Month: June 2015

Social Media has Revolutionized the News.

Social Media has revolutionized “The News” industry. In some ways it has made everyone with a cell phone a journalist and in other ways it has made gathering the news much faster and more complete. Traditional journalist will say something is lost in the era of instant gratification of the news. This article is about how 3 roles in the news agency can benefit by using social media.

Foreign News Correspondent

Photo Credit: TheRealArgentina.com

Imagine a foreign news correspondent sent to a country to cover a massive earthquake. The earthquake has closed down roads, bridges, schools, and stores. The correspondent has never been to this country before. The usual network for collecting information is not set up the same as in the home country and the correspondent knows to gather photos, video, and information on how the earthquake impacted the people.

On the way to the country, the correspondent can start by becoming a Twitter follower of local news agencies, government, schools, volunteers, shelters, and police. By reading the short micro-blogs on Twitter the correspondent can get a feel of how severe was the earthquake. The correspondent can even see the most devastated locations.

Once landed, the journalist can use Periscope or Meerkat on Twitter to conduct a live streaming presentation as they drive down the road. This means the news is instant and straight from the source.

Pictures and videos only tell part of the story. The correspondent will also want to share how the earthquake impacted the citizens. Because the roads, bridges, and businesses are closed it is difficult to find enough people to interview. However, having a Twitter link with local establishments the correspondent can get a general feel of how people are surviving. By paying attention to the Twitter feeds, the correspondent can identify leads to some of the most interesting stories without having to drive around everywhere.

Local Beat Editor

Interesting news stories just don’t run out in front of the news van as it drives down the road. And most people will not call the news channel when something tragic has happen to their family. So a local reporter must seek out material that is news worthy. Some of the best stories are what is happening behind the scenes. But how is a local beat editor supposed to hear about these leads? Answer, by listening to what people are tweeting.

Photo Credit: ABC News

Local beat editors are very good at digging deep and finding a good story. By listening to what the police department is tweeting, what the chamber of commerce is tweeting, what other news agencies are tweeting, a local beat editor can piece enough information to ask deep probing questions. Imagine the police depart on one end of town tweeting out a missing child alert and someone on the other end of town tweeting out that saw a child with that description. Than this local beat editor could be one of the first on the scenes. Thus scoop the rest of the competition.

The same goes for all kinds of leads. If the local news editor is listening, they will learn by listening that traffic on I-4 is backed up, a street brawl broke out after the Yankees won the World Series, or huge sink hole enveloping a man while playing basketball with his kids.

Twitter can be the eye and ears on the streets when the local beat editor cannot be there.

Camera Man

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Imagine what a piece of video is worth. The video that is captured can be worth much more than the journalist’s own words. A video of a volcano bursting is much more valuable than a person describing it. A police officer’s count of seeing a UFO is not as good as seeing the object on his dash-cam.

Not all pictures and videos need written words. Remember all of the humorous videos of people slipping into the water, unusual wildlife playing together, and tornadoes. Sometimes a journalist words get in the way.

How can a camera man benefit from using social media?

The answer again is listening and observing.

A camera man can learn what type of videos people like to view the most by looking at how many times a video gets shared, tweeted, liked, and hearted. Social media analytics and even eye tracking can measure exactly what people are watching.

Photo credit: Go Pro

The recent Go Pro cameras have created quite a buzz in social media. Go Pro cameras can be attached to a person’s helmet or shoulder and capture the view of the person actually taking the video.

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Reporters are Using Social Media to Enhance Their Journalism

Journalist/Reporter Wolf Blitzer – CNN

Finding a reporter who enhances their journalism through social media is not a difficult task. Successful reporters are attention seekers and they will gain it by any means possible. Eventually, the reporter’s name and face becomes so recognizable that they create audience bigger than the vehicle they represent.

Take Wolf Blitzer for example. CNN’s current political lead journalist, Wolf Blitzer, began his career in Israel reporting for Reuters news agency long before any social media.  Speaking fluid Hebrew and Arabic, Wolf found himself in the public limelight by getting the opportunity to ask leaders in Egypt and Israel very controversial questions. He was one of the first to report the peace accord between President Begin of Israel and The Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

Wolf Blitzer always found a way to stay in the headlines himself. In 1986, he became known widely in the U.S. as the reporter who interviewed Jonathan Pollard who was tried for spying for Israel. The interview was televised on national television which made him even more recognizable.

Jonathan Pollard on Trial for being a Israel spy.

In 1990, Blitzer moved to CNN and spent a month in Moscow. He was the first to visit and report on the KGB headquarters. Again, Blitzer was making the news by being the first to report it.

Wolf Blitzer has covered the Oklahoma City bombing, 911, and numerous presidential elections. He has become one of the most well-known and trusted journalist in the news today.

 

 

Wolf on Twitter

Wolf Blitzer Twitter

Wolf will tweet breaking news three – five times per day and sometimes on weekends. On the site itself, he writes, “Yes, I write my own tweets.”

Wolf will post photos, videos, and headlines and makes very good use of hastags and links. Sometimes he will scoop himself on Twitter before he conducts he television show. Why would he do such a thing? Wolf understands that a lot of his followers want the headline news now and the details later. In the 140 characters he has available on Twitter he writes the headline which piques people’s interest and tells people to watch his show at 5:00 to get more details.

Wolf Blitzer has adapted very quickly over the years to deliver the news to his followers. In the 70’s he worked in newspapers, wrote books in the 80’s, began cable news in the 90’s and finally adapted to social media news in the 2000’s.

By incorporating social media with cable, satellite and print Wolf Blitzer is able to reach more people. Social media compliments the other media best because it reaches people wherever they are at that moment. The news is delivered via Twitter when the consumer is at an airport, hotel lobby, office, or waiting at a stop light. Twitter also has the biggest advantage of all. Twitter allows people to engage in conversation and offer feedback to Wolf. Occasionally Wolf will respond to clarify or let his followers know that he is listening.

Wolf Blitzer on Facebook with his show on CNN The Situation Room

To be the leader in the news you have to be present in all of the major news platforms. The biggest source for news for people ages 18-35 is social media. So in order to reach this age group, Wolf needs to use the medium in which the audience uses. And in this case he does very well.

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