Online Journalism

Briggs Chapter 10

March 29th, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs Chapter 10

Managing News as a Conversation

“The speed of communications is wonderful to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.” -Edward R. Murrow

It began as comments on news stories and blog posts, this has mushroomed into full social networking tools on news sites.

“News as a conversation has transformed journalism in many ways, but perhaps the most significant way that is has transformed journalism is in how journalists and their communities can cover a beat better,” says Patrick Thornton, editor of BeatBlogging.org.

Tips for Journalists using Social Media:

  • Use sites like Twitter and Facebook becuase familiarity is important.
  • Be mindful that you represent more than just yourself.
  • Presume your tweets, status updates or other content will go further and reach more people than you intend for them to go.
  • Ask your boss to follow your twitter. It’s a good accountability measure.

Making news perticipatory was important for mainstream organizations. They did this by using Message boards, FredTalk.com (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star); Most commented, emailed, viewed links and information; using their own social networks on their sites, TimesPeople (The New York Times), USAToday.com, Vita.mn (Star Tribune, Minneapolis).

Last but not least, keep your conversations accurate and ethical!

Tags: Comm361 · Facebook · Student Blog Posts

Chapter ten: Managing news as a conversation

March 27th, 2011 · Comments Off on Chapter ten: Managing news as a conversation

One of the greatest challenges journalists face today is learning how to manage a news conversation. According to Mark Briggs, this begs three questions:

  • How do journalists participate in the conversation without sacrificing their objectivity or credibility?
  • What about legal and ethical issues now that everyone can publish anything they want on a professional news site?
  • And what happens when you really want the audience to participate, but they don’t?

News conversations have changed drastically over the past few decades. What once was a lecture is now an interactive conversation. Journalists require feedback and encourage discussion among readers and viewers.

What are some ways that online journalism has allowed for user participation?

  • Comments: That little box on the bottom of every story that allows you to type your thoughts on the story allows journalists to receive feedback.
  • Discussion forums: These discussion forums range from topics such as politics to fashion to sports. They allow the media to keep up with how the conversation is going among the public.
  • Social networking: Websites such as Facebook and Twitter have been critical in listening to conversation among the public. Believe it or not, when you write a status update about Joe Smith, Joe Smith is out reading it.

Sometimes it can be difficult to monitor such conversation when people become outraged and nasty. All communication is not good communication. But remember to take everything with a grain of salt and try to learn from everything, even the negatives.

Happy reading folks.

Tags: Comm361 · online journalism · social media · Student Blog Posts

Guest speaker: Steve Buttry

March 22nd, 2011 · Comments Off on Guest speaker: Steve Buttry

Watch this. How many different types of audio can you recognize? 10? 12?

This is how Steve Buttry, the director of community engagement for TBD, started his lecture.

Buttry talks about information gathering and storytelling challenges that organizations have to cover.

Sharing control of the story with the user has changed. In traditional journalism: you have control. In digital storytelling: we share control. How does the reader want to see the story? It changes the story and the way you report. You need to gather sounds,  file an open file request for 911 calls.

Reach out to different resources. Story used ATM cameras and bank cameras to illustrate a tornado damages.

In some cases, animation and voice-overs can tell the story in a better way. For example, the recent tsunami in Japan. Nothing is more powerful than actually seeing the destruction.

You go to a festival. They take a picture of the entire festival and put online so you can tag yourself and your friends. You like the idea? Click here to see a great example of it.

Always keep in mind these questions:

  • What would be the best way to try to tell the story?
  • What do I have to gather to tell that story? Not just the facts, but the images, maps.
  • Are you thinking differently about storytelling?

Tips from Buttry:

  1. Invest on your skills.
  2. Open your minds to find colleagues that know how to do different things, reach out.
  3. Be uncomfortable! You’re not going to develop a new skill if you don’t feel uncomfortable about it! It should be a red flag, you have to go ahead.
  4. Always be curious. If a question comes up to you, always ask the question. Even you don’t know the language.
  5. Never say no for somebody else. Push through the fear and resistance you might have.
  6. Don’t let obstacles become an excuse.
  7. Try new things.

Twitter changed communication forever. You are forced to get to the point. You get an instant feedback.

Tags: Comm361 · Steve Buttry · Student Blog Posts

Guest Speaker: Steve Buttry

March 22nd, 2011 · Comments Off on Guest Speaker: Steve Buttry

Steve Buttry, Director of Community Engagement at TBD, came to speak to our Comm. 361 class today about utilizing social media and digital online tools across various platforms.

 Copyright: tbd.com

Buttry started off his presentation by giving out free goodies from TBD. Hats and iPhone 4 covers with the TBD logo on them. Smart and easy advertising!

He then showed us a website that covered the horrific 35W bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis. The article, titled “13 seconds in August”, is an interactive photo that allows viewers to scroll across the whole bridge and get individual stories and information on all the tragedies. It also has an excellent form of crowdsourcing in which readers can e-mail the StarTribune with any information regarding the disasters that are missing information.

He than made a profound statement in which he said “As a writer, YOU have control.” he then said to think of any story in this regard, “How do you want to explore this story?”

  • Gather sound, interviews, videos, pictures and anything else that’s going to effectively ADD to your story in a positive way.

He then showed us a story that was done by the DesMoinesRegister on the Parkersburg, Iowa tornado. It used an interactive map with before, after and remodeled photos of houses and buildings. There were also lots of videos that helped the story out. It basically became a vehicle for self-guided stories and opened the story up to more individual smaller stories. Check out the story here.

The coolest tool that he showed us was GlastoTag. It’s basically a website where photos are uploaded from big events and people can tag themselves in these pictures from the event. VERY COOL!

We then discussed the ever popular Twitter. When asked how Twitter has changed his journalism and he made a few great points:

  • Made him get to the point of a story faster.
  • Made him a better writer.
  • Instant feedback is better than waiting for next day responses.
  • Instead of going to a quote in a story, he can go to a Twitter tweet.

Finally, he ended his presentation with some great quotes for aspiring journalists.

“Always be curious. If a question occurs to you, ASK somebody.”

“Never say no for somebody else. Try it out first.”

“Curiosity and trying new things will make you stand out when applying for jobs.”

Tags: Comm361 · Steve Buttry · Student Blog Posts

Guest speaker: Steve Buttry

March 22nd, 2011 · Comments Off on Guest speaker: Steve Buttry

Steve Buttry, Director of Community Engagement at TBD, spoke to our Comm 371 class about the abilities and effects of video storytelling and how important of a tool it is to help show and explain events.

As a writer, you have control of the story. The user can browse to the page they want to read, skim over certain information, etc.

But with video storytelling, there is shared control of the story with the user. There are pictures, videos, graphics, interviews, etc.to keep the reader engaged and able to find out as much of the story as possible — things that wouldn’t be able to be seen or found in a print article.

Nothing is as impactful as being able to scroll your mouse over an image or play a video that gives more meaning and more detail about what is being reported. It doesn’t matter how many pictures you have in a print newspaper to compensate.

Think of how the story will affect somebody and what needs to be gathered to tell the story beyond the facts. The images, the context, the maps are all extremely important tools to interest the viewer.

Developing storytelling skills will:

  • Create a comfort level with working with all the tools necessary to create a story through video
  • Allow you to do videos in less time and it will become less of an issue as time goes on
  • Help learn a lot and be able to apply certain aspects to the next story you do

The ever-changing world social media is a new concept but it can even help you become a better writer.

Always be curious. If you don’t know the answer to something, ask somebody. Push through any fear or resistance to get what you want.

A very interesting idea that Steve mentioned was to copy and paste your lead into Twitter — if it doesn’t fit, it’s probably too long!

Tags: Comm361 · Steve Buttry · Student Blog Posts

Tech Blog #9: Guest Speaker Steve Buttry

March 22nd, 2011 · Comments Off on Tech Blog #9: Guest Speaker Steve Buttry

Steve Buttry

Steve Buttry, Director of Community Engagement for TBD, joined our class today for a presentation on cross-platform journalism and the different tools and techniques that are applied to many articles and stories today.

Check out his Bio, personal Twitter account, and blog, The Buttry Diary, here.

Professor Klein noted that Buttry understands the social web as well as cross-platform journalism– a skill that journalists really need to focus on.

 

Buttry showed us a compilation of audio, video and pictures done by The Minneapolis Star Tribune on their wesbite covering the collapse of the 35W bridge into the Mississippi River in August 2007 . Titled “13 Seconds in August,” reporters at the Star Tribune tried to find the story of every single vehicle on the bridge. Within one story, there are dozens of stories featured. This type of cross-platform journalism is the way of the future.

 

As a writer in traditonal journalism, there is contol. However, in digital journalism multiple tools are used to let the reader view the story how they want. This in turn changes the style of reporting. There needs to be much more than just interviews- audio and video play a large part in the story telling process.

 

Buttry also showed us a website from The Des Moines Register in Iowa, titled Parkersburg Tornado: The Aftermath. The website features a virtual map of the town of Parkersburg where you can view video of the tornado in addition to before and after pictures of houses hit by the tornado.

 

Buttry stresses to think of the tools you can use when reporting to cover the story in a new, unique way.

 

By using certain tools like taking large scale panoramic photos, as seen with this picture of the Glastonbury Music Festival in England, average citizens are able to tag themselves and add in their own stories, further adding to the main idea of the article.

 

Buttry says, “Think of what would be the best way to tell this story.” Then use the appropriate tools or find a new way and think outside of the box.

When asked what the one thing he could take away from his years of journalism experience was, Buttry replied, “Always be curious.”

Tags: Comm361 · Steve Buttry · Student Blog Posts

Guest speaker: Jim Iovino

March 10th, 2011 · Comments Off on Guest speaker: Jim Iovino

With the world turning to the internet, NBC Washington takes their television content and puts it on their website.

The sooner you get stories out on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. the more people will acknowledge you as a consistently good reporter. Thus, you will receive more traffic and gain attention. You want to be the first to say that you broke the story and knew about it before anyone else.

Important thought:

The good, basic journalistic reporting is the start to anything. You need to ask the best questions to get the best answers for a unique story.

Connecting with the audience is good to build a relationship with viewers and interact to gain attention. Pat Collins does a great job of this, taking 20 minutes out of every day to answer questions from his audience via the internet.

NBC Washington takes plenty of videos from people in the area to collaborate with them and share information. With videos, people love raw footage rather than someone anchoring the video segment.

Tags: Comm361 · Facebook · Student Blog Posts

My Video Conference with George Allen on C-SPAN

March 10th, 2011 · Comments Off on My Video Conference with George Allen on C-SPAN

George Allen is back and on top of his game! Allen participated in a C-SPAN video conference with students from George Mason University and The University of Denver to discuss his upcoming Senate run and his new book “What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports.”

I was one of the lucky students who had the chance to personally talk to Allen and ask him a question, “You have mentioned numerous times that Thomas Jefferson is one of your biggest role models; what similarities do you see between yourself and him?”

He mentioned that besides the distinct title of holding Thomas Jefferson’s seat in the Virginia General Assembly, he admitted he is a self-described “Common Sense Jeffersonian Conservative.”

This formidable opponent opened up about his campaigns strategies to reach out to the community.

They are using:

Like I mentioned above, Allen’s book came out in 2010! One of the chapters in his book, which is relateable in his political life, sports life, and family life is: Defense Wins Championships.

Solid conclusion.

As related to online journalism, Allen ended with “The internet is the best invention since the Guttenberg Press”. I could not have out it any better, Mr. Allen.

View George Allen’s Announcement video on YouTube!

Tags: Comm361 · Facebook · Student Blog Posts

My Video Conference with George Allen on C-SPAN

March 10th, 2011 · Comments Off on My Video Conference with George Allen on C-SPAN

George Allen is back and on top of his game! Allen participated in a C-SPAN video conference with students from George Mason University and The University of Denver to discuss his upcoming Senate run and his new book “What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports.”

I was one of the lucky students who had the chance to personally talk to Allen and ask him a question, “You have mentioned numerous times that Thomas Jefferson is one of your biggest role models; what similarities do you see between yourself and him?”

He mentioned that besides the distinct title of holding Thomas Jefferson’s seat in the Virginia General Assembly, he admitted he is a self-described “Common Sense Jeffersonian Conservative.”

This formidable opponent opened up about his campaigns strategies to reach out to the community.

They are using:

Like I mentioned above, Allen’s book came out in 2010! One of the chapters in his book, which is relateable in his political life, sports life, and family life is: Defense Wins Championships.

Solid conclusion.

As related to online journalism, Allen ended with “The internet is the best invention since the Guttenberg Press”. I could not have out it any better, Mr. Allen.

View George Allen’s Announcement video on YouTube!

Tags: Comm361 · Facebook · Student Blog Posts

Ch. 11 ‘Building a digital audience for news’

March 9th, 2011 · Comments Off on Ch. 11 ‘Building a digital audience for news’

Image representing Google Analytics as depicte...

Image via CrunchBase

The traditional business model for journalism is in disarray.

That’s for damn sure true, with everyone having the ability to  write what they want on the Internet thanks to technology.

To increase an online audience, a journalist needs to:

  • Analyze what is published
  • Determine what readers like and don’t like
  • Do more of what readers like

Here are the fundamentals of building an online audience:

  • Tracking your content
  • Web analytics
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Effective headline writing for the Web
  • Distribution through social media

Track what you publish, such as blog posts, video stories per week, podcasts, Twitter and other social network posts and total stories per day.

Set benchmarks. Determine what you want to accomplish so you have something to measure against.

Track your audience. Use tools like Omniture and Google Analytics to measure who is viewing your stuff.

Determine what is going to be your key data. Typically it is going to be pageviews, visits vs. unique visitors, and engagement and referrers.

Understand SEO and use it to your benefit. Many news sites receive as much as one-third of their traffic from search engines, so it’s very important to get yourself near  or in the first 10 of results shown.

The best way to take advantage of SEO? Make sure your content is top-notch and link as much as possible as long as it’s relevant. Make good headlines better.

And above all else, use social media to push your stuff. Provide links of yourself on Twitter and Facebook. Contribute to blogs that deal with the same content as you. Put your name out there as much as possible.

Tags: Comm361 · social media · Student Blog Posts