Archive for March 9th, 2012

Breaking news stories provide excellent examples of the value of digital tools. A fatal shooting in Troy, N.Y., Thursday showed how the Record is using the Digital First approach to breaking news.

Reporter Danielle Sanzone covered the story in text and video. The shooting story yesterday was followed by today’s arrest story.

Strong coverage on Facebook yielded 70 comments, 2 shares and 27 “Likes” (an awkward term for stories about violence), and the Record picked up about 35 new Facebook fans, Digital Specialist Tom Caprood reports. He used Storify to compile the various Facebook comments into one place. He deleted five or so inappropriate comments.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to duplicate a lot of this in the future outside of just breaking news,” Tom said in an email, “but it’s a great milestone to learn from and show how far we’ve come with our ‘Digital First’ efforts.”

Troy Record Facebook photo

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Digital tools can be an invitation to face-to-face discussions. Kurt Madar learned and demonstrated that this week in covering a municipal election.

Quoting from Kurt’s emails to me:

Becoming a digital first journalist can be daunting, but then there are moments when it works—moments like my recent evening covering a local election—and the power of the new model and its tools becomes suddenly clear. (more…)

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Pottstown food drive

Donated food fills the Pottstown Community Media Lab

Update: My Digital First colleagues at the York Daily Record and FlipSide are doing a food drive in connection with the opening of “Hunger Games” tonight.

I hope I don’t give the impression that community engagement is just a matter of tweets, blogs and Facebook updates. Sometimes community engagement is a matter of cans of food and jugs of laundry detergent.

I am pleased to share the story of a community food drive led by The Mercury in Pottstown, Pa., and its network of Town Square bloggers. Editor Nancy March alerted me to the project. I’ll tell the story through emails from Nancy and her staff (lightly edited to add links and to pull them together into a narrative).

We are calling it the “Town Square Fill the Media Lab Challenge.” The challenge is for bloggers to engage their audiences to collect 20,000 food items for area food pantries by Easter. Each blogger can select a food pantry in their community (we have about 10 separate sites in the municipalities we cover) and feature it on their blog, while challenging people to donate food. (more…)

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