Industry Blog #4

by davidamelotti

In an article found on newslab.com, “Using Social Media in Covering Breaking News,” the writer discusses how social media reacted to the recent death of actor Paul walker. Rather than focusing on the death, the article examines the accuracy of information that finds its way online and on the screens of millions. One example of information not being accurate was a quote that was liked by 200,000 people on Facebook however, the quote was a lie; a made up statement to attract the eyes of young and old on social media. In fact, AP had to issue a statement correcting their original story that used the quote.

Kim Bui is featured in the online article by making appearances in Youtube videos offering advice to those looking to use social media when reporting or gathering news at home. Her public radio station, KPCC in California has developed a list of users on twitter, for example, to follow in breaking news situations and utilizes their information in valuable to their story. It is suggested to journalists that if they want to begin constructing their own list of users to follow online, it is best to begin with one’s competition.

Bui later elaborates as quote in the article as saying that every newsroom needs a breaking news social media strategy. This was personally exciting to read considering that there is such a strategy with LUTV as the producer has a special program allowing him or her to follow hundreds up on hundreds of users simultaneously.

If you are interested in reading the story, just click here.

The article I read was also on Newslab.com, “Tips for Telling Vivid Stories.” The title says it all as the article does in fact focus on offering advice to journalists on how to better find, research, and construct their stories. There needs to be a central theme or character whose story has a complete beginning, middle and end. There should be some form of conflict or action that has a resolution; good or bad.

As the reader goes on, one will be introduced to David Zwerdling who has been a reporter for over 30 years at NPR. He stresses the importance of preparation and research. Attention to detail is essential, especially in setting the scene. Zwerdling offers 4 main tips for those looking to improve their story-telling ability.

1. Mapping. This is an idea of a reporter after learning about his or her story to sit down and actually draw out a map of the story to find its beginning, middle, end and just as importantly discover the most important story.

2. Stated as hypnotizing but it is a method when interviewing a subject asking basic questions like day, time of day, and weather, to allow you to tell whether or not this individual is being honest.

3. Conversation in regards to evaluating how the subject told their story.

4. Dreams. He asks his subjects if they dream about the event. Mainly when he believes a subject is dry and rambling he asks this question to find some lost energy.

A bit of humor at the end of the article is shared when it is explained that it comes down to asking the right questions. The challenge is creating those perfect questions.

If you want to read the article for yourself, feel free to click here.

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