Digital and the Radio Star

microphone-38120Welcome to WDET’s Digital Editorial Guide.

This is a living guide designed to help you, WDET’s reporters and producers (our radio stars), to build a strong and engaging digital presence for your reporting and programming.

Inside this website, you’ll find guidelines, examples and tools to help you create compelling web content that enriches your reporting, expands your audience and elevates WDET’s digital profile.

WDET Digital Notes is our blog. We’ll be keeping it fresh weekly with tools, ideas, and research on the future of digital journalism. We’ll also highlight the great digital work happening at WDET.

At left, you’ll find two tabs. The first tab is where you can click through the guide. Here you’ll find all manner of information related to digital editorial standards.

But this is not a one-way street. You, the reporters and producers, drive the content.

So be sure to check out the second tab at left, where you’ll find a calendar of upcoming brown-bag lunches and trainings and a link to the WDET Digital Editorial Facebook Group. The Facebook group is where we all can connect digitally to ask questions and share thoughts, ideas and (yes) gripes about what is and isn’t working in our digital lives.

We hope you find this guide valuable and inspirational. So dig in.

And remember, this is a living guide. So let us know what you think; what’s useful, what’s missing, and how we can make it better.

Why create digital editorial content at a radio station?

Two words: audience reach.

According to the American Press Institute, people make a conscious choice about where they get their news, using whatever technology is most convenient at the moment.

Source: American Press Institute, 2014
Source: American Press Institute, 2014 Question: Please tell me if you used each device or technology to get new in the last week, or if you did not.

People rely on sources they trust. More than 6 in 10 Americans say they prefer getting news directly from a news organization compared with any other way. But a majority of people move to the web to follow up on a breaking news story, regardless of where they first hear it.

People don’t fall in love with distribution platforms, they connect with brands.  It’s all about great content.  While radio is – and will continue to be – a key component of our strategy, we aspire to be the news leader on ALL platforms in traditional and new media.  WTOP competes with local television, digital news sites, and the Washington Post.

-Fred Jacobs, WTOP Digital (the top billing station in the United States for the last four years running) 

While older adults are more likely to rely on television, radio, and print media for their news, younger adults are more likely to use mobile devices. If the internet is where people get their news, information and entertainment, WDET needs to be there to greet them.

Put more bluntly, as NPR’s Todd Mundt says: public radio needs to innovate or die.

Our objectives in creating digital content at WDET include:

  • Expand WDET’s audience reach by providing multiple options for exposure and access to our content: radio and digital.
  • Add richness and value to WDET’s programming and reporting via digital multimedia treatment where appropriate.
  • Leverage technology to engage the audience.
  • Build a robust digital archive of WDET’s reporting and programming.

The Importance of Digital-Radio Cross Promotion

WDET is in a unique position to leverage two distinct media platforms with different audiences: digital and radio. To maximize this opportunity, we have to be continuously cross-promoting on both platforms.

For every initiative and piece of content, we should we asking ourselves the following questions

  • What are the digital components of this content?
  • What are the radio components of this content?
  • What strategies can be used to cross-promote the cntent on radio and digital?
  • How can social media be used to support these strategies?

Here are some suggested strategies:



  • Place a reference at the bottom of scripts read by the anchor to refer listeners to the digital platform, such as:
    • Follow “reporter name” at “Twitter” handle
    • Find out “specify” more information at Add helpful navigation info, if needed, such as “click on this link”
  • Utilize digital during radio campaigns, such as in the Ann Delisi Essential Driving Songs campaign