Recent blog posts by mstem

The Internet Didn't Make Trayvon National News, But It Did Sustain the Story

Updated with industry benchmark petition conversion rates (4/11/12) and illustration by Lyla Duey (8/18/12).

Rough illustration of how the Trayvon story took off

For weeks, the only Trayvon Martin coverage I saw was on Twitter, where every progressive I knew had shared a link to the petition. Eventually, I saw more media attention around the story. This led me to form a hypothesis that people talking about the story online, and specifically, linking to the petition, kept the story alive long enough for the national media to pick up on it.

I looked into all of the data I could find, including some provided by, and found out that my hypothesis was incorrect. But the story of how Trayvon Martin became national news, weeks after his death, is still a revealing portrait of our media.


The Event

Jay Rosen's Three-Layer Journalism Cake


Bridging Community Rifts with Simple Questions

What group of people do we hardly ever listen to, but hear about all the time? Question Bridge is a project about the radical power of asking a question, and then listening to the answer.