Explainer videos are great at illustrating complicated policy issues, sometimes. Over the past two years we have learned several tips for making videos that delight and inform our audiences. It starts with deciding if a video is right for you. Let this handy guide show you the way:
Check out a few examples of successfully videos below and read tips from your StateImpact colleagues.
NPR Digital Services has created an excellent resource for reporters who are new to Core Publisher, replete with a downloadable manual. There are a few things, though, that we’ve grown accustomed to created on our WordPress StateImpact sites that are not yet included in that documentation.
Below are some of our recommendations for how you can duplicate some of those features (including maps, charts and graphs, tables, document viewers, images, topic pages, pages, featured posts) on your station site.
Google Fusion Maps can be embedded as iframes and include the new built-in legend feature. This works well in both Core Publisher posts and pages.
Here is some guidance to help you through that process.
CHARTS AND GRAPHS
Google Spreadsheets will likely be the best option, even though images will have to be created and uploaded as full-screen images OR as iframes. It isn’t optimal, but it work.
Toolbox Instructions from Emilie Ritter Saunders on embedding them (and instructions from Yan Lu on creating charts and graphs, if you’re not too comfortable with that part).
For ready-made Google charts with official data, like this, the iFrame embed is a good option and easy to update.
Also, if you are going the iframe route,know that you can modify the iframe width and/or height to 100%. To do this, simply add 100% (including the percent sign) into the embed code, overriding the pixel measurements.
Tables can easily be displayed in Core Publisher by using the iframe publishing option in Google Fusion Tables. However, filterable tables are not an option, unfortunately. Continue reading →
We’re implementing a new WordPress plugin to “ingest” StateImpact posts into the NPR API and, thus, your stations’ sites.
Most of our states have been pushing posts to the API since launch. But the plugin that we’d been using had limited functionality. Kevin Moylan and others at NPR Digital Services have been working on developing a new plugin that works much better. And, now, it is ready to launch.
Here’s what you can expect to transfer nicely from WordPress to Core Publisher using v1.5 of the plugin:
Regular posts (including bylines and excerpts)
Inline Images (including captions and credits). All images in the post will be sent to the API regardless of the “can distribute” flag in the WordPress Media Library.
Audio (see instructions below)
Video embeds (and other iFrames that can be inserted into posts)
Tired of getting lousy tape from phone interviews? With a little help from your source (and a little coaching from you), he or she can use an iPhone to get you better quality audio. Here’s a great tutorial from PBS’ MediaShift — consider sending it to your source if you’re going to try it out.
StateImpact Oklahoma’s Joe Wertz, mapping wizard, shows us how to create an interactive map using Google Fusion Maps and some raw data in this quick and simple tutorial.
Here is the data that you can use, if you’d like to try this at home.
(Don’t be alarmed! The audio doesn’t kick in until about ten seconds in.)
Creating a Legend
Of special note, around minute 31 (31:00), Joe walks us through creating a legend for your map. To do that (in the new and improved version):
In the map view, click on the little arrow on top of the “Map of…” tab and navigate down to “change map styles.
Whether you are dealing with points or polygons, make sure that your bucket ranges are exactly as you’d like them to appear in your legend.
Click on “automatic legend” (your last option on the list to the left).
Create a title for your legend.
Decide where you’d like your legend to appear (typically in the bottom right-hand corner, unless your map makes a different corner preferable).
Embedding an Iframe Into Your Site
At minute 32 (32:35), Joe shows us how to embed an iframe with your map and legend right into your site.
Click on Share (in the upper right-hand corner) and publish it to the web. You’ll see your current sharing settings listed towards the top. If it doesn’t say “Public” hit the blue “Change” and select “Public on the web.” Continue reading →