Browsing articles tagged with " journalism"

Why good news is shared more than bad news

Mar 27, 2013   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  8 Comments

by David Silverberg

Which will go viral – a news article on an intriguing Mars discovery or one on a divorce between two actors? Some might think celebrity news will be shared by readers more often than the space report, but it’s the opposite, says author Jonah Berger.

When we care, we share. That’s how Berger summarizes his analysis of news articles and their shareabability in his new book Contagious: Why Thinks Catch On. The social psychologist from the University of Pennsylvania provides conclusive evidence that positive awe-inspiring news is more likely to be shared than negative news, no matter the category.

A story with emotion will compel a reader to share it with friends, Berger says in an interview. “And my research found the main driver to emotional sharing is arousal. It gets our heart beating quicker. It makes us excited…and want to tell our friends about how we’re feeling.”

For example, emotional stories can be about newcomers falling in love in NYC, Berger says, or they can focus on a new discovery in the Milky Way. How are they linked? Arousal. Awe. Both make us stroke our chin and think “Oh, never thought of that before.”

On the other hand, a story about a celebrity doing something outrageous or an obit of a popular writer might not evoke that same emotion. Sure, we might feel some sadness reading that obit, but it won’t be a strong emotion if we don’t feel close to that individual.

To come to this conclusion, Berger and his colleague Katherine Milkman analyzed the “most e-mailed” list on the New York Times website for six months, controlling for factors like how much display an article received in different parts of the homepage.

One of their first ah-ha moments came when they noticed articles and columns in the Science section were much more likely to make the list than non-science articles. Science reports made readers wonder about the mysterious…and mystery gets us talking and sharing.

“The sequester news might be important but it doesn’t arouse us,” Berger explains. “But UFO news isn’t affecting our lives but it can be quite remarkable and get people sharing it.”

In his book, Berger cites the Susan Boyle example. When the Britain’s Got Talent underdog took the stage and began singing her breath-taking song, “it was not only moving, it’s awe-inspiring. And that emotion drove people to pass it on.” We love the unexpected, and we think others should be in the same state of awe as we are.

But not just any strong emotion boosts sharing. Happiness or contentment didn’t encourage others to share articles, Berger found. A positive review of a Broadway play may evoke happiness in the reader, but it wasn’t interesting enough to be shared. Feeling relaxed or content may make us smile, but it doesn’t speed up our heart rate. It doesn’t evoke strong emotions.

Anger, though, can be a strong motivation to share a news article. Anger is high-arousal and gets us sharing our feelings with friends and family. Ever had a terrible experience with your cellphone provider? Didn’t you want to share your experience with others? When we get angry, we are aroused; when we’re aroused, we want the world to hear us through our online megaphone.

Berger found adding more arousal to a story can have a major impact on people’s willingness to share it. When his team changed details of a story to evoke more anger, that fury lead to more sharing. “Adding these emotions boosted transmission by boosting the amount of arousal the story…evoked,” he writes in Contagious.

Predicting buzz has scientific roots. This New York Times article looked at a particular brain region associated with social cognition — thoughts about other people.

“If those regions lighted up when something was heard, people were more likely to talk about the idea enthusiastically, and the idea would keep spreading,” the article found.

“You’d expect people to be most enthusiastic and opinionated and successful in spreading ideas that they themselves are excited about,” says Dr. Emily Falk, who led research on this topic. “But our research suggests that’s not the whole story. Thinking about what appeals to others may be even more important.”

This article was originally published in Digital Journal [Link]

Future of Media Preview: A Q&A with Globe & Mail’s Steve Ladurantaye

Feb 15, 2013   //   by admin   //   Blog, Future of Media 2013, Media blog  //  2 Comments

 

The Future of Media event is under a month away, and we want to whet your appetite for the insightful analysis from media leaders from across North America. We first told you about BuzzFeed’s Jonathan Perelman and his views on content marketing. Now you can learn more about the intersection of advertising and journalism from Steve Ladurantaye, media reporter for Canada’s Globe & Mail newspaper, who will also appear at our March 14 event in Toronto.

Ladurantaye covers print media, publishing, broadcasting, but also touches on issues related to sports and entertainment businesses. As he describes his work day, he spends “a lot of time reading financials and talking to executives about what they are doing to salvage their businesses in some of the toughest conditions the industry has ever seen.”

We chatted with him about the role of branded content in journalism, emerging business models for newspaper and where he sees the Globe & Mail in five years.

Since we’re talking about branded content at Future of Media, tell us what you think about the rise in brand journalism, both in Canada and abroad? Is this good for journalists? The media field?

Anything that helps replace the money papers are losing on the print advertising side is good for journalists, provided we’re not crossing any ethical lines as we blur editorial and advertising. And that’s where the biggest misconceptions lie – branded content isn’t the same as advertorial. For as long as there have been trade magazines and papers, there have been special sections that run off of an editorial calendar so that the ad department can sell around the content.
Steve Ladurantaye
But the advertiser has no say in the actual content, except maybe in a very broad sense (i.e. they’ll buy ad space as long as the stories are about a certain industry). So would a newspaper necessarily be all that interested in writing a series on the sustainable fibreglass Christmas tree industry? Probably not – but if an advertiser wants to underwrite that I’m sure there are some interesting stories to tell.

And while that’s all happening, the rest of the journalism gets to keep happening in the rest of the paper. Ideal situation? I’m not sure. But I personally prefer it to letting that money walk out the door permanently.

Your newspaper recently featured a piece about brand journalism. “Businesses that do it properly can create a huge competitive advantage, while increasing their credibility and relevancy in the marketplace.” Do you agree?

Sure. But first of all let’s call brand journalism what it is – it’s just PR with a fancy name. Think of how awesome it is for NASA to be its own broadcaster when it launches a piece of machinery to Mars and starts bossing it around. Is it good for the brand? I’m sure the positivity of it all casts a warm glow on the companies that do it well.

But I still think there’s something to be said for getting that same exposure from an outside source that is able to broaden the story, put it in context and package it in a way that makes it understandable. And this probably goes without saying – but in terms of the broader public discourse I’m not sure anyone would want to see a world where the main source of corporate news is the corporations themselves.

The media industry is still in turmoil. Paywalls are coming up to try to drive digital revenue. Social media managers are scrambling to ensure content goes viral. What do you see as a prescription for success for a print media outlet in Canada? What would you recommend to a publisher looking for advice?

If I was in a position to give publishers advice I’d be making a lot more money than the typical reporter, I suspect. But the one thing that I hear from a lot of people who spend their time thinking about this sort of thing is that the only advantage media companies have over their competitors at this point is staff – there are simply few other sources in any given community that can match the reporting firepower of the local newspaper.

Lots of other functions can be outsourced and centralized, but the true competitive advantage of companies who rely on content to make money are the people who generate that content. I think in the coming years we’ll see that owning and operating everything else – distribution, printing, HR, office management – will increasingly be seen as expensive luxuries.

Where do you see a publication like the Globe in five years from now? How will it look, how will it be consumed by readers?

I don’t think anyone knows that answer to that. The only thing we can do – and I’m speaking in generic terms here and not about any one paper – is make sure we’re investing the money that we are making now to build something that is going to start making money for us down the road.

What’s that going to be? Considering the pace of change and the way it’s accelerating – I think maybe we should start investing in news androids we can program to visit each subscriber’s house every morning. They could make them coffee and give them massages while reading them the day’s news. That would totally save journalism.

For our Q&A with Jonathan Perelman of BuzzFeed, also appearing at Future of Media on March 14, go here.

Digital Journal Inc. launches /newsrooms division for brands

Oct 1, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

by Digital Journal Staff

The /newsrooms division is co-founded and led by marketing and social media veteran, Sabaa Quao who is joining Digital Journal Inc. as Chief Marketing Officer.

“Digital Journal has seen meteoric growth in 2012 and the launch of our /newsrooms division diversifies us as a modern digital media company and positions us to own a significant piece of the social enterprise technology and publishing spaces,” said Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal Inc. “Digital Journal’s deep expertise in social, publishing and marketing combined with our technology and global network of content creators means we can deliver a scalable digital media solution that is unmatched. We will now leverage these proven tools and processes to serve marketers and brands.”

Digital Journal has earned worldwide attention and praise for its role as a digital media pioneer and leader. In June 2012 Digital Journal was proclaimed one of the Top 20 most promising companies in Canada by The C100, a non-profit, member-driven organization made up of top executives of companies such as Apple, Cisco, EA, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Oracle, and venture investors representing more than $8 billion in capital. The C100 supports Canadian technology entrepreneurship through mentorship, partnership and investment.

How /newsrooms work

Digital Journal’s /newsrooms division opens new opportunities for the tens of thousands of content creators from 200 countries who participate in the company’s global network. Digital Journal’s /newsrooms division can support social media campaigns and marketing services to enable brands to grow audiences at scale, engage brand influencers and meet the pressures of 24/7 interaction that marketers are feeling. If you were to create CNN or The New York Times but dedicated to social media coverage, content creation, and publishing for and around brands, that would be Digital Journal’s /newsrooms division.

/newsrooms are an extension of a brand’s existing marketing and advertising efforts and Digital Journal takes everything a brand is already doing and adapts it to a strategy that puts content, live events and social media engagement at the forefront. This strategy harnesses the audience-growing skill of journalists, with the brand expertise and commercial inclination of a skilled marketing team.

Digital Journal’s /newsrooms begin by making brands relevant on a personal level; a content strategy becomes central to that goal by identifying the themes and content categories related to the brand. Digital Journal then combines journalistic professionalism with strong lead-generating content marketing initiatives to grow the audience and customer base.

In addition to content, /newsrooms also apply a customized social media approach to help develop a brand’s audience and engage top influencers. Applications may include covering live events, curating assigned content on specific topics valuable to a brand, using social media to disseminate news, analyzing social media influence, managing the engaged audience, and running Command Centres to ensure the brand is always on — just like a media organization.

“Brands and companies have become publishers, with little choice but to address what it means to engage 24/7 with their audiences,” says Sabaa Quao, Digital Journal’s Chief Marketing Officer and head of /newsrooms. “At the same time, companies are guardedly watching to see if their core business will be dramatically altered, damaged, or destroyed. Now with /newsrooms, brands can scale up their interaction and collaboration with influencers who are engaging with their products, in real-time.”

Digital Journal can already attest to the power of /newsrooms, as the company is a product of its own success; starting out as a Toronto-based magazine, Digital Journal used the /newsrooms approach and technology to grow from a local magazine into a global digital media organization with tens of thousands of contributors in 200 countries, reaching millions of people every month.

For more information visit digitaljournalmedia.com

About Digital Journal Inc.

Digital Journal Inc. is a global digital media company that delivers technology, content and social media solutions to brands and media companies. Headquartered in Toronto, Digital Journal is widely recognized as a pioneer and leader in digital media and in 2012 Digital Journal was proclaimed one of the Top 20 most promising companies in Canada. Boasting a proprietary digital platform and a network of tens of thousands of professional content creators in 200 countries, Digital Journal provides an out-of-the-box solution that touches every corner of the digital media industry.


Digital Journalists landing more opportunities thanks to digital publishing and community experience

Aug 7, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  14 Comments

by Digital Journal Staff

With the rise of social media and communities such as Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram, news organizations and brands are facing increased pressure to find editorial talent who can work seamlessly in the fast-paced world of digital media.

As content continues to go more digital, writers with experience in online publishing are finding job opportunities in an industry facing enormous change. Publishing communities are seeing a surge in growth because of their focused approach on breeding top talent and high-quality content.

“Over the last few years, publishers and brands have focused intensely on building out their social media presence,” says Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal, an online media network with 40,000 members in 200 countries. “But at the end of the day content is still king and the challenge today has become finding talent who has the technical, creative and literary chops that only exist in a digital publishing environment.”

Digital Journal is a freelance publishing network where professional and first-time writers are given the opportunity to learn how to publish content online, as well as create a name for themselves by building a portfolio of news and general interest content. It’s that mixture that leads to extremely talented contributors who are now finding more job opportunities online because of their experience working with Digital Journal.

Digital Journal was recently proclaimed one of the Top 20 most promising startups in Canadaand its reach extends to virtually every major city in the world.

Stephanie Medeiros, a 22-year-old Michigan resident, landed a job as a Content Manager for a local startup because of her experience creating compelling and engaging content on Digital Journal. Medeiros says she also found freelance gigs with Gannett. She’s helped other companies apply a journalism touch to content production and she was also headhunted by AOL to work in a managing editorial position within the company’s network because of her experience with Digital Journal.

“I suggest other writers join Digital Journal because they provide viable connections and a strong portfolio for new writers, and my experience working with Digital Journal has only been pleasant and immensely helpful,” she says. “Being a 22-year-old, still in school, and being offered all of these great opportunities — it’s still hard to believe this all happened by simply covering news. Digital Journal accounts for a big chunk of that success.”

Medeiros says Digital Journal editors and the company’s in-depth database of help and support articles are a big reason she was able to learn the ins and outs of digital publishing so quickly. “There’s advice covered in there that not many other blogs or articles cover as well,” she says.

Another Digital Journal contributor, Jay David Murphy, was recently hired as the full-time sports director for the Eastern Arizona Courier because of his experience with Digital Journal. “I wanted to thank you for the opportunity you provided me to write for you,” Murphy wrote in a recent Letter to the Editor. “It was your site that gave me the validity I needed to take a step forward in journalism. My new employers were able to view what I can do and that went a long way to getting the job. Who says you can’t start fresh at the age of 50.”

And Digital Journal success stories extend beyond the United States, too.

Anne Sewell, a Digital Journalist based in Southern Spain, says she enjoys contributing because of the variety of content and viewpoints. “Digital Journal is an invaluable tool to get the real news out,” she says. “This makes the news more balanced, and far more interesting to read.” While she does not have journalism experience, Sewell learned the trade and is among Digital Journal’s top-ranked contributors.

Another international contributor is Darren Weir. Weir worked as a broadcast journalist for 30 years in radio and TV newsrooms across Canada. He took a break from journalism in 2010 and moved to Israel, leaving the media industry entirely. That is, until he found Digital Journal.

“I wanted to get back into researching and writing and believed that by building an online presence would help me land my next job when it was time,” said Weir. “I love the freedom to choose my own subjects to write about, my journalism background has prepared me for the research and my blogging experience has helped me to transfer the stories to an online format. I also like the immediate feedback that I get online, that I didn’t receive in my previous jobs.”

Weir published 85 articles and 3 blogs in his first month alone and was ranked highly among Digital Journal’s contributors.“Digital Journal has renewed my interest in a career that I thought I had had exhausted,” says Weir. “I no longer say ‘been there, done that’ and I thank the Digital Journal team every day for the opportunity the website has given me.”

Digital Journal attracts thousands of individuals into its network because the company excels in both training and supporting people building out their digital portfolios. People who wish to contribute to the network must apply and submit samples of writing — a benchmark that keeps the quality of content high — and once approved, Digital Journalists get the chance to work as part of a team in a network read by millions of people globally.

“Because Digital Journal takes a unique and high-quality approach to producing content at scale, we’ve seen solid year-over-year growth. The individuals who contribute regularly to Digital Journal are finding themselves with more opportunities because they have skills you can’t find elsewhere,” says Hogg. “Our contributors are digital natives who understand how to balance quality writing with the need to use data, SEO and social media to grow audience.”

In the competitive world of online publishing, one of Digital Journal’s biggest advantages comes from how the company blends technology, social and content tools to produce both professional and user-generated content at scale.The company also attracted worldwide attention in media circles in 2011 when it launched its gamification platform that creates in-depth social profiles of contributors as well as highlights the most talented contributors across its global network.

About Digital Journal
Digital Journal is a global digital media network with 40,000+ professional and citizen journalists, bloggers, photographers and freelancers in 200 countries around the world. Regarded as a pioneer and leader in crowd-sourcing and user-generated content, Digital Journal is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. For more information, visit www.digitaljournal.com

This article originally appeared on Digital Journal [Link]

‘No independent journalism any more’ says ex-Al Jazeera reporter

Mar 14, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  61 Comments

by Anne Sewell (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

Ali Hashem, an ex-Al Jazeera correspondent, says that television channels have turned into political parties, pushing the agenda for “some outside forces.”

Recently an article on Digital Journal reported that key staff members of the Al Jazeera news service were resigning due to bias over the Syria situation. Ali Hashem told RT that he has come into the spotlight after resigning from the television channel, citing its bias.

The former Al Jazeera correpondent in Beirut vented his anger over the one-sided coverage of Syria on Al Jazeera in several emails, which have been leaked by Syrian hackers. He said that Al Jazeera refused to cover the events in Bahrain.

In an exclusive interview with RT, the former Beirut correspondent Hashem, while not wishing to discuss his resignation, did stress that these days “independent media is a myth.”

“There is no independent media anymore. It is whose agenda is paying the money for the media outlet,” he said. “Politicization of media means that media outlets are today like political parties. Everyone is adopting a point of view, fight for it and bring all the tools and all the means they have in order to make it reach the biggest amount of viewers.”

The journalist believes that nowadays the viewer has to compare news from several different outlets, and then make his own conclusions. “Today we are in the era of open source information and everyone can reach whatever information he wants.”

Hashem further said that the problem with this is that some news outlets reach larger audiences than others. “What they say will [seem] to be a fact while it might not be the fact,” he said.

Hashem believes that the mass media should be “immune” and unbiased when reporting war and conflict, as this guarantees freedom of speech. “In the year 2006, Israel bombarded Al-Manar television because they said Al-Manar was doing propaganda war against Israel,” he said. “Al-Manar was on one side of this war and they were supporting the Hezbollah and the resistance and the war against Israel. But does this give Israel the excuse to bombard Al-Manar? Certainly not.”

We should as journalists, whatever our point of view is, (because it is clear there is no independent journalism anymore) have the right to say whatever he wants safely, without being threatened to be bombarded or killed or executed or arrested,” Hashem concluded.

Several key staff members have recently resigned from the Beirut Bureau of Al Jazeera including Ali Hashem, the managing director Hassan Shaaban and also producer Mousa Ahmad. All these staff members cited bias in the channel’s coverage of the “Arab Spring”, especially with regards to Syria and Bahrain, as their reason for resigning.

This article originally appeared on Digital Journal [Link]

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