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Building a Better Online Newsroom (College)

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Building a Better Online Newsroom (College)

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Don’t let your news website exist in the shadow of your print edition — the right staff and an online-first philosophy can transform and reinvigorate your coverage. We’ll cover managing workflow, collaboration, frequency of publication, responsibilities and, for advisers, tracking, grading and critiquing the work

Don’t let your news website exist in the shadow of your print edition — the right staff and an online-first philosophy can transform and reinvigorate your coverage. We’ll cover managing workflow, collaboration, frequency of publication, responsibilities and, for advisers, tracking, grading and critiquing the work

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Building a Better Online Newsroom (College)

  1. 1. BUILDING a BETTER ONLINE NEWSROOM Logan Aimone School Newspapers Online @loganaimone slideshare.net/snosites
  2. 2. State of many college news websites: • They’re a repository for printed stories. • They’re where the bad stories are published. • They’re a storage place for print PDFs. • They’re only occasionally thought about. • Big stories are published only after the “big reveal” in print. • They don’t live up to their potential. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM
  3. 3. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM What if it didn’t have to be that way? • What if you didn’t have to wait until the next issue? • What if you needed to reach your audience instantly, no matter where they were? • What if your audience wasn’t just your campus? • What if you have real news to report? It can be different.
  4. 4. Online publication gives you opportunities: • Breaking news and emergencies • Developing stories • Sports game coverage • Movie and music reviews • Opinions • Multimedia • Social Media MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM
  5. 5. In the same way you must adapt the tools to work on the Web, you must adapt the newsroom. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM
  6. 6. Staff members will be in different points of the production schedule daily. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM And that’s OK.
  7. 7. Rethink the story cycle • Your job is to tell the story, not to make the paper. • You can make every day a story idea day. • You can make every day a publication day. • A story might take three weeks or three hours to produce. • Plan for when big news happens outside the print schedule. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM
  8. 8. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM Take advantage of what the Web offers • Stories can be published when they are ready — not when the print cycle dictates. • Content can be the length that is appropriate — not cut or expanded to fit space. • Storage is not an issue — lots of photos or multimedia. • Stories can be updated or corrected easily as new information is gathered. • A story can be a springboard for exploration with links to additional content and related stories.
  9. 9. Build the audience • Establish a reputation: Be the #1 news source on your campus. • Deliver relevant content. Timeliness makes content relevant. • Notify readers when you’ve posted a new story. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM • Surface new content • Email updates/RSS • Social media
  10. 10. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM Engage with readers via social media • Use the social media that your audience uses. • Write posts specifically for each social media platform. • Time your posts for when the audience is engaged. • Get readers to share content they like or want to promote. • Listen to your audience. • Find sources and story ideas on social media.
  11. 11. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM Design with the readers’ needs in mind • Help readers identify what’s new and important. • The story page is often the reader’s landing page. • Contextual linking • Embeddable elements • Multiple photos and video • Design and structure can vary to fit the circumstances.
  12. 12. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM Revise your leadership structures • Online Editor-in-Chief option. A student with a title and responsibilities equal to the print editor. • Expanded roles option. Assignment role for managing editor and additional coordinating for photographers/photo editors must be expanded. • Social media coordinator. This person supervises adoption, policies, training and voice via social media channels.
  13. 13. Decide how a story will be covered • Determine the best platform. Some stories are told better in print, while others are told better online (or will appear first online). • Post when it’s ready. Don’t just dump content on the website every one or two weeks. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM
  14. 14. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM Use a planning process • Which stories will appear in print? Online? Both? • How can online and print combine to create multimedia coverage? • How can you tell advance and follow-up stories using both platforms? Live coverage?
  15. 15. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM Use Web-specific elements on story pages • What components does a Web story need to be effective at telling the story: • photos • video • audio • poll • hyperlinks • infographic • pull quote • related stories
  16. 16. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM Establish timelines and deadlines • Set up an editing process that allows for students to finish and publish work at different times, not just the general deadline for a print issue. • What deadlines make sense?
  17. 17. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM Decide the best workflow • You need a tool that allows you to collaborate in real time (Camayak or Google Docs) • Have reporters place story in draft mode, including headline, contextual links and pull quote suggestions. • Once a story is edited, it can be approved and published.
  18. 18. Revise your plan for compensation • You will likely need to shift your paradigm for compensation. • Assignments will have many forms. How do you accommodate this in compensation? • What happens when students slack off, flake out or just don’t produce? MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM
  19. 19. Enjoy it • The production cycle doesn’t have the same ebb and flow as each printed paper, so you will need to build in time to celebrate, evaluate, bond and grow. • Incorporate Web milestones (analytics, hits, likes, retweets) into the celebration list. • Celebrate recognition: contests, awards, critique ratings MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM
  20. 20. Improving the online newsroom takes some work and an open mind. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM
  21. 21. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM The great journalism you produce will look different.
  22. 22. You’re using today’s technology and laying a foundation for the future. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM
  23. 23. MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM You’ll teach your staff to adapt to changing circumstances.
  24. 24. QUESTIONS? Let’s hear ’em. • Contact us at contact@snosites.com or @schoolnewspaper ?• School Newspapers Online MANAGING AN ONLINE FIRST NEWSROOM

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