Eric Athas

Senior Digital News Specialist

Eric Athas is on NPR's Editorial Coaching and Development team. He works with Member Stations and NPR journalists on social media, headlines, content strategy, coverage planning and other projects.

Prior to joining NPR in 2011, Eric was a digital editor and producer at The Washington Post.

Eric graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in journalism. While he was a student at UMass, Eric was the editor of the daily newspaper, co-founder of the campus's first digital magazine, and a blogger for MassLive.com.

Ways to Connect

If you're one of the many member stations covering Hurricane Sandy, or "Frankenstorm," here are some types of stories that will keep your digital storm coverage relevant and your local community informed.

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Aug 29, 2012

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The staff of KCUR is doing an admirable job of creating digital content that is clickable, shareable and valuable.

This week they demonstrated this with a couple of stories.

Humans have always wanted to share certain types of information with other humans. The social delivery of news — whether it's through e-mail, online communities or in person — is not anything new. 

What is new is the continued explosion of Facebook (it's closing in on a billion active users). Facebook has provided us with the power to share like never before, which is why stations need to think about social like they never have before.

Creative Commons / via Flickr (http://flic.kr/p/dJiRk)

Humans have always wanted to share certain types of information with other humans. The social delivery of news — whether it's through e-mail, online communities or in person — is not anything new. 

What is new is the continued explosion of Facebook (it's closing in on a billion active users). Facebook has provided us with the power to share like never before, which is why stations need to think about social like they never have before.

Fresh Air Associate Producer Melody Kramer presented to member stations as part of NPR Digital Services Knight Foundation training

Below are the following: Melody's slides, a video recording of the presentation and a Storify of the live tweets.

Did you miss it? You did, didn't you? Go here.

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Original post:

Melody Kramer, Associate Producer at Fresh Air, is the woman behind the show's online success. She will spend an hour showing what she does, explaining how she does it and taking your questions.

You won't want to miss it.

Here are some steps you can take to avoid missing it: 

As part of a Knight training exercise, reporters are keeping a close watch on Twitter as a way to generate story ideas. We heard from three journalists who discovered news through Twitter and used it for reporting and programming.

Twitter

Now that you have compiled a comprehensive list of sources and influencers in your community, it's time to put them to work. This week's assignment is to use Twitter to generate at least one story idea.

Here are three ways you can approach this:

How do you build an audience on Twitter? How can you use it to spread your content to new places? How can you get your stories in front of influencers? This video covers the 7 steps to Twitter Dominance.

We take you through the social media process of WBUR’s On Point.

Please note: some of this information and directions may be outdated. Much of it has been updated in our new series on digital strategy for public radio shows. If you have any questions, please email DS-Editorial@npr.org. You can find the latest, here

Welcome, shows! This post will give an overview of the training and explain Project 1. 

Overview of training:

The goal of our first project is to start thinking about your show and how social media could be more incorporated into it. In an e-mail to myself and Ki Sung (ksung@npr.org), please answer these two sets of questions:

Welcome, beat reporters. This post will give an overview of the training and explain Project 1.

Our first project is to dig around the web and compile a Twitter list of at least 20 sources and influencers related to your beat. Then write down three relevant hashtags.

What do I mean by that?

Welcome, general assignment reporters. This post will give an overview of the training and explain Project 1.

Our first project is to dig around the web and compile a Twitter list of at least 20 sources and influencers related to your local community. Then write down three relevant hashtags.

What do I mean by that?

Our weekly webinar series continues over the next three weeks with social media. We will cover tactics for building your online community, making your content more shareable and using Facebook Subscribe for reporting. We will also have Fresh Air's Melody Kramer guest presenting during our third week.

(Editor's note: These webinars have concluded, please find links to the recordings below.  Updated June 2012)

By the time a sad story about the killing of a rare white buffalo went viral, Scott Harvey had already written three stories. Scott is the news director at KETR and the station's sole full-time news staffer. 

The  buffalo, born about one year ago and named Lightning Medicine Cloud, was found dead last week at the Lakota Ranch near Greenville, Texas. 

Purpose: To find new and effective ways to use social media to promote your show content, enable conversations about your show on new channels and crowdsource opinions and ideas for your show.

Summary: Shows are all about conversations. Conversations between hosts. Conversations between hosts and guests. Conversations between hosts, callers and guests. It just so happens that places like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr are made for conversations. This training will help you identify ways to incorporate social media into your show to enhance and promote your content.

Purpose: To establish a comprehensive understanding of your local online community that you can tap into for future storytelling, promotion and breaking news situations.

Purpose: To identify your beat’s digital communities so you can better understand and take advantage of the conversations happening around your coverage topic.

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