In my 20 years as a journalist, I have seen a lot of digital storytelling techniques come and go, and we have entered a new era of digital storytelling innovation. It’s exciting, but with all of these techniques, it is even more important that editors help choose the right technique for the story.
Reminding me of the brilliant conversations that we had in the early days of journalism blogging, I’ve recently been discussing how newspapers expand what they cover in their communities and how they set priorities. The issue of priorities came out loud of clear from working journalists who feel stretched thin. To do more with less, I think, quite passionately so, that we can forge a new partnership with our communities.
John Robinson, a former editor in the US, has challenged newspaper to break out of their paradigms and choose a niche. His call to action in many ways reminds me of 2007 report called the Frontiers of Innovation that challenged newspapers to do a better job of “translating the lived experience of their community”. The challenge in 2013 is a lot harder for most community newspapers. How do they broaden their agendas when their staff has shrunk? It is going to take newsroom leaders who can set out a strategic vision and prioritise their remaining resources. We can’t be everything to everyone anymore so it is better to be something to some.
Comments are broken! That’s been a common refrain lately, and while I do think comments are a mess, I think this is down to a lack of strategic thinking around audience engagement and passive, or non-existent, community management strategies. It’s not rocket science though, and Lifehacker has shown a simple way to foster good conversations online.
For most journalists, social media is synonymous with Facebook and Twitter, but it is important to remember that online forums are one of the oldest forums of social media, predating the web and for most people even the internet itself. Online discussion forums are a great place to tap into professionals talking about their industry, and a great example is pilots discussing the crash of Asiana flight 214 in San Francisco this weekend.
When you’re creating an engagement strategy for your news website, don’t mistake your online community (or communities more precisely) for the internet. Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor at the Atlantic, shares how he has created his and how he interprets freedom of expression online.
I’m doing my News Rewired blogging a bit out of order because I’m also doing moderator duty. Liz Heron, the social media editor for the New York Times, kicked off News Rewired. She succinctly summed up the goal of the New York Times with social media as: Engaging users without wavering from our high journalistic standards. She started by talking about… Read more →
On Monday, I spoke at Africa Gathering London which looked at how new media was revolutionising Africa. I usually do a presentation, but I only spoke for 10 minutes and thought the presentation might get in the way of the points I was trying to make. Here’s the talk, obviously not as delivered and a bit expanded. I still haven’t… Read more →
Adam Tinworth has highlighted a comment on Fleet Street Blues that sees social media as “an administrative task” rather than a journalistic one and says that editors want to hire “web monkeys” because they are cheaper than real journalists. This commenter wouldn’t be the first person to mistake social media journalism for nothing more than a promotional function best left… Read more →
Kevin: An interesting chart based on Forrester Research that looks at online behaviours across age groups in the US. One thing that is very interesting is the relatively small group of "Collectors", those who use RSS and tag content to gather…