Why are we learning this? Social media can be a great reporting tool… Catch a story before it breaks Get on-the-ground insights and tips Find unique angles and new stories Expand your sources Understand what your current (and potential) audience wants to know
Some examples from VOA Cecily Hilleary’s Twitter Steve Herman’s Twitter
Live coverage of the earthquake in Japan http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Major-Earthquake-Tsunami-Hit-Japan-117785138.html Audio interview with a Japanese woman in Tokyo, contacted through Facebook First-hand accounts, found on social news site “Reddit” Informative video from NOAA, found on Twitter
Interview with a blogger found on Pakistani social media site “Reform Fraternity” Interview with another blogger This article also contained 2 more anecdotes contributed by people found on social media South Asian Women Caught Between Tradition and Modernity http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/South-Asian-Women--between-Tradition-Modernity-119185479.html
Daughter of Prominent Bahraini Activist Challenges Obama http://www.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/Daughter-of-Prominent-Bahraini-Activist-Challenges-Obama-119709944.html Interview for radio and web with the daughter of an arrested Bahraini activist, found and contacted on Twitter
Peace Corps Volunteers Share 50 Years of Memories http://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/Photo-Essay-Volunteers-Share-50-Years-of-Peace-Corps-Memories-117524744.html We found photographs on Flickr from Peace Corps volunteers stationed in every region and from every decade of Peace Corps operations, and interviewed the photographers about their experiences
There’s too much information – I can’t read all of it!
You shouldn’t try to consume all of it – the key is to find tools to help you filter, browse and scan
People are talking about mundane things like what they had for lunch – I don’t care!
Yes, some people do, but many don’t and we will focus on finding those people
They’re biased – I don’t want to know what they think!
Some are, some aren’t – either way they can be a resource for understanding the opinions out there and finding sources to talk about them
They don’t know what they’re talking about – they’re not journalists!
It’s still our job to contextualize and mold raw information into journalism – in many ways, what we do is more important than ever
Using the right tricks and tools helps you cut down on the noise and use the tools for what you really need them for
The lesson plan is… Today: Introduction to social media Tuesday: Basics of Twitter – learning the language and conventions Wednesday: Some practical applications of Twitter Thursday: Making Twitter your newswire