Apr 11, 2012

Center for Investigative Reporting announces Knight-backed YouTube channel

The Center for Investigative Reporting is launching an investigative news channel on YouTube, funded by an $800,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, to serve as a hub for investigative journalism. The channel will feature videos from commercial and noncom broadcasters and independent producers, including NPR, ABC News, The New York Times, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Center for Public Integrity, American University's Investigative Reporting Workshop and ITVS. The center plans to add  contributors and seek submissions from freelance journalists and independent filmmakers from around the world.

“One of the goals of this partnership will be to raise the profile and visibility of high-impact storytelling through video," said Robert J. Rosenthal, executive director of center in Berkeley, Calif. "We hope this initiative generates revenue that supports the work of nonprofit organizations and independent filmmakers everywhere. Collaborative efforts like this are no longer the future of journalism; they are today's reality.”

The initiative has been in the planning stages since last year.

"This American Life" heads to movie theaters on May 10

WBEZ's This American Life is planning its third live simulcast show, May 10 from the Skirball Center at New York University to 550 movie theaters nationwide.

"I saw this amazing dance performance by Monica Bill Barnes' company," said host Ira Glass in the announcement, "and I thought — that is totally in the style of our radio show. But obviously you can't have dance on the radio." So TAL "built this lineup of stories mixed with super visual things," he said, centered on the theme, "The Invisible Made Visible." In addition to the dancers, guests include fellow pubcaster Glynn Washington, host of Snap Judgment; comic Mike Birbiglia with a new short film; and live music by the rock band OK Go.

Producing will be NCM Fathom Events and BY Experience, which presented This American Life — Live! in May 2008 and April 2009.

Meet the guru behind "Fresh Air's" web success

WHYY's Fresh Air is one of the fastest-growing public-radio shows on the web, reports Nieman Lab. One major force behind that success is web producer Melody Joy Kramer, who has "slowly and single-handedly built a huge following by approaching the job as a digital native, a citizen of the community she wanted to reach. She figured out how to turn radio stories into conversations."

The show's Twitter account now has 70,000 followers, up from 3,800 before she arrived in January 2010 from Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!, where she was a writer and managed co-host Carl Kassel's Facebook page. Kramer also writes everything for the Fresh Air website: headlines, links, teasers, captions and interview highlights. Unique visitors to the site in January 2012 were up by 40 percent over the year before, growing twice as fast as NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, according to Sondra Russell, a senior digital analyst at NPR. Unique views increased by 60 percent over January 2010, the month Kramer started. Today the Fresh Air website attracts some 1 million people per month.

“I think I just know how to talk to people,” Kramer told Nieman. “I enjoy working here. I enjoy reading the books on the show, I watch the movies, I am a fan as much as I am an employee. I’m passing things along because I enjoy them.”

Don't ignore potential of mobile web, NPR advises

Apps for tablets and smartphones may get buzz, but public media stations have a growing opportunity to reach audiences not just with apps, but via web pages optimized for mobile devices. Traffic to station websites from mobile devices has grown from 9 percent last July to 14 percent in March, according to Steve Mulder and Keith Hopper of NPR Digital Services. And while both usage of NPR apps and visits to NPR’s mobile site have grown, the latter has outpaced app usage in growth over the past two years. NPR now has twice as many mobile web users as mobile app users.

“Your app is great for people who already love you,” Mulder and Hopper write. “But your mobile site is the best way to help everyone else discover you.”

The growing use of mobile-optimized sites may be due to traffic from social media, searches and email, all of which guide mobile users to websites. “For NPR stations, 11% of mobile site visits are now coming from Facebook,” write Mulder and Hopper. “That’s up from 8% last July, and will continue to grow. ... Do not underestimate the power of Facebook in exposing users to your content and sending users to your site.”