With vast amounts of information being produced every day, it’s a journalist’s responsibility to sort, verify, and add context so audiences have the resources to think critically.
“Journalists have gone from just being storytellers to sensemakers,” said Ellyn Angelotti, director of custom programs with the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, during a recent PR Newswire webinar.
Angelotti, who also teaches social media and law at Poynter, was joined by Circa News Director David Cohn and Washington Post Mobile/Tablet Editor Theodore Kim on the webinar. The panelists, moderated by PR Newswire’s Vice President of Content Marketing Sarah Skerik, discussed the ways newsrooms and their journalists are adapting to today’s digital media environment.
One of the biggest changes has been the immediate feedback loop that social media provides to newsrooms.
Newsworthiness used to be decided by editors and publishers, said Angelotti. Media organizations now have teams responsible for posting on and listening to their social media networks for the rumblings of a potential news story.
Although newsworthiness may be partially defined by the topics a newsroom’s social networks and online audience are talking about, Kim cautions that balance must be struck.
If everyone is talking about something on social media, a news organization should pay attention to it; however, it has to keep in mind that the number of active social media users is a fraction of the world population.
Kim says when something is being talked about on Twitter, the tendency is to think everyone is talking about it. That’s not always the case.
Because of this, a good journalist will explore every tool out there. At The Washington Post, Kim keeps an eye on multiple columns in TweetDeck, Google News alerts, saved searches, and the newsroom’s other notification systems. Meanwhile, the Post’s email filters incoming pitches into various folders, which helps Kim sort through the 600 to 700 emails (a conservative estimate) that he receives each day.
Continue reading on Beyond Bylines, PR Newswire's blog for journalists.