Nieman Lab staff offers #ISOJ takeaway

(Ed. note: This is being crossposted from The Telescope @ Tumblr.)

Wow, what a fantastic roundup of insights from the recent International Symposium on Online Journalism…

The Nieman Lab article is a must-read in its entirety, but here are some points that really stood out to me:

“[Google’s Richard] Gingras said news companies spend too much time worrying about their home pages and not enough about their article pages. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if there comes a time when a media company opts not to have a homepage at all”

This is a very interesting concept. I’ve watched media companies invest a great deal of resources into their vertical blogs lately. (See examples at The New York Times and Buzzfeed.)

These are stunning outlets for niche audiences, complete with a churning well of content and a very direct design. Organizations should recognize the interest-driven nature of online news/content distribution. While verticals like the above links may not work well for all levels of media outlets, I think there’s a wellspring of opportunity for editorial staffs to explore.

The [Dallas] Morning News is trying to differentiate itself in two ways: By shifting its production to fit devices like tablets, and by shifting its reporting with a plan they call “PICA,” which stands for Perspective, Interpretation, Context and Analysis.

Here are two other very important points. It goes back to the mantra of “mobile, mobile, mobile” that’s plastered on the walls of editorial boardrooms. News orgs better prepare and devise ways of taking their content to the mobile platform. That will be a driving force both in editorial decision-making and ad revenues (Hmm… let’s hope).

Also, just a quick note: “Perspective, Interpretation, Context and Analysis” is a great little checklist for how to get the job done. PICA. Dig it.

On one last note, below I’ve embedded a slick presentation of data on Andy Carvin‘s social media sourcing methods from his Arab Spring reporting. The Nieman staff writes: “[H]is tweets served as a major amplifier of lesser-known sources.” That’s a big point in terms of international journalism.


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