WHYY prototypes dashboard to measure audience engagement

An attempt by Philadelphia’s WHYY to measure the impact of its news website has its execs asking bigger questions about the best ways to gauge success in public media. In July 2013, WHYY needed an accurate and effective way to measure the progress of NewsWorks, the station’s digital news venture, launched in 2010. The station talked with CPB, a primary funder of NewsWorks, about integrating an R&D budget for site analytics into the next phase of NewsWorks’s grant. “At some point during that conversation, we got to talking about Google Analytics and how many phantoms Google Analytics make people chase,”said Chris Satullo, v.p. of news and civic dialogue at WHYY. The popular analytics service provides data that, according to Satullo,“sound really important but [are] really set up for e-commerce” rather than public service.

Pubmedia symposium examines how to define, quantify impact

“Impact” is a feel-good media buzzword of the moment, increasingly required by the funders of many projects and invoked by some PTV stations, news organizations and documentary producers as key to demonstrating the social good derived from their work. But defining the concept and then measuring whether a media project has demonstrated its value remain elusive challenges for many. During “Understanding Impact,” a two-day symposium convened last month at American University in Washington, D.C., participants explored a number of the ad hoc systems for tracking impact that are taking form. Organizations including the Center for Investigative Reporting in Emeryville, Calif., and KETC, the Nine Network of St. Louis, have developed their own methodologies and hired staff members to measure the impact of their work.

PBS’s Sepulveda: Stations can do more to engage Latinos, broader communities

PBS stations need to share more information among themselves as they work to increase their community impact, PBS’s new senior v.p. of station services Juan Sepulveda said at the two-day “Understanding Impact” symposium, convened by the Public Media Futures Forum and the Center for Investigative Reporting April 17 and 18. The forum, which took place at American University, explored how public media organizations can measure and analyze the impact of their work. Sepulveda, who started at PBS in January, said he was still trying to get a sense of how actively stations are working on issues of impact and how much information they’re sharing. So far, he’s concluded that a small number of stations are “doing it right,” he said, adding that “if we’re honest, a big chunk of the system is not.”

Sepulveda saw firsthand the success of digital outreach and community-organizing tactics when he worked to mobilize Texans and Latinos for President Obama’s campaigns. Public TV can apply those strategies to get stations “more directly involved in what’s happening with each other,” he said.

Public Media Futures Forum explores impact measurement and analysis

“Understanding Impact,” a two-day symposium, will explore how public media organizations can measure and analyze the impact of their work. Convened by the Public Media Futures Forum and the Center for Investigative Reporting, the event is taking place at American University in Washington, D.C. Check out the schedule below. Due to technical difficulties, we are unable to offer a live stream of today’s proceedings. Please see CIR’s live blogging page for updates. Schedule
Thursday, April 17

10–10:30 a.m. — Welcome

Ed Beimfohr, Associate Dean, Operations & Strategic Initiatives, American University School of Communication
Mark Fuerst, Director, Public Media Futures Forums
Robert Rosenthal, The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR)

10:30–11:10 a.m. — CIR case study: Veterans Reporting

Amy Pyle, CIR
Aaron Glatz, CIR
Lindsay Green-Barber, Ph.D., ACLS Public Fellow, CIR

11:20 a.m. – 12 p.m. — A Theory of Community Impact

Amy Shaw, Sr. VP for Community Engagement, KETC/Nine Network, St.

Pubcasters capture 21 national Edward R. Murrow Awards

WLRN in Miami won large-market radio Murrows for feature reporting and use of sound. Chicago’s WBEZ also won for news documentary and hard-news reporting. The award for investigative reporting went to KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting, both based in San Francisco, for “Broken Shield: Exposing Abuses at California Developmental Centers.”