Focus, focus, focus, focus, focus

OK, the director of CNN Digital didn’t say the same word five times, but she could have. Have a specialty, measure what matters, match platform to message, tend to your story after publication, and go in order.

Here’s the flavor of Meredith Artley’s remarks made at Harvard last week and a link to the audio of her presentation:

Artley also discussed how analytics can be used to improve journalism — without compromising an outlet’s commitment to hard news. “It’s not saying, ‘Let’s not do Ukraine because nobody’s clicking on it.’ It’s saying, ‘This is a critically important story — how do we need to position this … to reach the broadest audience?'” she said. “Don’t simplify the argument into ‘data bad, journalistic instinct good.’”

Meredith Artley of CNN Digital: Five rules for modern journalists Journalist’s Resource: Research for Reporting, from Harvard Shorenstein Center.

In Lab Lit, Fiction Meets Science of the Real World –

Duh, so that’s why I like Richard Powers’ books so much. The simple term is “Lab Lit.” It means works of fiction that get the science right *and* the story. I teach students that effective science writing often involves a main character. In journalism, that character is a real person. In Lab Lit, the authors get to make up the people.

In Lab Lit, Fiction Meets Science of the Real World –

Don’t let digital dissemination discussion blind you to how the culture of news gathering has changed

We know people read in various media. And we know journalists are in a bit of a panic about how to get paid to produce either short- or long-form pieces. New York Times Magazine editor Gerald Marzorati’s recent speech focuses on that and even tells the cost to produce a New York Times Magazine cover story ($40,000 and up). I was intrigued by the glimpse at marketing the stories (early release to get the bloggers going in order to drive traffic to both the online and print versions). And while we hear so much emphasis on how online dissemination changes things, Marzorati describes also how the culture of news gathering has changed. Access to public figures is managed and tight. So writers now give us “ordinary people” stories, and stories of health and science. When we focus only on digital transmission, we forget that we operate in a culture that also helps form the news agenda. As editors, we must weigh our total environment. You’ll find the entire speech worth reading. I did.