Posts Tagged ‘media’

Digital Journal offers editorial blueprint for newsroom success

August 16th, 2011

My company, Digital Journal, issued the following press release this morning:

After receiving widespread praise for its Global Editorial Meetings, Digital Journal today released feedback to give newsrooms and editors a chance to hear about the types of content people are looking for.

Throughout the month of July, Digital Journal hosted online story meetings that were open to the public. The live-chat discussions invited reporters, citizen journalists, bloggers and average news consumers into the editorial process to help shape the coverage being produced by Digital Journal. Participants were invited to provide input on the type of content of interest to them.

Participants interacted with Digital Journal editors and management to express their thoughts on stories and topics they believe were under-reported; emerging trends and topics that needed more media attention; and geographies and local stories that were being missed by the press. Readers chatted live and responded to polls and questions, and that feedback was used to assign stories to thousands of contributors via Digital Journal’s content assignment technology.

“We learned a lot about what people look for in a news site, and we were surprised by some of the feedback we got,” said Digital Journal CEO, Chris Hogg. “One of the most interesting things we noticed was that local content matters to people, but those people are also likely to read local content from other regions if the right context is provided. Several people told us they will read foreign news coverage if it’s presented to them through a single content source, and they really enjoy reading about news from other cities.”

Several key themes surfaced in the Global Editorial Meetings, including:

  • Local content is widely sought-out by news consumers, but the majority are also interested in local stories from other geographies when context is provided.
  • Readers are increasingly turning to social media sites to discover new information, following content feeds from media organizations on Twitter and Facebook because they are often curated and timelier than a website.
  • Readers view their social media friends as content sources, often citing their social circles as sources of information.
  • When a major or developing story breaks, a large percentage of online news consumers turn to their social media circles to validate information and to get updates rather than turning to a specific news site. Readers will often follow a story as it breaks on Twitter and Facebook, and then look for validated information from news sources after.
  • Several readers want to see more investigative journalism and original work in the mainstream press and less content from wire services.
  • A large percentage of readers enjoy reading opinion pieces, even if it’s an opinion contrary to their own sentiments.
  • Most readers want to see more editorial coverage from regions such as South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Several readers said they hope to learn more about these regions beyond the typical headlines that come from these areas.
  • When it comes to content verticals, several readers said they want more business, science, and environmental news, regardless of the geography from which a story originates.
  • Readers want to see more photography with news stories, citing preferences for photo essays and on-the-ground reports filled with high-quality visuals.

In addition to these overall themes, participants also noted that while a lot of the news they read informs them about what’s happening around them, deeper context is often missing in news articles in the mainstream press. That is especially true when it comes to discussions on the debt crisis and global financial markets, readers said. In addition, readers said geographies such as Africa and the Middle East are often in the news because of conflict occurring in those regions, but they believe media outlets need to do a better job of explaining the various sides of a story, such as who is involved, historical context and why the story should matter to them.

“Digital Journal is well-known for giving a voice to anyone who wants to take part in the news-gathering process,” said Hogg. “Learning from our readers, as well as people who are just discovering us as a news source, helps us improve our news offering and I would encourage every newsroom to start experimenting by bringing their readers behind the curtain to involve them in the everyday process of reporting news.”

Full transcripts from Digital Journal’s Global Editorial Meetings are available on request.

About Digital Journal:

Digital Journal is a global digital media network with 32,000 professional and citizen journalists, bloggers, photographers and freelancers in 200 countries around the world. Regarded as a pioneer and leader in crowd-sourcing and user-generated content, Digital Journal is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Digital Journal also consults news organizations on how to empower their audience to acquire content, drive revenue and increase engagement from digital media properties. For more information, visit digitaljournal.com.

Digital Journal commended for opening newsroom story meetings to the public

August 16th, 2011

My company, Digital Journal, issued the following press release this morning:

Digital Journal, a global digital media network with contributors in 200 countries, reported a strong response to its series of Global Editorial Meetings, ushering in a new precedent for how newsrooms interact with their audience and how editorial content is produced.

Online story meetings were open to the public, taking place throughout July. The live-chat discussions invited reporters, citizen journalists, bloggers and average news consumers into the editorial process to help shape the coverage produced by Digital Journal. Participants were invited to provide input on the type of content of interest to them.

“In an age where people go online to find content appealing to their tastes, it’s important for news organizations to adapt and ensure their editorial process aligns with reader interests,” said Digital Journal CEO, Chris Hogg. “By opening up our story meetings to the public, we provided a platform for people everywhere to tell us what they care about. We received a lot of great feedback that will allow us to target geographies and stories we know people care about.”

During the Global Editorial Meetings, participants interacted with Digital Journal editors to express their thoughts on stories and topics they believe were under-reported in the media; emerging trends and topics that needed more media attention; and geographies and local stories missed by the press. Readers chatted live and responded to polls and questions, and that feedback was used to assign stories to thousands of contributors via Digital Journal’s content assignment technology.

Several participants said they enjoy reading and contributing to Digital Journal because of the variety of content.

“I like Digital Journal because it gives me a mix of everything,” said Denise, a reader based in the UK. “I enjoy visiting a news site that offers me news I want to read from my location but also something else.”

Kim was also fond of Digital Journal’s diverse editorial mix. “I like a variety of hard-hitting news and politics as well as the odd news and light-hearted stuff, the same mix as Digital Journal provides,” she said.

Participants were very happy to have the opportunity to participate in a discussion about what is newsworthy and what stories they felt were not being covered by international press. Participants were also happy to have an opportunity to speak directly with Digital Journal staff members.

Pulling back the curtain and offering the public a chance to take part in the news-gathering process has earned Digital Journal kudos and praise from people all over the world.

“Thank you [Digital Journal] for great moderation, openness, and opportunity for feedback,” said Sam Halaby.

“Thanks for asking us what we think,” wrote Darren W. “Don’t see that often in the media.”

Full transcripts from Digital Journal’s Global Editorial Meetings are available on request.

Digital Journal will also be publishing an editorial summary to provide media organizations with an overview of the type of content average readers enjoy consuming, as well as input on how to improve online news coverage. The summary can be found here.

About Digital Journal:

Digital Journal is a global digital media network with 32,000 professional and citizen journalists, bloggers, photographers and freelancers in 200 countries around the world. Regarded as a pioneer and leader in crowd-sourcing and user-generated content, Digital Journal is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Digital Journal also consults news organizations on how to empower their audience to acquire content, drive revenue and increase engagement from digital media properties. For more information, visit digitaljournal.com.

Debate: The gap between what reporters write and what readers consume

March 11th, 2011

Joshua Benton, director of Nieman Journalism Labs For those interested in the gap between what reporters cover and what readers consume, this video from MIT/NiemanLabs may be of interest.

Pablo Boczkowski is a Northwestern professor who studies news production and how it is changing in a digital environment. In the video embedded below, Boczkowski makes a presentation on the kind of journalism news organizations produce and how it compares to what people actually consume. Boczkowski gathers data from a wide variety of sources that span different geographies and time periods.

After his presentation, Joshua Benton from Nieman Journalism Lab weighs in with a few interesting points to encourage discussion and debate on the subject.

You can read a transcript here, and for those who want to skip ahead: Boczkowski’s talk starts at 7:50; Benton’s response starts at 37:10; and a Q&A session starts at 57:45.

Pablo Boczkowski and Joshua Benton at MIT Communications Forum from Nieman Journalism Lab on Vimeo.

Citizen journalists, media capture earthquake aftermath in Japan

March 11th, 2011

The aftermath of an earthquake in Japan, March 2011Japan has been hit by the most powerful earthquake since it started keeping records, and a massive tsunami warning has been issued across the Pacific. Videos show widespread flooding, including ships, cars and buildings being washed away.

Japan was hit by an 8.9-magnitude earthquake Friday, prompting the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to issue a widespread warning watch for tsunamis.

According to a report in the LA Times, seismologist Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena said the quake “is going to be among the top 10 earthquakes recorded since we have had seismographs. It’s bigger than any known historic earthquake in Japan, and bigger than expectations for that area.”

The BBC reports a state of emergency has been declared in a nuclear power plant in Japan, but no radiation leaks have been reported. According to reports, hundreds of people are dead after the 8.9-magnitude quake hit about 400 km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo at 2:46 p.m. local time.

Video captured by local media and citizen journalists is now making its way online, showing massive damage. While places like Hawaii brace for impact, the damage within Japan is widespread.

Here are some videos showing the devastation in Japan:

Map of areas affected in and around Japan (courtesy Storyful):


View Japan Earthquake – March 11 in a larger map

[via Digital Journal]

Digital Journal data shows strong growth in user-generated media

February 24th, 2011

Digital JournalMy company Digital Journal, issued a press release today that is important for anyone following user-generated content and how it plays a role in media.

The press release is pasted below:

TORONTO, Feb. 24 – Digital Journal, a global digital media news network, released data today showing strong growth in its online and mobile divisions.

Regarded as a pioneer and leader in crowd-sourcing and user-generated content, Digital Journal has 30,000 professional and citizen journalists, bloggers, photographers and freelancers in 200 countries around the world.

Today, the company released the following information related to growth:

Mobile growth

  • Mobile website and smartphone apps attracting more than half-a-million pageviews per month and growing.
  • Smartphone apps launched in mid December 2010 for Android, Apple, BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices in partnership with Polar Mobile.
  • Smartphone apps downloaded 35,000 times since launch, currently growing by more than 5,000 downloads per day.
  • Interactive mobile website allows anyone to post news, blogs, images and more from their smartphone.

Online growth

  • Attracting millions of readers, doubling year-over-year entirely by word of mouth.
  • Crowd-sourcing content from 30,000 members in 200 countries around the world.
  • Paid out more than $100,000 to outside contributors so far.
  • Digital Journal has published more than 100,000 news articles and 65,000 images from contributors in every major metropolis around the globe.
  • Editors make more than 200 appearances on national TV, radio and in print each year.

Future of Media events

  • Digital Journal is now running a semi-annual conference called Future of Media, a speaker series dedicated to discussing the future of media.
  • Past speakers include executives from Facebook, Global News, CBC, CTV and more.
  • Sponsors have included Dell, Rogers, Canada Newswire, Queensway Audi and more.
  • Every event has sold-out, hitting capacity before doors open.
  • Future of Media events widely regarded as must-see media events for executives in media, advertising and PR.

“Digital Journal is excited about its strong growth and global reach,” said Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal, Inc. “With a content platform that is proprietary and automated, we’re currently looking at a number of potential strategic partnership opportunities.”

Digital Journal Platform & Technology

Digital Journal’s proprietary content platform enables qualified contributors to publish content such as news, blogs, images and video, as well as engage in discussions on important topics from their communities. The company’s platform enables content creation at scale, and ad revenue is shared with contributors based on how many pageviews and how much engagement their content attracts.

Digital Journal’s platform enables the company to scale from a hyperlocal focus to an international audience, with the ability to contact readers and contributors within 1 km (1/2 mile) of any geographic location in order to crowd-source content. That technology has been showcased in events such as the recent uprisings in the Middle East and Africa; when a massive earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand; and in order to mobilize citizens to cover their communities in metropolises such as Toronto, New York, Paris, London, Sydney and more.

Digital Journal publishes a variety of content ranging from on-the-ground news reports to more general interest stories on topics such as celebrities, business and food. Contributors and readers interact in a one-of-a-kind social news experience that blends news reportage with social communities and groups.

Digital Journal also consults news organizations on how to empower their audience to acquire content, drive revenue and increase engagement from digital media properties. For more information, visit digitaljournal.com