menpr

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This summer, All Things Considered has been exploring what it means to be a man in America today — from a second look at popular notions of masculinity and men’s style, to attitudes toward women — and how all those ideas have shifted over time.

There are few people more acquainted with those shifts than David Granger. In 17 years as editor-in-chief of the men’s magazine Esquire, Granger hasn’t just had a front-row seat to changing notions of manhood in America — he has taken an active role in helping to define them. The magazine, which purports to cover “Man at His Best,” has done so for more than 80 years.

The Evolution Of The ‘Esquire’ Man, In 10 Revealing Covers

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Esquire

[social sandbox] The power of #menpr

NPR & FRIENDS

The ATC series about men has wrapped up and social was a big part of its success. Serri Graslie sends in these highlights:

ATC’s Men in America series has come to an end after three months and 57 stories. There have been some great successes, particularly where social media is concerned.

#menpr – A short hashtag that served us well across all social media platforms; we used it for both callouts and general promotion

How To Be A 21st Century ‘Gentleman’

  • A week before Shereen’s piece aired, we did a Reddit AMA with WaPo advice columnist Steven Petrow. In addition to driving people to the previous stories and generating a great discussion that informed the last two-way in the series, it also had one of the longest engagement time of any AMA Reddit’s communications director had ever seen – 6:10.

From Axes To Razors, The Stuff That Makes You Feel Manly

  • We again used one of Shereen’s pieces as a springboard to ask men (and women) about the objects that make them feel manly. We solicited answers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and were able to compile them all nicely with Storify. I think this worked, in large part, because of the amazing image Kainaz and Emily got for the first story.

Break Out The Hanky: Tom’s Got It Out For Your Tearducts

  • We did an online and on-air call out about the “movies that make men cry” and received more than 3,600 responses. In reading through them, Colin Dwyer and I noticed a theme: Tom Hanks everywhere. The radio producer used that tidbit in the on-air letters segment and we wrote the web-only companion about the Hanks scenes people cited over and over again.  

Other social media endeavors that worked well: This callout helped us collect a ton of movie/TV clips for intro montages, this callout helped Richard Gonzales find the person he profiled for a piece on older dads, and this commentary owes its success to the NPR Facebook, which gave it a “964% social boost” at one point and helped make it the #4 piece in the series.

THE WIDER WORLD

The Bitter Southerner is a new-ish publication out of Atlanta that you should eyeball. They’re about a year old and are focused on good storytelling that captures the South as it is today. Mainly they publish long reads, once a week.

But they’re using social to keep the wheels turning in between stories. It’s a smart model that gives them the space to craft their feature content without looking like they’re dead in the water in between stories. Their FB feed has a life of its own and they’re present on Twitter in a way that lets you know real people stand behind the brand. Check 'em out:

PRACTICAL ADVICE

Reddit can be a little overwhelming. One trick that’s useful for journalists and news organizations who want to see how their work is playing on reddit is to use advanced search terms, just like you’d do on Google. Examples:

site:npr.org

site:bittersoutherner.com

After reddit returns the results, you can filter them for time, chronology, comments and subreddit. In fact, you can construct more complex searches via a series of advanced search terms. Have fun!

Wright

If you were placing bets on which author would write the tenderest, most moving book about fatherhood, Philip Roth would probably come in at the bottom of the list. The parent-child relationships in his books — from “Portnoy’s Complaint” to “American Pastoral” — mostly fall somewhere between humiliating and devastating. Which is why it’s such a surprise, and a delight, to stumble on “Patrimony,” one of Roth’s best, and most unusual, books.
— 

As we wind down our Men series, Ben Dolnick shares a manly must-read about Roth’s experience taking care of his elderly father.

Coming this Fall on MenPR!

SAY YES TO THE TUX

It’s something every father has dreamed of since the first time he hugged his precious son- but not in a gay way, in a totally manly way.

“One day, son. One day, you will find the perfect woman, and I will help you find the perfect tux.”

Follow Billy and his father, Big Billy, as they begin the journey to finding the perfect tux… 

“I was really hoping Billy would want to wear my wedding tux. You know, pass that tradition down and maybe he could pass it down to his own son!”
“Dad! I already told you! I’m my own man and I want my own tux!”
“They grow up so fast! I just… I just want to feel like a part of your day!”

Meet William Von Kennedyson XII and his father, William Von Kennedyson XI as William Von Kennedyson XII plans his wedding on his estate on Nantucket…

“William! You will wear a tan suit with a pink shirt, just like I did and my own father before me! You have a duty to this family’s name! You’re not just some Vanderbilt, you’re a KENNEDYSON!”
“Fine, father! But I’m popping my collar and you can’t stop me!”
“If you want the new convertible Lamborgini with rockets, you’ll do as you’re told.”

And then there’s Joe, searching for the perfect tux with his father, uncle, three cousins and 11 members of his frat.

“Guys! I think this might be the one!
"Ugh, I don’t know Joe. I don’t think charcoal gray is your color.”
“Agreed! I think you should just stick to traditional black.”
“Son,we just want you to look your best and charcoal gray just… it just highlights all the wrong areas. I mean… your beer gut! You get them from me, I know, but…”
“Your dad is right, bro. It’s harsh, but it’s true and we need to be real with you. Maybe we should keep looking.
"Guys! We’ve already been to the Men’s Wearhouse and the Hollywood Suit Outlet! Where else can we go? This is supposed to be MY day and you’re ruining it!”

Will Billy wear a bit of this dad’s tux sewn into his tuxedo jacket?

Will William pop his pink collar… and the collar of his tux?

Will Joe succumb to the pressure of his family and bros, or will he choose the charcoal gray suit his heart is set on?

Coming this fall, stayed tuned for all the excitement and drama as three boys journey to find their tux… and become men.

Why in the hell is NPR doing a 10 week series on “Men in America”?  That is as common of a group to find in all media as you can possibly find.  I don’t get how there’s really ANYTHING to learn about the American male.  Why not do a series on one of the MANY minority groups in this country?  There’s far more to learn about women, the LBGTQ+ community, every single ethnic group that has immigrated here and even the various religions practiced here.  We’re in a country that is constantly expanding their acceptance of others from all walks of life, no matter how different they may be from us and every single one of them is certainly exciting in their own ways.  Why not show us a group that is actually different?  The (white) man in America is pretty much the default person when you look here. 

I’ve always loved NPR and their subject choices for their news pieces, even if I didn’t agree with the subject or take personal interest in it but this just seems like a terribly weak and lazy choice.

[social sandbox] World Cup with the Two Way! Twitter chats!

Good morning everyone,

ICYMI: Eyder Peralta took over the @nprnews Twitter account on Sunday evening and live-tweeted the US-Portugal match. He also Storify’ed the tweets and additional commentary — Many of his tweets were retweeted 300-400 times and received many more replies than our typical tweets. I want to point out several reasons this was so successful:

1. Eyder retweeted other accounts when it was warranted

2. He included sound.

3. He had a lovely voice and sounded like someone who was human.

4. He responded to people when it was warranted.

Social media intern Alex McCall wrote a guide to hosting a Twitter chat after Bob Mondello’s very successful chat. If you’d like to host a Twitter chat, please email socialmediateam@npr.org 

Look at how WNYC covered the World Cup on Twitter — by embedding their audio player into a tweet. (h/t Eleanor Kagan) 

Alix Spiegel sends along this tidbit about how Upworthy (and others) are now measuring engagement minutes.

Dan Frohlich sends along this great visualization of World Cup tweets.

ATC kicks off their men series with a wonderful hashtag: #menpr (h/t Serrie Graslie) 

See anything from around the Internet? Working on a cool project? Get in touch.

Mel 

#menpr brewing beer makes me feel manly. I like to think about all the brewers that came before me over the millennia and wonder if their trials and errors mirrored my own.

A great coffee mug is like a broken-in pair of gloves or a well balanced knife - it feels great in your hands and you always look forward to using it. #menpr