How ProPublica Defines Success for Engagement Projects

ProPublica has earned more than its share of accolades. Four Pulitzer Prizes in seven years, numerous Peabody Awards, Emmys… name a journalism award, they’ve probably won it. But engagement editor Terry Parris, Jr., has his sights set on one more trophy: a Pulitzer Prize for a crowdsourced reporting project.

Terry Parris, Jr., Adriana Gallardo and Ariana Tobin

I recently spoke with Parris and his colleagues, engagement reporters Adriana Gallardo and Ariana Tobin. The team evangelizes for metrics that have less to do with quantity on social and more to do with high-quality participation — which can begin on social media but develop further through on-site call-outs, forms and (a lot of) email. We chatted about the work the engagement team does to support and create ProPublica’s journalism, how they measure success and why working on engagement at ProPublica is unlike anywhere else.

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‘Trust Through Transparency’: Lessons In Drone Journalism

This piece was originally published by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism as part of a new RJI series. It is used here with permission. As the news crew at KTVB in Boise, Idaho, has learned, launching their drone for news coverage can draw a crowd. Executive News Director Kate Morris says this has been a good opportunity to educate the public about the opportunities the new technology offers journalists and assure folks of the TV station’s commitment to ethical journalism and safety. But crowds have also posed challenges. Morris says her team has learned that it’s best to have additional staff on hand to answer people’s questions so the drone operators can stay focused on the job at hand. Senior Information Specialist Jennifer Nelson recently visited with Morris about KTVB’s drone efforts. This Q&A has been edited for space and clarity. Jennifer Nelson:
KTVB Sky 7 drone
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The Associated Press is adding user-generated social content (verified, of course) into its wire services

A new tool from the Associated Press will now allow users of its service to pull in topical and verified content shared by users on social media such as photos and videos around breaking news. Using the web interface provided by social media platform manager SAM (AP owns a stake in SAM and has been using it since 2015), AP Social Newswire lets AP clients look through social content that is being curated and vetted by AP editors in real-time. From the AP:
View multiple feeds of content — from global to local — and monitor the vetting process in real-time through the notes and tags and that we apply to each asset (such as “authenticated” or “debunked”). All photos and videos are delivered in a digital-friendly format giving you the ability to seamlessly integrate UGC into your stories through embed codes.
In the realm of offering other news organizations
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Doing Social Media Without Numbers

Most social media editors spend their days looking at spreadsheets in between scheduling tweets and Facebook posts. These spreadsheets are hacked together from exports of whatever social media software is en vogue at the moment, plus platform-specific exports with micro-details about the reach and measurable interactions of every post. As a social media editor in public radio, I pored over these sheets, looking for causations and correlations that might help me do my job better and, in term, give a boost to my employer. Did a question in a Facebook post make it perform better? Better to tweet with sass or tweet with facts?, however, worked a little differently, anticipating a welcome change in the role for publishers of social media — and social metrics.

Embrace social media fully

At, we were mired in social. It was where we
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Netizen Report: Draft Laws in Egypt Could Lock Down Social Media

Global Voices Advocacy’s Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world. The Egyptian parliament is reviewing a bill that would require social media users in Egypt to register with a government authority in order to use social media websites including Facebook and Twitter. Within six months of the law’s adoption, users would have to register on the authority’s website with their real names and state ID numbers to be able to use social media networks. Failure to do so could bring punishment of up to six months in jail and a fine. The bill, which has been endorsed by 60 members of parliament, is awaiting discussion by the parliament’s legislative and constitutional committees before it is referred for plenary debate. On May 8, another MP submitted a draft law that would introduce harsher penalties for those convicted of insulting the
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“Anger is a useful metric” and other evil tips for making money off hyper-partisan content

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.

“Anger is a useful metric.” NewsWhip, the social media monitoring company, published a report this week on the rise of hyper-political publishers online. From the paper: “There’s a high proportion of reactions to likes for these hyper-partisan pages. The most popular of these has been the Angry reaction. These publishers are highly adept at provoking their followers into selecting a strong emotion rather than just a like.” Also, check out “the top articles around Fake News across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, since the election in November 2016 through February 2017.” And here’s more about that Google Doc you see on the list. “The alt-proper.” On May 2, The Los Angeles Continue reading "“Anger is a useful metric” and other evil tips for making money off hyper-partisan content"