WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Mon - 22.12.2014


social media

In the age of social media, scoops can last just a matter of seconds. As New York Times interactive editor Aron Pilhofer noted in a session on moving towards smarter, better online content, gone are the days when competitors would have to wait 24 hours to take your scoop. Now, he said, it’s almost irrelevant to be first, and the value of being right outweighs the value of being first by magnitudes.

It’s not just traditional news organizations who feel this way. Adam Baker, founder of citizen journalism site Blottr, said that his team can’t afford to get anything wrong, because they don’t have the reputation of an established brand.

Most normal people don’t even know who broke a story, said Anthony De Rosa, Reuters’ social media editor, in a session on citizen journalism. Eric Carvin, social media editor at the Associated Press, suggested that scoops are becoming less relevant, with great investigative pieces becoming more important. Pilhofer made a similar point, commenting that any blog could cut and summarise a breaking news article, but a piece like Snowfall will always be unique to The Times.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-04-29 18:26

“We went to the staff and said, ‘You know, for 30 years you’ve been told to write the same way,’” he said at the Ad Age Digital Conference last week, Alex Kantrowitz reported. “We really want you to have a unique stand on how you write.”

USA Today’s move is part of growing recognition that journalists’ brands are becoming increasingly important, even rivaling those of their publications, as The Editor’s Weblog has previously reported. With readers craving recognizable voices in the deluge of reporting available on the web, some journalists have accumulated more Twitter followers than their publications.

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-04-23 12:18

In the aftermath of the double bombing of the Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured more than 170 others, false information has clouded the reports of the Boston Marathon bombing. With the 24-hour news cycle and social media disseminating information faster than journalists can analyze it, the urge to report quickly has in some cases overtaken the need to report correctly.

Hours earlier, trusted news sources such as the AP, Reuters, CNN, Fox News and the Boston Globe had reported that the FBI had identified a sole suspect. The outlets said that the suspect was in custody, only having to retract their statements after the Boston Police department set the record straight.

“BREAKING: Law enforcement official: Arrest imminent in Boston Marathon bombing, suspect to be brought to court,” tweeted the AP.

CNN’s John King told viewers that a suspect had been identified and had been arrested; the network later released a statement, Politico reported, saying “CNN had three credible sources on both local and federal levels. Based on this information we reported our findings. As soon as our sources came to us with new information we adjusted our reporting.”

Author

Allison DeAngelis

Date

2013-04-18 18:07

Does this development prove the professional networking site is on its way to becoming “the newspaper of the future,” as ReadWrite’s Owen Thomas suggested? The acquisition of Pulse will certainly thrust LinkedIn further in the direction of content providers, a shift the company’s been gradually working toward.

“We believe LinkedIn can be the definitive professional publishing platform — where all professionals come to consume content and where publishers come to share their content,” Deep Nishar, senior vice president of products and user experience, wrote in response to the acquisition. He added: “We believe we can help all professionals make smarter and more informed business decisions ... through LinkedIn in the form of news, Influencer posts, industry updates, discussions, comments and more.”

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-04-12 16:49

Data from Ireland-based startup NewsWhip shows that the most viral stories are not always those curated on page one. Founder Paul Quigley told The Editor’s Weblog that this realization will challenge the mission of some news organizations, as social distribution favors emotionally-charged and unusual stories over traditional news.

As social networks become omnipresent, newspaper front pages are losing their lustre. A Pew Foundation study showed that social networks are now the greatest distributors of news, with 33 percent of young adults accessing news via social networks and only 13 percent through print and web newspapers. With more people sharing stories on Facebook and Twitter, fewer and fewer discover news stories through newspapers’ homepages and front pages. Quigley said this trend will likely be permanent, so news organizations need to learn to adapt a “social edge” to stay relevant.

“If we’ve got a story to tell it’s that social distribution won’t go away,” said Quigley, who will present NewsWhip at WAN-IFRA’s Digital Media Europe conference in London, 15-17 April. “Maybe Facebook or Twitter might go away, but the web of people is going to be how information is going to spread.

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-04-05 16:56

a “boot camp” for journalists

Reddit is a great training tool for writers because unlike on Facebook and Twitter, users cannot lean on their followers and friends to make their posts successful. Instead, each post’s quality of writing and message is individually evaluated. Each post has an equal likelihood of making it to the site’s front page at its genesis, regardless of its author. Thus large follower bases aren’t rewarded, as they would be on Twitter and Facebook. What’s instead rewarded is concise and witty writing, the length of “half-tweets” — the same skills vital for writing headlines, which in the digital era are more important than ever. And with the deluge of posts on the site (last month there were over 55 million unique Redditors), users must hone these skills for their writing to make the front page.

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-04-04 12:29

Founded in 2006, BuzzFeed now has more than 40 million unique visitors a month and has recently been "unintentionally profitable." Much of its success comes from its ability to create shareable content.

“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how ideas spread,” Peretti said. You could have a huge marketing budget, but if nobody wants to share your content and ideas then it’s not working.

BuzzFeed targets the "bored-at-work" network to share its content. There are “millions of bored office workers,” he said, who blog, instant message, and use Facebook and Twitter all day. This group is bigger than any traditional major news network, he added, and these are the people who make things go viral.

These have been joined by the "bored-in-line" crowd. “I used to hate mobile,” Peretti said, as it used to be impossible to share via mobile devices. But now, half of Facebook traffic comes from mobile, and 40 percent of BuzzFeed traffic, and mobile is becoming a key driver in what makes things go viral. “You can’t go viral if your content can’t be viewed and shared on the mobile web.”

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-03-13 18:21

“Everybody already has a different experience,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said of the site’s new newsfeed during its launch Thursday. “Not like the [fictional] Monterey Daily."

News publishers should take a page from the social networking site and individualize subscriber experiences.

Facebook’s social reader applications, popular last year, utilised profile data to determine which news stories would appeal most to individuals, and indeed such personalization increased traffic to participating newspapers. The Guardian reported 6 million active monthly users of its social reader during its peak, with more than 12 million unique installations of the newspaper’s Facebook app. Although newspapers such as The Guardian later opted against social readers, clearly personalization of content, as the social reader allowed, augments traffic.

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-03-12 17:00

Twitter and other social networks offer journalists totally new ways to communicate, Galant said. “It’s really the first time in history that a journalist can write something without the approval of their editor.”

This is part of a more general shift in the way that journalists relate to and are perceived by the public, said Mike Isaac, senior editor at All Things D. “I now have my picture up there next to my byline,” he said, which allows the audience to connect the information he’s providing to a personality. It’s part of a move away from commoditized news, he added.

This is not the situation at an organization like Bloomberg, however: fellow panelist Edmund Lee, a Bloomberg media reporter, said that at his organization, the reporter “doesn’t exist.”

Regardless of how news organisations depict their reporters, journalists do exist on social media and the audience knows more not just about the writers, but also about “what shapes this person’s point of view,” said Galant. His company Sawhorse Media runs Muck Rack, a resource where journalists can create profiles and connect with sources in the PR industry.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-03-09 19:54

As Director of Video Transformation at the Associated Press, Sue Brooks has done in depth research into the importance of video to the content offering of news sites. Below she explains how 'stickiness' of video supports paid content strategies, and encourages news publishers to "use video creatively, reinvent the genre," rather than copy broadcasters. The AP Video Hub makes it easy for publishers to download and edit raw footage.

 

Anthony Rose is the co-founder and CTO of Zeebox, a new platform for second-screen social engagement. He explains the concept and discusses how an "explosion of content" will get whittled down to the recommendations of friends.

Hear more from Sue and Anthony at DME13 in April. With thanks to ICM Business Video - our video partners at DME.

Author

Nick Tjaardstra's picture

Nick Tjaardstra

Date

2013-03-02 14:11

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Editors Weblog

The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


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