Opinary Case Study: How to Ask More Engaging Questions

Opinary leverages a process as old as time (asking questions) with the theory that people have opinions more often than they have comments. We’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a good question. The definition of good? One that makes the audience (ourselves and you included) want to answer. The platform we use to ask those questions is Opinary’s primary product: a polling widget with an average engagement rate of 18 percent. That’s about one in five people leaving their opinion where one in 100 leave a comment. Here’s an example from PRI: Last year, two extraordinary Opinary interns, Rosemarie Foulger and Matthew Baughman, examined 1.2 million opinions shared on 923 Opinary polls. Using a variety of statistical methods, especially Genetic Matching, Rosemarie and Matthew reported causal links between the features of Opinary polls and rates of engagement. Here’s what they learned.

What type of opinions the audience
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Want a “news-style soft article”? That’ll be $15. Or splurge and discredit a journalist for $55,000

The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.

“新闻软文,” or “News-style soft article.” Want to discredit a journalist? That’ll be $55,000. 100,000 real people’s signatures on a Change.org petition? $6,000. And those Chinese “soft articles” can be gotten for as little as USD $15. The folks at security software company Trend Micro studied Chinese, Russian, Arabic/Middle Eastern, and English marketplaces and found that “everything from social media promotions, creation of fake comments, and even online vote manipulation [is] sold at very reasonable prices. Surprisingly, we found that fake news campaigns aren’t always the handiwork of autonomous bots, but can also be carried out by real people via large, crowdsourcing programs.” The report, “The fake news machine: How propagandists abuse the

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Futures Lab #198: Ideas for Social Video From VICE Media

The growth of Facebook Live and the continued popularity of video on social media platforms opens the door for new ways to tell stories visually. We get some ideas from Adam Banicki, senior producer at VICE Media. Reporting by Lily Oppenheimer, Rachel Wise and Jessica King. Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.

RJI Futures Lab web bannerThe Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode.

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Using Student Media to Teach Digital Analytics

Traditionally, audience research is a course that focuses on electronic media. Learning how to master TV and radio ratings in advertising media planning and programming, frequency and reach concepts is already very demanding for students. Digital analytics, with its trove of information for advertisers, media planners, and program directors, adds more to an already cramped course. Without the luxury of a digital-only audience analytics course but with a clear need for students in the media business to have this basic knowledge in order to be marketable, it’s important to find the right balance for the best results. Facebook and web analytics are the most essential to know because of the high usage among the general population, so the second half of the course was dedicated to Facebook and digital audience analytics in general. As a faculty member, how do we learn how to analyze these data? Apart from self-learning and
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Journalism & Digital Education Roundup: June 15, 2017

Each Thursday, we round up the top stories of the week in journalism education and digital learning. Sign up here to get the Journalism & Digital Education Roundup delivered to your inbox. 1. Northwestern’s Medill Journalism School Argues Accreditation is of ‘Little Value’(Miles Bryan / Marketplace) 2. The Would-Be Woodwards Are Opting Out of Journalism (Jesse Rifkin / Daily Beast) 3. India’s Delhi University Launches Journalism Program (Arpan Rai / India Today) 4. Apple CEO Cook Warns of Social Media Perils at MIT Commencement (Alex Webb / Bloomberg) 5. Which Students Benefit Most (and Least) From Digital Learning? (Nick Roll / Inside Higher Ed) 6. Court Rules Iowa State U. Officials Violated Student Activists’ Speech Rights (Peter Schmidt / Chronicle of Higher Ed)
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This Father’s Day, an Online Battle to Correct the Media About Dads

Did you know that dads are useless around the house?  They’re so lazy that even out-of-work men do less childcare and housework than working women.  In fact, fathers even pretend to suck at chores to get out of doing them.  And they leave all the worry work — the planning, thinking, and prioritizing — for moms to do. It’s almost impossible for you not to have heard this.  The image of the lazy dad is everywhere.  But it’s demonstrably false. And, while online media has fueled this myth, it could also be a weapon against it.

Dads and moms are working hard

The definitive source for what’s going on in American homes is the American Time Use Survey.  A look at the data shows just how much equality there is in total work hours, which are a combination of paid work, unpaid work, and childcare.   As I explain in
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