Social Media Tips for Journalists

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A guide on how you can use social media to find sources, break news and attract attention.

A guide on how you can use social media to find sources, break news and attract attention.

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Transcript

  • 1. Using Social Media to Find Sources, Break Newsand Attract Attention David Sheets President, St. Louis Chapter Society of Professional Journalists
  • 2. First, a clarification:
  • 3. First, a clarification: Journalism is not dead
  • 4. First, a clarification: Journalism is not deadIt’s just very, very badly injured
  • 5. But do not fear.
  • 6. But do not fear.There is no better timeto become a journalist
  • 7. Now, perhaps more than ever,journalists are crucial to the future of this republic
  • 8. Journalists must:
  • 9. Journalists must:• Find facts
  • 10. Journalists must:• Find facts• Recognize bias
  • 11. Journalists must:• Find facts• Recognize bias• Distinguish news from opinion
  • 12. Journalists must:• Find facts• Recognize bias• Distinguish news from opinion• Do all of this ‘without fear or favor’
  • 13. What does that mean?
  • 14. What does that mean?• Seek facts without personal gain
  • 15. What does that mean?• Seek facts without personal gain• Question authority, respectfully
  • 16. What does that mean?• Seek facts without personal gain• Question authority, respectfully• Ignore personal, emotional criticism
  • 17. What does that mean?• Seek facts without personal gain• Question authority, respectfully• Ignore personal, emotional criticism• Look past the obvious
  • 18. What does that mean?• Seek facts without personal gain• Question authority, respectfully• Ignore personal, emotional criticism• Look past the obvious• Understand that your first obligation is to inform the public
  • 19. Commit yourself to these factsand readers, listeners, viewers become better citizens.
  • 20. Commit yourself to these factsand readers, listeners, viewers become better citizens. And you become a better journalist
  • 21. So, how do you do that?
  • 22. These used to be a reporter’s primary tools:
  • 23. These used to be a reporter’s primary tools:
  • 24. These used to be a reporter’s primary tools:
  • 25. These used to be a reporter’s primary tools:
  • 26. Today, we use ...
  • 27. Today, we use ...
  • 28. But how do you use thesetools for gathering news?
  • 29. But how do you use thesetools for gathering news? Here are five ways ...
  • 30. 1) Watching for trends
  • 31. Example: MutinyRadio.org
  • 32. Example: MutinyRadio.orgDJ Aaron Lazenby wasscanning Twitter one nightlast year and saw#iranelection trending.
  • 33. Example: MutinyRadio.orgDJ Aaron Lazenby wasscanning Twitter one nightlast year and saw#iranelection trending.He stayed up all nightdiscussing the subject andconnected with sources heused for a broadcast via Skype.
  • 34. The interviews he compiled were picked upby CNN’s iReport, a Web venue for citizen journalism, and went viral.
  • 35. The interviews he compiled were picked upby CNN’s iReport, a Web venue for citizen journalism, and went viral.Lazenby said his interactions on Twitter madethe sources comfortable in dealing with him.
  • 36. The interviews he compiled were picked up by CNN’s iReport, a Web venue for citizen journalism, and went viral. Lazenby said his interactions on Twitter made the sources comfortable in dealing with him.‘Reading through tweet histories really can giveyou a good idea if the person is for real or not,’ he said
  • 37. Example: USA Today
  • 38. Example: USA TodayCorrespondent KittyYancey wrote aboutprice gouging at somehotels and also usedTwitter as a resource.
  • 39. Example: USA TodayCorrespondent KittyYancey wrote aboutprice gouging at somehotels and also usedTwitter as a resource.She noticed complaints following a snow stormin the Northeast. She typed ‘snow’ and ‘hotel’into search. Numerous tweets revealed hotelsdoubling their prices for snowbound guests
  • 40. Example: Student reporting
  • 41. Example: Student reportingElliot Volkman learned throughFacebook that a student hadfallen partially through thefloor of her living room in anapartment building nearcampus.
  • 42. Example: Student reportingElliot Volkman learned throughFacebook that a student hadfallen partially through thefloor of her living room in anapartment building nearcampus.He made connections with people who lived inthe building and learned it had been citedseveral times for being run down
  • 43. Residents and employees sent Volkman photosand information — information he used for a story that won him a Georgia College Press Association Award.
  • 44. Residents and employees sent Volkman photosand information — information he used for a story that won him a Georgia College Press Association Award. The building’s owners were forced to maketens of thousands of dollars in improvements
  • 45. ‘I did a lot of my information-gathering via social networking sites,’ Volkman said.‘I would not have been able to (get the story) without them.’
  • 46. Keep in mind, you can’t do all of your reporting this way.
  • 47. Keep in mind, you can’t do all of your reporting this way. One old-fashioned tool remains the best available for gathering information:
  • 48. That’s right ...
  • 49. That’s right ...... your shoes
  • 50. 2) Establishing sources
  • 51. The Yellow Pages of today:
  • 52. The Yellow Pages of today:
  • 53. The Yellow Pages of today: Contains more than 900 million memberssearchable by name, occupation and network, among other topics
  • 54. Example: RedEye
  • 55. Example: RedEyeTracy Swartz, transit writer forthe pop culture tabloid, usedFacebook to keep in contactwith bus drivers so they cancommunicate without leavingan email trail from work.
  • 56. Example: The Associated Press
  • 57. Example: The Associated PressLauren McCullough,social networkingmanager, said Facebookwas key in learningabout the shootings atVirginia Tech in 2007.
  • 58. Example: The Associated PressLauren McCullough,social networkingmanager, said Facebookwas key in learningabout the shootings atVirginia Tech in 2007.‘Since then, it has been an important partof our news-gathering process,’ she said.
  • 59. 3) Crowdsourcing
  • 60. 3) Crowdsourcing It’s the act of outsourcing tasks,traditionally performed by an employee to an undefined, large group of people or community (a ‘crowd’), through an open call
  • 61. Many news events were not photographed by professional photographers but bystanders. The AP’s McCullough refers to the crash of US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River.
  • 62. Many news events were not photographed by professional photographers but bystanders. The AP’s McCullough refers to the crash of US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River.
  • 63. The image was attached to this tweet:
  • 64. The image was attached to this tweet:
  • 65. McCullough first noticed rumblings about the crash on social media.
  • 66. McCullough first noticed rumblings about the crash on social media. ‘I very quickly was on Twitter and Facebookand Flickr and YouTube and ... stumbled on Janis Krum’s iconic photo and began a process to get in touch with him and to find out where he was and where he had taken the photo and whether it was something that we could distribute,’ she said.
  • 67. Crowdsourcing for journalists:
  • 68. Crowdsourcing for journalists:Help a Reporter Out:Where reporters andsources can connect.You ask a question,HARO tries to findanswers from reportersas well as sources.
  • 69. Crowdsourcing for journalists:Help a Reporter Out:Where reporters andsources can connect.You ask a question,HARO tries to findanswers from reportersas well as sources.At last check there were about 103,000 sourcesand 30,000 journalists listed on the site
  • 70. 4) Sharing and vetting stories
  • 71. Brian Stelter, who did the Media Decoder blog: ‘The best way for me ... is to write a rough draft of a story, put it on one of our blogs, tweet about that rough draft, ask people for feedback ... questions and comments, and then improve my story based on what they say before it gets into print.’
  • 72. Stelter broke the story in 2011that ‘The Daily Show’ and the ‘Colbert Report’ were leaving Hulu.He posted a draft of his story online and was able to gather enough reader opinion to include a couple paragraphs at the end about what people thought.
  • 73. ‘It would be hard to survey random readersabout that information in the hour that I had to improve the story,’ Stelter said. ‘But thanks to Twitter and Facebook and other websites, I was able to tap into reader opinions and I was able to ... improve the story.’ ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘Colbert Report’ have since returned to Hulu.
  • 74. Sharing expands your reach:
  • 75. Sharing expands your reach:
  • 76. Sharing expands your reach: About 200,000 print readers daily
  • 77. Sharing expands your reach: About 200,000 print readers daily
  • 78. Sharing expands your reach: About 200,000 print readers daily About 2 million online readers daily (not including mobile readers)
  • 79. 5) Branding
  • 80. 5) BrandingSocial media is a great way to connectwith communities and establish yourself as an expert.
  • 81. Evan Benn
  • 82. Evan BennThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch feature editor hasbecome the go-to guy for news about brews inthe region. In just two years, he has made the‘Hip Hops’ blog at STLtoday.com one of themost read on the site.
  • 83. From that last year,Benn produced‘Brew in The Lou,’ aguide to making anddrinking beer in theSt. Louis area. It isone of the best-selling local bookson the market.
  • 84. From that last year,Benn produced‘Brew in The Lou,’ aguide to making anddrinking beer in theSt. Louis area. It isone of the best-selling local bookson the market.And why?
  • 85. Benn studied the market and realized thatnobody was writing about beer in St. Louis — one of the nation’s beer capitals.
  • 86. Benn studied the market and realized thatnobody was writing about beer in St. Louis — one of the nation’s beer capitals. Instead of writing about everything andanything, as most people do, he identifieda need and became a specialist. Now he’s considered an expert
  • 87. Debra Bass
  • 88. Debra BassAnother Post-Dispatch feature writer, sherealized the St. Louis area’s distinguishedhistory in fashion and textiles wasn’t getting itsdue. The city has long ties to the big fashionindustries in New York and Europe.
  • 89. Now, Bass is a regular at fashion shows around the nation and she does TV and webcast reports regularly for national media.
  • 90. Derrick Goold
  • 91. Derrick GooldWriter of all things Cardinals, Goold tweets,writes two blogs, posts on Facebook, writesnewspaper stories, does TV and radiointerviews and podcasts on St. Louis’ favoritetopic — all on deadline. The job is big, broadand consumes much of his time.
  • 92. Despite everything on hisplate, he found time to writea book, too. It’s also one ofthe most popular titles inthe region.You’ll find it atjust about any grocery, aswell as local bookstores.
  • 93. Despite everything on hisplate, he found time to writea book, too. It’s also one ofthe most popular titles inthe region.You’ll find it atjust about any grocery, aswell as local bookstores.Goold proves another key point:Finding a niche means making a commitment,one that could take up a lot of your time
  • 94. To summarize, journalistsare using social media to:
  • 95. To summarize, journalists are using social media to:• Watch for trends
  • 96. To summarize, journalists are using social media to:• Watch for trends• Establish sources
  • 97. To summarize, journalists are using social media to:• Watch for trends• Establish sources• Crowdsource
  • 98. To summarize, journalists are using social media to:• Watch for trends• Establish sources• Crowdsource• Share their stories
  • 99. To summarize, journalists are using social media to:• Watch for trends• Establish sources• Crowdsource• Share their stories• Establish a ‘brand’ that calls attention to their expertise
  • 100. So, how do you get started?
  • 101. So, how do you get started?• Create an online portfolio. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should represent your skills. It serves as a destination for people who find you on search engines
  • 102. • Blog … if you haven’t started already. It shows you can write or produce consistently and demonstrates your commitment to journalism. And it doesn’t have to be just writing — include whatever medium is your specialty
  • 103. • Hand out business cards. These help remind people who you are. Then you can shoot them an email to set up a meeting later, ask if they’re hiring, or just chat over coffee. Re-create the card electronically, too.
  • 104. • Hand out business cards. These help remind DAVID SHEETS people who you are. Then you can shoot 900?N.?TUCKER?BLVD.? ST.?LOUIS,?MO?63101-1099 Sports Content Editor Advertising?Account?Executive-Retail? 900?N.?TUCKER ST.?LOUIS,?MO them an email to set up a meeting later, ask 900 N. TUCKER BLVD. www.STLtoday.com ST. LOUIS, MO 63101-1099 > PHONE:??314-340-8531 > PHONE: 314-340-8389 FAX:??314-340-3140?or?314-340-3141 CELL: 314-971-0073 900 N. TUCKER BLVD. www.STLtoday.c ST. LOUIS, MO 63101-109 TOLL?FREE:??800-365-0820?Ext.?8531 if they’re hiring, or just chat over coffee. St. Louis Chapter president E-MAIL: dsheets@post-dispatch.com PAGER:??314-245-0114 TWITTER:??314-267-1144 CELL: @DKSheets St. Louis Chapter presiden Re-create the card electronically, too. Society of Professional Journalists FACEBOOK: david.sheets E-MAIL:??bcollins@post-dispatch.com Society of Professional Jou DAVID SHEETS 900?N.?TUCKER?BLVD.? Sports Content Editor 900?N.?TUCKER ST.?LOUIS,?MO?63101-1099 Advertising?Account?Executive-Retail? ST.?LOUIS,?MO 900 N. TUCKER BLVD. > PHONE:??314-340-8531 900 N. TUCKER BLVD. > PHONE: 314-340-8389 www.STLtoday.com ST. LOUIS, MO 63101-1099 FAX:??314-340-3140?or?314-340-3141 www.STLtoday.c ST. LOUIS, MO 63101-109 CELL: 314-971-0073 TOLL?FREE:??800-365-0820?Ext.?8531 E-MAIL: dsheets@post-dispatch.com PAGER:??314-245-0114 St. Louis Chapter president TWITTER:??314-267-1144 CELL: @DKSheets St. Louis Chapter presiden Society of Professional Journalists FACEBOOK: david.sheets E-MAIL:??bcollins@post-dispatch.com Society of Professional Jou
  • 105. • Get a new wardrobe. T-shirts and flip-flops won’t cut it.You’ll need a makeover that says, ‘Im a professional journalist.’
  • 106. • Get a new wardrobe. T-shirts and flip-flops won’t cut it.You’ll need a makeover that says, ‘Im a professional journalist.’• Clean up your social networking sites. Blue language and photos from drinking parties are no help when it comes to making a good first impression on your potential audience, or potential employer
  • 107. • Chat up your professors, instructors. They may know where jobs are and give you ideas on blogging topics. At least they could serve as references.
  • 108. • Chat up your professors, instructors. They may know where jobs are and give you ideas on blogging topics. At least they could serve as references.• Collaborate. Work with peers on a project that brings together individual talents and maybe create a blog, social media network or marketing plan that gets you started
  • 109. Using Social Media to Find Sources, Break Newsand Attract Attention David Sheets President, St. Louis Chapter Society of Professional Journalists