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Turning engaged readers into super-engaged readers: Advice for creating a successful newsletter strategy

| July 13, 2018 – 2:20 pm | 168 views

The email newsletter is seeing a resurgence in popularity, having experienced a slow period as the news world went through a “method-of-the-year” style approach to audience engagement as hype for new concepts came and went.

From RSS to curation to social media it became easy to overlook the humble newsletter, but doing so means doing yourself a severe disservice.

At newsrewired, we gathered a panel with representatives from organisations known for their high quality and popular newsletters, chaired by Federica Cherubini, international head of knowledge sharing at Condé Nast International.

The article is a compilation of the various strategies, approaches, experiences and tips from the panel.

Read the full story »

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Constructive journalism: a cure for reader disengagement?

| July 13, 2018 – 11:03 am | 334 views

Constructive journalism is experiencing a rise in engagement from both the public and the press, driven by a need for solutions to consumer news fatigue or outright rejection.

A newsrewired panel with speakers running a range of constructive projects, moderated by Seán Dagan Wood, publisher of Positive News, shared experiences of the negative aspects of our current journalistic practice, and the potential benefits of a more constructive approach.

Overlapping with solutions journalism, constructive journalism aims to focus on more positive aspects of the stories being covered. Far from meaning journalists should gloss over issues in favour of fluff, this practice aims to present a fuller, more accurate picture by also highlighting solutions to the problems highlighted by the news agenda.

Still a relatively new concept, constructive journalism has been gaining traction in niche journalism and activist circles since the early nineties and in the larger mainstream organisation in the last few years.

Direct examples include the Upside series by the Guardian and several projects by the BBC such as the World Hacks series, but also go beyond to a more general sector-wide adoption.

Tom Colls, senior journalist with World Hacks, BBC World Service shared that while it hasn’t become an official policy inside the organisation, they have had quite a few supporters “banging the drums” about constructive journalism and “it has slowly been creeping its way in,” seeing more projects and one-off pieces over the years across the range of BBC outlets.

This comes as a response to the “if it bleeds, it leads”, tragedy-focused news bombardment our medium have seen dominating the news world lately.

Mark Rice-Oxley, head of special projects at the Guardian, emphasised that it’s important for journalists to realise that “we aren’t just a mirror to society, as many in journalists would describe themselves as”.

“We do shape society, sometimes by magnifying horrible things such as with suicide coverage fuelling copycat effects.”

This could lead to “news fatigue” or aversion, and more constructive content can be a necessity to keep readers engaged, especially younger audiences, suggested Julia Migné, co-founder of INKLINE.

“It’s almost a rejection of the traditional model. Especially in the last few years, it’s been tiring to see the constant negativity and you might feel like you’d rather not read the news at all.”

Jodie Jackson, author and researcher; explores this psychological aspect of news engagement in her new book “You are what you read”, a topic she got involved with after almost quitting news herself due to the depressive effect it had on her.

She sees constructive journalism as one way of preventing that disengagement with the news: “People thought that my decision to stop watching the news was weak, naive, ignorant, extreme or that I was perhaps at fault in some way. But after a decade of research it became clear to me that perhaps it was the industry that was at fault.”

Providing more hope and optimism through solutions-focused content as an addition to regular news is “the opposite of naïve”, she argued.

The panel all agreed that this won’t be an easy task, that there aren’t quick fixes to complex issues, and with limited resources, constructive journalism can be a hard sell to media organisations.

But they also found, through their different approaches to constructive journalism, quite a few benefits for newsrooms.

User engagement with constructive stories is higher than average and they are often among the most shared pieces. They are rated more digestible and readers spend more time on them. They are popular with young and female readers, and apparently have very lovely comment sections.

Seán Dagan Wood has observed constructive news “taking off” over the last few year, which Jackson attributing this move to news consumers becoming more conscious and critical, and wanting to be engaged.

If the traditional outlets won’t bring more constructive stories to their audience, the readers may find a way to fill that demand themselves proactively by choosing other outlets.

The apps you need to boost your mobile journalism

| July 12, 2018 – 11:11 am | 272 views
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“How much did you spend on your coffee this morning? Let’s say three pounds? And when was the last time you spent three pounds on an app? Probably, never.”
The hard truth is you will never …

Eleven tips for building communities with Facebook groups

| July 12, 2018 – 10:24 am | 154 views
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Using social media to deliver stories to audiences and reach them where they are is now standard for most news organisations. But many go beyond simply broadcasting and use social to build highly-engaged communities with …

What newspapers in the UK can learn from US media

| July 12, 2018 – 9:32 am | 230 views
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Job cuts, a shift to digital and financial pressure – all issues faced by local newspapers in both the US and the UK. But what lessons can the UK’s regional titles learn from how their …

Seven tips to secure funding from Google’s Digital News Initiative

| July 11, 2018 – 5:14 pm | 224 views
Daniel Daum, digital transformation consultant and former managing director of Prisma;
Matthieu Beauval, deputy director, head of innovation at Radio France Digital;
Marcela Kunova, senior reporter, Journalism.co.uk, moderating.

 
Google’s Digital News Initiative (DNI) has supported 461 innovative projects since its launch three years ago and spent more than €94 million supporting media innovation. As a fresh round of funding approaches – the next call …

Hackastory’s Albertine Piels on why ‘digital-first is outdated’

| July 11, 2018 – 4:38 pm | 294 views
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Forget digital-first; build an audience-first strategy instead – this was the message from Albertine Piels, director of journalism innovation agency Hackastory at July’s newsrewired conference.
“If we want to make an impact, we shouldn’t talk about print versus …

Beyond the news cycle: the benefits of slow journalism

| July 11, 2018 – 4:14 pm | 355 views
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Audiences are used to rolling news channels and an abundance of fresh stories from their preferred outlets every day. But what about stories and news organisations that go beyond the 24-hour cycle and commit to …

How to create a successful podcast in five steps

| July 11, 2018 – 3:27 pm | 520 views
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A good podcast combines engaging stories with an audience-pleasing format that allows you to download and listen wherever and whenever. But if you’re starting a podcast, what steps should you take to establish and increase …

Reuters: Publicly correcting mistakes is crucial to fight fake news

| July 11, 2018 – 1:49 pm | 557 views
Newsrewired-July18-Simon Robinson, Reuters EMEA chief,will explain how the world’s largest international multimedia news provider is addressing these issues by focusing on robust reporting

Social media may perpetuate fake news but it can also be used to keep news organisations truthful, says Simon Robinson, Reuters EMEA chief.
“Some of the same forces that have given rise to fake news and …

Agenda updates: audience-first storytelling and newsletters

| July 3, 2018 – 12:16 pm | 395 views
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At Journalism.co.uk, we are making the final preparations for our next newsrewired digital journalism event, taking place on 10-11 July in London.

Our training day on 10 July will give delegates the change to perfect one of two skills: 360-degree video, or Instagram storytelling.

The conference on 11 July will bring together speakers and delegates from organisations leading in the media ecosystem to discuss the latest trends and techniques in digital journalism.

We are pleased to announce two new additions to the programme.

Kate Day, editor, UK, Politico, will be joining the panel on editorial newsletters strategy, discussing what underpins a strategy, how to measure success, and how the approach to newsletters links to the organisation’s editorial or commercial priorities.

Journalists and media companies today are faced with a massive change: focus on your audience first to build a sustainable media organisation and thrive in this digital era. In a workshop with Albertine Piels, director of Hackastory, you will explore a day in the life of your audience and build a user journey, and you’ll learn how to apply that knowledge to your story.

Two new speakers join us at newsrewired on 11 July

| June 29, 2018 – 4:28 pm | 233 views

With only 12 days to go until our next newsrewired digital journalism conference taking place at Reuters in London on 11 July, the team is pleased to announce two more speakers joining our sessions on the day.

Karyn Fleeting is the head of audience engagement for the Reach plc (formerly known as Trinity Mirror) regional titles, with a brief covering several hundred social accounts, pages and profiles.

At newsrewired, Karyn will be sharing some insights into her strategy for running Facebook groups, from engagement tactics to accelerating growth and taking lessons from the groups to the title’s publishing strategies.

Andrew Green is the managing editor of Malnutrition Deeply, a single-topic news site that is part of the larger News Deeply community.

Green will be joining the newsrewired opening panel in the place of Megan Clement, managing editor, Women’s Advancement Deeply, who can no longer join us on the day. 

Before his role at Malnutrition Deeply, Green worked as a freelance print and radio journalist from sub-Saharan Africa for more than six years, including a stint as Voice of America’s South Sudan bureau chief.