(This is a presentation I gave at BCNIPhilly on April 25, 2009.)
The Spartan Daily newsroom at San Jose State University circa
May 2006. A student media organization operates in a bubble,
rarely collaborating with other schools when it comes to content,
except for sports photos of away games.
When I wrote this story, I communicated by phone and e-mail with a
reporter at the Dallas Morning News who acted as a mentor of
sorts, steering me in the right direction.
At the Santa Cruz Sentinel, I
worked in a generally young
newsroom with a lack of
institutional memory, and at times,
high staff turnover at times. It was
hard for reporters new to a beat to
add any context to their stories.
At GateHouse Media, I worked with hundreds of disconnected
reporters and editors, each operating in a tiny newsroom bubble.
They knew how to share content, and even ideas about craft on a
regional scale, but had no channel for talking about the content of
their stories, pre-publication.
Can we help reporters pop the newsroom bubble and replace
institutional memory with collective guidance?
If only there was a way to add context to reporting while making
connections with mentors and forming a community around those
connections to better track and codify them...
for your beat.
This tagline, defined: http://tr.im/ROtagline
Launched October 1, 2008, powered by Django,
developed and designed solo.
50 daily visits
Traffic started high and then tapered
off with occasional bursts after fresh
links from prominent blogs.
DIY has its limits.Trying to do it all by
What's my motivation?
Twitter is faster than me.
Public Relations Sharks.
Wait a minute.
Did I just
build a database
of beat reporters
that makes it really easy
for PR practitioners
to find and contact
with the beat(s)
For better ways to connect PR and journalists, see
HARO and PitchEngine.
Is that a problem?
Hire developers! The ReportingOn development team?
Please phrase that in the form
of a question.
Tie into Twitter, loosely.
Quick & dirty translation.
Tag those sharks.
This is a mockup.
Ask a question, get
an answer. Or six.
Vote up the best
points, get badges,
feed your ego. Hot
topics bubble to the
surface. Track your
and answers to your
This is a mockup.
See a good answer
to a question on
your beat? Find a
journalist, check out
what they follow.
questions, or follow
their answers. Make
develop your beat’s
When it’s done, ReportingOn will be open-sourced, so you can carve your
own question & answer tool out of it. Maybe you want a private version for
your news organization, or you want to ask your readers questions....
Start thinking about a Knight
newschallenge.org Newsnow. Start crafting your
Challenge proposal for
pitch, talking about it, sharpen
helpareporter.com your ideas now.