Archive for category The Web
I found this via KERA who found this via NPR and the Washington Post – Ann Powers is finding the voice of the people who aren’t going to take it any more.
“We are more than 15 million individuals in the prime of our lives who have lost our place in the world of work. We call upon our representatives on Capitol Hill to help us directly, rather than assisting our institutions first in the hope that their recovery might also bring us along.
We declare ourselves too big to fail. But we are being pushed by circumstance from the comfortable middle-class to the terrified middle-class, and from the working poor to the hopeless poor. We have lost our savings, retirement, and, in many cases, our monthly income to sustain our lives. We fear homelessness and a loss of stability as we struggle with rebuilding our assets.
We can and will help ourselves. We take jobs for which we are over qualified. We work longer hours. We work odd jobs. We downgrade our lifestyles. We deny our children their birthday gifts and vacations. We try to educate ourselves to the options for cure and take positive steps every day.
But still our financial standing degrades, and we feel the journey of recovery will be long, and we will cry and stumble.
Despite the names chosen by officialdom to describe us, we are not displaced, dislocated, discouraged, disadvantaged, disaffected or disgruntled.
Instead, we are disappointed and disillusioned that the financial condition of our households is of secondary consideration to the economic stabilization of huge Wall Street financial firms, curiously declaring their own recovery just months after calling themselves near death.
In August, six of the seven biggest financial institutions reported quarterly profits that surpassed expectations, despite deteriorating loans on many of their balance sheets. Many of us, however, teeter closer to foreclosure, find ourselves in distressed sales or evicted from our homes.
We are distressed that the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has money to keep us unemployed for longer but not to get us back to work. In July, one in three unemployed individuals were jobless for 27 weeks or more. And, the number of workers who have stopped looking for a job rose to 796,000, up 335,000 over the past 12 months.
We feel disrespected that our government has committed trillions of dollars to get the nation moving again. Yet, we can see no change in our own daily lives.
Has any of this $1.5 trillion bought a single Happy Meal for an unhappy family? Has it sent the creditors that hound us by telephone into silence by making a mortgage or credit card payment for us? Has it bought us groceries or paid the utility or insurance or tax bills? Has it paid for our health insurance?
We declare that we are lost, lonely and forgotten, but that we vow to become loud, united and forceful so we will claim our rightful place at the center of the political debate. The body politic is seriously diseased if those of us who have been the very backbone of U.S. prosperity can be left without direct assistance when we are facing the loss of our homes, careers and all the possessions we need to maintain a safe home for our children.
Patience is no longer the order of the day. There is a rabble to be roused, virtual signs to be made and held up, marches, petitions, visits, phone calls and every manner of communications used to say to the public authorities now it is our turn. Now you must save us.”
Why put content on YouTube or why use Twitter? Because these two services are what is driving people to share content. Why is sharing so important? If a friend recommends content, it has become part of them. If you trust and like that person, it is likely that you will identify with the content as well. The content stops being a commodity and becomes part of your identity.
You want “Engagement” with the issue and with your station – use these tools! (Source)
PRX has also been funded by CPB to curate the best stories from Pub Media that cover the economy. I have added an RSS feed to this page and the link to their site is here. Here is how they talk about their contribution:
When we were setting out to create a site to cover the economy, it was difficult to figure out where to begin. There’s a lot of great material already out there, but how can we as public media tell a different story that allows readers, listeners, and viewers to figure out what’s really important and get a sense of how things are interconnected?
Do we focus on stories like Gary and Rachel Peterson, a father and daughter who were both victims of downsizing at the Weyerhaueser paper plant in Washington state? Or do we answer questions about the auto industry bailouts, with advice from economists and other experts? Should we be paying more attention to how kids are dealing with the recession? Or is it more crucial to understand how the stimulus money is being spent?
We’ll be taking you on a short tour of the projects underway within public media, and over the course of the year, we hope to bring your voice into these stories and make this a space for opinions, ideas, and innovation around a subject that is touching us all in a variety of ways.
Through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a collaboration of public media organizations are producing a wide range of stories and resources on the economy. EconomyStory.org provides a one-stop shop for finding thoughtful editorial coverage of wide-ranging issues facing the American economy and their global implications.
Partners in the collaboration include PRX, NPR, PBS, The NewsHour, Public Interactive, Marketplace, Capitol News Connection, Youth Radio, KQED, PRI’s The World, Nightly Business Report, and WNYC. Tools and resources created by the collaboration partners are available for public and station use, and many can be added as widgets to your web site or social networking page.
For more information on this project and public media’s efforts around the economy as a whole, watch Focus on the Economy from the National Center for Media Engagement. CPB has further information on the Public Service Media Economic Response Initiative and the official press release on the collaboration.Economy Story on Facebook
EconomyStory.org is managed by PRX, the Public Radio Exchange.
We had a webinar on the 28th July where 4 guests showed how we can use our FTMC sites to become a centre-piece of support for both the mission and also a locus of information and engagement for our “audience”. Here are the highlights:
- It is often necessary to define the scope of your site more narrowly and to tighten the content you include in it. This should be done with your audience and its feedback in mind.
- There are two major components to The Mediavore:
-The site seeks to connect the stories people have heard (from national public media sources, for instance) with stories and content they have not yet heard. This additional content is meant to be interesting/entertaining and to augment what readers have already heard and seen.
-The Mediavore seeks to express this in a way that makes the site interesting.
- Your site should have a distinctive “voice”. Experiment with this to get a feel for what feels right. This voice should align with what you want to accomplish and what your audience responds best to.
- Twitter has been an invaluable tool in the success of the Planet Money website.
- Twitter allows the site to be more interactive and enables discussion.
- Planet Money often calls for certain things (photos, stories, etc.) from its audience using Twitter.
- The audience can see the results of their efforts, which builds a stronger following.
- Sometimes, a simple tweet can expand to a blog post, to a podcast, and finally to an appearance on Morning Edition. (Mandy the Clown)
- The best way to build an audience is to be constantly talking to that audience.
- The goal of the Making Sen$e website: To create a place where NewsHour viewers, students, and educators could go to make sense of the economic world.
- The site has gone through three editions, and is targeted towards 1) The layperson seeking to better understand the economy, 2) Educators looking for classroom tools, 2) Students seeking to augment their knowledge of the economy.
- The materials created by the Making Sen$e team, as well as the content aggregated on the site, is meant to have a long “shelf life”. It is material that is relevant and can be referenced again and again.
- Paul Solman’s economics blog is the 2nd most trafficked NewsHour site.
- Essentially, viewers write questions to Paul and he answers them (about 2 per day).
- There has also been some experimentation with the blog (ex: guest bloggers).
- The Patchwork Nation project could be an important tool for Facing the Mortgage Crisis websites. You can use the data compiled by the project as a jumping off point (ex: how do we compare to other similar locations?).
IV. Bobbi English (Sesame Workshop)
- The primetime special “Families Stand Together: Feeling Secure in Tough Times” will air September 9, 2009.
- Project goals:
- To protect children’s wellbeing and emotional development
- To foster hope for kids and families experiencing the mortgage crisis first-hand.
- To raise national awareness of these families.
- To model behavior—How to react to questions, explain what your family is experiencing, etc.
- To help communities better understand families who are going through foreclosure.
- Community screenings will be an important way to bring your community together and to reach out to families in your area.
- In addition, Sesame Workshop is also releasing promos, interstitials, My Source promos, tips for families, and other tools.
- 200,000 free outreach kits will be available for Facing the Mortgage Crisis stations (about 500 per station).
Recently NewsHour‘s Patchwork Nation blogged about the staggering foreclosure numbers, and the fact that among the 12 different community types they’ve identified (for more information, check out Patchwork Nation’s website), foreclosure was the common problem in all of them.
NPR.org launches today. It’s more than a visual makeover it is the cornerstone of a strategy:
The renovated Web site, featuring a cleaner look and easier navigation—is the linchpin, she explained to NEWSWEEK last week, of a strategy to transform NPR into the No. 1 destination for free news on and beyond the radio. “We have to be a multiplatform play,” she said. For Schiller, that means building on NPR’s reputation as a broadcaster of national and international news, by extending its reach into local news. She plans on relying more on local member stations to fill what she sees as a “scary” void in local coverage as hometown daily newspapers fold. (Newsweek interview with Vivian Schiller)
In terrestrial radio and TV, there was a natural alliance between local and national – now on the web there has to be a viable alliance as well.
The technical components are now available – PBS and NPR are making most of their content available on the web. The missing link is how to use the web locally to make use of this in a way that serves the audience and that serves the system.
FTMC gives us the ideal “Space” to try to work this out. For each station now has a special piece of “Web Real Estate” based on the most pressing real need of its community where most of the national web content has been focused. This will surely be our best chance to discover how to make this new alliance work.
We start this discussion July 28th with the webinar on this very topic:
Please join us, along with your team, on Tuesday, July 28th at 3 p.m. ET for a webinar to discuss how to best utilize national content options. The webinar will be hosted by the National Center for Media Engagement, a national project partner.
With Facing the Mortgage Crisis, you have created new and unlimited content platforms—your blogs and websites devoted to Facing the Mortgage Crisis. Now that you have this unlimited “real estate,” how do you best take advantage of it? How do you choose national content that best fits your local community? How do you contextualize national content for your local community?
Todd Mundt, Vice President and Chief Content Officer at Louisville Public Media and Managing Editor of The Mediavore, and Laura Conaway of NPR’s Planet Money will share their editorial and contextualization processes. Additionally, Carolyn O’Hara (The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer) and Bobbi English (Sesame Workshop) will share exciting national content options that will be available to your stations.
We’d like to invite you to ask any questions (to be answered during the webinar) before Tuesday—please post a comment by noon on Monday, 7/27 to the blog post on Ning entitled “July 28th Webinar Details.” You will also be able to join the conversation and ask questions during the webinar.
The major producers in Public Radio and TV are the best source for understanding our financial predicament. The challenge for your local audience is finding the good stuff.
You can help by scanning the system for material that will work for you and for your audience and adding it to the FTMC website – for you now have a piece of free and dedicated real estate to create a centre for financial information for your community.
Here is an example of the kind of material – This from Marketplace:
I asked Mark Smukler at Ideastream why he thought the station had such exceptional results for their web engagement:
WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN ideastream has received 5,708 page views under our Facing the Mortgage coverage online. Our in depth reporting and talk show Sound of Ideas accounted for a 2,931 page of those views. Our resources, including partner spots, tips, general information and other media coverage, had 2,777 total page views.
Here is his reply:
One possible difference is that we have a very active history of coverage of this (and other related) subject that people know about and have been continuing that coverage through this period – both with in depth pieces and shorter radio news pieces. (They have been following this story since May 2006!!!)
Like everyone, we’re running a pretty heavy schedule of spots on both TV and radio (min 6x day on each) promoting both direct service (like 211) as well as our website. But there’s a lot of editorial too – and half the use of the site involves accessing that rich coverage.
Another thing may be that our entire site, both FTMC and everything else, is done in content management. So FTMC stories appear a lot of places including on the radio or TV home page daily whenever there’s new editorial FTMC content, as well as in news, on topic pages (in this case ECONOMY and JOBS), as well as the FTMC pages.
We’ve also taken all our older coverage, no matter whether it was part of a differently titled mini-series or not, and archived it with FTMC pages. Basically, there’s a lot of links on our pages to FTMC pages – lots of opportunity. There are a several good content mgmt software out there – we don’t use Word Press – but it does provide lots of opportunities to put things a lot of places automatically on the site.
Finally, we’ve been spending a far amount of time on our sites and overall are doing better than we were before and comparatively pretty well overall.
Many of us are finding that we can expand our audience for our Town Hall meetings by reposting the show on You Tube. Here WXEL’s YouTube Channel as an example.
This is a great start but with a little editing you can make the 1 hour shows timeless and much easier to watch – for few have an hour to spend. Most have a specific question that they want an answer for.
At KETC we have also “Mined” our Town Hall shows. We look in the hour long content for pieces that deal with a specific question – one that a person may search for using Google – and cut up the show into micro chunks to meet this need to have an expert answer one item. This has worked very well and we are seeing a steady build in traffic as the months roll by.
Here is a link to our FAQ YouTube Channel that has 31 Specific Questions. Here is an example:
You can also see what questions affect people the most – the Video on Default Notices has over 370 views – so merely looking at how people respond gives you a clear indication of what worries them the most
All stations have web sites – but these are mostly a collection of “banners” and schedule notices. They are not what we all know we have to move to – a place where we interact with our audience.
As we work to find our way in this project, some are finding that they have inadvertently created this new relationship by setting up a focused piece of web real estate – the site for the project. here is how Michigan Radio and Detroit Public TV have seen things on their site:
Michigan Radio & Detroit Public TV’s mortgage crisis website, FacingTheMortgageCrisis.org, has had 4291 visits. On July 16 when Michigan Radio had a call-in show the site had its busiest single day with 473 unique visitors that day. We’ve had about 25 listener comments on our web and social networking sites devoted to the project.
We’ve had a huge range of comments. We’ve heard from a number of people who have had health issues that are causing them to miss house payments or end up in foreclosure. We’ve heard from quite a few individuals who have lost jobs and are trying to be proactive because they know they are not going to be able to keep making their mortgage payments, but are finding that lenders are not willing to work with them in a meaningful way. We’ve used these two types of comments as the basis of on-air radio interviews.
We’ve heard from people looking for help for themselves and for friends. We’ve also heard from credit unions and government officials who contact us to help get the word out about their services. My favorite comment is the following one that was posted MichiganRadio.org after a story about scams aired…
“Thanks to this article and listening to it on the radio, my husband and I cancelled the appointment we had with Federal Loan Modification 20 minutes before the “counselor” was to show up at our house. Thank you very much.”
But, we’ve also heard from a small number of Michigan Radio listeners who think we are spending too much time on this story or aren’t reporting on how the situation is the fault of uninformed consumers or that we should be spending this much time on other stories. (Tamar Charney)
Solving the issue of how to make the web work for us is central to our future – more on this topic over time as more emerges.