Network News: January 21 – 27

States Collaborate to Explain New Education Standards

Florida, Indiana and Ohio are among the 45 states that are implementing new national standards for K-12 academics, a process that will require new curricula, textbooks and tests. So, the “Common Core” was a natural topic for the StateImpact education states to focus on for 2013. And just as the standards themselves are a national-state partnership, our project’s six education reporters are collaborating with each other and the team at NPR to explain how the new policies will affect students, parents and educators.

Their first joint project is called “Core Questions,” an effort to engage these groups in our coverage by inviting them to send us their questions about the Common Core. The reporters have created Core Questions topic pages on StateImpact Florida, StateImpact Indiana and StateImpact Ohio, and are inviting questions through their sites’ Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. They’ll share the work of answering some questions to avoid duplicating effort.

Reporters Molly Bloom, Sarah Gonzalez, Ida Lieszkovszky, Elle Moxley, John O’Connor and Kyle Stokes developed the idea for coordinated Common Core coverage at the StateImpact Education Workshop last month in Cleveland.

The NPR team is working to develop a visual identity for the project that doesn’t involve apple cores.

Around the Network

  • News director Tim Lambert of witf looks on as reporter Susan Phillips of WHYY accepts the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award Jan. 22 in New York.

    Lynette Clemetson

    News director Tim Lambert of witf looks on as reporter Susan Phillips of WHYY accepts the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award Jan. 22 in New York.

    Susan Phillips accepted the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia “silver baton” on behalf of StateImpact Pennsylvania at a ceremony at Columbia University in New York last week. Tim Lambert of witf attended in place of Scott Detrow, and Chris Satullo of WHYY was there as well. Lynette Clemetson represented the NPR StateImpact team along with the developers of the ShalePlay data interactive, Danny DeBelius, Chris Amico and Matt Stiles. The award noted that 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.”

  • It’s Dry in Texas. And all eyes are on the Texas legislature waiting to see how it will act.  KUT’s StateImpact Texas reporters have invited their core communities to join them for a panel discussion: “The Texas Water Crisis: Finding and Funding a Solution.” Mose Buchele and Terrence Henry sit down with lawmakers at the Cactus Cafe in Austin on Monday, Jan. 28, to discuss what the legislature can do this session to provide more water for a growing, thirsty state.
  • Kyle Stokes of StateImpact Indiana got a byline on NPR’s It’s All Politics blog.

Skill Sharpening

  • Poynter’s News University is hosting a free one-hour webinar on Thursday on DocumentCloud. It’ll cover the basics, plus topics like how to make documents fully searchable, how to visualize information on a timeline and how to search across multiple documents.
  • We have a great new tool for live-blogging. Learn more about ScribbleLive in the StateImpact Reporter’s Toolbox.

By The Numbers

The StateImpact reporters are a busy bunch. In 2012 they:

  • Produced 404 broadcast features that aired in their states. (And 32 aired on NPR shows.)
  • Published 3,868 original posts on their sites.
  • Received more than 30 state, regional and national awards for their work.

Reader Faves Last Week

Most visited stories last week in raw numbers:

  1. Texas: 4.1 Earthquake Hits East Texas, Reports of Minor Damage
  2. TexasOil And Gas Related Earthquakes? Texas Regulators Speak no Evil
  3. Texas: Keystone XL Pipeline
  4. Texas: Texas is Shaking Again: 3.0 Quake Strikes Near DFW Airport
  5. IdahoWho Benefits Most If Idaho’s Business Personal Property Tax Is Eliminated

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. Idaho: Who Benefits Most If Idaho’s Business Personal Property Tax Is Eliminated
  2. New Hampshire: Do You Qualify For An Earned Income Tax Credit?
  3. Texas: 4.1 Earthquake Hits East Texas, Reports of Minor Damage
  4. Pennsylvania: Photographers Seek to Shine Light on Marcellus Shale Drilling
  5. Indiana: Ball State To Make Eminent Domain Claim On Land Held By Muncie Business
  6. Oklahoma: Hobby Lobby’s New Minimum Wage is $13 Per Hour
  7. Ohio: Liberal Groups Call for School Board President’s Resignation Over Facebook Post
  8. Florida: Commissioner Tony Bennett: ‘Florida Sets The Compass’ In Education

Traffic Sources

According to Google Analytics:

  • 56% Search Engines (top terms for this week: is bigfoot real; texas earthquake; keystone pipeline; fracking; debe terhar)
  • 12% Referral (Google, NPR.org, Google News, Texas Tribune, spokesman –in that order this week–plus station websites and other partners and sites)
  • 20% Dark social (emails, listservs, instant messaging, etc.)
  • 10% Social media (Facebook, Reddit, Twitter — in that order this week)
  • 1.5% Direct (bookmarks and direct visits to home pages)

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