Try This at Home

This subsection of the Need to Know newsletter offers useful insights and ideas you can try yourself.

In adapting its brand to Snapchat, how the New Yorker is adapting its voice for the platform

On paper, the pairing of the New Yorker and Snapchat seems like a strange one, Ricardo Bilton writes. While the New Yorker has built its reputation on long articles and literary criticism, it’s using Snapchat to focus on its visual elements, such as the magazine’s cover and cartoons. But the New Yorker is having to […]

ESPN’s mobile strategy: ‘If we’re thinking about anything else, we’re failing the audience’

ESPN’s vice president and editorial director for domestic digital content Chad Millman is clear: “Mobile is everything.” As more people cut their cable TV subscriptions, ESPN is being forced to change its business model and betting on mobile audiences going forward. Millman says: “We always have to be thinking about mobile first. If we’re thinking […]

To increase emotional engagement, make the story about the reader

While digital media is changing fast, creative development director Andy Cowles says there’s some universal ways for publishers to increase emotional engagement with their stories. Cowles says: “Facebook is BuzzFeed’s number one referrer. But in all of these article titles the three-word phrases that crop up more than anything else are the words ‘you,’ ‘your’ […]

USA Today’s FTW is experimenting with Facebook live video because of its authenticity and immediacy

USA Today senior social media editor Hemal Jhaveri says they’re experimenting with Facebook live video because it “rivals the immediacy of television.” For sports site FTW, USA Today is using Facebook live video to give viewers a courtside view of NBA games and to talk to players. Jhaveri says USA Today is choosing to try […]

How to decide what social networks to adopt

With a flurry of new social networks popping up all the time, how do news organizations choose what networks are worth a try? Ren LaForme lays out five questions to ask yourself before trying out a new social network, including: Does your audience use it, will it be around in a year, and does it […]

Tips for establishing a brand on Periscope

Journalists can not only establish a brand for their newsroom on Periscope, Lizzie Jespersen writes, but also a brand for themselves. Jespersen outlines some best practices for establishing a brand for both yourself and your newsroom on Periscope, including starting out with topics you’re already comfortable with, use Periscope as part of your reporting, and […]

How product managers help newsrooms become more efficient

Looking at the role of product managers in the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal newsrooms, Mădălina Ciobanu explains how product managers help newsrooms improve their workflows and work in a more efficient manager. WSJ’s head of news products says: “The product person is really thinking about why we are doing that specific thing and […]

Instead of trying to break readers’ habits, how to optimize your posting schedule around when they’re online

Checking the news first thing in the morning is a habit for a lot of people, but a lot of news organizations aren’t posting stories until after many readers have already moved on with their days, Anjanette Delgado writes. When analyzing traffic at Gannett’s Salinas Californian newsroom, Delgado says they found stories were going up […]

Tips for making hard facts easy to comprehend

In a shortened version of a chapter from his book “Help! for Writers,” Roy Peter Clark offers advice for how to make difficult-to-understand facts easy for readers to understand. Among his advice: Translate jargon into terms that will make sense for a reader, use shorter words and sentences, and focus on what the facts mean […]

How reporters can use WhatsApp for newsgathering

Messaging app WhatsApp is gaining traction as a way to distribute news stories, but Alastair Reid writes that the app also presents opportunities for journalists in terms of reporting. Communicating with sources via WhatsApp can help break down barriers between the reporter and source, BuzzFeed News reporter Rossalyn Warren says. Warren used WhatsApp to report […]