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Archive for July 15th, 2011

The Trentonian used Twitter, Facebook, community bloggers and the newest big-name social tool for journalists, Google+, to cover a shooting at an apartment building Thursday.

I learned about the Trentonian’s excellent coverage while preparing for a Friday workshop at another Journal Register Co. newsroom, the News-Herald in Willoughby, Ohio. I quickly compiled an earlier version of this Storify account, pulling in tweets, news accounts and Facebook updates. But I didn’t know much about how the Trentonian staff did its outstanding work. I sent Interim Editor Joey Kulkin an email, asking him to send me a few paragraphs explaining how they had covered the story.

My workshop was about using social media in beat reporting and about curating social media content. In the questions during my presentation, a staff member asked how journalists could use Google+. I gave a pretty lame answer, saying that I had not had much time to dig into Plus and explore the possibilities. I said I had been impressed with Google Wave and saw considerable possibilities with it, especially after the Seattle Times used Wave in its Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the manhunt for a cop killer. I thought Google Buzz was lame from the first and never found it useful for journalists. I had played with Plus enough to think it would be useful, but not to talk knowledgeably yet about how you would use it.

Just four hours after my workshop, I learned that Google+ had actually been an essential tool in the Trentonian’s coverage of Thursday’s incident:

“Google+ is what gave us, and no one else, the key information,” Kulkin said in his email telling me how the Trentonian had covered the story. (more…)

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The news companies I have worked for have changed hands a lot of times. Often the change was bad news. Yesterday’s acquisition of the Journal Register Co. by Alden Global Capital is great news.

Since emerging from bankruptcy in August 2009, JRC has been owned by a variety of investors, our ownership future uncertain as the company turned around its performance and gained international prominence by aggressively pursuing a digital-first strategy. (more…)

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