michigan radio

Happy summer! We have a lot to share with you this month including great advice from KERA Digital News Editor Eric Aasen, highlights from recent visits to KNAU, KAZU and Michigan Radio, and stories out of KUT and WESA. Do you have a story we should spotlight next month? Let us know by emailing us at coaching@npr.org. Or just email to say hi, we like that a lot, too.

Succeeding on Facebook isn't an easy task. Your station posts are competing with every other post from every other page that your fan has liked, from baby pictures to other local news outlets.

When word comes from on high that reporters and producers need to focus more on digital, the first thought is often, "When am I going to have time for that?" No one wants to do more work, right?

Well, it's not about more work. Instead it's about adapting stories to different formats.  We interviewed Mark Brush, a Senior Producer at Michigan Radio, about how he developed best practices for a digital workflow. 

Mark is full of great ideas for getting radio-focused reporters excited about online storytelling. His three keys are:

Michigan Radio screenshot

We’ve been fairly generous in our shout-outs about the Michigan Radio Guide to Ballot Proposals. It’s a simple story: voters faced six different proposals to make changes to the Michigan Constitution, the largest number in any single Michigan election in about 35 years.

Mallory Benedict/PBS NewsHour/Flickr


Hello.  By now you know that each month we provide a 'best hits' of station spotlights from our blog, a quick look at trainings you can join this month and a behind-the-scenes look at the team.

Want to nominate someone for “My So-Called-Digital Life”?   Email us to let us know whose digital life you want to peek inside.

As you can see, Michigan Radio took home armfuls of Michigan Associated Press awards last weekend. And among them, first place for best non-commercial radio website. For the second year in a row, by the way.

Here’s what the judges had to say: “Nice to land directly on a site that shouts news. One-stop shopping for headlines and in depth coverage. Very robust.”

Managing Tags for Greater Searchability and Sanity

Feb 27, 2012

Tags are important for adding visibility to your content with your audience and search engines. They can also be used incorrectly and exclude important stories. Too many tags can create eyesores and a loss of focus

Michigan Radio has developed a way to manage tags and streamline the process for their reporters. Senior producer Mark Brush created an in-house guideline that could be applicable to many stations. He's been kind enough to share it with us. 

How to add tags to a post

Tags help us create and point to a collections of stories, and they also help someone else find a collection of stories on the website.

When someone clicks on the "Mitt Romney" tag, for example, they are saying to themselves, “I want to see all the stories Michigan Radio has done on Mitt Romney."

So it's important for us to try to have consistent tags for the stories we post. We want to thread all of the relevant stories to that tag.

If you have multiple tags for the same topic (i.e., "Romney" or  "Gov. Romney," instead of sticking with “Mitt Romney”), the reader will miss important stories.

If you happened to catch "The Rachel Maddow Show" Thursday night, a Michigan Radio article in its raw form made a guest appearance.

A segment during the show focused on Michigan's Emergency Manager Law — state-appointed officials who have complete control over the cities or school districts they take over. Emergency managers are currently in control of four cities and one school district in Michigan.