Class Notes: Managing News as Conversation
News as a Conversation
- Benefit of social media ( Facebook and twitter = open audience for user engagement; Allows reporters/editors to cover beats better
- Future for brighter news convos (Technology is getting better, newsrooms are accepting more responsibility, audience who comments expects more from each other in these mediums)
- The comment box (Users will post what’s on their mind … some are intelligent, many are not. But 50,000 comments a month is better than just 50 letters to the editor. It’s more voices, more input.
- Being social = more sources (What’s better, 10 sources or 100? 5 comments or 500? Assimilating news content to media conversations via engagement tools/methods increases site traffic and story awareness)
- Provides transparency on reporting side
- Enables an immediate feedback loop
- Spreads awareness of stories through word-of-mouth marketing
- Spreads awareness of media branding (Patch)
- Story ideas and community awareness
What editors/reporters must be doing?
- Soliciting content and participation
- Utilizing the tools your company offers
- Moderating comments/blogs/submissions
- Solving user problems with web tools/communication
- Staffing events for marketing and editorial to build a brand in the community, a face to the company
How to make news participatory?
- iReport – CNN – let people submit content from the scene
- Patch/Newsday/News 12: Let people upload photos/videos, comment on stories, add events to calendar, add announcements/updates, rate and review businesses. (I.E. Hurricane Sandy)
Things to be careful with
- Do not engage in battle with users, simply moderate and answer questions in a professional and objective matter.
- Do not have friends and family post items
- Do not delete comments you disagree with, only ones that are offensive
- Be careful with who you friend on Facebook or follow on Twitter … think about the ethics of it first
Twitter for News
- Quick and effective way to receive and report information
- Ability to generate story ideas and stay on a beat
- Ability to speak with sources: Tweets and Direct Messages
Ability to market your product/info for free
Hashtags are important, posting times are important …. There is a correct method in using the medium.
Facebook for News
It’s not just a place to check up on old flames and to see what the kid down the hall in your dorm is up to … it can be very beneficial for journalists
Remote way of obtaining sources for a story
Be leery about the sources and don’t always base your stories off these “random” sources
Think of ways to incorporate social into your daily reporting
Be active on social with your audience so the crowd can actually be sourced as opposed to quiet and not saying anything at all