Anna Jasinski's blog listings. Feed Zend_Feed_Writer 1.10.8 (http://framework.zend.com) http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo 9 Tips for Journalists Covering Traumatic Events trauma (2)

Journalists often are “first responders” when it comes to traumatic events.

Crisis and conflict challenge reporters on the ground, both in the midst of the breaking news and for months – sometimes years – following.  As they quickly work to process and document the news, they also see, experience, and absorb what’s happening to those they’re covering.

We connected with three journalists with first-hand experience covering trauma – from war-time activities in Iraq and Afghanistan to recent events in Baltimore, Charleston, SC, and Ferguson, MO, as well as crime and natural disasters. They spoke about the difficult role of storytelling in these scenarios.

We spoke with:

  • Amy McCullough (@AmyMac418), news editor with Air Force Magazine and president of the Military Reporters and Editors Association;
  • Andrew Renneisen (@AndrewRenneisen), a Brooklyn-based freelance documentary photographer, frequently published in the New York Times; and
  • Sam Owens (@samowensphoto), staff photojournalist with The Charleston Gazette in Charleston, West Virginia.

Based on our conversations, here are nine tips to stay safe (and sane) while covering a traumatic story or beat.

1. Prepare yourself.  

Whether you’re headed to a combat zone, natural disaster or riot, do your research before you go.

“Understand the environment and the hazards ahead of time,” says McCullough. “Know the cultural implications. Anything can change at any second, so never get too comfortable.”

As a defense reporter working risk-laden environments, McCullough must be ready for anything. Before going downrange, she took a class through Centurian, a UK-based program for frontline journalists and workers, taught by retired British special forces. The course equips media with tools to assess their safety and replicates real-life scenarios, like getting kidnapped. She also learned to sleep with all necessary gear – including body armor, boots and notepad – within reach. This came in handy during a 3 a.m. rocket attack while on assignment in Afghanistan.

For Owens, who covers breaking news, having charged batteries, phone and laptop, and a full tank of gas are important. She’ll keep a long lens for her camera, too, in case she needs to keep her distance from an active situation. Her newsroom provides a number of items for weather-related incidents, but she also created a safety kit that she keeps in her car in case a story unfolds in front of her.

With these unanticipated scenarios, keeping mentally prepared is critical. “Mental preparedness is just as important as physical preparedness at a breaking news scene,” Owens says. “I have found I make much more compelling images if I have taken time to process why I am there and why it is important to document the difficult times along with the good.”

2. Find your fellow journalists.

Finding a support system on the ground – even if they work for competing news organizations – can provide a second (or third, or fourth) set of eyes and ears as you focus on your subject or story.

“Having someone else you trust in a hostile environment is crucial,” says Renneisen. “Ferguson was one of the first times I worked in a really volatile environment. Without the help of other more experienced photographers, it would’ve been more difficult to stay safe.”

Utilize this core group as a sounding board, too. You don’t have to trade story ideas, angles, or scoops – just talk as humans about what you see. You’re likely processing a lot of heavy information quickly and talking it out with those around you can help alleviate the natural stress you’re experiencing. If you don’t feel comfortable, check in with your colleagues, family and friends, and see who’s willing to listen.

3. Explain your purpose.

Be transparent about who you are and why you’re there. Let the people around you know that you’re there to tell their story and will listen if they want to talk.

“A good friend and mentor of mine, Jake May, who I worked under at The Flint Journal, taught me a majority of what I know about making clear, caring images at breaking news scenes,” says Owens. “He will walk up to as many firefighters, police officers and officials at a scene to introduce himself, if he doesn’t know them already, in order to explain who he is and what his purpose is, which usually allows him better access in the long run.

“It’s important to be able to express my purpose to those around me, or those that I am documenting, whenever I get the chance,” she says.

4. Give those involved time and space.

In most cases, the people you’re meeting and interacting with have just seen the unthinkable and are working to process it all. After making clear who you are and why you’re there, listen, remain calm, and be considerate of their willingness to talk with you.

“It takes respect, a level head, and an ability to understand what the people are going through,” says Renneisen.

“No matter what I do, there are going to be some people out there who instinctively react negatively to my presence as a member of the media,” added Owens. “What I can do is learn to respect their opinion as a fellow human being, and move along to do my job with the intent of being as caring and compassionate as possible.”

5. Be flexible.

Especially about your methods of interviewing. Some people may not feel comfortable about being recorded, and prefer you take notes, or vice versa. If you can’t reach a person of interest, use third parties. Connect with their friends or family members. They are their gatekeepers.

As Owens explains, you want to be flexible in how you cover the story for yourself, too.

“Trust your intuition, and give yourself permission to exit the scene whenever you feel your limit has been pushed too far,” she says. “In my opinion, no photograph is worth comprising your own boundaries or safety. You need to get to know what those limits are for yourself; no two journalists are alike in every situation.”

6. Use your downtime wisely.

Downtime is a relative term in these scenarios. As McCullough put it, “It’s all part of the job.”

But, when activity is at a low, use this time to collect the questions you need answers to and seek verification. There may be answers you can get by doing research that doesn’t require you speaking with people.

You also can use this time to transmit any remaining images, interviews, and information back to your newsroom or online.

7. Use social media as a tool.

Search on social is your friend. If possible, curate source lists on Twitter or Facebook ahead of time. These lists should include relevant subjects, such as local officials, other news outlets, people on the scene sharing photos and information about what they see, and more.

Once you’re actively working a scene, be sure to follow any relevant hashtags. You can use lists and hashtags to corroborate information, like the source of a photo. You also can use them to find people who could verify a situation.  For more, see our post on How to Use Facebook as a Reporting Tool.

8. Look for signs that you need help. 

Quickly processing so much upsetting information can leave you feeling as though you lived through the same horrific events your subjects did. This can make it difficult to push through your coverage, or even move on to the next story.

Owens says she sometimes feels uncomfortable with the idea of covering tragic events.

“There are days where my walls break down, and I feel like a vulture,” she says. “It’s a heavy privilege to take images of the dark times, the times that are occasionally some of the worst days in a person’s or community’s lifetime.”

If you’re struggling to shake the effects, the key is to track down your available resources and ask for help.

“Journalists can get PTSD, too,” explains McCullough. “I have quite a few reporter friends who have gone to a therapist after returning from the war zone. We may not be carrying a weapon, but we often see the same atrocities as military members.”

Renneisen lets his camera act a shield: “I’m documenting, doing my job and I know why I am there. If after that it becomes more difficult, I always make sure I have someone to talk to if something is bothering me.”

9. Find an outlet after the fact.

Find a form of release or a way to cope when you have free time.

“Learn what makes you unwind, whether it can be achieved through exercise, music, reading, cooking, etc,” says Owens.

For Renneisen, surfing and being by the water does the trick. McCullough spends some of her free time at the gym.

Once you know yourself,” continued Owens, “it will be much easier to deal with the ups and downs of covering a tragic event or breaking news scene. It takes practice, lots and lots of practice.”

Stay up to date on media trends and best practices. Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to receive posts by email.  Or if you’re looking for supporting information and statements for breaking news stories, sign up for public interest news via PR Newswire for Journalists – your one-stop shop for newsgathering with access to custom newsfeeds, ProfNet experts and our multimedia gallery. Sign up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com or contact us to learn more.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

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Fri, 21 Aug 2015 12:59:35 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/08/21/9_tips_for_journalists_covering_traumatic_events http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/08/21/9_tips_for_journalists_covering_traumatic_events trauma (2)

Journalists often are “first responders” when it comes to traumatic events.

Crisis and conflict challenge reporters on the ground, both in the midst of the breaking news and for months – sometimes years – following.  As they quickly work to process and document the news, they also see, experience, and absorb what’s happening to those they’re covering.

We connected with three journalists with first-hand experience covering trauma – from war-time activities in Iraq and Afghanistan to recent events in Baltimore, Charleston, SC, and Ferguson, MO, as well as crime and natural disasters. They spoke about the difficult role of storytelling in these scenarios.

We spoke with:

  • Amy McCullough (@AmyMac418), news editor with Air Force Magazine and president of the Military Reporters and Editors Association;
  • Andrew Renneisen (@AndrewRenneisen), a Brooklyn-based freelance documentary photographer, frequently published in the New York Times; and
  • Sam Owens (@samowensphoto), staff photojournalist with The Charleston Gazette in Charleston, West Virginia.

Based on our conversations, here are nine tips to stay safe (and sane) while covering a traumatic story or beat.

1. Prepare yourself.  

Whether you’re headed to a combat zone, natural disaster or riot, do your research before you go.

“Understand the environment and the hazards ahead of time,” says McCullough. “Know the cultural implications. Anything can change at any second, so never get too comfortable.”

As a defense reporter working risk-laden environments, McCullough must be ready for anything. Before going downrange, she took a class through Centurian, a UK-based program for frontline journalists and workers, taught by retired British special forces. The course equips media with tools to assess their safety and replicates real-life scenarios, like getting kidnapped. She also learned to sleep with all necessary gear – including body armor, boots and notepad – within reach. This came in handy during a 3 a.m. rocket attack while on assignment in Afghanistan.

For Owens, who covers breaking news, having charged batteries, phone and laptop, and a full tank of gas are important. She’ll keep a long lens for her camera, too, in case she needs to keep her distance from an active situation. Her newsroom provides a number of items for weather-related incidents, but she also created a safety kit that she keeps in her car in case a story unfolds in front of her.

With these unanticipated scenarios, keeping mentally prepared is critical. “Mental preparedness is just as important as physical preparedness at a breaking news scene,” Owens says. “I have found I make much more compelling images if I have taken time to process why I am there and why it is important to document the difficult times along with the good.”

2. Find your fellow journalists.

Finding a support system on the ground – even if they work for competing news organizations – can provide a second (or third, or fourth) set of eyes and ears as you focus on your subject or story.

“Having someone else you trust in a hostile environment is crucial,” says Renneisen. “Ferguson was one of the first times I worked in a really volatile environment. Without the help of other more experienced photographers, it would’ve been more difficult to stay safe.”

Utilize this core group as a sounding board, too. You don’t have to trade story ideas, angles, or scoops – just talk as humans about what you see. You’re likely processing a lot of heavy information quickly and talking it out with those around you can help alleviate the natural stress you’re experiencing. If you don’t feel comfortable, check in with your colleagues, family and friends, and see who’s willing to listen.

3. Explain your purpose.

Be transparent about who you are and why you’re there. Let the people around you know that you’re there to tell their story and will listen if they want to talk.

“A good friend and mentor of mine, Jake May, who I worked under at The Flint Journal, taught me a majority of what I know about making clear, caring images at breaking news scenes,” says Owens. “He will walk up to as many firefighters, police officers and officials at a scene to introduce himself, if he doesn’t know them already, in order to explain who he is and what his purpose is, which usually allows him better access in the long run.

“It’s important to be able to express my purpose to those around me, or those that I am documenting, whenever I get the chance,” she says.

4. Give those involved time and space.

In most cases, the people you’re meeting and interacting with have just seen the unthinkable and are working to process it all. After making clear who you are and why you’re there, listen, remain calm, and be considerate of their willingness to talk with you.

“It takes respect, a level head, and an ability to understand what the people are going through,” says Renneisen.

“No matter what I do, there are going to be some people out there who instinctively react negatively to my presence as a member of the media,” added Owens. “What I can do is learn to respect their opinion as a fellow human being, and move along to do my job with the intent of being as caring and compassionate as possible.”

5. Be flexible.

Especially about your methods of interviewing. Some people may not feel comfortable about being recorded, and prefer you take notes, or vice versa. If you can’t reach a person of interest, use third parties. Connect with their friends or family members. They are their gatekeepers.

As Owens explains, you want to be flexible in how you cover the story for yourself, too.

“Trust your intuition, and give yourself permission to exit the scene whenever you feel your limit has been pushed too far,” she says. “In my opinion, no photograph is worth comprising your own boundaries or safety. You need to get to know what those limits are for yourself; no two journalists are alike in every situation.”

6. Use your downtime wisely.

Downtime is a relative term in these scenarios. As McCullough put it, “It’s all part of the job.”

But, when activity is at a low, use this time to collect the questions you need answers to and seek verification. There may be answers you can get by doing research that doesn’t require you speaking with people.

You also can use this time to transmit any remaining images, interviews, and information back to your newsroom or online.

7. Use social media as a tool.

Search on social is your friend. If possible, curate source lists on Twitter or Facebook ahead of time. These lists should include relevant subjects, such as local officials, other news outlets, people on the scene sharing photos and information about what they see, and more.

Once you’re actively working a scene, be sure to follow any relevant hashtags. You can use lists and hashtags to corroborate information, like the source of a photo. You also can use them to find people who could verify a situation.  For more, see our post on How to Use Facebook as a Reporting Tool.

8. Look for signs that you need help. 

Quickly processing so much upsetting information can leave you feeling as though you lived through the same horrific events your subjects did. This can make it difficult to push through your coverage, or even move on to the next story.

Owens says she sometimes feels uncomfortable with the idea of covering tragic events.

“There are days where my walls break down, and I feel like a vulture,” she says. “It’s a heavy privilege to take images of the dark times, the times that are occasionally some of the worst days in a person’s or community’s lifetime.”

If you’re struggling to shake the effects, the key is to track down your available resources and ask for help.

“Journalists can get PTSD, too,” explains McCullough. “I have quite a few reporter friends who have gone to a therapist after returning from the war zone. We may not be carrying a weapon, but we often see the same atrocities as military members.”

Renneisen lets his camera act a shield: “I’m documenting, doing my job and I know why I am there. If after that it becomes more difficult, I always make sure I have someone to talk to if something is bothering me.”

9. Find an outlet after the fact.

Find a form of release or a way to cope when you have free time.

“Learn what makes you unwind, whether it can be achieved through exercise, music, reading, cooking, etc,” says Owens.

For Renneisen, surfing and being by the water does the trick. McCullough spends some of her free time at the gym.

Once you know yourself,” continued Owens, “it will be much easier to deal with the ups and downs of covering a tragic event or breaking news scene. It takes practice, lots and lots of practice.”

Stay up to date on media trends and best practices. Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to receive posts by email.  Or if you’re looking for supporting information and statements for breaking news stories, sign up for public interest news via PR Newswire for Journalists – your one-stop shop for newsgathering with access to custom newsfeeds, ProfNet experts and our multimedia gallery. Sign up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com or contact us to learn more.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

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0
How to Interview and Capture Details in the Digital Age

Original Post: mediablog.prnewswire.com/2015/07/23/how-...

Interviewing

In a digital-first news landscape, journalists are providing instant content on social media while simultaneously producing in-depth coverage.

It may seem impossible to balance the need for expediency with the desire for enterprise storytelling, but these two things are not necessarily in conflict.

During a recent seminar by The Poynter Institute, Justin George of the Baltimore Sun (who also makes an appearance on the Serial podcast), was featured. He shared interview skills he’s gained in his time as a crime reporter and explained how social media can act as a modern-day notepad to report stories more deeply.

Here are 11 tips from the session on the art of the deep interview in the digital age:

1. Always be in control.

There is a power dynamic between the reporter and their subjects that needs to be navigated carefully. Before getting in to the interview, know where you’re going and what you want to get out of it.

Keep control by creating appropriate boundaries. In conversation with your subjects, be firm and persistent, but also professional. Make sure they know you’re there to provide a service. You’re there to tell their story.

2. But, get out of your own way.

A reporter plays a very important role in storytelling. But, “it’s not about you,” says George. Be an active listener and let the people you interview finish what they have to say.

Avoid “gotcha” moments, by shutting off your internal dialogue and letting them speak naturally. You can guide your subject in a certain direction with your questions if you feel they are holding back. But, don’t drive them to specific answers.

3. Seek understanding.

Take the time to know your subject. It will help your readers better understand the event or newsworthy decision you are covering.

If you have time, retrace the person you are interviewing to capture their personal story arc. Talk with them about their childhood, their parents, and their interests growing up – anything that will give you background that could explain who they are today. Ask them to share photo albums and tell you stories from beginning to end. It will help you paint a picture and corroborate timelines.

4. Put yourself in their shoes.

According to George, this is the golden rule.

Be kind and respect their circumstances. Whether they are the victim, a spokesperson, a murderer, or lying politician, they are likely facing challenges or going through a difficult time.

Treat them how you want to be treated, no matter what. By being polite and truthful, your subjects are more likely to open up and stick around.

5. Dig deeper.

People are made up of anecdotes. You’re probably never going to fully capture someone’s personality, George says. But, with the right questions you can obtain cues about who they are, without compartmentalizing.

For example, ask your subject if they keep anything in their pockets, what their tattoo means, or if they have a nickname. As George explained, little questions can provide big answers by acting as an entryway to greater truths. “Sometimes the most mundane detail is the most sublime,” he says.

6. Don’t flinch.

In some cases, the people you interview may recall something traumatic – and it could be shocking to you.

Most likely they are already bracing for your reaction, so be sure to stay even and do your best to provide normalcy. It’s okay to tell someone, “I appreciate how difficult this is for you”. But, when you react, commiserate, or play up sympathy, you risk losing control of the interview and potentially shaming your subject.

7. Never stop listening.

Using The Jinx’s final moments with Bob Durst as an example (don’t worry, no spoilers here), George reminded of the importance of staying tuned in.

Talking is cathartic. Your subject could reveal critical information in a moment of golden silence, underscoring the journalist’s role as audience member when interviewing. Always let your subject have the last word.

8. Use email as a way to follow up.

If your subject wants to think about their answers or needs more time, email exchanges can be a good way to get more detail.

Your subjects may still be processing what’s going on around them. Email responses can provide a comfortable solution for them to tell the story, preventing hasty responses that could be taken out of context.

9. Record details digitally.

If you want to stay in journalism, you have to make technology work for you, says George.

Take pictures of your surroundings and of pictures people show you. This will allow you to go back and study the visuals to provide an accurate, detailed account of what you saw.

For your interviews, ask permission to record on video or via voice memo. It allows for quick transmission back to your newsroom and the ability to re-listen for accuracy when sharing quotes. This is especially critical when it comes to high-stakes storytelling.

10. Share moments throughout the reporting process.

More and more people are continually connected to their phones and social, due to a Fear of Missing Out (a.k.a. FoMO). Because of this, news organizations want to be the first to report the news on social.

While reporting, use everything you have (e.g. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Vine, and Snapchat) to share visual glimpses of your coverage. These small moments provide instant gratification to your viewers and instant news for your colleagues and superiors. They are also good teasers for your upcoming story.

11. Use social media as a library.

Social media is a digital archive – use it to collect sources, contacts and information. What others are sharing on social may provide the context you were looking for in your reporting or offer an easier path to a person of interest.

Create a private Storify to easily keep track what people are saying. You can reference the information later as you start writing.

If you’re looking for another way to find sources, try ProfNet – it can help you find the subject-matter experts you need for your reporting. The best part? It’s easy and free to submit a query. Start your search now: Send a query.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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Fri, 14 Aug 2015 10:54:05 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/08/14/how_to_interview_and_capture_details_in_the_digital_age http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/08/14/how_to_interview_and_capture_details_in_the_digital_age

Original Post: mediablog.prnewswire.com/2015/07/23/how-...

Interviewing

In a digital-first news landscape, journalists are providing instant content on social media while simultaneously producing in-depth coverage.

It may seem impossible to balance the need for expediency with the desire for enterprise storytelling, but these two things are not necessarily in conflict.

During a recent seminar by The Poynter Institute, Justin George of the Baltimore Sun (who also makes an appearance on the Serial podcast), was featured. He shared interview skills he’s gained in his time as a crime reporter and explained how social media can act as a modern-day notepad to report stories more deeply.

Here are 11 tips from the session on the art of the deep interview in the digital age:

1. Always be in control.

There is a power dynamic between the reporter and their subjects that needs to be navigated carefully. Before getting in to the interview, know where you’re going and what you want to get out of it.

Keep control by creating appropriate boundaries. In conversation with your subjects, be firm and persistent, but also professional. Make sure they know you’re there to provide a service. You’re there to tell their story.

2. But, get out of your own way.

A reporter plays a very important role in storytelling. But, “it’s not about you,” says George. Be an active listener and let the people you interview finish what they have to say.

Avoid “gotcha” moments, by shutting off your internal dialogue and letting them speak naturally. You can guide your subject in a certain direction with your questions if you feel they are holding back. But, don’t drive them to specific answers.

3. Seek understanding.

Take the time to know your subject. It will help your readers better understand the event or newsworthy decision you are covering.

If you have time, retrace the person you are interviewing to capture their personal story arc. Talk with them about their childhood, their parents, and their interests growing up – anything that will give you background that could explain who they are today. Ask them to share photo albums and tell you stories from beginning to end. It will help you paint a picture and corroborate timelines.

4. Put yourself in their shoes.

According to George, this is the golden rule.

Be kind and respect their circumstances. Whether they are the victim, a spokesperson, a murderer, or lying politician, they are likely facing challenges or going through a difficult time.

Treat them how you want to be treated, no matter what. By being polite and truthful, your subjects are more likely to open up and stick around.

5. Dig deeper.

People are made up of anecdotes. You’re probably never going to fully capture someone’s personality, George says. But, with the right questions you can obtain cues about who they are, without compartmentalizing.

For example, ask your subject if they keep anything in their pockets, what their tattoo means, or if they have a nickname. As George explained, little questions can provide big answers by acting as an entryway to greater truths. “Sometimes the most mundane detail is the most sublime,” he says.

6. Don’t flinch.

In some cases, the people you interview may recall something traumatic – and it could be shocking to you.

Most likely they are already bracing for your reaction, so be sure to stay even and do your best to provide normalcy. It’s okay to tell someone, “I appreciate how difficult this is for you”. But, when you react, commiserate, or play up sympathy, you risk losing control of the interview and potentially shaming your subject.

7. Never stop listening.

Using The Jinx’s final moments with Bob Durst as an example (don’t worry, no spoilers here), George reminded of the importance of staying tuned in.

Talking is cathartic. Your subject could reveal critical information in a moment of golden silence, underscoring the journalist’s role as audience member when interviewing. Always let your subject have the last word.

8. Use email as a way to follow up.

If your subject wants to think about their answers or needs more time, email exchanges can be a good way to get more detail.

Your subjects may still be processing what’s going on around them. Email responses can provide a comfortable solution for them to tell the story, preventing hasty responses that could be taken out of context.

9. Record details digitally.

If you want to stay in journalism, you have to make technology work for you, says George.

Take pictures of your surroundings and of pictures people show you. This will allow you to go back and study the visuals to provide an accurate, detailed account of what you saw.

For your interviews, ask permission to record on video or via voice memo. It allows for quick transmission back to your newsroom and the ability to re-listen for accuracy when sharing quotes. This is especially critical when it comes to high-stakes storytelling.

10. Share moments throughout the reporting process.

More and more people are continually connected to their phones and social, due to a Fear of Missing Out (a.k.a. FoMO). Because of this, news organizations want to be the first to report the news on social.

While reporting, use everything you have (e.g. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Vine, and Snapchat) to share visual glimpses of your coverage. These small moments provide instant gratification to your viewers and instant news for your colleagues and superiors. They are also good teasers for your upcoming story.

11. Use social media as a library.

Social media is a digital archive – use it to collect sources, contacts and information. What others are sharing on social may provide the context you were looking for in your reporting or offer an easier path to a person of interest.

Create a private Storify to easily keep track what people are saying. You can reference the information later as you start writing.

If you’re looking for another way to find sources, try ProfNet – it can help you find the subject-matter experts you need for your reporting. The best part? It’s easy and free to submit a query. Start your search now: Send a query.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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0
Periscope 101: How to Broadcast Street Journalism From Your Phone Orginal post on Beyond Bylines: mediablog.prnewswire.com/2015/08/12/peri...

 

August 12, 2015

Periscope How-To

Periscope is a game changer.

It’s Twitter taken to new heights. Information flows in real time, but with an authentic, visual glimpse of what eyewitnesses are experiencing on the ground.

We saw Periscope’s impact on its first day on the job, back in March 2015, when an explosion rocked New York City.

Within seconds, the app’s feed was teeming with first-person views of the scene. Video clips from bystander cell phones came from every angle, showing unprecedented footage ahead of first-responder arrival.

This is not what we typically would see from the standard television broadcast. This was immediate – and unfiltered – providing a whole new level of access to viewers around the world.

In order to stay competitive, reporters need to embrace social reporting technology like this. And, according to WTOP digital reporter Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP), Periscope may be one of the most exciting ways to keep up.

Augenstein, by the way, was one of the first major-market radio reporters to use the iPhone as a primary field production device.

Last week, in a MediaShift #DigitalEd course, he shared tips for how to break news faster with mobile live-streaming. This got me hooked on learning the ins and outs of the app.

Here’s what I learned about how to make Periscope work for your coverage, from basic setup to pro tips.

GETTING STARTED

The concept is simple. You broadcast a live video anytime, anywhere from your phone. Simply download the app to get started.

After launching Periscope, you can to create a freestanding account using your phone number or integrate the app with your Twitter handle. Connecting it with Twitter is recommended for the best visibility. The app is owned by Twitter, so the two really work hand-in-hand, especially in helping get exposure to grow your audience.

Persicope Screen Shots

Left: Persicope’s log-in page. Right: Periscope’s global map of live videos.

Once you’re logged in, go to the camera icon at the bottom of the screen. Your first visit here will allow you to enable your camera, microphone, and location. After granting permission for all three, you are ready to start streaming.

HOW TO BROADCAST

Unlike Vine, there is no limit on your broadcast. But, Periscope streams typically are short – perfect for mobile attention spans – and are available for replay for 24 hours.

Before starting your stream, there are a few simple steps to take as dictated in your broadcast view.

Title: First, you need to give your stream a title that’s relevant to your coverage. The title should be captivating, search friendly, and include smart hashtags. You want to compel your audience to click now and also make it easy for people to find later. Keep in mind what people might search for if they hear about the event after the immediacy has passed.

Write a compelling title here before broadcasting your view.

Write a compelling title here before broadcasting your view.

Location: Then, you need to decide if you want to include the location of your stream. This is a critical feature for breaking news coverage. Once word spreads about an event, people will likely search Persicope’s map for videos of eyes on the ground. Enabling this will allow your video to be found.

Privacy: The lock icon allows you to control who sees your stream. Depending on the content, you can allow everyone in to see your broadcast, or you can invite a select few.

Chat: When you’re on air, viewers can send real-time comments that you and other viewers can read. With the tap of a button, you can grant everyone the ability to chat or limit it to just the users who follow you.

Twitter: Lastly, you can have Periscope send a tweet on your behalf over your integrated Twitter handle. Augenstein always recommends arming this feature to get more exposure for your videos. Periscope still is fairly new, so you likely have a lot more followers on Twitter.

The 4 icons that determine your live broadcast settings: Location, privacy, chat, Twitter

The 4 icons that determine your live broadcast settings: Location, Privacy, Chat, Twitter

You can adjust all of these features conveniently from stream to stream. Just make your selections, press the “Start Broadcast” button, and you are live. Now, the magic happens. Introduce yourself, be clear, and keep it short to ensure your audience stays for every second.

Your followers on the app will be notified and can tune in to see what you’re up to. If they catch your share on Twitter, they can easily view the video on the web or via the app.

To end your broadcast, swipe down on the screen to reveal the stop button. You can save your broadcast to your camera roll (in settings, you can choose to save all broadcasts to your camera roll automatically). You also can grab the link to your broadcast to post the replay yourself on social media. If you’re unhappy with the video, deleting the replay is an option, too.

FEATURE FRIENDLY

Aside from the immediate settings in your broadcast view, there are a few other features to take note of when streaming.

Camera Toggle: Once you start broadcasting, you can quickly toggle the active camera. If you want to video yourself instead of what you are looking at, double tap the screen to switch the view from your rear camera to the front-facing camera.

Hearts:  Viewers can show you some love by tapping the screen, in a feature that acts very much like applause. Hearts can be given during both real-time and replay broadcasts, and your audience doesn’t have to stop at just one. They can tap as much as they like, creating a “flutter.” The more hearts you acquire, the higher you rank in the app’s “most loved” section, making you easier to discover.

Viewer Stats: You can see who is currently watching a live broadcast by swiping right. After your broadcast is over, analytics will pop up with details on who watched, how many hearts they gave, and more.

WHY YOU SHOULD LIVE STREAM

In a digital-first news landscape, Periscope can be the tool to get you on the air or the web first.

If you happen upon a breaking news event, you can quickly and easily transport your viewers to the scene sooner than the typical news broadcast. This is where arming Twitter is crucial – it’s a distribution vehicle for your video.

If you can be one of the first to post on-the-ground footage, your viewers are likely to stay with you throughout the length of the event, says Augenstein. If you do it the right way and make a great video, you can establish ownership of the story for extended engagement on Periscope, Twitter, Facebook and your website.

Outside of breaking news stories, you can use Periscope to share moments throughout the reporting process to keep viewers in the palm of your hand. Post teaser videos about an enterprise piece still in progress, or use the stream as a way to share updates around an unfolding story.  You also can use the broadcast to host Q&As or connect with your audience. The interaction can help skew your audience younger.

VERTICAL OR HORIZONTAL

Periscope defaults to a vertical view, but once you start broadcasting you can change the orientation.

But, which view is better?

It all depends, says Augenstein. While many media professionals will say horizontal is best, especially for social sharing and repurposing on TV and web, the vertical view is better for mobile visitors and makes the chat view more practical (in horizontal view, you have to turn your head to read the comments). It really all depends on the content, the plan in place for the video and the targeted audience.

But, Augenstein says, it’s best to embrace and use both views, especially with mobile video becoming increasingly more important. “Just like journalists have to learn how to write for print and broadcast/online, they might as well learn how to shoot both,” he says.

BROADCAST LIKE A PRO

Augenstein shared a number of tips, tricks and hacks to up your Periscope game once you’re comfortably using the app.

Smooth Sound: As Augenstein put it, poor audio equals an “instant X.” Viewers will undoubtably close out and move on if your broadcast is difficult to listen to. To improve the sound of your audio, try using a handheld microphone. For an analog input, a simple XLR adapter cable will allow you to plug a standard microphone in to your phone’s headphone jack.  For digital input, Augenstein suggested the iRig Pro, which plugs in to your phone’s charging port. The only downside to this, Augenstein says, is that you can’t charge your phone while recording. He recommends purchasing a windscreen, too, which he’s used before to cover a hurricane.

Battery Life: One of challenges in streaming live video from your phone is that it chews through your data, and also your battery life. To prevent running out of juice in a critical moment, Augenstein uses a power bank, like the EC Technology 22400 external battery. It’s compact and can charge multiple devices simultaneously.

Steady Hand: Keeping a steady hand during the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story is a challenge. For a smoother video, and less multitasking, a tripod could be a wise investment. Augenstein also suggested a selfie stick to help you get a wider array of shots.

Extend the Shelf Life:  The 24-hour viewing period for a Periscope video can be difficult if you work for a news organization. You want the video to still be there tomorrow. Luckily, a hack allows the video to live online forever. Simply add the hashtag #Katch in your video title and the video will auto upload to the Katch.me website. Each Katch video has a permalink that you can share. It also has an embed code, so you can easily repurpose the video without an expiration date. To auto-katch all of your livestreams, without having to use the hashtag, just alter your settings on your Katch account.

So, the next time you’re heading out to a breaking news scene – or just taking a walk – have your phone ready to broadcast live on social so your followers know you’re there capturing the next can’t-miss news story.

Stay up to date on media trends and best practices. Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to receive posts by email.  Or if you’re looking for supporting information and statements for breaking news stories, sign up for public interest news via PR Newswire for Journalists – your one-stop shop for newsgathering with access to custom newsfeeds, ProfNet experts and our multimedia gallery. Sign up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com or contact us to learn more.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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]]>
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 11:35:45 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/08/12/periscope_101:_how_to_broadcast_street_journalism_from_your_phone http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/08/12/periscope_101:_how_to_broadcast_street_journalism_from_your_phone Orginal post on Beyond Bylines: mediablog.prnewswire.com/2015/08/12/peri...

 

August 12, 2015

Periscope How-To

Periscope is a game changer.

It’s Twitter taken to new heights. Information flows in real time, but with an authentic, visual glimpse of what eyewitnesses are experiencing on the ground.

We saw Periscope’s impact on its first day on the job, back in March 2015, when an explosion rocked New York City.

Within seconds, the app’s feed was teeming with first-person views of the scene. Video clips from bystander cell phones came from every angle, showing unprecedented footage ahead of first-responder arrival.

This is not what we typically would see from the standard television broadcast. This was immediate – and unfiltered – providing a whole new level of access to viewers around the world.

In order to stay competitive, reporters need to embrace social reporting technology like this. And, according to WTOP digital reporter Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP), Periscope may be one of the most exciting ways to keep up.

Augenstein, by the way, was one of the first major-market radio reporters to use the iPhone as a primary field production device.

Last week, in a MediaShift #DigitalEd course, he shared tips for how to break news faster with mobile live-streaming. This got me hooked on learning the ins and outs of the app.

Here’s what I learned about how to make Periscope work for your coverage, from basic setup to pro tips.

GETTING STARTED

The concept is simple. You broadcast a live video anytime, anywhere from your phone. Simply download the app to get started.

After launching Periscope, you can to create a freestanding account using your phone number or integrate the app with your Twitter handle. Connecting it with Twitter is recommended for the best visibility. The app is owned by Twitter, so the two really work hand-in-hand, especially in helping get exposure to grow your audience.

Persicope Screen Shots

Left: Persicope’s log-in page. Right: Periscope’s global map of live videos.

Once you’re logged in, go to the camera icon at the bottom of the screen. Your first visit here will allow you to enable your camera, microphone, and location. After granting permission for all three, you are ready to start streaming.

HOW TO BROADCAST

Unlike Vine, there is no limit on your broadcast. But, Periscope streams typically are short – perfect for mobile attention spans – and are available for replay for 24 hours.

Before starting your stream, there are a few simple steps to take as dictated in your broadcast view.

Title: First, you need to give your stream a title that’s relevant to your coverage. The title should be captivating, search friendly, and include smart hashtags. You want to compel your audience to click now and also make it easy for people to find later. Keep in mind what people might search for if they hear about the event after the immediacy has passed.

Write a compelling title here before broadcasting your view.

Write a compelling title here before broadcasting your view.

Location: Then, you need to decide if you want to include the location of your stream. This is a critical feature for breaking news coverage. Once word spreads about an event, people will likely search Persicope’s map for videos of eyes on the ground. Enabling this will allow your video to be found.

Privacy: The lock icon allows you to control who sees your stream. Depending on the content, you can allow everyone in to see your broadcast, or you can invite a select few.

Chat: When you’re on air, viewers can send real-time comments that you and other viewers can read. With the tap of a button, you can grant everyone the ability to chat or limit it to just the users who follow you.

Twitter: Lastly, you can have Periscope send a tweet on your behalf over your integrated Twitter handle. Augenstein always recommends arming this feature to get more exposure for your videos. Periscope still is fairly new, so you likely have a lot more followers on Twitter.

The 4 icons that determine your live broadcast settings: Location, privacy, chat, Twitter

The 4 icons that determine your live broadcast settings: Location, Privacy, Chat, Twitter

You can adjust all of these features conveniently from stream to stream. Just make your selections, press the “Start Broadcast” button, and you are live. Now, the magic happens. Introduce yourself, be clear, and keep it short to ensure your audience stays for every second.

Your followers on the app will be notified and can tune in to see what you’re up to. If they catch your share on Twitter, they can easily view the video on the web or via the app.

To end your broadcast, swipe down on the screen to reveal the stop button. You can save your broadcast to your camera roll (in settings, you can choose to save all broadcasts to your camera roll automatically). You also can grab the link to your broadcast to post the replay yourself on social media. If you’re unhappy with the video, deleting the replay is an option, too.

FEATURE FRIENDLY

Aside from the immediate settings in your broadcast view, there are a few other features to take note of when streaming.

Camera Toggle: Once you start broadcasting, you can quickly toggle the active camera. If you want to video yourself instead of what you are looking at, double tap the screen to switch the view from your rear camera to the front-facing camera.

Hearts:  Viewers can show you some love by tapping the screen, in a feature that acts very much like applause. Hearts can be given during both real-time and replay broadcasts, and your audience doesn’t have to stop at just one. They can tap as much as they like, creating a “flutter.” The more hearts you acquire, the higher you rank in the app’s “most loved” section, making you easier to discover.

Viewer Stats: You can see who is currently watching a live broadcast by swiping right. After your broadcast is over, analytics will pop up with details on who watched, how many hearts they gave, and more.

WHY YOU SHOULD LIVE STREAM

In a digital-first news landscape, Periscope can be the tool to get you on the air or the web first.

If you happen upon a breaking news event, you can quickly and easily transport your viewers to the scene sooner than the typical news broadcast. This is where arming Twitter is crucial – it’s a distribution vehicle for your video.

If you can be one of the first to post on-the-ground footage, your viewers are likely to stay with you throughout the length of the event, says Augenstein. If you do it the right way and make a great video, you can establish ownership of the story for extended engagement on Periscope, Twitter, Facebook and your website.

Outside of breaking news stories, you can use Periscope to share moments throughout the reporting process to keep viewers in the palm of your hand. Post teaser videos about an enterprise piece still in progress, or use the stream as a way to share updates around an unfolding story.  You also can use the broadcast to host Q&As or connect with your audience. The interaction can help skew your audience younger.

VERTICAL OR HORIZONTAL

Periscope defaults to a vertical view, but once you start broadcasting you can change the orientation.

But, which view is better?

It all depends, says Augenstein. While many media professionals will say horizontal is best, especially for social sharing and repurposing on TV and web, the vertical view is better for mobile visitors and makes the chat view more practical (in horizontal view, you have to turn your head to read the comments). It really all depends on the content, the plan in place for the video and the targeted audience.

But, Augenstein says, it’s best to embrace and use both views, especially with mobile video becoming increasingly more important. “Just like journalists have to learn how to write for print and broadcast/online, they might as well learn how to shoot both,” he says.

BROADCAST LIKE A PRO

Augenstein shared a number of tips, tricks and hacks to up your Periscope game once you’re comfortably using the app.

Smooth Sound: As Augenstein put it, poor audio equals an “instant X.” Viewers will undoubtably close out and move on if your broadcast is difficult to listen to. To improve the sound of your audio, try using a handheld microphone. For an analog input, a simple XLR adapter cable will allow you to plug a standard microphone in to your phone’s headphone jack.  For digital input, Augenstein suggested the iRig Pro, which plugs in to your phone’s charging port. The only downside to this, Augenstein says, is that you can’t charge your phone while recording. He recommends purchasing a windscreen, too, which he’s used before to cover a hurricane.

Battery Life: One of challenges in streaming live video from your phone is that it chews through your data, and also your battery life. To prevent running out of juice in a critical moment, Augenstein uses a power bank, like the EC Technology 22400 external battery. It’s compact and can charge multiple devices simultaneously.

Steady Hand: Keeping a steady hand during the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story is a challenge. For a smoother video, and less multitasking, a tripod could be a wise investment. Augenstein also suggested a selfie stick to help you get a wider array of shots.

Extend the Shelf Life:  The 24-hour viewing period for a Periscope video can be difficult if you work for a news organization. You want the video to still be there tomorrow. Luckily, a hack allows the video to live online forever. Simply add the hashtag #Katch in your video title and the video will auto upload to the Katch.me website. Each Katch video has a permalink that you can share. It also has an embed code, so you can easily repurpose the video without an expiration date. To auto-katch all of your livestreams, without having to use the hashtag, just alter your settings on your Katch account.

So, the next time you’re heading out to a breaking news scene – or just taking a walk – have your phone ready to broadcast live on social so your followers know you’re there capturing the next can’t-miss news story.

Stay up to date on media trends and best practices. Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to receive posts by email.  Or if you’re looking for supporting information and statements for breaking news stories, sign up for public interest news via PR Newswire for Journalists – your one-stop shop for newsgathering with access to custom newsfeeds, ProfNet experts and our multimedia gallery. Sign up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com or contact us to learn more.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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0
How to Use Facebook as a Reporting Tool in 5 Steps

Facebook recently made changes that could alter the way people consume news, driving a lot of think-piece fodder about the implications it has on journalism.

But it’s possible the social media tool’s latest iterations could, in fact, help journalists. With roughly a fifth of the world logging on every month, a reporter potentially could increase their rolodex of sources to be about 1.4 billion strong.

During a recent seminar by the Poynter Institute, WGBH social media director Tory Starr shared her insights on how journalists can unlock the power of Facebook for their reporting.

Here are five steps to get you started.

1. Figure out who you are on Facebook and how you want to use it as a journalist.  

Navigating the personal and professional divide on Facebook can be tricky. But with the right tools, your journalist self and your personal self can co-exist on the platform. The first decision to create the appropriate profile — a page or a personal profile with the follow button enabled. 

There are benefits to both, says Starr.

With the personal profile plus follow button, you can engage in two-way conversation with followers and ultimately build a community. If there’s something more personal you want to share, you can alter your privacy settings with each post. On the flip side, creating a page allows you to focus solely on your personal brand to build an audience for one-way conversation. This allows readers to connect with your professional presence and provides you with analytics on your audience and their interests.

If you’re unsure, the best place to start is with a profile page plus follow button. Pages are better suited for major personalities, says Starr. To enable the follow button, go to settings > followers > select “everybody.”

2.  Develop your beat on Facebook.

Keep people updated on what you’re covering and share relevant breaking news stories.

To grab attention, post behind-the-scenes photos and videos. Facebook is people-driven. Your followers want to hear your personal voice and, more importantly, your expert analysis on the story you’re sharing, Starr added.

Invest time in making it work for you and your reporting needs, too. Your followers are a powerful network of sources who can help you gather information for stories. When you’re trying to find specific sources, casting a wide net to your followers can be a good starting point to find people to interview.

3. Close the loop: Don’t just push out information. Treat the platform like a community.

Facebook can be the home for building on your reporting and finding new stories, says Starr. But, in order for it to work, you must engage with your followers. Post questions and respond to comments. Enable participatory journalism by creating groups on topics you cover. 

Facebook is a great way to source commentary from your readers about a news event, Starr explained. “Whatever the content you’re looking to source from your community, make the prompt clear and simple,” she says. “Explain how you may use the content and follow-up with the user when you have additional questions or need clarification.”

4. Look for verified content in the right places.

There are a number of social-first organizations (FB Newswire, reported.ly and Storyful, to name a few) that are actively scraping content, verifying it, and putting it in front of you in real-time. Because of their existence, there are less rumors and false information circulating on social media, says Starr. 

By using these trusted sources for information, you can separate the news from the noise and perhaps learn from their verification work.

5. Use Facebook to find sources and story ideas.  

Facebook’s search engine is a powerful tool that “journalists don’t use enough,” Starr says.

Use it to find, follow and message people publicly speaking about a topic, or who post from the ground of a situation. Starr used coverage of the recent economic crisis in Greece as an example. The search string, “people who live in Athens and work at the National Bank of Greece,” would bring up those who’ve publicly identified themselves as such. You can then use the results to add friends or send private messages, requesting information or interviews.

To stay on top of hot-button issues, trending topics are featured on the right-hand side of your home screen. You also can try Facebook Interest lists. On the left-hand side of your home screen, click on “Interests” to add topics to follow. To further fine-tune the news, create a list on your own – just as you would on Twitter.

For a real-life example of a journalist using Facebook as a reporting tool, check out Connie Schultz. She’s adapted the classic newspaper column to her Facebook page. You also can read about Adrien Chen, who used Facebook to find leads while investigating a highly-coordinated disinformation campaign in Russia.

Stay up to date on media trends and best practices. Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to receive posts by email.  Or if you’re looking for another way to find sources, try ProfNet – it can help you find the subject-matter experts you need for your reporting. The best part? It’s easy and free to submit a query. Get started now. Send a query.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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]]>
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 15:56:27 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/07/31/how_to_use_facebook_as_a_reporting_tool_in_5_steps http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/07/31/how_to_use_facebook_as_a_reporting_tool_in_5_steps

Facebook recently made changes that could alter the way people consume news, driving a lot of think-piece fodder about the implications it has on journalism.

But it’s possible the social media tool’s latest iterations could, in fact, help journalists. With roughly a fifth of the world logging on every month, a reporter potentially could increase their rolodex of sources to be about 1.4 billion strong.

During a recent seminar by the Poynter Institute, WGBH social media director Tory Starr shared her insights on how journalists can unlock the power of Facebook for their reporting.

Here are five steps to get you started.

1. Figure out who you are on Facebook and how you want to use it as a journalist.  

Navigating the personal and professional divide on Facebook can be tricky. But with the right tools, your journalist self and your personal self can co-exist on the platform. The first decision to create the appropriate profile — a page or a personal profile with the follow button enabled. 

There are benefits to both, says Starr.

With the personal profile plus follow button, you can engage in two-way conversation with followers and ultimately build a community. If there’s something more personal you want to share, you can alter your privacy settings with each post. On the flip side, creating a page allows you to focus solely on your personal brand to build an audience for one-way conversation. This allows readers to connect with your professional presence and provides you with analytics on your audience and their interests.

If you’re unsure, the best place to start is with a profile page plus follow button. Pages are better suited for major personalities, says Starr. To enable the follow button, go to settings > followers > select “everybody.”

2.  Develop your beat on Facebook.

Keep people updated on what you’re covering and share relevant breaking news stories.

To grab attention, post behind-the-scenes photos and videos. Facebook is people-driven. Your followers want to hear your personal voice and, more importantly, your expert analysis on the story you’re sharing, Starr added.

Invest time in making it work for you and your reporting needs, too. Your followers are a powerful network of sources who can help you gather information for stories. When you’re trying to find specific sources, casting a wide net to your followers can be a good starting point to find people to interview.

3. Close the loop: Don’t just push out information. Treat the platform like a community.

Facebook can be the home for building on your reporting and finding new stories, says Starr. But, in order for it to work, you must engage with your followers. Post questions and respond to comments. Enable participatory journalism by creating groups on topics you cover. 

Facebook is a great way to source commentary from your readers about a news event, Starr explained. “Whatever the content you’re looking to source from your community, make the prompt clear and simple,” she says. “Explain how you may use the content and follow-up with the user when you have additional questions or need clarification.”

4. Look for verified content in the right places.

There are a number of social-first organizations (FB Newswire, reported.ly and Storyful, to name a few) that are actively scraping content, verifying it, and putting it in front of you in real-time. Because of their existence, there are less rumors and false information circulating on social media, says Starr. 

By using these trusted sources for information, you can separate the news from the noise and perhaps learn from their verification work.

5. Use Facebook to find sources and story ideas.  

Facebook’s search engine is a powerful tool that “journalists don’t use enough,” Starr says.

Use it to find, follow and message people publicly speaking about a topic, or who post from the ground of a situation. Starr used coverage of the recent economic crisis in Greece as an example. The search string, “people who live in Athens and work at the National Bank of Greece,” would bring up those who’ve publicly identified themselves as such. You can then use the results to add friends or send private messages, requesting information or interviews.

To stay on top of hot-button issues, trending topics are featured on the right-hand side of your home screen. You also can try Facebook Interest lists. On the left-hand side of your home screen, click on “Interests” to add topics to follow. To further fine-tune the news, create a list on your own – just as you would on Twitter.

For a real-life example of a journalist using Facebook as a reporting tool, check out Connie Schultz. She’s adapted the classic newspaper column to her Facebook page. You also can read about Adrien Chen, who used Facebook to find leads while investigating a highly-coordinated disinformation campaign in Russia.

Stay up to date on media trends and best practices. Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to receive posts by email.  Or if you’re looking for another way to find sources, try ProfNet – it can help you find the subject-matter experts you need for your reporting. The best part? It’s easy and free to submit a query. Get started now. Send a query.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
]]>
0
Social Media Week: Election 2012 and the Fight for the Internet

Is the 2012 election the social media election? This was the big question at Social Media Week's "Election 2012 and the Fight for the Internet” panel, hosted by the Washington Post on Friday, Feb. 17.

Speaking on the panel were Post reporters Felicia Sonmez, Amanda Zamora, and Karen Tumulty; political strategist Joe Trippi; SocialFlow VP of Research and Development Gilad Lotan; and Hitwise Analyst Cristina Bell.

The discussion centered on social media and the Internet and its unprecedented effects on the race for the White House this election year versus previous years.

"It’s the network, stupid,” chimed in Trippi. The veteran strategist is riffing off the old quote from James Carville during Clinton's 1992 campaign. But, he makes a good point.

Since the 2008 presidential election, the use of social media has grown exponentially, making Twitter and Facebook two major campaign tools. Referencing a Pew Center for the People & the Press report, the panel noted that 6 percent of the population gets their campaign coverage from Facebook, and 2 percent from Twitter. Sounds like small numbers, but, in reality, that's close to 6 million people tuned in to Twitter for campaign updates.

The wealth of information available in these outlets, from voter data to documented feedback, allows election campaigns to get on a level playing field with the mainstream media. All sides are now employing tactics to win their desired audience, potentially transforming superficial friendships into political artillery.

Tweets are more powerful than campaign spin doctors, said Trippi. Today, candidates get instant feedback on their performance and instantaneous fact checks. We no longer have to wait for politicians to determine who won a debate, he said. We know from reactions on social media.

As editorial manager of PRN’s Washington, D.C., bureau and lead voice on our Twitter policy handle, all of this hit home. But, the biggest takeaway for me was really realizing the power social media has with the public. Every day in office, we see how the news cycle can change at the drop of a hat, with a new bill on Capitol Hill or an “oops” moment on the campaign trail. One story can drive a whole series of reactionary copy, but if something really strikes a chord with the public, social media is what turns up the volume, driving days – sometimes weeks – of conversation amongst both friends and strangers.

We saw similar impact with the heavily politicized Occupy movement. Calls made on social networks – though sometimes resulting in mixed, critical reactions – helped foster a national dialogue about the issues at the forefront of the protest, ultimately helping grow the "occupation" around the world. It makes sense that we expect a similar movement around the election as each party (political or otherwise) ramps up their fight to be seen and heard in the social sphere.

As for tips for journalists covering the upcoming contest: Don't let search and social trends alone dictate your coverage, said Sonmez. Social media – and Twitter especially – allow media to amplify and empower the voters, by helping get their voices heard inside all the noise. So, it’s important, now more than ever, to share a unique approach. “Be provocative without being partisan," added Tumulty.

So, what’s next?

As Trippi concluded, social media is now part of a political reporter’s journalistic life, but, the future may hold something even more spectacular.

Will new social outlets emerge as champions of political discourse? Will the effects we see go beyond the national stage to local and state elections? Will the developing social relationship between politicians and the public affect how the political media does their job?

Only time will tell.

To read corresponding conversation on Twitter around the event, follow #SMWcampaign and #SWMpolitics.

You can also see how PR Newswire is covering the 2012 election via our policy handle on Twitter: twitter.com/prnpolicy

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Thu, 23 Feb 2012 14:17:55 -0600 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2012/02/23/social_media_week:_election_2012_and_the_fight_for_the_internet http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2012/02/23/social_media_week:_election_2012_and_the_fight_for_the_internet

Is the 2012 election the social media election? This was the big question at Social Media Week's "Election 2012 and the Fight for the Internet” panel, hosted by the Washington Post on Friday, Feb. 17.

Speaking on the panel were Post reporters Felicia Sonmez, Amanda Zamora, and Karen Tumulty; political strategist Joe Trippi; SocialFlow VP of Research and Development Gilad Lotan; and Hitwise Analyst Cristina Bell.

The discussion centered on social media and the Internet and its unprecedented effects on the race for the White House this election year versus previous years.

"It’s the network, stupid,” chimed in Trippi. The veteran strategist is riffing off the old quote from James Carville during Clinton's 1992 campaign. But, he makes a good point.

Since the 2008 presidential election, the use of social media has grown exponentially, making Twitter and Facebook two major campaign tools. Referencing a Pew Center for the People & the Press report, the panel noted that 6 percent of the population gets their campaign coverage from Facebook, and 2 percent from Twitter. Sounds like small numbers, but, in reality, that's close to 6 million people tuned in to Twitter for campaign updates.

The wealth of information available in these outlets, from voter data to documented feedback, allows election campaigns to get on a level playing field with the mainstream media. All sides are now employing tactics to win their desired audience, potentially transforming superficial friendships into political artillery.

Tweets are more powerful than campaign spin doctors, said Trippi. Today, candidates get instant feedback on their performance and instantaneous fact checks. We no longer have to wait for politicians to determine who won a debate, he said. We know from reactions on social media.

As editorial manager of PRN’s Washington, D.C., bureau and lead voice on our Twitter policy handle, all of this hit home. But, the biggest takeaway for me was really realizing the power social media has with the public. Every day in office, we see how the news cycle can change at the drop of a hat, with a new bill on Capitol Hill or an “oops” moment on the campaign trail. One story can drive a whole series of reactionary copy, but if something really strikes a chord with the public, social media is what turns up the volume, driving days – sometimes weeks – of conversation amongst both friends and strangers.

We saw similar impact with the heavily politicized Occupy movement. Calls made on social networks – though sometimes resulting in mixed, critical reactions – helped foster a national dialogue about the issues at the forefront of the protest, ultimately helping grow the "occupation" around the world. It makes sense that we expect a similar movement around the election as each party (political or otherwise) ramps up their fight to be seen and heard in the social sphere.

As for tips for journalists covering the upcoming contest: Don't let search and social trends alone dictate your coverage, said Sonmez. Social media – and Twitter especially – allow media to amplify and empower the voters, by helping get their voices heard inside all the noise. So, it’s important, now more than ever, to share a unique approach. “Be provocative without being partisan," added Tumulty.

So, what’s next?

As Trippi concluded, social media is now part of a political reporter’s journalistic life, but, the future may hold something even more spectacular.

Will new social outlets emerge as champions of political discourse? Will the effects we see go beyond the national stage to local and state elections? Will the developing social relationship between politicians and the public affect how the political media does their job?

Only time will tell.

To read corresponding conversation on Twitter around the event, follow #SMWcampaign and #SWMpolitics.

You can also see how PR Newswire is covering the 2012 election via our policy handle on Twitter: twitter.com/prnpolicy

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