ONA Weekly #359: Join Us For A Deepfakes Policy Conference On June 2

By on May 12, 2021

sheep in front of a blackboard that says 2+2=5

Join us for a conference on deepfakes and democracy

In late 2017, the world was introduced to deepfakes, or manipulated video that makes a person look like someone else. (That usually means someone famous, like in this Tom Cruise deepfake.) Since then, deepfakes have gone mainstream, been declared “where truth goes to die” and been used in harassment campaigns against women. Even legislators are starting to pay attention. 

Deepfakes aren’t going away, and they could have major consequences for media and politics. To push the conversation forward, ONA—along with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and the Association of Computing Machinery’s U.S. Technology Policy Committee (USTPC)—is holding a free virtual conference on deepfakes, disinformation and democracy. The conference will be held Wednesday, June 2, from 1-4 p.m. EDT (5-8 p.m. UTC)

The event will feature lawmakers and other policy experts, as well as representatives both from media organizations and technology companies. Topics discussed will include the state of deepfakes, national security and election security and improving trust in a disinformation-filled environment. Register now.

Playing the evergreen SEO long game 

For news editors trying to learn SEO, many of the available resources are overly technical or geared toward selling products. Jessie Willms and Shelby Blackley—two audience editors who started the newsletter WTF is SEO? to fill that gap for newsrooms—have suggestions for reaching new readers on search using already existing evergreen stories.

What is evergreen content? In short: stories with consistent interest that aren’t tied to a news event. It’s evergreen if it:

  • Generates consistent search interest and volume;
  • Answers the 5Ws in the headline;
  • Is well-structured and can be updated easily (FAQ or list);
  • Provides information that doesn’t change significantly over time;
  • Can be repackaged.

For example, planning a day off, the “smoke point” of cooking oils, or investing.

Why is it important? Evergreen stories help build brand authority and relevance in search. They also drive consistent traffic, independent from news cycle spikes. 

Maximizing evergreen content isn’t difficult, but it can take time. Here’s how: 

  1. Compile your evergreen content into a tracking sheet (use our Google sheet template!)
  2. Create “topic clusters” by identifying the topic of your evergreen content (cooking oils 101) then linking out to related stories (the healthiest oil, coconut oil, etc.)
  3. Use keyword research to find main-focus keywords for those pages, and update the content to serve that search intent.
  4. Recirculate (on social, newsletters, etc)

The big takeaway: Evergreen is a long-term win. Optimizing existing stories takes time, but is an effective strategy for SEO. 

Dig Deeper:

  • Get more actionable SEO insights by subscribing to the WTF is SEO? newsletter.
  • Review (evergreen!) notes from a 2019 ONA NYC event that highlighted creative strategies and inspiring examples from The New York Times, Quartz, The New Yorker and Lenfest Local Lab. 
We’re always on the lookout for helpful resources and tips. If you have examples of creative uses of evergreen content to share, please reply directly to this email.

Submit your best climate reporting to the 2021 OJAs

The Topical Reporting: Climate Change award honors excellence in the coverage of climate change and its impact on our daily lives. Entries in this category may address science, policy, health, agriculture, sports, business and more. Among the honorees in 2020 were projects that reported on the “superpowers” of three tropical trees, highlighted how women farmers in Ecuador’s Jubones desert are adapting to climate change and visualized the warming planet in relation to an individual reader’s lifetime. This award features a $5,000 prize thanks to McKinsey Publishing. Enter your work for the 2021 OJAs by June 10.

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Find new ideas and collaborators at the community engagement meetup

This Friday, May 14, ONA and Gather are hosting a meetup for community engagement professionals working in small to midsized newsrooms. This will be a participatory event (and not a webinar), so everyone will have the opportunity to contribute to the conversation around leveling up community engagement, how to get buy-in in a small organization and more. We hope participants will leave with new ideas, new peers and inspiration for new collaborations.

The meetup will be hosted by ONA Board Member Ashley Alvarado, who is director of community engagement at Southern California Public Radio. Register here

Stat of the week

YouTube will spend $7 million on two new programs that help journalists build an audience on the platform. Though the move is a sign of the growing importance of multimedia fluency for journalists, many newsrooms have been moving in this direction for years. At ONA15, we hosted a panel on navigating the uncharted waters of YouTube, which covers experiments in the video format. 

P.S. What do you think of this new “Stat of the week” section?
*|SURVEY: I like it|*
*|SURVEY: I’m not attached either way|*
*|SURVEY: It’s not useful to me|*

Important dates

Note: All ONA events are currently happening online, and open to all regardless of where you’re located.

Career opportunities

ONA’s Career Center is an excellent resource for jobs, fellowships and internships in digital journalism. Recent postings include:

On our radar

Join as an ONA member or make a donation to help sustain ONA’s mission to inspire and support innovation in digital journalism. If you’re looking to promote an event, product, job opening or other opportunity, explore options to reach the ONA community.

We also rely on philanthropic and corporate support. Contact Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer Jessica Strelitz at jessica@journalists.org to learn about the many ways to invest in our mission.