Yan Lu

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Network News: October 29 – November 4

StateImpact Election Coverage Shoots And Scores

We saw our web traffic grow by more than 50 percent over the past month. That’s right: 50 percent. And a lot of that was because readers liked it and shared it with their friends. A whopping 64 percent more traffic came through social media in October than September–or just about any other month since our founding.

This can be attributed in part to interest in the election, yes. But it is also due in no small part to our reporters’ ability to keep their coverage tightly focused on state election questions.

Our strategy going into the election was to let NPR and others focus on the presidential race while we played to our niches. We set out to own selected down-ballot races. Oklahoma, Florida, Idaho and New Hampshire covered several key ballot measures; Ohio tackled state school board races and school levies; and Indiana focused on their state school superintendent race.

We followed the races closely tied to our beats and analyzed their implications. We set up explanatory topic pages related to each race or ballot measure. And we took care to make those pages SEO-friendly. Last week, as voters got Googling for information on their state-level races, it was these side-door topic pages where they found what they were looking for.  (See below for the week’s top traffic draws.)

The headline for this week is that we have largely succeeded in our goal to be the clearest source of information for state voters on these low-profile but important policy questions. For those who still haven’t made up their minds on the marquee races, there’s no shortage of places for them to go to educate themselves. But when it comes to SQ 766 in Oklahoma or Ohio’s District 5 State Board of Education race, we are it. We talk a lot about StateImpact “filing the void” that vanishing local outlets are leaving behind. That’s exactly what we are doing–and doing extremely well–with our election coverage. Nice job, folks! Continue reading

Meet the Team: Intern Yan Lu

Yan Lu joined the StateImpact family last week, all the way from Wuhan, China.

Yan Lu, on assignment with KOMU in Columbia, Missouri.

Yan (pronounced “Yen,” like the Japanese currency) is a graduate stu­dent at the Missouri School of Journalism and will be with us through early December.

During that time, she’ll be helping StateImpact build capacity across the network and on multiple fronts. Not only has she worked in television, video, radio, print AND digital news, but she is also a stellar data miner with a solid foundation in infographics. Wow.

Yan is hoping to spend the next few months nurturing her data visualization skills and learning about how we do things here at StateImpact and at NPR.

We’re thrilled to have her with us. Please help us welcome her to the fold.