upnotout said: What is your process on coming up with episode topics and deciding what to write/film/release?
Various scenarios and conversations between me and Tom regarding our production schedule:
"dude it’s Audubon’s birthday next week, let’s do an episode”
"hey Shark Week sucks, let’s do something about that"
"it’s mother’s day next week, let’s talk about breast feeding"
curator of mammals: “you guys wanna hear about my naked mole rat research”
conservation team: “yo Brain Scoop team, let’s go to Peru”
curator of meteoritics: “‘sup, I got these super rare meteorites that are billions of years old and we’re like the only Museum this side of the planet with anything like this”
anna goldman: “come check out this calf in my lab, it’s got two faces”
geologists: “you wanna come to Wyoming and be part of a team that is the first to set eyes on 52-million year old fossil fish?”
most of these conversations happen over happy hour beer. True story.
There was a lot of ridiculous fun during a talk by Emily Graslie, the curiosity correspondent for the Field Museum and mastermind behind the Brain Scoop video channel on YouTube.
But while a newsroom might no closely mimic her excellent short-form science videos, there was something underlying her approach that I think we should pay attention to.
Graslie got her start by recognizing that museums have vast material that isn’t being presented to the public. It’s sitting there, unused, and uninteresting without the help of a storyteller like her.
News organizations are similar. We sit on great troves of reporting and reviews and do very little to keep them in front of readers. (Exception to the rule: The Tennessean’s “Because of You” civil rights movement series, which tapped into our 1960s material.)
Reporters are inclined to think about their stories in a broader continuum, but we can do more than embedding related links in a story. We should put more energy into curation, collecting, and repackaging of our good work.
Of course, this was also a strong message from The New York Times Innovation Report.
I didn’t anticipate hearing this approach from the razzle dazzle Brain Scoop talk. But the Curiosity Correspondent is not to be underestimated.
— Tony Gonzalez
Will post a link to the recorded video from my presentation as soon as it is available. It was a big honor to be asked to present at the 14th annual Online News Association conference!