Wednesday roundup: NPR ads respond to voices; Knight backs development efforts

• NPR introduced voice recognition–enabled ads this week on its smartphone app in an attempt to connect its nearly one million mobile listeners with sponsors, Adweek reports. The 15-second audio spots ask listeners to say “Download now” or “Hear more” after hearing an ad that sparks their interest. • The Knight Foundation has awarded a joint grant to the nonprofit newsrooms Voice of San Diego and MinnPost to help them develop plans to grow membership. The two-year, $1.2 million grant will be divided evenly between the news operations, who will collaborate on using membership data more effectively. Nieman runs down how the sites will use the grant.

Seidel, Malesky and Carvin taking NPR buyouts, will exit by year’s end

NPR news executive Stu Seidel and librarian Kee Malesky have accepted buyout offers from NPR, and social media strategist Andy Carvin has told Current that he plans to take the buyout as well. The employees will leave NPR at the end of the year. Seidel is the network’s managing editor for standards and practices. He worked for NPR as a freelance editor from 1996-98, then joined in December 1999 as senior editor of Weekend Edition Sunday after a year with Marketplace, where he was senior editor. He later worked as deputy managing editor for news.

Digital journalists look for lessons in work of Andy Carvin, NPR’s one-man newsroom

On a recent afternoon at NPR, Andy Carvin was watching a video of a protest purportedly shot in the Syrian city of Homs, a locus of that country’s uprising against its repressive regime. The video’s location surprised Carvin, considering the firepower the government has unleashed on the city to quell the uprising. As he often does, he looked for telltale landmarks in the background, listened to the chants and accents of the protesters, and checked if the weather in the video matched the day’s forecasts. He ended up asking his Twitter contact who had disseminated the video for more verification. This vetting process occupies most of Carvin’s workdays.

@acarvin’s example

After the Arab Spring began, NPR’s Andy Carvin remains a rare breed. More journalists are using Twitter to find stories and connect with sources, but Carvin says few use it as he does….