What works online would work in public service media

There’s a lesson in here for public media:

More emotional stories were more likely to be e-mailed, the researchers found, and positive articles were shared more than negative ones. Longer articles generally did better than shorter articles, although Dr. Berger said that might just be because the longer articles were about more engaging topics.

via nytimes.com

This follows along comments I made at WOSU this past December: factual news is a commodity — don’t spend a lot of effort on it. Pass along baseline facts, but don’t trump it up as some vaunted public service. Everyone’s doing that already.

Instead, focus on public service media — solving problems and exposing stories that have meaningful impact on the community. Consider the qualities of articles that are passed along, like the ones at the NY Times.

Highly recommended reading.