AAJA Author archives for Lauren Rabaino

Lauren is an associate producer at The Seattle Times. Before moving to the Pacific Northwest, she worked with journalism startups in California, where she was raised and went to college.

Good news for freelancers: Public Insight Network is acquiring Spot.us

If you’re a freelancer and you haven’t heard of Spot.us yet, you’ve been missing out. (Full disclosure: I worked as a contract designer for Spot.us from Dec. 2009 – Jan 2011). Spot.us is a crowd-funded reporting platform that allows reporters and organizations to submit story ideas, set a funding goal, and raise money from the public toward that goal.

But this week, the possibilities for Spot.us just got a lot more interesting: They were acquired by the Public Insight Network. As part of American Public Media, PIN is a platform that gives journalists access to a repository of knowledgeable sources to help make their reporting stronger.

So the merger means that freelancers who pitch stories will have both the means of raising money, plus the access to people who can give quality information about those stories. Read more about it here.

Posted in News | Comments Off on Good news for freelancers: Public Insight Network is acquiring Spot.us

Behind the scenes of The Seattle Times’ newest blog

A few weeks ago at The Seattle Times, we launched a new blog called The Today File. Technologically, the blog is a breath of fresh air in our newsroom that — like many traditional newsrooms– deals with a lot of legacy software.

We launched the blog on open-source blogging software WordPress, the very software that runs this blog and millions around the globe. It’s a place for us to break news, be more transparent, be more nimble about coverage, and do cool things on the web quickly.

I recently published a behind-the-scenes post to my personal blog that could be worth a read if you want to set up something similar in your newsroom, or on your own as a freelancer. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, see my post or email me directly! From my blog:

Prior to the launch of The Today File, we had a crime blog, weather blog, politics blog and a ton of other niche-topic blogs. If any other random in-between news broke (traffic, education, general metro), there wasn’t a home for it except as a “full story” i.e. something that originates in our print CMS (CCI) and goes through the standard workflow of being published to the web. It could sometimes take 10 or 15 minutes to get an item up on our site, and it could only be done from within the building.

Not only is this a many-step process, but it’s a print-centric one that doesn’t allow us to easily do things like hyperlinking, dropping in maps, sharing on social media, etc. WordPress, of course, changes all of that.

You can read the full details here.

Posted in Local highlights, News | Comments Off on Behind the scenes of The Seattle Times’ newest blog
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