All posts for “news”

What is the Role of Explainers in the News?

Posted by: leelefever on October 24, 2013- 10:51am

Categories: Explainers, journalism, kalven, news, newsbound, rosen

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Newsbound is a startup creating news explainers in a unique visual format. I interviewed their Explainer-in-Chief last year. Newsbound founder Josh Kalven recently wrote about the need for explainers in the news and specifically, what’s missing from their use: But looking across the explanatory landscape, there’s a glaring problem. While the news industry is investing in topic-based explainers, it’s regularly failing to get the return it deserves. This isn’t due to lack of demand. News... Continue Reading

So, How's The Book Doing?

Posted by: leelefever on May 14, 2013- 11:20am

Categories: Art of Explanation, book, data, news

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About 6 months ago, my first book was published: The Art of Explanation. Being my first, I didn’t know what to expect from the process, the reviews, the sales, the marketing. Thankfully I found my way through and now have some information on how it’s been received. First, let me start by offering a HUGE thanks to all the people who have purchased the book. You rock. I wish I could thank you more personally. I hope it has helped you think differently about how you communicate.   So how IS the... Continue Reading
A while back I noticed that an organization called Newsbound posted a job opening for an "Explainer-in-Chief", a title I love to see. Curious, I followed Newsbound and eventually met Patrick Sharma, the person who now fills that role. He's been kind enough to answer a few questions and share a remarkable format the company is using to package explanations.  1. Tell me about Newsbound and your role there. What's the company's mission and story?    Newsbound is a San Francisco-based digital media... Continue Reading

Amazon, eBooks, Zombies and New Videos

Posted by: leelefever on October 16, 2012- 9:57am

Categories: Art of Explanation, ebook, news, zombies

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Here’s a quick update about the status of The Art of Explanation and some things we have planned over the next month.  The book is currently shipping from Amazon and making its way to other bookstores now. By October 23rd, it should be everywhere. If you have a copy, I’d love to hear your thoughts. You could be the first to write a review on Amazon!   Many of you have asked about eBooks. The Art of Explanation will be available as an eBook, and I expect it to be for sale by the end of the month... Continue Reading
The new HBO show Newsroom, written by Aaron Sorkin, follows the lives of a team of TV journalists at a fictional news station called ACN. Instead of making up a constant stream of news for the show, Sorkin opted to set the show in the recent past and cover real-life events like the Gulf Oil Spill and the rise of the Tea Party.  Some speculate that the show represents Sorkin’s vision of how the stories should have been covered in the news. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I do not wish to dwell on... Continue Reading

I'm Writing a Book About Explanation

Posted by: leelefever on March 7, 2012- 7:50am

Categories: announcement, Art of Explanation, book, Explanation, news

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  It’s true. The book is called “The Art of Explanation” and it should hit the shelves in the fall of 2012, published by Wiley & Sons.     The Big Idea:   The Art of Explanation is built on the very simple idea that explanation is a skill that can be learned and improved. The book is designed to help people rethink how they communicate and learn to package ideas into simple explanations that make people care, whether it’s at home, work or school.    Background:   For many years, I’ve been a... Continue Reading

Sachi is the PI's Geek of the Week!

Posted by: leelefever on April 19, 2009- 5:00pm

Categories: buzz, interview, news, sachi

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Our very own Sachi LeFever is the "Geek of the Week" on the Big Blog at the Seattle PI. The Geek of the Week is a series of short interviews that highlight local Seattle geeks.  Last week's geek was Bryan Zug. My favorite answer: When did you first know you were a geek? Describe that moment: My first grade teacher scolded me for finishing too many Schoolhouse Math worksheets, so I began sneaking them until I finished the entire box.  I've been wanting to tell that story for a while. ... Continue Reading

Our Twitter Video Used in Mainstream Media - Thoughts?

Posted by: leelefever on March 30, 2009- 5:00pm

Categories: feedback, news, twitter, video

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For the first time in Common Craft's evolution, one of our videos "Twitter in Plain English" is being used in the mainstream media. For the most part, we're excited to have our work in front of millions. However, it brings up some questions and we're curious what you think.  A few facts: The video "Twitter in Plain English" is 100% Common Craft's property and is licensed with a Creative Commons non-commercial, no-derivatives license. Our names and a link to our web site appear at the end of... Continue Reading

Study: Americans Overwhelmingly Demand Simple Communications

Posted by: leelefever on January 13, 2009- 4:00pm

Categories: business, Explanation, news, plainenglish, politics

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Siegel+Gale recently completed a year long study of 1,214 American homeowners and investors that shows huge demand for simple, plain English communications.  A few interesting quotes: Fully 84% of all consumers say they are more likely to trust a company that uses jargon-free, plain English in communications. And 79% say they think it is “very important??? that President Obama “mandate that clarity, transparency, and plain English be a requirement of every new law, regulation and policy... Continue Reading

The Demand for "Explainers" and The Giant Pool of Money

Posted by: leelefever on August 18, 2008- 5:00pm

Categories: Explanation, journalism, news, ourwork

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Jay Rosen has written article that I could quote 1000 times.  It's called National Explainer: A Job for Journalists on the Demand Side of News.  It focuses on the huge success of an episode of "This American Life" called The Giant Pool of Money, which serves to explain the US mortgage crisis. This episode has been downloaded 50,000 times more than any other episide.  Why?  Because the producers (Ira Glass and Alex Blumberg) focused on explanation instead of information. When we talk about... Continue Reading

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