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Archive for the ‘Breaking news’ Category

I am leading some workshops for the Southern Regional Press Institute at Savannah State University today. 

I participated in a panel discussion on “Ethics, Urgency and Accuracy” this morning.

Here are some links relating to ethics, urgency and accuracy (I made some of the points you’ll see in these links).

How to verify information from tweets: Check it out

Suggestions for new guiding principles for the journalist

My version of Craig Silverman’s accuracy checklist

The Verification Handbook is now available

I led a morning workshop on using Twitter to cover breaking news. In addition to the links above, this workshop covered information from these workshops:

Denver Post staffers’ #theatershooting coverage demonstrates Twitter breaking news techniques

You don’t tip competitors on Twitter; you beat them

Twitter is an essential reporting tool

Here are my slides for that workshop (I developed them knowing we weren’t likely to cover all the topics. We covered the first three and skipped to verification):

I developed these slides to use in either the panel discussion or the breaking-news workshop. I ended up using them to wrap up the breaking-news workshop:

I also will lead an afternoon workshop on showcasing your work and your skills in a digital portfolio. This workshop is based primarily on this blog post:

Use digital tools to showcase your career and your work

The workshop also will cover points made in some of these posts:

Your digital profile tells people a lot

Randi Shaffer shows a reason to use Twitter: It can help land your first job

Elevate your journalism career

Tips on landing your next job in digital journalism

Job-hunting advice for journalists selling skills in the digital market

Here are my slides for that workshop:

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I am leading a workshop this afternoon for the Daily Times in Farmington, N.M. I will use tips or techniques from many, perhaps all, of my #twutorial posts:

Step one for using Twitter as a reporter: Master advanced search

Use lists, TweetDeck, HootSuite, saved searches, alerts to organize Twitter’s chaos

Denver Post staffers’ #theatershooting coverage demonstrates Twitter breaking news techniques

Hashtags help journalists find relevant tweets and reach more people

Advice and examples on how and what journalists should tweet

9 ways to find helpful people and organizations to follow on Twitter

To build Twitter followers: Join the conversation, tweet often, be yourself

10 ways Twitter is valuable for journalists

Updated Twitter time management tips

Don’t be selfish on Twitter; tweeting useful information is good business

What’s the best way to view Twitter’s users? 16 percent or 30 million

Twitter data shows journos’ ‘burstiness’ boosts followers

#Twutorial guest post from Alexis Grant: A simple Twitter strategy that will dramatically grow your network

#Twutorial guest post from Deanna Utroske: Tips for twinterviewing

#Twutorial guest post by Menachem Wecker: How to use Twitter to find the best sources

#Twutorial guest post by Jaclyn Schiff: How using Storify can help you find great sources

Getting started on Twitter: #twutorial advice for a friend

Should a journalist livetweet a funeral? If so, how?

Use Twitter for conversation about an event, not just promotion

How to verify information from tweets: check it out

In addition, these two posts that predate the #twutorial series cover some of the points I’ll make in the workshop:

Suggestions for livetweeting

Updated and expanded Twitter tips for journalists

And I’ll use this Andy Carvin Storify acount as an example as well as this Denver plane crash.

Here are the slides for my workshop today (I may not use all the slides and probably won’t get to the case study that the last several slides cover):

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I led two workshops yesterday for Bay Area News Group journalists.

At the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., I discussed ways for journalists who have started using Twitter to get better use of it. We discussed several topics I have addressed in recent #twutorial posts: search, hashtags, organizing the chaos, time management, building followers, how and what to tweet. (Time ran out before we talked about livetweeting in much depth, but that’s on the slides and I wanted to include the link since we did discuss it briefly.) Here are the slides I used:

(more…)

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A fatal fire that eventually killed nine people showed how the Charleston Daily Mail is making progress as a Digital First newsroom.

The Mail has an unusual situation that presents challenges that other newsrooms don’t face. It is part of a joint-operating agreement with the Charleston Gazette, and the Gazette publishes the weekend print editions Saturday and Sunday. So, where many print-oriented newsrooms spend a lot of Friday attention on the huge Sunday paper, the Mail staff is working Friday on its Monday edition. With no Sunday paper, the news staff pretty much takes Saturday off.

In a November visit to the Mail, I encouraged a stronger digital focus, especially on Fridays. In a workshop, I taught about the value of Twitter in covering breaking news, about liveblogging and about using Storify to curate social media content. (more…)

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My Digital First Media colleagues at Heritage Media faced a huge breaking news challenge last week when a tornado ripped through Dexter, Mich.

The Heritage staff’s performance illustrates the range of breaking-news techniques that journalists use in covering disasters today. As Managing Editor Michelle Rogers explained in her blog post about the coverage:

As a group of weekly publications in print, it has been an ongoing challenge to get our audience to realize we’re now a daily online. I think the tragedy of the tornado served as a reminder to readers that they don’t have to wait until Thursday to get their local news, and we were happy to oblige, providing breaking news coverage, from news stories, Storify compilations, photo galleries and videos to Tweets and Facebook posts, and SMS texts to email alerts. (more…)

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When you’re covering the story that everybody is talking about, you need to monitor social media. You want to hear what they’re saying and you want them to be talking about your stories, photos and videos.

Landslide photo from the Daily Breeze

My Digital First Media colleagues at the Daily Breeze have illustrated that with their smart use of Facebook in coverage of a landslide along the coast in San Pedro, Calif. Reporter Donna Littlejohn explains:

Ocean cliffs have fallen away before in our port community, colorfully chronicled by the daily newspaper through the decades. But when the latest slide began to slip, it played out most prominently on social media sites.

I got my first tip that something was up from a community member on Facebook. On Sept. 7 she wrote this on my wall: “Donna — someone posted on the San Pedro CA Facebook page that there’s a sink hole starting on Paseo del Mar. I don’t know near what street yet but I’ll pass on any new info.” (more…)

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Update: The Wall Street Journal sent an email news alert at 6:37 Monday with this subject: “WSJ NEWS ALERT: WSJ/NBC News Poll Finds Voters Deeply Torn.”

The text:

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found an electorate that is convinced the country’s economic structures favor an affluent elite and is still deeply torn as to whether President Barack Obama or any of his leading Republican rivals can pull the nation out of decline.

In case you want to read more (and I can’t imagine why you would), a link takes you to the Journal story: Poll Finds Voters Deeply Torn.

We can disagree about whether these polls stating the obvious merit “news alerts.” But there’s no question the Post kicked the Journal’s ass on the story, whatever its value.

Picking up my original post: When I awoke this morning and checked my email, I saw a news alert from the Washington Post:

Really? A poll that reveals nothing new and just confirms what everyone knows about the country’s mood deserves a news alert? At 12:18 a.m.?

In the ensuing discussion, at least a couple people thought I was commenting on a tweet from the Post. I was commenting on the email news alert, but the Post did tweet the news at about the same time: (more…)

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The Reno air show crash was exactly the kind of story that shows why Twitter is an essential tool for journalists covering breaking news.

I was traveling and training and too busy to take more than passing notice of the story, much less study how journalists used Twitter in covering it. But Carl Lavin did that in his blog post: Lessons From Reno: Time For A Disaster Drill. I highly recommend it for editors and reporters covering breaking news, for top newsroom editors and for social media editors. I especially recommend it for curmudgeons denying the value of Twitter.

My favorite detail: That Andy Carvin found eyewitnesses to the crash by searching for tweets near Reno using OMG and various expletives. You can do this kind of location-based search easily with Twitter’s advanced search tool.

By the way, Carl’s daily email newsletter and blog posts give timely tips on news coverage. If you’re not already getting the newsletter or reading the blog, I recommend checking it out.

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Like many institutional Twitter accounts, Journal Register Co. newsroom accounts need to be more engaging and conversational.

We tweet a lot of links to our content. But we’re not very personable. In the coming months, I will be working with JRC colleagues to strengthen engagement on newsroom Twitter accounts. I’ll start by sharing some best practices here. I’ll blog later about using Facebook. I’ve already shared some advice for individual journalists using Twitter. Today I focus on branded newsroom accounts (whether that’s the lead newsroom account or a niche account focusing on a topic such as sports or a beat).

The specific practices start with some guiding principles in use of social media: Use good sense. Practice good journalism. Be creative, aggressive, accurate and ethical. (more…)

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@statesman has shown again today how to use Twitter to cover breaking news.

In February, I noted the excellent job @statesman did in covering the terrorist attack on the IRS office in Austin. I was tied up in a meeting out of the office this morning, but I heard at a break about this morning’s situation with a gunman at the University of Texas library. (more…)

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Readers of this blog know that Twitter is one of the best tools for covering breaking news.

But if you listen to and read the Twitter haters, you also hear that Twitter is a place where false rumors spread rapidly. My reply to that is that Twitter is a form of communication, and rumors spread on all forms of communication. A great example of that is the false report of Gordon Lightfoot’s death. Yes, it spread on Twitter. But it started by word of mouth, where rumors have been circulating since humans first mastered speech. And its big spread came when it was reported (without verification) by a professional news outlet. So how did that become Twitter’s fault?

My experience with the Gordon Lightfoot rumor was that I first saw a tweet shooting down the rumor, then saw one or two tweets spreading the rumor and dozens saying it wasn’t true. I noted at the time (on Twitter, of course) that Twitter was actually a great rumor-correcting platform.

Well, researchers from Yahoo! have confirmed both Twitter’s usefulness in spreading news and its effectiveness in correcting rumors. (more…)

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I like what the Houston Chronicle is doing to aggregate tweets from the community about breaking news stories.

I asked my tweeps last week for breaking news tips for a Twitter webinar I was leading for the Online Media Campus. I got some great answers from a colleague at the Chronicle (some other tweeps responded as well, and their advice will follow the Houston tips and examples).

Houston tweets, middle bottom of screen

Blog editor Dwight Silverman has enlisted a “Twitter news army” of people using the #hounews hashtag to tweet about breaking news in the community. Chron.com aggregates tweets from the army that use the hashtag in a “Houston tweets” box on the home page.

“We’re actively recruiting more people to take part in Dwight’s ‘Twitter news army,'” Chron.com Content Director Dean Betz told me in a series of direct messages. (more…)

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