StateImpact Network News: February 25 – March 3

Spotlight: What To Do When Event Planners Want You

Susan Phillips gets asked to be on a lot of panel discussions, which is great for getting exposure for StateImpact Pennsylvania and creating dialogue on her topic. But she’s learned that no two events are the same, and asking some basic questions upfront can avoid surprises. Read her Nine Tips For Being a Panelist.

Hanging Out Online With Mose Buchele

Mose Buchele takes part in a Google Hangout organized by Minnesota Public Radio.

Mose Buchele of StateImpact Texas had a two-panel day last Tuesday.

During the day, he participated in a Minnesota Public Radio video discussion related to fracking. The panel was conducted via a Google Hangout. And despite some technical troubles (another one of the panelists had a bad internet connection), the result was a good example of how to use Google’s video conferencing tool to create a work of explanatory journalism.

In the evening, he moderated StateImpact Texas’ second live event in a month. This one brought four state legislators together to discuss ways of managing the effects of Texas’ oil and gas boom. More than 110 people came out to listen to the conversation and participate. “We got really awesome questions from the audience,” Mose said. Terrence Henry worked the mike through the crowd, while sending out snippets of the conversation on Twitter. Terrence filed a radio story related to the event, and audio and video from the event have filled multiple subsequent blog posts.

Unlike the last StateImpact Texas event, which was held in a bar, this one was held in a university auditorium. While Mose says he preferred the bar — “younger people show up, and it’s more relaxed” — he says changing up the venue was a good idea. “We attracted an audience that would not have come to the bar,” Mose says. “Some people hear you’re doing something at a bar and automatically shut down. We attracted a different crowd, which might have had something to do with the caliber of the questions.”

Awards Season Starts With Good News From Texas

StateImpact Texas reports great news from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters 2012-2013 Radio Contest. The team members at KUT in Austin and KUHF in Houston were responsible for five awards among Texas’ large-market radio stations:

And multimedia projects by three of our states won awards in the Society of News Design’s Best of Digital Design contest, a competition that attracted hundreds of entries from around the world.

Training For Us And You

Jessica Pupovac, Yan Lu and Danny DeBelius attended the Computer-Assisted Reporting (#NICAR13) conference in Louisville, Kentucky, last week. The event drew more than 600 people from all over the world — about 50 percent more than last year — proving once again just how much of a premium editors are putting on data-wrangling. They are still in the process of sifting through their troves of notes, PowerPoints and links to bring you a curated list of the most useful take-aways. For now, though, here are a couple highlights:

Watch for more goodies in the days and weeks to come!

And here’s a free online training that you can participate in now: Branding for Journalists: You Being You … Online: March 5, with Reynolds Center Digital Director Robin J. Phillips.

Around The Network This Week

  • WFYI in Indianapolis has asked Kyle Stokes of StateImpact Indiana to interview Indiana state superintendent Glenda Ritz on Wednesday at an event at the Indianapolis central library. Ritz has been in the headlines a lot lately, navigating a political minefield at the same time as she’s trying to find a way to score wins for a constituency that thinks education policy is headed in the wrong direction. The event will focus on how she plans to achieve this over the next 3 years and 10 months — and what lessons she’s learned in her short seven weeks on the job..
  • Joe Wertz and Logan Layden of StateImpact Oklahoma released their hour-long radio show on water issues facing Oklahoma. It’s been getting good traffic and the head of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board also tweeted that he was listening to it, complete with links. The team has also had several emails praising the work.
  • New StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Marie Cusick spent two days in Washington last week to get oriented with the NPR project team. She’s already been quiet busy on the Pennsylvania energy beat.
  • Outoing StateImpact Florida reporter Sarah Gonzalez stopped by the DC office to say goodbye enroute to her new assignment at WNYC’s New Jersey Public Radio. Cupcakes were shared and a few tears shed.

Reader Favorites Last Week

Most visited stories last week in raw numbers:

  1. Texas: Keystone XL Pipeline
  2. Oklahoma: Troubled Water: A Deep Dive Into Oklahoma’s Most Precious Resource
  3. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania fracking map
  4. Ohio: 2011-12 Ohio School District Report Cards
  5. Ohio: School Report Cards

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. Oklahoma: Troubled Water: A Deep Dive Into Oklahoma’s Most Precious Resource
  2. New Hampshire: A New Push For Commuter Rail
  3. Idaho: Idaho Leads The Nation In Minimum Wage Workers
  4. Indiana: Some Communities Could Lose Head Start Programs If Automatic Federal Cuts Kick In
  5. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania fracking map
  6. Ohio: 2011-12 Ohio School District Report Cards
  7. Texas: Keystone XL Pipeline
  8. Florida: Three Questions About Federal Budget Cuts For Head Start

Traffic Sources

According to Google Analytics:

  • 59% Search Engines (top terms for this week: keystone pipeline; fracking; state impact indiana; is bigfoot real; third grade guarantee)
  • 10% Referral (Google, The Texas Tribune,, Google News, PA environment digest —in that order this week — plus station websites and other partners and sites)
  • 21% Dark social (emails, listservs, instant messaging, etc.)
  • 7% Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit — in that order this week)
  • 2% Direct (bookmarks and direct visits to home pages)

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