A Peek Inside Melody Kramer's Digital Life

Sep 14, 2012

Melody Kramer
Credit Sam Briger/Fresh Air

As part of our new monthly newsletter, we'll talk with people involved in public media about how they wade through the digital news deluge.

This month we spoke with Melody Kramer.  Mel recently left WHYY’s Fresh Air, where she was the associate producer for online media, to pursue a medical degree at Temple University School of Medicine. If her name sounds familiar, we’re not surprised. Kramer’s online prowess has been featured in Nieman Journalism Lab. She also led a social media webinar for Digital Services, which we recommend you watch here. She kindly answered our questions before getting lost to the world of studying and classes.

Three daily must reads: I start every day reading The New York Times on my iPad. Then I check themorningnews.org, reddit, fark, news.me and Twitter. Honestly, I get most of my news now through Twitter because I follow all of the journalists who were on Fresh Air and then find other reporters through them/other things I read.

Three people you follow regularly: Dexter Filkins, Maud Newton, Sherman Alexie

Three accounts you'd pay to follow on Twitter: @tejucole, @brainpicker, @ecjacobs

Three online guilty pleasures: Ask Metafilter, Savage Love, anything in the Gawker lineup, Dads are the Original Hipsters

Three must listen podcasts: Wiretap, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, How To Do Everything, Professor Blastoff

First thing you check in the morning/Last thing you check at night: Twitter.I put away electronic devices an hour before I go to bed and then read....so I suppose it's my alarm clock.

Favorite news consumption time saver: news.meand topheadlin.es

Your go-to local news source(s): philebrity, uwishunu, west philly news, newsworks@whyy, philadelphia public school notebook, planphilly, grid magazine, the daily pennsylvanian 

Your most used mobile reporting tool or app: Twitter (really good if you turn location services on to get immediate reaction to something. You can search by location...)

Something you wished people would ask you on these types of lists: Is it okay to turn all of this stuff off every so often and not worry about what you could be missing? (Yes.)

Words of wisdom/advice for stations as they go forward in their digital endeavors. No one has this stuff down. So anything you try is worth a shot. I think having a voice (it doesn't have to be funny) is important so people feel invested in your content. Let reporters and editors have freedom to post what they want to. The NYTimes does an excellent job of letting its reporters on Twitter, not providing much oversight and allowing the reporters' own voices to come through.

Something you learned from a mistake/misstep/failed attempt: It's okay if you try something and it doesn't work. You can stop. G+ was an absolute failure for FA's web presence. No one was using it and we weren't receiving any traffic. So I stopped posting. And life went on.

Follow Kramer on Twitter, check out her tumblr, and submit ideas of whose 'digital life' we should cover next via email or Twitter @nprdigitalsvcs.