Finding Value in Identity: Your Identity

Readers find our work across the disaggregated web. Those who want to learn more about the newsroom that produced the content or the reporter who wrote it have a hard time. That is often true on a newspaper’s website. It’s more true across the web, but Google is doing something about it. So are two very different aggregation sites: newstransparency.com and muckrack.com.

Example: Alan Rusbridger (Guardian editor) on News Transparency.
Example: Alan Rusbridger on MuckRack.
MuckRack will be launching a new pro version with even more information about individual journalists, information intended to have enough value that PR people will pay a premium for access.
The Google News information will continue to be free. A tiny mug shot with your name can now run with all your articles on Google News. It will link directly to your Google + feed:
Google will begin integrating journalists’ Google-ized identities into Google News » Nieman Journalism Lab http://bit.ly/t2Mhe5
When your staff distributes an article across Twitter, do they use the Twitter handle of the reporter and
of the publication? When you post an article on Facebook, do you link to the Facebook ID of the reporter?
Some journalists raise concerns: how do I keep my private life private? It’s tempting to be blunt in response: you don’t. We do our dance on a public stage, and anything that might be made public someday, will be. It might be a video ambush. Information about you may become the value a digital entrepreneur presents to customers. In any case, newsrooms can either wait for this to happen to us or take the lead and turn the audience’s appetite for more information into a value we provide.
Mallary Jean Tenore studied the way newsrooms present info about individual journalists:
How accessible do journalists really want to be? | Poynter.http://bit.ly/uoGf4O
She identified the elements of an ideal “contact us” page:

A list of staffers’ names, broken down by department.
All staffers’ names would link to a bio that includes their most recent work, email address, phone number and Twitter handle.
Staffers’ bylines on article pages would also link to this bio. (If the bylines don’t link to a bio, then ideally all article pages would include the writer’s email address, phone number and Twitter handle.)

Do a quick audit of your website and of how you present your work across other platforms. Can your audience learn more about you? What else can your newsroom do to make that easier?
Here are some contact pages, from selecteed newsrooms (note: many are not easy to find on the newspaper websites):
(adding more as I get them — send samples to carllavin@gmail.com)

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Finding Value in Identity: Your Identity

  1. Pingback: Pinterest for Journalists: For Notes, Community and Staff | Carl Lavin: The Business of News

  2. Some excellent suggestions to get started on right away. We’ve made real progress in this kind of openness, especially on our blogs, and readers are responding, but still much to do. Thank you.

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