Think Like an Editor blog by Steve Davis and Emilie Davis, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

May you keep up your morale

By · Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

stock-photo-44980974-may-2015-calendarMAY you …

For the month of May, we are devoting this blog to our wishes for journalists present and future: “MAY you … “

Every day, you will find a tip, a tidbit or a top-of-mind piece of advice we hope will help you now and later

The definition, alone, of “morale” would keep anyone’s spirits high:

Moral or mental condition with respect to courage, discipline, confidence, enthusiasm, willingness to endure hardship, etc. within a group, in relation to a group, or within an individual

Morale comes up in a study published recently by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism and explained in a journalism.co.uk report: Study: Metrics have ‘powerful influence’ on journalists’ morale

The definition of metrics: “a set of measurements that help you evaluate results.” In news outlets, these are the real-time readership numbers behind published work, and they can lead to how you and your work are judged.

May you keep up your morale.

Some key takeaways about metrics and analytics as featured by journalism.co.uk:

Some news outlets put the analytics dashboards in the newsroom, for everyone to see and judge, second by second. Others keep them more private, depending on them for post-publication decision making.

Where is your comfort level?

Some news outlets make real-time decisions based on metrics. Yet, Caitlin Petrie, of the Tow Center suggests:

“This data is simply too powerful to implement on the fly.”

How do you feel about that?

Make no mistake. Metrics and analytics bring value to what you create and what you publish. They take the guesswork out of who is reading your content and when. But there are many ways to view, review, understand and react to this valuable information.

You can read more in the Tow Center report by fellow Caitlin Petrie. Featured organizations are Chartbeat, Gawker Media and The New York Times.

When you finish reading — and always — may you keep up your morale.

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