Category Archives: Journalism

West Wing Week: Direct-to-Voter Videos From The White House

I was completely intrigued when I stumbled upon this new weekly staple of the Obama Administration – “West Wing Week” – a six minute video, packed to the max with b-roll, substance and soundbites of how the President spent the last week. I have yet to see anything as pithy and tightly produced by the news outlets in the Press Corps targeted at to the 18-35 year old demographic – a demo growing in influence and worth an estimated $200 billion in consumer spending. Or, for the political world, a demo with the power to deliver enough votes to say, swing a reelection campaign. Smart man our President is.

The video only shows about 2,685 views on YouTube. (The White House does not release traffic data for WhiteHouse.gov.)

Posted via web from ericaamerica’s posterous

National Press Club: How to "Pitch" Journalists in the Digital Age

This Friday, I will join a group of journalists on a panel about how to “pitch journalists in the digital age” at the National Press Club.

Hosted by the Adfero Group, the delightful Cindy Boren (Washington Post), myself, and others, will talk about how we interact with folks who have story ideas. From my perspective, it isn’t so much how people “pitch us,” but rather, how we can better listen and crowd source ideas and issues that matter to our key audiences. That is, if you follow the maxims of new media.

I’m definitely the most hybrid of the group, having worked in both digital strategy PR and placed my own content through CNN and MTV. I hope I’ll be able to make some insightful contributions as to what’s worked and what hasn’t for the group that attends!

Mobile Producer – Ideating a Job Description


Important Qualities

Originally uploaded by ericaamerica08

Today I applied for a job as a Mobile Producer at Allbritton Communications – the parent company of Politico that is about to launch a new news organization, one that will serve the Washington, D.C. metro area and work to shape the “future of local news.”

Not long after I applied, I received a note back from Steve Buttry, Director of Community Engagement at Allbritton. He wanted to know – what are my thoughts for the job description, his or her duties and the process of the producer? Luckily I think I have this one down – and I’m so glad he asked.

Job Description: Mobile Producer

• Must have ability to produce multi-platform stories
• Must be technology agnostic
• Must demonstrate editorial judgment
• Must have story instinct

The Mobile producer must demonstrate the ability to combine traditional values of journalism (integrity, fairness, balance, pursuit of truth and focus on the facts) with the social media code of conduct – transparency, collaboration, crowd sourcing and audience interaction, among others.

The Mobile producer must be in tune with the rapid changes in the media and adapt, every day, testing new newsgathering, production and story telling techniques. He or she must be able to (1) develop original content (2) aggregate that content and (3) provide deeper context to select stories in the format of research-based blog posts, long form videos, interviews, etc.

The Mobile producer must be aware that distribution of the story is just as important as the newsgathering process. Working with the social media producer and strategists, the Mobile producer will assist in listening to the target audience, seeding the stories in communities and be nimble enough to identify and react to the best distribution techniques. The Mobile producer must take seriously the responsibility of being an intelligent filter and creator of news to the residents of metro D.C.

The Mobile producer is fearless. He or she must always have gear in pockets and be ready to catch or chase a story.

The Mobile producer must care about providing information to the residents in the Washington, D.C. metro area, a city that is unique in that it has no vote in Congress, experiences high crime, low high school graduation rates, and is seat to the most powerful government in the world.

The Mobile producer, in an ideal world, is Erica Anderson!

What else should I add? Do you think I have what it takes?

My Afternoon with the Newspaper

Saturday I took a step back – from my laptop – to catch up with the newspaper. I chose the New York Times and forked over $2.12, a small price to pay for what turned out to be three hours of reading, writing and ideating. Each time I wanted to pull out my iPhone, I dug deeper into Sections A and B, determined to have an uninterrupted afternoon with what Devin Coldewey, a CrunchGear blogger, called “delayed media,” aka the ink newspaper.

Delayed media is 1/3 of the concept that is part of the “present media triumvirate” theory coined by Coldewey. Helen Thomas once told me that the benefit of the print newspaper is that you end up reading much more than you would have if you were searching for something online. I found that to hold true during my experiment. I read about how labor shortages in China will make their exports more expensive and I learned that Citigroup is about to launch a PR campaign aimed at revamping their image with Wall Street and Washington. Neither of which I got from my Twitter feeds and the cable news loop that I typically keep on during the days.

While I love the newspaper (I starting delivering them in fifth grade), they haven’t kept up with the pace of the web and so they haven’t kept up with me. Even though I have worked to keep them in my life, I know that the average newsreader hasn’t. And I don’t blame them. But I am trying to figure out a way to apply the best of traditional media (epitomized by the delayed media) and combine it with the best tactics and tools of the new. Continue reading

Pulitzer Worthy (IMHO) Video from Haiti

This is an incredible piece of video journalism from Canada’s Globe and Mail photo journalist, Peter Power. Using the subtle fade of still photos, he narrates the story of Port-au-Prince through his eyes. His description of buildings collapsing like pancakes and survivors rolling into clinics in wheelbarrows is NPR worthy. No, wait, it’s Pulitzer worthy.

Thanks, Pete. The deadline for Pulitzer Prizes is February 1, 2010.