases can result when the machinery goes awry….”

How does it work? Inskeep provided this: “This is how cells communicate with each other. The cells transmit substances to one another. This is the phone line. This is the FedEx system.”

Why is it important? Harris made it very clear: “….this is very, very basic stuff that you need to understand if you’re going to cure diseases like diabetes or some neurological diseases or immune system dysfunctions.”

I am certain that the scientific community would laugh at this simplified explanation. However, it is instructive for communications professionals. At its heart, a successful PR program must tell a compelling story. And a company that has a transformational breakthrough is deserving of media attention. Yet, a company that cannot translate that breakthrough into everyday language will never be heard beyond its own community.

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Thu, 10 Oct 2013 16:01:22 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/inkhouse/blog/2013/10/10/messaging_and_pr_lessons_from_npr_and_the_nobel_prize_in_medicine_ http://www.profnetconnect.com/inkhouse/blog/2013/10/10/messaging_and_pr_lessons_from_npr_and_the_nobel_prize_in_medicine_

Message clarity and simplicity are some of the most fundamental, and often overlooked, tenets of good PR. The average newspaper is written at the third grade reading level, yet innovative companies often ignore one of the easiest ways to draw attention: storytelling.

I was reminded of this importance yesterday on my drive to work by NPR’s Steve Inskeep and Richard Harris, who reported on the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine for “Morning Edition.”

James Rothman, Randy Schekman and Thomas Sudhof shared this year’s prize for their discoveries of “machinery regulating vesicle traffic,” as NPR’s segment noted. This is not the language of the average third-grader, or the average NPR listener.

So Inskeep and Harris spent most of the piece providing real-world analogies and plain language descriptions of the discoveries to make the story accessible.

The discoveries have massive implications. Yet, without an easy-to-understand explanation of their impact, no one would know (save the Nobel Prize Committee, of course).

So how did they describe it? You can read or listen to it for yourself, but here are the basics of this very important story:

What is the discovery? Inskeep opened with this: he said that the three scientists had, “figured out how cells package up material like hormones, and how they deliver those materials to other cells. This is one of the most basic functions for living cells, and diseases can result when the machinery goes awry….”

How does it work? Inskeep provided this: “This is how cells communicate with each other. The cells transmit substances to one another. This is the phone line. This is the FedEx system.”

Why is it important? Harris made it very clear: “….this is very, very basic stuff that you need to understand if you’re going to cure diseases like diabetes or some neurological diseases or immune system dysfunctions.”

I am certain that the scientific community would laugh at this simplified explanation. However, it is instructive for communications professionals. At its heart, a successful PR program must tell a compelling story. And a company that has a transformational breakthrough is deserving of media attention. Yet, a company that cannot translate that breakthrough into everyday language will never be heard beyond its own community.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Q&A with Anthony De Rosa of Circa on Sources and Investigative Journalism In between reporting on Edward Snowden, the crash of Asiana flight 214, and the Boston Marathon Bombing suspect’s appearance in court, Anthony De Rosa, the relatively new editor-in-chief for Circa, graciously answered a few questions for me about this innovative news platform he is presiding over and the future of journalism.

Circa is the mobile news app that breaks stories down to their core facts to make them easier to read and share. For more on how it works, read, “The Message and the Medium: Mobile News, Circa and Anthony De Rosa.” I wanted to find out more about how De Rosa and his team source news stories (Circa’s stories are written by aggregating credible sources into unique articles), and how he views the evolution of investigative journalism. Here’s our conversation:

Beth: How do Circa editors determine which sources to cite? I love the approach of using a string of facts and quotes to build stories and am curious about the process of mining through the chorus of voices to determine which is the most authoritative source on any given topic.

Anthony: We check multiple sources we’ve become comfortable with over a long period of time for their reliability. In some cases we may even contact primary sources (officials, the journalist who broke the story, emergency personnel, main subjects of the story) in order to confirm information. Nobody owns the facts, we track them down and verify them to create original storylines. We write original storylines that are made for mobile. Concise, fact-driven and to the point.

Note: On the Snowden story today alone, there are 22 citations alone, from a wide variety of sources including Wikileaks, CNN, the Guardian, Reuters, The Daily Beast, RT News, LaJournada and many more. See below.

Beth: What are your views on investigative journalism? How will it evolve in the new media model? Investigative news is still very much the purview of newspapers (with some notable exceptions), but even amid the Boston Marathon Bombings, The Boston Globe was the go-to source (although I was watching Anonymous constantly as well).

Anthony: I think local news organizations are essential to investigative journalism, as well as things like Pro Publica and data driven investigative journalism by people like Brian Boyer and Dan Sinker. There’s going to need to be a variety of ways to keep this alive. I think crowdfunding and grant-based funding are two options. I also think we’re still so early in the game that we haven’t really tried enough business models to throw our hands up and declare investigative journalism dead. There needs to be more experimentation in the monetization of this area. I would gladly pay a premium for this type of reporting.

 

Finally, when I asked De Rosa if he’d rather quote a press release or a blog post to cite an executive’s point of view, he said, “I’d prefer neither. We’re not in the business of publishing press releases.”

As we’ve seen over the past few years in particular, the open discussions enabled through digital and social media have brought it to the age of transparency and authenticity. This means that PR tactics are ever-changing. The release is not dead (stay tuned for my next post), but the ways in which companies communicate their points of view and news are changing dramatically. To stand out in the voices competing for attention and headlines, we must be trustworthy, interesting and quick.

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Wed, 17 Jul 2013 09:45:00 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/inkhouse/blog/2013/07/17/qa_with_anthony_de_rosa_of_circa_on_sources_and_investigative_journalism_ http://www.profnetconnect.com/inkhouse/blog/2013/07/17/qa_with_anthony_de_rosa_of_circa_on_sources_and_investigative_journalism_ In between reporting on Edward Snowden, the crash of Asiana flight 214, and the Boston Marathon Bombing suspect’s appearance in court, Anthony De Rosa, the relatively new editor-in-chief for Circa, graciously answered a few questions for me about this innovative news platform he is presiding over and the future of journalism.

Circa is the mobile news app that breaks stories down to their core facts to make them easier to read and share. For more on how it works, read, “The Message and the Medium: Mobile News, Circa and Anthony De Rosa.” I wanted to find out more about how De Rosa and his team source news stories (Circa’s stories are written by aggregating credible sources into unique articles), and how he views the evolution of investigative journalism. Here’s our conversation:

Beth: How do Circa editors determine which sources to cite? I love the approach of using a string of facts and quotes to build stories and am curious about the process of mining through the chorus of voices to determine which is the most authoritative source on any given topic.

Anthony: We check multiple sources we’ve become comfortable with over a long period of time for their reliability. In some cases we may even contact primary sources (officials, the journalist who broke the story, emergency personnel, main subjects of the story) in order to confirm information. Nobody owns the facts, we track them down and verify them to create original storylines. We write original storylines that are made for mobile. Concise, fact-driven and to the point.

Note: On the Snowden story today alone, there are 22 citations alone, from a wide variety of sources including Wikileaks, CNN, the Guardian, Reuters, The Daily Beast, RT News, LaJournada and many more. See below.

Beth: What are your views on investigative journalism? How will it evolve in the new media model? Investigative news is still very much the purview of newspapers (with some notable exceptions), but even amid the Boston Marathon Bombings, The Boston Globe was the go-to source (although I was watching Anonymous constantly as well).

Anthony: I think local news organizations are essential to investigative journalism, as well as things like Pro Publica and data driven investigative journalism by people like Brian Boyer and Dan Sinker. There’s going to need to be a variety of ways to keep this alive. I think crowdfunding and grant-based funding are two options. I also think we’re still so early in the game that we haven’t really tried enough business models to throw our hands up and declare investigative journalism dead. There needs to be more experimentation in the monetization of this area. I would gladly pay a premium for this type of reporting.

 

Finally, when I asked De Rosa if he’d rather quote a press release or a blog post to cite an executive’s point of view, he said, “I’d prefer neither. We’re not in the business of publishing press releases.”

As we’ve seen over the past few years in particular, the open discussions enabled through digital and social media have brought it to the age of transparency and authenticity. This means that PR tactics are ever-changing. The release is not dead (stay tuned for my next post), but the ways in which companies communicate their points of view and news are changing dramatically. To stand out in the voices competing for attention and headlines, we must be trustworthy, interesting and quick.

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