StateImpact Network News: February 11 – 17

Spotlight: Sharing Our Strategies

Chris Swope

The NPR StateImpact team members have been working with the editorial staff at NPR Digital Services in Boston to exchange insights so that all member stations can benefit from what we’re doing. Last fall, we shared Digital Services’ research into the “9 Types of Stories That Cause Engagement,” a how-to for success on Facebook.

StateImpact team members and station leaders — including Chris Swope and John Stefany of NPR, Karen Holp of KGOU, Emily Donahue of KUT and John LaBonia and Dan Grech of WLRN — have shared their insights from the project with other station participants in the Knight Station Leadership Conference sessions.

Last week, Chris Swope was the guest on a webinar for member stations hosted by Digital Services’ Will Snyder. The webinar, which focused on workflows that can produce great results, is archived on Digital Services’ excellent Online Journalism Guide.

A Sound Experiment

Editorial Coordinator Ken Rudin points out how Molly Messick of StateImpact Idaho does a very effective job of employing a series of “standups” in the middle of her piece on foreclosures in Boise. But her technique in this piece is especially interesting, in that we’re almost hearing her think. Knocking on the door of a home that has been vacated, we “hear” her wonder if anyone’s home. And she notices the doorbell is broken.  The usual way of using a standup is a scene-setter; Molly’s way of employing it seems more about her observations, which add color to an already very personal piece.

Around The Network

  • Sarah Gonzalez has a knack for crafting engaging human narratives and illuminating community issues that often go unexplored. She knows how to find stories that make people stop and listen. Some of our favorites have been reports on remedial classes for college students paddling of kindergarten students and the policy-based struggles of school janitors and bus drivers. Her talents and StateImpact Florida skills caught the attention of a few smart editors in New York and New Jersey, and they’ve convinced her to move to WNYC. WNYC is expanding its reach into New Jersey, and Sarah is their first reporter hire for Northern New Jersey. She’ll be an enterprise reporter working between WNYC and their Jersey Bureau. In addition to covering education, she’ll get a chance to cover crime, violence and political corruption. And she’ll be working with the public television partner there to bring her enterprise work to its nightly news program. We’ll miss her infectious laugh and smile, her energy and assertiveness and the powerful dose of essential humanity that she brings to our data and policy driven work. Sarah’s last day at WLRN is today.
  • WLRN has posted her StateImpact reporting position. Please spread the word and contact Dan Grech at WLRN if you know anyone who’d be a good fit for the StateImpact spot in Miami.

Reader Favorites Last Week

Most visited stories last week in raw numbers:

  1. Florida: Florida Senate President Says Teachers Shouldn’t Expect An Even Playing Field
  2. Idaho: Where Are Guns Made? Mapping Gun And Ammunition Makers In Idaho
  3. Texas: Keystone XL Pipeline
  4. Oklahoma: House Passes New Corporate Governance Law for Chesapeake Energy
  5. Pennsylvania: Fracking

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: Where Are Guns Made? Mapping Gun And Ammunition Makers In Idaho
  2. Oklahoma: House Passes New Corporate Governance Law for Chesapeake Energy
  3. New Hampshire: Liveblog! Governor Hassan’s 2013 Budget Address
  4. Florida: Florida Senate President Says Teachers Shouldn’t Expect An Even Playing Field
  5. Pennsylvania: Fracking
  6. Indiana: Why Some Early Education Advocates Say President Obama Will Make A Pre-K Push
  7. Texas: Keystone XL Pipeline
  8. Ohio: Kasich Budget Could Require Low-Performing Schools to Outsource Teaching

Traffic Sources

According to Google Analytics:

  • 57% Search Engines (top terms for this week: nyse:chk; keystone pipeline; fracking; is bigfoot real; chesapeake energy)
  • 12% Referral (, Google, The Texas Tribune, Google News, —in that order this week — plus station websites and other partners and sites)
  • 19% Dark social (emails, listservs, instant messaging, etc.)
  • 9% Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit — in that order this week)
  • 1.5% Direct (bookmarks and direct visits to home pages)

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