Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Record is live-tweeting its first murder trial

There is big news in the city of Troy this week with the start of a double murder trial built on a 9-year-old case that was built for years against two men and nearly went to trial in 2010 before a third suspect was named and linked to DNA evidence at the murder scene, causing the original charges to be dropped against the two former suspects and Michael Mosley to be indicted for both murders.

Opening statements began in the case Monday, May 9 and The Record is providing as much coverage as possible throughout the proceedings.

In addition to a installing a widget listing prior articles on the case going back several years on our TroyRecord.com homepage, we also decided to take a lesson from our sister paper The Daily Freeman and attempt to live-tweet the courtroom proceedings complete with witness testimony.
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Friday, May 6, 2011

The Record pulled it off - the World Series trophy came to Troy!

From editor Lisa Lewis' blog earlier this week:

"For more than a decade, Record Sports Editor Kevin has worked hard to get Major League Baseball to acknowledge the Collar City for its contributions to America’s national pastime.
On Thursday, the city of Troy gets that recognition when the San Francisco Giants bring their 2010 World Series championship trophy to the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium for a public viewing from 5 to 7 p.m.
The visit is the result of a collaborative effort between Kevin and the Tri-City ValleyCats. Team owner Bill Gladstone and general manager Rick Murphy used their contacts to reach out to the Giants about a possible visit to upstate New York after Kevin and his staff launched a petition drive to get the Giants to bring the World Series trophy to Troy."
The day we had been waiting for finally arrived Thursday as a ceremony was held at Bruno Stadium to welcome the World Series Trophy to Troy.

Hundreds of Giants fans from the Capital District and beyond lined the stadium waiting to get their picture taken with the historic trophy belonging to the team whose roots began in Troy more than 100 years ago.

Click here to view a special commemorative publication The Record produced to showcase the history behind the visit.

Check out the recorded stream below of the trophy unveiling press conference and a sampling of the line of fans waiting to be a part of the event.
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How to get video production up in your newsroom

We fell into bad habits at The Record in recent months and were not keeping a close eye on video production. As a result, we ended on of our weeks with a total of only four videos being produced, despite having seven reporters between news and sports.

To remedy this, we held a staff meeting with all reporters and editors in both the news and sports editorial departments to discuss the need for video quality video production to be part of everyone’s workflow going forward. Several reporters asked questions and walk away with a better understanding about what we wanted to see from them.

Our editor, Lisa Lewis, also added the incentive of a $25 gift card as a prize to the reporter who could produce the most videos over the next month to add some friendly competition to the mix. I made up the leaderboard that you can see above and have been updating it daily to track the progress of video production and so that the reporters know where they currently stand.

As a result, The Record went from producing four videos one week to 17 the next, and a total of 30 last week.

Everyone now seems to have a better understanding about how to handle production moving forward and we'll be keeping a much closer eye on the numbers to ensure they don't slip so much again in the future

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Small, engaged crowd for The Record's horse racing community forum

The Record hosted another community forum in our Media Lab on April 28 on the subject of Horse Racing Handicapping, hosted by Nick Kling – a nationally-known horse racing handicapper who has worked as a columnist with The Record for around 20 years.

While only seven individuals showed up, Kling made the forum very interactive, asking each member of the audience what they hoped to get out of the event and what specific questions they wanted to have answered before leaving that night. He then took the time to go through sample racing forms line by line to explain a few different ways that one could use the information available to make an informed pick at the race track and even discussed some options for how to go about wagering for those interested.

Despite the small audience, each person who attended the session was heavily engaged for over an hour and a half, with several noting they would have liked to have stayed longer if it had been possible. We also had seven people watching for practically the entire event on our live stream. A recorded clip of that stream is located below.

This was a great example of how valuable engaging your audience can be. If seven people were interested enough to stay at the session for nearly two hours, there's a good chance each of them will come back to a future Record event and even participate in our interactive crowdsourcing efforts down the road.

Now we just need to figure out how to get larger crowds engaged on the same level.

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