Posts tagged media
We screwed up. It shouldn’t have taken a wave of constructive criticism — but it has — to alert us that we’ve made a mistake, possibly several mistakes. We now realize that as we explored new forms of digital advertising, we failed to update the policies that must govern the decisions we make along the way. It’s safe to say that we are thinking a lot more about these policies after running this ad than we did beforehand. In the meantime, we have decided to withdraw the ad until we figure all of this out. We remain committed to and enthusiastic about innovation in digital advertising, but acknowledge — sheepishly — that that we got ahead of ourselves. We are sorry, and we’re working very hard to put things right.
In which The Atlantic apologizes for running “sponsored content” praising the leader of the Church of Scientology. 


My cover story about Lance Armstrong, my affirmation of faith, was the worst piece of opinion I have ever written. I did a disservice to myself. More important I did a disservice to readers. I did believe what I wrote at the time. I do believe in staking out strong positions. We all do as columnists today, because of the world we live in, craving to differentiate ourselves from the thousands who populate the Internet every hour.But I also knew that in trying to defend Armstrong and still insist he was a hero, I had to defy obvious reality: after years of threatening, even suing, those who had previously claimed he had blood-doped or used illegal performance enhancers, you don’t just simply walk away from the fight.


Buzz Bissinger regrets the time he still believed in Lance Armstrong.

My cover story about Lance Armstrong, my affirmation of faith, was the worst piece of opinion I have ever written. I did a disservice to myself. More important I did a disservice to readers. I did believe what I wrote at the time. I do believe in staking out strong positions. We all do as columnists today, because of the world we live in, craving to differentiate ourselves from the thousands who populate the Internet every hour.
But I also knew that in trying to defend Armstrong and still insist he was a hero, I had to defy obvious reality: after years of threatening, even suing, those who had previously claimed he had blood-doped or used illegal performance enhancers, you don’t just simply walk away from the fight.

Buzz Bissinger regrets the time he still believed in Lance Armstrong.

as we contemplated the end of our contract with the Beast at the end of 2012, we faced a decision. As usual, we sought your input and the blogosphere’s - hence the not-terribly subtle thread that explored whether online readers will ever pay for content, and how. The answer is: no one really knows. But as we debated and discussed that unknowable future, we felt more and more that getting readers to pay a small amount for content was the only truly solid future for online journalism. And since the Dish has, from its beginnings, attempted to pioneer exactly such a solid future for web journalism, we also felt we almost had a duty to try and see if we could help break some new ground. The only completely clear and transparent way to do this, we concluded, was to become totally independent of other media entities and rely entirely on you for our salaries, health insurance, and legal, technological and accounting expenses.
Andrew Sullivan strikes out on his own. nwktumblr crew is wishing him nothing but the best.
newsbeastlabs:


Our last Wednesday Workshop focused, in part, on ways to get readers more involved in our stories. When news of last week’s awful shooting reached us, we wanted to open up discussion on the role of guns in America. On our Tumblr we asked readers how the shooting should be covered and many requested we steer clear of the politics and instead opt for a genuine discussion on gun control.
Gun control is a complicated issue in this country and nuanced issues can be at odds with the tools of data visualization. That is to say, data visualization and data reporting are often marked by being extremely comprehensive and boiling that comprehensiveness into one easily understandable image, graph, or layout. Doing anything comprehensive on an issue as complex as guns in our society, on deadline no less, would be tricky, and we’re not ones to put data out there that’s misleading or inconclusive.
But the other tool of digital journalism is being able to present a great deal of information in one place, which does work for a nuanced subject. We wanted to engage our readers to tell the story of guns in America in a way that showed the issue’s complexity. We posed the question as “Why do you own a gun?” or “Why don’t you own a gun?” On our site we, we set up two forms that let readers easily complete the sentence “I own a gun because…” or “I don’t own a gun because…” and displayed their responses for readers to sift through.
It’s like the digital equivalent of Man on the Street reporting, where you go and ask people on the street their opinions on an issue in the news and write up their quotes in an article. Let’s call this a Man on the Internet story, or to be gender neutral, Person on the Internet (Internet Vox Pop maybe? I’m open to suggestions).
We published the article Monday evening and less than 24 hours later we have over 900 responses — over 500 from gun owners and over 400 from non-gun owners. We have some thoughts on how the two sides explain their position but, for now, we’ll let you read through and absorb it on your own.
We’re collecting and categorizing the responses, so look for that article on the Beast later in the week.
Under the hood
We used a customized Google Form to handle the response collections. This is a nice tutorial on how to embed Google Forms into your site with custom styles and functionality. 
We’ve used custom Google Forms before, on our other shooting project actually, for a newsapp that lets readers put in their address and it finds news accounts of multiple-victim shootings near them. A Google Form then asks what they remember about the incident and collects their responses in a spreadsheet. We published some of the most moving responses that I think is worth a read.
For this project, though, I was running into trouble putting in two custom forms on one page. Since I only had a day to build this, I ended up sequestering the two forms to separate HTMl pages and iframe-ing them into my main page. This was nice because it ensured the two forms didn’t interfere with each other and since the pages were all on the same domain, I didn’t have any cross-origin issues and didn’t loose any functionaity — when you submit one form, that action bubbles up to it the parent frame and grays out the other form.
I originally wanted to do something more animated similar to this seminal piece of crowdsourced dataviz from 2008. I like how its animation gives the project energy but it comes at the cost of not being able to scroll through the responses on your own. After some thinking, I couldn’t figure out a way to have both a sit-back-and-let-the-responses-flow experience and a I-want-to-dive-into-these-responses-and-scroll-through-them-all experience. The latter is obviously the more useful for the reader, so I went with that. The election interactive is also a bit different from this since most of the emotions on each line are of the same category, so it’s not really hiding anything by not letting you scroll. For our project, each response brings its own nuance to the debate so you don’t want to hide any of them. If you have any thoughts on how to improve the presentation, I’m at @mhkeller.
Brian had the great idea that we let this conversation be medium agnostic. So in the story dek we let people know they can continue the conversation on Twitter with the hashtags #IOwnAGunBecause or #IDontOwnAGunBecause. I built some hooks into our Underscore.js templates that let us add selected tweets to our spreadsheet and display them with a Twitter icon and a link to the original tweet. That way we could pull in interesting responses from elsewhere and flag them as such. You can look at the formatHelpers object in app.js to see how it checks for content in the Twitter column and adds the image and link if it finds something.
As I’ve written, I’m a big fan of Miso’s Dataset.js, and that’s what we’re using here to pull the responses in from our Google Form Spreadsheet. Contrary to my previous post, this app does work off of a live Google Doc. I know, blasphemous. For a few workflow reasons we weren’t able to have a script download our spreadsheets and put them on a server like we did for HavingTroubleVoting.com where we had both rate-limiting and privacy issues.
That being said, we have been very closely monitoring the app to make sure it doesn’t get rate-limited and it’s been fine so far. I have a few lines commented out in the code that point to where we’d put a local CSV of the responses, so if the app went down, it would be back up in a minute or so. We also made sure not to ask for any identifying information so we had no privacy concerns. Now that we have close to a thousand responses, though, we might switch to local files so that the page loads faster. If we could have set it up to download automatically, however, that would have been our first choice.
One thing I added yesterday evening after we started getting a lot of comments was a way to filter by state. A lot of content can be overwhelming, so the more options you can give readers to drill down to a subset that might be more relevant to them, the more manageable the experience is and hopefully more engaging and memorable.
-michael keller


This is a deep look at how we made this interactive poll about gun control, which was based in part on your replies on this post.

newsbeastlabs:

Our last Wednesday Workshop focused, in part, on ways to get readers more involved in our stories. When news of last week’s awful shooting reached us, we wanted to open up discussion on the role of guns in America. On our Tumblr we asked readers how the shooting should be covered and many requested we steer clear of the politics and instead opt for a genuine discussion on gun control.

Gun control is a complicated issue in this country and nuanced issues can be at odds with the tools of data visualization. That is to say, data visualization and data reporting are often marked by being extremely comprehensive and boiling that comprehensiveness into one easily understandable image, graph, or layout. Doing anything comprehensive on an issue as complex as guns in our society, on deadline no less, would be tricky, and we’re not ones to put data out there that’s misleading or inconclusive.

But the other tool of digital journalism is being able to present a great deal of information in one place, which does work for a nuanced subject. We wanted to engage our readers to tell the story of guns in America in a way that showed the issue’s complexity. We posed the question as “Why do you own a gun?” or “Why don’t you own a gun?” On our site we, we set up two forms that let readers easily complete the sentence “I own a gun because…” or “I don’t own a gun because…” and displayed their responses for readers to sift through.

It’s like the digital equivalent of Man on the Street reporting, where you go and ask people on the street their opinions on an issue in the news and write up their quotes in an article. Let’s call this a Man on the Internet story, or to be gender neutral, Person on the Internet (Internet Vox Pop maybe? I’m open to suggestions).

We published the article Monday evening and less than 24 hours later we have over 900 responses — over 500 from gun owners and over 400 from non-gun owners. We have some thoughts on how the two sides explain their position but, for now, we’ll let you read through and absorb it on your own.

We’re collecting and categorizing the responses, so look for that article on the Beast later in the week.

Under the hood

We used a customized Google Form to handle the response collections. This is a nice tutorial on how to embed Google Forms into your site with custom styles and functionality. 

We’ve used custom Google Forms before, on our other shooting project actually, for a newsapp that lets readers put in their address and it finds news accounts of multiple-victim shootings near them. A Google Form then asks what they remember about the incident and collects their responses in a spreadsheet. We published some of the most moving responses that I think is worth a read.

For this project, though, I was running into trouble putting in two custom forms on one page. Since I only had a day to build this, I ended up sequestering the two forms to separate HTMl pages and iframe-ing them into my main page. This was nice because it ensured the two forms didn’t interfere with each other and since the pages were all on the same domain, I didn’t have any cross-origin issues and didn’t loose any functionaity — when you submit one form, that action bubbles up to it the parent frame and grays out the other form.

I originally wanted to do something more animated similar to this seminal piece of crowdsourced dataviz from 2008. I like how its animation gives the project energy but it comes at the cost of not being able to scroll through the responses on your own. After some thinking, I couldn’t figure out a way to have both a sit-back-and-let-the-responses-flow experience and a I-want-to-dive-into-these-responses-and-scroll-through-them-all experience. The latter is obviously the more useful for the reader, so I went with that. The election interactive is also a bit different from this since most of the emotions on each line are of the same category, so it’s not really hiding anything by not letting you scroll. For our project, each response brings its own nuance to the debate so you don’t want to hide any of them. If you have any thoughts on how to improve the presentation, I’m at @mhkeller.

Brian had the great idea that we let this conversation be medium agnostic. So in the story dek we let people know they can continue the conversation on Twitter with the hashtags #IOwnAGunBecause or #IDontOwnAGunBecause. I built some hooks into our Underscore.js templates that let us add selected tweets to our spreadsheet and display them with a Twitter icon and a link to the original tweet. That way we could pull in interesting responses from elsewhere and flag them as such. You can look at the formatHelpers object in app.js to see how it checks for content in the Twitter column and adds the image and link if it finds something.

As I’ve written, I’m a big fan of Miso’s Dataset.js, and that’s what we’re using here to pull the responses in from our Google Form Spreadsheet. Contrary to my previous post, this app does work off of a live Google Doc. I know, blasphemous. For a few workflow reasons we weren’t able to have a script download our spreadsheets and put them on a server like we did for HavingTroubleVoting.com where we had both rate-limiting and privacy issues.

That being said, we have been very closely monitoring the app to make sure it doesn’t get rate-limited and it’s been fine so far. I have a few lines commented out in the code that point to where we’d put a local CSV of the responses, so if the app went down, it would be back up in a minute or so. We also made sure not to ask for any identifying information so we had no privacy concerns. Now that we have close to a thousand responses, though, we might switch to local files so that the page loads faster. If we could have set it up to download automatically, however, that would have been our first choice.

One thing I added yesterday evening after we started getting a lot of comments was a way to filter by state. A lot of content can be overwhelming, so the more options you can give readers to drill down to a subset that might be more relevant to them, the more manageable the experience is and hopefully more engaging and memorable.

-michael keller

This is a deep look at how we made this interactive poll about gun control, which was based in part on your replies on this post.

I mean, we started doing puppet news. It was pathetic. You had to pay for those puppets, the puppeteers, and outside writers producing scripts. I get that it’s like the comic page, but what a waste of money! We should have been shooting investigative news stories.
Ex-staffers take us inside the demise of The Daily.
newsbeastlabs:

For the holidays, we wanted to make the normal gift guide idea a little more interesting. The answer was a flow chart that narrows down the type of person you’re shopping for and then suggests appropriate gifts for their particular sub-culture. Lizzie Crocker and Isabel Wilkinson did a great job coming up with the categories like (Nostalgic Outdoorsman, The Closet ‘50 Shades’ Fan, Hipster Techie) and then Lizzie and I (Michael) put our heads together to make a (hopefully) witty flowchart. Our photo department headed by Marica Allert was also a huge help.
There’s nothing fancy under the hood. The only semi-trick was our Daily Beast font family Titling isn’t always too legible at smaller sizes on the web. To fix that, we made the blue circles in Illustrator and exported them as PNGs. To do the hovers, you duplicate the image below your main image like this and make sure your image container is only tall enough to show one at a time: 

To do the hover then, your CSS is something like .img-class:hover{ background-position: 0 -102px;} The benefit to this is you don’t load a second picture when you hover so there’s no delay. This is a pretty standard way of doing this so it’s nothing revolutionary but for some reason you still see a lot of sites that have delays on their image hovers that would be better off using this technique.
Why not make the flowchart interactive too?
We decided in favor of a static image for the flowchart as opposed to something interactive since I think the wittiness of flowcharts comes across in seeing how the possibilities flow from one another and the different results in choosing one adventure over another. Also, at the sake of sounding blasphemous, interactivity can be thought of as a last resort only when you can’t fit everything onto the screen at once, or doing so would work against a focused narrative. It’s much easier for readers to scan a page full of information and see how these options unfold, in my view, than it is for them to click 10+ times and only see the options that stem from their responses. 
-michael

Journalism nerds, rejoice! Here’s a look beneath the surface at how we put together our little gift guide flowchart interactive.

newsbeastlabs:

For the holidays, we wanted to make the normal gift guide idea a little more interesting. The answer was a flow chart that narrows down the type of person you’re shopping for and then suggests appropriate gifts for their particular sub-culture. Lizzie Crocker and Isabel Wilkinson did a great job coming up with the categories like (Nostalgic Outdoorsman, The Closet ‘50 Shades’ Fan, Hipster Techie) and then Lizzie and I (Michael) put our heads together to make a (hopefully) witty flowchart. Our photo department headed by Marica Allert was also a huge help.

There’s nothing fancy under the hood. The only semi-trick was our Daily Beast font family Titling isn’t always too legible at smaller sizes on the web. To fix that, we made the blue circles in Illustrator and exported them as PNGs. To do the hovers, you duplicate the image below your main image like this and make sure your image container is only tall enough to show one at a time: 

image

To do the hover then, your CSS is something like .img-class:hover{ background-position: 0 -102px;} The benefit to this is you don’t load a second picture when you hover so there’s no delay. This is a pretty standard way of doing this so it’s nothing revolutionary but for some reason you still see a lot of sites that have delays on their image hovers that would be better off using this technique.

Why not make the flowchart interactive too?

We decided in favor of a static image for the flowchart as opposed to something interactive since I think the wittiness of flowcharts comes across in seeing how the possibilities flow from one another and the different results in choosing one adventure over another. Also, at the sake of sounding blasphemous, interactivity can be thought of as a last resort only when you can’t fit everything onto the screen at once, or doing so would work against a focused narrative. It’s much easier for readers to scan a page full of information and see how these options unfold, in my view, than it is for them to click 10+ times and only see the options that stem from their responses. 

-michael

Journalism nerds, rejoice! Here’s a look beneath the surface at how we put together our little gift guide flowchart interactive.

TMZ is NOT getting in the DRONE business … we don’t have a drone … we don’t want a drone … we never applied for a drone … despite a bogus report to the contrary. There are several major websites citing a story first published in the San Francisco Chronicle … which says TMZ filed an application with the Federal Aviation Administration seeking to use a drone device. Truth is … while drones are, in fact, awesome … it just ain’t true. We could drone on and on … but you get the point.
Well that’s good news. Previously
I think we’ve done a very good magazine. I don’t know whether you’ve been reading it—probably not—but it’s very good. There was a lot of talent here. But it’s like having a refrigerator on each foot—to have this carapace of the print magazine and all its problems, and all its legacy of unsolved issues. Once we shed that, we’ll just be able to focus on the content. I find that very liberating, personally. I think many of the staff do, too.
Tina Brown’s marvelous interview with New York’s Michael Kinsley is fully worth a read this morning. It’s the best.

MATTER: We've launched!http://blog.readmatter.com/post/35705662220/weve-launched

futurejournalismproject:

readmatter:

Earlier this year, 2,566 people did something remarkable: they backed our idea for MATTER on Kickstarter. We’d asked for help in creating a new home for high-quality journalism, and the response was extraordinary: we passed our $50,000 target in less than 48 hours and finished on $140,000,…

Matter, almost single-handedly proving there’s an appetite for long-form journalism and -shock horror- people are ready to pay for quality.

Woo! This matters.

Internal Memo: Traffic

Staff email: 

Huge kudos to all for October’s stellar traffic number - 19 million uniques!

The exciting thing about this growth is how many sources it came from across the board, how much it reflects the talents, flair and energy of every single one of you firing on all cylinders, every single day. We were already beating all our records when Sandy hit, but once again, The Beast rose to it brilliantly and has aced the coverage at every turn.

Congratulations to Deidre for her great generalship in organizing storm troops so pre-emotively that we never went down and performed so well. What these numbers show is that The Daily Beast has now become a prime, trusted, mainstream news destination adding devoted users every day.

Now we have won ‘em let’s try and keep ‘em - congrats one and all!

Thanks to all too for making such efforts to keep in touch, show up at Midtown or find ways to get things done with so many difficulties with power, transportation and communications.

Tina