It’s not just Twitter that can be utilized for story telling in the new age of journalism. While Twitter breaks news fast and can bring in a large supply of sources and opinions, other social media sites like Pinterest, blogs and Facebook can also bring the audience to the writer in a fresh, interesting way.
The information isn’t presented as quickly and urgently as it is on Twitter, but the other social media platforms allow for longer posts and more images. By connecting to all the outlets, writers expand their personal brands or publications’ brands.But perhaps the most important reason to use social media is that it allows for audience feedback or, in some instances, for the audience to inform writers. The “open news concept” allows readers to submit questions or suggestions, editors sort through them, and if it seems like a good story, then a reporter is assigned to it. It’s almost like the reporters are commenting on user-generated posts.
The result is that a certain readership is invested and the community is more informed about issues that really pertain to the area. It really seems like a good model for local papers. And having two-way communication between readers and writers seems to almost be expected now, especially at the local level.
But opening up channels for communication seems to be easier to do when the entire publication is online. For organizations that use print and the web, establishing how to give the audience the story and allow for feedback while also maintaining a strong print presence can be much more difficult.
It seems that organizations are figuring out what works best for them, though, and while online news definitely doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, it really doesn’t seem like print is either. Sometimes online is used just for short, easy-to-read pieces and print is reserved for longer articles, and other times the model is more that online breaks the news and print gives the full story.
This notion that online should come first is just logic if you think about it. More people are constantly connected to the Internet than they are to a newspaper, and of course web news can be updated as it comes in where print has to wait to go to press. Breaking news online doesn’t ruin the print version if the print version uses the extra time to write a fleshed-out story from a new, maybe more personal, angle.
While it’s hard to work out the kinks in an environment that’s always changing, journalism itself sort of fits the always-changing profile. News is different everyday, and journalists have always had to work to be on top of what’s going on and figure out the best way to tell the story.
Now we’ve added the use of social media and various story-telling platforms, but I think we can handle it.