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Archive for June, 2011

The crowd can save your journalism career.

I encourage any journalist to read Journal Register Co. CEO John Paton’s message to last week’s WAN/IFRA International Newsroom Summit: How The Crowd Saved Our Company. (I also encourage media executives to read John’s message, but I’m writing here about individual journalists seeking career success in a time of great upheaval.)

I want to suggest how individual journalists can learn from the JRC experience that John shared. I won’t belabor what John said about how the newspaper model is broken and can’t be fixed. I’ve said that plenty of times myself, and if you’re still in denial about that, you’re not ready for the rest of his message or mine. John concluded that discussion with this important point:

You don’t transform from broken.

You don’t tinker or tweak.

You start again anew and build from the ground up.

John was providing advice for his fellow executives for building their organizations from the ground up. I’ll focus on advice for the journalist hoping to make yourself a valuable asset for such a starting-anew organization. (more…)

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Update: The workshop is over. I used Storify to curate the conversation and information about curation during and after the workshop.

I will be leading led a workshop this afternoon June 10 at the Middletown Press on curating the community conversation.

I will do a blog post on my curation advice soon. I welcome your tips and questions about curation as well as examples. During the workshop, I will curate tips and examples provided here on my blog and on Twitter, in response to my request for tips and examples. I’ll add that link here later. (more…)

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I’m leading a workshop on liveblogging starting at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time for the newsroom staff of the New Haven Register. The Register is livestreaming if you’d like to watch.

I would appreciate your contributions of liveblogging tips or examples on Twitter using #liveblogtips or on the liveblog about the liveblogging workshop.

Here are my slides for the workshop:

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I’ll be leading a crowdsourcing workshop this afternoon at the Register Citizen in Torrington, Conn., the first of 18 Journal Register Co. newsrooms I will be visiting in June and July. The workshop starts at 4:30 p.m. and we’ll be livestreaming it.

Some aspects of community engagement draw skepticism from traditional journalists because they represent significant new directions. Old-school journalists should embrace crowdsourcing because we have always worked hard to find good sources in the community.  Crowdsourcing gives us more efficient techniques for finding sources. (more…)

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When you tell the family you have a new job, the initial response, of course, is to congratulate you. If your new title is director of community engagement and social media, the second response is: What does “community engagement” mean?

I’ve been answering that question some since joining the Journal Register Co. (and answered the same question last year when I went to TBD to lead community engagement efforts).

Journalists aren’t as puzzled by the phrase as relatives, but I get questions from journalists, too. Some are skeptical, as journalists tend to be (and should be) of any buzzword. Some are enthusiastic about the general topic, but unsure what all it entails. Some suspect that community engagement is more about marketing than about journalism. Some fear that community engagement is one more chore stacked upon the already heavy workload of journalists in shrinking newsrooms.

My new Journal Register colleagues have been quite supportive of my new responsibilities. They are asking excellent questions about what we will be doing together to deepen engagement with the communities we serve.

I’m going to address all these questions in a series of blog posts that probably will take several weeks. Today I will provide an overview of community engagement. In coming weeks, I will dig into the various engagement techniques that I will cover only briefly here.

Let’s start with a tweet-length definition: Community engagement = News orgs making a top priority to listen, to join & lead conversation to elevate our journalism.

Update: Jeff Jarvis and Matt Terenzio said on Twitter that they thought I should have used “enable” instead of “lead” in the tweet above. I agree that enabling conversation is an important aspect of engagement (and I’d say it’s included in good leadership). But I’m not sure it’s more important than leadership. The community is pretty well able to converse already and is already doing so. But I’m pro-conversation, so I welcome this crowdsourced editing help:

Community engagement = News orgs make top priority to listen, to join, lead & enable conversation to elevate journalism.

I’ll elaborate on some key words there: (more…)

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