Network News: December 17 – January 7

More Presents for You!

Guess what, team? Good news! While you were away shoveling snow, opening gifts and eating cookies, little elves stayed busy adding all sorts of new tools to your Reporter’s Toolbox, including (but not limited to):

Have fun brushing up on these, and other tools and tricks, at your leisure. And stay tuned for even more additions, coming soon!

Traffic Sources (according to Google Analytics):

  • 45% Search Engines (top terms for this week: fracking; is bigfoot real; chesapeake energy; marcellus shale; keystone pipeline)
  • 19% Dark social (emails, listservs, instant messaging, etc.)
  • 15% Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit –in that order this week)
  • 18% Referral (, Google, Google News, Pipeline Post-Gazette, Texas Tribune –in that order this week–plus station websites and other partners and sites)
  • 1% Direct (bookmarks and direct visits to home pages)

Although the holiday’s are never a high-traffic season, we’re pleased to report that, network-wide, the number of site visits that came to us directly via Google searches and Twitter mentions were up 113 and 96 percent, respectively, over the same period last year. What does this mean? Well, the results are inconclusive, but we’d like to think that our plan to make you all into web-savvy, digital reporting mavens is working!

Reader Faves Over the Last (Few) Weeks

Most visited stories last three week, in raw numbers:

  1. PennsylvaniaThe Truthiness of “Promised Land,” Five Things to Know Before You Go
  2. TexasReal vs Artificial Christmas Trees: An Easier Choice Than You Think
  3. PennsylvaniaEthics Filing Shows Corbett Took Free Vacation from Businessman with Ties to Gas Industry
  4. PennsylvaniaFracking
  5. PennsylvaniaDoes Every Boom Have a Bust?

StateImpact Pennsylvania dominated the numbers game these past few weeks with a perfect cocktail of: one blog-friendly, shareable listicle; a great day-turn investigative piece; a solid topic page on a still-hot topic and, last but not least, a multimedia interactive that keeps on giving. Well done, Pennsylvania.

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. PennsylvaniaThe Truthiness of “Promised Land,” Five Things to Know Before You Go
  2. IdahoChobani Opens Twin Falls Yogurt Facility Today, But At What Cost To Taxpayers?
  3. TexasReal vs Artificial Christmas Trees: An Easier Choice Than You Think
  4. New HampshireThe States With The Best And Worst Wage Laws For Home Health Workers
  5. OklahomaHobby Lobby’s New Minimum Wage is $13 Per Hour
  6. Ohio: Tragic But Rare: Odds of Dying in a School Shooting, as in Chardon, About One in a Million
  7. Indiana: Want To Teach In Indiana? Without An Ed Degree, You’ll (Still) Need Some Training
  8. Florida: Bright Futures Recipients May Have To Stay In Florida After Graduation
Most of the stories in this category made waves when you took popular, trending or breaking news and added your own brand of insight, clarity and context. Well played, reporters. Well played.

Around the Network

  • Becky Lettenberger / StateImpact

    Scott Detrow, our man in Towanda.

    We are sad to announce that Scott Detrow of StateImpact Pennsylvania will be movingwestward next month and joining KQED as their Sacramento bureau chief.  As Lynette Clemetson, our fearless leader, puts it, “The thing about working with a powerhouse initiative like StateImpact that identifies and showcases talented young journalists is that, well, other people tend to notice.” His last day with witf will be Friday, February 1.  Of course, we wish him the very best in his new adventures.

  • In related news, witf has posted the following job opening. Please share it with anyone who might deem themselves capable of filling Scott’s shoes.
  • Over the holidays, Molly Bloom of StateImpact Ohiodanced with the penguins in Antarctica. That is her sporting those trendy galoshes below (or so she says):

    Molly Messick / StateImpact Ohio

In National News:

Big kudos to Marie Cusick, a fill-in reporter in Pennsylvania who, on her first day on the job, broke a story exposing Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett‘s acceptance of a trip to Rhode Island on a donor’s dime. The gift was disclosed in a filing with the state Ethics Commission and quickly reported out by Ms. Cusick, whose story was then picked up by the AP. Well done, Marie!

Training Opportunity This Week:

  • LinkedIn will host a LinkedIn for Journalists webinar this Thursday, from 11 to 11:30 EST. The session is free and comes with a one-year upgrade to your LinkedIn membership, which can be useful in helping you locate potential sources and all kinds of sleuthy stuff. To sign up, send the coordinator a request in the comments section of this post.
Happy New Year, one and all! As you know, 2012 was a stellar year. We’re looking forward making this project even stronger and more dynamic in the year ahead.

Onward and Upward,

Chris Swope, Jessica Pupovac, Ken Rudin & Becky Lettenberger

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