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Posts Tagged ‘live tweeting’

This is the prepared text for my June 2 keynote speech to the Pennsylvania Press Conference. I ad-libbed a bit, so this isn’t exactly what I said.

I’m used to leading 90-minute workshops at conferences like this. When Becky Bennett told me I would have only 15 minutes for my keynote address, my first thought was that I wouldn’t have much time to tell you about Digital First journalism and my company’s vision for the future of our profession. But we are, after all, meeting in Gettysburg, and I recall a tradition here of getting to the point quickly and saying something memorable without wasting words. Besides which, I’m better known now for my tweets than for all the long newspaper stories, editor’s columns, blog posts or workshop handouts I’ve ever written. So I want to steal an approach from my boss (always a good idea) and talk to you in a series of 10 tweets (with a little elaboration that might go over 140 characters, but definitely not over 15 minutes).

Before I start the tweets, I’ll say that these are focused on the journalism rather than the business because this is an audience of journalists. But we need to be as forward-looking in our business approach as we are in our coverage of the news. I am encouraged by the progress we’re making at Digital First Media in developing a new business model and finding new revenue streams, and you can read more about that on my blog and John Paton’s (he’s the boss who gave a speech to NAA that was built around tweets). But here I’m focusing on the future of journalism.

Much as you and I might love the feel of a newspaper in our hands and the smell of ink, and even though our craft uses a machine so precious it was mentioned in the Bill of Rights, quality journalism has no inherent connection to print. Liars Janet Cooke, Jayson Blair and Jack Kelley all worked in print and every crappy supermarket tabloid is a newspaper. The things that make us proud of our profession can make us proud of our digital journalism: commitment to getting the facts right, dedication to seeking and reporting the truth, high ethical standards, holding the powerful — and ourselves — accountable, serving the watchdog role with honor. (more…)

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Sports coverage is a great match for community engagement because engagement is about conversation and sports fans love to talk. We boast when our teams are winning, whine when they are losing and trash-talk with fans of rival teams. We analyze statistics and strategy and fantasize in games that involve both.

I’ll be discussing community engagement in sports coverage at a meeting of the Great Lakes Region of the Associated Press Sports Editors today. Here are tips I’ll be sharing:

Talk with fans. Twitter and Facebook are great tools for monitoring and joining the fans’ conversation. Follow the popular hashtags for the local sports teams and follow individual fans as well. Pose questions to fans on your Facebook page (individually or a branded page). Join the conversation on fan groups or fan pages on Facebook.

Live-tweet and liveblog games. Fans expect live coverage of all events at all levels now. Whether you live-tweet or use CoverItLive or ScribbleLive to liveblog, you should provide live coverage of every event you staff. (And if you live-tweet, you should feed those tweets into your site using CIL, Scribble or a widget.) If high school or small-college writers need to keep their own stats, they won’t be able to tweet or update as frequently, but they still should post major developments live. (And they should explore ways to get schools to provide reliable, timely stats, so they can liveblog more aggressively.) The approach may vary depending on whether a game is televised. If fans are likely to be watching TV while they read your live coverage, don’t bother with play-by-play. Do more analysis, color and commentary. Same if most of your readers are likely to be in the stands or reading after they’ve watched the game. But if the game is not televised, especially if it’s a road game, be sure you’re reporting what’s happening, even if you don’t do actual play-by-play. (more…)

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Credit: Free images from acobox.com

An editor asked me to outline how a Digital First statehouse reporter should work.

I see nine themes for the digital emphasis of a statehouse reporter:

  1. Live reporting of events.
  2. Community engagement around the issues and events of the Capitol.
  3. Reporting breaking news and enterprised scoops as the stories unfold.
  4. Curation of content from other sources.
  5. Enterprise and daily reporting based on analysis of data compiled by state agencies.
  6. Video reporting of interviews and news events.
  7. Mapping.
  8. Digitally focused enterprise reporting.
  9. Beatblogging.

I’ll elaborate on them, but need to acknowledge up front that I’m not involved directly with statehouse coverage now, so some statehouse editors and reporters could certainly explain any or all of these points better than I could. This continues the discussion I started last month with a post on the workflow of a Digital First journalist. (more…)

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“Do you know of any standards for content of live tweets?” a commenter asked on my blog recently.

“I have students live tweet meetings and speeches. Would love some specific guidelines for what makes a good tweet,” asked Michele Day, who teaches journalism at Northern Kentucky University.

I know of no such standards. And if I did, I’d probably react that “standards” for a developing pursuit such as live-tweeting might be a bit rigid. This is a new technique and we are learning about it as we do it. I don’t want standards to inhibit our development and experimentation with the technique. My standards would be the standards of good reporting: Be accurate, fair, interesting and engaging.

But I’m happy to offer some live-tweeting suggestions: (more…)

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