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Lessons from Launching NPR StateImpact and The Texas Tribune
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Lessons from Launching NPR StateImpact and The Texas Tribune


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A presentation for publia media station WHYY. Five things I learned in launching NPR's StateImpact network and before that, The Texas Tribune.

A presentation for publia media station WHYY. Five things I learned in launching NPR's StateImpact network and before that, The Texas Tribune.

Published in: News & Politics, Technology
  • Hi Yassir, the slides accompanied a presentation so they don't have everything I discussed right on them. If you have questions feel free to email me at Thanks. Also I blog at, where I put additional links that are mentioned here.
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  • 1. Five Things I Learned From Launching StateImpact & The Texas Tribune (WHAT I CAN REMEMBER, ANYWAY) Elise Hu | @elisewhoThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 2. How I Spent 2009-2011Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 3. What’s The Texas Tribune? This is Evan. He’ll explain.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 4. #1 Context, Context , Context Knowledge, Not Just NewsThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 5. Provide Unique Value Mission-Driven Focus “It wasn’t our story. Should we have just been one more news organization rushing to Fort Hood? I don’t think so,” said Mr. Stiles, who joined the Web site from The Houston Chronicle.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 6. Wikipedia Style Topic Pages Most popular, long-tail content on StateImpact are topic pages Perform strong with searchThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 7. Topic Pages Target Different Audiences Background for those who know nothing about the topic. Key Links for those “just joining us” on a running topic. Key Stories/Latest News aggregates all coverage for junkies.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 8. Data Journalism as Differentiator Users want more than just narrative text stories. They want data. They want to search the data. They want to see the data visualized. Teach them how to use it. WITF’s Scott Detrow with NPR’s Matt StilesThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 9. Searchable Databases and Interactives Users can see every natural gas well, operator and violation in PA. Users can also explore by county or municipality.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 10. Resources: Webinars, June 7, 2012
  • 11. Resources: Documentation Webinars and How-To’s available on StateImpact Team BlogThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 12. #2 Combine Original Content with Smart Curation True for The Texas Tribune, NPR’s Project Argo and StateImpactThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 13. Original Content to Cut Through the Clutter StateImpact: Explanation is our franchise.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 14. THE OLD WAY Organizations covering the THE NOW WAY same straight story. Curating, aggregating the straight story so there’s time for your original take.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 15. Frequency Breeds Web Success New York Magazine publishes content every six minutes. StateImpact reporters expected to post at least five times a day. NPR’s Two-Way Blog (the news blog) posts 12-17 times per day.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 16. “Do what you do best, link to the rest.” -Jeff JarvisThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 17. Smart Curation: Link Roundups Curated by the reporters each morning as part of their post diets.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 18. Smart Curation: Links Modules These aren’t automated.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 19. Smart Curation: Curated Posts Attribute, Attribute, Attribute. No one hoards news nuggets anymore.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 20. Tribune Office, March 2010 Publishing is only the beginning.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 21. Everything is a discrete unit of news. Units of news exist out of context of a home page. Audiences largely encounter news out of context.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 22. #3 Be Open For Open Government, For Open Source, For SharingThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 23. Open Government This is still the core of what we do as journalists. “Yes, journalists have made tons of mistakes and always will. But without their enterprise, to take a few representative recent examples, we would not have known about the wretched conditions for our veterans at Walter Reed, the government’s warrantless wiretapping, the scams at Enron or steroids in baseball.” -Frank RichThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 24. Open Source Anything you build, you should share. Especially if it helps other newsrooms.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 25. #4 Events Are Journalism, Too (And Money Makers)Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 26. The Texas Tribune Festival, 2011 “Real-Time Was The Original Platform” Promote public discourse and engagement.Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 27. Thursday, June 7, 2012
  • 28. #5 Sustain Yo’Self Diversify Your Revenue SourcesThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 29. “Non-profit is a tax status, not a business plan.” -John Bracken, The Knight FoundationThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 30. Diversify! Member + Major Gift + Philanthropy + Earned Income Have a business plan as if you were for-profitThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 31. Events Can Raise Revenue “...Even the free events, including the TribLive speaker series, have been money-makers. They are cheap to produce, for one thing, and often underwritten by corporate sponsors. Smith estimates the Tribune raised about $650,000 in corporate support last year, which includes events.” -Nieman LabThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 32. Diversity = SustainabilityThursday, June 7, 2012
  • 33. Questions? @elisewhoThursday, June 7, 2012