Triple Filtered? That’s Smirnoff Ice. This Is Only a Double Filter.

Written by Ryan Thornburg August 18, 2010 9:35 am EDT No comments

First of all, I don’t even want to talk to you about this post’s headline. Unless you’re my therapist or in need of SEO consulting.

But I do want to bring you another attempt at headlines I’ve culled from my tech/social filters… and yet still don’t have time to read. Mashable and Romenesko still caught my eye the most this morning, but TechPresident and the PBS/Knight Foundation MediaShift IdeaLab (or whatever that very good site should be called) also added some variety to the mix.

So, without further ado. I filter these to you. Please filter them back to me.

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What’s the Demand for Downballot News?

Written by Ryan Thornburg May 5, 2010 1:33 pm EDT No comments

One of the partners for my Public Affairs Reporting for New Media class this semester was the N.C. Center for Voter Education, long known for its efforts to change the way judges are elected in North Carolina as well as the voting guide it creates in partnership with UNC-TV. That voting guide was the first place I turned for information on candidates in yesterday’s statewide primary for seats on the Court of Appeals. I just presumed that no newspaper had covered the race.

But you know what happens to you and me when you assume things, so I checked it out. Turns out I was mostly right. I’m going to put together a summary of information that got reported about this race, but it got me wondering about this question: How much information – and what kind – of information do North Carolinians need about downballot statewide primary races? Are they getting? From where? Or why not?

After all, if journalism’s worth saving it’s only because of the impact it has on public life. I’ve long been curious about the connection between information and citizen participation. The presumption – not always right, as Samuel Popkin and Michael Schudson might tell you – is that the more information voters have the “better decisions” they will make.

A little more than 700,000 people voted in those races. Some of them might have wanted more information than others? How many had enough? How many would have changed their votes if they had had different information?

And, if we can figure out who needs this information – and what information they need – is there any business model that gets it to them? Do we need independent reporting on downballot races like this or is informing voters the job of the State Board of Elections and the candidates themselves?

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Citizen Journalism and Authentic Leadership

Written by Ryan Thornburg June 21, 2008 9:09 pm EDT 3 comments

This post is a written version of comments I presented yesterday at the Future of Journalism conference sponsored by The Carnegie-Knight Task Force on the Future of Journalism Education and organized by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.

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Research Question: Curious or Influential?

Written by Ryan Thornburg May 6, 2008 8:23 am EDT No comments

Over at his blog, Under the Dome, at NewsObserver.com, Ryan Teague Beckwith points out another interesting online political communication question: What’s the relationship between candidate messages in paid media, free media coverage of those messages and Google searches related to those messages?

And who are the Google searchers on political terms? Are they The Influentials? Young People? Newspaper readers? Non-voters? All of the above?

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Research Question: Do Hits Equal Votes?

Written by Ryan Thornburg May 5, 2008 4:24 pm EDT No comments

North Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate argues that they are.

But what’s he talking about? Page views? Unique visitors?

What parts of the site are busiest? Fundraising? Issue briefings?

How are people finding his site? Google “earned search”? Online ads? Media coverage?

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What I'm reading

  • Writing from Video Exercise 2 hours ago
    These video writing and editing exercises are from the 4th Edition of the Broadcast News Handbook by Charlie Tuggle, Forrest Carr and Suzanne Hoffman.
  • News Corp. Donation Clouds Fox Coverage of Prop. 24 - NYTimes.com 2010/11/02
  • How to Count Items in a Filtered List in Excel 2010/10/25
  • Relational Databases - Example - Martin Baker 2010/10/16
  • MySQL :: MySQL 5.0 Reference Manual :: 10 Data Types 2010/10/16

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