Network News: December 3 – 16

StateImpact Pennsylvania Wins duPont

The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award committee this morning announced that StateImpact Pennsylvania is among its 2013 awardees. In its announcement, the duPont committee said the team’s coverage over the past year has “showed the significant impact of natural gas fracking on Pennsylvania residents, and is an important model for reporting on local issues.” 

“Reporters Susan Phillips and Scott Detrow covered the public policy, fiscal and environmental impact of the state’s booming energy economy, with a focus on Marcellus Shale drilling,” the announcement reads. “Their broadcast reports were heard on public radio stations across Pennsylvania and on a dedicated web site featuring multimedia, data-driven stories. Their work revealed previously unreported aspects of a new gas drilling law, including a provision that would require health professionals to sign confidentiality agreements in order to get access to chemical exposure information and developments in the state’s efforts to establish a natural gas impact fee.”

The awards ceremony will take place in New York in January.

Traffic Milestone

Three StateImpact traffic records were set this past Tuesday, thanks in large part to StateImpact Texas‘ Terrence Henry‘s ongoing coverage of a University of Texas professor’s hydrofracking study and his conflict of interest. The story had the most number of unique visitors, visits and pageviews in StateImpact history. Reddit drove a lot of the traffic; but the post also had 2.7k Facebook recommends and 220 tweets.

Major Multimedia Collaboration Goes Live

Becky Lettenberger, Chris Swope, Scott Detrow and Wes Lindamood storyboard BoomTown at NPR headquarters in DC.

On December 10, StateImpact Pennsylvania launched “BoomTown,” a multimedia story about how the fracking boom has impacted the people of the town of Towanda, Pennsylvania.  Scott Detrow and Becky Lettenberger made two reporting trips to Towanda to gather tape and photos. Numerous members of the D.C. team were involved in putting the final product together, with the critical additions of NPR’s Wes Lindamood to design and develop the presentation and Claire O’Neill to fine tune it.

Everyone involved in “BoomTown” learned a lot about how to pull off a multimedia project like this. StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Scott Detrow appeared on NPR’s Tell Me More December 13 to discuss the project and we hope to convene a social media event around BoomTown in January.

We’re looking forward to finding a new project soon to put those lessons to use. 

Last Week’s Reader Faves

Most visited stories last week, in raw numbers:

  1. TexasReview of UT Fracking Study Finds Failure to Disclose Conflict of Interest (Updated)
  2. PennsylvaniaDoes Every Boom Have a Bust?
  3. TexasReal vs Artificial Christmas Trees: An Easier Choice Than You Think
  4. Florida: 13th Grade: How Florida Schools Are Failing To Prepare Graduates For College
  5. Indiana: State Board Tweaks, Approves ‘REPA II’ Teacher Licensing Guidelines

    Sagette Van Embden / Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

    Shakira Lockett, 22, spent three semesters taking remedial classes before she began working on college-level courses. She is part of a series that StateImpact Florida began rolling out on December 3.

StateImpact Florida, in collaboration with the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, began rolling out an extensive series on remedial education in Florida’s community colleges and what it says about what students are–and aren’t–getting from their public school education. They will be hosting an online Twitter chat about the series TODAY at 4 p.m. EST. To join in, please use the hashtag #NPRedchat.

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. TexasReview of UT Fracking Study Finds Failure to Disclose Conflict of Interest (Updated)
  2. IdahoHow Feds’ Rejection Of Partial Medicaid Expansion Affects Idaho
  3. PennsylvaniaDoes Every Boom Have a Bust?
  4. New HampshireTech Company Lures Recruits With Farm-To-Table Cafe
  5. Indiana: State Board Tweaks, Approves ‘REPA II’ Teacher Licensing Guidelines
  6. OklahomaChesapeake Energy Offering Buyouts to Employees
  7. Florida: 13th Grade: How Florida Schools Are Failing To Prepare Graduates For College
  8. Ohio: Third Grade Reading Guarantee

Traffic Sources (according to Google Analytics):

  • 24% Search Engines (top terms for this week: fracking; earthquake in texas; chesapeake energy; keystone pipeline; repa ii)
  • 16% Dark social (emails, listservs, instant messaging, etc.)
  • 44% Social media (Reddit, Facebook, Twitter–in that order this week)
  • 12% Referral (, Google, Texas Tribune, Google News, Florida Trend–in that order this week–plus station websites and other partners and sites)
  • 1% Direct (bookmarks and direct visits to home pages)

Heard on National Air:

Molly Bloom / StateImpact Ohio

Three OHDELA students — from left, Hannah Fulks, Erika Blon and Randi Beatty — sing together. The online school's chorus meets for in-person practice once each quarter.

  • StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Scott Detrow appeared on NPR’s Tell Me More December 13 to discuss drilling and Towanda and his BoomTown project.

Around the Network

Last week:

  • KUT in Austin hosted us at their swanky new digs for a whirlwind convergence of our energy states. Reporters from Texas, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma (whose economy coverage is increasingly focused on the energy economy) met for two days of brainstorming, skill sharing and, of course, BBQ-sampling. Thanks, Emily, Terrence and Mose, for showing everyone such a great time!

This week:

  • A similar meeting of the minds just wrapped up at WCPN in Cleveland, Ohio, where reporters and news directors from our education states convened. We expect both of the meetings to help us start 2012 with a renewed sense of purpose, editorial focus and dynamic strategies for engaging with our communities.
  • Terrence Henry of StateImpact Texas is attending the Knight Science Journalism  Energy and Climate Boot Camp at MIT as a 2012 fellow.
This will be the last Network News of 2012. Thank you all for making it an outstanding year. We can’t wait to see what is around the corner.
Until then, have a great holiday and a Happy New Year.

Your editorial team,

Chris Swope, Jessica Pupovac, Ken Rudin & Becky Lettenberger

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