Digital Journalism


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These are slides for a full-day workshop on digital journalism for the University of Colorado.

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  • We’ll also discuss the Denver plane crash that Mike Wilson survived and how the media missed an opportunity by not using Twitter.
  • We’ll start with some examples of why Twitter is a valuable breaking-news tool. Most will, of course, remember that Twitpic had the first shot of the Hudson landing.
  • Digital Journalism

    1. 1. Digital Journalism Steve Buttry University of Colorado October 19, 2012 #cudigital
    2. 2. Read more about it••• @stevebuttry•
    3. 3. Plan for the day1. How a digital newsroom works2. Digital news strategy3. Working digital-first4. Digital tools for today’s journalists5. Social media tools & techniques6. Launching your career in digital journalism
    4. 4. The Digital Newsroom
    5. 5. What’s important?• What’s happening now?• Engagement & collaboration• Unique content (enterprise, analysis)• Measuring performance• Strong values• Experimentation w/ tools & techniques• Workflow: process & standards
    6. 6. What’s happening now?• Livestreaming• Liveblogging• Live chats• Alerts• Feed tweets into site
    7. 7. Engagement & collaboration• Join, stimulate, lead & curate the community conversation• Crowdsourcing stories• Community newsrooms• Mobile newsrooms
    8. 8. Engagement & collaboration• Join, stimulate, lead & curate the community conversation• Crowdsourcing stories• Community newsrooms• Mobile newsrooms• Network w/ community blogs
    9. 9. Unique content• Commodity content has little value (curation can add value)• Databases (answerbases) have greater shelf life• Lead conversation around enterprise• Do what you do best & link to the rest (Jeff Jarvis)
    10. 10. Measuring performance• Metrics have always mattered• Understand what metrics say & what they don’t• Seek multiple metrics• Learn from metrics, but they don’t override values• Recognize flukes & don’t overreact
    11. 11. Some values don’t change“Seek truth & report it.” – SPJ Code of Ethics
    12. 12. Digital-first values• Accuracy • Watchdog role• Truth • First Amendment• Attribution • Timeliness &• Transparency reflection• Identification • Civility & respect• Fairness • Diversity• Community • Skepticism
    13. 13. Can we raise standards?• Does he-said-she-said story really seek & report truth?• Is the “view from nowhere” honest?• Dan Gillmor suggests replacing “objectivity” w/ transparency, fairness, accuracy, thoroughness
    14. 14. Digital news strategy
    15. 15. Clay Shirky: “Nothing will work,but everything might.”
    16. 16. John Paton: “You don’t tinker or tweak abroken model. You start again anew.”
    17. 17. Digital First principles• Digital First & print last• Put the digital people in charge• Engage the community• Core competencies: Local content & local sales• If it’s not core: reduce it, stop it, sell it or outsource it
    18. 18. Foundation to build on:• Strong brands• Local content• Local sales force• Journalistic integrity
    19. 19. Engagement = value • Computers & archives for community use • Open news meetings • Blog network • Classes • Digital audience 5x print • From loss to profit
    20. 20. What engagement isCommunity engagement = News orgs maketop priority to listen, to join, lead & enableconversation to elevate journalism.
    21. 21. What engagement isn’t• Promotion (though it has promotional value)• Distribution of content (though you should)• Purely a digital pursuit (it uses digital tools along w/ traditional ones)
    22. 22. What engagement isCommunity engagement = News orgsmake top priority to listen, to join,lead & enable conversation to elevatejournalism.
    23. 23. Avenues of Engagement• Social media • Content submissions• Blogs • Interactive content• Crowdsourcing • Voting, contests• Breaking news • Comments• Stories • Schools, groups• Events • Feedback• Curation • Print• Aggregation • Face to face
    24. 24. Jim Brady:“Theres no silver bullet. Theres just shrapnel.”
    25. 25. Mobile Opportunity• 44% of U.S. adults have smartphones• 18% of U.S. adults have tablets (up 50% from summer 2011 to early 2012)Source: State of the News Media 2012
    26. 26. Mobile-first strategy• Text alerts• Email• Applications (phones & tablets)• Social media (tweets, check-ins, tips)• Location-based news, info & commerce• Easy-to-use mobile websites• Device-flexible (not device-agnostic)• Games (phones, iPads great for games)
    27. 27. Personal content• Births • Divorce• Youth milestones • Jobs, pets, holidays, fo• School od, interests, health• Graduation • Illness• College life • Empty nesters• Military service • Retirement• Weddings • Reunions• Parenthood • Obituaries
    28. 28. Life stories• Commissioned obits (journalist tells life story, paid by family)• Obituary, website, booklet, video• Not just obits: weddings, retirements, anniversaries, mil estones
    29. 29. Newspaper Next
    30. 30. N2 lessons for Digital First• Jobs to be done = opportunities• “Good enough” opens doors to new avenues of excellence• Potential markets exceed what you can imagine (or what research can project)• “Beware the sucking sound of the core”
    31. 31. Working Digital-First
    32. 32. Thinking digital-first• Story is, as Jeff Jarvis says, a process, not a product• It’s great to be first w/ story or the idea, but otherwise link• Community = collaborators• Lots of RTs or a prominent link are better than front-page story• How can you use new tools to do better stories?
    33. 33. Working digital-first• Create content for digital platforms (web, email, SMS, social, mobile)• Produce print & broadcast products from content on digital platforms• Live coverage of events• Breaking news coverage• Engage community
    34. 34. Court reporter• Live-tweet from courtroom (narrative, not a transcript)• Feed tweets into liveblog• Big development: Text news alert to editor• Write summary or analysis story for web & print
    35. 35. Why to liveblog• Immediacy• News value• Storytelling• Traffic• Community engagement, loyalty• Interactivity• Saving time
    36. 36. Liveblog formats• Update (time-stamp, reverse-chron) in blog or story template• Use CoverItLive• Use ScribbleLive• Live-tweet (on Twitter or feeding blog)• Video stream (w/liveblog)• Raw, edited or moderated
    37. 37. Tips, techniques• Short, frequent takes• Space isn’t an issue; engagement is• Liveblog becomes notebook• Consider links, polls, photos, audio, video• Promote live & replays• Tweet links to liveblog & replay• OK to step away for question, video, etc.
    38. 38. Liveblog & print story• Liveblog is notebook: cut, paste & edit• Note when you know you’ve written good lead or passage for story• Does summary (w/ web plug) work for print?• Plug “complete coverage” in liveblog
    39. 39. Liveblogging issues• Accuracy (stress verification, ask questions, seek links & documentation, correct quickly and candidly)• Rough copy• Sports credentials• Multi-tasking• Learning curve
    40. 40. Court reporter, no trial• Traditional rounds: lawyers, judges, clerks, filings• Add #DigitalFirst rounds: monitor tweets, search Twitter, Facebook groups & pages• Tweet/alert/blog big filings• Video clips in interviews• Scan or download docs if not online
    41. 41. Beat reporter• Beatblog• Liveblog meetings, events• Tweet/alert/liveblog breaking news• Live chat on continuing stories• Data visualization• Curate community conversation
    42. 42. Beat reporter questions• How to crowdsource story?• What terms, hashtags should you search (routinely & for each story)?• Regular/special hashtags to use?• People to follow? New FB pages/groups?• Other social media to search (YouTube, Flickr, Foursquare, Google+ …)?
    43. 43. Visual journalist• Shoot first w/ smartphone & post• Shoot w/ camera for slideshow & print• Shoot video• Record ambient sound, interviews• If disaster, shoot some after shots for before/after
    44. 44. Digital JournalismTools & Techniques Steve ButtryUniversity of Texas-Arlington Shorthorn August 14, 2012 #utashorthorn
    45. 45. Text• Stories • Quizzes• Lists • Chats• Headlines • Tweets• Captions • FB updates• Liveblog • Text on video• Comments • Text in graphics• Polls • Links
    46. 46. Audio• Podcast• Audio clips• Audio w/ slides• Soundtrack on video• Google voice
    47. 47. Visuals• Photos • Maps• Slideshows • Instagram• Videos • Flickr• Animations • YouTube• Graphics • Facebook• Data visualizations • Pinterest• Screenshots • Twitter
    48. 48. Data• Think of answerbases, not databases• Data personalizes story for readers• Data gives lasting value to reporting• Caspio is plug & play database tool• DataViz &• Google Fusion maps• Google Docs & Forms
    49. 49. Factors in blogging success• Idea • Links• Format • Voice• Headline • Writing• Visuals • Conversation
    50. 50. Possible formats• Brief • Promotion• Video (w/ intro) • Chart/graph/map• Photo gallery • Q&A• List • Narrative• Review • Poll• News story • Curation
    51. 51. The blogging conversation• Crowdsource (specific questions: “Do you know anyone who …?” “Did you see …?” “Has this ever happened to you?”)• Consider ending post w/ question• Stimulate/continue conversation in social media• Engage with comments
    52. 52. Keys to SEO• Relevance• Keywords in headline (what would you search for?)• Keywords in story (best in 1st paragraph)• Understand how people are searching• Relevant links
    53. 53. Reporting with social media
    54. 54. Great for promotion, but also …• Great for reporting• Find story ideas• Crowdsource• Join the conversation (reply, retweet, ask questions)• FB algorithm change hurts news brands
    55. 55. • Many more users • Great for breaking• Much info private news• Tougher to search • Great real-time• Not as immediate search (less frequent • Engagement not as updates) intrusive• Engage, don’t • Hashtags help w/ intrude search, conversation
    56. 56. Personal vs. professional use• Separate accounts OK but not necessary• Always behave professionally, even on private accounts• Be personable on pro accounts• Presume future bosses will see all posts• Don’t bore pro audience
    57. 57. Options for journalists:• Use personal FB account, all or most public• Journalist page• Personal account, enable subscriptions (decide which updates are public)
    58. 58. • Connect w/ sources (balance, disclosure?)• Check pages of agencies, people on beat• Crowdsourcing (ask on their pages as well as yours)• Look for people in the news• Ask for permission to use photos
    59. 59. Why use Twitter?• It can save you time• It extends your reach• It’s an engaging, conversational tool• It’s great for connecting with people who experience stories you write about
    60. 60. Bookmark this page!/search-advanced
    61. 61. Vetting tweeps, verifying info • Check full Twitter stream, profile • Connect on phone, in person • Check location (not 100% reliable) • Others verifying? Clusters, not echos • Photos? • Other sources, other tweeps • Ask, “How do you know that?”
    62. 62. Say what you don’t know
    63. 63. More on verification Craig Silverman tips: ple_rules_for_doing_a.php Mandy Jenkins tips: detection-for-journalists/
    64. 64. Routine Twitter use• Follow people interested in your topic(replies, retweets, check followers)• Join topical conversation• Master Twitter search (advanced)• Find & promote topical #hashtags• Use Twitter routinely on your beat
    65. 65. Crowdsource
    66. 66. Crowdsource
    67. 67. • Growing swiftly• Users share (pin, re-pin) visual content• 80% of users are women• Heavy use for food, fashion, travel• Embeddable• How might you use?
    68. 68. • Effective curation of Sikh temple shooting• Obama answered questions• Search at
    69. 69. • Do agencies on beat post photos?• Search for keywords, photos• Invite people to contribute photos on news stories• Connect w/ people posting photos• Seek permission (check conditions)• Give credit
    70. 70. • Do agencies, people on beat use?• Watch for public videos getting attention (will often see links, mentions on Twitter)• Embed in stories, blogs
    71. 71. • “Mayor” is great source about an org or venue (employee or customer)• See who has checked in for event or breaking news story• Tips might provide questions for stories• Break story w/ Foursquare “shout”
    72. 72. • Connect with sources• Find new sources through connections, groups• Discussions help find experts• Check updates, slides, travel• Search by location & keyword
    73. 73. • Important for search• Interview by video Hangouts• Find sources• Follow sources in Circles• Follow beat topics in Sparks
    74. 74. Niche tools
    75. 75. Social fame is fleeting
    76. 76. Launching your career in digital journalism
    77. 77. Your job search is a story• Research online. Thoroughly• Work your connections• Nail the face-to-face interview• Be resourceful• Try multiple approaches• Never say no for someone else
    78. 78. Build your digital profile• Google yourself. What do you find?• Google+ profile• LinkedIn profile• Twitter, Facebook Timeline (movie)•, Intersect• Blog (when did you last post?)• Personal site (“about me” or portfolio)
    79. 79. Build your experience• Student publications• Internships• Blog• Social media• Freelancing (stringer or one-shot)• Part-time jobs• Professional convention coverage
    80. 80. Network• Connect digitally w/ people you admire• Especially on Twitter• #wjchat, #spjchat, #dfmchat, etc.• Follow up (Twitter, email, handwritten)• Comment on blogs• IRL
    81. 81. Expand your search“Every company is a media company now.” -- Jay Rosen
    82. 82. Show, don’t tell• Hyperlink résumé (but make sure it reads well w/o links)• Don’t send hard copy by U.S. mail unless asked• Video as part of résumé (you, Xtranormal, Search Stories, FB Timeline)• Pitch through social media• Use new tools
    83. 83. Do your reporting• What does the job require?• Who does similar work? What are their strengths? What are yours?• What strengths should you highlight?• What are you doing to address weaknesses?• Research people you interview with
    84. 84. Little things are big things• Customize your résumé• Spell the prospective boss’s name right• Take initiative (can you schedule your own interview?)• Include Twitter username on résumé
    85. 85. Interviews count, too• Prepare thoroughly• Listen effectively• Answer honestly• Ask tough questions• Don’t fake: “I don’t know” beats BS• Follow up
    86. 86. Follow up• Thank interviewer(s): email, card, tweet• Elaborate on answers (send link to story you mentioned, etc.)• Send link(s) to notable new work• Send links (not just yours) they might like• Persistence is a job skill• Don’t overdo it
    87. 87. Read more• @stevebuttry• #cudigital• (“career advice” category)• Check links in today’s blog post••
    88. 88. In job-hunting …Don’t let obstacles become excuses