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
  • žAbility to market your product/info for free
  • žHashtags are important, posting times are important …. There is a correct method in using the medium.


Facebook for News

  • žIt’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


Crowdsourcing takeaways

  • žRemote way of obtaining sources for a story
  • žBe leery about the sources and don’t always base your stories off these “random” sourcesž
  • žThink of ways to incorporate social into your daily reporting
  • žBe active on social with your audience so the crowd can actually be sourced as opposed to quiet and not saying anything at all