BATTLE | Planning a Budget ‘New Media’ for Feature

The process of developing a story budget for The Daily Orange Feature Desk is mostly one of narrowing down broad ideas to make them relevant to the population the paper serves.This is just a mind dump of ideas that I shared with the Editor on how to make their content a bit more 'new media' friendly.

heads up: this is a pretty old post, it may be outdated.

The Daily Orange Feature Editor Kelly Outram wants to create a special section of the paper for the Summer. The idea is to have something online that would be relevant all summer while the paper isn’t publishing new content.

I’m supportive of the idea, but just don’t think that the DO has the tech talent to really pull off the interactive graphics and code work required … yet.

More importantly though, was my fear that the proposed budget didn’t follow the ‘do what you do best, link to the rest’ rule. So much of the content was general, and not even timely. I’ll share my the gist of my response to the budget below in the hopes that it might give some guidance to college media.

The A1 main story would be about summer jobs/internships in this economy. What students are doing since many places (seem) to not be hiring, any odd jobs, prospects for the future so its newsy/feature. Ideally, we would like a pull-out where each part (decibel, splice, spice rack, tech, health) would be its own section, where it would get into text to what it was.

Use Facebook to generate data for you. You can do a series of searches on Facebook for Syracuse students by major, and find what they’ll be doing this summer. I presume many folks will update their profiles to have this data very shortly, if not already.

The more I think about it, the more I realize you probably don't need to have someone who can code. Being able to pull data off the API might be faster, but I imagine much of this will require manual work anyway. You can just do a lot of Facebook searches etc, and make the data static. Not quite as cool, but still very useful. It would be a major project, but a real 'new media' clip of sorts – 'specially if you can present it in a cool way online.

Decibel: Major CD releases/List of hot concerts in major cities

Need an Syracuse University angle. Why would someone come to you vs. going to Rolling Stone for the same data? Maybe take the 'staying in SU for the summer?' approach? List all the events going on here. Even do local bands. Find out what’s playing in the iMax theater. Are there going to be any cool museum exhibits?

Spice Rack: Restaurants worth visiting around the U.S. (they're are some pretty famous ones), Quick summer drink recipe (alcoholic and non)

Again, Food Network has you beat here. Could talk about local micro-breweries and their summer drafts. Does Syracuse have any cool festivals over the summer?

Tech: Cool gadgets for the summer-new phones, computers, etc.

TechCrunch will beat you a thousand times on this one. So screw it: just do a quick summary of other articles out there that list this kind of stuff. Make it relevant to the college student like you suggest: phones, ipods, etc… But you don’t really need to write too much yourself. Find what the experts say and summarize that.

This would be a great opportunity to utilize Publish2. Embeding a widget on the site would be perfect – can dynamic.

Finally, it would be cool to have an inside truck of the United States with flag staffs in certain places pointing out neat places that are worth visiting like landmarks, big zoos, etc.

[your travel site here] will have you beat. Listing airfare from JFK might make it a bit more relevant, but, I think your ‘summer jobs’ would be a better truck. The economy is a much bigger story that the vacations that no one can afford.

My suggestion list is significantly more reporting and work that the original budget, but I think it will produce a much stronger result. Not that I’m suggesting these are perfect suggestions. They’re largely just off the top of my head, but they do make the project more relevant to the readership.

P.s. Kelly – I’m calling you out, but it’s just to push you harder :)