Hunter Medical Research Institute
May 2013
State of the media
• Business model imploding:
• Dumbed down
• Infomania
• Senior + specialist journalists
leaving
• Trust...
State of Science
• Locked out of public debate, misquoted in media
• Thousands of credible and independent experts
• But l...
The best of both worlds together
• Turn the university into a Giant Newsroom!
• Combining academic rigour, journalistic fl...
Bound by Charter
• Unlock knowledge
• Explain big problems, offer solutions
• Give experts voice in scientific, cultural &...
Commercial
media
Not for profit
x
Authors recognised experts
x
Content free to the public
x
Free from commercial agenda
x
...
Pipeline of information direct to the public
• 15 commissioning editors
• 4910 registered academics
• Global university ne...
How we’re doing – KPIs
Source: Google analytics.
Last Updated: 1 April 2013
• Traffic and reach
26m page views
15m visits
...
Compared to others?
Average unique daily
visits
(Feb 2013)
The Conversation 21,400
Business Spectator 20,200
Crikey 16,500...
• 69% of articles republished
• 43% of authors contacted by media
Seeding the media
Smart, engaged community
80%
are not academics
89% have an undergraduate degree or higher
75% are employed
29% live in a h...
Case studies: Viral international pick up
• 400K views, 32K on
facebook
• Most widely-read article
• Re-tweeted by: Richar...
Case studies: Monday medical myths
• Popular myths busted
• Over 70 myths (e.g., ‘Vitamin C prevents colds’)
• Creative Co...
Case studies: Obesity infographic
• Interactive infographic: 23K views
• Republished in: Mamamia, Life
Hacker, ABC, Food M...
The Conversation
Newsroom
Engaged in the news cycle
Writing for The Conversation
Writing for The Conversation
Writing for The Conversation
Writing for The Conversation
Every author gets a rich control centre
Measure of public engagement
Get involved!
• Get your researchers
to create profiles
• Pitch to our editors
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The Conversation presentation at HMRI

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  • Lost expertise….Adam Cresswell, health editor The AustralianLeigh Dayton, science writer The AustralianDeborah Smith, science editor SMHMark Metherell, health correspondent SMH, The AgeJulie Robothom, medical editor SMHMy idea was that the university could provide it.
  • Every news outlet has its experts and specialists:Instead of one Science Correspondent the university had 1500 scientists.Instead of a team of three politics reporters, the uni had 70 in the Politics Dept.For medicine we had one reporter, UniMelb has 400 doing stem cell research.And so on
  • Every news outlet has its experts and specialists:Instead of one Science Correspondent the university had 1500 scientists.Instead of a team of three politics reporters, the uni had 70 in the Politics Dept.For medicine we had one reporter, UniMelb has 400 doing stem cell research.And so on
  • 1300 academics have registered to write for us.Academics love using our siteWe have Code of Conduct adopted from unis, Community Standards.Not an education website!
  • Hand out benefit schedule
  • Pick up of ‘Choosing the vegetarian meal? You’ve got blood on your hands’. – published Dec 2011, but still being republished today. Its continued life with a spot on ABC’s Science show just last week.
  • Academics told us they don’t want another channel to just talk to each other.70% are not academics.Academics also asked us to help them extend and better measure their reach.Compare to Reddit: 72% male, age 25-34, undergrad eductation, income under $25k, occupation IT
  • Hand out benefit schedule
  • Hand out benefit schedule
  • Hand out benefit schedule
  • What do they do????Keep a close eye on the news, and on researchTake the pulse of public opinion and interestCome up with ideas or assess ideas from pitchFind the experts best equipped to write Edit collaboratively to produce something that is evidence-based and nuanced, but still enjoyable and interesting to read, and talking about relevant issues
  • So what do we do?Professional editors:Work in collaboration with academics. Seed conversations, commission the right person, edit copy, write headlines. Translate Academic English into Plain English.Agree article sign-off by author.
  • Pitch, or contact an editor directly (see the ‘Our Team’ page)
  • Individual command centre for tracking public engagementAuthors increasingly are submitting their dashboards for promotion and in support of funding applications.
  • The Conversation presentation at HMRI

    1. 1. Hunter Medical Research Institute May 2013
    2. 2. State of the media • Business model imploding: • Dumbed down • Infomania • Senior + specialist journalists leaving • Trust eroded
    3. 3. State of Science • Locked out of public debate, misquoted in media • Thousands of credible and independent experts • But locked in an ‘ivory tower’
    4. 4. The best of both worlds together • Turn the university into a Giant Newsroom! • Combining academic rigour, journalistic flair Found: The last untapped goldmine
    5. 5. Bound by Charter • Unlock knowledge • Explain big problems, offer solutions • Give experts voice in scientific, cultural & intellectual agendas • Free from commercial, political interest • Seed other media, heal the patient
    6. 6. Commercial media Not for profit x Authors recognised experts x Content free to the public x Free from commercial agenda x Solution-centric x Safe publishing platform x Creative Commons, access to all x New voices x Why we are different
    7. 7. Pipeline of information direct to the public • 15 commissioning editors • 4910 registered academics • Global university networks • State of the art site: readability index at aged 16 • Authors sign off and approve – full control • Daily newsletter, active social media
    8. 8. How we’re doing – KPIs Source: Google analytics. Last Updated: 1 April 2013 • Traffic and reach 26m page views 15m visits 8m unique visitors (35% international) • Engagement – 5,000 authors – 290 institutions – 10,000 articles – 142k+ comments – 6K+ republications
    9. 9. Compared to others? Average unique daily visits (Feb 2013) The Conversation 21,400 Business Spectator 20,200 Crikey 16,500 Source: Nielsen. NB: Nielsen excludes: international, republications
    10. 10. • 69% of articles republished • 43% of authors contacted by media Seeding the media
    11. 11. Smart, engaged community 80% are not academics 89% have an undergraduate degree or higher 75% are employed 29% live in a household that owns a business 47% have household income over $100,000 41% hold a postgraduate degree Source: TC reader survey, March 2013 13-17, 1% 18- 24, 19% 25- 34, 33% 35- 44, 23% 45- 54, 13% 55-64, 7% 65+, 5% 51% 49%
    12. 12. Case studies: Viral international pick up • 400K views, 32K on facebook • Most widely-read article • Re-tweeted by: Richard Dawkins, Ricky Gervais, Tim Minchin & others
    13. 13. Case studies: Monday medical myths • Popular myths busted • Over 70 myths (e.g., ‘Vitamin C prevents colds’) • Creative Commons: republished SBS & others • 249,840 unique readers
    14. 14. Case studies: Obesity infographic • Interactive infographic: 23K views • Republished in: Mamamia, Life Hacker, ABC, Food Mag, Nestle • Partnership: Baker IDI, Aus Sci Media Centre, TC
    15. 15. The Conversation Newsroom Engaged in the news cycle
    16. 16. Writing for The Conversation
    17. 17. Writing for The Conversation
    18. 18. Writing for The Conversation
    19. 19. Writing for The Conversation
    20. 20. Every author gets a rich control centre
    21. 21. Measure of public engagement
    22. 22. Get involved! • Get your researchers to create profiles • Pitch to our editors
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