Eric Athas

Eric Athas is a Digital News Specialist at NPR Digital Services where he assists in the development of NPR's member station training and product initiatives, with a focus on social media. 

Prior to joining NPR, Eric worked at The Washington Post, where he managed the front page of the site, helped develop mobile strategies, assisted in social media and blogging efforts and occasionally wrote for the paper.

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Writing
12:24 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

You Should Really Watch This Webinar on the Elements of a Good Headline [VIDEO]

Don't forget your headline!
Flicker user reinvented Flickr

What makes a good headline?

This webinar covers how you should think about headlines, how you should approach them and some ways you can go about writing them.  

Good headline writers to watch: Gawker, Quartz, The Atlantic Wire and Forbes.

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Social Media
10:10 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Your Guide to #NPRKnight Social Media Training

Time to Tweet
Credit via MDGovpics (CC-BY)

Welcome to the social media part of our training! This page has everything you need to guide you through the next three weeks, so bookmark it, and email Teresa if you have any questions at tgorman@npr.org. 

The next three weeks will focus on the practical ways you can use social media for reporting, audience growth, story mining and content creation. 

May 6-10

The first week of social media training focuses on making the most of your station's Facebook page. We also begin our Twitter contest, which you can learn more about here.

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Beyond the Newsroom: Harnessing Your Community
3:02 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

How to Turn Local Thinkers and Influencers Into Digital Contributors [Video]

Is there a world renowned professor at a nearby university? How about a famous local chef? A local filmmaker, artist or writer? The people who make up your community don't have to just be sources in stories — they can be part of the storytelling process. This is the idea behind Cognoscenti, WBUR's new ideas and opinions site. The site is made up of contributors from Boston's community of thinkers and influencers.

In this webinar we had a conversation with Iris Adler and Frannie Carr Toth, who run Cognoscenti.

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Training
12:52 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Everything You Need to Know About #NPRKnight Social Media Training

Time to Tweet
Credit via MDGovpics (CC-BY)

Welcome to the social media part of our training! This page has everything you need to guide you through the next three weeks, so bookmark it, and email us if you have any questions.

The next three weeks will focus on the practical ways you can use social media for reporting, audience growth, story mining and content creation. 

February 25- March 1

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9 Types
11:15 am
Thu November 29, 2012

9 Types of Local Stories that Foster Engagement [INFOGRAPHIC]

Credit Russ Gossett

Here at NPR Digital Services we've conducted a study to determine the 9 types of local content that cause the most engagement and sharing. Go here for background on the study including results.

Designer Russ Gossett created an infographic that you can print and tape to your cubicle or desk. Find that here.

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9 Types
2:17 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

9 Types of Local Stories that Foster Engagement [VIDEO]

Credit Russ Gossett

When you come across a story about your town, city or state, what makes you want to share it?

That’s a question we’ve been asking here at NPR Digital Services. There are hints about what causes sharing – we know emotion and positivity play roles. We know the headline can make or break a story’s potential. But we want to know specifically about local content. What is it about certain local stories that make them more social than others?

To answer this, we conducted a study to define what types of local content cause the most sharing and engagement.

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Training
1:10 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Assignment: Find a Story Idea Using Social Media

This post has been updated for the Summer 2013 NPR Knight training group.

The assignment for week 2 of NPR Knight social media training is to find one original and locally relevant story idea by searching around on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit and YouTube.

E-mail your story idea and how and where you found it to dseditorial@npr.org by end of day Thursday. 

(Using a Tweet or post from a local newspaper or other media outlet does not fulfill this assignment.)

Here are some tactics to use when searching for story ideas:

 

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Social Media
8:20 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Mining Social Media for Story Ideas [VIDEO]

As we've said before, social media is great for sharing your own station's content. It's also a valuable tool for finding story ideas. Here are 11 examples of stations using social media to create content.

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Social Media
3:42 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

How to Make the Most of Your Station's Facebook and Twitter Pages [VIDEO]

To make the most of a station’s Facebook and Twitter pages for news, take a step back and evaluate what’s working and what’s not. 

The editorial team at Digital Services does assessments of stations’ sites and social media before working with them for news training, but you don’t need to wait for us to do an assessment. 

In a recent webinar, we shared what to look at initially,  and the deeper questions to ask to continue to build a community and audience on Facebook and Twitter. The video, slides and summary are below.

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Social Media
7:10 am
Wed November 14, 2012

How to Track and Identify Your Social Community [VIDEO]

Yes, social media is great for sending out tweets and posting stories on Facebook. It can also be a valuable tool for staying on top of what’s going on in your local area or within your beat. There’s an ocean of story ideas, sources, news tips, photos, videos, firsthand breaking news accounts and local voices out there. A lot of it is untapped and below the “mainstream” radar. 

Here are 5 tools you can use to go scoop them up.

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