Newswise Introduces New Tools for Journalists

Released: 11/30/2005 1:40 PM EST
Source Newsroom: Newswise
Contact Information

Available for logged-in reporters only

***We've been providing you with news about other institutions for fourteen years. Now, after more than 50,000 news releases, we have some news of our own, and we're inviting you to write about us.***

Newswise — Newswise has created two new ways for journalists to manage information and boost productivity. In 1991 Newswise created the first online, digital, database information-management tool for journalists to access research news from a large group of higher education and research institutions. Now, we are introducing two new tools — one for journalists writing about major breaking news events, and another for feature reporters.

The two services are "Breaking News Channels" and "Feature Channels." (see: Channels page at http://www.newswise.com/channels/)

Both services will help feature reporters review a large number of ideas that will enhance their reporting on trends and human-interest stories. Offerings from knowledge-based institutions grouped in a thematic way will open access to feature writers.

"The channels open up a flow of ideas from a broad array of institutions. Each provides a matrix of sources and creates the foundation for a rich tapestry of ideas," says Roger Johnson, president and founder of Newswise. "Journalists can tap into these channels to find both the inspiration for and the necessary materials to create their own unique stories. Both of these novel tools will enable reporters' to find and use information from sources in creative ways."

Breaking News Channels

We have designed a rapid-response system to help journalists find experts who can provide commentary on major (national and international) front-page news events that are expected to remain hot topics for days or weeks. Stories on these kinds of events, such as avian flu, stem cells, and the Iraq War develop and magnify, and journalists require experts from across a broad spectrum of disciplines related to the event and its cascade of outcomes. Reporters need to reach beyond their trusty Rolodex and broaden their search.

Similarly, many higher education and research institutions have such experts but don't have an appropriate or proactive way to reach the reporters who need them.

Breaking News Channels provide the mechanism. When a major event occurs, Newswise will open a dedicated channel where multiple experts can be listed. For example, we currently have Breaking News Channels for "US Supreme Court," "Avian Flu," and "Intelligent Design."

Feature Channels

In addition Newswise has created an exciting new way for feature writers to generate unique story ideas.

Newswise will assign selected ideas to a group with a related topic, such as Winter/Holidays, Nature/Animals, or Allergies. These feature ideas will engender a thematic nexus around which writers can peruse, align, and juxtapose ideas so as to devise their own unique feature article about a trend, idea, or human-interest story. We're calling them channels because they create a flow of related ideas around a common theme. The channels will provide a network of support for feature writers by aggregating sources from many institutions. Similarly the channels establish a new way of brainstorming possible features by grouping the related pieces. These ideas cannot be searched by keyword, so we have added "intelligence" to them with this grouping.

For example, we currently have Feature Channels for Nature/Animals, Business Ethics, Education, Obesity, Heart Disease, Family, Harry Potter, and others. Newswise will increase the number and diversity of channels based on supply and demand — the stories will appear because of trends or because you ask for them.

In addition to the identified themes, Newswise will have four groups of more general feature ideas within science, medicine, lifestyle, and business.

With these two new services, Newswise is expanding its service to journalists beyond the core competency of research news and of using online technology to help journalists respond quickly, creatively, thoughtfully, and comprehensively to culture-changing events and trends.


Comment/Share