Innovation in perspective 3/19/18

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

In Erica Smith's three years as online editor and director of digital strategy for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, change has been intended to make things easier in the newsroom and on the website, www.pilotonline.com. From creating a single app to keep track of a story to cutting the number of steps a reader must take to get a digital subscription, Smith wants the digital product to be accessible to readers and comfortable for the newsroom staff.

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New app, new strategy 2/27/18

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

Block Communications markets NewsSlide as "more than an app." Instead, it's a new way to present news and advertising combining the best of print, TV and internet with the goal of immersing the reader.

Block executives call it a game-changer.

"It starts with the content," said Lisa Hurm, vice president and general manager of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "We needed a content strategy that appeals to people who really wanted to know what the news of the day was."

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Broadcasting from a newspaper rack 2/27/18

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser was the recipient of the Mega-Innovation Award presented Tuesday afternoon at the Key Executives Mega-Conference.

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Cutting the website clutter 2/27/18

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

Here's what you won't see any longer on a Shaw Media news website: pop-ups, surveys, auto-play videos, takeovers and Taboola. Or, as Tom Shaw describes them, "all the kinds of things that our readers hate."

What you will see, once you've read three to five stories on a site, is a notice asking you to support local journalism by subscribing. The company has redesigned its news websites to be user-friendly, intending to make up in paid subscriptions was it loses in advertising.

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Beyond the newspaper market 2/27/18

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

Flypaper, WEHCO Media's local digital marketing agency, started out in cities and towns served by WEHCO properties, but it's not necessarily connected with newspapers. In fact, Flypaper has moved into an entirely new market in Nashville, Tenn., and the agency intends to keep growing.

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There are lessons to be learned from these innovative newspapers 2/3/18

The finalists for the Mega-Innovation Award have been announced. Read this story to see which companies placed in the top four. The winner will be announced Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the Mega-Conference.

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New 'Innovation in Focus' series will show journalists how to tell stories using emerging tech 1/16/18


By Jennifer Nelson, Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

The proliferation of new storytelling technologies can overwhelm journalists as they wonder which tools are worth the investment of time and money. Even the time to investigate can be a drain on budgets and staffing.

A team at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute's Futures Lab is stepping in to help with its new video series "Innovation in Focus," which launched Jan. 15. The series is designed to teach, by example, how to tell a story using various emerging technologies. It also highlights challenges and opportunities, tips and tricks, and equipment costs.

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We're shining a spotlight on innovation 1/2/18

Michael Maness, innovator-in-residence at Harvard Business School, noted during the 2016 inaugural year of the Mega-Innovation Award that lots of newspapers seem to be doing incremental innovation. What he said he doesn't see very often is revolutionary innovation: new products with new consumers that you haven't had before. "This is the kind of system that we want to be seeing," Maness said. Read more from comments made by the 2016 contest judge

Is your newspaper or corporate office doing something innovative? If so, resolve to submit a nomination for this year's Mega-Innovation Award. The deadline for entries is Jan. 11. There is no cost to enter.

Submit an entry

Don't think you can't compete with the large metros? In 2016, the winner was a three-day-a-week paper: The Forsyth County News in Cumming, Ga.

Last year, Calkins Media took top honors. When the company was a finalist in 2016 for the Mega-Innovation award, its video stream produced by the Bucks County Courier Times was a repeating four-hour content block. Now, it is essentially a local TV station.

Read more about the previous winners and then nominate your paper this year!
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Local newspaper also provides local TV 2/24/17

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

Calkins Media was the recipient of the Mega-Innovation Award presented Friday afternoon at the Key Executives Mega-Conference.

When Calkins Media was named a finalist for last year's Mega-Innovation award, its video stream produced by the Bucks County Courier Times was a repeating four-hour content block. Now, it is essentially a local TV station.

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Print classifieds merge with digital 2/24/17

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

To revive classified advertising, the Albuquerque Journal linked its print product to smartphones. The result has been a positive swing of more than $70 per ad.

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