A Big Time Finalist, Evolutionary News, and Ad-ing Content: this week on Fresh Powder
Raliance, an organization dedicated to ending sexual violence, named finalists for the RALLY awards last week. RALLY awards honor exceptional journalism that covers sexual violence. Among big-time publications like Buzzfeed and Slate, one name stood out: it was the Harbinger, a student news site from Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas. The kids at the Harbinger covered the problem of sexual assault in their community, and they were the only high school named a finalist for the RALLY’s. Super impressive, and proof that student journalists can throw down with the biggest kids on the block. Bravo, Harbinger.
News delivery methods are evolving, and so is the state of journalism. We’re all super wary of news stories, lately, and distrust (or at the very least, exhibit mild skepticism) for most stories. This is good –– it means we’re becoming savvy consumers. And newsrooms are increasingly finding value in community-involved journalism. That is, they’re interested in bringing their readers in, and working collaboratively to build stories. That’s cool, because the practice broadens knowledge base and eliminates, at least in part, the behind-the-scenes, siloed thing that many news orgs operate within. The newest thing is Open Notebook, a program built with all those ideas in mind, and it looks like it’s going to be a thing.
Facebook is renewing video contracts with publishers, and they’re doing it differently this year. Last year was all about live video, but the platform made it hard for publishers to make any money on the content. This year, Facebook wants to pay publishers for produced video content, then they’ll roll ads in the middle of the video. It’s meant as a way to create revenue. Publishers are skeptical: pre-roll ads are annoying, but viewers stay tuned in if they want to see the actual story. Mid-roll ads, like the ones Facebook wants to do, might encourage viewers to click away rather than keep watching. So while publishers are eager to claim those extra Facebook dollars, they’ll have to be part of the experiment, to get them. Could be dicey, but hey, the contracts are only a year!
We all know how important headlines are to the success of a news story. They’re the first thing the reader sees, and if they’re not pithy, meaningful, and appealing, they’re not going to catch an audience. In other words, they’re a big deal, and it can be hard to do them right. So, since it’s a thing, and since before-and-after’s are fun, check out these headline fixer-uppers. They’re entertaining, and they’re pretty instructive, too.
This also happened last week: The future is here: McDonald’s employees got new uniforms, and they’re decidedly dystopian, which seems appropriate. And if you’ve ever wondered what type of introvert you are (apparently there are four distinct kinds of us), now you can diagnose yourself.